Helanie Scott

Align4Profit Leadership Development Blog

In the following posts of the Align4Profit leadership development blog, you’ll find fascinating news, helpful advice, and easy-to-implement leader-as-coach techniques and tips for leaders in all kinds of organizations.

Read and enjoy. We welcome your comments!

June 8, 2015

How to Lead Like an Octopus

The octopus could teach some leaders a thing or two about leadership. Specifically it can help leaders who micromanage, those who worry over the smallest details of the direction they give their employees. Living for eons in an environment of ever-present danger, the octopus has learned to decentralize leadership and not try to manage the small stuff. Think of an octopus as the leader of an eight-person team. The head provides vision and relies on what it has learned in […]
June 1, 2015

Six Ways to Gain Discretionary Effort

The difference between the effort an employee can invest in their work and the minimum effort they have to invest in order to keep their job is called Discretionary Effort. It’s like the bonus your employees give you. Time and effort above and beyond. The extra mile. If we measure discretionary effort in terms of time on the job, at the workplace or away, we can then graph it as I’ve done at right. The more engaged an employee, the […]
May 25, 2015

Construal Leadership: How employees construe your direction

In psychology a concept called “construals” looks at how individuals interpret the world around them, and especially the way they expect others to behave with regard to themselves. You’re right if you expect construals to have quite an impact on the way leaders should behave, if they want to be effective. Construal theory was developed as a way to understand motivation by examining how social distance affects the way people respond to feedback. In Nir Halevy on Motivating Your Workforce, […]
May 18, 2015

Coffee, Tea, and Leadership Intimacy

It’s practically impossible to watch a British movie or TV show without someone inviting someone else to sit down and, “Have a nice cup of tea.” All around the world, people make warm drinks like coffee and tea the essential component of their assemblies—from kaffeeklatsches to tea parties. Often tea or coffee is offered as a health remedy and more often to calm nerves, reduce stress, or simply make someone feel better. And more often than not, hot drinks do […]
May 4, 2015

Nine Nasty No-nos for Smart Global Leaders

As the world shrinks, leaders are expected to lead teams consisting of professional people living and working in cultures spread around the globe. As a result, inevitably and innocently, cultural differences cause misunderstanding. I can illustrate how easily this can happen with just a few examples. Below are nine gestures, expression, and behaviors that can get a leader into hot water. There are many, many more. But let’s start somewhere. Never give gifts in groups of four in China. Doing […]
August 31, 2015

Zen Attention: Understanding vs. Responding

If you are not familiar with Zen, a school of Buddhism, you may have at least encountered one or two paradoxical Zen koans like, What is the sound of one hand clapping? Such quirky questions, called koans, are meant to help one get into the Zen state of mind, a state of enlightenment that promises to provide greater understanding and peace of mind. After understanding yourself, understanding others is essential to Leadership Intimacy. We certainly could use a lot more […]
August 17, 2015

Time to play Intimacy Bingo!

I’m your host, Helanie Scott, and this is the game that measures just how intimate you might be as a leader. I say “might,” because Intimacy Bingo is not a scientific instrument. It’s Bingo. Okay, it’s not really Bingo, but you play it very much like Bingo. Best of all, when you win, you can yell, “Bingo!” Let’s begin! Everything you need to play Intimacy Bingo you’ll find the in Intimacy Bingo Kit. Download it, read the instructions, and print […]
August 3, 2015

Urgent vs. Important Priorities

One of the most important leadership skills any leader can develop is managing priorities. In other words, using priorities to make yourself more productive. When you face many demands on your time, it’s important to understand that not everything can or should get done. It sounds like a simple enough statement, but unless you fully embrace it, you will tend to feel overwhelmed by your workload. And that can make you less productive and a less effective leader. The answer […]
July 27, 2015

12 Ways to Give Great Feedback

Too often feedback afflicts both managers and employees with fear and loathing—the fear of an upcoming feedback session and the loathing that follows. All of it unnecessary. Keeping ten positive principles in mind can help you to start giving great feedback immediately. Before we visit what to do, take a look this three-minute video from the Center for Creative Leadership. It identifies ten common mistakes many leaders make trying to avoid tough feedback challenges. Now that you know what not […]