Leadership Development

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!

April 27, 2015

Why Leading Is Not About Winning

Yes, the university catalog cover you see below was a huge, insensitive, socially out-of-touch blunder. We don’t even have to go into the gender and racial insensitivity it conveys. But if you missed the flap and want background on the original controversy, read Jessica Roy’s article “University Catalogue Cover Accidentally Becomes Perfect Metaphor for America” in New York magazine. As leaders, and especially readers of this blog, you certainly see just how widely the catalog editors missed the mark in […]
April 20, 2015

13 Traits of Courageous Leaders

Courage can be obvious, as demonstrated by the firefighter who rushes into a burning building to save a life. But you don’t have to throw yourself on a grenade to demonstrate courage. Everyday acts of leadership courage make themselves much less obvious. They may not threaten life and limb, but the results can bring pain and embarrassment rather than glory and honor. Every time you make a decision that you fear your employees will resent, it takes courage. Delivering tough, […]
April 13, 2015

Sitting — How to Stop It from Killing You

First the bad news. We—that’s you, I, and most people—sit on average 9.3 hours a day. That’s more than we sleep, about 7.7 hours a day. We have to sleep, but we don’t have to sit all those hours. And why not? Because sitting hurts us. Medical experts go even further. It’s killing us, they warn. Statistics tie breast and colon cancer directly lack of physical activity. They blame sitting for about ten percent of those cancers. Six percent of […]
April 6, 2015

Fit in or stand out? Inclusion means both.

Belonging to a group, a team, or an organization doesn’t have to mean conforming. You can be both unique and be a team player. In fact, that’s what you as a leader want to encourage. To go beyond diversity and champion inclusion. Your reward will be higher employee commitment and engagement. To illustrate the difference between diversity and inclusion, imagine that you’re throwing a party. Diversity occurs when you invite someone different from most of your other guests. Inclusion happens […]
March 30, 2015

8 Ways Introverts Add Value to Your Organization

Introverts have always been with us, even though the term was not popularized until the 20th century by Swiss psychiatrist and psychotherapist Carl Jung. His ideas on extroversion and introversion have been incorporated into the popular Myers-Briggs Type Indicator and the word introvert has become part of everyday language. According to Susan Cain in her book Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking, introverts favor their own mental life. Their energy rises in reflection and […]
June 29, 2015

How Rudeness Ruins Work

Christine Porath, an associate professor at the Georgetown University McDonough School of Business, has been studying the rise of rudeness in the workplace for nearly 20 years. Her disturbing findings warrant the attention and response of leaders around the world. She summarizes the gist of her research in her New York Times article, No Time to Be Nice at Work. Even though a growing number of people are disturbed by incivility, I’ve found that it has continued to climb over […]
June 15, 2015

When to Coach. When to Mentor.

Coaches and mentors perform very different functions in the development of the people they help. Their responsibilities overlap, because both are concerned with another’s development. But leaders must recognize the significant differences between coaching and mentoring in order to get the most out of each. Since both, when executed well, profoundly benefit your employees and your organization’s bottom line, it’s important to understand each and provide both. In the graphseen here, I’ve illustrated how coaching and mentoring each contribute to […]
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 […]