One of the key attributes of a strong, courageous leader is the ability to get people to pursue an aggressive plan for improvement. In doing so, lots of dialogue takes place as the plan is developed, with particular emphasis on trying to make the dissenters understand the thinking, even though they may not agree.
Gutsy Leadership Blog
Back to the original question: why are we so reluctant to give positive feedback? Back in 1990, Bass and Stogdill published “Handbook of Leadership” and briefly addressed this issue. They claimed it was typically due to one of the following reasons: discomfort in discussing either positive or negative feedback by the boss, a lack of skill in assessing performance, doubts about the efficacy of positive reinforcement, poor performance appraisal practices in the organization they are a part of, or time pressure.
The tendency to try to control everybody discourages leadership. There is virtually no exciting vision of moving ahead via the kind of innovation and motivation that are typically necessary in a truly competitive environment. The absence of such leadership usually generates performance problems, which often only increase in size with the application of still more management.
Blockbuster opened their first store in 1985, renting movies for VHS tape players. They experienced explosive growth as consumers had a very inexpensive (compared to going to a theater) and convenient (in the comfort of their home) way to watch a movie.
When I was at Microsoft in the 1990’s, we did an annual employee survey that was a very valuable tool in understanding numerous personnel issues. To generate valid readings, you need broad participation in such a survey. We achieved 100% participation by administering the survey online. The system kept the respondent’s identity confidential, but importantly, [...]
Naturally, strong leaders are working hard continuously to make sure their people and organizations are in the mental state of Earning. An Earning environment requires realistic opportunities to achieve and realistic requirements to do so. It requires parameters of achievement so there’s pressure to perform and some certainly when you have performed. It requires accurate matching of requirements to ability so that you’re right more often than you are wrong.
Back in 2006-2008, I was an avid Blackberry user. At that time, when you went to a business meeting, it was not unusual to see most of the people around the table being slaves to their Blackberry, trying to catch the latest email. On the other hand, during that period virtually every Blackberry user knew [...]
Anytime there is significant change in an organization, it can have a very unsettling effect. Examples of the kind of change I am talking about are major staff reductions, reorganizing to better meet the needs of the marketplace, new technologies that cause some jobs to disappear and others to massively change, or new bosses who you know will have different value systems and want to reconfigure things.
While leaders can never be certain that their company’s ability to bring new ideas to the marketplace is totally wired into the culture and would be effective even without them, it is important that each leader have total commitment to honing each employee’s skills to continually challenge the status quo.
It is a physiological fact that if a deer is standing in the dark by the side of a road and a car’s headlights shine on it, the deer is blinded momentarily and they freeze. The funny thing is, it happens not only to deer but to companies and to people. Psychologists define the commonly used phrase ”deer in the headlights” as “a state of indecision caused by surprise, anxiety, fear, and confusion.”