ReadyTalk

Meet with Confidence

“Do you really get something out of all of those business books?”

Posted by Rick Newman on
Share this Post:
I read a lot of business books on leadership and management. 
 
A lot.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Recently a co-worker asked if I really get something out of each of them. It offered me an opportunity to stop and articulate why I think it is so important to continue to expose myself to materials (books, articles, video, etc) on management and leadership. Even if that means I end up reading over the same ideas presented in a different model, with its own corresponding vocabulary.
 
Boiled down, I think there are three reasons that people in leadership positions (formally recognized or not) need to be regularly checking their understanding in this area. 
 
The first applies to every area of life: Important topics deserve multiple perspectives. This is not only to expose yourself to the different sides of things, but to the different models that are used to understand them. 
 
I know myself enough to know that when I encounter a new way of looking at something, I spend some time engrossed in that perspective and see everything through that lens. I know that directly after reading an exciting new presentation of How Things Really Are is NOT the time to decide that we need to Do This New Thing. Rather, it's a time to examine my context in light of this new perspective and see what learning it brings. It doesn’t become the model du jour, it becomes another tool in the toolbox. 
 
The second reason I like to keep abreast of new materials is because leadership is about using yourself to move others to action. Which means that fundamentally it is about managing yourself. Whether it's a single unit of work, a project, a department, or a business, the challenge is the same - how do you get the best from the people doing the work?
 
Do you naturally dive in and start problem-solving? Do you ask questions, and then immediately provide the answers? Do you give ambiguous impressions of your priorities to your team? Are meetings more or less productive when you are in them?
 
How do you know?
 
The are many things needed to build an empowered and effective team (delegation, feedback, communication, team-building, mentorship, etc) but there is one commonality running through them: you. Knowing more about how your attitudes and behaviors affect others can have significant impact. Learning about common leadership / management pitfalls, and combining it with real-time feedback from others, can help identify where you can be better.
 
Lastly, though I start out with the best intentions with my team, I often revert to trying to solve all the problems myself (we call this ‘the fun part’ around ReadyTalk) or dictating how things have to be. I know that empowering my team to solve problems and to own the solutions is the best thing to do. I know that this is the way we get creativity, buy-in, ownership and opportunities for professional growth. I know this…but still fall back to old habits. 
 
I don't know about you but acknowledging something about myself (e.g., when I get excited I tend to start cutting people off in a conversation) doesn't mean I will reliably spot the signs and cease the behavior going forward. It takes different exposures, explanations, and feedback to change my behavior in a way that makes me (and ultimately my team) more productive.
 
 
The urgency of the every day tends to move me away from those practices that best empower the people around me...I need to return again and again to remind myself to get out of the way.
 
 

Comments for “Do you really get something out of all of those business books?”

blog comments powered by Disqus

Recent Posts

Cost Analysis of Webinar Leads

 Cost Analysis of Webinar Leads Webinars have gained popularity as a cost effective lead generation tactic in the past couple of years. Depending on your webinar strategy, the...

Webinar Promotion Q&A with Marketing Experts

Your Webinar Questions Answered by HourlyNerd's Dan Slagen and ReadyTalk's Shawn Cardinal On August 19, Dan Slagen, the CMO of HourlyNerd spoke on ReadyTalk’s webinar series about...

Watch your audience go from yawn to yay!

ReadyTalk Hosts Susan Stewart on our Webinar Series Time and time again people eagerly register for webinars, to only drift off from the live event and leave the webcast wondering...

The Cost of Bad Data

Cost of Bad Data Bad data is data that is not perfect – it could be incorrect data, data with missing chunks or data that is delayed. Most businesses do not realize it yet, but bad...

Optimize Your Webinar Spending with the Webinar ROI Calculator

Optimize Your Webinar Spending with the Webinar ROI Calculator As a marketer, you’re probably asked to provide weekly results in order to justify your budget and efforts. Week over...

ReadyTalk Makes Outside Magazine's 2014 list for "Best Places to Work"

The 2014 Outside Magazine “Best Places to Work” winners have been released, and ReadyTalk is happy to announce that we have made this year's list. For the past seven years, Outside...

6 Perspectives On Realistic Goals For New Advocate Marketing Programs (Guest Post)

6 Perspectives On Realistic Goals For New Advocate Marketing Programs If you’re anything like me, you have to set explicit goals for yourself before you can get anything really...

Find the Paths Your Customers Follow (Guest Post)

Find the Paths Your Customers Follow SHINY OBJECTS ARE DISTRACTING ReadyTalk recently invited me to provide a webinar on delivering content for demand generation and customer...

New from ReadyTalk - iPhone App Web Participant

Joining web meetings from your iPhone has never been easier.  Whether you are in the office or on the road, you can now participate in both the audio and web portions of the...