Tag Archives: communication styles

Being an Accelerator Leadership Style Readies Organizations for Innovation

07 Oct 15
Michelle Cubas
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Using Karin Hurt’s premise of 7 Roles of an Exceptional Leader, I see myself as an “Accelerator.” You can review the others here.
 Race Car
What is an Accelerator?
This leadership style is off script . . . intentionally, rather than a “seat-of-the-pants” approach. The Accelerator clearly puts forth ideas to stimulate the team but doesn’t give the “answers.” The team matures when it provides its own content after the leader sets the stage.
Daniel Pink is a current trend disrupter and contrarian who fits this description, also—I am a contrarian, who removes a script and expands the creative space for my clients.
Terrie St. Marie (Starbucker)  has a post describing the difference between a boss and a leader. It supports the Accelerator model as well.
Jim Collins’ book, Good to Great, researched companies and their leaders to find the “secret sauce” of their greatness.
The company, USAA, focused primarily on military service members, is world class from hiring through retirement. They are a serious business model for any company. Part of the success formula is the upfront investment in personnel and superb training. The environment is conducive to exceptional service.
Here are my take-away elements to use from the Accelerator model:
  • This type of style takes calculated risks.
  • The Accelerator provides clarity for the project.
  • The Accelerator relies on intuition for validation.
  • The Accelerator’s self-confidence is contagious to the team members.
  • The Accelerator is directed toward progress rather than holding power. Interestingly, they are easier to follow because of this emphasis.

A benefit to workers immersed in an Accelerator climate is the boundless energy that is created. It is the fertile seedbed that innovation seeks. For example, taking calculated risks creates excitement without being reckless.

It is a true talent to transmit and guide an audience through and to an idea or conclusion. There is decisiveness and clarity so that team members understand what is expected and can produce a successful outcome; it is not an exercise in futility, leaving people shake their heads about, “Why are we doing this?”

Trusting one’s intuition informs perception to see different perspectives. The self-confidence, not hubris, of an Accelerator is contagious and inspiring so people want to rise to a similar level within themselves.

The humility and strength that emanates from an Accelerator leader, holds for a “good of the house” attitude rather than self-aggrandizement. They use the the pronoun, we, frequently, which assures the listeners they are not alone and the leader is in the boat with them.

There is inclusiveness and belonging baked into the relationships of the leader and the team. The Accelerator invites ideas and relieves him or herself of the burden of knowing all the answers. In such an environment, ideas flow and appear quicker and continue to generate a positive energy to achieve the vision set forth by the leader and the team. -MC

The Contagious Multi-Dimensional Leadership Style Defined

14 Nov 14
Michelle Cubas
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Leadership can be contagious. That’s the secret sauce! Multi-Dimensional Leaders head smooth running, self-directed organizations. They are attractive because of the high performance, high reward environments, and energetic pace set by the leader.

Learn these techniques, and apply them instantly to your circumstances. Enjoy the positive results and “payoffs” from becoming the Multi-Dimensional Leader.

The Multi-Dimensional Leader model marks the end of dominance and intimidation in the workplace.

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

 Blueprint copy

The Role of the Multi-Dimensional Leader, A Blueprint for Success

Leadership is contagious.

You can apply these techniques instantly to your circumstance with cost-containment in mind. Enjoy the positive results and “payoffs” by becoming the Multi-Dimensional Leader your team needs.

The multi-dimensional leader creates a work environment that supports all communication styles. The leader recognizes how to influence the “climate” in the environment. Setting the pace and tone is essential. Awareness is an insight first and foremost. The leader recognizes and encourages room for exploration and rewards behavior essential to supporting a team rather than pitting people against one another.

Although not everyone is an “actualizer”, everyone can actualize their potential in a nurturing environment that promotes and stimulates creativity and achievement.

Think of Multi-Dimensional Leader as a model family that regards education in high esteem. Grades are never discussed because academic achievement is a value regarded by the family. The expectations are clear. The rewards and encouragement are plentiful, and there is a climate of fairness and the ability to learn from ways that don’t work and mistakes. Importantly, the value of lifelong learning and continuous improvement are woven into the family fabric.

Understanding who is on the team is critical for optimum results. A workhorse will never become a thoroughbred even though it wants to and works hard. All Fords are cars, but all cars aren’t Fords. There is room for different “makes and models.”

A major role of the Multi-Dimensional Leader is in the active leadership behavior. The leader knows when consensus building, that 10% of the group will support your view, 10% will oppose you and 80% are waiting to be told which way to go. The 80% needs the influence of the leader.1

The Multi-Dimensional Leader understands diversity, and uses it as strength.

Working together out of respect is different than a “love fest.” Each difference counterpoints with a similarity.

To avoid division, a Multi-Dimensional Leader is sensitive to not work in a vacuum that promotes isolation. Also known as silos, environments where “turf building” and fierce competition are rewarded, can become toxic work sites and lead to communication breakdowns that can have serious, unintended consequences—Think about the FBI and NSA not sharing data.

The power of multi-cultural insight and management is money in the bank. It is an investment and security for a company’s future. Awareness and sensitivity to multi-cultural experiences is essential to a smoothly run operation—ready or not, like it or not, here it is in the 21st century!

Here are several recommendations to engage your associates:

Research and invite companies that have done well with multi-cultural programs. Have them present at an event like a sales meeting where you have a broad audience.

  • Who are their audiences?
  • Where did they begin in the industry?
  • What are lessons learned that could transfer to your company?
  • What are resources that may apply to your industry and company?

Encourage the building of employees’ personal networks through events:

  • Consider coalitions rather than independent stances on community issues, joint events.
  • Demonstrate strength in diversity through hiring and outreach in the community served.
  • Teach everyone how to network. Pool resources rather than duplicate efforts so all members can benefit.
  • Enrich everyone’s experiences through alliances with other departments, affiliates, and complimentary businesses.

Commit to Embed Values and Virtues in Every Employee from the Top Down.

The first step—Definition of what people must know and believe in order to work in the company.

  • What do you stand for (quality, service, selflessness, set the example)?
  • How is your leadership style defined by your behavior (consider mannerisms, tone of voice)?
  • How do you provide community support, commitment through the company?
  • (I.e. Employees paid time to volunteer in an organization.)
  • What is the organization’s personality?
  • What can the group accomplish together rather than individuals?

Second step‑Find people who share them.

Recruit to your strongest LINK and clusters of behaviors.

Select prospects who want and desire to be part of your dream. They want to align their lives with what the company represents.

Create a Vision based on Values and Virtues.

This prevents erosion of resources and productivity time than any one element!

  • Recruit to your strongest LINK.
  • Create and attract members from a profile around your strongest link from the first outreach through the hiring process as created in VISION section.
  • Answer what members expect when they join.
  • Reduce attrition and turnover for consistency.
  • Survey levels of involvement up front. What interests the candidate?
    • Service
    • Recognition
    • Participation earn greater benefits

What is the company’s vision?

  • Provide clarity, focus, direction, strategy, creativity, faith in the company’s future
  • What is commitment to leaving a legacy?

o   Build it in on the front end

o   Self-generating growth and retention of personnel through­—

  • Recruiting the talent you want
  • Future contacts and vendors through your candidates
  • Nurture connections into companies
  • Offer strong Business LiteracyÔ requirements as company standards (in the hiring process):

o   Interview for communication skills—listening, verbal, written, presentation. This is where it all starts! You want them already literate in business communications. Use experts to locate the pool with the highest ratio to succeed. Otherwise, you’ll get “types” the same as the interviewers.

o   Use the Casting CallÔ method of interviewing where candidates audition for their positions (see reference note for more details.)

o   Conduct a career audit with the candidate as it relates to your industry, company expectations, and crises. What do they already know, read, survey, review?

o   Survey your candidate base to see what they think they need to know.

o   As the final step in the initial interview, state the vision and company goals. Then ask the candidates to align themselves with them.

  • Provide a stirring orientation process for new members.
  • Print a manual of step-by-step procedures for each department as baseline expectations and behavior. Leave enough room for the employee to “signaturize” the position so they own it.
  • Where do we fit with other companies in the Valley? Beyond ranking of sales, how many employees have children, etc. Make a human connection.
  • Inform your employees regarding corporate giving programs for equipment/sponsorship of special events/organization scholarships. Encourage employees to bring worthy ideas to your attention.
  • Bestow a significant annual gift to demonstrate a commitment to a business school of your choice.
  • Stimulate employee involvement with giving back to the school.
  • Define team member benefits and flexibility. What makes your company different in care and concern for your personnel?

Use these common-sense approaches to broaden your reach:

  1. Attract resources and sponsors that promote your vision.
  2. Identify community conscious companies that align with your VISION. Then build an alliance.
  3. Begin a speakers’ bureau from your talent-rich employees.
  4. Note companies that support your fundraisers.
  5. Survey marketing groups for the “beat on the street” regarding industry and thought leaders’ perceptions and your company may serve them.
  6. Mentor-Intern connections-Shadow Programs
  7. Nothing succeeds like Success!
  8. Members “blaze” a trail of credibility when they excel and others acknowledge it. (Community public relations, public appreciation)
  9. “Barrier Breakers” Awards‑Acknowledge overcoming adversity
  10. Model what excellence looks like in your sphere of influence.
  11. Encourage people to believe that persistence pays off. This inspires self-reliance.
  12. Find a way to reward commitment within your sphere.
  13. Acknowledge and reward contributions to company beyond money. Find out what the team member values.
  14. New employees can compile a quarterly team project of ‘real-world’ case studies where participants can apply their expertise—marketing, business planning, finance, international business development—and make an instant contribution while learning and participating across department lines.
  15. Keep research on file for future members to enrich their knowledge from previous success stories.
  16. Calendarize local events available outside of the company and encourage employee attendance.

Tap into local resources for recruiting, awards and marketing efforts. These are an inexpensive exposure tool to billboard your business message, recruit like-minded people and receive recognition and attention for your company.

  • Public Library
  • Small Business Associations
  • Chambers of Commerce
  • Industry and trade associations

Benefits are only powerful when the employee perceives them:

  • Find out what’s important to them. Maybe they can save or choose an alternative if healthcare is covered by a spouse, for example. (Health, 401K, contract bonuses)
  • Negotiate time and resources as perks.
  • Define member benefits-insurance, health care, credit union, loan relationships

Develop a process for establishing mentor and intern connections:

  • Build connections to the “real” world for college graduates. They bring in “fresh air”, ideas from their educational environment. This provides the Multi-Dimensional Leader with upcoming trends, for example.
  • Encourage part-time positions to consider full-time when they are outstanding.
  • Already trained in the company culture, and they’ve made an investment of time to work with you.

What’s important to the Multi-Dimensional Leader?

  • How do you demonstrate your commitment to business studies?
  • What are you returning to the community?
  • How do you reduce attrition and turnover for consistency?

Multi-Dimensional Leaders Have Vigor

The Multi-Dimensional Leader has a plan to nurture successful mind-sets with qualities like these: optimism, nutrition, fitness, enthusiasm, energy, exuberance, personal development, confidence.

The Multi-Dimensional Leader encourages balance—The Multi-Dimensional Leader permits time to train for clarity and effectiveness while avoiding burnout. A Multi-Dimensional Leader would not discourage people from using their vacation or personal time recognizing how important time away from work improves attitude, performance, and endurance.

The Multi-Dimensional Leader respects everyone’s time—make events short, worthwhile and interesting.

Multi-Dimensional Leader sets the tone of how easy it is to do business with the company and build involvement into the organization. Here are several ideas:

  • Dynamic event planning
  • Round-table events with business owners-find out what owners are seeking
  • Team building activities
  • Across departmental lines
  • More than a rote holiday party!
  • Community open houses.

What’s the Volume in the Multi-Dimensional Leader’s message?

Always pushing numbers or recognizing quality, continuous improvement and results?

Evaluate your style.

Learn the Power of Exposures—Everyone wants to play on a winning team.

  1. Use the media.
  2. Present awards and recognition at your company.
  3. Invite the community in for events and celebrations.
  4. Send clips to share and stakeholders.
  5. Have members present in strategic places where there is a large      audience.
  6. Attend city, county, state government meetings
  7. Attend entertainment venues
  8. Community visibility projects are essential.
  9. Be conscious of strategically placed community investments.
  10. Define time, energy, money—It can be well invested in community projects that may have nothing to do with your industry.
  11. Name recognition aligned with the community’s value. For example, family ties are strong several ethnic groups as a community. Be sure to learn something from such a value that you can bring back to your company.

The Multi-Dimensional Leadership is a platform for humanity, courtesy, and values within the workplace. MC

110-80-10 rule-10% of the population will support you, 10% of the population will oppose you, 80% are not sure – their minds aren’t made up yet.

Don’t focus on the 10 % groups, focus on the 80% who you can influence.

Example from 52nd Annual Conference Of The International Association of Official Human Rights Agencies (IAOHRA) Renewing Vigilance-Human Rights In The World Community

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