by Suzie Doscher, Executive and Life Coach, Zurich, Switzerland
In the Oxford Dictionary, the definition of a “control freak” is “a person who feels an obsessive need to exercise control over themselves and others and to take command of any situation.” The Merriam Webster dictionary says that a control freak is “a person whose behavior indicates a powerful need to control people or circumstances in everyday matters.” One way or another, control freaks are not always easy to be around.
I understand this personality trait could stem from a chaotic childhood. Such experiences can make it hard for people to trust others or relinquish control to others. The fear of falling apart pushes them to control what they can. As their emotions are all over the place, they feel loss of control. For this reason, control freaks will micromanage whatever they can with the belief that this makes them strong. People who feel out of control tend to become controllers.
By Marcel Schwantes
Ever wonder if you're true leadership material? Perhaps you've been told you are, but the question is, by what standard? Thousands of leadership books are written each year, many of them with marketing agendas to rehash and repackage what has been talked about for decades.
What is true about leadership that will remain unchanged through the centuries is this: It's about people and relationships. And that requires that leaders have a natural bent for both. If you're not into either, you're not a leader.
And you can start with the proven fact that great leaders aspire to lead by serving the needs of their people. You don't need flavor-of-the-month books and expensive formal training to learn this concept.
But you do need to develop and measure yourself against the standards of great leadership (which I strongly propose to be servant leadership). Here are four top leadership characteristics I have witnessed that float to the top. Do any describe you?
By Judith E. Glaser
I have yet to meet an executive who joins a company to be ‘minimized,’ marginalized or to be intentionally held back from making a contribution.
We join a company to make a difference, to make a contribution, to be praised and rewarded. We join a company to bring our voice to the table, and ‘lean into conversations’ so our voices join in the spirit of partnering with others to shape, create and co-create the future.
Neuroscience is teaching us that ‘self-expression’ might be one – if not the most important way for people to connect, navigate and grow with each other.
BY STEPHANIE VOZZA - 4 MINUTE READ
Ever have to psych yourself up to go to work? If that’s the case more often than not, your job might not align with your personal motives, says Carter Cast, author of The Right (and Wrong) Stuff: How Brilliant Careers are Made and Unmade.
Strengths are your natural skillsets, and motives are the place from which you draw energy, says Cast. They differ from values, which are what’s important to you. “If you ask someone what their values are, they can rattle them off quickly,” he says. “Motives are much harder to identify because we’re often not conscious of them. They’re the river that flows under us.”
A mismatch in job and motives will wear you down and eventually cause you to fail to live up to your potential, says Cast. “Currently, the assumption is that if you took this job, it’s the right job for you,” says Cast. “But people who are smart, don’t have a skill gap, and are good interpersonally will underperform if they don’t have energy for position.”
by Maktuno Suit - Leadership Consultant & Psychotherapist
Christine dreads going into work everyday to face her manager, Paula. She feels as though Paula is ready to criticise her for any mistake that she makes and hence tries to avoid her due to the anxiety that she feels in her presence. Christine spends excessive amounts of time trying to make her work ‘perfect’ before presenting it to Paula - fearful of the critique she will receive. Christine feels like she is constantly undermined and that Paula is threatened when she performs well. Christine describes her as a ‘bad boss’ who makes her feel unsafe and she is looking for a new job.
Recently, the notion of creating psychologically safe cultures and teams in the workplace has become central to our understanding of an effective organisational environment.
Published by The Local
The number of sick days taken by Swiss people because of stress and other mental health issues has shot up by 35 percent in the last five years, new figures show.The data from health insurer Swica shows the number of days taken off by Swiss employees for health reasons has risen overall by 20 percent in the last half decade.
But a spokesperson for the company which provides pro-rata sickness indemnity to 30,000 Swiss firms said it was the skyrocketing number of sick days for mental health reasons that was particularly “alarming” given this is the health issue that companies can do most to combat.
“A lot of employees can no longer deal with rising work pressure,” Adrian Wüthrich of Swiss trade union TravailSuisse told the NZZ am Sonntag newspaper, adding that flexible working hours and unpaid overtime were making the situation worse.
By Peter Barron Stark
On a scale from 1-10, how would you rate your productivity as a leader? Many of us, if not all, wouldn’t rate ourselves as high on the productivity scale as we would like to be. Sometimes leaders feel like they are constantly busy but are somehow still unable to accomplish their goals. Have you ever started your workday with a list of things to do and at the end of the workday STILL had the same number of things to do?
If you are nodding your head in agreement as you read this, take a look at our recent blog post  which will walk you through conducting a time audit . Once you have completed at least one time audit, you will be able to take a more objective look at how you spend your time. Chances are good that you will have several tasks on your list that can be delegated to your employees, freeing up more of your time to work on higher level assignments that will help you and your team achieve the organization’s goals.
It’s important to remember that as we rise further up the ladder in organizations, our responsibilities change from less emphasis on the operational or the “doing” tasks and more emphasis on the leadership tasks (managing, planning, leading).
By Monica Torres
No good employer is going to outright say that they kill you, but new research finds that too many modern workplaces are grim reapers inflicting a fatal amount of stress on our bodies and minds.
Jeffrey Pfeffer, a professor of organizational behavior at Stanford, is ringing the alarm that job stress and poor management is killing us — accounting for up to 8% of annual health costs and leading to 120,000 excess deaths every year in the United States.
In his new book, “Dying for a Paycheck: How Modern Management Harms Employee Health and Company Performance — and What We Can Do About It,” he explains how long hours, a lack of job autonomy through micromanagement, and unstable health insurance are making us sick to death.
He talked with Ladders about his research and what leads otherwise reasonable people to stay in toxic jobs:
by Key Step Media Time to read: 4 min.
Whether you are a team leader or a member of a team, you will likely encounter situations in which you need to offer criticism or constructive feedback. While this can be difficult, giving feedback is a necessary part of leadership and being a member of a team. Teams that openly address counterproductive behavior create an environment that fosters continuous development, learning, and innovation. The ability to give effective, emotionally intelligent criticism is essential to high levels of team performance.
What Does It Mean to Offer Effective Criticism?
People who give effective criticism balance empathy and an understanding of the person they are giving feedback to with an objective and calm demeanor. They have developed trust through interpersonal understanding and compassion. They know team members’ strengths, weaknesses, and unique abilities. They know if someone would rather receive feedback one on one, or if they are fine with a group setting. They offer objective criticism and deliver it calmly, without divisive emotions.
By Holly Green
Twenty-five years ago, fax machines – which took minutes to transmit one page of data and print it out on wax paper in barely legible text -- were considered the height of communications technology. These big, bulky devices had to be plugged into an electrical outlet in order to function and were not very portable.
Today, 4G cell phones can instantly connect us to any person or piece of information, anywhere in the world, at any time. These completely portable devices fit in the palm of our hands and require only a charged battery to operate. They can forward information to printers, web sites, Facebook pages, email accounts -- basically anywhere you need the information to go.
How’s that for change?
I bring this up because... (click below to read more)