Dr. Tasha Eurich is an organizational psychologist, a speaker, and the best-selling author of Bankable Leadership: Happy People, Bottom-Line Results, and the Power to Deliver Both. Tasha also blogs for Huffington Post. Over the course of her career as a leadership consultant, she has helped all types of organizations to improve the effectiveness of their leaders and teams.
I invited Tasha to Marketing Smarts to discuss how anyone can become a better leader by making small, incremental changes to their management approach.
Here are just a few highlights from our conversation.
If you promote an employee based on their technical skills, remember to teach them how to lead (06:02): "It's a totally flawed system. We choose people based on the wrong criteria, and then if they're lucky, as soon as they're promoted to be a manager, we might send them to a two-day seminar on something like 'being courageous' or 'visualizing success,' but that really doesn't help somebody learn how to be an effective leader. Brain surgeons don't learn how to do brain surgery through a two-day seminar. They train for years and years to get where they are, and so the same should be true for leaders, but most companies are not doing that."
Three steps to becoming a more effective leader (12:32): "At the highest level, there are three steps that I suggest leaders take to become more effective. The first is 'know thyself.' Just like you get on a scale when you start a diet, before you embark on becoming a better leader, you have to know how people see you. I've worked with so many leaders that are just out of touch. They think they're a fair leader, but you talk to their employees and they say 'this person is a trail-of-dead-bodies creator.' The second thing you have to do is a little counterintuitive. I suggest that when leaders are trying to improve is that they pick one skill at a time. The reason for that...is you can't improve five or six different skills at one time. You have to be kind to yourself and focus. And the third step is to relentlessly, deliberately practice. What I mean by that is coming to work every day and seeing that as a practice field for the skill you're trying to develop.... If leaders can take those three steps, that's the way you start to improve incrementally and pretty powerfully over time."
(Almost) anyone can become a leader who both inspires people and gets results (25:32): "I would say that 96% of the population can be a better leader if they want to be. The other 4% are what we call 'sociopaths,' and sociopaths by their nature are not able to experience empathy.... In general, what I've seen time and time again, is if somebody wants to improve their leadership effectiveness, and they go about it the right way, they might not wake up one day and be Nelson Mandela, but they will probably wake up not so far off in the future and feel more confident, see better results, see that their team is happier and more engaged, and that's really the name of the game. It's about incremental improvement that you sustain over time."
Tasha and I covered a lot more ground, so be sure to listen to the entire show, which you can do above, or download the mp3 and listen at your convenience. Of course, you can also subscribe to the Marketing Smarts podcast in iTunes or via RSS and never miss an episode!
This episode brought to you by the MarketingProfs Professional Development Program.
Music credit: Noam Weinstein.
Dr. Tasha Eurich, organizational psychologist and author of Bankable Leadership: Happy People, Bottom-Line Results, and the Power to Deliver Both.