Why We Have Too Few Women Leaders

On TED.com ‘ideas worth spreading’, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg offers an illuminating 15-minute talk on why a smaller percentage of women than men reach the top of their professions.

Sandberg states that of the 190 heads of state only nine are women and women comprise only 13% of parliamentarians worldwide. In the corporate sector numbers are the same as in 2002, says Sandberg, with only 15/16% of top level jobs held by women.

Sandberg highlights the necessity for female leaders to develop their capacity to be assertive in constructive ways when dealing with professional difficulties and to capitalise on their sense of potency.

There are many psychological, social and cultural obstacles to female professional leadership aspirations. If the obstacles that one struggles with personally are identified, a course of action can be determined to facilitate a dynamic sense and experience of personal potential that will lead to lasting change.

Putting to rest one’s personal demons is the key to unlocking true success both personally and professionally.

http://www.ted.com/talks/sheryl_sandberg_why_we_have_too_few_women_leaders.html

Confidentiality in 360 Leadership Surveys?

Recently I was contacted by a CEO who wanted to build his executive and management team.  He had the right people, but they weren’t operating as leaders of the business. They were more focused on their own technical areas than on the overall success of the business.

After some discussion he decided to do a 360 profile on each manager to build their leadership and team skills. As part of the process, the CEO was very eager to see the reports and find out each person’s ratings and what other managers said about them.  Although this might seem natural, it actually compromises the confidentiality of our process, and could be seen as a betrayal of trust – which would have damaged the moral of the leadership team.

Instead I suggested the CEO could receive a copy of each manager’s development plan and that he could meet with each manager and our coach and tailor a performance program ensuring the CEO’s goals for each manager were taken into account.  His response was great and we will go ahead on that basis.  The CEO will get the outcome he was looking for and the participants will feel that our 360 feedback process is about their development and we will maintain their trust.

It made me wonder though, if you did a 360 Profile, would you be o.k. with your CEO seeing your specific results?

Toxic Personalities: Part 2

For Toxic Personalites Part 1 Click Here

So what did we find out about toxic behaviors in organizations?  Toxicity included behaviors that did not necessarily meet the threshold of bullying or harassment, but rather were more subtle and habitual. Based on our research, we discovered three types of toxic behaviors:

Shaming Passive hostility Team sabotage

These types of behaviors included, for example, pot shots, sarcasm, passive aggression, team surveillance, and territoriality.  Sound familiar?

We also asked leaders if their reactions and strategies in coping with these people were effective.  Surprisingly, they reported that the typical reactions of reconfiguring the team, simply avoiding the person, or giving performance feedback, just did not work. In fact, the often touted strategy of one-on-one feedback is largely ineffective because toxic individuals are unaware of the negative effect they have on others or simply feel justified in treating others badly.  As many of our respondents claimed, “the toxic person is mostly clueless they are toxic”.

Another revealing finding was that many toxic persons have a protector in the organization or on the team. In some cases the protector was a person who deliberately covered for the toxic person because they received something in return (such as high sales numbers or special consideration for advancement).

However, some protectors were actually trying to protect their teams from the debilitating effects of the person’s behaviour and were inadvertently enabling the toxicity to continue unabated. In our workshops, there are many participants who report the “aha” of discovering that … Continue reading

FLOQ Alpha Version Launched

We’re excited! And not because it’s the New Year, but because after lots of blood, sweat and no tears FLOQ is launching the Alpha version of it’s software. After designing, coding and crafting for the past few months we’re keen to get some feedback and make sure this little puppy is perfectly polished before our beta release in the new year.

Building on the experience of Integral Developments’ consulting recommendations and surveys we saw an opportunity to provide an intuitive, intelligent and beautiful benchmarking and survey web-application. Floq will allow people to gather feedback through surveys and ratings, and then benchmark themselves against others businesses, people or products.

We’re excited because Floq is beautiful. Floq is intuitive. Floq is intelligent. Very intelligent.

In the past creating a survey  was about as easy as building a submarine under water. Floq is about to change this.

How? Well, I’m glad you asked.

Let’s say you run a coffee shop and it’s long been a favourite. That was until a new swanky cafe down the road starting stepping on your turf. So what have they got they you don’t have? Is it just the novelty or is there coffee really better? Floq will allow you to create a customer feedback survey, made easy by Floq’s intuitive ability to offer up popular and related questions, scooped up from previous café’s surveys.

By the time the tenth coffee shop creates a survey using Floq, there’ll be benchmarks for all coffee shops to compare themselves and … Continue reading

Toxic Personalities: Part 1

Toxic Personalities: Discovering their systems of power & shaping workplaces of respectful engagement

Counterproductive work behaviours can debilitate an organisation’s productivity and seriously harm individual incentive, a new study reveals.

“The day this person left our company is considered an annual holiday!”  This quote from our national research study on toxic personalities echoes the sentiment these individuals have on an organization’s culture and bottom line.

We conducted a research study in the United States that included in-depth interviews and an 82-item online survey of over 400 leaders.  These leaders representing males and females, as well as profit and non-profit organizations, indicated that a whopping 94% have worked or currently work with a toxic person!  Efforts to work with these individuals have generated a long list of anecdotal suggestions, but few practical and effective solutions.  Yet, statistics below reflect the degree in which counterproductive work behaviours can debilitate an organization’s productivity and seriously harm individual incentive, as indicated by these statistics:

25% of “victims” of incivility ceased voluntary efforts. 50% contemplated leaving their jobs; 12% did! 20% reduced their rate of work. 10% deliberately cut back the amount of time they spent at work.

With the costs of recruiting ranging from 1.5 to 2.5 times the person’s annual salary, the financial erosion from the effects of toxic behaviours is significant.  When you factor in the human toll, the costs become exponential, as this quote from our study illustrates: “This toxic person is in the most Sr. HR leadership role in the … Continue reading