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Via Forbes : 10 Ways To Gain Respect As A Young Leader

The makeup of leadership teams in the workplace is rapidly changing. One study found that about 10,000 baby boomer employees are retiring every day, and that by 2020 millennials will comprise about 50% of the workforce in the United States.

Because of these trends, young leaders are being asked to take on significant leadership roles. This can present challenges both for the managers and for those who are being managed. This article provides readers with 10 ways to gain respect as a young leader; respect that should also help those being managed.

1. Prove Your Value As Soon As Possible

According to an article in the Harvard Business Review, young leaders are faced with a number of unique challenges related to the way colleagues perceive them in the workplace. A primary concern is that young leaders lack the necessary experience or knowledge to be successful.

To overcome this perception, young leaders should create a goal for themselves early on, and should share this goal with the team. They should then make sure to actually hit the goal. Doing this early in a young leader’s tenure can demonstrate to the team that they are capable of performing as expected.

2. Genuinely Care About The Wellbeing Of Your Team

It becomes considerably easier to earn people’s respect when they believe that their manager cares about their wellbeing. Caring about an individual’s wellbeing does not mean that you should be a pushover, or that you should accommodate every personal request a team member makes.

Instead, you should show that you care about your team’s success, both individually and collectively. You should make time to be available for your team for work and personal matters, and should listen more than you talk.

3. Understand That Their Success Is Your Success

A key difference between a business leader and an individual contributor is that a leader is judged by the success of his or her team. That means that a leader should constantly be thinking of ways to put his or her team in the spotlight if they do well-executed work. Others in the company will swiftly realize that you are the one leading those on your team to success.

Putting the success of the team first is also an effective way to earn respect as a young leader. If people feel that you are interested in their professional growth, they are more likely to be open to feedback and guidance.

4. Give And Ask For Honest Feedback

Speaking of feedback, it is important to provide candid feedback to your team. It is the only way that your people will grow professionally. As Jack Welch, the former CEO of GE, said in an interview, “You reinforce the behaviors that you reward … If you reward candor, you’ll get it.” Welch went on to espouse the importance of providing candid feedback to people on your team. Failing to do so is a great way to ensure mediocrity.

5. Provide Employees With Reasonable Autonomy

If you micromanage from the get-go, people will quickly become frustrated with you. This is especially true if the previous manager was relatively hands off.

Instead, provide employees with a reasonable level of autonomy and trust them to make the right decision. After further evaluation, decide whether employees can work autonomously. If they cannot, put them on a performance-improvement plan. If that doesn’t work, you may have to let them go. Managers should not be micromanagers; they should be facilitators who empower employees.

6. Hold Regular One-On-One Meetings

Ben Horowitz is a well-known venture capitalist, and the former CEO of 2 successful technology companies. After years of leading people, he came to realize the importance of conducting meaningful one-on-one meetings with the people on his team.

Holding a one-on-one meeting lets employees know you are available to help them succeed. It provides employees with a space where they can ask for and receive feedback, and it also provides a mechanism for you to hold those on your team accountable on a regular basis.

7. Ask For Advice From Other Leaders

You won’t have all the answers all the time, and that’s okay. Develop a network of business leaders whom you feel comfortable calling when a challenging managerial task pops up. Cultivating a network of other successful business leaders can accelerate your learning curve, making you a more effective leader.

8. Practice Patience

Be patient with yourself and with your team—within reason. Understand that it will take time for you to learn the ropes of management, and that it will take time for your team to acclimate to a young business leader.

Create a management routine for yourself; one that involves regular one-on-one meetings and self-reflection. In time, your team should come to respect you as a leader.

9. Be Humble

Accounting to a study cited in the Washington Post, humble leaders are more effective leaders. Humble leaders (those who have an accurate assessment of their strengths and weaknesses) were more likely to lead their business to success, and were more likely to receive positive assessments from people on their team.

Being humble means putting the good of others, and of the organization, ahead of yourself. It also means being able to clearly take stock of areas of strength and opportunities for improvement.

10. Make Personnel Changes If Needed

If, after following the 9 best practices listed above, you find it difficult to establish respect among some members of your team, it may be time to make a personnel change.

True leaders will not tolerate insubordination after a sustained effort to earn respect. One toxic employee can negatively color how others within the organization see you as a leader. It is important to be open to making personnel changes should that be called for.


It can be challenging to be a young leader in the workplace today. To quickly gain respect, remember to put the success of employees ahead of your own success. Hold regular one-on-one meetings and create a culture of candid feedback to help employees grow quickly. If all else fails, remember that firing an insubordinate employee is acceptable in some situations.

Via Forbes : 5 Diversity Changes That Come With More Millennial Leadership

Millennials are starting to take control in the workplace. There are now more than 75 million millennials in the workforce, more than baby boomers (just shy of 75 million) and Gen Xers (66 million). Now entering their late 20s and early 30s, the oldest members of the generation are starting to take more leadership positions in major organizations.

Despite the fact that millennials are sporting one of the lowest rates of entrepreneurship in 25 years, 60% see themselves as entrepreneurs, and 90% recognize entrepreneurship as a mindset.

Combined with their natural tendencies toward independent thought and mild to moderate anti-establishment vibes, this is making millennials a strong force of direction and leadership—and an even stronger one to come in the next several years.

In these new positions of leadership, millennials are likely to lead a push toward new modes of diversity and inclusion. According to a recent Deloitte study, millennials describe diversity and inclusion much differently than the generations that came before, and as a result, once millennials are in a position of greater power, we’ll likely see these changes in workplace diversity:

1. Bottom-line quota numbers disappear.

A long standby for diversity and inclusion programs has been deliberately measuring representation in terms of demographics. Going from three minority employees to six minority employees was seen as enormous positive momentum. When millennials take leadership, those bottom-line quotas are likely to disappear; rather than focus on representation, millennials prefer to focus on unique ideas and participation. It’s better to have one person who’s actively involved in decision making than nine people who aren’t an active part of the organization.

2. Minorities speak for minorities.

Millennials also favor the opinions, ideas, philosophies, and perspectives of minorities—straight from their own mouths. They’re not interested in speculating about what would be good for other populations; they’re interested in hearing those populations speak for themselves. This will prompt millennials to put minorities in more positions of power and influence, which will allow more minority-originated ideas to prosper. Plus, despite only comprising 23% of the total population, millennials represent 27% of the minority population—in some ways, diversity defines the millennial generation, and they’re just as likely to represent it personally as they are to encourage it from others.

3. Opportunities for connection and collaboration increase.

Millennials are 71% more likely to focus on teamwork and collaboration, rather than integration and tolerance. Instead of trying to force people to integrate, millennial leaders will look for new ways to encourage their teams to collaborate on projects and learn from each other.

4. Business impact reemerges.

Previous generations have focused on the external visibility of diversity efforts, seeking a more positive brand image or looking to appeal to new talent. Instead, millennial leaders will turn their attention toward achieving higher business impact, measuring how many decisions were created or significantly contributed to by minority groups. This won’t be focused on a numerical statistic, but instead will focus on talking to individual representatives to see how they feel about their involvement.

5. Thoughts and ideas are more openly discussed.

The real value of diversity in the workplace is the presentation and exploration of new ideas, originating from different perspectives and viewpoints. Accordingly, much of their diversity programs will focus on allowing the introduction and open discussion of new ideas from the widest group of people possible. In addition to including representatives of different genders and ethnic minority groups, they’ll also start reaching to people from different levels of the organization. The more opinions you gather, the closer you’ll get to the “best” option.

Will these changes be a positive thing for American businesses? Do they represent a “better” view of diversity and inclusion?

These aren’t easy questions to answer, but there’s no question that diversity is essential for the profitability and future of organizations. Ethnically diverse companies are 35% more likely to outperform their non-diverse counterparts, and gender diverse companies are 15% more likely.

With profitability, productivity, and image all at stake, it’s essential for businesses to reevaluate how they think about and address diversity—even if it takes the generational philosophies of millennials to get the job done.

via Huffington PostThe Future Of Leadership In The Workplace

When it comes to the future of the workplace, the only safe prediction is to say that it will be different from today—more different than most of us can imagine. Fundamental forces are compelling organisations to rethink what they need from their leaders:

The future workplace is transparent

Information and expertise are being captured and shared in new ways. Sites such as GlassDoor and Indeed tip prospective employees off to the true culture of an organisation before they even apply.

“There is no time to waste in supporting the high talent employees you hope will one day lead your organisation.”

Communication no longer flows solely through the lines on the organisational chart, and with the increase of direct exchanges between senior leadership and workers at every level, via internal social media networks and town hall meetings, workers decide for themselves whether they can trust senior leaders and have confidence in the direction they are taking their organisation.

Teams matter more than ever

The work of the future is being accomplished by teams—composites of humans, machines and artificial intelligence—that form and disband as needed. Effective, trust-based, working relationships must form quickly to enable a team to be effective. The hierarchy is supplanted by a network of teams, enabled to take risks. This type of agile collaboration requires a special kind of environment to thrive, and leaders at every level of an organisation have important roles in creating it.

Individual employees expect to advance rapidly, too

Young employees are driven to learn and achieve, and they want to do so with organisations they can be proud of, whose principles and values align with their own. And if they don’t find the opportunities they’re seeking with one company, they’ll look elsewhere—more than 70% of respondents from India in our recent survey expect to be looking for a new job within the year.

At the intersection of these forces lie leadership teams, which must successfully manage the business of today and position their organisations for tomorrow. They must increasingly be willing to step aside and let younger workers acquire and exercise their own leadership skills—or risk losing them.

That means a shift in focus for today’s leadership development. There is no time to waste in supporting the high talent employees you hope will one day lead your organisation. Plan now to help them gain the insight and skills they need to learn to create positive and productive work environments, in addition to their technical, innovative and strategic abilities.

The future is happening fast. It’s time to accelerate the development of tomorrow’s leaders.

via Forbes : The salesforce EVP who got coworkers equal pay wants you to know this about leadership

Leyla Seka is executive vice president of the Salesforce AppExchange, the world’s largest and longest-running business apps marketplace.

International Women’s Day may be behind us, but the theme, #BeBoldforChange, has stuck with me. It got me thinking that it’s the perfect directive for women’s leadership in the workplace. When leaders are loud, fearless and bold, they can make a real impact on their environment. Personally, I’m known for shaking things up, being ‘bossy,’ making noise — and I love it. I embrace these adjectives because they are exactly what has allowed me to be effective in my career and create high-performing teams.

Equality begins when employees are empowered to use their voices to create change, and it takes active leadership to get there. So how can women business leaders use their platforms to create a culture of action and promote equality for all within their workplaces? There are three key things every woman must do:

Stand up for what you believe in.

When I graduated college, my father wanted me to go to law school.

It was certainly the practical path, but I wanted to do something more — I wanted to make a real impact. This desire to create change in the world led me to spend two years in the Peace Corps in Mali, Africa. It was hard, exhausting at times, and one of the most rewarding experiences of my life.

Today, I’m an executive vice president at Salesforce where I lead the AppExchange, our business apps marketplace. During my nine-year career at Salesforce, there have been moments when I needed to be an active and vocal leader for my colleagues. One of the more notable times was when our EVP of Employee Success, Cindy Robbins, and I called upon our CEO to investigate whether Salesforce had a gender wage gap. I was nervous and I didn’t know what would happen — but I also knew I would always regret it if I didn’t speak up. And I’m glad I did. Turns out we did need to adjust some salaries — for both men and women — and Salesforce spent nearly $3 million to close its pay gap.

I am a firm believer in the idea that if your gut is telling you to do something or help someone, do it! Whether you’re in the Sahara Desert or the top floor of a skyscraper — stand up and speak out for what you believe in, even if your voice shakes.

When we use our platforms to amplify the voices of those around us, whole movements start. As an EVP of a top tech company I have the platform, support and privilege to be vocal on issues that other women may not be able to express. I do not take this lightly and I strongly feel that, as leaders, it is our responsibility to seize this position and create real change whenever possible.

Embrace the change.

It’s not enough just to want change or to tiptoe towards implementing it — you have to dive in head first. Change is scary, uncomfortable, and hard, but people who are adept at embracing it become the best leaders. I work in an industry where everything gets turned on its’ head constantly. Technology is accelerating faster than you can sing the alphabet; for perspective, when I started nine years ago, the iPhone was four months old and hardly anyone knew what an “app” was. All we had was an idea that using apps should be as easy as purchasing books on Amazon, and our journey since then has required us to constantly embrace change and always be ready to turn on a dime.

The same flexibility, quick thinking, and creativity is needed when we confront gender diversity. Are you lacking women leaders? Is there a stubborn pay gap? If the answers to these questions are yes, what are some creative ways to fix them — what would we do if it was a product strategy we needed to rethink? This is the thought process I applied when I started to develop the Women’s High-Potential Leadership program in our tech and product organization. I knew I had to think outside the box and train women in leadership the same way we would train new hires to use Salesforce.

Strive to be your authentic self.

Early on in my career, managers kept telling me to be “less-Leyla” — meaning they wanted me to be a quieter, more docile version of myself. I refused. I truly believe the only way to tap into your full power and potential as a leader is to be your authentic self. This is what will distinguish you from the rest. When you are comfortable being your authentic self, you lead by example and encourage others to do the same. There is strength in that. You will watch your workplace become somewhere people want to be, a platform where everyone can be heard, an environment where anyone can perform the best work of their careers — without barriers or self doubt.

This Women’s History Month, let’s celebrate being “bossy,” “loud,” “pushy” — all words that really mean fearless and bold. Let’s support the women in the workplace who are taking risks and striving to be the leaders our companies need to create a path towards equality for all. #BeBoldforChange

via Eyewitness News : Take the lead: Leadership styles in the workplace

According to Professor Jon Maner some leaders base their style of management on ‘prestige’ while others rely on ‘dominance’.

Machiavelli said that we are driven by two main impulses, love and fear.

Researchers have now shown how this dynamic translates in the workplace, by outlining two fundamental leadership styles.

In an article for Harvard Business Review, Professor Jon Maner from Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University in the US, maps out how some leaders base their style of management on ‘prestige’ while others rely on ‘dominance’.

Leading in a primal way

Dominance, Maner and his co-author say in their original paper, can be traced back through evolutionary history and is also found in primates, including chimpanzees. High-ranking chimps – who are almost always male – command respect and deference, and enforce their dominance through intimidation.

Humans use similar tactics when it comes to exerting influence, such as coercion, aggression, punishment and reward. Typically, there are steep hierarchies and power is largely held by the most dominant people. Dominance-driven leadership methods lend themselves to narcissistic individuals, the researchers say.

Rallying your team

Prestige strategies, however, are unique to humans and only emerged as early humans started forming small communities. Here, team members defer freely to their leader because they respect and admire his or her knowledge and skills, and use them as a role model.

Hierarchies tend to be flat; leaders feel the need to affiliate with others, and do not necessarily seek a high profile for themselves.

How to spot a dominant or a prestige leader

Dominant business leaders are likely to monitor closely team members they perceive as a threat, and eventually ostracise them if they become too ‘dangerous’.

They do this by assigning them tasks that do not match their skill sets, to prevent them from excelling. They are also more likely to discourage their team from forming close bonds.

Conversely, prestige-driven leaders will embrace high-flying employees and recruit them as allies rather than turn them into enemies. They will give their team the freedom to excel in roles that match their talents and encourage team bonding.

Dominant leaders know that ‘knowledge is power’ and therefore withhold information to maintain their status, while prestige leaders believe in information sharing.

Horses for courses

While some leaders may fall squarely into either the dominance or prestige category, the researchers are clear that selecting which strategy to use often depends on the situation.

Dominance, it appears, works best when teams need to get aligned and move into the same direction quickly. For instance, a crisis may require a quick, concerted response without much debate. Another scenario is when a leader needs different departments that do not always work in harmony to pull together to achieve a common goal.

In these cases strong, fast decision-making is required without worrying too much about the emotional impact on individuals who may not appreciate being ‘bossed’ around.

In situations where the team needs to be empowered, prestige strategies work much better. When a creative team needs to brainstorm a new campaign, they are best given space and encouraged to discuss and develop ideas together. Here, the leader should provide a framework and guidance while acting as an ordinary group member.

Based on their studies, the researchers conclude that experienced leaders know which style they lean towards naturally, and can switch between the two to suit the situation.