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Leadership Development by Hans Hickler – 20 Questions for Leaders


Leadership Development by Hans Hickler – 20 Questions for Leaders

Hans Hickler, founder and CEO of Ellipsis Advisors, is an executive coach and advisor to CEOs worldwide. He provides consulting services to CEOs of multinational companies, entrepreneurs and social entrepreneurs after spending more than 15 years as a CEO in various countries. Hans speaks on social inclusion in business models and value-based leadership.

Hans answers 20 questions about leadership development.

1 – Do you believe that emotional intelligence is a skill that can be developed?

I believe this is a skill that can be developed and should be developed continuously. Much is written about empathy in leadership, and it often seems like a rapidly developing skill. I believe that we are born with empathy skills, but they need to be developed like motor skills. It is an ongoing process of self-awareness that translates into a more compassionate leadership style. Where we start on this curve depends on our personal traits, but it can be developed; and frankly should be on every leader’s agenda

2 – Do you agree that listening is the most valuable of all leadership skills? – and one of the least understood

This is definitely critical. In general, we talk (transmit) more than we listen (receive), and it’s important to be able to listen, be present, and receive feedback as part of our leadership process. Is it the most important thing? I would say it is on par with creating trust, transparency, vision, motivation.

3 – Should leaders take steps to create a “happy” environment for their people?

I think managers need to create a work environment that promotes productivity and also promotes employee well-being. This includes happiness, but also safety, comfort, communication … Creating a good environment that motivates employees, collectively and individually, is a function of the physical environment and the management environment that the leader creates.

4 – How to make leaders understand that they need to develop further?

If you have regular meetings, proper discussions with your employees, it happens naturally. Such meetings include all aspects of their work, their networking, their productivity, their career aspirations, work-life balance & skill development. If our performance reviews, talent management discussions are reliable, if we listen to the needs and wants of our employees, and if we are clear about our expectations & amp; productivity, then we create mutual understanding and shared responsibility for development opportunities

5- Should “high potential” employees know about their status?

Undoubtedly. When you discuss performance management with your employees, they need to know exactly how you feel about their performance and their potential for advancement. And they need to know what they need to do to meet your expectations and their goals. Having said that, there is a difference between individual feedback and broadcasting to a select group of high potential for an organization. I have seen organizations do this and I absolutely do not recommend it.

6 – What workplace behaviors have you observed most negatively impact organizational success?

  • Lack of trust and transparency
  • There are no clear lines of accountability
  • Lots of talk and little execution
  • Reopening Decisions
  • Rewarding individual achievements
  • Punish failure/fail to assess risk.

7 – What do you think is the biggest obstacle to implementing succession planning?

Succession planning is the last part of the talent management process – we’ve identified our talent, we’ve identified our non-performers. We may even have identified the critical positions in our organization that are necessary to achieve our plan. But when it comes to talking about succession planning, we tend to get stuck in two areas:

1. We only look at our candidate network and do not discuss company-wide talent pools

2. We have a small group of names that keep popping up as successors to too many key positions

In my experience, succession planning should not be a separate agenda item, but rather a part of key person and key position discussions

8 – How often should talent review meetings be held?

Once a year is realistic, although I’ve found that once this process is really ingrained in the culture, it gets on the leadership agenda 2-3 times a year, one of those times being a special HR meeting

9 – Should talent profiles (internal resumes) include a photo of each employee?

No. Why is this necessary other than to open the door to discriminatory practices or perceptions.

10 – Can you teach old dogs new tricks?

yes. When a dog wants to learn new tricks, it craves change or opportunity.

11 – Is relationship building the cornerstone of successful leadership?

It is certainly one of the key cornerstones of leadership. I spend a lot of time teaching the importance of good networking as a critical component to doing my job effectively. Networking is not about building a career. It is about recognizing that we do very little alone; that we depend on others in our company, outside our company, to do things, to learn, to gain perspective.

12 – Leadership Lessons from Movies – What is your favorite movie?

One of my favorites is The Big Lebowski. There are many subtle lessons in this film, often taught in not-so-subtle ways. It’s important to listen, think before you act, don’t take yourself too seriously, know what you stand for.

13 – Are leaders born or made?

Both. I think some people have the dexterity and desire to lead, while others are not inclined to, not excited by the prospect. But I believe that if someone wants to be a good leader with the right elements, they can – desire/hunger, empathy and courage to show vulnerability, willingness to learn, finding good leaders to work with, valuing diversity of experience, building a network of mentors, shameless copying, willingness hire people better than you.

Be a good follower – I believe that to be a good leader, you have to be willing to go, learn how to make your leader successful, and want to.

14 – How do you use social media to develop personal leadership?

I am a big fan of Linkedin. I join groups and read articles and posts daily – I spend at least 30 minutes a day reading and interacting with colleagues on Linkedin. Another 30 minutes a day I spend reading news content online using news aggregators. I am planning one webinar /qr.

15 – Leaders first of all develop themselves! Do you disagree?

Not sure about the former, but I firmly believe that learning should never stop. I haven’t met a great leader who didn’t read voraciously, who wasn’t constantly looking for new perspectives. I believe that great leaders have an inherent agenda for self-improvement – they may not articulate it, but when you watch them, you can see it – they are curious by nature, looking for perspectives, looking for new ideas and how they can be adapted according to their needs and capabilities.

16 – Can you teach people to be authentic?

I don’t think so. I think people should want to be authentic with themselves and in their relationships with others. It starts with self-awareness, with a real desire to understand yourself better. What makes you tick, your strengths and weaknesses, your style, your character, your values. This is not a comfortable exercise, but it is very useful. None of us likes to be vulnerable, much less do we like to share our vulnerabilities. But self-awareness and demonstrating it in all aspects of life is essential to being authentic with yourself and others

17 – How important do you think it is to prepare the next generation for leadership before they enter the workplace?

Extremely. Good leaders bring with them a combination of experience, skills, values ​​and style. Some elements of all this happen in the workplace and over time; but all this is also revealed before entering the workplace. In fact, as our world gets smaller, as global imperatives affect us all, as business becomes more global, and as awareness of social imperatives grows, we find that preparing the next generation for new leadership doctrines is increasingly more important.

18 – Can a manager be a coach?

I think it’s a manager’s responsibility to develop their employees in both practical tasks and leadership skills. Although these are coaching attributes, I don’t believe that a manager can be a good coach for his employees, because coaching requires distance, perspective, the ability to get the employee out of his element, out of everyday life. For this, it is very important to have a mentor or coach who is not part of the organization. Also, many of the learning points are related to relationships, reading people and situations – discussing them, learning from an ecosystem that creates dynamics is not always helpful enough

19. How does internal training compare to external training?

I think there is room for both, even in leadership training. what is important is that the training is part of a specific, well-designed training program defined by the company and tailored to the employee. In addition, all training should be part of a development plan agreed between the supervisor and the employee. Part of this process is follow-up discussion and learning

20. What do you think are the most effective methods for maximizing the “stick” of learning from leadership workshops and other educational events?

Interesting study, suitable for my job. Learning with people I respect and admire, and with people I work with (with internal training). In all cases where training is applicable, either through individual case studies or job matching. Finally, the most important thing is that we as managers take responsibility for the training plan of our employees along with them. We are involved in developing the training plan with them and we observe and discuss the training, making sure that real workplace situations are discussed in the context of the training that has been received.

If you want to learn more about building highly engaged teams or being a better leader click on the link to make an appointment to talk about how I can help.

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