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Barbara is President of Legacy Bowes Group and is well known as a leader in the field of human resources. In addition to her work in human resources, organizational development, career management, and training, Barbara is a weekly columnist for the Winnipeg Free Press and the author of seven books. An award winning professional, she frequently speaks on human resources and its importance to business success. Barbara’s clients include a wide variety of industry sectors as well as First Nation communities and agencies.

Managers Need to Lead By Example

Almost every manager I speak to talks about the amount of time they spend on human resource issues. Some even feel overwhelmed. Unfortunately, most of the issues relate to interpersonal conflict between employees, bullying, blaming, poor performance, job dissatisfaction, gossip, complaints and whiney attitudes.

 

According to Cy Wakeman, author of Reality Based Leadership, and the keynote speaker at the upcoming QNET conference, part of the challenge is that many employees have adopted learned helplessness both in their personal and professional lives. In her view, employees are feeling they lack control and have an inability to change their circumstances. This results in negative attitudes and presents a problem for leaders.

In her view, the fault lies with leaders who over-manage and don't lead instead of coaching employees and developing their skills and expertise. When a leader acts in such a way, all they get from employees is excuses. This leads to even more workplace drama.

So what is the solution?

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Successful Organizations Develop Leaders for the Future

The headline in the Free Press read, City sees healthy growth in economic development and reported the growth momentum was predicted to continue well into 2015. It’s nice to see Manitoba’s competitive advantage has been successful in attracting large world-class companies. At the same time, I am pretty proud of the large number of mid-sized, family-owned enterprises demonstrating success.

 

To continue growth momentum and to sustain world-class status, however, every organization, large or small, needs strong leadership. Leadership is the only way in which you will continue holding on to and sustaining competitive advantage. In today’s global market, the need for strong and effective leadership is unprecedented. Unfortunately, studies show only 30 to 40 per cent of organizations are well prepared to fill their vacant leadership positions should the need arise.

This raises the question: What is the status of your leadership team? Are you at risk from potential retirements? Do you have gaps in the leadership pipeline? Has the criteria for leadership in your organization changed? Are you failing to develop new leaders within your organization? If the answer is yes to any of these questions, you need to take action now. Where do you start? The following guidelines will assist you in creating a foundation for leadership development within your organization.

Identify corporate competencies

It has probably been some time since you really paid attention to the skills and competencies needed for leadership, either currently and/or for the future. The first step is to confirm future business trends and determine your strategic plan. Once this is complete, identify the leadership competencies needed to realize your future by identifying just what leadership behaviours, knowledge, skills, abilities and personal attributes are required for continued success. Prioritize what you consider the core competencies because these are considered a must-have qualification for any candidate.

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Policies are There for a Reason

Following the rules is a strategy for career success

Things happen fast in a global world. In Malaysia, two Saskatchewan siblings ended up in court and were eventually deported after they -- along with others -- stripped naked on a mountain that's considered sacred and posted photos on social media. Not only did the photos go viral, they coincided with a terrible earthquake. Unfortunately, the social-media stunt was linked by the government to the natural disaster and the subsequent loss of life.

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Identifying the Leaders Among Us

Every workplace has go-to people who aren’t managers; managers need to nurture them

Recently, I had lunch with a business acquaintance who is the epitome of a hidden leader. Over a 20-year time frame and with a grade 12 education, she rose from the shop floor to being a corporate president. When I first met her, I was teaching facilitation skills to a group of front-line employees. I took note of her ability to learn quickly, her enthusiasm, the respect others showed toward her, and her eagerness to adapt to change.

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Learning Never Stops

Upgrade your stock by going back to 'school'

Yes, as Carole King likes to sing, "School bells are ringing." Yet, it isn't only children and young adults who should be thinking about school. Anyone in the workforce needs to be thinking about school, as well. Yes, you can pat yourself on the back for finishing a long and arduous education resulting in a degree or diploma. However, once you enter the working world, you still need to continue learning. In this case, the term 'school' is better known as 'continuous learning' or 'professional development'. But no matter what learning is called, every worker needs to make learning a lifelong passion.

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