Endorsements

After our orientation meeting, Steve dove right into the task, and along the way, became an ardent supporter and coach for Blue Ocean Society. Once the board determined that developing our board was critical to ensuring our capacity to perform our mission, Steve facilitated our creation of a board member role and responsibilities document. In less than a year, we recruited 3 new board members who have brought tremendous strength to the organization. I am now proud to talk about our board and able to better articulate the organization's accomplishments. Steve is wonderful to work with - positive, accessible, and skillful at providing ideas and advice. His many years of experience in the non-profit sector make him an ideal consultant and I'm so glad we worked with him.
Jen Kennedy, Executive Director, Blue Ocean Society

Blog Categories

In Ho Chi Minh City Talking Teams

First of my two classes in Northeastern University’s Leadership program in cooperation with International University. Wrapping up this and next week with Leading Teams class. Yesterday our focus was virtual teams. Today it was effective performance review systems to apply to teams. Teams, Teams, Teams. Spam, Spam, Spam. There are so many ways you can serve it. We work to improve keeping in mind Katzenback and Wisdom of Teams. As the economy grows and diversifies in Vietnam, young up-and-comers want an edge to help make their place in the development of their country. The enthusiasm is palpable.

Post to Twitter

Share

Building Effective Teams: It Starts with Team Purpose

Engaging teams in the workplace to deal with cross-functional issues needing attention is a very popular approach. But what % of all teams are organized in a way to accomplish the assignment?

First of all: Is there a clear assignment? Are all members clear on what needs to be accomplished and when it should be completed?

Second: Who is the team reporting or responsible to? Is it one senior staff member? Leadership of a department?

Third: Are the roles of all members of this team clearly defined? Does each member of the team have a specific task to complete? Clear assignments to accomplish between team meetings?

When there is clarity around these issues, the likelihood of success improves.

I’m looking forward to teaching the Northeastern University class on Leading Teams in Ho Chi Minh City starting in late-July. I’m most interested in exploring how cultural and international differences influence how teams can work, and special challenges they face.

Post to Twitter

Share

Coaching From the Inside

As I get ready to head to Ho Chi Minh City (which most folks continue to call “Saigon”) I’m getting acquainted with thought leaders who have something to teach us about Coaching from the inside.
I’m sure most of us are aware of Coaching from the outside.
Some of us have had the benefit of consultants who come in to help us through a sticky wicket. This can be very helpful. But does it serve the organization’s long-term purpose?
In the book The Extraordinary Coach by John Zenger and Kathleen Stinnett (McGraw Hill, 2010) we get some helpful detail on how to introduce and sustain leadership through coaching.
It’s much less about giving those who report to us good advice. Or direction. It’s more about talking through how the person is thinking about resolving the sticky wicket. Being supportive in that way.
In a way, it’s akin to teaching a person to fish vs. handing over the fish.
For the recipient, what s/he learns and does following their own thinking tastes better. And the learning lingers.

Post to Twitter

Share

Teaching Leadership in Ho Chi Minh City

Looking forward to four weeks in Ho Chi Minh City (aka Saigon) Vietnam July – August 2014. Northeastern University has formed a partnership with International University and is offering a graduate program which got underway late 2013/early 2014. I will be teaching two six weeks classes, with two weeks from each class “on ground” in downtown Saigon. The first class will be on Leading Teams, drawing on the Daniel Levi text Group Dynamics for Teams.
The second class will be Building Bench Strength built around texts by John E Zenger, including The Extraordinary Leader co-written with Joseph R Folkman. I will be Skype-ing in people with interesting perspective/expertise to contribute. You can send me an email at ste.smith@neu.edu.

Post to Twitter

Share

Where are you headed? And who’s coming with you?

The effective nonprofit leader steps back now and again and asks her/himself these questions: Where am I going? And who’s coming with me?
Beyond the strategic plan of your organization with its mission and goals and annual work plan.
Beyond the budget and the staff meetings and schmoozing out in the community.
What feels fulfilling to you? What is it about the people around you and their response to you that helps give you energy?
Recently I went back to a series of interview snippets from the Washington Post with leaders from various walks in life. It’s here: http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/on-leadership/.
They talked about what floats their boat.
What it is that drives each of them as an individual…and how that translates into Leadership.
Take a listen. Pause and reflect. And think about what’s driving you whenever and however you communicate.

Post to Twitter

Share