Leadership Development Blog

5 Competencies of Agile Leadership

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Posted by Rick Lepsinger July 25, 2017

True experts and so-called experts alike have written volumes about what separates great leaders from mediocre ones.

In my experience working with some of the most successful global companies, I’ve discovered it really comes down to agility, or how well a leader is able to balance many choices and challenges simultaneously. Agile leadership is the ability to keep a company running smoothly by successfully navigating efficient and reliable processes, people, and innovation. Too much focus on one area can hinder performance in another. For instance, an obsession with efficiency can lead a company to reduce anything that doesn’t directly contribute to operations, including leadership development and R&D.

In my years assessing and developing leaders who fit this description, I’ve identified five core competencies, or characteristics, that all agile flexible leaders have in common. Here’s a snapshot of each of them.

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Topics: Identify And Develop Leaders, Leadership Development

High Performance, Agile Leadership: A Balancing Act

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Posted by Rick Lepsinger July 20, 2017

We all know leaders who get things done and those who don’t. What sets them apart?

The answer lies not in personality or charm, but in leadership agility.

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Topics: Identify And Develop Leaders

Developing a Successful Virtual Workplace: Secrets From Sodexo

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Posted by Darleen DeRosa July 11, 2017

These days, many employees can be productive from anywhere with the right technology, training and guidance. Just ask Sodexo, a world leader in food and facilities management services.

The company has maintained a successful virtual workplace for well over a decade now, overcoming the challenges of working across time zones and cultures as it evolved from a multinational company to a truly global one. 

We have worked in partnership with Sodexo for much of this time and continue to be impressed by what we’ve seen. During a recent conversation, Sodexo’s director of diversity and inclusion initiatives, Jodi Davidson, shared some great insights into what has made their model work so well. 

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Topics: Work Smarter Virtually, Virtual Team Building

Want to Make Better Business Decisions? Check Your Bias At the Door

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Posted by Rick Lepsinger July 6, 2017

We all have biases that impact our decision making. When we're making a big purchase or evaluating a job offer, those biases may only affect ourselves and those closest to us. However, when we're in a leadership role, the impact of our decisions can be far-reaching. 

In a recent HRDQ-U webinar, I outlined a framework leaders can use to keep their biases in check and make better business decisions. 

If you missed it, I encourage you to watch the recording or check out the webinar slides here

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Topics: Enhance Execution, strategy execution

The Fatal Flaw That Hinders Leadership Development

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Posted by Darleen DeRosa June 13, 2017

We’ve all encountered people who can’t admit their mistakes or who genuinely seem to believe they can do no wrong. Working with these individuals can be challenging, as their behavior likely stems from a fatal leadership flaw: A lack of self-awareness.

Researchers increasingly are recognizing self-awareness, or being able to see ourselves as others see us, as a critical factor in leadership effectiveness. Here’s a look at how self-awareness can impact performance and what leaders can do to prevent this blind spot.

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Topics: Identify And Develop Leaders, Leadership Development

Leading Cross Functional Teams When You Lack Authority

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Posted by Rick Lepsinger June 9, 2017

If you’ve ever tried leading cross functional teams of people from multiple departments, you’re already well aware of some of the challenges.

There can be uncertainty over who's calling the shots when all roles are essentially equal. Confusion about who's responsible for doing what. A lack of ownership and accountability. 

All this can make it difficult to make decisions and keep projects moving. However, as matrix organizations and the cross-functional team approach have become the norm, being able to effectively overcome these challenges is a key characteristic of successful leaders. 

Here are five steps you and your leaders can take to be more successful in a cross functional team environment.

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Topics: Work Better Across Boundaries, Cross-Functional Team Building

Managing Performance In Virtual Teams: 3 Things Smart Leaders Do

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Posted by Darleen DeRosa June 7, 2017

Your leaders are the glue that holds your organization together. If you are responsible for learning and development, you need to be sure you are preparing them with the skills they need to succeed. That includes the skills needed to lead and manage performance in virtual teams.

Here are three things your leaders should be doing to better manage performance in virtual teams.

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Topics: Work Smarter Virtually, Leadership Development

Why Virtual Leadership Is Different From Leading In Person

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Posted by Darleen DeRosa May 31, 2017

Business and talent acquisition leaders are increasingly using flexible work options to attract the best and brightest talent. Over one-third of business leaders (34 percent) expect 50 percent of their full-time staff will be working virtually by the year 2020.

The massive growth of virtual employees will have an overwhelmingly positive impact on workplace morale, productivity and overhead costs. But to successfully build and lead remote teams, businesses need to ensure they have the right virtual leadership in place.

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Topics: Work Smarter Virtually, Virtual Team Building

Why More of Your Employees Should Be Working Remotely

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Posted by Darleen DeRosa May 24, 2017

Working remotely is a growing trend that’s showing no signs of slowing down. Forty-three percent of the US workforce worked remotely in 2016, and 34 percent of business leaders say half of their company’s full-time workforce will be working virtually by the year 2020. This trend can be attributed to the desire for more flexibility in when and where they work—research has found that virtual work is the most desired flexible work option people want in a job.

When organizations are willing to offer flexible arrangements, it can have a dramatic impact on their bottom line as well as employee morale. Here are a few reasons why employers should consider implementing or expanding virtual work options.

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Topics: Work Smarter Virtually

The 7 Virtual Leadership Competencies Every Manager Needs

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Posted by Rick Lepsinger May 11, 2017


In recent years, many organizations have made the shift to a virtual workplace or a hybrid approach where employees work remotely at least part of the time.

However, few give much thought to the demands of a virtual workplace aside from ensuring they have the right technology. They fail to recognize the need to ensure their managers have proper skills to lead and collaborate from a distance.

While all strong leaders tend to share certain key characteristics, those who manage virtual teams must be particularly strong in a few key areas. We identified the most important of these competencies in a study of 427 members and leaders from 48 virtual teams. Here’s a look at what they are and how to ensure your team leaders have them.

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Topics: Identify And Develop Leaders, Work Smarter Virtually, Leadership Development, Virtual Team Building

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