Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘John Baldoni

Managing is more than processes and procedures; it’s people.

Successful managers bring out the best in others.: Management and leadership are about coaching around performance.” John Baldoni

By Dan Rockwell?

My conversation with author, speaker, and executive coach, John Baldoni, covered everything from what’s wrong with leadership to the good side of office politics. John has an amazing breadth of experience and expertise.

Manager as coach:

Coaching rises to the top of leadership skills in organizations that value participation rather than command and control.

Coaching is about long-term relationships.” John Baldoni

John suggests manager-coaches begin with three questions:

  1. What does my employee want? Uncover motivation. Do they want development, promotion, opportunity? All employees strive for recognition.
  2. What is stopping my employee from achieving her objectives? Everyone has blind spots and behaviors that hold them back.
  3. What can I do to help my employee become more successful? Sometimes you’ll challenge. Other times, you’ll be a cheerleader.

Coaching Tips for managers:

  1. Coaches don’t do the work for others.
  2. Schedule regular sessions.
  3. Stay performance focused.
  4. Deal with one challenge at a time.
  5. Keep the tone positive and conversational.
  6. Assess the process. How are you doing as a coach? How is the person doing?
  7. Demonstrate belief in employees.
  8. Evaluate.

 “Leaders who coach are those who treat their employees as individuals and regard them as contributors” John Baldoni

What makes managers successful coaches?

 What is challenging about coaching?

This post is a combination of my conversation with John and his new book, The Leader’s Pocket Guide.s

Circumstances don’t determine the atmosphere and tone of organizations, leaders do.

Look around your office or leadership team. Is the tone positive or negative? Now, look at yourself. How are you perceived?

Organizations reflect leadership.

Thursday, I reconnected with Shirzad Chamine, author of, Positive Intelligence. He reminded me that our “Sage” is a joyful, curious, explorer. I started thinking about fearful versus confident leadership.

Fearful vs. Confident:

Fearful leaders withdraw, limit, control, manipulate, and pressure others. Fearful leaders respond to challenges, opportunities, and problems pessimistically.

Confidence fuels optimism; fear fuels pessimism.

Tough circumstances test everyone, especially leaders. Hand-wringers set negative tones. On the other hand, denying tough times never inspires.


Leadership-optimism isn’t pretending everything’s okay. Confident leaders connect, inspire, and unleash. They explore with curiosity.

Inspirational leaders face tough times
with curiosity, exploration, joy, and confidence.


Leadership-attitude won’t solve tough times. It is, however, the way leaders establish tone and atmosphere in collaborative environments during challenging situations. Positive environments are built on positive attitudes, speech, and behaviors.

(Check out Soren Kaplan’s book, Leapfrogging, for more on optimism.)

What’s the difference between foolish and realistic optimism?

How can leaders set positive tones in organizations?

Nice leaders finish last, if nice means agreeable. The sort of “Can’t we all get along?”

If all you do is agree, go home. You aren’t contributing.

Bullies aren’t leaders. Contrarian people are respectful and listen well.

By Dan Rockwell?

“There is a condition afflicting organizations that often goes undiagnosed because it is perceived as benign. In truth, it is corrosive.

I call it the ‘the disease of niceness.’” John Baldoni in, “The Leaders Pocket Guide.”

Nice leaders:

  1. Wrongly believe “getting along” is the goal. “Can’t we all get along?”. This statement is great if you love mediocrity.
  2. Can’t tolerate conflict. If you can’t tolerate conflict, you can’t lead. Successful leaders thrive in tense situations.
  3. Need to be liked.

Substantive contribution demands disagreement.

Contrarian leaders:

  1. Believe getting it done is the goal.
  2. Think tension and conflict are tools, Not distractions.
  3. Instigate conflict rather hiding from it. They stir the pot.

The scale:

On the scale of “nice to contrarian,” most of you fall on the nice side. You’ll get along just fine in many organizations. But, you’ll never be an exceptional leader if all you do is agree.

Exceptional leaders cross the line from agreeable to contrarian (as if this is a matter of a decision?)

10 ways to become contrarian:

  1. Keep smiling, for goodness sake.
  2. Reject the idea that anger and contrarian are the same thing. Don’t let anger be your only motivation to address tough issues.
  3. Ask tough questions and make challenging statements without threatening.
  4. Embrace politeness, always. (Thanks for this one John Baldoni.)
  5. Watch your body language. Maintain welcoming eye contact and open postures.
  6. Convince everyone you support them. Agree, affirm, and support, a lot. Contrarian leaders finish last, if contrarian means constant disagreement.
  7. Keep listening. Contrarian doesn’t mean “my way or the highway.”
  8. Practice clarity and mutual accountability. Have others hold you accountable to the same degree you hold them. Contrarian isn’t about being aloof or superior.
  9. Always show respect.
  10. Maintain optimism. Contrary isn’t negative.

Note: I”m not encouraging bullying. Bullies aren’t leaders.

How can you move toward contrarian leadership, today?

What High Engagement Does For You? A list of 10 benefits…

Are the arctic dogs, coordinating their efforts, an example of high engagement?

Drake Baer posted “The 10 Things High Engagement Does For You”

“Highly engaged employees have happier, more fulfilling lives. They do better work, too.

What do we mean when we talk about engagement? Writing for HBR, leadership consultant John Baldoni has a to-the-point definition. Engagement happens, he says, when “people want to come to work, understand their jobs, and know how their work contributes to the success of the organization.”

Power to the X! </p><br /> <p>During our final speaker curation meeting yesterday, we selected our speakers and final line-up! We're now working on finalizing all the necessary documents and everyone will be informed soon!! </p><br /> <p>Stay tuned! September 7 is only a few weeks away!

We’ve talked before about how a sense of engagement is a symptom of doing meaningful work–to the point that the people most satisfied with their careers have the hardest jobs.

But, as a new Gallup meta-analysis suggests, the benefits of high engagement don’t end with meaningful, hard-toiling feel-goodery, but extend into the products that people create.

Beyond what a workplace Jedi has already taught us, there are further takeaways from the 1.4 million employee study:

  • Organizations with high engagement have 22% high productivity
  • Highly engaged organizations have double the success rate of lowly engaged ones
  • Companies in the top quarter of engagement report lower absenteeism and turnover
  • Highly engaged business units report 48% fewer safety incidents
  • Highly engaged business units report 41% fewer defects (in designed product)

But it doesn’t end there. Jim Harter, a chief scientist at Gallup Research, added some texture to those numbers, saying that:

  • Engaged employees are more attentive and vigilant. (the main cause for less defect and less safety accidents?)
  • They look out for the needs of their coworkers and the overall enterprise
  • They personally “own” the result of their work and that of the organization
  • (They) re-create jobs so that each person has a chance to do what they do best
  • (They) help people see the connection between their everyday work and the larger purpose or mission of the organization

That is a lot from one little metric. So why do so many companies have problems with engagement? Harter observes that many (organizations) don’t make engagement a part of their overall strategy, leaving its role unclear and hard to execute on.

Clarity is the quickest first step to getting the positive benefits of engagement. Harter tells Baldoni that engagement arises from when employees clearly know their roles, have what they need to fulfill their roles, and can see the connection between their individual role and the purpose of the organization.

This confirms a point made by Jim Kouzes, the Leadership Challenge co-author who we had the privileged of talking to last year. He distilled his decades of research into leadership into a few choice turns of phrase, including this one:

People want to feel like every day they’re making meaningful progress toward some meaningful course. Leaders have to be mindful of always addressing a challenge in a way that creates that meaning and purpose

Note 1: Drake was once a backpacker, now a journalist. Longs for Kyoto, lives in Brooklyn, writes about business for Fast Company and other stuff for other places. Pitch him at first initial last name at fast company dot com.

Note 2:




February 2023

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