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Decoding leadership: What really matters

Effective problem solving

Problem-solving - when information is gathered, analyzed, and considered. 

Difficult to get right, yet this process is a key input into decision making, for both major issues and daily ones.

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Decoding leadership: What really matters

Decoding leadership: What really matters

https://www.mckinsey.com/featured-insights/leadership/decoding-leadership-what-really-matters#

mckinsey.com

5

Key Ideas

4 kinds of behavior

... account for 89 percent of leadership effectiveness:

  • Solving problems effectively;
  • Operating with a strong results orientation;
  • Seeking different perspectives;
  • Supporting others.

Results orientation

Leadership is about not only developing and communicating a vision and setting objectives but also following through to achieve results. 

Leaders with a strong results orientation tend to emphasize the importance of efficiency and productivity and to prioritize the highest-value work.

Seeking different perspectives

Leaders who do well on this dimension typically base their decisions on sound analysis and avoid the many biases to which decisions are prone.

Supportive leaders

By showing a sincere interest in those around them, they build trust and inspire and help colleagues to overcome challenges. 

They intervene in group work to promote organizational efficiency, allaying unwarranted fears about external threats and preventing the energy of employees from dissipating into internal conflict.

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  • Work together, complement each other, and function as a team.
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  • Lead and build teams and partner with the broader ecosystems, keep people connected and engaged, and drive a culture of innovation, learning, and continuous improvement.
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  • Understand how different business functions, industries, and technologies come together to form solutions.
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Demographics And Leadership Destiny

Millennials expect to be developed via opportunities, mentoring, and stretch assignments. However that is hard to come by in top-heavy companies. 

Most millennials think their roles provide little development while most companies report they have excellent or adequate programs for Millennials.

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Leadership Development

Leadership development is viewed as a current and future priority. Despite efforts to produce and nurture new leaders, only 7 percent of senior managers think that their companies develop global le...

Overlooking context

Many training initiatives assume that the same group of skills or leadership styles are suitable without considering the strategy or organizational culture of a company.

An excellent leader in one situation does not necessarily perform well in another. Focusing on context means equipping leaders with two or three competencies that will make a distinction to performance, rather than a list of leadership standards that is of no specific benefit.

Separate reflection from real work

Companies face a challenge when it comes to planning the program's curriculum.  Adults typically retain only 10 percent of what they hear in classroom lectures, but nearly two-thirds when they learn by doing. 

The answer seems straightforward: tie leadership development to real on-the-job projects. While it is not easy to create opportunities that simultaneously address high-priority needs, companies should strive to make every major business project a leadership-development opportunity as well.

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Mindsets in leaders

Mindsets drive what leaders do and why they do it. 

Two different leaders might face the same situation but respond to it very differently. One leader might see the case as threatenin...

Growth and Fixed Mindsets

A growth mindset is a belief that anyone can change their talents, abilities, and intelligence. Those with a growth mindset:

  • take on challenges
  • take advantage of feedback
  • use the most effective problem-solving strategies
  • provide developmental feedback
  • is persistent in accomplishing goals

Conversely, those with a fixed mindset believe that talents, abilities and intelligence can't be improved.

Learning and Performance Mindsets

Leaders with a learning mindset are motivated to increase their competence and master something new.

A performance mindset desires to gain favorable judgments about competence and avoid negative judgements.

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