Eight Questions

J. Keith Hughey


Volume XX, Number 48 (Issue 1000) November 28, 2022

Eight Questions

A couple of weeks ago I was invited to sit in on the opening session of a client’s supervisor boot camp. My schedule was such that I was only able to attend the first two hours of a four-day program, but those were two very insightful hours.

Following greetings from the trainer and personal introductions all around, one of the first questions put to the participants was “what do you most want to learn in this workshop?” Their answers, while predictable to those of us who work in this arena, are nonetheless insightful. So, for those who have a genuine interest in developing the next generation of leaders, here is a list of topics that appear to be on their minds – in the order in which they were mentioned.

➢ Managing different generations within a workforce or team
➢ Performance management including coaching the members of my team
➢ Techniques for building on my team’s proficiency with our technology tools ➢ Managing and motivating remote workers
➢ Building a cohesive team – particularly when some members are remote ➢ Change management including overcoming objections to change
➢ Retention strategies
➢ Delegation

None of the issues listed above should come as a total surprise to those who have spent any length of time in a leadership role. That’s because you probably had similar questions when you earned your first promotion. In some cases, like the challenges of managing a remote workforce or improving retention, those topics are relevant to all of us, regardless of how many years you have spent in the management ranks. I say that because the rules and thinking are changing at breakneck speed. Thus, when it comes to some topics, effective solutions may still elude not only your typical manager but also the so-called experts.

Among the many reasons I paid attention to the list of issues that are testing the mettle of the newest generation of leaders is the degree to which that list overlaps with the eight power or soft skills our decades of research and study have shown to be most needed when it comes to leadership effectiveness. To see what I mean, compare the above list with the following:

➢ Effective communication including listening for understanding
➢ Building effective teams including being an effective team member ➢ Motivating and inspiring others
➢ The art of delegation
➢ Handling difficult situations
➢ Leading by example
➢ Being innovative, flexible, and open to change
➢ Earning respect and trust

One takeaway from these two lists is many of us know what it takes to be effective as a leader. We also know what poor leadership looks, sounds, and acts like. The challenge most organizations face is how to best teach, effectively instill, and reinforce such soft skills so they are practiced day-in and day-out including those times when there is stress in the system.

With this as preamble, from time to time in the weeks ahead, we will endeavor to tackle the eight topics a group of newer supervisors have indicated are top of mind for them.

Soli Deo Gloria

“The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face to shine upon you, and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up his countenance upon you, and give you peace.” Numbers 6:24-26

Mobile: (210)260-0955
E-mail: keith@jkeithhughey.com
Web site: www.jkeithhughey.com

Transforming Potential into Unmatched Performance
Copyright 2022 by J. Keith Hughey. All rights reserved. Permission is hereby granted for reproduction and redistribution of this essay as provided under the copyright laws of the United States of America. The entire early library of Monday Morning Musings issues may be found at www.jkeithhughey.com. Your comments are welcome and encouraged.

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