ARE YOU WORKING WITH PEOPLE OR THROUGH PEOPLE?

https://eblingroup.com/blog/working-with-people-or-through-people/

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One of the mentors I feel very fortunate to have had in my life was the late Richard Neustadt, a founding professor of the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard and author of the classic book Presidential Power. When I was a student at the Kennedy School in the mid-80’s, I had Dr. Neustadt for a couple of classes, got to work with him on some special projects and was part of a group of students he’d occasionally have over to his house to teach us about the subtleties of scotch whiskey.

There are a lot of insights that Dick Neustadt is remembered for but the one that is probably the most cited is that, in spite of the awesome resources at his (and, someday soon, her) command, the true power of the President of the United States is the power to persuade. To really be effective in accomplishing their agenda, the President must influence different stakeholders and constituencies to work with him or her.

Note the key preposition in that last sentence. It’s with. As an executive I was talking with recently reminded me, great leaders work with people, not through people. You may, at first, think that the dichotomy between with and through is a distinction without a difference. Not so fast, my friend. Let’s dig a little deeper on the difference between these two prepositions, with and through, and the impact they have on effective leadership.

We can start with definitions. The primary definition of with is “accompanied by.” The primary definition of through is “moving in one side and out of the other side of.” Maybe I could end this post right here. If you’re the colleague, the follower or some other stakeholder, would you rather be accompanied by or moved through one side and out the other? My guess is that for most people the answer is self-evident. You’d rather be accompanied. That’s likely at the essence of the power of persuasion that Dr. Neustadt wrote and talked about.

So, what are other markers of a leader who works with people instead of through people?

As the executive I was recently talking with told me, when you’re working with people, you start with respect for your colleagues. Unless proven otherwise, you assume that they, like you, are acting in the similar best interests of the enterprise. You assume that they’re highly motivated and qualified until proven otherwise.

You also have a focus on what they need as much as on what you need. If you only come in with what you need and what you have right and everyone else has wrong, over the long run you lose your effectiveness.

When you don’t have total control, you have to have influence.  Influence – the power to persuade – takes root when you work with people rather than through them.

UNC Health Care, Atrium execs reportedly frustrated by issue of control over merged entity

https://www.beckershospitalreview.com/hospital-transactions-and-valuation/unc-health-care-atrium-execs-reportedly-frustrated-by-issue-of-control-over-merged-entity.html

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Executives at Chapel Hill, N.C.-based UNC Health Care and Charlotte, N.C.-based Atrium Health have reportedly addressed a number of shared concerns regarding their proposed merger. However, the issue of control over the merged organization has yet to be decided — a decision that will have ramifications for both institutions, according to The News & Observer.

William L. Roper, MD, CEO of UNC Health Care and dean of the UNC School of Medicine, provided an update about the organizations’ negotiations Feb. 20 following a closed-door session with a special committee of the UNC System’s board of directors earlier that same day.

“I had a lengthy conversation with our Charlotte friends this morning, and I think we are making some progress in narrowing the differences but we have not yet reached agreement,” Dr. Roper told The News & Observer. “Both sides are interested in the key questions of who’s in charge, how are decisions going to be made, how can we balance the interests so that both sides feel fairly represented in the decision-making process. Those are the big questions and we’re still working on them.”

The decision of who maintains control over the merged entity, which would comprise 60 hospitals and at least 90,000 employees, would have significant effects on UNC’s medical research and the UNC School of Medicine, a state-owned entity belonging to the UNC System.

The organizations entered into negotiations regarding a potential merger last August. At that time, officials selected Atrium Health CEO Gene Woods to serve as CEO and Dr. Roper as chair of the combined system’s board of directors. Dr. Roper said Feb. 20 that following the completion of his term as chairman, Atrium Health’s board chairman would assume the role. After that, UNC Health Care and Atrium Health would alternate appointing leaders to the role.

Dr. Roper’s update comes after multiple organizations, including the state’s largest insurer, Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina, said they could not support the proposed merger. North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein wrote a letter Feb. 15 to the chief executives of both health systems demanding additional information regarding the proposed deal, stating the systems had not provided enough information about how the transaction would affect healthcare costs for consumers.

Dr. Roper’s announcement Tuesday also reportedly did not satisfy concerns voiced by North Carolina Treasurer Dale Folwell, who last week called on UNC Health Care to issue a $1 billion performance bond to guarantee cost savings from the proposed deal.

Mr. Folwell said Tuesday Dr. Roper’s update did not provide assurance healthcare costs would decrease and that the update underscores the huge stakes involved in the negotiations, according to the report.

5 WAYS TO SUCCEED WITH AN INFLEXIBLE PIGHEADED BOSS

5 Ways to Succeed with an Inflexible Pigheaded Boss

If you’re flexible, rigid people seem pigheaded, narrow minded, and self-centered. Why can’t everyone be flexible like you?

Rigid people drive the train:

If you have an inflexible boss or team member, they always drive the train.

  1. Fear of offending them controls interactions.
  2. Tough conversations always go one way. Everything is about winning or losing.
  3. Violating the “rules” is a capital offense. Throwing people under the bus may become a means of control.

Change, innovation, and progress slow to a snail’s pace when rigid people drive the train.

Stability:

Stability is the advantage of rigidity.

Organizations need rigid people even if some think they’re evil. You don’t need the dark-side of their strength. But without them, inconsistency escalates into instability.

Sure, they stress themselves and others. They complain about missed commons. But, they’re great at following procedures and delivering consistent results.

Inflexible people love systems that prevent failure.

Navigation tips:

What if your boss is inflexible?

  1. Adapt to them. They won’t adapt to you. No one likes to be changed – especially an inflexible boss. They’ll lash out like caged animals if you pressure them.
  2. Admire their strengths and say so. Say, “Your personal consistency brings stability and consistency to our organization.”
  3. Accept, embrace, and answer their discomforts or fears. Telling them that things will work out drives rigid people crazy.
  4. Prepare them for change.  Don’t surprise them. Discuss problems before solutions.
  5. Establish rituals and routines. Don’t addd stress to their stressful lives.

What suggestions do you have for navigating an inflexible boss or teammate?

Leading with Control Versus Leading with Influence

http://www.leadershipdigital.com/edition/daily-leadership-management-2017-05-10?open-article-id=6560474&article-title=leading-with-control-versus-leading-with-influence&blog-domain=ronedmondson.com&blog-title=ron-edmondson

Let me be honest. I can be a controlling person. It’s part of my character. I know that. I test that way with StrengthsFinders. If no one is taking charge, I’ll take over the room. (And, not because I’m extroverted. I’m not.) If we both come to a four-way stop at the same time – as nice as I try to be and as much as I love others – I won’t stall long for you to decide if you’re going. It’s just how I’m wired. If the leader isn’t in the room, I’ll lead.

I think my team, however – or at least I hope – would tell you I don’t perform as a controlling leader. Some may even wish I controlled more. It’s been a long process to discipline myself not to respond how I am naturally inclined to do.

Leaders, if you want to to have a healthy team environment, you must learn to control less and influence more. The differences are measured in the results of creating a healthy team.

I have learned thought that successful leaders understands the difference in leading with influence and leading with control.

Here’s what I mean by the results of controlling versus influence:

In an organization where control is dominant:

  • The leader’s ideas win over the team’s ideas – every time.
  • The team follows, but only out of necessity (for a paycheck) – not willingly.
  • Change happens through fear and intimidation – not motivation.
  • People are managed closely – rather than led.
  • Team members feel unappreciated and often under-utilized – rather than empowered.
  • The organization is limited to the skills and ability of the controlling leader – not the strength of a team.
  • Passion is weak – burnout is common.

But,

In an organization where influence is dominant:

  • The ultimate goal is what’s best for the organization, not an individual.
  • Team spirit develops as relationships and trust grow.
  • Willing followers, and other leaders, are attracted to the team.
  • Leadership recruitment and development is a continued endeavor.
  • Change is promoted through desire and motivation, not obligation.
  • The organization has the expanded resources of a team of unique individuals.
  • People feel empowered and appreciated.

Leaders, take your pick – control or influence. You can’t have it both ways. One will always be more dominant. Granted, I could write a whole blog post (and, I have) on the messiness of leading by influence. There will often be confusion, lack of clarity, and misunderstandings. It comes when all the rules aren’t clearly defined. This, however, is a tension to be managed not a problem to be solved. (I think Andy Stanley said that first.)

When it comes to creating organizational health – influence will always trump control. Every time.

Have you ever been or worked for a controlling leader?

Have you been in an environment where influence is dominant?

Which did you prefer?

Before Trusting Someone You Must Confront These 4 Uncomfortable Truths

Before Trusting Someone You Must Confront These 4 Uncomfortable Truths

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No one disagrees that trust is an indispensable ingredient of strong, healthy relationships. In the workplace, high levels of trust increase productivity, efficiency, innovation, and profitability. When trust is low or absent, people avoid risk, decisions are questioned, bureaucracy increases, and productivity and profitability diminish.

However, there are some uncomfortable truths about trust we must confront. These difficult areas often hold us back from fully trusting others and enjoying the personal and corporate benefits of high-trust relationships. We often shy away from acknowledging or addressing these truths because they are exactly that – uncomfortable. But confront them we must if we are to grow in our capacity to trust others and be trustworthy ourselves.