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I've asked some of you, the ALF Alumni, if you have seen improvements in the company since the program? Some of you have contacted me directly via email or during our coaching sessions, and have had the same question. How do we know if ALF is working?

The answers were varied. Some said, yes, in certain departments, but not company-wide. Some said, no. "I'm trying to implement some of the tips you provided, but my manager, who also attended ALF, is ignoring the concept of improved leadership completely." said the manager.

Here's my suggestion: All managers must develop and foster open communication. Communication is an art. You must practice being a good communicator and listener. Refer back to some of the rcises we used on "Communication: Giving and Receiving Feedback." It is important to create an environment where employees feel comfortable approaching you and talking with you. You should also feel comfortable with this same philosphy with talking to your manager. So, if you feel that your manager is not implementing Best Practices from ALF, then it is your responsibility to setup a meeting to openly and honestly discuss your concerns. Be prepared to talk about "specific" actions/behaviors that have taken place that are contrary to this improved leadership initiative.

Here's YOUR COMMUNICATION CHALLENGE… Take the time to talk to your fellow managers ! Once a month, select someone in the company that you either don't know, but would like to get to know, or perhaps someone in another group that is part of a project team you or your staff member is working on. Pick up the phone, introduce yourself and ask to have a cup or coffee or lunch.

Fostering cross-functional lines of communications will:

1. help with misinformation
2. create an atmosphere of information sharing
3. create a better understanding of conflicting priorities
4. help to understand a different point of view
5. open the door for creativity
6. improve the Anritsu work environment!


You'll have an opportunity to provide this feedback directly to Mark and your fellow classmates at our upcoming ALF Alumni lunches starting in April. Come prepared! Your input counts! Each manager must take the initiative and ownership to be a better leader - COMPANY WIDE !


Be patient ! Changing behaviors takes time. Anritsu is going through a companywide transformation - that's right a big change. Developing and improving leadership skills will be an ongoing development process. Just imagine…. if everyone takes ownership to improving their own action items in their ALF Improvement Plan, companywide improvements will happen faster.

The most important talent you must develop
is the is the talent of your leaders.
~ Peter Drucker


Communication -Stopping Behaviors
An important aspect of whether people are willing to communicate or not is how they are responded to when they attempt to do so. Dr. Jack Gibb, author of Trust: A New View of Personal and Organizational Development, sites s behaviors that are communication discouragers and encouragers:


Discourages Encourages
Judging Description
Superiority Equality
Certainty Openness
Controlling Problem-Orientation
Manipulation Positive Intent
Indifference Empathy


These behaviors modes are often engaged in innocently and unconsciously, certainly not deliberately by well-meaning people. In addition to the actual words that are spoken, the tone of voice and body language can stop communication



Building Leaders at All Levels
Companies that have a network of leaders throughout the organization are the ones most likely to thrive.
By Sarah Fister Gale

In an unpredictable economy, companies that have a network of leaders throughout the organization are the ones most likely to thrive. Employees who are given the opportunity to develop leadership skills are more inclined to take responsibility and feel pride in their work. When they are empowered to make decisions and be accountable for their actions, potential leaders take ownership in the success of the company, and often become superior performers.
“The velocity of business is increasing and the pace of change has picked up,” says Jim Concelman, manager of leadership development at the Pittsburgh office of DDI, an employee selection and development company. An employee’s ability to make independent decisions is especially critical as products and customer ectations evolve. In the wake of this change, the role of leadership is shifting as well, Concelman says. Front-line employees are ected to lead teams, mid-level managers are heading up strategic initiatives, and downsized staffs are ected to take responsibility for more work with less guidance.


These new opportunities call for more than management skills. They also require managers to arouse enthusiasm and establish an environment of respect and dependability, in which employees are encouraged and ected to contribute their opinions.


Historically, leadership development has been limited to the cutive team and the few up-and-coming people who are groomed to replace them. That was fine in an economy in which the core business strategy could go unchanged for years and a stable corporate culture was the mainstay of success. This strategic model is no longer viable. Today, employees are given leadership titles and ected to figure out how to handle their new roles, but aren’t effectively trained. Not surprisingly, they often flounder. The title “leader” in many organizations is met with scorn when the person assigned to the role has no idea how to behave in the new position.


“Offering leadership training is not just a feel-good issue, it’s a critical business strategy,” says Will Pilder, senior vice president of KnowledgePool Americas, a talent-management company in Nyack, New York. As companies battle for customer loyalty and new products emerge weekly, employees must have a developed set of leadership skills to foster the balance between freedom and reliability.


A successful leader must be able to communicate, motivate, and solve problems, Concelman says. But many managers aren’t getting the necessary support to develop these skills. “Managers are taught to do things by the book, whereas leaders need to think of new ways to do things,” he says. “The two skill sets are somewhat contradictory.”


Jon Katzenbach, senior partner of Katzenbach Partners LLC, a performance consulting firm in New York City, adds that leadership is about more than following a set course. “It’s a mind-set of adaptive responsiveness.” This quality is particularly important at the front lines, where performance is directly linked to a leader’s ability to inspire a team, and a service rep’s freedom to respond to unique customer needs can make or break a company’s reputation.


“Everyone benefits from leadership development,” Pilder says. It prompts employees to work harder for the company and set more challenging career-development goals; it teaches managers to be better coaches to their own direct reports; and it prepares the entire population to react more effectively to a shifting workplace environment.


“Leadership at every level is the only way to infuse an organization with the values and morale to maintain productivity, even in the face of change,” Pilder says. It’s also the most effective succession-planning technique. No longer can you groom one individual for a specific job; you must have a pool of talented people who can assume any leadership role when the need arises, he says. When companies downsize or management positions open, companies must have the skills and in-house erience to respond to the change immediately.


Workforce, October 2002



As a follow-up-up to the ALF program, Anritsu has asked that I be available for private coaching sessions. I recommend limiting the session to one-hour and prior to the meeting have a specific agenda, or topic to discuss. These sessions are private and we can meet at your office or off-site. Some of your colleagues have taken advantage of this service to discuss their 360 action plan, ALF plan, cross-functional issues, etc.

Take advantage of this incredible opportunity to enhance your leadership skills for *FREE*. Call me or drop me an e-mail to reserve your coaching session NOW!



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  • VP of ethics or corporate governance
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  • VP of labor relations/union relations



An Engineering Manager writes in and would like to know how to handle a high-performance employee that works p/t and gets paid
f/t. The employee isn't motivated to take on additional work unless
he gets paid more.

Here's my opinion. You must immediately sit down and discuss this with your employee. This is sending the wrong message to fellow employees. The last time I checked, business hours were 8 - 5. Secondly, who's managing whom? This clearly falls under "Spotting a troubled employee # 8 - early departures."

If this employee is highly competent at his job, it appears at first glance that he might need more challenging work. Discuss his personal job-related goals and also, where does he want to go with the company. I am also curious how he works with other employees? Good Luck !

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David Light



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