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Powerful or Powerless: What Do You Prefer?

In the previous blog post, you looked at the importance of building relations as a basic skill for first-time managers (FTMs).

Essentially, you're the instrument. How you decide to show up from situation to situation will determine how your relationships with other people are formed.

If you're the instrument, you will need to be aware of three things: your actions, behaviors, and conversations. At the end of the day, how you decide to mix and match these three will determine how successful you end up being in your roles as an FTM—or in any future management position for that matter.

In this blog post, you'll explore the first of these three key tools.

What you decide to do—or not to do—defines you in your managerial role.

Leaders who come across as trustworthy and powerful in the best sense of the words are the people whom you know you can trust to act on something when it's brought to their attention. In my view, they are powerful leaders.

There are...

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How Your Relations Affect Your Results

In this blog post, I would like to focus on the importance of relations.

The last blog post briefly touched on this when you worked through the high-performance team model.

The second step in that process—the who part—is all about relations.

Daniel H. Kim, the systems thinker, has illustrated this in an elegant way.

You then have a fundamental choice here which can go one of two ways: You can generate an upward spiral where we are continuously developing our relations and, as a result, performing better, or you can take the downward spiral where it all just gets worse.

It's a choice—a choice that's going to determine whether the team's going to be successful or not.

Ultimately, it’s going to determine whether you're successful in your role as a team leader.

For the first-time manager (FTM), this sometimes comes as a surprise. You may think, "I have a gazillion other things to do. Do I also have to think about that? I just want to get...

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The Something-For-Something System is at the Heart of the Uninspiring Workplace.

The something-for-something system is what happens in most organizations today.

Here is how it works: You come into work and give some of your time in return for a salary. If you work a bit harder, more, or better, you expect that you will also be rewarded for it—probably through some sort of bonus, overtime pay, or promotion, even.

If you don’t work hard or perform your job well, it is built into the system that you can expect some kind of "punishment."

The assumption is that you come to work because it is in your interest. You need the money so you can pay your rent, feed the kids, or play golf during the weekend. It’s a something-for-something kind of thinking which has thousands of years behind it. Technically, it is known as transactional leadership.

The Game We Play

If the employer and the employee, or probably in your case, the manager and the employee, have a relationship which basically is about something-for-something, then it easily becomes a...

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