Gary Winters

Coach  Workshop Facilitator Author

Five mistakes leaders are making right now

It’s tough out there. No doubt. The call for leadership has rarely been stronger. But leaders are like everyone else – we are affected by what’s happening to the economy like everyone else. We can be anxious, we can be overwhelmed, we can easily fall into pessimism.

It’s more important than ever for leaders to rise to the occasion and lead. We know that, and yet so many leaders in organizations are making one or more of the following critical mistakes:

1. We allow others to catch our dis-ease. Moods and attitudes are contagious, and when we are caught up in our own discomfort over what’s happening in the world today, we infect our teams.

2. We fall into paralysis. Sometimes, when lots of bad news comes our way, we simply roll up into a proverbial ball and play possum, hoping the storm will soon pass. Inaction is a mistake.

3.  We fall into denial. This isn’t really happening, it’s not that bad, it will be over soon. Denial is a short-sighted “strategy” – look what happened to the auto industry when it denied that people were beginning to want more fuel-efficient cars.

4. We bear down, doing the same things we’ve done before, but with more energy and determination than ever. Doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result is one definition of insanity. The times call for change, for new approaches, for new behavior.

5. We see ourselves (and/or our teams and departments) as victims. Much of what’s happening isn’t fair, and one short-sighted strategy to relieve our discomfort is to complain about how unfair it is. “My department got bigger budget cuts than yours.” “Mine is being asked to do more with fewer employees than yours.” Feels good (temporarily) to whine about it, but it’s not productive.

The times call for serious self-reflection and new commitments to leadership. If you’re down in the dumps, paralyzed, in denial, doing the same things you’ve always done (but with more determination) or see yourself as a victim, you can’t lead your team (much less yourself) through these challenging times.

You’ll only make it worse.

“What ELSE Your Boss Never Told You” is the sequel to the very popular “What Your Boss Never Told You.” Packed inside are more tips, techniques, and insights about the challenging, but rewarding leadership position.

“What ELSE Your Boss Never Told You” is written in a conversational tone, as though you and the author were enjoying a cup of coffee and talking about the issues that emerge for new leaders. It stands alone, and/or could be read before or after the first volume, “What Your Boss Never Told You.” You can start with any chapter and read in any order you like.

if you search for a book on management, you’ll find a staggering 600,000+ books currently available. How can you narrow that down? “What Your Boss Never Told You” is the best place to start.

No textbook here – this book is short and sweet. It’s designed to help you “unpack” your new job and be effective from the first day with your new team. It contains twenty-one chapters filled with the wisdom Winters has gathered from real managers – effective, successful leaders in organizations much like yours.

Leaders make decisions every day – big and small. Most know that if they include others in the decision-making process, the quality of those decisions – and the commitment to them – will likely improve. That said, they also know it’s impractical, if not impossible, to include others in every decision they confront.

“To Do or Not To Do” tackles the question of when to make decisions on your own, and when to involve your team. It gives you a deceptively simple but proven method to determine, when you are facing a difficult decision, how to decide how to decide.

Far too many meetings are dreadful, mind-numbing, energy-draining, productivity-sapping, colossal wastes of time. As someone once said, “To kill time, a meeting is the perfect weapon.”

Here’s the deal: if you’re willing to learn and apply the techniques in “So, How Was Your Meeting?”, you’ll call fewer meetings, while vastly improving the ones you do lead. They’ll take less time, have more balanced participation, produce better decisions, and result in concrete action items for follow-up afterwards.

While there are thousands of books written for people about to retire, this may be the only book for people who manage soon-to-retire employees. Written in a casual, conversational style, “Managing the Soon To Retire Employee” will give you everything you need to know to move forward with confidence and grace.

You can be successful with Sooners. It won’t happen by chance, and it’s not a matter of pulling some management “trick” out of your hat. But you can learn how to do it, and you can apply what you’ve learned right away.

Managing friends or former peers can be awkward. When you become the boss, everything about these relationships can suddenly be uncomfortable. There’s a new set of ground rules to establish – as manager, you are going be accountable for the work performance of friends or former co-workers on the team, and they are going to have to adjust to the fact that they now report to you. Everyone involved can feel awkward and hesitant about the future. 

Have you been approached by management with an offer to promote you to supervision? Or, are you mulling over the possibility for the future? Find yourself not sure whether to accept the promotion?

If so, you’ve come to the right place. Help! They Want to Make ME a Supervisor will help you sort out a very big question: Should you accept the offer to become a supervisor? Once you’ve read this book, you’ll be confident that you’ve made the best decision for you and for your organization.