Alloy Solutions Leadership Blog

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Resources for Leaders During Uncertain Times

Former U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt said, "A smooth sea never made a skilled sailor." After the last few weeks, I suspect we're all starting to feel like Ferdinand Magellan, the Portugese explorer who sailed all the way around the globe in 1519. Perhaps some days you feel more like the famous castaway Robinson Crusoe.

Whether you're feeling like an accomplished mariner or still finding your sea legs, rest easy knowing that you are facing down the same challenges as millions of other leaders around the world. That's really overwhelming, isn't it? Millions of leaders, all trying to solve the same set of problems. I have good news for you: millions of leaders are all trying to solve the same set of problems.

The global scale of our circumstances means that there are global truths in our circumstances. We're all stressed. We're all uncertain. We're all adjusting to new routines. Once again, the good news: when we all face similar problems, we can all...

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5 Tips to Get the Most from a Coaching Relationship

5 Tips to Get the Most from a Coaching Relationship, by Ryan Hansen

This week, Jamie and I had the chance to spend a day with one of our mentors in this industry. It was a blessing to spend this focused time with such a valuable resource, and as the hours flew by we lobbed question after question at him to take full advantage of the opportunity. We came prepared - in fact, we had already spent a few hours meticulously crafting a list of questions to make sure we wouldn't waste a moment. The next day, a thought crossed my mind. "What if I put the same effort and preparation into maximizing all of my coaching relationships?"

If you haven't already read Jamie's piece on the benefits of a coach, make sure to check it out right here. If you've read the piece, you are long past the misconception that professional coaching is some sort of punishment or a "finishing school" for underwhelming employees. For the growth-oriented leader, coaching is a means to...

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Making Feedback a Priority

Making Feedback a Priority, by Ryan Hansen

How many times have you heard a colleague lead a conversation with, "Can I give you some feedback?" Has that phrase ever preceded a long string of generous compliments? Of course not. "Can I give you some feedback?" has become an acceptable stand-in for, "Can I give you some criticism?" So it's no wonder that many of us equate feedback with criticism and recoil at the thought of unsolicited "feedback."

The inconvenient reality is that feedback - done correctly - is the source of growth, for both leaders and contributors. Feedback gives us guidelines to help us direct our efforts and gauge our own performance. Good leaders should crave feedback and build it into their team's culture.

To make your feedback effective, keep these tips in mind:

  1. Focus on Behaviors, and Be Specific. Don't let feedback become a commentary on anyone's character. People can change their behaviors long before their personalities. Positively affirm...
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Mentorship - The Law of Modeling

Mentorship - The Law of Modeling, by Cindy Wofford Braun

Have you ever stopped to think about how many people are influenced by your actions? As a business professional, I like to reflect on interactions I had throughout the day. I often look back and smile at the good behaviors and shudder at the memory of behaviors that I don't want to repeat. This can be an uncomfortable exercise, but I know there are two reasons to keep going: 1) I value personal growth, and 2) I am a mentor to young leaders, and they are modeling their behavior after mine. 

John Maxwell included the Law of Modeling in his book, The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth. In this law, Maxwell stresses the importance of finding role models to emulate. This is more than just reading the books by great leaders, it means we need to identify people in our lives who we can see and hear and look to as an example. Maxwell says, "The most important phrase you will ever hear a good leader say is: 'Follow me.'"

...

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Growing Your Potential with an Executive Coach

Growing Your Potential with an Executive Coach, by Jamie Hansen

When I talk to my clients about executive coaching, some of them look at me like I'm speaking Greek. "I don't need a coach," they say. "There's nothing wrong with my performance." To them, executive coaches are fixers, called in to deal with challenging or stagnant employees. It's an outdated attitude that has all but disappeared from today’s corporate culture.

The truth is, coaching is one of the most proactive gifts you can give yourself or a developing employee. Consider it in another context - you wouldn't hire a coach for your son or daughter because they were struggling to shoot a basketball, you hire the coach because you want to develop their natural talent. The executive coaching business has grown rapidly in recent years, and the market now exceeds $1 billion in the US alone.

An executive coach can help you cultivate your own talent by challenging you to grow and offering tools to get...

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