In her latest how-to for business executives, Bence (Leading YOU, 2016, etc.) proposes a people-oriented approach for leadership.
Forget all those stereotypes of the gray-haired executive who barks orders while underlings scurry about. An effective leader, writes Bence, actively listens—and even asks lower-level team members for constructive criticism. With more than 20 years in the executive world, Bence, an entrepreneur and executive coach, has seen a lot of negative leadership, such as bosses who look at email when an employee is speaking. In this easy-to-read guide, she advises how to eliminate 15 bad senior-level behaviors—like not listening—to become a successful manager. Business has evolved, and interpersonal “soft skills,” like knowing how to give genuine praise, are in demand. Her leadership philosophy hinges on what she describes as the relationship-oriented Generation Y: “More than any other generation, Gen Y wants to be heard and be part of creating solutions to problems. So, above-the-threshold leaders recognize the need to listen to younger team members in order to retain and keep top talent.” While some may consider a feelings-based approach too soft for the money world, Bence’s advice is quite practical. For example, instead of asking employees questions with simple yes-or-no answers, she recommends questions beginning with words like “how” to foster leadership skills (a deeper thinking, proactive team can save time and money). Replete with animated anecdotes from herself and others, Bence’s clear writing is delightfully light on industry jargon. A self-described “brand passionista,” her enthusiastic optimism serves the message, and hands-on quizzes are helpful tools for self-reflection. Not necessarily groundbreaking (some of the advice, like repeating what another person says during a conversation, is familiar), but it is beneficial.
A concrete business guide that emphasizes relationship building.