Episode #132 – Leadership Myths Debunked!

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In this episode we interview Paul Mastrangelo, Owner & President of First Domino Consulting. Paul shares his reflections on the “great social experiment” of the past two years.  He points out that having to manage the COVID crisis forced innovation and  consideration of the feelings and reactions of employees. Search for quick fixes failed. He also debunks three leadership myths: people dislike change, employees leave bosses they don’t like, and creativity is greater when in-person. 

Paul shares practical strategies for involving employees in decision-making and fostering collaboration, both in-person and virtually. He emphasizes the importance of creating a positive work culture to retain good employees. This episode provides valuable insights and actionable tips for leaders navigating the challenges of remote and hybrid work as we Team Anywhere.

What Paul Learned Over the Past 2 Years

Paul Mastrangelo reflects on the past two years of the pandemic as a social experiment that forced innovation. He notes that old lessons have resurfaced, such as necessity being the mother of innovation. Companies that adapted survived, while employees who were not engaged or supported ended up quitting. Mastrangelo encourages leaders to pay attention to employee feelings and reactions, reject bad knowledge, and  relax and reflect on what they know about their workforce.

Myth #1 – The Traditional Change Curve

Paul Mastrangelo discusses the myth of the accepted “change curve” that suggests employees resist change and follow a curve of denial, anger, depression, bargaining, and acceptance. He explains that this is not true; rather, people tend to embrace change when it is not forced upon them and they are allowed to take part in the development and implementation of change. Leaders can foster a more positive change curve when they involve employees in decision-making, seek feedback and input, and encourage empowerment. Paul explains that this approach may be slower in the beginning, but it will enable leaders to move much quicker in the long run. He also suggests using a peer-nominated approach to select representatives who can work together to solve problems.

Myth #2 – People Leave Their Bosses Not Their Companies

According to Paul Mastrangelo, the idea that people leave their bosses, not their companies, is a myth. He argues that people leave companies and leave senior leaders more than they leave their supervisors. The top drivers of engagement are growth and development, confidence in senior leaders and their future. The only time when supervisors are a predictor of turnover is among the lowest performing employees. Instead, it is the company’s mission and work environment that employees value. Creating a positive work culture is essential to retaining good employees. It is a tough task, demanding intentional attention and tools in a hybrid and virtual environment.

Myth #3 – Better Creativity In-Person 

Paul Mastrangelo discusses the topic of creativity and collaboration in the workplace. Disney’s statement that there is not as much creativity if people are not in the office is a myth. There are certain ways to create creativity in the office and certain ways to have creativity in virtual. Individual brainstorming followed by group collaboration is more effective than jumping immediately into group brainstorming. The tools that emerged during the pandemic, such as anonymous idea sharing and virtual brainstorming, have made collaboration and creativity more accessible. In terms of collaboration among teams, having a representative from each team connect is one way to foster collaboration. It is essential to crack the nut of collaboration and recognize that physical proximity does not necessarily determine effective collaboration.

Who is Paul Mastrangelo?

He specializes in the assessment and transformation of workplace culture, employee engagement, and organizational behavior using people analytics. Paul is launching the Infectious Change Designer program (an innovative combination of leadership development, consultation, and change coaching) on May 15-16 in Newport, RI. Learn more at FirstDominoConsulting.com.

How to Create A High-Performance Remote Team:

Improve Remote Teamwork:

How To Excel as a Remote Team Member

Improve Remote Leadership Skills:

How to Be an Effective Remote Manager

How to Build Virtual Accountability

Leadership Myths Debunked Quotes

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