Wiring for Leadership

graduatesAre #leaders born or made? Jack and Suzy Welch say some #leadershiptraits are "pretty hard-wired."

Yes, indeed, they are, but not before birth, says this child develoment expert. Surprised?

Leadership #softskills are hard wired from birth to seven, mostly by parents and child care teachers who have no idea that they're doing it. And if that doesn't worry you--and a lot--about your future workforce, then you may need a reality check outside your own bubble, my friend. 

All is not lost, though! If the early wiring work created some short-circuits, it's never too late to re-wire for leadership, using our own, adult intentions. Each of your #team members can change their own soft-skills wiring, starting now, with a little help. To begin, they need to understand a bit more about their original wiring. That's where I come in: my expertise is to understand how that probably went, and provide tools for re-wiring now.

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the the first three of the 7 Facets of Team Success. How many of these surfaces provide the glimmering lights of productivity in your teams?

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TRUST -- Team members need to know that they can depend on each other, count on others' follow-through and integrity. They must entrust each other with significant responsibility, when the consequences of failure will fall on the whole team. Effective team managers must be able to delegate, cooperate, and accept offers of assistance. These soft skills were wired into each team member before the age of one year. 

FACT: 80% or more of infant child care in America is of mediocre to poor quality. The majority is considered to be harmful to infant development.

Most infants in child care (and, frankly, a lot of those at home with parents) are being wired for Trust in ways that will make them unable to ask for help or accept offers of it, or to delegate effectively. In fact, this wiring can create adults who are suspicious of each others' motives, making it hard to even form the basic interpersonal bonds needed in teamwork. 

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INDEPENDENCE -- Effective teams have members who give and receive critical feedback. They hold the integrity of their decisions and values. Teams with Independence know what they need and want, to further their goals and projects. These soft skills have their wiring origins at around two years of age.

FACT: 80% or more of toddler child care in America is of mediocre to poor quality. UNMEASURED BUT LIKELY REALITY: Most parents think toddlers' behavior is "terrible" and employ discipline strategies that squash the healthy boundaries of Independence

Most toddlers are being wired for Independence in ways that will make them defensive in the face of criticism or "wishy-washy" about their decisions. They may not know what they need or want, or be able to operate consistently within stated values.

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FAITH -- Successful teams have passion and enthusiasm for their work; they are easy to inspire. They are creative, with a "can-do" attitude that is infectious. These soft skills are wired into us at the age of about three.

FACT: More than 60% of three-year-olds in America do not attend a preschool or pre-k program (2015).

Even when they do attend an early childhood program, many threes are being, albeit unwittingly, wired for Faith by their teachers and parents in patterns that lead to a negative attitude about life (e.g., "life stinks and then you die"). They lack creativity and, often, are just going through the motions but missing the point.

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Teams need internal integrity, openness to critical feedback, and the passion that generates innovative thinking. And teams are made up of individuals. In each team member, there is the ability to re-trace the process of wiring these soft skills, for the end purpose of building a constructive and productive work team. 

I'm here for you, when you're ready! These three Facets of Team Success, and four others like them, are ready to make your teams shine!

#teamwork #management #supervision #humanresource

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Last week's highly successful #tedxwyco talk in Kansas City was about how we get wired for Faith...or don't, at about three years of age. It included basic instructions for two re-wiring tools, as well! The video will be available on my YouTube channel in a few weeks. Meanwhile, here is the video of the "dry run" talk that I gave a few weeks ago, as part of my preparations for the TEDx stage. #dreambig and enjoy!

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Dr. L. Carol Scott.

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