4 Leadership Behaviors to Avoid

By Derek Gaunt | May 02, 2022

The Black Swan Group often talks about what you can do to become a more effective leader. But if your goal is reaching your full potential as a leader, learning leadership behaviors to avoid is equally important.

Keep reading to learn more about four leadership behaviors to avoid—and what you can do instead to unlock that full potential.

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4 Characteristics Women with Good Leadership Skills Should Embrace

By Sandy Hein | January 10, 2022

When it comes down to it, leadership is leadership, and all leaders should approach it the same way. And yet, women can have a difficult time as leaders, particularly when supervising a group of men.

Keep reading to learn about four characteristics that women with good leadership skills exhibit so you can add them to your arsenal and enjoy better business outcomes.

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Negotiation Tactics and Leadership: Why the Two Work Together

By Derek Gaunt | November 15, 2021

Leaders are charged with promoting their organization’s mission and getting people to produce. To influence your direct reports to do what you want without a begrudging attitude, it’s essential to employ hostage negotiation tactics and principles every day.

In the world of hostage negotiation, your goal is to influence hostage-takers to surrender. But you don’t just start the conversation by telling them to give it up. Instead, you approach the surrender in a subordinate manner, ensuring you are not viewed as a threat.  Making a concentrated effort so that the hostage-taker knows you see things from their perspective. Only at that point can you begin to accomplish your objective.

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How to Demonstrate Leadership in a New Role

By Derek Gaunt | September 27, 2021

When they start new roles, some leaders feel tempted to institute changes right away to make an immediate impact.

Unless it’s an emergency, there is no need for it.

This mindset is born from insecurity. All too often, new leaders enter the mix and are worried about how people view them, causing them to try and make their mark on a new role. They are trying to impress, saying to both superiors and subordinates: Look at me.

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5 Ways to Avoid Leadership Failure

By Derek Gaunt | September 20, 2021

Whereas the best leaders can help their teams unlock their full potential, those who fail at leadership doom their teams to suboptimal results, toxic cultures, and overall unpleasantness.

Keep these tips in mind to avoid leadership failure and create an environment that optimizes your team’s productivity.

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5 Steps to Assess Your Leadership Skills

By Derek Gaunt | January 18, 2021

Many leaders get to the top, think they’ve made it, and stop trying to improve.

The best leaders, on the other hand, understand that leadership is always a work in progress and that they can always sharpen their skills. They understand that toxic leaders are the No. 1 reason people leave their jobs, so they work hard to constantly get better and get their team to trust them more and more.

If your goal is to keep your employees engaged and build a tight-knit team that would go to the ends of the earth for you, cycle through these five steps regularly to keep your eyes on the prize.

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Communication Skills: How to Deliver Bad News

By Derek Gaunt | January 11, 2021

In an ideal world, everything would be rosy, and you’d never have to deliver bad news to your direct reports. But there comes a time when every leader needs to give negative feedback or share news the team doesn’t want to hear. The way you approach these delicate conversations will make all the difference in the world.

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Communication Skills: How Leaders Can Regain Trust

By Derek Gaunt | December 28, 2020

Even though you’re a leader, you’re still a human being—which means that from time to time, you’re going to make mistakes. That’s just the way it is.

Now, making a mistake isn’t the end of the world—even for leaders. But because of their egos, many leaders fail to admit they’ve made any mistakes at all. They’re afraid of looking weak or being viewed as fallible. For some people, an apology is akin to an admission of incompetence.

When leaders don’t accept responsibility for their own individual shortcomings as well as when the team doesn’t perform the way it’s supposed to, relationships with those around them are damaged. 

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Leadership Training: How to Confront a Fellow Leader

By Derek Gaunt | November 23, 2020

Maybe you keep hearing grumblings about how a leader at the company is demoralizing their direct reports. Maybe you keep hearing about a manager who is quick to take credit for team successes—and even quicker to assign blame when things don’t work out well.

Whatever the case, there will be times when you need to deliver bad news to another leader at your organization. When this happens, there are almost no changes in the approach you’d take if you were delivering the same news to a direct report.

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Infographic: 7 Characteristics of Effective Leadership

By Derek Gaunt | September 22, 2020

Most of us have either been there ourselves or have heard someone else say some form of the following: “The job was great, but I couldn’t work for my boss anymore so I decided to look for something new.”

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