Your Career Retainer is a monthly career column written for Drexel alumni by Chris Bilotta '77, '84. Chris is co-owner of the Resource Development Company, Inc., is a Certified Public Accountant, and is recognized as a Certified Professional Résumé Writer.
Alumni are encouraged to send comments, questions or suggestions for future column topics to email@example.com.
Most of us have had to endure the painful experience of working with someone who thinks they know-it-all. While it's easy to spot this arrogance in others, we're usually blind to our own similar tendencies.
In a recent "strategy + business" blog post by Susan Cramm, leadership coach and author, she cites David Rock's book, "Quiet Leadership," where he explains that leaders can best improve their teams' performance by encouraging better thinking, not by handing out advice.
According to Rock, "A quiet leader gives less advice than almost anyone else on the planet" because they realize that advice is usually:
Autobiographical: it's based on the needs and experiences of the giver, not the recipient.
Misdirected: it's focused on the wrong problem.
Rejected: it's virtually impossible to get people to act solely by giving them advice.
Quiet leaders focus on helping others find insights. Rather than solving the problem for them, they help them improve how they are thinking about the problem.
Like any habit, breaking out of the advice trap is hard work. But it can pay off by focusing on several key objectives.
Eliminate "why" from your vocabulary, because it focuses on the past rather than the future and puts people on the defensive.
Embrace the fundamental delegation principle that while you have the final vote on what needs to be done, your team has the final say over how to get it done.
Be mindful of the number of times your conversations focus on exploring solutions rather than dissecting problems.
Replace declarative statements such as "you should" or "I think" with open-ended questions.
Encourage progress without striving for perfection.
Quiet leaders are very suspicious of questions. They understand that hiding behind the questions are problem solvers waiting to be developed and that, by remaining relatively quiet, in time, people will stop coming to them for answers and learn to think on their own.
Christopher Bilotta '77, '84, has extensive experience in talent acquisition and management, recruiting, human resources, finance, accounting and systems. His specific expertise lies in providing customized retained search services to corporate clients and career management, coaching and job search assistance to individuals. Chris is a sought after advisor and mentor dedicated to building high performance organizations and helping people realize their professional goals.
He joined Resource Development Company, Inc. (RDC), a privately held Human Resource consulting firm in 1994 and became a co-owner in 2001. He directed and managed the firm’s retained search practice and helped establish the company as one of the top 20 recruiting firms in the Philadelphia area as ranked by the Philadelphia Business Journal Book of Lists.
Chris’ educational background includes a BS in Business Administration with a major in Accounting and MBA from Drexel University. He is licensed as a Certified Public Accountant and recognized as a Certified Professional Résumé Writer.
He has also been a member of Drexel’s LeBow College of Business MBA Career Services Advisory Council since its inception in 2004 and was named the Chair in 2006. In addition, Chris serves on the Board of Trustees for Saint Basil Academy, a Philadelphia area private high school and is a member on the Board of Advisors for two early-stage companies involved in college athletic recruiting and Web site development.
For more of Chris' columns on leadership and management, visit www.rdcinc.com/RDCRetainer.asp. For his columns on job searching, online branding and other topics, visit www.jobmetrx.com/blog/blog.asp.
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Why Top Talent Leaves
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The Wise Leader
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