vPsychology for Business

We are dedicated to bringing out the best in you and your employees

Volume 3, Number 7                                                                                                      April 5, 2002



Psychology for Business is a free e-mail newsletter written by Dr. Lynda Dahlke, Dr. John Weaver, and Dr. Paul Glass, business psychologists and independent consultants. It is published bi-weekly. You’ve received this newsletter because you’ve subscribed to it or it was forwarded to you by a friend or colleague. To subscribe sign up at our website, www.psychologyforbusiness.com.  If you wish to unsubscribe, please see the end of this e-mail for easy instructions

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Archives:  All of our previous newsletters are archived at www.psychologyforbusiness.com/eNewsletter.htm. NEW: Check out the series on The Vitamin C’s of an Emotionally Healthy Workplace, the series on Dealing with Difficult Employees and links to our Published Articles and our new series, Triple "A" Leadership.


A telephone conference class:  Is Coaching Right for You? will be hosted on Friday, April 19th at 1:00 PM (CDT).  In a recent study of executive coaching in an multinational organization, coaching yielded a 529% return on investment, not including many intangible benefits.  To sign up, see instructions at the end of today’s article.




by Dr. Lynda Dahlke, Business Psychologist and Independent Consultant



“Congratulations…you are our new CEO.” 

What a mixed blessing it is to be a leader.  On one hand, it is a reward for many years of hard work culminating in the opportunity to “call the shots.”  On the other hand, most individuals, if they are being honest, relay having moments of fear…no, terror, sitting at the desk where the ‘buck stops” so to speak. “Be careful what you wish for…” the old adage states, “you may just get it!”  Visions of all those times when you secretly, (or not so secretly), second guessed the boss’s or management’s decisions, believing they had missed the boat and made a ‘wrong’ decision and that the ‘right’ choice was so clear to you…ah, if only you could call the shots… 

Well, now you’ve got the chance–for better or for worse.  So, where should you start?  It is a fairly overwhelming endeavor.  I believe it is best to define your personal principles or touchstones to help guide your decisions and actions as a leader.  I have decided upon three that are useful in my work with organizations, but you could make a good case to use some others that suit your specific circumstance.


I have come up with three touchstones I believe are helpful reference points to enable effective leadership.  They include:




In this issue of the Psychology for Business newsletter, awareness will be the topic.  (Alignment and Accountability will be discussed in future issues. You will be able to locate the entire series as they are written by visiting our newsletter archives at www.psychologyforbusiness.com/eNewsletter.htm.)  

As a leader, the array of challenges and opportunities are vast, reminding me of the vastness of the ocean.  You are the “captain” of the ship—where are you taking it?  What is your destination and what are the appropriate steps to get there? 

Like leadership, the ocean can be a source of great pleasure and opportunity, however it can also present danger if one is not aware.  As a leader/captain, you need to be constantly aware of what is going on around you—for safety and survival, as well as for innovation.  You need to be informed of potential dangers, such as changes in the weather (business climate) and currents (economic influences). 


What is needed for your voyage?  Once you have considered the distance between ports, what supplies will you need to take along?… what personnel?… what materials are available?  How do you keep your ship at a “lean” weight to maintain adequate speed?  How do you provide low cost to the customer while maintaining good quality?  


Are there pirates likely to try and capture your ship?  Are there competitors out there who are moving in on your customers or copying your products and offering them for a lower price? 


How aware are you of your crew?  Is there going to be an uprising?   A mutiny?  If not, have you brought along the “right” crew?  Again, the ship cannot support too many people, so you need to take along those who are cross-functional and/or add significant value to warrant inclusion on the crew.  Have you provided your crew with the necessary equipment and training to optimize their performance?  Are you aware of their needs?  Does your crew honestly communicate their concerns and needs to you or do you “shoot the messenger”? 


OK—now how about you?  How aware are you of your own strengths and development needs?  Although potentially less dangerous, it is just as ineffective to be blind to your strengths as it is to be ignorant or unaware of your development needs.  What are you best at?  When do you need to ask for advice and whom can you ask?  When is it best for you to delegate?  What are you doing to assure continuous improvement in your role?  Is continuing education a good requirement for retaining your “captain’s license”?  In today’s world the weather and currents are changing too rapidly to neglect continuous improvement in your capabilities.  Crew loyalty is no longer guaranteed.  Mentoring your crew is important.  Gone are the days of figurehead captains—ones who are far removed from the actual organization.  In most organizations this just is not a justifiable cost.  If you are asking your crew to add value, are you consistently doing the same? 

Being a captain is lonely.  Sometimes there is no confidant to ask.  Sometimes you are criticized for doing things others do not understand.  (Remember when you knew all the answers?) 


What are you doing to develop trusted resources that help you hear yourself?  Many times (most of the time) you have the answers to your concerns, but sometimes the “noise” of the waves and the wind keep you from hearing your own voice.  Do you find ways of hearing yourself?  This takes time and sometimes courage.  At times the answer is not the one we want to hear.  Good captains listen to their “gut”.  It is really years of experience speaking to you through your subconscious mind.  Good captains have discussions and even arguments with their gut.


So get out your compass and plot your course.  Design your touchstones for leadership.  Awareness of yourself, your organization and your vision is a first step toward Triple “A” Leadership.  Is your organization more like the Titanic or the America’s Cup Champion?  What is your leadership legacy?     


About the Author

Lynda Dahlke, Ph.D. is a licensed psychologist and business consultant with over 20 years of practical experience working with individuals and groups from diverse backgrounds and levels of responsibility. She excels at delivering concise, actionable guidance and recommendations. Lynda specializes in pre-employment assessment, professional coaching, conflict management, assisting organizations to work with difficult individuals and personalities and organizational diagnostics/consulting.

Based in Waukesha, WI, Dr. Lynda Dahlke is available for consultation or coaching by phone, e-mail or in person. She may be reached at (262) 789-2728 (office), by e-mail at ldahlke@psychologyforbusiness.com  or:

Lynda Dahlke, Ph.D.
Psychology for Business
200 South Executive Drive, #101
Brookfield, WI 53005-4216

Have you ever considered hiring your own business coach to help you accomplish your goals? For a FREE ½ hour coaching consultation: call us at (262) 789-2728 or email us at success@psychologyforbusiness.com and find out if coaching could be right for you.


Announcing FREE one hour virtual classes by telephone conference call (you only pay for a long distance telephone charges, usually $4 to $6 per class):

Friday, April 19, 2002 at 1:00 PM Central Standard Time:

    In a recent study of coaches working with executives in a multinational
    company, the return on investment for coaching was 529%, not
    including many intangible benefits.

    Is your business struggling with teams who do not function properly?     
    Do you wonder if better leadership skills would improve the performance
    of your organization?  Are you looking for the "extra" that will give you
    the edge to succeed?  Join me for an hour of discussion to see if
    coaching would be helpful to you.

    To register: Send an email to jweaver@psychologyforbusiness.com
    with COACHING in the subject line. Please include
    your name, your organization and your email address. Upon
    registration you will receive the telephone conference number to
    call and instructions for how to connect.

Friday, May 17, 2002 at 10:00 AM Central Standard Time:

Friday, June 14, 2002 at 1:00 PM Central Standard Time:


Dr. John Weaver, has co-authored a new article with Dr. Nancy Brady-Freitag for Executive Update Magazine, titled: "Addictions in the Workplace." Addictive behaviors, whether abuse of drugs, alcohol, gambling, or even Internet usage, can severely impair work performance. Although association leaders may not want to acknowledge that any of their employees could be addicts, they are making a mistake to think they won’t run into such problems at some point. You can read the article online at: http://www.gwsae.org/executiveupdate/2002/April/addiction.htm

There is a companion article, "Are You an Internet Addict?" also online at: http://www.gwsae.org/executiveupdate/2002/April/ElectronicIssue/InternetAddict.htm.


To subscribe, visit our website at www.psychologyforbusiness.com.


If you would like to learn more about Dr. Lynda Dahlke, Dr. John Weaver, and Dr. Paul Glass please visit us at our website: www.psychologyforbusiness.com.


© Copyright 2001. All rights reserved. Lynda Dahlke. Distribution rights: The above material is copyrighted, but you may retransmit or distribute it to whomever you wish as long as not a single word is changed, added or deleted, including the contact information. If you would like to reprint part of this newsletter please contact me at success@psychologyforbusiness.com to make arrangements.
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