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Tag: Ashley Prisant

The Team Leader

The Team Leader

Ashley Prisant Lesko, President
Ashley Prisant Lesko, President

Dr. Ashley Prisant Lesko, SHRM-CP has a multi-faceted background – from working in the military as a Naval Officer to leadership roles in Fortune 100 companies, to educating students at colleges and universities. As a Surface Warfare Officer, she led hundreds of sailors and employees on ships around the world.

After receiving her MBA at MIT, she filled various senior leadership roles at Amazon, working in operations, HR and finance with over $45M in P&L, training programs, budgeting, and strategy across 4 fulfillment centers.

Her book, Go Beyond the Job Description, sheds light on ways for leaders and individuals who want to do more of what they enjoy doing in their current job. She now leads Square Peg Solutions, focused in operations strategy implementation for high growth companies & optimizing leaders’ impact on organizations. She teaches leadership, business and HR classes for Harvard Extension.

  • Name one thing most people don’t know about you.
    I have a passion for travel – I have been to over 45 countries, all 50 states, and all 7 continents. I believe the more you travel, the more you learn about yourself and those around you.

  • What is your greatest leadership trait?
    The ability to see the opportunity in others. Everyone has a potential – but it’s up to the individual to act on that potential. I help people recognize and act on that potential – and love seeing what they become when they cross those milestones! This is one of the inspirations of Leadership 9 Box – it helps leaders fill in the gaps of their skills (believe me, we all have them!)

  • What is your favorite leadership motto or quote?
    “Sometimes it’s the very people who no one imagines anything of who do the things no one can imagine” – Christopher Morcom – Going beyond what anyone ever expects is the hallmark of an inspirational leader

  • What are your strengths in Strength Finders?
    My top 5 strengths are: Learner, Achiever, Woo (winning others over), Positivity and Individualization … these strengths have helped inspire me in starting SPS.

  • What is your favorite food?
    If I could only have 1 ice cream for the rest of my life (and I really love ice cream!) it would be Rocky Road … doesn’t matter if it’s in a cup or cone!
Choose Your Comeback Plan – Book by Ashley Prisant

Choose Your Comeback Plan – Book by Ashley Prisant

Choose your Comeback Plan: Surefire methods to help reinvent your team or organization after a crisis, Book by Ashley Prisant, June 2 2020, Amazon
Choose your Comeback Plan: Surefire methods to help reinvent your team or organization after a crisis, Book by Ashley Prisant, June 2 2020, Amazon
Choose your Comeback Plan: Surefire methods to help reinvent your team or organization after a crisis, Book by Ashley Prisant, June 2 2020, Amazon
Choose your Comeback Plan: Surefire methods to help reinvent your team or organization after a crisis, Book by Ashley Prisant, June 2 2020, Amazon

Turn the crisis you are facing now into your team’s comeback plan.

Choose Your Comeback Plan offers managers and small business owners a unique approach to understanding and recovering from crisis.

Utilizing a step-by-step approach that applies a 5-piece pivot plan, leaders challenge themselves and their teams to transform their immediate crisis and harness momentum to push their business forward. By choosing their own path, readers can bring their team and organization back on track – faster than competitors.

Choose Your Comeback Plan is a business adventure book – readers will follow their own story and choose their own path. Readers can follow the path they would typically take given the situation at hand or try something new to develop a different perspective – without risking anything. Each story reveals a different outcome and allows readers to choose the ending that works best for them.

The second half of the book is filled with content to help the reader determine how to devise their own winning comeback plan. A hands-on guide with specific strategies, tactics and questions helps leaders determine how to pivot their organization and become an even better, stronger team than they were before the crisis.

Nightmare Teams: Four ways to prevent your department from being the next Game of Thrones

Nightmare Teams: Four ways to prevent your department from being the next Game of Thrones

In a discussion with my leadership class this semester, a topic of “Nightmare Teams” emerged, and faster than a Targaryen dragon looking for his next meal, a list of terrible team members emerged:

How many of these have you seen on your team? By identifying these characters on your team, you can start to understand the best methods for bringing them back in the direction you’ve set:

  • Egotist – Arrogant – believes he/she is the smartest person in the group and is open with that opinion, closed to other perspectives – disrespectful
  • Polarizer – actions or behaviors create factions or divisions among team members – social destructor
  • Soloist – constantly jockeying for center stage, self-centered – takes full credit for team success but no responsibility for failure, displays a ‘better alone than together’ attitude
  • Pyromaniac – starts fires (problems) so that he/she can put them out (solve)
  • Saboteur – disingenuous, disloyal, untrustworthy – disrupter who works against the team’s success
  • Free-rider – team hitchhiker, not here to contribute, just along for the ride
  • Undertaker – gets results but leaves behind lots of collateral damage in the process
  • Ostrich – low tolerance to stress or ambiguity – buries head in the sand at the first sign of trouble (propensity to duck and run)
  • Distractor – personified speedbump – chronically disrupts progress with unfounded or pointless sidetracks – counterproductive obstacle (roadblock)
  • Catfish – morally or ethically compromised – actions reflect/discredits the integrity of the whole team

What happens if you experience multiples of these – at the same time. Here are 4 specific actions to attack your nightmare dragons now:

  1. Communication – this is the #1 reason, time and again, that people turn into a version of Cersei, or your own nightmare. How well do you know your own communication style? How well do you know others? Do they match?
  2. Delegation – is there a chance that your employees don’t have enough to do – or don’t feel they have the recognition they deserve? How well are you able to give them the things they need to feel empowered & part of the group?
  3. Conflict – will happen. Actually – conflict is good – it means that you’re challenging yourself, and the status quo. However, with your team members, and left unchecked, it can become worse than a night with the Night King, and a place you wish you had another place to run. What is your primary conflict style? How do you best manage the situation? Find out here.
  4. Motivation – The root of every person. It’s why we do what we do – and it can go well beyond Maslow’s pyramid. Do you know what motivates your team – or on the flipside – what doesn’t motivate them? How do you harness their motivation to move in the same direction – instead of the opposite?

Note: Special thanks to @Arnold Kaluza & @Rob Saunders who created the original discussion on this topics!! If you want to join us in future projects, please Like and send a PM.

Want more? Learn how to slay all these dragons with Leadership 9 Box skills within 1 month

Born or made: Three areas of leadership you don’t have

Born or made: Three areas of leadership you don’t have

Summary: Learn 3 areas of leadership that you are probably not aware of and should improve

Where are you challenged, personally, as a leader? Do you (accurately) know the areas that you can improve on as a leader?

Good leaders recognize there is always room for improvement, and learning skills is a key part. They know they are not infallible and should continue learning to improve their breadth of experiences. To admit you are still learning is not a fault – it’s a desirable trait that strong, confident leaders such as Bill Gates and many other CEO’s admit freely.

So… if we all agree that we should learn as leaders – how do you do it?

In school? Perhaps … but at best, you can only be taught leadership – you can’t learn or absorb it that way. You have to experience it. There’s no feedback loop – until you practice it.

In OJT – on the job training? Yes – this can be done – if you have the time, and the other individual training you have the experience to develop those skills you need.

In online training? If you don’t have time, this is the fastest and most flexible track to boost only the leadership skills you need to improve on the job. This is a short circuit way to download information quickly.

Or do you? Do you know what areas your leadership abilities are the strongest – or they areas that need work? How do you know you really know it?

Henry Mintzberg developed 3 areas of leadership that many people overlook:

  • Administrative – the ability to lead through management of tasks and duties
  • Interpersonal – the ability to lead through interacting with others
  • Conceptual – the ability to lead through vision and insight
Managerial Roles: Interpersonal, Decisional, Informational. Ashley Prisant
Managerial Roles: Interpersonal, Decisional, Informational. Ashley Prisant

In general, many leaders overlook their skills in these areas because they see their skills as a whole – or believe that leaders are made – and you’re built with the skills you have. Or.. they feel they have been “trained” without demonstrating their abilities. Perhaps it’s to themselves as leaders or others, and they falsely believe they have leadership skills they don’t. They end up falling grossly short – resulting in missed goals, missed opportunities, and failing employees.

Ok… so this is great in theory (literally) – but how do you practice? How do you – or your managers – know – you understand these concepts?

  • Developing your skills is an ongoing process. You can do it on your own time – but the importance is getting it done. Leadership 9 Box helps develop your skills AND give you the feedback in the most important leadership skills – such as conflict management, motivation, innovation, communication and delegation. You get immediate feedback and are guaranteed to improve your skills because you build on the experiences you have, with the knowledge you build.
  • Get a mentor – or 2. Reach out and get feedback on the skills you need to develop – and listen. Feedback is the best form of flattery. Good leaders value feedback as a way to learn and improve – both themselves and their team.
  • This week – aim to get feedback from 3 different sources about a specific leadership skill (such as communication, delegation or conflict) and reflect on their differences or similarities. How can you build on what you’ve learned?

Get exclusive pre-release access to our upcoming Leadership 9 Box online leadership and training – create your FREE account in the next week and get 3 free leadership assessments and access to 3 courses, activities & discussions with Leadership SME’s (subject matter experts)

Published on LinkedIn

Ashley Prisant Speaking Engagements

Ashley Prisant Speaking Engagements

June 5-8, 2019
2019 Management & Organizational Behaviour Teaching Society MOBTS, Mahwah, New Jersey

Topic: Leadership Lessons: Real-time feedback loops

April 28-30, 2019
2019 BMI Management Conference, Charlotte, NC
Managing Change through Automation & Motivation – Dr. Ashley Lesko, SPHR, Square Peg Solutions

Overview: Automation is coming to change the industry as we know it. It is up to the leaders to understand how the changes that automation will bring will impact the employees involved so that the organization, leaders and employees of the businesses can survive… and thrive.
In this session, you will learn:

  • High level Change Management – interventions at 3 levels (changes for individuals, teams and organization
  • The impact of Change Management – How to mitigate problems caused by poor change management
  • Ideas on implementing automation in your area – with minimal impact or even appreciation by your employees
  • Motivation techniques – a look at 9 “career anchors” to help leaders understand their employees to get them to accomplish the mission