Building Businesses and People to be the best they can be!

In theory, hiring should be simple, and many managers perform the same routine: they write a job description, put an ad in the newspaper or online, wait for the résumés to arrive, and then hire the person they like the best. It all sounds so simple. However, there’s a lot more to the process than just “picking the best.” How will you know if a candidate is likely to get on with the rest of the team, or with your organization’s culture? What if a candidate doesn’t accurately describe their skills, and so, in reality, is incapable of doing the job? And how can you make sure that the best people apply for a position? These are all valid questions that seem to have a very elusive answer.  The truth is, a few hiring mistakes can be avoided with a little preparation and a tool called, Extended DISC. This tool has an assessment that will allow a Leader and his Team to indicate what are the major attributes of the job in question. Then you have applicants fill out a few pre-interview questions along with their resume,  that will help narrow down the field. Once you have your top 5 candidates, you have them take the Extended DISC to help determine the right fit for your organization.

It is ever increasingly important in today’s society that hiring mistakes be minimized. These mistakes waste time, money, and they can really hold a team back. This is why learning how to hire effectively is such a smart move for Leaders. There are a number of  reasons why it’s worth the extra time and effort to hire effectively. For example:

  • The right people in the right roles will be more productive – They’ll also be less likely to leave the organization. High staff turnover is a serious problem for any Organization.
  • A poor hiring decision may cause stress and conflict within your team – If your new recruit has personality issues or isn’t a “team player,” this may lower productivity for everyone. Be proactive and take time to do the Extended DISC process to save yourself this headache.
  • You’ll save time and resources – Frankly put, a Leader today cannot afford to lose any more money from the bottom line then absolutely necessary.
Take time to do it right the first time. Sure, mistakes can happen to even the most cautious of hiring Leaders. However, many mistakes can be avoided if go the extra mile to get it right the first time!
Until next time, hire right the first time!!
Rod
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Push or Pull

Today I had the opportunity to witness something, that not only have I done, but Leaders have done for years on end. Have you ever gone up to a pull to open door and pushed on it? Perhaps you approached a push to open door and pulled on it. Either way, the result was definitely not what you had planned as you came up to that door. The comical thing is when the person does it again as if to say, “If I do it harder this time, it surely will work!” Once I tried the door four times before stopping to see what was wrong and corrected my method!

The reason people do this is because we often move through life in a very assumptive mode. Working on a form of auto-pilot not really paying attention to what we are doing until the “door” does not do as we thought it should. Leaders often fall into the push/pull syndrome when they fail to take time to pay attention to the ever-changing environment around them and to the people who make up their Team. Too many times Leaders are so determined to push when they need to pull, or pull when they needed to push, that they strongly move forward convinced that their way is correct and if they just put a little more effort into it, it surely will work. Then to top off the ill-fated effort, when the mistake is brought to light, they frequently do not accept responsibility for the incorrect move, shift blame to the “door” or worse yet, simply ignore it and their credibility goes into a downward spiral.

Even though the push/pull syndrome happens daily across our great business world, there is a remedy. First, the Leader needs to take time to properly plan their moves and be aware of the people and happenings around them on a daily basis. Review at the beginning of the day the events of the previous day and the challenges of the day ahead. Then plan for success in that days activities. Second, once you have a plan and are prepared for what you know the day will bring, work the plan, but be flexible as the situations may call for last-minute changes. Third and finally, once you work the plan, review either your success or identify your area for growth in the plan. Then make the changes in your future plans when confronting similar issues in the future.

We all make mistakes and often we are slow to recognize when we are working in the wrong methods.  If you fall victim to the push/pull syndrome, don’t be too hard on yourself if it is just an occasional happening. The key is to identify it early, change it quickly, plan and then adjust the course as needed for the future.

Until next time, watch out for that door!

Rod

Adaptability- A Must

An old Chinese proverb says that the wise adapt themselves to circumstances, as water molds itself to the pitcher. Now, like no other time in recent history has adaptability been more important to a Leader’s success. Adaptability – the ability to change (or be changed) to fit new circumstances, surroundings and people mixes – is a crucial skill for leaders, and an important competency in emotional intelligence.

A 2008 study conducted by the Economist Intelligent Unit, entitledGrowing Global Executive Talent, showed that the top three leadership qualities that will be important over the next five years include: the ability to motivate staff (35%); the ability to work well across cultures (34%); and the ability to facilitate change (32%). The least important were technical expertise (11%) and “bringing in the numbers” (10%). This is one of the reasons why this blog touts relationships and motivation for the growth of a Leader! This willingness to get out of one’s comfort zone, and learn continuously as a way of adapting to changes, marks a key difference between successful and unsuccessful leaders.

Here are a few tips for developing adaptability.

  • If you catch yourself shooting an idea down, take a moment to consider what mental scripts you might have developed, which are influencing your thoughts. Mental scripts are ways you have been patterned to think over the years through experiences and life, whether voluntary or involuntary.  They are so automatic that you have to be intentional to change them and improve your leadership.
  • Do you habitually insist on going “by the book”? Is this actually necessary for every issue? You can have a great effect on your Team’s productivity if you paid more attention to the effect that this might have on the people involved. What would happen if you applied creativity to standard procedures?
  • Consider that when we push the envelope, when we intentionally put ourselves in situations that are outside our comfort zone, we grow. Are you trading on old knowledge? Do you need to update your skills? Are you relying too much on your title as the sign of authority? In today’s working environment, surrounded by highly intelligent and specialized knowledge workers, this no longer works. We can adapt by continually evolving and reinventing ourselves.
  • When we are in a position for a length of time, we may tend to become accustomed to the status quo and fail to challenge the process in order to continue to grow and improve.Here is a question to ask yourself:  “If you left tomorrow, what would your successor do to improve things?”  Now consider making these changes yourself, today!

Until next time, free yourself to accept and lose the potential of your Team!

Rod

You Can Read Along

In today’s blog I find myself writing to myself, but you can read along with me and see if you find something to help you as you travel along your journey.

What has become of all I dreamed of doing? I have  achieved some of the dreams I had when I was younger, but not nearly all.  Now, is it worth it to continue dreaming and think that others will come true??

Indeed! I must dream on! Without dreams, passions, or desires, my life will be dim in color, less exciting, and less interesting. Although life would rather push me down and try to discourage me, I must dream on!

Even though we all have unfulfilled dreams, desires and goals within us, should we allow those unfulfilled dreams to stop us from continuing to dream ? No!

Some dare to dream and make those dreams happen. We call them, Leaders.  Others leave those dreams behind, choosing instead to ignore what could be within their reach – and they often become frustrated or give up, thinking “If only…” or “What if…” Worse yet, they spend life constantly looking at what is not “fair” that is happening to them. Leaders recognize that things will not always go their way, in fact, they seldom do; but Leaders dream on!

There’s a wonderful little book called “Jonathan Livingston Seagull,” an allegorical story about a seagull who dares to dream of a better life – and then does everything he can to make it happen. The author, Richard Bach, says, “You are never given a dream without also being given the power to make it true. You may have to work for it however.” Leaders recognize this and learn to work smarter, not necessarily harder. They empower their Team and enable greatness to rise out of great synergy. Thus they forge ahead to their dreams. and the organization’s dreams.

How could my life and my Leadership be better today, if I would believe and adopt the above statement ? If I were prepared today to take action and make my dreams a reality, what would that give me? What would it give to those around me?

Ponder this with me and until next time, DREAM ON and DON’T GIVE UP!

Rod

How would you like to skyrocket yourself and your Team in the following areas: Approachability, Trust, Business knowledge, Accountability, Morale, Productivity?

You can, by becoming an HP Leader!  William Hewlett and David Packard, founders of Hewlett Packard (HP), famously used a particular approach Leading their company. Tom Peters, in his wildly successful 1982 book “In Search of Excellence,” included lessons learned from HP and other companies that used a similar style of Leadership – and the term MBWA immediately became popular. What is MBWA you ask? Managing By Wandering Around, a key to relationship, Team building and overall Leadership in the world today! To get connected and stay connected, you need to walk around and talk to your team, work alongside them, ask questions, and be there to help when needed.

Here’s how it can make changes in the above listed areas:

  • Approachability – When your staff sees you as a person and not just a boss, they’ll be more likely to tell you what’s going on.
  • Trust – As your team gets to know you better, they’ll trust you more. You’ll be naturally inclined to share more information, and that will break down barriers to communication.
  • Business knowledge – Getting out and learning what’s happening on a daily basis can give you a better understanding of the functions and processes around you.
  • Accountability – When you interact daily with your team, agreements you make with each other are much more likely to be completed. Everyone is more motivated to follow through, because you’re seeing each other on a regular basis.
  • Morale – People often feel better about their jobs and their organization when they have opportunities to be heard. MBWA makes those opportunities available.
  • Productivity – Many creative ideas come from casual exchanges. MBWA promotes casual discussions, so people will more likely feel free to come to you with their ideas.

Despite its obvious benefits, use of MBWA has been hit-and-miss. To be successful, it takes more than simply strolling through your office, warehouse, or production facility. MBWA isn’t a “walk in the park”: It’s a determined and genuine effort to understand your staff, what they do, and what you can do to make their work more effective. Don’t just do MBWA because you feel it’s an obligation – this probably won’t work very well. You have to truly want to get to know your staff and operations, and you have to commit to following up concerns and seeking continuous improvement.

Remember, Leadership is about Relationships! So get out there and start wandering around!

I Will Follow You

In Leadership blogs, seminars, books, videos and etc. you can find many tips and methods on how to make yourself a great Leader. As a matter of fact, there are so many techniques out there, it is hard at times to know what to do, or where to start! Even on this blog you have a plethora of tips and tricks to be effective in your given Leadership role, however, with that said I ask you for a moment to step back and let’s look at probably the single most important tip a Leader can have: Be the Leader that your Team WANTS to follow, not HAS to follow!

Now the question is, “How do I become that Leader?” I am sure that many people will have various ways for that to happen, but what I am talking about is not the methods in which you get things done, not the way in which you talk to people, not the way you dress nor is it the people you spend time with at work. While what I am referring to will have a direct effect on those things, it is deeper than all of those. What I am referring to is something that has caused people problems in relationships since the dawn of time, SELF.

So many times Leaders are so wrapped up in themselves, (i.e. what they want, what they think, how they think things should be, etc.), that they never take time to consider others and their thoughts, ideas, wants and wishes. The Leader that people WANT to follow is the Leader that takes the time to care about them, their success, their contribution to the overall success of the organization and values them as a person, not just a worker.

Over my years of Coaching I have seen SELF get in the way of so many Leaders and organizations finding effectiveness and lasting success. Too often the Leader just steamrolls on through the day giving directives, assigning duties and barely touching the true inner parts of the individual Team Members. These Leaders say they care, (sometimes), but that they just don’t have time in a day to be diverted from the tasks at hand. They tell me that it is easier to just assign the duties, do what they know has to be done and move on. Well, maybe that’s true, but is it effective? NO! Generally the work environments that surround these types of Leaders are filled with resentment, high turnover rates, lower than average production and Team Members that can’t wait to go home!

As a Leader, true success on an individual basis is seen when those you lead actually WANT to follow you. They don’t just do it because of your title, or position in the company they do it because the trust you and feel you value them and their efforts. If you wish to learn more about how to become this type of Leader, feel free to contact me and I will be glad to assist you in that process.

Now with all of this said, (and I could go all day on this subject), let me ask you this series of questions:

Why are the people you lead following you? Is it because they have to, or because they WANT to?

If you are struggling as a Leader, does your Team feel like you are too self-involved?

If someone were to take an anonymous poll of your direct Team, would they say they believe you actually care about them as individuals? What do you need to change to fix this?

Do you show your Team daily that you are over SELF and you are about helping them be the best they can be, thus making your organization they best it can be? If not, why?

 

Leaders, it time to get over SELF and move on to the high ground of Leadership where people WANT to follow you!

Until next time, check those who are follow you and why they are following you…………. then get over yourself if need be!

Rod

Winning in Leadership!

Want to win in Leadership with powerful Teams and exceptional people? Here is one of the ingredients: DIVERSITY! Accept it, practice it and win with it!

THE DIVERSITY CREED 
By Gene Griessman, Ph.D. © 1993 

I believe that diversity is a part of the natural order of things—as natural as the trillion shapes and shades of the flowers of spring or the leaves of autumn. I believe that diversity brings new solutions to an ever-changing environment, and that sameness is not only uninteresting but limiting.

To deny diversity is to deny life—with all its richness and manifold opportunities. Thus, I affirm my citizenship in a world of diversity, and with it the responsibility to….

  • Be tolerant. Live and let live. Understand that those who cause no harm should not be feared, ridiculed, or harmed—even if they are different.
  • Look for the best in others.
  • Be just in my dealings with poor and rich, weak and strong, and whenever possible to defend the young, the old, the frail, the defenseless.
  • Avoid needless conflicts and diversions, but be always willing to change for the better that which can be changed.
  • Seek knowledge in order to know what can be changed, as well as what cannot be changed.
  • Forge alliances with others who love liberty and justice.
  • Be kind, remembering how fragile the human spirit is.
  • Live the examined life, subjecting my motives and actions to the scrutiny of mind and heart so to rise above prejudice and hatred.
  • Care.