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

Posts tagged ‘Employee Goals’

I See More Clearly Now….

Recently I had a discussion with a newly promoted Leader facing a very difficult Leadership issue that should make us all stop and recheck how we lead. His Company was and has been hurting and choices were having to be made, change was unavoidable, but how to approach all the change that need to happen was the issue. In every business the Leader is responsible to make sure that the Team he/she oversees as well as the organization they lead is taken care of at the highest level of individual ability. The problem comes when taking care of one conflicts with taking care of the other. When choices for the positive growth of the company seems to be in direct opposition of the positive growth of the Team, what do you do???

Come along on this journey and maybe we can help “John” figure this out together. The bottom line of a business is simple, success= profitability! However, many business guru’s hold to the fact that the key to a successful business is purely relational. Build the right relational culture in your company and success, profits will be a natural result. Okay, so which is it? Where do you focus your energies on a daily basis, relationships or numbers? Dollars and cents, or people and culture. Undoubtedly there are many of you standing on each side of this conundrum! Let me share with you what I have believed, and recently become even more re-affirmed. What if every decision you make as a Leader took both relationship/culture, and the profitability factor, rolled them together, and made a WIN-WIN outcome? That is the goal, or should be the goal of every Leader out there. The question is how do you achieve it? Granted, this is just one man’s opinion but here we go:

It appears to me that no matter how one slices this issue in the professional world we exist in right now, a company has to error on the side of developing and taking care of their people. A quote I read recently helps me keep my focus on this issue, “But I like to think that a lot of managers and executives trying to solve problems miss the forest for the trees by forgetting to look at their people — not at how much more they can get from their people or how they can more effectively manage their people. I think they need to look a little more closely at what it’s like for their people to come to work there every day.” Gordon Bethune, Continental Airlines  

This leads me to this quote, “Long-term success is the result of relationships built on a foundation of trust. People get more value from those they trust.” – Garrison Wynn. If you keep the culture of your Team the number one focus, over time, your profits will rise. Time and time we see companies that are teetering on the edge of closure come rising up from the ashes to highs of success that they never thought possible. What do we generally find at the root of this recovery? Most always you will find a Leader that realizes the time they invest in restoring the faith and loyalty of the Team will be the key to making a long-standing and thriving company. A Leader that comes in with great plans to cut costs, reform compensation and make quick, broad moves are generally sitting in their offices 6 months down the line wondering why things aren’t any better, or even worse than they were.

John, take your time and stay true to your people despite the up and down numbers. Don’t be crazy, you will have to make some cut of those that don’t get on board with the rest of the family, but whatever you do, make all of your decisions based on one thing while trying to recover your company: What is the best move to heal my people and make them stronger, more loyal and feel the most valued? This John, will pull your Company up, give them hope, direction, a sense of purpose and value. Your Company will rise with the days of under performance and low profits will be a thing of the past. Just remember, it will take time. Hang in there John and don’t give up on your Company, your Team or yourself!

Until next time, lead with your people in mind first, your profits will come; history proves it!

Rod

Team Success In the Hard Times

If I were able to give you a brief ingredient list that would allow you as a Leader to help encourage, inspire and build your Team during times of economic uncertainty, would you take it? Well, if you answered yes, this blog is for you!

Leaders have an obligation and responsibility to make sure they keep their Teams strong and focused during not only the good times, but the not so good times as well. There are 3 basic things a Leader can do that will increase the stability and longevity of their Team when difficult times arise.

1. Be Real–  Share with the people in your organization the areas you as a Leader need to grow in. Trust me, if your Team has been around for a while, they already know your areas of growth and are just waiting for you to admit it. Let your Team know  how much you need and appreciate them. Commit to them that both you and they can get through these difficult times if you work together as a Team.

2. Connect with Your People– Get to know your Team, if you haven’t already, at a level where you know their motivators and their dreams. Let them know that now more than ever you are dedicated to helping them achieve the success they are longing for. Take this opportunity to align their jobs with their motivators and ambitions. Capitalize on occasional slow times to grow the depth of your Team through deeper connections!

3. See in Them What They Can’t See in Themselves-  Identify and share with each Team Member their unique abilities and hidden talents. As you become more aware of a Team Member’s talent or strength, let them know you noticed it and be specific about what you noticed. Encourage further development of the strength and find ways to help them use it to achieve success in their daily activities. When they see you genuinely caring about their development and growth, their success and their best interest, the Team will rise in even the toughest times.

Granted, these are just a few things that a Leader can do to make a difference in their Team, but if you as a Leader will implement these three easy steps, you will revolutionize your culture and even the toughest of times will find your Team strong and growing!

Until next time, use the 3 basics and see your Team rise in the hard times!

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

It’s in the Roots!!

For every hundred men hacking away at the branches of a diseased tree, only one will stoop to inspect the roots. – Chinese proverb

How true this proverb is for Leaders trying to assess performance issues on their Team! If you are going to  try to figure out what’s causing the performance issue, you have to get to the root of the problem. However, due to the fact that employee performance affects the bottom line of the organization, often the quick fix is what is sought after. We look at training courses or  we try to determine if a move to a new position would do the trick. Maybe, just maybe there is a different possibility.

The thing we have to remember about the above options are they focus on the ability of the person performing the task. Performance, though, is a function of both ability and motivation.

Performance = Ability x Motivation

  • Ability is the person’s aptitude, as well as the training and resources
  • Motivation is the product of desire and commitment

Someone with 100% motivation and 75% ability can often achieve above-average performance, of course the opposite is true. One of the best ways to increase motivation is make sure, that as a Leader, you give your Team Members timely, honest and accurate Performance Appraisals. It is important that the Team Member is clear on their goals, objectives and resources in these appraisals.  In addition, this is why recruitment and job matching are critical parts of performance management.

If you would like even more tips on Performance Appraisals and Workplace Culture, contact Ascend Business Strategies and make your Leadership stronger!

Until next time, make sure you examine the roots!

Rod

Okay, Now What?

One of the really fulfilling things about Coaching is being able to tell a person that they are doing some good things and then watch their face light up with a smile! I enjoy being able to see how this type of coaching can put a spark into a Team Members step and motivate them to even greater victories. A positive, praise oriented coaching exchange is an easy conversation to have, but what happens when there has to be some not so positive feedback given?

When negative feedback, or opportunity feedback is necessary, the best time to give it is now before the problem gets any worse. Early attention to developing problems lets you harness the moment and turn it into a constructive process. Opportunity feedback not only stops unacceptable behavior, but also places the Team Member on the track to better performance.

As with positive feedback, don’t always wait for a formal performance review. Spot coaching is a highly valuable tool in todays fast paced world. Take one or two minutes after you observe a sale, or an issue, to meet with the Team Member and discuss what went right and what opportunities for growth you may have observed. It is highly important during this coaching exchange to get the Team Member to mentally review the time you observed them and ask them how they thought it went and get their ideas for improvement as well as your own.

Now the question arises about how to deliver the tougher messages that we call opportunity feedback. Listed below is a framework to mentally go through when having to approach someone in an opportunity feedback situation:

1. State the issue at hand. Remember not to pile many issues into this meeting. One issue, two at most will be all a Team Member can or should have to handle at once. If you have more than one or two issues to cover than you have allowed them to go too long unaddressed. Filter, prioritize and then deliver over the course a few different settings.

2. Recognize the Team Member’s efforts. No one does everything wrong. Keeping that in mind, give specific detailed praise for a behavior that the employee is doing well and let them know how much that means to you as their Leader. People need to know they are noticed for other things than when they do something wrong.

3. Detail the behavior that is needing changed. You will need to be very specific and use examples to illustrate your concern.

4. Detail the effect of the behavior. It is important to show how the behavior not only affects the Team Member but also how it affects the Organization.

5. Review what is expected. During this phase it would be a good idea to ask the Team Member if they know the Organization’s expectation concerning this behavior. Have them tell you what it is and correct the explanation if necessary.

6. Ask for a brief explanation of why the standard was not followed. Do not use this portion to point blame or try to degrade the Team Member. Remember to keep your emotions out of the entire process and address strictly the behavior, not the attributes of the person. The person is not the issue, the behavior is.

7. Ask the Team Member to suggest solutions. The Team Member will buy into a plan much quicker if they had a part in developing it. Granted, you may have to guide them to an acceptable conclusion but let them have much input into the corrective action plan.

Any of the above steps are great stand alone coaching tips, and when used together will provide a smooth journey through a once rocky road of giving opportunity feedback.

Until next time, look for opportunities and help guide your people to victory!!

Rod


Grounding Beliefs

Grounding Beliefs

People’s beliefs affect their work when those beliefs hold them back. Grounding beliefs, or mental blocks, are thoughts that are not true and that damage our effectiveness. These tend to be based on ideas and norms we’ve acquired from our culture, upbringing, or peer group. We can have thousands of thoughts each day, and very many of these thoughts are repeating. That’s why, over time, we can start to believe our own version how the world is.Always remember, how we see things determines the actions we take that will result in the results we get. This is called a Paradigm. It is imperative we have the right mindset/paradigm so that we do not become a self-fulfilling prophecy at work or life.

Sometimes, what we believe is wrong. Perhaps we’ve interpreted someone’s actions or words incorrectly. Or perhaps we’ve learned the wrong lesson from a mistake in life, and, as a result, we’ve been unable or too fearful to pursue a similar action again.

Here are some examples of grounding beliefs:

  • Success is not possible. I don’t deserve to succeed.
  • I will fail.
  • Nobody likes me. Nobody cares.
  • It is impossible.
  • It’s my way or the highway.

The Leader’s job is to work with the Team to uncover and deal with self-limiting beliefs that are getting in the way of the Team Member’s job performance. The Team may be unaware of the real cause of these blocks, but may be aware of symptoms – such as lacking ambition, lacking hope, or lacking direction.

There are, of course, some deep beliefs that require assistance beyond coaching. But generally, once people recognize that one of their thoughts isn’t true and that it’s holding them back, they start to make progress and overcome the issue. A good technique for coaches to use to help deal with mental blocks is to explore the Team Member’s beliefs and thoughts, and identify the positive beliefs that are helping them progress, and the negative beliefs that are holding them back.