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

Posts tagged ‘Manager’

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

7 Things Every Leader Needs to Know

No matter how you look at it, a Leader has to be able to help his/her Team see the big picture and not focus on their perception or perceptions of the times we live in. Allow me to share with you 7 things every Leader needs to know about what makes good Leaders into GREAT Leaders:

1. Great Leaders turn threats into opportunities- It is the Leader that leverages talent, time and resources to take the negative and turn it into the positive and not just sit and let things happen the way they come.

2. Great Leaders take advantage of and profit from changing dynamics in the market- These Leaders look at:

  • Who is our target market?
  • What do people want NOW that we have to offer?
  • When do people use our product?
  • Where are we currently focusing our Leadership energy? Will it bring us profits and teach our people to be better?
  • Why do people want/need our products? Are we marketing to that?

3. Great Leaders take negatives and make them into positives-

  • These Leaders AGGRESSIVELY look for and teach their Team to look for the silver lining in the cloud!
  • Everyday these Leaders ask themselves, “What positive steps can I take today to increase my Team and my business?”

4. Great Leaders evaluate and separate from that which is marginal or ineffective

  • People
  • Products
  • Methods

5. Great Leaders build resilience to thrive in tough times

 

  • They actively expect the unexpected and they become proactive in preparing their Team to meet objections as well as sell solutions
  • These Leaders examine their business models and strategies and do what it takes to survive while still taking care of their Team as best as possible

6. Great Leaders aggressively market and promote their unique advantages to every Guest

7. Great Leaders find the lessons hidden deep within challenging times

  • They are constantly open to a changes in their thinking, aka, paradigm shifts
  • When faced with today’s challenges, they realize that yesterday’s thinking and strategies will not work and they waste no time in looking for new solutions

There you have it! Seven things that will keep today’s Leaders leading into tomorrow!

Until next time, keep striving to be a GREAT Leader!!

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

Walk the Talk

There is nothing more frustrating than a manager who has not aligned their communication messages with their behavior. Team Members are often heard to say “They say one thing, but do another” a common example is a Leader who speaks at staff meetings about the importance of quality while outside of the staff meeting only ever inquires about productivity. It seems that occasionally Leaders forget that all eyes are on them, all of the time.

Down through the ages Leadership was almost always looked at as, “above” the Team. They were the ones who gave the orders and left. Often, the Leaders of the past thought that, due to the respect that came with the title they could have immunity from following their own directions. While this was true for earlier generations, Team Members within the last two working Generations are far past accepting that type of action.

Today’s workers are looking for the Leader that will not only, “walk the talk”, but do that walking side by side and be the Leader in action as well as direction. The only way that can happen is if the Leader realizes that they are not only the Leader of the Team, but that they are PART OF the Team!  To ensure that your employees all receive a consistent message, you need to align your communication messages with your actions.

Until next time, don’t just tell them, lead it and live it!!

Rod

The Key!

“In organizations, real power and energy is generated through relationships. The patterns of relationships and the capacities to form them are more important than tasks, functions, roles, and positions”. ~ Margaret Wheatly

Organizations are only as successful as their Leaders, and the Leaders are only as successful as their Team Members! Again, Leadership has to be about RELATIONSHIPS. I say this a great deal and here is why: I find that when the going gets tough in an organization the first thing that suffers are the relationships. It seems that as long as things are going relatively well in an organization, Leaders are all about making and building relationships. However, when the numbers aren’t coming in or stiff change is on the horizon suddenly the focus is off of relationships and back on number crunching. That is just the opposite of what should be happening. When times get a little rough in an organization that is when relationships are the MOST important to focus on. It is then that the Team Member needs to know they are supported and that their Leader is not a “fair-weather” Leader, only building relationships when times are good.

Truly the key to success in Leadership is measured by  the growth of the people he or she supervises. The Team can only grow in a healthy, relationship based environment where they believe that the Leader is truly out for the Team Members success and that the Team is valued above all things. In the Business World we operate in today, there are many variables that change day-to-day that effect bits and pieces of operation and profits. With that said, it is difficult to concentrate consistent effort on constant changes to try to make lasting, steady effects. That is why a Leader must focus on the one thing that they can have the most lasting impact on, their people and the relationships they can build with them. The people of the organization will be what gets the Leader and the Company through the hard times., but you have to build the relationship prior to the hard times for it to be effective! Start today to build or repair any and all relationships!

Interesting tidbit: “The Center for Creative Leadership conducted a survey of 300 managers and executives from around the world asking if the definition of Leadership had changed in the past five years. 84% responded that Leadership had indeed changed, primarily due to having more complex challenges causing hardships for their organizations. Interestingly, the flip side was that they were impacted positively by forcing greater collaboration, improving work processes and increasing work boundaries.”

In closing remember this, when times are tough, and they are or soon will be, a Leader has really only one thing that he or she can truly count on; the people around them. Those people will either be working for the Leader or against the Leader, it is the RELATIONSHIP that will determine which it will be!

Good leaders make people feel that they’re at the very heart of things, not at the periphery. Everyone feels that he or she makes a difference to the success of the organization. When that happens people feel centered and that gives their work meaning”. – Warren Bennis

Until next time, BUild, BUILd, BUILD those RELATIONSHIPS! You have to have them!

Rod

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