Managing the boss is best done openly, not subversively. Smart executives communicate to the boss what they are doing and why they are doing it. If you were writing a memo to the boss about why you were managing him, you would address these ten reasons why a boss should want to be managed by a direct report: Continue reading
Every leader wants and needs to be trusted and be seen as credible by their team. Trust and credibility are equally important and go hand-in-hand in either making or breaking a leadership career. It’s been written that trust is built on credibility and credibility is earned by putting the interest of others ahead of yours.
Some mistakenly believe that they come with a “title” or are based on the size of your office. They are not given; they cannot be bought. They must be earned and then sustained, and this requires hard work on a consistent basis.
Consider practicing the following behaviors to help you either build or enhance your trust and credibility with your team. Continue reading
Periodically, all leaders need to take a fresh look at what they do, how they do it and why they do it. In other words, they need to challenge their leadership status quo.
Some leaders become so caught up in their own strategies and methods that they have great difficulty breaking free or letting go of what they have become very comfortable doing. They are so heavily invested in their approach that they have become oblivious to the fact that the world has changed around them, and it is time to do some things differently or face a downward spiral from which there may be no recovery.
If anything stated above touches a “nerve,” then it is time to challenge your leadership status quo. In this process, be sure that you can answer these key questions: Continue reading
There is one meeting you should have each week: A meeting with yourself. Chris describes the specific agenda and goals of such a meeting, and why it’s so important.
The best leaders adapt and apply what they learn rather than copy what others do thinking the same will work for them.
The best leaders consistently work on the most important tasks first – not the most tasks that they can squeeze into every hour or every 30 minutes of every day.
The best leaders don’t use “busywork” to feed their insecurity. In fact, insecure individuals make the worst leaders.
The best leaders recognize that there are teams that want a leader who knows where they are taking the organization.
The best leaders don’t try to manage the results. Rather they manage the people who are responsible for producing and achieving the results. Continue reading
Effective leadership is not about managing your way through a maze of to-do tasks that do nothing but add to the misconception that you’re actually doing something important. In most cases, you’re not. You’re just getting good at busy work.
There are many of you who start out having good “intentions” about being an effective leader, but your actions result in you falling woefully short. These shortfalls turn into real barriers to your ability to lead effectively and achieve any meaningful level of success. The source of these barriers and their solution can be found in the same place: within you.
Many of you are unwilling to take ownership of these barriers. In fact, many are even unwilling to admit that these barriers exist. Continue reading
I received some great feedback and comments from many of you regarding my last week wake-up call regarding the importance of saying “no” when appropriate.
During the week I had some subsequent conversations with clients about it and thought that it would be helpful to expand further on at least two areas where saying no is of critical importance to you, the development and the success of your company.
First, when you are working on something important to you and give in with a “yes” to the question “Do you have a minute?” you are basically giving up any control over your own destiny. Being a good leader doesn’t mean you are constantly available to everyone. It’s impossible to function effectively that way.
The world we live and work in is not perfect. We need to make the best decisions based on the information we have at that time. In this imperfect world, we have many opportunities to make decisions. And making no decision can be far worse. Learn the formula for success when it comes decisions and even mistakes.
Almost daily, we read that with our improving economy and full employment, there are more open jobs than there are people to fill them. Hence, the retention of your best performers becomes a key management concern and objective for 2019 and beyond.
One of the best ways I know to retain your talent is to continue to develop them, so they grow – and achieve personal satisfaction – as your company grows.
Now, some of you may be saying, “Well, we train our employees.” Stop thinking about training your team and make the mental shift to those activities that will “develop” them. To me, when people talk about training, they are often describing an event or meeting. On the other hand, when you focus on development, you are taking a more permanent and longer perspective to help “develop” and use the right behaviors versus a one-time event or class.
There needs to be three key components when you want to effectively develop your team to produce at a higher level on a more consistent basis.
This visual of a 3-legged stool will help you in understanding how these concepts work.
Here’s further information to help you understand the three components necessary to make your development activities successful:
- In line with what I stated above, the good performer employee must be given the opportunity to learn or acquire the new skill or knowledge.
- Next, they must be given the opportunity to apply the new skill or knowledge to their current role. Get them using the new skill as soon as possible. Discuss how you will want them to apply it even before they acquire it to help them focus on the goal you have set for them.
- Finally, they must be given the opportunity to receive feedback – constructive and meaningful feedback – from you on how they are doing in applying that new skill or knowledge. Providing your team member with the right feedback will help them learn their new skill faster and give them more self-confidence.
I cannot think of a legitimate reason why you wouldn’t follow this approach. Unless of course, you prefer mediocrity and disengaged employees.
Chapter 5: From “The Go-To Person’s Guide To Success”
Thought I would share with you a key success concept from my latest book – “The Go-To Person’s Guide To Success”.
There is an old African fable about knowing your purpose in life, which goes something like this:
Every morning, a gazelle wakes up. It knows it must run faster than the fastest lion or it will be killed. Every morning, a lion wakes up. It knows it must outrun the slowest gazelle or it will starve to death. It doesn’t matter whether you’re the lion or the gazelle: when the sun comes up, you’d better be running.
When you know your purpose and believe in yourself, like the gazelle or the lion, you are more likely to successfully meet any challenge. This is especially true if you choose to manage your boss and be a go-to person in your company. My son Andrew knew his purpose. He wanted to be seen as a go-to person and he put together a plan to become one. It’s that simple.
To stay the course and move closer toward your purpose, you need to have a clear focus. We’ve all been advised to concentrate on the things we can control. Yet, we often find ourselves spending (wasting) the majority of our time on things we have no control over.
To illustrate this better, take a look at the visual I use with my clients when coaching them on the important concept of “you management”.
The large square on the outside represents the things you cannot control. There are way more things in life that we have no control over than there are things we can control.
I’m not sure what causes us to gravitate toward the larger square. Maybe it’s because of the sheer volume and size of it. If we have a better understanding of the detrimental impact the activities in the largest square have on our lives, our focus, and our purpose, perhaps we would be less inclined to give into those no-value, time-wasting distractions (much like those smelly Skunks!). The result will be a more effective use of our time and a severely decreased level of aggravation.
The middle square represents the things in life that you can influence. To be an effective go-to person, you have to also know how to be a person of influence, which means you are able to get others to see things your way or find a middle ground for compromise. We have more influence over things than we realize, but most people don’t spend too much time trying to influence others. We get too caught up in trying to win or prove our own point instead of looking for mutual win-wins for both parties.
The smallest square at the center is everything in our lives and our careers that we can control. It stands to reason that we should spend the most time concentrating on the things that fall inside the small circle. That is where we’re going to get the highest results and the most benefit. When you work on the tasks and activities you can control, you have the opportunity to produce outcomes that have the greatest impact on you, your boss, your customers, and your company.
If you find yourself tempted to wander off outside of the square you can control, refer back to this diagram and get re-focused.