The single most important factor that will determine the success of your company is the quality of your team. Specifically, how you select, develop, utilize and measure them. To me, these four functions represent one of a leader’s key strategic responsibilities. Yet, many business leaders/entrepreneurs seem to go out of their way to self-sabotage their people efforts. How do they do this? Well, consider the following: Continue reading
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
I am constantly running into leaders and entrepreneurs who lament about the same challenge. Namely, their team’s performance is either not in sync with or not sufficient enough to help them make their vision a reality. I have even coached some of these “team challenged” folks. Some never got it and have gone elsewhere to seek fame. Others have gotten it and are achieving success.
As you drill down into their challenge it becomes apparent that some have only scratched the surface teaching their team specifically how their individual performance connects with and drives their vision. Even worse, some do nothing to help their team make the connection. Hence, the title of this morning’s Wake-up Call. Continue reading
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.
The best leaders always tend to make the best decisions in most cases. To be able to make the best decisions, you must have in your “toolkit” the ability to build consensus around a goal or issue and then properly communicate the actions to be taken, by who and by when.
Some of you approach decision making, consensus building and communication like a speeding freight train. How’s that working out for you? Make no mistake, there are those times when a direct approach is necessary. But it should not be the “norm”.
One of the most important lessons I write about in my new book – “The Go-To Person’s Guide to Success” – is that making the decision is actually the easy part. Getting everyone with different views to buy-in and comply is the real test of a leader. And that’s where consensus building and communication factor into the process.
From my experiences, I developed a 7-step process for communication that leads to consensus building within my team. If you follow it as designed, communication within your company will improve, as will the results you achieve. Continue reading
In my new book, “The Go-To Person’s Guide to Success”, I discuss in detail the importance of a leader not being the only “go-to person” in their organization. I stress that one of a leader’s primary responsibilities is to develop other “go-to people” so the company and the team can continue to grow.
Often, when I write about these people-strategy issues, the common question I hear is, “How and where do I start?”
As I discuss in detail in the book, the starting point is with questions – specifically six of them – that you can use with your direct reports or any other level of management within your organization. Assess each one of your direct reports, individually, against each of these 6 questions: Continue reading
What’s the difference between bosses and leaders? Chris describes how teams respond differently to both, and how this ultimately impacts the success of your business.
In almost all of my client coaching relationships, the subject of the importance of a healthy sense of urgency comes up.
Creating a healthy sense of urgency doesn’t happen without a great deal of effort and commitment on the part of its leader to get the process started, and to have the courage to stick with it. Make no mistake, a sense of urgency culture starts with the leader.
To get started creating this sense of urgency culture within your company, consider the following: Continue reading