I've given a number of speeches lately to HR professionals and business owners. One of the challenges I've presented each group is: What would your managers say about your leadership style if I happened to bump into them today? Would they say they're staying with the company because of your leadership? Or, would they admit they're looking to leave….because of your leadership? That thought caused me to remember this article I pulled from the archives. What types of managers have YOU helped to develop?
I feel bad for a few of my clients. They're at that point in our leadership training and coaching projects where they're actually doing what they should have been doing for years. And it's not easy.
Changing behaviors and implementing new policies, new personnel actions, and new initiatives is difficult.
It’s amazing how life and business is a cycle. I pulled this from the archives. I wrote this ten years ago, but I could have written it this morning. See if there’s something in here that resonates with you…
I recently read the McKinsey & Company Report on Global Leadership in which they site the two primary concerns for global executives: 1 - The Economy; it's recovery has not been as strong and doesn't look as if it will be as strong as anticipated six months ago, and 2 - Retaining Employees; how to retain talent?
On my return flight from a recent speaking engagement, I started talking with the gentleman sitting next to me as both he and I worked on our laptops. Roger was a senior level manager for a 250 person, defense contractor and was traveling to meet with his company's leadership team for an off-site management and strategy meeting. Roger was finishing his notes on what he wanted to present to help create greater clarity, energy, and productivity throughout the employee population. When I shared with Roger what my company did, he asked if I'd mind critiquing his ideas. (Poor Roger, he had no idea who he'd just asked to critique his ideas!)
Many organizations and individuals get into trouble attempting Stage 2 Leadership when the time isn’t right. The problems arise because, more often than not, organizations promote the most technically proficient doers into supervisory, team leader, or management roles. However, a great Stage 1 Leader doesn't necessarily make a great Stage 2 Leader.
The skills needed to be an effective supervisor, team leader, or manager are vastly different than those needed to be a proficient doer.
I’ve pulled another article from the archives as I believe it’s something we as business owners need to keep in mind…. I had breakfast this morning with one of my sisters at a nice little restaurant in Denver. The waitress sat us immediately, and then started listing all of the house specialty coffees. When my sister and I both said, "Just plain coffee please." The waitress laughed, and said, "I like it plain too, but I've got to tell every customer the specials." She then took our orders, and within minutes brought our coffee, food, and casually, yet, efficiently checked up on us during our meal. As we were leaving, I said to my sister, "She's really very good." My sister's reply was, "Yes, too bad she won't last here."
Her comment struck me because it was so true.
Here’s an article pulled from the archives. It’s sad to say, but what I wrote in 2002 is still right on target – if not more so – today.
“At this moment, America’s greatest economic need is higher ethical standards, enforced by strict laws and upheld by responsible business leaders,” (President) Bush said in a speech delivered to the Association for Better New York. “In the end, there is no capitalism without conscience, no wealth without character.” (July 9, 2002)
Who ever thought the Golden Rule would come back to bite so many?
“When you’re a leader, not everyone will like you” is advice I recently shared with a manager. This manager is not a newbie manager. She’s not inexperienced or passive by nature. Yet, in dealing with a challenging employee situation, she was struggling with doing what needed to be done for fear of others labeling her as “mean” or “uncaring.” I shared with her what I’d previously outlined in my book Don’t Let ‘Em Treat You Like A Girl – A Woman’s Guide to Leadership Success.
Not Everyone Will Like You
The most important leadership lesson I ever learned from my dad - I learned at his funeral.
I, of course, love leadership training. However, I find it even more valuable when there's an easy way to double your training take aways without additional cost.
At the conclusion of a leadership training project with a client recently, one of the senior managers said, "In order to keep this learning going, I'm going to pull my notes once a quarter just to see what else I should be working on." I wasn't quite sure what he meant by his comment. When I asked for a clarification, he provided a brilliant insight for me,
Leaders Need to Learn to Think so They Can Speak the Truth ... Clearly
Why are so many supervisors, managers, and even some big dogs with the snazzy three letter titles: CEO, CIO, EVP, etc., incapable of communicating clearly? Why are so many managers unable to provide honest commentary on work performance without belittling the employees, skirting the real issues, or confusing the employees with nebulous, non-specific examples? Why do so many managers suck at speaking the truth in ways that will help and not hurt employees?