To Honor To Serve…

A Neophyte visit to the National WWII Museum with my girls humbled. To those who served, we honor and thank you for your sacrifices. To family members who held the fort in their absence, and to those who lost loved ones we say, Thank you. We honor and appreciate you.

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Leader: Where Are You Now? 

Being a leader is 24-7 job, and educational opportunities to improve yourself are everywhere. Learn from your friends and family and sometimes complete strangers, and you’ll find opportunities at every turn

 – Byron Scott and Charles Norris

Leader. Where are you now and where do you want to be? In the book Slam Dunk Success, Magic Johnson articulated in the Forward that most people think you win then you become a leader. But it’s the other way around. You’re a leader first, then you win.

Leaders are everywhere, and so are leadership opportunities. Punctured or not, Magic urged that you may be an entry-level employee or a middle manager, but not to worry. Every department is looking for a leader. To have the courage to stand up and take the lead, you will become successful.

Leadership is innate. Leaders are constantly changing the world around them. They may be involved in business or in the community. Opportunities abound.

Leadership is foresight. Manage yourself. Think of where you are now and where you want to be. Then take the steps ….one at a time. Try. Learn. Fail. Get back up and do it again. You will succeed with hard work and persistence. As always, don’t give up.

Cheers!

7 Biggest Recruitment Mistakes Business Owners Make And How To Avoid Them

Financial drain. Legal Risks. Frustrating people problems. Not cool at all. Totally not cool. Mark owns a small Crisp insurance agency where he hires various professionals to manage his clients needs. Because of the market demands his business has been growing faster than anticipated over the past 3 years. His desire to meet the demand has caused him to hire anyone he interviews. Faced with problems in different areas, he does not understand the Hidden reasons some of his workers have quit, not met their job requirements, while others are disgruntled because they have had to do the job of the team members who have slackened, or quit.

Sounds familiar? Sure! It happens so very often and leads to wasted resources. As a professional with a track record of solid business management, I have looked at some of the BIGGEST Recruitment Risks Companies Make That Expose Them To Damaging Financial Drain, Frustrating People Problems, and Serious Legal Risks. I have listed the top 7.

The 7 BIGGEST Recruitment Mistakes Business Owners Make

1. Panic (warm body hiring)

2. Don’t Know Their Why | Business strategy  misalignment

3. Wrong Source of supply

4. One-size-fits-all Interview Specs

5. Compensation Woes

6. The Next Step Disconnect

7. Revolving Cycle That Leads to Financial Drain

If you are a business owner or self-managed leader and these 7 Mistakes resonate, then do something about it. Connect with me to get the full details on these 7 Mistakes, and learn the Polished strategies to avoid them. Can’t wait to connect!

Cheers!

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Top 3 Skills Every Entrepreneur Needs…

Oprah Winfrey displays this attribute rising from humble beginnings being teased, molested yet used this as a stepping stone when she

An entrepreneur is someone who organizes and operates a business taking on greater than normal financial risks in order to do so.

From dream to reality! Entrepreneurs start out with a small idea; work that idea until it becomes real. Some fail. Others blossom into true success. Among the successful are leaders Oprah Winfrey, Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, and many more.

In order to be successful, skill set is important. Shark Tank’s renowned entrepreneur, Damon Johns pooled comments about the skills that business owners associate with being successful. Courage, risk-taking, communication, vision, self-discipline, and faith were among the common responses. But the top skills turned out to be the attributes listed with definitions from research in the book Success Strategies of Leaders.

Top 3 Entrepreneurial Skills

Passion. Defined as being passionate about what you are doing and putting your heart into it, as well as connecting with the possibilities of the future and having the chance to do something about. Oprah Winfrey displays this attribute rising from humble beginnings being teased, molested yet used this as a stepping stone when she entered broadcasting. Producers noticed her oratory skills, and passion. The rest is history.

Self-Confidence

This attribute includes a sense of self-esteem and self-assurance and the belief that you can make a difference. It allows the individual to feel assured that his or her attempts to influence are appropriate and right. Walt Disney was a farm boy who had a natural inclination for drawing cartoons. He went to work with universal studios and when his contract ended he confidently created Mickey Mouse. He maintained focus on his dream to have a theme park that was like no other in the world. He stepped forward confidently and did just that. Disney is a household name worldwide.

Persistence

Refers to the desire to never give up in spite of all the odds. Follow through, endurance, and not giving up in pursuit of goals are attributes of persistence. Others include exhibiting determination, initiative, and willingness to assert oneself, being proactive and having the ability to persevere in the face of obstacles. Steve Jobs dropped out of college because of financial difficulties. He eventually enrolled in a calligraphy class, created a company from which he was eventually fired. But he never gave up. He later started Apple computers with his childhood friend, and achieved successful making an impact on how mankind communicates digitally worldwide.

There you have it. The top 3 skills Passion, Self-confidence, and Persistence that entrepreneurs should have as derived from business owners. So if you’re a career changer thinking of taking this bold step, consider these traits. Do you have what it takes? Don’t stay Adrift, take that bold step to realizing your dreams.

Cheers!

Let’s connect on how you can make that change.

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Change: Commit or Comply?

Look around you. Change is everywhere. In business, politics, technology, relationships, our lives, spouse, children, bodies (yikes!), and more. Change is everywhere! Can we get rid of the awful  feeling that it comes with? Must we comply? Resist? Run? Or simply give in?

My friend’s father was scheduled to do surgery on his leg. While in the hospital he was told that it was beyond surgery and they had to immediately amputate or fear the worse would happen. In no time the decision was made and my friend’s life was turned upside down, or inside out depending on how you look at it.

Immediately the ripple effects at work, among her own children, and in her own personal life could not be missed. Someone had to jump in and smooth the process…and that she did.

Change is constant. Whether it is in our professional life as entrepreneurs or in our personal life. We can’t get out of it. Some bring joy, some sorrow, pain, regret, or disappointment.

Organizations are no different. As professionals we spend most of our professional lives on the job in organizations. So here is a brief discussion on its effects and some tips on how to deal with the pains of change while at work. Our goal is to strengthen commitment as opposed to force compliance on others.

Resistance

We said it before but will say it again…resistance to change can have devastating effects in organizations, politics, and in our own lives.  It can result in:

  • Reduced performance
  • Increased turnover
  • Tardiness
  • Increased arguments and controversy

We resist change. Here’s why:

  • Parochial self-interest
  • Misunderstanding
  • Lack of trust
  • Different assessments
  • Low tolerance for change

 

Here’s how we show it:

Active resistance: Lack of cooperation together with disputes, threat of strikes, and sabotage.

Opposition : Delay, not meeting deadlines or having resources ready when they are needed, and forming coalitions to overturn the change.

Conditional acceptance : Accepting the essence of change while working on its modification.

False acceptance:  Pretending to accept the job while doing nothing to implement it.

Acquiescence:  Accepting the change while reducing commitment to the organization.

Withdrawal:  People simply leave the organization or transfer to another job within the organization that is not affected by the change.

4 Successful Change Management Tactics

We can successfully manage change through persuasion, intervention, edict, and participation.  Of the four … persuasion, intervention and participation will more often result in commitment to change, rather than compliance.

  1. Persuasion. The manager articulates the needs and opportunities and then an expert sells the plan to other managers and subordinates.
  2. Intervention. Identify deficiencies, state new objectives and illustrate how these will be met through members of the organization.
  3. Participation. The manager states the problem, delegates responsibility for deriving solution to a planning group, and then provide for implementation of the planned solution.
  4. Edict is less effective because it operates under the dictatorial mode through ordering everyone to follow the stated change plan. This leads to compliance rather than resistance.

To better manage the natural resistance to change in order to sustain performance in an environment of constant change it is best to:

  • Personalize the benefits of change;
  • Lead, sponsor and communicate throughout the change process;
  • Support people through the difficult points of the change journey;
  • Focus on new behaviors not new attitudes.

Essentially, we can never hide from change. It is inevitable. The traditional form of managing change may be adequate in a slow moving world.  However, in our pop Tart rapidly changing social media environment, the traditional forms of management makes implementing change more difficult.  Therefore adapting the tactics mentioned will go a long way to fuel lasting commitment that will promote business success in the long term.

If you are not in business, you can still apply the same tactics to your own personal life, career, and relationships. Change impacts us all but it is important to remember… when it hits.. no matter what it is

Change the plan but not the Goal

Cheers!

On 2nd Thoughts: Leadership & Power

If you build it, will they come?

Leadership as the ability to cause other persons to act in desired ways for the benefit of the organization or group

As the citizens of the United States prepare for the passing of the baton to another President, it might be worth it to pause and reflect on leadership and power. Many are having Second Thoughts about what to do to influence the passing of the baton to another incumbent.

For that matter, our reflections turn to consider what is leadership? What is power? How can leaders positively influence the action of others? Is there a right way? Is there a wrong way? Does it differ at the worldwide level from that of the organizational and individual levels? These questions have tugged at my mind as I contemplated the sources of power and sought to identify individuals in organizations who exemplify these attributes.

Leading Leaders

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Selacuse in his book “Leading Leaders” discussed the category of powerful people whom he defined as the ‘elites’. Despite the natural negative connotation derived from this term, these are individuals who have “more” – more education, more talent, more money and more clout than ordinary people. Their knowledge, skills, money or power give elites (customarily leaders) special privileges.

A Bushy Comparison

Persuasion before action

Moreso Selacuse defined leadership as the ability to cause other persons to act in desired ways for the benefit of the organization or group.  He conveyed an interesting spin on contrasting leadership at the presidential level. A comparative analysis was done on the leadership style of President George H.W. Bush with the leadership of his son President George W. Bush.  Father Bush strongly believed that if other nations were to join the coalition to drive Iraq from Kuwait, the United States had to take an active, energetic leadership role in convincing them to join the coalition.  He believed that leadership required diplomacy across a broad front and exhibited this through direct contact with other world leaders.  Moreover, he did this through diplomatic missions; through action at the United Nations and other international organizations; through foreign embassies in the United States; and through American ambassadors abroad – to build and maintain a coalition of nations united in their efforts to achieve the goal to drive Iraq from Kuwait.  George H.W. Bush’s leadership was based on persuasion before action.

If you build it will they come?

In contrast to his leadership style, his son George W. Bush acted under the belief that other countries had no choice but to follow the United States.  George W. Bush and his administration believed that leadership by the United States seemed to flow automatically from its status as the world’s only superpower.  At the time, the administration made it publicly clear that if other countries did not follow the U.S. into the war against Iraq, they would go to war alone.  That certainly deviated from the importance of creating a coalition.  They believed that unilateral action by the U.S. would naturally lead to multilateral action by other countries.  The “if you build it they will come” doctrine expressed the belief that the United States was a unique country not just in terms of its power but also its moral authority for using that power.

To summarize this comparative analysis, Bush – the father, had broad experience in international diplomacy and long-standing relationships with world leaders at that time. He intimately knew and was on a first-name basis with national leaders and used this to his advantage to influence worldwide leaders.  On the other hand, his son had no previous diplomatic experience and did not know the foreign leaders.  Therefore, he often delegated important tasks to other members of his administration. Naturally then, he did not have the influence that his father did.  In my opinion, this was indeed an interesting view on the issue of leadership and power at the global nation-wide level.

Definitely something to consider as we step into the future of our country, organizations or at the individual level of leadership, power and success.

Choose wisely.

 

Being Micro Managed?


You Micro Manager! Yes you. Repeat after me…I will not micromanage. I will not micromanage. I will not micromanage. These are the best words of caution for new managers.

Micromanagement is a management style whereby a manager closely observes or controls the work of subordinates or employees. Micromanagement generally has a negative connotation. Wiki

I was asked the question why some managers feel it necessary to micro manage. Reflecting on that I decided to share through this post.

Managers who micromanage makes coming to work a nightmare. Micro Management is the practice of managing with excessive control or attention to detail. It tells employees that there is a lack of trust. Essentially that the manager has little confidence in his/her team and their capabilities. Often it drives the team away and what is worse, it is the organization’s most talented people who frequently walk away. The company is then left with those workers who will simply show up for a ‘paycheck’. No commitment, no care.

Signs of Micro Management

If you are a micro manager, Harvard Business shared signs that can be seen:

  • You’re never quite satisfied with deliverables
  • You often feel frustrated because you would have gone about the task differently
  • You laser in on the details and take price and/or pain in making corrections
  • You constantly want to know where all your team members are and what they are working on
  • You ask for frequent updates on where things stand
  • You prefer to be cc’d on emails

As a manager, this is certainly grounds for disaster. You will either drive your team crazy or stress yourself out with the inevitable burn out.

How to Manage:

As a new manager if you find yourself micro managing here are a few points to keep in mind:

  • Don’t be afraid to fail. At its very core is the feeling that if you don’t do things yourself, things are going to fail. Not so. This is a myth. Sometimes failure is good. It helps us learn and grow, and our teams may end up with the belief that you are ‘human’. They will work together with you to achieve the results. Essentially, you will win.

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  • Focus on the ‘what’ not the ‘how’. I am a firm believer in sharing the organization and your department’s goal with your team.  Doing so stimulates their creativity and provides solutions that you may not have considered.
  • Let it go. The difference between managing and micromanaging is in the ‘micro’. Let go of watching people. Here’s how:

-Look at your to-do list to see which task can be passed on or delegated to those reporting to you.

-Engage your team. Let them know what level of detail you expect from them and where they need to connect with you.

-Think Big. Focus on the big issues that you need to concentrate on and place your energy and attention on those.

Being Micro-Managed?

If you are being micro-managed, Research Psychologist Dr. Peggy Drexler suggests a few pointers you can use to remain sane:

  • Do your job well.
  • Ask how you’re doing
  • Be a proactive communicator. Copy supervisor on emails. Keep him/her up to date on your activities before being asked.
  • Teach him/her how to delegate. Volunteer to help with tasks or projects and keep your manager abreast of the progress.

Practicing these points will help you succeed. The converse is also true. Continuing to micro manage is Ancient…a thing of the past where autocratic leadership was game. Doing this now is sure grounds for disaster.

So it’s your choice. Choose wisely and experience success.

Quiet Leaders…

What do we do in a crisis? When things change within a minute….when there is little or no warning? That’s when Leaders jump in. They take control. Does it matter if they wear the leadership hat? No, it doesn’t. That’s when Quiet Leaders step up; they jump into action.

So what does being a leader have to do with you?

You may say, “I am not a leader so this does not pertain to me”. But reflect on your life. Are you a parent? Do you have responsibilities on the job? Do you play sports? Are you a sibling? Are you a part of an association, club, church, or more? If you reflect on these, you will find that all these call for some form of leadership skills. At its inner core, we are responsible for leading our own self.

Leadership Lessons

John Wooden’s memoir titled Lessons From a Legend revealed Wooden’s success as a person and as a coach. Lessons included:

  • The stance that sports do not build character but reveal it
  • Individuals must pay attention to details
  • Individuals should be careful of complacency by being quick, but not hurrying
  • Individuals should also act with integrity
  • Individuals should build a foundation for success.

Wooden’s Pyramid of Success indicated that at the top of the pyramid was competitive greatness. On the levels leading up to it were key milestones such as loyalty, friendship, and team spirit. Winning or losing is a byproduct of individual preparation.

So are you Waiting on the formal leader to show your potential? Please don’t. Arise from Underground. Step up oh you Quiet Ones. Strive; take the lead.

It’s in your potential.

 

Radical Steps To Deal With A Bad Boss

We show up everyday doing a job that we don’t like, and then feel like we are losing our mind when we are expected to be productive and profitable.

Get angry! Tell them off on national TV-like that famous weather reporter did! Give them a piece of your mind-like that flight attendant did, then de-planed! Or quietly sneak away never to return again, which unfortunately happens too often.

Though we may smile at these examples, they are real life situations that actually happened. As a HR consultant, I have worked with clients that have had these experiences and more. Because we spend most of our time at work, it would be great for us to really like what we do, and who we have to work with.

Vincent Van Gogh said that he put his heart and soul into his work and lost his mind in the process.  How many of us really feel that way?  We show up everyday doing a job that we don’t like, and then feel like we are losing our mind when we are expected to be productive and profitable. It’s hard. But we keep at it if we are to cover our basic needs to survive, thrive, or for those at the higher levels, fulfill our higher need to self-actualize. 

STRATEGIES FOR DEALING WITH A BAD BOSS

If you have a bad boss…see qualities in 23 signs you have a Bad Boss, it is not likely that you are going to change them. So here are a few strategies to help you take the steps to work better with him or her.

  • Have an early, upfront conversation about what is important to you in a leader and how you can best work together. In a civil manner, discuss things such as:
    • Leadership style and the coaching you would need to develop.
    • Expectations. What he/she expects from you, and what you expect.
    • Perception. How each of you perceive “success” with regard to the job.
    • What “meets expectations” or “exceeds expectations” look like on the performance-rating continuum.
    • Your current performance

 

  • Be proactive and check in with him or her often to provide reports, or updates.
  • Acknowledge them publicly for their support, especially when they have been instrumental in helping you succeed.
  • If problems occur that escalate, have a conversation with the HR manager to ensure that any complaints are logged. HR will take the necessary steps to help resolve the issue and can serve as a mediator in future meetings.
  • If 360-degree feedback systems, and other anonymous options are in place in your organization, do use them to provide input regarding your concerns.
  • Keep a record of dates, times, and specific examples of issues that have occurred so that you will be able to recall them when necessary.

Essentially, do your best to try to work with the situation you are charged with at the moment. Nothing lasts forever. Things do change sometimes. But by all means, if the horizon really looks bleak in that company, then start the process to move on, especially if  it starts to negatively affect your health. Start the job change process to search for a new opportunity. Take the steps to:

  • Update your Resume
  • Refresh your LinkedIn Profile
  • Connect with a Recruiter
  • Consider other career options

It’s important to heed the caution before you make such Radical change….Making irrational decisions then saying “oh wait”, will be too late.  So be cautioned that you never leave a job without first finding another one. It will be well worth it in the long run.

 

 

 

23 Signs You Have a Bad Boss

 

We have all had to deal with bad bosses at one time or the other throughout our career. We scream, complain, lose the Zing, become demotivated, do barely enough to get by, or inevitably jump ship. If you are dealing with a bad boss here are a few examples of characteristics  that depicts the behavior.

 

 

Common Bad Boss Behavior

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  1. Lack of vision and inability to communicate effectively
  2. Micromanaging
  3. Thinking you have all the answers and that you must have all the answers
  4. Working late everyday
  5. Poor Hiring Decisions
  6. Failure to Admit Mistakes
  7. Takes the credit but gives the blame
  8. Does not Lead by Example
  9. My way or the high way
  10. Mistakes being liked for being respected
  11. Provides little/no feedback or coaching
  12. Shows favoritism
  13. Task-focused vs team-oriented
  14. Embraces the status quo
  15. Being a good ‘doer’ means you will be a good manager
  16. Selects and leads based on “like me”
  17. Ignores diversity of thought or varying opinions
  18. Past focused vs present/future
  19. Lacks courage
  20. Being a friend instead of a leader
  21. Failing to delegate and demonstrate trust
  22. Allowing ego and pride to get in the way of good decisions
  23. Personal agendas/motives

If you are a new manager, reflect on these characteristics. Recognize the signs and plan to change. You will then be on your way to becoming a good leader.