pat-dolen-business-photo-2014

Aligning vision, people
and performance

Enter your email here to receive my weekly newsletter:
Connect

rssbookmarks

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

linked-logo

plaxo_logo1-300x95

facebook

Posts Tagged ‘leadership’

Who does your culture attract?

A paraphrased excerpt from a client letter received by the CEO:

“…Yesterday I attended the event at your facility. During my visit, I was fortunate enough to meet many of the wonderful employees and owners. Your VP and I had a very lengthy discussion about the culture and growth plans and suggested I send you my resume.

I really was not looking for new opportunities, but after experiencing the warm, friendly family environment, I was bowled over. This is the culture I have been searching for in America…a company who values camaraderie, respect and company loyalty, all of which I found abundant at your organization.”

Would your culture produce the same results?

Keeping your word with yourself…are you trustworthy?

Eight Flying Doves

 

As I work with senior executives and business owners, a frequent complaint is “employee lack of follow-through”.

So, ask yourself, what does it take for you to follow-through?

 
Consider these statistics shared by Association for Talent Development on your chances:
 

  • 10%       Hearing an idea
  • 25%       Consciously decide to adopt it
  • 40%       Decide when you will do it
  • 50%       Plan how you will do it
  • 65%       Commit to someone else that you will do it
  • 95%       Have a specific accountability appointment with
    person committed to

When was the last time you promised yourself to try something new, only to realize six months later you never started?

Leaders must coach to win!

“We’ve done lots of research over the past three years, and we’ve found that leaders who have the best coaching skills have better business results.”

V.P. of Global Executive & Organizational Development, IBM -The Dallas Morning News


We often hear about setting the example in leadership.  Sometimes it is just taking the “high road” and reacting to a situation with integrity and as much dignity as you can muster.

If you haven’t taken a look at yourself recently, take this simple self-check of 15 coaching behaviors.   Use this scale: 5 = always, 4=usually, 3=sometimes, 2=seldom and 1=never. If you are brave enough, let your trainee rate you.  It may be just the wake-up call you need to regenerate positive momentum in that relationship.

  1. _____Set high expectations
  2. _____Offer challenging ideas
  3. _____Help build self-confidence
  4. _____Encourage professional behavior
  5. _____Offer friendship
  6. _____Confront negative behaviors
  7. _____Confront negative attitudes
  8. _____Listen to what is said
  9. _____Recognize what is not being said
  10. _____Add specific activities that you believe would help
  11. _____Offer wise counsel
  12. _____Provide timely feedback
  13. _____Provide positive recognition
  14. _____Share personal experiences when appropriate
  15. _____Demonstrate care

If you scored 60 – 75, write a book!  You are doing it right and people seek you out for advice and counsel.

If you scored 45-59, share this rating scale with someone you coach and ask where you can improve.  Ask how you can demonstrate the coaching behavior they need from you and what they can do if you forget to do it again.

30-44, get yourself a coach who can help you develop these behaviors.  It will contribute greatly to the success of the group you lead and your own personal contentment.

15-29, what’s your employee turnover rate?  Unless, your employees have enlisted, they are not going to stick around very long!

 

 

The Gift of Gab: 12 Powerful Words That Get Results!

Contributing author: Deiric McCann

I guarantee that this is the most important article you’ll ever read. Here you’ll discover new ideas that have been proven to save
time and energy – oh, and make money. What you’ll love about these proven new ideas is that they are so easy to understand and safe to apply that you’ll get results that will improve the health of your business immediately!

 

According to the scientists at Yale University I should have had you eating out of the palm of my hand by the end of the introductory paragraph. You see, it contains all twelve of what their research says are the most persuasive words in
the English language. They found that you don’t really need the fabled “gift of gab” if you infuse your pitch with these powerful persuading words.

In order of impact, the twelve great influencing words are:

  1. Discover / Discovery
    Discover(y) is special – Yale’s research showed that it had a universal appeal that outstripped every other
    English word in persuasion power. Discovery implies uncharted territory alive with excitement and adventure. What valuable treasures can your products and services help me to discover?
  2. Easy
    Life is complicated enough – if those providing me with products and services can make it easy then count me in.  Easy is a particularly powerful word when used to describe something that is traditionally considered to be anything but. Remember that we are all basically lazy – we want to get the maximum output for the minimum input. In what ways can what you offer make my life easier?
  3. Guarantee
    We are all, to some extent, averse to risk, and the fear it generates is one of the most substantial obstacles that
    marketers or salespeople have to overcome. The word guarantee jumps off the page because it promises to do just that. An assurance of excellent on-going support or of money back in the event of a failure to meet my requirements makes it much easier for me to take the leap. How can you put my mind at rest?
  4. Health
    We all now know about the many threats to our own longevity and health, to that of our family and loved ones, and to our businesses. Self-preservation moves us all to action. How can you help me, my family, or my business to live longer more healthy lives?
  5. Love
    Your clients and prospects don’t necessarily want to feel loved, but they do all want their suppliers to care about their needs and desires. Tell me, how can you prove to me the importance that you place on my needs?
  6. Money
    Nobody is completely unmoved by opportunities to make or save money. Money attracts, motivates, and persuades. Be sure that your promotions, presentations, and sales presentations take into account the concern we all have for this essential commodity. Can you quantify how much money your service will help me make or save?
  7. New
    Why do many products still use that old “New and Improved” slogan as an integral part of their advertising and promotion? Because it works! Most of us want to feel that we’re working with the most up to date knowledge, equipment, and supplies. What exactly is exciting and new about what you have to offer?
  8. Proven
    Now, while I want the very latest bleeding edge technology; the most up to date of everything, with the best service and
    support, and at the best possible cost, I really only want it if you can show me lots of situations where it is already proven. Contradiction?  Absolutely, but one you have to deal with. Who do you know who’s just like me and received
    all of the benefits you promise from using your products and services in exactly the way I intend to?
  9. Results
    Precisely what tangible and valuable results will I get in return for giving you my money? Tell me all about them in terms
    that will appeal to me, in language I’ll understand, and with whatever backup materials you have to prove what you say – and I’ll seriously consider giving you my money. What’s in it for me?
  10. Safety
    I want it all; action, adventure and excitement – with absolutely no risk to my family, my money, my business, or me. How can you help me feel more secure about doing business with you? Tell me: why should I feel safe with you?
  11. Save
    I don’t have enough time, money, or energy to do everything I want to do.  So, if you can really help me save any of these
    precious commodities then why are you keeping it to yourself?  Tell me what you can save me – detail how, how much, and how much it’ll cost me and you’ll get my attention every time. Just how much will I save by putting your system
    in?
  12. You
    There are three topics of conversation which I will never tire – me, myself, and I. You can keep me engaged for hours just by ensuring that every comment you make is directed at me alone. You cannot overuse the word you. The word ‘you’ motivates, persuades, and sells. Don’t you find me fascinating?

Armed with your new knowledge of this proven vocabulary you’ll discover just how easy it is to promote your products in ways that you can safely bet will result in the generation and saving of money that will improve the health of your business – I guarantee you’ll love the results.

Shortcuts now, consequences later

Two CEO’s of growing organizations are meeting with me to help identify two key players to grow their organizations. Both plan to invest significant time and training into these individuals, and offer worthy compensation plans with no cap on their earning potential.

What is the number one request that each individual possess to meet these CEO’s selection criteria? Proven top performer in their industry? History of consistent accomplishment? Wonderful personality?

No, it can be defined as “character”.

John C. Maxwell in The Maxwell Daily Reader shares a quote of a nineteenth century clergyman, Phillips Brooks as saying, “Character is made in the small moments of our life.” Maxwell explains, “Anytime you break a moral principle, you create a small crack in your foundation of integrity. And when times get tough, it becomes harder to act with integrity, not easier. Character isn’t created in a crisis; it only comes to light.”

“Developing and maintaining integrity require constant attention. Josh Weston, chairman and CEO of Automatic Data Processing, Inc, says, “I’ve always tried to live with the following simple rule: ‘Don’t do what you wouldn’t feel comfortable reading about in the newspapers the next day.”

(Or showing up on YouTube!)

Take the Leader’s Challenge

4 wings
While celebrating with my CEO coachee her recognition into the 2011 “40 under 40”  class, the keynote speaker introduced some reflective questions and character-building actions for all leaders. Consider these words of wisdom Jeff Sandefer of ACTON School of Business shared with the top young professionals recognized this year by the Houston Business Journal. 
 
  1) Ask 5 people, ” What do I do best in the whole wide world?”

2) Make a list of  your ” I absolutely will not ___________”.  Store in a desk drawer that is handy to reach, so in times of ethical crossroads you can review your core principles.

3) Who is a someone you have never thanked, that has had a significant impact on your life?  Write a letter to that person.  Then, go to that person and read it to them.  You will be transformed for the several months to come.

These suggestions, if acted upon, (1) will create change, (2) build character and (3) instill gratitude.  Which of these 3 areas in your life are you seeing others lacking?   Now, work the question with the associated number to complete earnestly and sincerely.  Begin to see others changing around you!

Unravelling Performance Appraisals…does one size fit all?

Externsteine - place of power
The subject line of the manager’s email reads: Annual Reviews Due!!  At that moment an audible groan is muffled behind every manager’s computer.  Why?

“Review time! We just finished forecasting and budgets!  Now, I’m going to pull more late nights and Saturdays!  There are just too many *%!@*  things to do around here!”

Reviews, appraisals, salary performance reviews or whatever you call the process…tend to sneak up on a manager’s horizon.  Following employee terminations, it could probably be ranked as a manager’s least favorite activity. Conversely, it is one of the most anticipated events of the year for an employee and can have a strong influence on whether a top performer stays or goes.

Why anticipated?  Well, an employee may receive infrequent feedback and wonder how their performance has been perceived. Or, they work remotely and it’s the time of year set to review how they’ve met their goals and to set goals for the new year.  Maybe, they’re waiting to hear if they get a salary increase or not.  But first, you, as the manager, have to get past the “manager dread”.

Manager Dread

Why do managers dread performance appraisals so much?

  • Not enough time has been set aside during the year to document performance and whether expectations were exceeded or just average
  • There are not regular performance talks (informal or formal) throughout the year, so it feels awkward to address “deep” issues
  • There are areas that need improvement with no clear goals, job descriptions or job duties so it appears that the manager is just  “adding more to their job, as needed”
  • The employee might ask specific questions about goals that are not measurable, and your review seems  contingent on how you feel about someone 

How can we make performance appraisals better experiences?

  • Professionally written job descriptions or guidelines
  • Know the traits that it takes to be successful in the position
  • Frequent informal communcation with the employee, including talks about performance 

Companies often will be able to tell you what it takes to make them successful, such as their core values and mission statement.  Yet, when it comes to breaking down the values, mission statement and strategies into bite-size parts for the employees to handle, it resembles a jigsaw puzzle fresh from the box.  How can that be avoided?

Next time: “One Employee’s Story” and How to Avoid Turnover

Adding a partner…should we consider a pre-nup?

A Second View of the World
So, you are thinking of acquiring a partner in your business.  Maybe you want a partner to spread the workload or liability.  You could have differing areas of expertise and want to become a “one stop shop”.

Think before you get engaged and sign those final papers! 

As one Company President put it, “a partnership is like a marriage without the good parts.” 

Consider these suggestions, before moving forward as suggested by my TAB Board

  • Each party invests the same amount of money
  • A change in equity equals a change in authority
  • You have to trust all parties involved, even minor partners
  • An exit strategy must be as clear as possible before entering the partnership
  • Be sure a full-fledged business plan is in place, including all stages of the business
  • Get a signed management agreement from all parties involved
  • Work with an HR consultant to predict behavior and discuss potential hotspots
  • Expect to invest 20% more money and 20% more time

These pointers can come in handy even if you are considering a strategic business partnership or affliation.  Because as we all know, “breaking up is so very hard to do.”

Lesson from Frank Maguire: Treat everyone like a rock star!

When I received the sad news that Frank Maguire, my lifelong friend, mentor and FEDEX founding senior executive had passed away on a business flight, my immediate reaction was one of grief.   What would I miss the most?  The stories of Colonel Sanders and Kentucky Fried Chicken in the early days?  His experience in the White House when JFK was in office?  How he took the time from his international speaking circuit to speak about his cherished memories of my father at his funeral?  

Anyone who knew Frank would say, “how he made me feel”.  My mind flitted back to when he was the keynote speaker at a conference in Houston many years ago. His charismatic persuasiveness made the least touchy feel-y of executives break through their defenses, hold hands and bellow, “this little light of mine, I’m going to let it shine!” with Frank leading the chorus. It was amazing to witness his impact on others. 

Moving through the crowd toward his hotel, he cut a swath of smiles and satisfied nods as we crossed the conference center floor.  Why each hotel staffer was told how they personally made a positive difference to his stay!  Even  Carmela, the housekeeper.  Frank exclaimed, “why, my wife’s name is Carmel. I’m on my way home to see her…let me kiss you on the cheek for that,” with that Irish twinkle in his eye. Carmela  and her co-workers beamed as he was whisked away in his limousine.    

Did it take any extra time or effort for Frank to be observant of those lives he touched? Maybe, a little.  Yet, every time he found the “light” in us, his grew brighter.  And Frank, I, for one, am going to miss that “little light of yours” that still burns very brightly in my heart.

Recognition: Hey, Boss, I’m starving!

Talking in LanguagesStep into the middle of this board room conversation …”I learned my wife doesn’t care about getting gifts or flowers, she wants me to help out around the house. Oh, not my girlfriend, if I don’t tell her how special she is to me all the time, she thinks something is wrong!” After several female board members piped in about what their beliefs were about their husbands and partners preferences, someone suggesting reading   The Five Love Languages by Dr. Gary Chapman.

Being a consultant who works with companies with people conflict, I pondered on the “appreciation languages” of my consulting client’s employees…were they hearing the right language?  

How many times had I interviewed employees who were starved for recognition from their manager? Research had reported countless times that money was not a motivator, so what could an employer do?  Most look to books for an idea list of recognition methods, without any idea of what would speak to the individual. 

If Dr. Chapman’s ideas work for love, how about for business?

With my apologies to Dr. Chapman, how about a quiz which flags the primary way our employees want to be recognized at work? 

APPRECIATION LANGUAGE QUIZ

Select your number 1 and number 2 preferred method of appreciation from the choices below.

I feel most valued when a person/manager/co-worker:

  1.  ______Tells me how grateful they are for me and the things I do for them or the company
  2.  ______ Gives me their focused attention without any interruptions
  3.  ______Brings me a gift or other tangible item of appreciation
  4.  ______Pitches in to help me, perhaps taking over something that I’m behind on or find routine or boring
  5.  ______Expresses positive feelings through acceptable physical contact- like a pat on the back, high-5 or knuckle bump

According to Dr. Gary Chapman’s work, there are 5 Languages.  Learn which top 2 languages make you feel the most valued.

1 = Words of Affirmation

2 = Quality Time

3 = Receiving Gifts

4 = Acts of Service

5 = Physical Touch

This week observe how others are expressing appreciation toward you and others.  Which “language” makes you feel most valued and what happens when someone uses your least preferred language?

Try giving this simple quiz to your employees.  Start speaking their language, feed them with the right kind of appreciation and you’ll notice  productivity soar!

"Pat brings her charm, wit and insight into her advisory relationships and shares the same with her audiences. She's got the systems to back up her concepts."

- Frank Maguire FEDEX Senior Founding Executive

John Maxwell

tab21

Profiles Int'l