Tag: Business Integrity

How Can I Enjoy My Summer?

May 28th, 2014   •   no comments   

The weather is finally beginning to cooperate. It is actually looking a lot like summer.  That means golf, tennis, or escape to the shore or the mountains for long weekends.  It may even mean taking an extended two or three week vacationvacation. Sounds like great fun.  The willingness to take time from work to avail oneself of the great weather varies from leader to leader, owner to owner.  The two biggest factors are the mindset of the leader and the perceived mindset of those reporting to the leader.

Some leaders take full advantage of their time off, without giving a thought to how others may perceive it. They are confident in their power and authority and do not care how others react. They have achieved a certain level in their career, and with that achievement comes the “right” to take time when they want it. They expect others to carry on in their absence

Others feel the same way about having the right and freedom to take time, but still give thought to the impact on others. They have a higher degree of emotional intelligence and understand what others may be feeling.  They understand that it is natural for workers to be jealous of the greater freedom that leaders have, and to perhaps let down in their efforts when the leader is not around.  They understand that this does not make the workers bad people or bad employees- it makes them normal. So preparations must be made. People must be given notice so they can plan accordingly.  A boss going away should not spring it on the troops the day before he goes.  There should be planning, meetings, accountabilities should be set, and the desired level of communication should be created.  The leaders who prepare the troops,  look at situations through multiple lenses, not just their own and are much more 720thinkers.

If a leader is planning on playing golf every Thursday during the summer, rather than hiding it from his team, he should make it clear that this is his plan. That way the team can plan around that schedule. And the boss can avoid multiple cell phone calls on Thursdays.  And of course, the boss must be “present” when he is present. He needs to be engaged. He needs to perform. He needs to hold folks accountable. If he is perceived as being a good boss doing a good job, the workers will not resent his absence when he plays golf.  The more he shirks his responsibilities, the more Thursday golf is just part of a feeling of negativity workers may develop.

It comes down to the psyche of the leader vs. the psyche of those being led.  If there is mutual trust, there should be no problem with the leader taking time away from the business to enjoy herself.  Unfortunately, mutual trust is only one of four possible scenarios.  trust2

Take a simple cube divided into four boxes.  The vertical side is “Reason to worry” (another way of talking about the employee attitude), with the top boxes being “high” and the bottom boxes being “low.”   The more the employees resent the boss taking time, the higher the reason to worry.  The horizontal side is “Amount of worry” (the leader’s attitude), with the left side being “low” and the right side being “high.”  Obviously, the higher the “reason to worry”, the more work the boss needs to do on the company culture and the employee engagement. Also, the boss may need to increase his “amount of worry” to gain an understanding of why employees feel the way they do.

If a boss or leader wants to enjoy a guilt free summer knowing work will be done and done well in her absence, she needs to develop a high level of mutual trust in the organization.  This can be hard work that takes place year round, not just before golf season.  Company culture is key to success and trust is key to culture. If workers know a leader is holding up her end and being accountable to them, they should have no problem with her taking time off.  If workers feel a leader is bailing on them without regard to their needs or the needs of the company, there will be no trust, no engagement and no longevity.  Enjoy the summer after building up to it in a successful manner.

Complement, Don’t Copy

April 10th, 2014   •   1 comment   

One of the biggest mistakes made today in business is that leaders and followers are all to anxious to copy and not complement.  The best compliment (yes, this is spelled with an “i” and  defined as praise or tribute to) we can offer to our company is perform in a manner that serves to complement (spelled this time with an “e” and defined as match, balance, pair).

4_9_2014_copyingIf we think we are complimenting the interviewer, boss or the board by copying mannerisms, ideas, actions, we are doing the business and leadership a serious disservice. The sad part is the interviewer, boss or board may believe that being copied is a tribute. It usually is, to one’s ego.

So, what happens when the person in authority chooses to use their authority to wield power and hire those best at copying them, their ideologies and behaviors? 

Here’s how copying “compliments” the organization:

Employees:

  • support personal interests rather than the interests of the organization
  • play it safe
  • play follow-the-leader game really, well
  • limit creativity and innovation
  • fail to proactively make decisions and problem solve
  • deliver substandard performance
  • be miss-fit for/or in role
  • passive to change
  • lack accountability and commitment to the vision and mission
  • the work climate and environment are if not toxic, definitely not at peak performance

4_9_2014_complementThis list could go on, however, let’s focus differently and ask a more positive question.

What if the person  in authority, appreciates their power and wants individuals show up as a  complement to organization; to serve in roles that best fits their skills and talents and best serves the mission and objectives of the organization?

Here’s how complementing can “compliment” the organization…

Employees:

  • are clear on expectations, because if they are not evident, they are comfortable enough to ask because communication is a two-way street
  • risk takers and proactively identify challenges and actively seek opportunities to change
  • innovation and creativity abound
  • professional growth and development are front and center
  • role fit is fostered and promotions from within are prevalent
  • support the culture with active participation and energetic, positive  decision making and problem solving.

There are many drawbacks to copying others. People hide their talent and their potential to be hired or to fit in, believing that it is better to mimic someone else, rather than be true to their own talents.  This certainly not a compliment to anyone and certainly not to the organization.

For organizations and individuals to be successful, it is imperative that we use our competencies and abilities to complement the organization.  To bring value upon hire and to continually add value which leads to sustainable growth and true partnering and engagement.

The benefits of using our role to complement the situation greatest compliment we can pay to our organizations.  Complement, don’t copy!

 

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