Thursday, January 16, 2014

Someone is always watching...

Realize it or not, someone is always watching what you do and what you say, and from that, they develop their perception of who you are, what you stand for, and how good you are as a leader. Great leaders know this. 

In their book "The Leadership Challenge", Kouzes and Pozner identified the 'Five Exemplary Characteristics of Great Leaders', and find through their research that these define the best leaders.

  1. Model the way - great leaders are the role model they need to be.  Knowing the impact they make on others that watch and interact with them daily, they use their example to influence.
  2. Inspire a shared vision - great leaders know what the organizational vision is, and what their part of that vision looks like.  Then, they make sure that others are just as aware, through communication and the use of the example they portray.
  3. Challenge - great leaders challenge at several levels: they challenge themselves to be their best; they challenge others to achieve and succeed; they challenge the process itself, looking at everything they do to make sure it is the best, most innovative, most effective process.
  4. Enable others to act - great leaders know that micro management of employees is the worst morale destroyer and de-motivator that exists in the workplace.  Give someone an assignment, the right tools, the right resources, and guidance, and then get out of the way.  Let them do their job, so that they can see their own accomplishments and value.  Don't devalue them by treating them like they know nothing.
  5. Encourage the heart - the catalyst to the characteristics is the caring.  great leaders care about whether or not individuals and teams succeed, and not just because it make them look good.  The caring is genuine, heart-felt, real.
If you look closely at what you do, how you act, how you supervise, you will quickly realize how these characteristics are an integral part of all that you do.  Pay attention!  Be the leader you can be.

Monday, January 13, 2014

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Monday, January 6, 2014

Are all employees the same?

Nay, nay!  Employee attitudes, skills, and work ethics vary, but most fall in one of three categories: 
1. Over achievers. 5 - 10% of the workforce are usually those that are internally driven- they'll run over you to do their job. If they need help, they'll ask, if they need resources, they'll find them, if they need training, they'll get it. You can trust them to get the job done. Unfortunately, what we do is overload them, letting them be the 'go-to's', and burning them out, or moving them to category 2. 
2. High Maintenance. 10 - 20% of most workforces are those that are very new, so somewhat confused, burned out because they've lost passion for the job, lost...because they are, or just not any good. This group will take 40 - 60% of your management time. 
3. the Rest. The balance of the group are those individuals that you can depend on. They are always there, on time, working. You trust them. They are the core of the force. Yet, because the other groups need 70 - 80% of your time, they get left out, ignored, left alone when they need coaching, mentoring, supporting, connecting. 

 You must make adequate time for every employee - they all have their specific needs - if you want a cohesive, successful, effective team. Manage your time well, delegate well, stay aware.

(click on pic to enlarge)

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

What do effective employee goals look like?

So, you have goals that you set for your employee production, and you run your report, discovering that only about 15% of them achieved the goal.  Have you been successful, have they?  Good question.  There are several factors that control whether or not employees can meet goals:
  • Do they have the ability?
  • Do they have the tools and resources?
  • Are the goals realistic? 
If workers have the ability and the tools and resources they need, yet still don't meet the objective, the last factor, realistic goals, plays the biggest part in their success.  If 75% of your employees aren't reaching the goal, odds are the goals are too high, unreachable.  What happens then?  Frustration.  Failure.  Apathy...yes, apathy. Many will think, "if I'm going to get in trouble anyway, why try?" This attitude will become a disease in your organization, and many will fail, and become ineffective employees.  In an ideal environment, 80% will reach reasonable goals, 10% will excel, and 10% will fail no matter what.  Setting goals a very small increment beyond normal production is OK, provided rewards are given for reaching the goals.  People respond best to being recognized for doing their jobs, and being appreciated for doing their jobs well. The saying is, "what's rewarded gets repeated".  

Set specific, realistic, relevant, achievable goals for and with your people, and they will reward you by reaching them and beyond.