Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Leadership Coaching: Make The Evolution Of Your Business Happen

Financial Crisis Causes Noise In The Organization

A culture of thrift has predominated consumers amid the uncertainty caused by the global financial crisis. All across the retail industry- from food to clothing- many brands have ceded price slash offs and discounts. But "buying" customers are not as easy to find. Regardless of socioeconomic lines, consumers have been reluctant to open their wallets. The wealthy and affluent in the U.S. has likewise increased their savings by 16%. Businesses aren't as up and running as they used to be.

Financial crisis causes a lot of noise in an organization. People are feeling the pressure, and they panic. Your team might have more noise than focus at this point, so a resetting or reframing might be necessary. A changed leadership might work for your organization. The time might be right to take your business to the next level.

Sort Out The Noise And Paint The Picture

The first step is to sort out the noise. An honest dialog with your trusted sources helps you gain clarity of the situation. Uncover how people feel. What do they think is ahead economically? How about you, what is your personal forecast on the fiscal aspect? What is it that you and your people feel is missing?

Sorting out the noise clears the slate. You can then paint the picture. You see where your organization is at present, and now you envision what you want it to become. What is the outcome you want to achieve? Painting the picture entails that you clarify your business objectives and cultural expectations. Are you managing a multigenerational company? If there are conflicts, you should identify. As you plan for appropriate steps and measures to evolve your business, you also need to understand critical measurements. You need to be aware of your progress in facts and figures.

Do You Have The Courage To Make It Happen?

Painting the picture is an invigorating "freedom exercise" where you imaging the possibilities of joy and prosperity for your organization. As you clarify your leadership vision, you then make the choice to adjust and act. You make your plans happen. You create the reality of the picture you've painted. Your company might be moving at what you think is a comfortable pace and there is certainty. Evolving your business takes some kind of risk. Are you willing to exchange the complacent certainty in your business for the uncertainty of moving forward? You might be unwilling to budge because of fear, but pain in your organization is a call for change. Do you have the courage to try?

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Are You Wearing Blinders for This Election?

President Ronald Regan said, "Freedom is never more than a generation away from extinction." Do you think America can continue on its current path with runaway spending, big government, no accountability, high unemployment (23 million unemployed), taxpayers money going overseas to benefit our enemies, and leaving our Ambassadors and our citizens unprotected? A President protects, defends and builds up his or her country. They do not destroy it and make speeches against their countries interests! A President has honor and integrity and keeps all his or her promises.

Leading up to WW11 only one man, Winston Churchill, saw the danger and the warning signs emanating from Adolph Hitler and Germany to his country, Great Britain. Everyone else was wearing blinders. Prime Minister Winston Churchill stayed strong for his country! He realized what was happening in the world and made his country men and women take off their blinders as to what was happening in their country. When he said, "Never, never, never, never--in nothing, great or small, large or petty--never give in, except to convictions of honor and good sense. Never yield to force. Never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy, "he meant it! When Prime Minister Winston Churchill made a promise to his country he would keep it!

Prime Minister Churchill opened his countries eyes and the eyes of the people of the United States as to what was happening around them! Without the great Winston Churchill both countries would have been lost!

Leaders of a country or organization build and defend their countries and businesses they do not destroy them!

In 1979, newly elected Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher set to work repairing Great Britain's bankrupt economy and rising unemployment by privatizing all nationalized industries and public housing which were sold to its tenants. Prime Minister Thatcher sold all these industries at favorable terms to promote private enterprise. Her aim was to reduce government power and promote the rights of individuals who would be property owners and pay a mortgage on their new properties.

Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher said at the time, "Unless we change our ways and our direction. Our greatness as a nation will soon be a footnote in the history books, a distant memory of an offshore island, lost in the mist like Camelot, remembered for its noble past."

This quote is a timely reminder! We must protect and defend America by voting a new President in who will defend, protect, and build America back up to its greatness!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Leadership Vs Management 2 - Getting Things Done

What's the difference between leadership and management when it comes to getting things done? If you're not sure, read on to find out.

Part of being a leader and/or a manager is the ability to get things done. And when we say get things done, we are of course referring to the team and the way in which it responds to its leaders and managers.

Although there are many areas where management and leadership overlap, there are also areas where differences can be observed. Getting things done is a classic example of this.

For a manager, getting things done can often be nothing more than informing the team of the day's goals and objectives during the daily briefing. The manager will also guide the members of the team and help them to find the best way to achieve goals and objectives that have been set out. This is a very effective way to accomplish all kinds of goals and objectives and to keep the team involved.

Leadership, however, can have a slightly different approach. It has been said before (partly in jest) that the difference between leadership and management is that managers say "Here's what I want and this is how I want you to do it" and leaders say "Here's what I want. Now go and show me some creativity"! The idea is that leaders paint a vision of what they desire and leave it up to the group to work out how to achieve the desired result. This is of course a little simplistic. Any leader who merely provides a vision and then has no input at all as to how that vision is turned into a reality is being at least a little foolhardy. There has to be involvement, even if it is kept to a minimum.

The true difference lies in the way a leader lays out the vision of what he or she is trying to achieve. The word "vision" here is used deliberately as a good leader will literally conjure up an image of how the end result will look. He or she can use tools such as pictures, photos, paintings, models or good old fashioned descriptive speech to pass on the concept of the end result to the group. He or she will not only pass that vision on, they will also pass on the level of enthusiasm that they feel towards the project or assignment.

This idea of creating a vision is something that can make a good leader stand out. But there is no reason why managers can't use this technique from time to time. For everyday routine tasks a WHAT-WHERE-WHEN can be used but for certain projects that are going to need to be planned out and will take some time the idea of creating a vision in the minds of the employees and passing on that infectious enthusiasm will reap rewards.

Personality Test: Good, Bad or Indifferent?

A recent article in the BBC looked at the effectiveness of psychometric assessments as a tool for recruiting employees and fitting people to specific roles in an organization. I won't spoil the article for you, but the synopsis of it is this; can a personality test that is designed to fit everyone into 1 of 16 possible "boxes" be an accurate, or even effective tool to gage somebody's ability to succeed in a given position?

The short, and obvious answer to this is, well no. However, upon a deeper delve into the subject of human capital and recruiting it becomes apparent that psychometric assessments, and the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) in particular, are used by a broad assortment of corporations across North America and the world (89 of the of the top fortune 100 companies use MBTI) in some degree to assess their talent. The MBTI has been translated into 24 languages, and as the BBC article states it has even been modified to serve government and military purposes around the world. If this is true than it must have some merit, right? Well it does, the MBTI is a "fantastic vehicle for people to think about themselves and how others are different" says Rachel Robinson of the consultancy firm YSC (Personality Test: Can they identify the real you? BBC news), but it is just that, a tool designed for people to understand their own drivers, motivators and decision making mantras, and to help them see how their colleagues' drivers, motivators and decisions making mantras differ from their own. For those of us who are unfamiliar, or have never had to take the MBTI here is how it works:

Your "box" is made of a four letter code, which is your personality code in essence. For your first letter you can either be classified as either an extrovert (E) or an introvert (I). For your second letter you can be either a sensing person (S) or an intuitive person (N). For your third you can be a thinker (T) or a feeler (F), and lastly for your fourth letter you will be either a judging type (J) or a perceiving type (P). If this doesn't sound like a very accurate way to determine a person's proficiency in a job role to you, you are not alone. Myers-Briggs is the first to admit that the MBTI should not be used for identifying talent and placing candidates in job roles, because this was not its design. However Myers-Briggs, along with any HR manager or human capital analyst will tell you that there is a need for a tool that can accurately analyze and place prospects in job role that fits, and the demand for such a tool is growing rapidly.

With the global economy slowing and profit margins shrinking it has never been more important for big corporations and small businesses alike to cut out the risk and consequences of a bad hire. For this fantasy to become reality companies need a tool that identifies and measures not only a person's "core personality" (the way they think and operate) but also the characteristics that dictate how a person will respond to stress, criticism, deadlines, authority, conflicts, noise, confrontation and check-ups (to list a few). This is a must because these are the character traits that describe how a person will work in a given job role, if these traits can be uncovered prior to hiring someone then this provides incredible insight into whether a potential hire will be a good fit within a company's culture, whether they will be successful in their role or not, and to what extent.