Posts Tagged ‘leadership skills’

Stop Wasting Talent-Part-2

Wednesday, January 20th, 2016

Alright, we left off on a good note. I asked:

Your job is rewarding and challenging. This applies to you to. Are you happy? Are you looking? Are you doing a little extra to make sure you don’t lose valuable employees? Okay then, work it!

Several kind readers have shared privately the challenges they face with public vs. private sector staff. The public sector has less money to keep its talent and the private sector is also stretched thin as money to retain good employees is often not a high priority.

So, what are some of the top ways of keeping YOU happy? How do we make sure You stay put? Besides money, what can we offer YOU that help bring real value in your professional and personal life?

With my teams I made a point of doing some of the following.  I wish I knew about all of these.

Armed with this knowledge you’ll have a stronger chance of utilizing, cultivating and keeping talent. Not in order of most important to least because each of us is unique!

  • Train Us– Right below money rest two very important wants. Employees understand that training makes them better, grows knowledge and understanding and increase opportunities for advancement.
  • I Belong!-Feeling like you contribute, matter and make a difference is huge. Being recognized in the hallway matters too. Don’t pass up a chance to chat with your staff. If YOU don’t feel this are you going to consider looking for another position?
  • Information Share– Let your employees in on what’s going on. Let them feel part of the process. Also, allow them easy access to top management so that they can present Thoughts, ideas and even concerns.
  • Recognize a Job Well Done-From first year to seasoned veteran we desire praise and often pick up our game after receiving it. And, giving/receiving praise has a positive chemical reaction in the brain and body! Appreciation is VERY important!
  • Job security- Employees from 21-88 need to know/feel that their job is waiting for them when they arrive every morning. Just a hint that it doesn’t will have them looking from work elsewhere. And in a strong job market the opportunities rest firmly in their court.
  • Kind, tactful and helpful guidance and criticism- The emotional well-being of employee’s matters and it should matter to all managers. As adults, we want to be treated with respect regardless of title and position. Kindness, humor and constructive guidance are far more effective than brute force and a crappy attitude.

 

  • Open the door-let ‘em in- Sir Paul McCartney had it right. Being included and feeing part of what is making the company tick matters to many employees. And, they often bring valuable insight that can be the catalyst to further grow and prosperity for individuals and the company.

 

Working is an honor, privilege and a necessity. 28 years at a Berkshire Hathaway Fortune 500 company and speaking from coast to coast have taught me the value of each of us. Collectively, we have a greater chance of meeting goals, exceeding expectations and having some fun in the process. THIS is what successful companies and great managers strive for. Are you part of this awesome team or do you need to make some changes?

 

Scott Lesnick is a keynote speaker, consultant and author of Kidjacked-A Father’s Story.

Check him out at www.scottlesnick.com

BREAKING SAD! Leadership done right.

Tuesday, May 12th, 2015

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Those of us in the speaking business are fortunate. We get to travel, stay in hotels and present to people from many walks of life. Oh yeah, we get paid too. The hours, weeks and months of creating and preparation plus rehearsal and fresh topics are expected by those who hire us.

My peers understand “the biz” and the difficulty in obtaining gigs. The not so secret- secret that motivates the crap out of us comes from a source we rarely discuss outside of our industry.

YOU!

That right. We do what we do because you like what we have to offer. The programs, keynotes, breakout sessions, books, consulting and more are what connect us at first. However, as presenters we understand that the real payoff is the connections we make.

One on one or in small groups we learn from you. You teach us. We listen (which isn’t always easy for a speaker) and we grow as people, you and I. That’s the pay off!

Leaders make or break a company and its staff as I found out again at a recent conference.

Jean came up to me after a presentation in tears. Her friend was consoling her. She’s a strong leader and I hit a nerve, her friend explained. I suggested that the three of us meet later in the lobby to chat.

Me- “So Jean, you’re looking better. I mean…,”she stopped me.

Jean- “I’m so sorry, but my boss at work is driving me crazy. I’m sad, so sad because I love what I do. I’m been there 12 years and am thinking about leaving.”

Me- “Can you elaborate? What’s he/she doing that sucks so much? Let’s break you of this SAD.”

Jean- “IT DOES SUCK!!! She’s not responsive to emails, slow as molasses to move on anything and takes FOREVER to make a decision. I have a staff of 25 that this directly affects.”

Me- “You’ve talked to her about this-yes?”

Jean- “Ad nauseam, Scott. Look, I understand you can’t fix this. I was hoping that you had another perspective like you mentioned in our general session.”

Me- “Thank you for stating the obvious (we all gave a much needed chuckle) I’m no expert, but I’ve seen and heard of difficult situations like the one you’re in.  Who can you confide in that you wouldn’t think to approach? They don’t have to be in the same department as you. Someone who does not pop into your mind right away may be the key.”

Jean- “Dan in Accounting is sharp, has a dry sense of humor and at my same management level. Plus he’s heard about some of the difficulties my department has been facing from others. I suppose we could have lunch off site.”

Me- “Low key and hush-hush.”

Jean- “Yep.”

Two months later I received an email from Jean which said:

Scott, I wanted to thank you for taking the time to speak with me. Dan and I did have lunch and he suggested that I involve the senior VP before things got worse. Reluctantly, I did. Remembering what you said about facing fear head on helped. My manager had some upper level discussions and things are better. Not perfect, but I’m not thinking about leaving!

I was honored to assist her in my small way. Jean did all of the heavy lifting.

Leadership form and style is a personal thing. Keeping good employees is critical for company and staff. Losing them costs money and time. Plus, if one person leaves it can cause others to do the same.

Active dialogue between employees is important. Management should strive to keep communication open, honest and productive. Motivating and encouraging retains good employees!

Breaking sad is a must!

 

Ninja Leaders Accomplish More With Less

Sunday, February 8th, 2015

I’m used to going against the grain.  Always have. They guy who managed himself and others in a non-traditional manner was often questioned when it came to this method. Not so much though when it came to results.

Since childhood, I drove my parents crazy with questions and teachers with ‘non-typical’ classroom behavior like just getting up and wandering around.

I realized at an early age that my mind, sprit and body wandered. I embraced it, moved with it and got in plenty of trouble. Sure, I understood that it was better for your health to look both ways before crossing the street, but it didn’t mean that you have to wait for the crosswalk to flash WALK.

I self-diagnosed myself with ADD in my early thirties, had already learned to embrace it without meds and took this with me into the corporate world. And, I’m not alone by a long shot! I know a lot of women and men with the same “outside the box-ADD enriched” ways of getting things done. Often high achievers, these folks look at life, work and getting from A to B in a different way than you might. They have no choice.

It’s not the job as much as the style of leader that motivates inspires and brings a team together. Parents, teachers, police, business and more require us to lead others. Ninja leaders understand that their role is less hands on and more mentoring/teaching and those that ultimately answer to this type of leader tend to perform at a high level.

Ya see, trust isn’t implied, it’s a given. Freedom to be who you are as long as you get the work completed ain’t just a method. It’s survival when we discuss leading different generations and cultures. Millennials are the number one population at work and on the street.

They too look for leaders who understand their ways of working, playing and views of life. Understand this and you’re ability to move effortlessly in meetings, with tasks and one on ones with your staff increase. Job satisfaction and employee retention grows. People climb the ladder at a faster pace. Your non-stiff, on point, less is more meetings are in vogue. If you’re not moving gracefully like a ninja and allowing your folks to show you what they can do with less direction and more actual support than you might be missing the opportunity to lead more productively.

My meetings were notoriously open, loose and free of a tight agenda. The results were often a staff that contributed more, feared less and produced more than their peers. Upper management would scold me and warn that I was not LEADING my people. Instead of telling them that their methods were outdated, somewhat draconian and boring, I let the results do the talking for me. The results were often good.

Your family, coworkers and any team that you lead need some structure, I get that. However, they also appreciate a leader who allows them be involved, feel appreciated and set free to exceed expectations. Isn’t that the way you like to be treated? Ya, thought so. Me too!

A great leader allows other to flourish though praise, stated confidence in their abilities and positive direction.