Leaders and Sacrifice

“Leadership is about inspiration-of oneself and of others. Great leadership is about human experiences, not processes. Leadership…is a human activity that comes from the heart and considers the hearts of others.”-
Lance Secretan

Simon Sinel bookIn his new book Leaders Eat Last, Simon Sinek says leaders must sacrifice for their people. They must be willing to put the needs of others before their own needs. It’s a choice: to look after the person on either side of us.

What Leaders Must Sacrifice:

• Micromanaging
Hire good people, trust your people, and check progress when appropriate. Having authority over their work is a key indicator for employee happiness. Give it to them and praise them when they’ve done well. Demonstrate your confidence in them.

• Self-Interest and Ego

Get in the trenches and work with your people at all levels. I read a story about a CEO who had succcessfully grown the business, and while it was doing well, sales had plateaued. He was advised to go down on the factory floor every week and spend time with his people, getting to know them. In six months, his profits took off because his people knew that he cared. They delivered better, faster service and higher quality. People respond when you know you care about them.

• Saving Face at the Expense of Your People
If you don’t back your people up when they are in crisis or conflict with vendors, clients, etc., then you send a very clear message of fear and mistrust. When you say you will support your people in difficult times and then fail to, your employees feel betrayed and abandoned. They will resent you and become cynical and fearful. None of that leads to high performance.

• Looking Good to Stockholders
At Next Jump in NY, CEO Charlie Kim spends significant money developing people- on training programs and mentoring- much to the chagrin of his investors. However, the results proved themselves and delighted stockholders. Many firms in this industry have double digit turnover rates, which can cost millions to replace. (Industry averages 150% of a person’s salary to replace them.) Because of the investment Charlie makes in his people, turnover is low single digit, and the quality of innovation, problem-solving capability, loyalty and engagement at the company have soared.

Keep expanding your capability as a leader! You will inspire others.

 

 

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How Leaders Fail

“Leadership is lifting a person’s vision to higher sights, the raising of a person’s performance to a higher standard, the building of a personality beyond its normal limitations.” Peter F. Drucker

The Biggest Mistakes Leaders Make

http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-photography-hard-day-image22576797Breaking agreements and not keeping promises
Other people assume a promise from a leader will be kept. And when you fail to follow-through on any level, it breaks trust. It creates dis-ease and mistrust on all levels and calls into question your credibility. Don’t make commitments you can’t keep. Renegotiate them, delegate them, but do not break promises.

• Emotional outbursts. I had a boss who screamed at everyone, for no reason. I’ve seen other leaders do this, and all it does is alienate others around you. DO NOT VENT on your staff. They deserve better. Go to therapy, work out, get the anger out before you come to work.

• Lack of empathy: Not understanding how your people feel after a work crisis, not giving them comp time when they have worked overtime for many days, not being compassionate when your people have a family emergency. You must demonstrate compassion. Your staff are first and foremost people; treat them with respect and caring.

• Not Giving Appreciation or Praise
70% of American workers are actively disengaged. 88% of American workers NEVER receive thanks for the work they have done!  There’s a correlation. Praise people specifically in writing for a job well done. Say thank you publicly to others for their work. Express your thanks often.

• Not Being Transparent
More than ever, leaders need to tell the truth and address fear and rumors. Even if you can’t tell the whole story, acknowledge that yes, change is happening, and you are doing everything in your power to resolve issues quickly. Update your people often. Acknowledge their worries and be honest in responses. Maintain an optimistic approach and keep them updated every step of the way.

 

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The Worst Boss You Ever Had

 

Could Teach You A Few Things

Over 30 years ago, I had a boss who regularly came in and yelled at the staff.  For no reason.  He just vented his anger at the world onto his staff.  And yet he was brilliant, creative,  andvery effective at sales.  But he was not so good at managing and retaining employees.  No matter how terrific the rest of the job is, if you’re being screamed at for no reason, that verbal abuse will drive you away. Few people can tolerate constant demeaning.
 
Here’s what I learned from him:
 
• NEVER be a yeller.  That doesn’t mean that there aren’t days when you’re stressed and frustrated, but don’t take it out on the people you work with.  If you’re that upset, go for a walk, go workout, get in your car with the windows up and yell there.  Just not at people.  Ever.  Really. It’s abusive.
 
• Positive specific praise and reinforcement goes a long way. Most people like public recognition and like being told specifically what they did well.  If you really want to thank someone, give them a written note as well; these are rare and amazingly effective. Sticky notes work, too.

• Financial reward only works so far
.  Continual humiliation, denigration, verbal abuse and difficult work environment will drive out even the most dedicated achievers away.  If you want to retain good people, treat them well.
Find out what is important to them and reward accordingly.

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The Ideal Jobs for Low Stress

What Job is Right for You?

Do you thrive on uncertainty, love a challenge, and like the unexpected?
Or do you prefer consistency, even keel projects, predictable outcomes?
Your answer will determine which job style is right for you.

2 womenwhiteLRCareerCast.com has recently done a study on the jobs with the lowest stress levels.  Those include audiologists, dieticians, medical records technicians, hair stylists, university professors with tenure, multi-media artists, librarians and jewelers.

The ones with the most stress include jobs with unexpected and unpredictable conditions, like police, firefighters, airline pilots, military, newspaper reporter and taxi drivers.

For a complete look at the article, and expected growth in job categories,
go here: http://abcnews.go.com/Business/stressful-jobs/story?id=21441041#

For a free report on how to get and stay Fired Up!, go here http://firedupnow.com/top20tips/

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70% of American Workers are Disengaged at Work

Which Means They Are Not Happy and Not Productive- What Can You Do?

Man overwhelmed with photos

One of the most important areas to focus on when dealing with disengaged employees is really very simple:  Tie their work to your purpose.

Research on happiness shows people are most joyful and effective when they believe that what they do makes a difference.  Show them how the end results of their work benefit others.  What is the purpose of your business or corporation?  How does it make the world a better place?  How do they contribute to that?

Give very specific and clear examples of how their work directly impacts the lives of others. Let them know that every effort, no matter how small, results in this impact.  Give them a reason to come to work every morning and to share their enthusiasm.

Consider how to tie work to purpose:

• posting photos in the employee lounge of those who benefit from the work

• posting stories in employee Intranet about how the company makes a difference

• sharing testimonials from customers/ clients/ recipients of the work

 

Source: 2013 Gallup poll

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New Study Shows Workers are More Stressed than Ever

92% of  US Workers are Stressed
 
Stressed out Woman from Fired Up! and Stress ExpressA new study from ComPsych Corp shows employee stress has escalated:

• 60% of all workers have high stress, while 32% have manageable levels of stress.  Only 5% say they have low stress levels

• Causes of stress: 40% of workers blame workload and 34% blame it on who they have to work with
 
•   36 % lose an hour or more productivity due to stress daily &  40+ % waste nearly 30 minutes of work daily because of stress
 
• Absenteeism- 30% of worker miss between 3-6 days of work annually because of stress

Ways to beat stress:
 
• practice deep breathing 2-3 times a day- deep belly breaths
• sleep for at least 7 hours a night to extend your life, reduce stress & improve health
• exercise at least 15 minutes a day doing something- walking, yoga, dance, basketball
• stay away from negative co-workers
 


 

©2012 Snowden McFall All Rights Reserved. No duplication or reprinting without permission and author reference

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Make the Most of Your Millenial Employees

Shaking handsMillenials are one of the fastest growing employee groups worldwide, and they have the most customer interaction of any age segment. Managers often wonder how to motivate them, since they crave flexibility and meaning.  Here are a few tips from expert Jason Dorsey:

• Give them at least 10 seconds of specific feedback a month from a senior person (they like communication)
 
• Make their first day at work memorable; start them on a less stressful day than Monday and pair them with a same gender peer for the office tour (they’ll ask better questions)
 
• Honor their birthday in a special way as they like to celebrate all month long
 
• Coach them to ask for opportunities to demonstrate their potential; they want to grow and move up
 

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©2012 Snowden McFall All Rights Reserved.  No duplication or reprinting without permission and author reference

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Keep Your Employees with these Key Questions

Have you read this book? First, Break All the Rules, What the World’s Great Managers Do Differently is a compilation of the findings of Gallup poll researchers who interviewed over 1 million employees, 80,000 managers and 400 companies.  The book makes several great points.

One is how to determine the strength of any workplace. Ask your employees these questions:

1. Do I know what is expected of me at work?

2. Do I have the materials and equipment I need to do my work right?

3. At work, do I have the opportunity to do what I do best every day?

4. In the last seven days, have I received recognition or praise for doing good work?

5. Does my supervisor, or someone at work, seem to care about me as a person?

6. Is there someone at work who encourages my development?

7. At work, do my opinions seem to count?

8. Does the mission/purpose of my company make me feel my job is important?

9. Are my co-workers committed to doing quality work?

10. Do I have a best friend at work?

11. In the last six months, has someone at work talked to me about my progress?

12. This last year, have I had the opportunities at work to learn and grow?

 

These are the  core elements needed to attract, focus, and keep the most talented employees.  The first 6 questions are the most important fundamental questions that often get jumped over.  That is a critical mistake, because those 6 are foundational before any employee can even consider vision, mission, and growth.

 

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Think Like an Entrepreneur- Whether You Are One or Not

Use Entrepreneurial Thinking to Excel at Your Job

Cheering womenMany of my speaking / consulting clients are corporations, medical associations and non-profits.  Sometimes the employees feel a sense of powerlessness with all the red tape and bureaucracy.  According to the book Drive, humans have an essential need for autonomy, control over their work and their destinies.  A great way to gain control in your job is to assume authority over a problem and come up with a new solution. Creatively brainstorm and solve it as if it were your own business.  Then go to your superior with a clearly mapped out plan of action in writing. Most managers will applaud your ingenuity and initiative, and you will feel better, with more control over your work. Plus you may have remedied an expensive and stressful problem.

©2012 Snowden McFall All Rights Reserved.  No duplication or reprinting without permission and author reference

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Look for the Best in Others


What You Think About Does Make a Big Difference

In his new book, Social Intelligence, Daniel  Goleman writes about recent brain research: “One person’s inner state affects and drives the other person….We actually catch each other’s emotions like a cold.” The moresignificant the relationship is, the greater the impact on the other person.   Our thoughts have tremendous power.  The ramifications of  this are interesting.

If you have annoying co-workers or employees, and you continue to think that they are obnoxious or rude, or whatever your belief system is about them, you will unconsciously be creating more of what you don’t want in them.  If, on the other hand, you start focusing on their good qualities, both inside yourself and verbally to them, you will help strengthen their positive characteristics and your relationship.

This has great implications for employer-employee relationships, wherea perceptive boss who becomes aware of her/his thoughts, can actually contribute to an employee’s greater success… just by the way they think about that employee.

Thoughts are incredibly powerful, so monitor yours carefully and think about what you truly want to create in your life.

 

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 ©2011 Snowden McFall All Rights Reserved. No duplication 
or reprinting without permission and author reference.

 

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