Thursday, January 24, 2019

The 5 P’s of Transitional Leadership

Change and TransitionChange and transition is difficult for many people. In fact, most of us have a love-hate relationship with change – maybe because we believe it will be painful, messy and disruptive despite knowing that if led and managed well it can result in significant improvement and growth.

Ask anyone in our city and they will tell you that everywhere they go they encounter a construction zone. Our freeway and roads have had major delays and new housing construction has created traffic jams of slow-moving cement trucks and heavy equipment. “Messy” and “disruptive” might not be strong enough terms! But the vision of smoother, wider roads and beautiful new neighborhoods helps us remain positive during the processes of change.

In business, as well as in life, it is impossible to experience growth without change, and if you don’t know how to effectively lead and manage change and transition you will encounter greater resistance and opposition no matter how positive or beneficial the change may be. Remember that change is the event; transition is the psychological and emotional response to the event.

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

How to Keep Your Best Employees

How to Keep Your Best Employees

During a recent executive coaching session the topic of employee turnover came up. My client shared what has been an ongoing problem in his company: losing star performers. Recognizing the tremendous expense associated with recruiting, hiring and training as well as losses in production and efficiency, he wanted to know what his company could do keep their best employees.

In addition to the obvious factors of competitive benefits and salaries, here are some of the key strategies to help you keep your best employees:

Thursday, January 7, 2016

The Platinum Rule

We have all heard the Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. In other words, think about how you would like to be treated and extend that same treatment to others. No one can argue with the effectiveness of that rule, but I’d like to encourage you to become familiar with and apply what is referred to as the Platinum Rule.

The Platinum RuleHere’s the Platinum Rule: Do unto others as you know they would have you do unto them. The difference between the two rules is subtle, but it could help you build stronger relationships because it customizes the way we treat others to their preferences, not ours.

Let’s look at an example. If you want others to treat you with respect, then it is only right and appropriate for you to be respectful to others. But what does that look like? To you, respect might be giving someone time and space after a heated argument to cool off and be left alone to process their thoughts and emotions before trying again to resolve the issue. Since you value that, the Golden Rule leads you to extend that same courtesy to others. You try to hold off on discussing the emotionally charged topic thinking you are being respectful. But what if your spouse has a very different temperament from yours? What if s/he feels most respected when you are willing to engage the issue head on and talk things out until the conflict is resolved? The Platinum Rule would then suggest you do your best to not postpone addressing an emotionally charged topic, but rather stay appropriately engaged until the issue is resolved or until there is mutual agreement that a “time out” is needed. In other words, to apply the Platinum Rules means

Monday, October 13, 2014

How Managers Can Improve Staff Morale – Part I

Most employees who quit their jobs are leaving because of their managers and low staff morale, not necessarily their companies.  Sure, we can think of exceptions, like an employee who moves away, or someone who works at a burger joint who decides to follow a vegan diet, or someone who feels a company product, practice or philosophy violates their own values.  But in cases where the employee just can’t stand to go in to work anymore, most of the time it’s personal – often directly related to the interaction they have, or don’t have, with their manager.  If the manager/employee interactions are negative or inadequate, low staff morale will often ensue.

Staff Morale

Many studies have revealed that there is a direct relationship between employee morale and productivity and performance, so making a conscious effort to improve morale is simply good business.  The Gallup Organization has estimated that there are 22 million actively disengaged employees costing the American economy up to $350 billion annually in lost productivity including absence, illness, and other problems that occur as a result of employee dissatisfaction.  Executives and managers who are able to keep employee morale high will undoubtedly improve productivity and performance for their company.

If you want to improve staff morale among your employees adopt the five strategies outlined below as part of your regular management practice.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

5 Keys to Inspiring Your Team

Inspiring your team

If it’s your job to lead a team of employees or volunteers, it can be a bit unnerving to know that the buck stops on your desk but the group members are the ones who make you successful – or not. Inspiring your team can sometimes be a challenge, but it is a critical component to achieving your goals.  Here are five keys to inspiring your team to do their best.

Create consensus & unity in purpose – People enjoy being part of something good, strong and purposeful. Be sure your team meets together early on as you begin any project so everyone hears the vision at the same time and has the opportunity to discuss ideas and ask questions.  This ensures no team member is going in to their assignment without adequate knowledge of what goal needs to be met or with a “lone ranger” attitude.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Being a Great Team Player


Leadership is one of my passions.  Helping executives, business owners, and managers develop the skills to lead effectively is very satisfying.  But no organization can run smoothly if everybody is a boss – and the majority of us function best in a supportive role.  So, if you’re not the person in charge, how can you be the most helpful as a member of your team?

Here are some tips for being a great team player:

1. Set ego aside – Maybe you’ve heard it before: Great things can be done when you don’t care who gets the credit.  Focus on the contribution you can make, not the credit you hope to receive.  At the end of the day, knowing you were part of a successful effort is extremely rewarding.

2. Be solution-focused – If your team has been given a goal, spend your time and energy working toward making it happen. Be willing to listen to others’ ideas, brainstorm with an open mind and realize that your idea may or may not be the best way to accomplish the goal. It’s more important that the project is successful than who gets their way.

3. Learn to understand your teammates – People have distinctly different behavioral styles. Learn to observe how others operate; are they detailed, visionary, extroverted, introverted, task driven, people oriented, talkative, quiet? Sometimes we don’t understand how others do things, but it’s important to realize that a well-rounded team needs a variety of styles in order to accomplish goals. The old saying goes, “It takes all kinds,” and it does!

4. Focus on your role, and not everybody else’s – Any team project or goal will have a better chance of being completed well and on time if you make an honest effort to do the part you