How to Fast Track Employee Disengagement

Employee engagement is enough to send most employers over the edge. It seems so straightforward and simple, yet all of your efforts seem to fall flat. That doesn’t mean that you’re doing everything wrong, in fact, you might have some great ideas but you have some wrong things that are pushing the balance the other way.

Imagine, if you will, an old house that is falling apart… simply painting over it is not going to fix all of the problems. With anything, you have to deal with issue from the foundation up to actually change things.

We’ve provided a list below and if you find yourself in violation of these principles then you will find yourself in trouble. Warning: you are probably already in violation, because no matter how bright a manager you are, it’s simple to slip into these foibles.

1. No matter how tempting it is- prizes and gimmicks have the opposite effect of what you are trying to achieve. While it might provide an initial improvement, it is essentially tantamount to being a parent who spoils and bribes their child into behaving a particular way. Engaging your employees requires work experiences that are intrinsically rewarding.

2. Every single interaction that you have with an employee can improve employee engagement, or destroy it. It doesn’t matter whether you’re having a face to face conversation, drafting an email, or leaving a note. It is built or destroyed one interaction at a time.

3. If you don’t care about your employees why on earth would they care about your business goals? There is a fine line between being too involved and not being involved enough with your employees. It’s important that they know about who you are as a person, and it’s important that you know about them and their families. That doesn’t mean you have to invite each over for dinner, but you should show an interest in them as a person.

4. It’s important to remember that you’re not in the social work business. We are all humans at the end of the day and while it’s easy to say: leave your problems at the door, it isn’t always as simple in practice. That doesn’t mean you can’t show empathy, but you should create an atmosphere of professionalism. You are, after all, a business and you are a manager, not a therapist. This is something that you should consider when recruiting, too, you want to hire people that will fit into your business comfortably.

5. By creating jobs that allow employees to take control of situations on a daily basis you are empowering them. You don’t have to go out of your way to make them feel like they matter, because they can see that through the role they play in your business.

6. Poor communication does one thing: breeds uncertainty. When people don’t actually know what they are supposed to be doing, or working towards they just worry. So ensure that communication is clear and to the point.

7. The best way to improve employee engagement? Is to engage your employees by actually asking them how they feel. Whether that means holding a listening group with groups of employees until you’ve spoken to everyone, or if you want to use a survey system. Whichever method you decide to use the most important thing is that you actually listen to the feedback and use it. Asking for input and then ignoring it will only make matters worse.

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Fear Factor: Why Employees Won’t Speak Up

Open communication is a key factor to have a more productive, efficient and successful business but many employees would much rather keep their concerns or opinion to themselves. So why are employees more inclined to just ignore or neglect to bring light to things that could potentially save time, money and can improve the over efforts of the team or project? Many are quick to say that it all boils down to trust. But, this can often be a tricky area. How can employees trust that their voices or opinions will make a difference if they are constantly shot down? How can it be expected that employees trust management when there is little to no discussion about building trust in the workplace?
There is a lot of attention placed on being more productive and time management that trust is often never associated with these other topics. But, without trust productivity will suffer and time management will be neglect. Without trust, employees are not motivated to give their 100%. How can you as a manager begin to build a more trusting relationship with your employees? It all boils down to how well you listen, take responsibility, confidentiality and the support you give the rest of your employees.

Building Trust by Listening
Make it a point to let your employees know that they can come to you with their concerns, problems or questions. You might want to start off with a simple one on one conversation with one of the more difficult employees. Be sure to actually listen to what they have to say, don’t do all the talking and do so from a more logical perspective, not an emotional one.
Be incredibly mindful at times when you hear something you do not agree with, which will spark a reflex action to voice our own opinions. Instead, stay calm and really focus on hearing what the other person is saying instead of reacting to what they are saying.

Building Trust by Taking Responsibility
It can be easy to throw blame to other departments or even your employees but when you stop to see where you may have failed to share important details or information and own up to that you will see a new respect from your employees. Instead of constantly blaming the rest of the team stand up and take ownership of the areas you know you need to improve upon. When you find yourself starting to pass the blame stop and ask yourself what you can do to improve the situation or circumstances.

Building Trust with Confidentiality
As a leader, you do not want to get caught up in the rumor mill in the office or be the one to pass on misleading information before verifying the facts. You can set an example for the rest of your team by stopping the rumor mills before they spread even further. Instead, go directly to the source to find out the facts. If two employees are feuding, go directly to the person involved separately to gather the facts first. When the employees see you taking this approach they will begin to follow in your footsteps.

Building Trust with Support
The best way you can build trust among your teams is simply by giving them the support and encouragement they need. You want to be supportive of all the employees equally. Give mutual support will gain your mutual trust in return.

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Freedom Workers – The Next Big Thing

For as long as most of us can remember, the structure of our work lives has been fairly conventional: we have managers at the top who supervise us and determine what needs to get done; and we work the same eight hours a day (or more), five days a week. Over the last decade or so, progressive businesses have taken a more “bottom-up” approach, recognizing the added value gained by allowing employees to drive projects in a more autonomous manner. When implemented properly, this approach has proven to make companies more agile, creative, and productive.

But there’s something else new on the horizon: following the same logic of autonomy, some businesses are now realizing the benefits of allowing their workers to choose their individual work hours and location. In short, some progressive businesses are beginning to recognize the advantages of keeping an open workflow policy.

The drawback of a closed workflow
All managers want their employees to be as productive as possible. Companies are structured to maximize efficiency. The consolidation of work hours and location is an extension of this drive toward maximum efficiency and production. It’s fair to say that it’s a bit mechanistic (like an evolved assembly line). Now all that has to be done is to “plug-in” the worker, right? This is the problematic part, and a few businesses today have begun realizing this issue, as evidenced by changes in the management/employee relation.

Employees can’t just activate or sustain high-level productivity at the flip of a switch. Productivity waxes and wanes just like any human tendency. People may try their best to adapt to a mechanistic workflow, but it doesn’t always work. Perhaps a better solution might be to design a workflow that adapts to the nature of human productivity.

What does an open workflow look like?
Let’s break it down to the basics. People do things because they want something in return. In a work scenario, some employees desire the work itself as much as the pay while others just desire the pay. Whatever the case may be, at the core of this dynamic is motivation. Implementing an open workflow adds a new dynamic to work motivation—the desire to work more freely.

If you force someone to work in a specific way, the motivation to work is not entirely intrinsic. On the other hand, if you gave someone a relative amount of freedom to do his work, then you may be able to better see someone’s quality of work based on self-initiative. An open workflow is one of the best ways to establish a workforce that driven by self-initiative.

Benefits of an open workflow for businesses

Open workflow attracts workers: according to a survey by IT consulting firm Softchoice, at least 70% of an entire workforce would quit their current jobs for a chance to work from home. Offering an open workflow can be a form of competitive advantage as it offers something of a rare and greater value—the freedom to choose when and where to work—that most companies do not offer.

Increase in revenue and productivity: In a WSJ article dating back to 2013, it has been reported that a number of companies that have allowed employees to work remotely for at least three times a month have experienced an increase in revenue of 10% as compared with the previous year. According to a Harvard Business Review article, a study released at the World Economic Forum found that companies with open workflow policies were “10-20 times more likely to outperform” companies that hold more restrictive work policies.

Benefits of an open workflow for employees

Better work/life balance: It’s not easy to balance the demands of work against personal time. It’s even harder for employees who are parents, as children have their own schedules and demand extra time and attention. Employees with inflexible work schedules packed with more tasks than time to complete them end up taking their work home. Not only does this take time away from their family time, it takes away the necessary personal time that every individual needs to maintain a healthy personal and family life.

Take on tasks during optimal moments: As we mentioned earlier, individual productivity waxes and wanes. There are times when your physical and cognitive capacities are at an optimal level, and there are times when you feel slower or experience “brain fog.” Of course, these states are also affected by other factors such as diet, exercise, and lifestyle. But if employees were able to determine their own schedules, assuming that they work toward optimizing both personal and work productivity, they can have the opportunity to tackle work-related tasks during optimal moment. In addition to this, employees will have the flexibility to tend to other tasks that enhance their health and physical/mental capacities.

Suggesting an open workflow
For an open workflow to “work,” employees and management must come into agreement on policy and implementation. Lots of research must be done to examine the details of the implementation. For instance, a company will have to decide how they are going to quantitatively and qualitatively assess the overall effect of an open workflow with regard to productivity and revenue. Managers need to ask employees what kinds of work freedom they want, and both sides will have to negotiate the details on implementation, trial period (for assessment), and policy. Both managers and employees might also have to consider the technological requirements and training necessary to facilitate remote communications and data/content management.

An open workflow policy may be the next big thing in the workplace. It definitely has its benefits, but in order to reap those benefits, lots of preliminary research and infrastructure changes must take place in a careful and well-thought manner.

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Listen to the Pain Caused by Bad Bosses


Bad Bosses and Bullies in the Workplace are Everywhere.

Sad, but true, Bad Bosses, and Bully Leadership is alive and well in today’s workplace

Listen to the Voices

Listen to the Pain…

• My workplace is toxic
• The office politics around here are brutal
• I work for a bully
• I am being harassed at work
• I have the manager from hell
• It’s all about Bad Boss Survival
• Things are getting worse
• I am afraid all the time
• I work for an absolute idiot
• I am constantly looking over my shoulder
• I am constantly threaten with being fired
• I feel marginalized
• I am just unhappy at work
• I feel disrespected
• I hate my boss
• My boss makes me feel anxious
• My boss makes me anger quickly
• I have no energy
• I hate my life

Do not despair, there is an answer!

But, it requires a break with tradition, a break with the status quo.

It requires a new leadership model where the employee works within his/her circle of influence, not concern

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On Being a Leader

Welcome to being a Leader!

Maybe you been doing it for a while?

Maybe this is all brand new to you? Regardless, nobody said it was going to be easy. Rest assured you are going to have days from hell.

However, here are a few simple rules and realities that all leaders need to think about…I suggest thinking about all the time.

On Being a Leader

This does not mean being an autocratic, micromanaging, iron fisted ruler…
This does not mean being a push over, laissez faire, or “don’t rock the boat” carefree employee

Being a Leader is Not a Popularity Contest
Being Their Friend and Their Leader (Boss) is a slippery slope – one you must navigate carefully on. It just means changing roles “on and off duty”. And when you are on duty, it means…

Taking Charge – Taking Command
It also requires Managing Expectations
What is “Managing Expectations”?
It is Positive Discipline – Rules, Regulations, Expectations, Policies understood up front!

ON DUTY = Delivery on Expectations

You Manage Things – You Lead People
Management – Leadership Balance
You are both a Manager and a Leader
You Manage Things
You Lead People
Mistake Commonly Made is…
Treating People Like Things

This is Management

This is Leadership
Preferred future

Go Hard With the Issues, But Soft on People

Click Here for More Lead Big Information

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Positive Policing – The Next Paradigm Shift

Positive Policing – the Principles

1. Affirmation or Re-Affirmation of Sir Robert Peel’s 9 Principles (Begin With the End in Mind)
(Police are the public and the public are the police & the test of police efficiency is the absence of crime and disorder, not the visible evidence of police action in dealing with it.)

– The basic mission for which the police exist is to prevent crime and disorder.

– The ability of the police to perform their duties is dependent upon public approval of police actions.

– Police must secure the willing co-operation of the public in voluntary observance of the law to be able to secure and maintain the respect of the public.

– The degree of co-operation of the public that can be secured diminishes proportionately to the necessity of the use of physical force.

– Police seek and preserve public favour not by catering to public opinion but by constantly demonstrating absolute impartial service to the law.

– Police use physical force to the extent necessary to secure observance of the law or to restore order only when the exercise of persuasion, advice and warning is found to be insufficient.

– Police, at all times, should maintain a relationship with the public that gives reality to the historic tradition that the police are the public and the public are the police; the police being only members of the public who are paid to give full-time attention to duties which are incumbent on every citizen in the interests of community welfare and existence

– Police should always direct their action strictly towards their functions and never appear to usurp the powers of the judiciary.

– The test of police efficiency is the absence of crime and disorder, not the visible evidence of police action in dealing with it.

2. Focusing on the Root(s) Causes of Crime and Problems
– Problems left un-attended can quickly develop into crimes
Not all problems become crimes – but, all crimes are problems (sometimes big problems). Solving problems and crimes requires a root problem solving approach. Roots can be deep and spread out over a variety of landscapes.

3. Community Policing Root Problem Solving Model – C.A.P.R.A.
(Seek First To Understand)
Clients – identify all internal and external (direct and indirect) involved
Acquire and Analyze – gather all the facts – intelligence led
Partnerships – one plus one equals three and more
Response – innovation and creativity (but can include enforcement)
Assessment – review, champion mistakes, readjust approach

4. Pre-Incident Prevention – not just Post Incident Correction
(Be Proactive)
The whole notion of never having the problem in the first place, or early identification, or attempting to be ahead of the curve
…proactive counter measures Our new reality is not ONLY about REACTING and RESPONDING – but ANTICIPATING, FORECASTING, IDENTIFYING and PREPARING for the New Challenges – and “action” in a PRO nature– PROACTIVE. Becoming a great Pro-Actor

5. Triage is Important
As social doctors, triage is a necessary component of a comprehensive approach.
Triage is Q1 and it is enforcement, investigation and protection.

6. There Is More Than One Right Answer (Think Win-Win)
Whether community problem solving in partnership or law enforcement, there are many ways of approach to deal with today’s problems. In other words, there is more than one right answer. Working from the premise that there is just one right answer, shuts down creativity and opens the doors to possible disaster.

7. Comprehensive Approach
A comprehensive approach includes prevention, education, communication (and also enforcement, investigation, intelligence). A package grounded on principles. Principles that ensure public trust, accountability, yet allow for innovative problem solving and enforcement approaches in an integrated – interdependent manner.

8. Community Consultation/Community Voice
Neither the Police and or Government do not have all the answers. Community consultation, discussion, collaboration is vital for a safe civil society. It is important to unleash the potential of the community voice – unleashing the blended voice.

9. Holistic Approach Includes Wrap-Around Services
Involving both direct and indirect clients related to the problem/crime that can provide support and wrap around services to prevent, reduce, treat, protect.

10. Long Term Investment – Law of the Farm…
Many of the partnerships and counter measures require courage and faith.
It has taken generations to work ourselves into the problems of today – the quick fix will not solve all our problems. We have to reinvest at the front end and hold the course for the long term payoffs.

11. 3rd Alternative Scorecard – a new scorecard for a new paradigm
Must integrate and use a new score card that captures the long term investment activities and energies.

12. Act on Low Hanging Fruit – Quick Hits Demonstrate Commitment & Priority to the Urgent
Some problems and crimes require immediate action. Utilizing a blended strategy that includes acting upon priority quadrant one issues quickly (when makes sense & reasonable) demonstrates resolve and that action speak louder than words.

13. New Leadership Model (Leadership Engine) Required
Shared leadership – a new leadership model must be applied

14. Not Just a Police Problem – Community Problem (OUR Problem).
Our Problems…Rules of Change – No involvement, no ownership

15. We Can Love Them Better – Why kids join gangs.
What ways can we show our kids we care? Asset Building philosophy (40 developmental asset approach)

16. Five Approaches for Community Policing
– Service
– Legitimacy – being legitimate to all clients needs and perspectives
– Deployment of resources – innovative ways to deploy (human and physical)
– Community revitalization (broken window theory) – take back the streets
– Problem solving – root

17. Trust & Trustworthiness
At the core of any relationship is trust through trustworthiness. Trust takes time, especially in a military, command & control or non-democratic society.

18. Reduction of Command & Control Decision Making to Empowered Decisions Based on M.E.A.L. by Front Line.
If it is Moral – Ethical – Affordable – Legal and the community on board
…just do it.

19. Connect and Re-Connect
To build relationships and trust, police, agencies, officials need to connect and re-connect with the community they serve. Seek first to understand.

20. Perception is Reality
Perception of crime and problems has to be managed

21. Dedicated Patrols – Not Random or Routine
Police and safety counter measures must be intelligence led, based on research , real time (COMSTAT) focusing on hot spots

22. Decentralized – Neighborhood Model with Centralized/Integrated Support
Connecting back with communities/neighborhoods.
Not just homeland security, but hometown security.
Moving from DETACHments to ATTACHments

23. Complete Transparency
Trust is built, real and perception of corruption is eliminated when there is full transparency. Information must flow between police and community.

24. Integrated Approach – Recognizing the Goal as Interdependence
Integrated approach to deal with community social issues, problems and crime.
The next shift after integration is interdependence.

25. Guaranteeable Surprises
Remember, there are such things as PREDICTABLE SURPRISES – in fact, they are…
GUARANTEEABLE SUPRISES – let the problem grow or worsen over time, delay taking action and maintain the status quo.

26. Transformational Change Takes Time and an Inside Out Approach
Develop Your Team > Inside – Out Approach…develop your inside first, then the outside service delivery success will come

27. Continuity
Great leaders will not only be change agents, adapting with the challenges. They will be continuity agents. Continuity – holding steady to the course (the vision the long term investment) during times of crisis and turbulence.

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An Ounce of Prevention is Worth a Pound of Cure

“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”Henry de Bracton, English jurist

Eradicating Smallpox – Thinking Proactively, Instead of Reactively

Smallpox is a contagious virus that causes an array of unpleasant symptoms—a raised pink rash on the skin that later turns to blisters, backache, delirium, diarrhea, excessive bleeding, fatigue, high fever, headache, and vomiting. According to Wikipedia, the first recorded smallpox epidemic was in 1350 B.C.

Most major cities in Europe had cases of the disease by the 18th century. The virus can live anywhere from 6 to 24 hours outside a host—on clothes, bedding, furniture, towels, etc. It’s no wonder the virus killed millions of people in Europe and Mexico in widespread epidemics. Of those infected, 20 to 60 percent of adults and 80 percent of children died from the disease. So how is it that on May 8, 1980, the World Health Assembly declared the world free of smallpox?

What changed?

The eradication of smallpox is due to the eradication of old medical practices—a break-with the traditions of the time. Super high fatality rates prompted people to look for better methods of combating the problem. Instead of waiting for people to get sick and then trying to treat them, people looked for ways to prevent the disease in the first place. They started to think proactively instead of reactively.

Variolation is the practice of exposing a healthy person to infected material in hopes of producing a mild form of a disease that will provide immunity. The first written account of variolation describes a Buddhist nun grinding up scabs taken from a person infected with smallpox, and then blowing the resulting powder into the nostrils of a non-immune person.

By the 1700s, variolation was common practice in China, India, and Turkey. While some people still died from variolation, the total number of smallpox fatalities decreased ten-fold.

Variolation gave way to another proactive method against smallpox—vaccination. An English physician, Edward Jenner, developed the first vaccine against smallpox using the milder disease of cowpox, which provided a reasonable degree of immunity. World health officials then went on a long mission to eradicate smallpox, which they achieved in 1980.

The story behind the eradication of smallpox is symbolic for any organization facing a stubborn challenge that won’t go away and may be draining life from the organization. Smallpox exposes the next break-with insight:

Break-With Insight: Primarily focus on prevention, not on treatment.

Yes, of course, you may think. Focusing on prevention is logical and certainly more effective than treating illness. But while prevention is logical and more effective, it is not common practice. So many problems and challenges in the workplace, in communities, and in the world are handled with treatment and cures rather than prevention.

Law enforcement organizations are some of the biggest offenders with this mentality. Our energy, resources, and best thinking go toward treatments—build more prisons, hire more judges, develop more inmate programs, buy more weapons, hire more police officers, etc. All of these methods focus on treating an uncivil society instead of preventing it. Coming at a problem from a proactive, preventive mindset opens up all sorts of possibilities and options. Admittedly, it may also open up criticism and skepticism. In which case, you’re in good company with Dr. Edward Jenner, who was also harshly criticized for his original vaccine against smallpox.

An excerpt from my book: Lead Big: Discovering the Upside of Unconventional Leadership

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The Quickest Way to Kill Your Business

The quickest way to kill your business – stay in your office!

Simply put… If you want to kill the human spirit and destroy your organization, stay out of touch.

Stay in your office.

Send out non-stop emails.

Sit arrogantly in your comfort zone, and stay oblivious to what is really going on.

However, if you want to hear the bad news first, identify trends and seize opportunities, get out of your office!

Get off your “duff”. Walk the floor – Visit Customers

You’ll be amazed what you find out.

    Manage By Walking Around

If you are a manager or a leader, the best thing you can do is Get Out of Your Office. Simply put, if you truly want to know what is going on at your workplace, you need to Manage By Walking Around (MBWA). In other words, get out of your office. Your team, your people, your customers, need to see you. Plus you need to know what is truly going on…daily. The best way to get the unfiltered truth, and to build some trust with your people is…Get out of your office. This means, stop sending out endless emails. Stop holding pointless meetings. Stop getting caught up in the “thick of thin things”. Instead, make it your number one priority to practice the Lead Big principle…MBWA.

MWBA – Management By Walking Around

Twelve Guidelines for Managing By Walking Around (MBWA)

(1) Do it to everyone.
You may remain in such close contact with your direct reports that MBWA is redundant with them. The real power of the technique lies in the time you spend with those in lower levels of your area of responsibility. Get around to see those who work for your direct reports and any others whose work is important to you.

(2) Do it as often as you can.
MBWA sends positive messages to employees. It reveals your interest in them and in their work, and it says you don’t consider yourself “too good” to spend time with them. MBWA also enables you to stay in touch with what is going on in your department, section or unit. Put aside at least thirty minutes a week to spend with all employees. Aim for once a quarter to see those you must travel long distances to visit.

(3) Go by yourself.
MBWA is more meaningful when you visit with employees alone, and one-on-one. It encourages more honest dialogue and speaks loudly of your personal commitment to the idea.

(4) Don’t circumvent subordinate managers.
Some employees may take advantage of your presence to complain about a supervisor who is your subordinate. Counsel them to discuss the issue fully with their supervisor first. If you have cause to question the supervisor’s judgement, don’t indicate so to the employee, but follow up privately with the supervisor.

(5) Ask questions.
MBWA is a great opportunity to observe those “moments of truth” when your employees interact with your clients. Ask them to tell you a little bit about the files, projects or duties they are working on. Take care to sound inquisitive rather than intrusive.

(6) Watch and listen.
Take in everything. Listen to the words and tone of employees as they speak to you and to each other. You’ll learn a lot about their motivation and their levels of satisfaction. In the words of Yogi Berra, “You can observe a lot just by watching.”

(7) Share your dreams with them.
As a Yukon Dog Team handler used to say, “The view only changes for the lead dog.” MBWA is a solid opportunity to make sure that when you lead the sled in a new direction, the employees behind you won’t trip over themselves trying to follow. Tell them about the organization’s vision for the future, and where your vision for the department / unit/ section fits in with the “big picture.” Reveal the goals and objectives that you want them to help you fulfill together as a team. Ask them for their vision, and hold an open discussion.

(8) Try out their work.
Plop down in front of the computer; get behind the wheel; pick up the telephone; review a project file. Experience what they endure. Sample their job just enough to show your interest in it, and to understand how it goes. Think of great ways to reconnect with your front line workers, and gain a current understanding of exactly what they are dealing with during a typical work day.

(9) Bring good news.
Walk around armed with information about recent successes or positive initiatives. Give them the good news. Increase their confidence and brighten their outlook. So often employees are fed only gloom and doom. Neutralize pessimism with your own optimism, without being non-credible.

(10) Have fun.
This is a chance to lighten up, joke around, and show your softer side without being disrespectful or clowning around. Show employees that work should be fun and that you enjoy it too.

(11) Catch them in the act of doing something right.
Look for victories rather than failures. When you find one, applaud it. When you run into one of the many unsung heroes in your job site, thank them on the spot, being careful not to embarrass them in front of peers or to leave out other deserving employees.

(12) Don’t be critical.
When you witness a performance gone wrong, don’t criticize the performer. Correct on the spot anything that must be redone, but wait to speak to the wrongdoer’s supervisor to bring about corrective action.

To learn more, check out my website and my recent book – Lead Big: Discovering the Upside of Unconventional Leadership

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Enabling the ExtraOrdinary

Enabling the ExtraOrdinary

James Kouzes and Barry Posner’s extensive research sum up in 5 simple points how you can get extraordinary things done…

1) Challenge the Process
2) Inspire a Shared Vision
3) Enable Others to Act
4) Model the Way
5) Encourage the Heart (Find the Spark – The MoJo)

Knowing how to enable is the easy part – keeping this philosophy top of mind is your challenge

Enablement is really all about “letting go”…

Letting go of the reins with vision, planning, accountability and heart

Here are 5 simple steps to take EVERY Day to turn ExtraOrdinary theory into Daily Execution

1) It all starts with a “word”… ENABLE

What is the definition of ENABLE? Simply, to Make Possible; Give Authority, Supply the Means, or Opportunity

Instead of calling yourself “Manager of Product Development”, VP of Sales, or Director of I.T Operations”… change you title to “ENABLER”. “Product Development Enabler, VP of Sales Enablement, I.T Operations Enabler, CEO – Chief Enabling Officer”

That is what I did when I was in policing – Instead of Detachment COMMANDER. I changed my title to Detachment ENABLER. Instead of Chief of Police – I was Chief Enabler

In my current job, I refer to my title as “Sales ENABLER”

I know it is just a word – but a word goes a long way to begin the process of transformation

2) Find the Root or Core of what needs to be enabled. In other words, find out what the heck you’re customer and your staff really want delivered – the primary – what is more important. Not want you want, find out from those you serve.

What is your shared vision? What are your core values? If you have these figured out already, then enablement is much easier. If you do not have them figured out, work on them first.

3) Enablement Becomes Job One – Your Reason for Being – Your Passion!

And it starts with…Get your head in the game!
Do whatever it takes – whatever works for you, but make enablement execution job one.

I suggest 30 minutes before you start work “EVERY DAY”… start asking and thinking on how you will execute on “making it possible”

4) The Talent is in the Room

Tap into your people. Start by shutting up and listening with your heart, your eyes, then your ears. Truly listen to what is important to them. Seek first to understand what the customer wants?

Remember, paradigm shifts occur from those on the fringe – those that do not fit into the box – those that are wiling to challenge the status quo.

If you want to uncover the “extraordinary”, find those on the fringe – ask – watch – listen

5) Nothing Fails Like Success – in other words if you want a fast track to disaster, just rest on your laurels.

Just because you are successful today, does not mean you will remain that way. Look no farther that Eastman Kodak and their recent bankruptcy. Heck – they should have “owned” the digital camera business.

As Jim Collins states in “How the Might Fall” – never lose sight of your CORE business and as my good friend Ryan Walter preaches… do whatever it takes to stay hungry!

Click Here to learn more about Enabling the ExtraOrdinary

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Bully Leadership “Cowards in Suits”

Bully Leadership – How You Can Get Results, Gain Control, and Increase Profitability

Do you need to increase productivity?

Is it time to bring accountability and responsibility back into your workplace?

Are you losing money?

Then consider Bully Leadership as a fast track way to get your business, productivity and profitability back in line!

Join the masses of managers that have found that ruling by fear is easy and effective: Through barking out orders, blaming others; being disrespectful; recruiting henchmen, valuing only a select few; building divisiveness; threatening consequences; using harsh directions, and frequently imposing disciplinary procedures for non-compliance, you too can get results!

Have I Made My Point

OK, you get my point. Bullies are not only on the playgrounds, they are in the workplace too. And they can suck the life-blood out of your organization. Yet, because of the need for immediate results, their style is reinforced by tradition, and continues on today in mass proportion. Just look around, whether it is in government, not for profits, or the private sector, more and more leaders are resorting to pulling out the iron fist (instead of the velvet glove).

I call Bully Leaders “Cowards in Suits”

Think about it, where do you think the word bully comes from? From the animal called “bull”. And what do bulls do? They charge when they see red. In other words, they get angry instantly, they have a low tolerance level, they snap when things don’t go their way. They charge ahead, they attack, and they leave a destructive path.

Look at just a few definitions of a Bully Leader.

– Coward
– Disrespectful
– Aggressive
– Controls
– Interferes
– Dominates
– Plagiarizes
– Random and impulsive
– Intentional causing pain
– Tyrant
– Command and Control
– Duplicitous
– Autocratic
– Dictator
– Inconsistent

What motivates a bully leader? There is no one answer, but experience and research has determined a shortlist.

One reason is because their approach delivers quick results. Bully leaders are into the quick fix. They want instant results and they are not willing to invest the time in their people. For bully leaders, fast results are more important that building a team. Bully leaders are impatient – they want change now!

Another reason is that Bully Leaders were promoted by other bullies. The “old boys club” is alive in well in the workplace today. You promote like thinkers. Bullies promote other bullies. It is just common sense. And one promoted, there is pressure on the new bully from the other managers to continue the abuse.

Finally, Bully Leaders were bullied themselves. They are victims of past injuries, and they now have an opportunity to unload their shame on their subordinates. There is a huge science behind victimization that I will not get into now. But suffice to say, some bully leaders have serious issues and they need help now.

Bully Leadership – an oxymoron

Then name Bully Leadership was deliberately crafted to combine contradictory terms. Bullying and Leading – Simply put, there is no place for bullying in leadership.

Look at the greatest definitions of leadership in the world today, and nowhere do you find any of the attributes of a bully.

The Costs are Staggering

Bully Leadership is alive and well in today’s workplace. 1 in 4 employees report being bullied in the workplace. Up to 70% of todays workforce is disengaged. Lack of leadership is the main reason. Bullying is the primary cause. Over 400 billion dollars a year are lost in productivity and profitability. Allowing Bully Leadership to flourish is a fast track way to sink your ship.

So, why do we allow it to occur? Why do we not have the courage to change our paradigm?

Remember…Leadership is about courage. It is about challenging the status quo. It is about inspiring the hearts and minds of your team. Leadership is not about being a coward.

How do you fight back? I have good news, there is a way. As my mentor Dr. Stephen R. Covey would say, there is a 3rd Alternative.

Stay tuned for next week when I show you how to fight back. I will show you the 3rd Alternative.

I call it bull fighting – but using the velvet glove approach (instead of the bully way – which would be with an iron fist)

Fighting Back – Bull Fighting

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