Category Archives: LEADERSHIP – ALWAYS!
TRIPLE III TIME: “He or She Ain’t the Boss of Me!”
I am guessing and hoping that everyone is giggling or even laughing out loud as they read this week’s TRIPLE III TIME message title: “He or She Ain’t The Boss of ME!” And as I have thought about this topic, I am believing that most…if not all of us have heard this exclamation a time or two. Maybe it was said in jest…or maybe in an angry frustrated moment. However, I would bet that few have taken the time to assess the personnel influences standing behind this negative proclamation?!
So this week I want to take a serious TOP 10 look at the “behind-the-scenes” personnel influences that drives the: “He or She Ain’t The Boss of ME!” statement.
- Does this statement come out due to confusion on who answers to who?
- Are there one or two individuals that incorrectly assume they are managers or directors?
- Do your operations directives have oversite gaps?
- How current is your organizational flow chart?
- Is your agency/business driven by a team of micro-managers?
- Can innovative thoughts and actions be assumed in your place of business?
- Do your employees worry more about what certain people think or a quality product/service?
- Does organizational history of leadership overshadow what is actual today?
- Are job titles, earnings and/or tenure allowed to over-impact REAL Boss of Me issues?
- Does everyone have an opportunity to lead or follow based on assumptions or expertise?
These are all serious questions regarding the “He or She Ain’t The Boss of ME!” concern. Consider them one at a time to discover any Boss of Me issues that need to be addressed.
TRIPLE III TIME: “Partnershipping”
First let me just say this out front…: NO I don’t think Partnershipping is a real word! But for today I don’t think those responsible for dictionaries will care.
Second, I believe that too often today individuals, organizations and/or businesses do NOT embrace Partnershipping as a first priority when building a new initiative. And when I refer to Partnershipping I don’t just mean groups getting together…I am referring to simple, individual, person-to-person partnership actions too!
As I work with different organizations or individuals on planning for the future, I standardly ask them about their current and anticipated Partnershipping strategies. The unfortunate response is: “Well we are thinking about that…but it’s way down on our list of priorities.” And the rationales that follow include:
- It would take too long to get everyone on the same page.
- They probably wouldn’t be interested.
- It is mostly our responsibility.
- There isn’t enough money to make it worth their while.
Are these the rationales of a Partnershipping Drop-Out?
I realize I am framing the task of effective Partnershipping in a light-hearted way…but please know that it is a high-value professional development asset. Most of my best leadership and innovation achievements were (and still are) the result of old and new Partnershipping!
Bottomline: Make Partnershipping one of the first considerations when starting or restarting an initiative. Great minds can and do think alike.
TRIPLE III TIME: The Art of Hiring The Right People
One of the most challenging responsibilities for leaders of any business or organization is hiring the right people. During times of economic progress the recruitment and selection of new employees becomes even more difficult due to the limited number of available hires. And even when the pool of employment candidates is higher, the challenge of selecting the best person gets clouded based on qualifications, the results of every interview and thoughts about “fit” in your group(s).
Perfection again is not possible in The Art of Hiring The Right People. However British-born American author and inspirational speaker Simon Sinek offers some great advice with the following quote:
“If you hire people just because they can do a job, they’ll work for your money. But if you hire people who believe what you believe, they’ll work for you with blood and sweat and tears.”
In my organizational leadership days, I was lucky enough to follow the hiring strategy outlined in Mr. Sinek’s words and surround myself with the right people. Did money sometimes become an issue…yes…but most times the greater challenge was to find the right place for individuals who “fit” our agency…but were not in the best employment position where they could make their maximum contributions to the “cause”.
The most important take-away from this week’s TRIPLE III TIME… The Art of Hiring The Right People message, is to prioritize the personnel-values contained in Simon Sinek’s quote. Regardless of your business or organizations service or product, you as the leader/owner know the beliefs, blood, sweat and tears that make your entity “the best in the business”! Therefore, never minimize these factors when hiring.
TRIPLE III TIME: A Strategy Behind The Strategy
It was mid-term exam time for my American Government & Politics classes this past week and for the most part all of the students did fine. And as I passed the corrected tests back and gauged the reactions…one young man pointed his finger at me and stated: “Now sir I know why you make us do those one page Position Papers each week…to get us practiced to answer these essay questions in the same manner…right?”
Well I did NOT deny the accuracy of this discovery and I completely agreed and said: “Yes I do practice having A Strategy Behind The Strategy for helping all of you get totally ready to get an A on these exams!” And you can guess he was very proud of his revelation and was rewarded with smiles and multiple nods of support from his classmates! I too joined in the smiles…but mine came more from a remembrance of my Dad and his use of A Strategy Behind The Strategy for getting me ready for my tomorrows.
What do I mean?
Think about it…as a very young boy he put me “in charge” of all of our baby calves. I didn’t think it was right…but when he later said he didn’t think I was old enough to drive a tractor yet…I reminded him how much I could do when I was “way young”…and so I was very ready to do tractor-driving jobs…and MORE WORK!
Do you think Dad had A Strategy Behind The Strategy?
And if you don’t think I picked up on Dad’s strategies…I have to tell you I was caught many times by a co-worker or two. Like when we cross-trained everyone in organizational services and even sent “office-people” out in the field to help client-customers face-to-face. Or when we tried to better communicate in a more complete way about Agency activities every week.
Do you think I had A Strategy Behind The Strategy for reducing “that’s not my job” attitudes or “I can’t do that stuff cause no one told me” claims?
Bottomline: Always think about having A Strategy Behind The Strategy as a means of creating personnel and organizational growth. It helps you and those around you consider “What Next?/What Else? possibilities.
TRIPLE III TIME: “Practicing What YOU Preach!”
First let me admit that taking on this topic message: “Practicing What YOU Preach!” has been avoided for quite some time. Why? Maybe because I am not the best…most complete listener that I preach everyone should be?! Or maybe I take calculated risks more often and maybe more risky risks than I would admit to in some of my weekly TRIPLE III TIME blog messages. However, no matter my position, the professional value in this life-long statement of wisdom is regularly accepted across everyone’s workplace and life situations.
Therefore, in order to give “Practicing What YOU Preach!” its full TRIPLE III TIME notoriety, here is a customized TOP 10 that I am sure will hit-home with many:
1. Are you giving someone else’s good idea a real, solid chance?
2. Are you revising your stance that just because your best way worked 15 years ago…it may not be the best way today?
3. Are you giving employees, partners, customers, co-workers, family…a second or third chance?
4. Are you not being immediately defensive when questioned about an action you took?
5. Are you accepting change as standard-business activity?
6. Are you not preparing an answer in your mind…before you hear the whole story?
7. Are you really getting things done ahead of schedule…or are old reminders still necessary?
8. Are you still ignoring quality research and data that says your cool idea isn’t cool?
9. Are you limiting your techno-time or are you now addicted to social media?
10. Oh yeah…are you listening better and more completely everyday…EVERYDAY?
I am sure you are looking in the mirror when you ask yourself the question are you “Practicing What YOU Preach?” about these or other questions. Who knows…honesty may show up.
Have fun with this TRIPLE III TIME exercise!
TRIPLE III TIME: Avoiding Leadership Inconsistencies
If someone asked you if you were always consistent in your leadership decisions… style… policies… what would your answer be? Or if someone accused you of always being somewhat inconsistent as a leader… what specifics would you find yourself thinking about?
Well in order to better apply our focus to this week’s TRIPLE III TIME topic: Avoiding Leadership Inconsistences, let’s begin with the official definition of Inconsistent.
INCONSISTENT: “Not staying the same throughout…acting at variance with one’s own principles or former conduct.”
In today’s fast-paced, ever-changing world, the challenge of not (at least occasionally) being somewhat inconsistent in one’s leadership responsibilities is understandable. First, think about how decisions and strategic discussions are shared and viewed not only instantly online, but potentially with a much wider audience than ever before. The resulting internet-driven opinions and observations offered naturally as “unofficial” responses often create more personal leadership action questioning and “second-guessing” than in the past!
Next think about the inconsistencies that may be generated from the always expandings social media level of information-sharing that occurs on a daily basis. I can think of several times I received extra/valuable information shortly after making a critical decision that would have altered my action!
Finally consider the impact of in-person versus online/virtual meetings. Was the leadership topic discussion as high quality as it could have been when conducted online? Was there a solid feeling of information-exchange confidence…or were the decisions/style/policy questions all just adequate? I know everyone knows what I am referring to.
Avoiding Leadership Inconsistences is a priority preventative maintenance activity for all leaders. The need to selectively, directly, and time-appropriately address decision areas has become more critical in our modern-day business/management worlds-of-work. Your time is YOUR TIME…. use it wisely and use whatever time you need to be leadership consistent everyday… EVERYDAY!
TRIPLE III TIME: Advancing Branches of an “ACCOUNTABILITY TREE”
“There probably isn’t a more significant or more critical challenge for any leader at any level than supporting accountability and fairness. In the final analysis there will always be people who reject accountability if it doesn’t immediately support their cause or situation. And sometimes doing the right thing can come at a high price. Nonetheless, it is evident that most people thrive in an environment in which accountability and fairness define the organization’s culture.” (Dr. Lew Bender)
Selecting a meaningful quote from my mentor, colleague and long-time friend Dr. Lew Bender was not difficult when I considered ACCOUNTABILITY as this week’s specialized TRIPLE III TIME message focus. In his classes, workshops and written articles…Dr. Bender has always had a comfortable, common-sense manner of bringing forth critical issues and making them applicable in anyone’s world-of-work. He has followed that “trend” in his quote on ACCOUNTABILITY.
But wait…what does all of this great information about Dr. Bender’s instructional style have to do with this week’s TRIPLE III TIME message: Advancing Branches of an “ACCOUNTABILITY TREE”?
The answer is simple! First take another look at Dr. Bender’s quote and pull-out the separate terms that all connect with ACCOUNTABILITY.
- Critical Challenge
- Doing Right Things
- High Price
- Organizational Culture
Then picture an “ACCOUNTABILITY TREE” with all of these very important terms shown as “branches”. Can you see it? It truly represents a very progressive, impactful visual.
The Bottom-line III Message: I believe most organizations or businesses do not train their staffs well in the area of ACCOUNTABILITY. No matter the focus…individual…teams…or the entire entity, everyone should consider, reflect and contribute to Advancing Branches of an “ACCOUNTABILITY TREE”. Issues like clear expectations, honesty, directness, behavior, performance, roles, and communication all have a place on an Advancing Branch! And if these factors are progressively dealt with by ALL…the Branches WILL advance and grow. If not…will you know what will happen.
And as always…THANKS Dr. Bender for your help and support!
TRIPLE III TIME – Customers: Always A Science Project
Did you ever think about the option of studying your customers in the format of a science project? Think seriously about it. In my consultant role too often I find that businesses and organizations do not allocate enough time and energy to the natural rediscovery of who their customers are and how they may have changed over the last year or years. And if you are wondering how I facilitate the rediscovery process, here is a list of questions I toss out for individuals or groups to consider when thinking about Customers: Always A Science Project.
- Are your customers historically the same (i.e. male/female/age/income/urban/country/etc.)
- Are your products/services always changing and therefore always causing you to search for different customers?
- Have you ever ranked your customers in relation to their value to your company/organization?
- Do you want a different customer base?
- Do you not really care about a target customer as long as someone is coming through the door or visiting your website?
- Do you “test” new products/services to determine evolving value/need?
- Have you ever changed your hours of operation to consider alternate times to be open?
- Can you consider a transportable business location option…to go to where today’s customers are?
- Have you surveyed customers to help you determine “What-Else” to include in your product/service line-up?
- Do you think GOOGLE, McDonalds, GM, Frito-Lay, and other private and public entities engage in Customers: Always A Science Project actions?
I guess the most important point of this special TRIPLE III TIME TOP 10 list of customer questions is to NEVER TAKE CUSTOMERS FOR GRANTED! Be and stay up-to-date on your ability to be the best and customers will respond.
TRIPLE III TIME: Personnel Policies & Benefits
Some of the biggest employee-employer challenges today are found in the area of Personnel Policies & Benefits. Each of these factors impact a company/organization’s greatest asset…their employees…everyday in some manner. Whether a union is present or the employer has a “family history” of relationships with its workers, dedicating appropriate time and development to building quality Personnel Policies & Benefits on a regular basis…is time well invested!
More specifically personnel policy and fringe benefit changes are often leaderships toughest responsibility. They are sometimes given more attention because it’s “necessary”…and not because it’s progressive. So for this week’s TRIPLE III TIME message, I want to just talk about four (4) special terms that are key to managing the world of Personnel Policies & Benefits.
- Morale: It is so important to employee morale to show REGULAR attention to Personnel Policies & Benefits. One will never be able to measure the value of job satisfaction among workers when they know you prioritize them on a REGULAR basis. Company changes/improvements can be small…but the benefit of everyone feeling cared about is huge!
- Stagnation: “Not moving, not active or developing”. This definition of stagnation is exact in its description of not being attentive to progressive Personnel Policies & Benefits. Business/organization workforces change almost daily…so applying the same level of change attention to personnel policies and benefits will help avoid employee/business stagnation.
- Expectancy: Worker expectancy is one of the biggest disrupters caused by not updating Personnel Policies & Benefits. “Charlie got a raise every year in the old days…why not me?” This example of expectancy is just one of many that can be brought forth if employees do not recognize that policies and benefits must change and flex with the economic times. Communication in this area is critical.
- Motivation: Did you ever notice the progressive energy that is felt when someone in a leadership role buys donuts/cookies for everyone…totally unexpectedly! Think of this example reaction when employees assume that Personnel Policies & Benefits are only considered/updated every two years? Giving the right kind of appropriate and consideration awareness time to personnel issues can in itself be a wonderful motivator.
Morale-Stagnation-Expectancy-Motivation are four critical factors to consider in the area of managing Personnel Policies & Benefits. Truly there will always be business/organization ups and downs, however maintaining an ALWAYS IMPORTANT approach to employee value will help them remain a true asset everyday…EVERYDAY!
DEMOCRACY=Continuous Innovation & Change
“Democracy is essential in organizations that rely on the creativity of all workers to produce continuous innovation. Innovation requires democratic processes: the sharing of information across departments, functions and organizational levels; team decision making; conflict resolution; and deference to the person with the best idea rather than the most senior title. Also, democracy is inevitable in environments that must accommodate rapid and endless change. Democracy in industry is not an idealistic conception but a hard necessity in those areas where change is ever present and creative scientific enterprise must be nourished. For democracy is the only system of organization that is compatible with perpetual change.”
These words taken from Charles Garfield’s book: Second To None…The Productive Power of Putting People First are so SO important when strategizing on how your business or organization should function and go forward.
As you think about all of the very important factors included in those quotations, take a minute or two and apply them to your world of work. Does your entity have:
- An open design for soliciting ideas and improvement suggestions from anywhere within the organization?
- An ongoing succession process for moving the right people into the right positions to facilitate progressive change and innovation?
- A time/structure/system for quality, thorough, communication up and down and across your business/organization to ensure productivity/service understanding and competency is always the priority?
It is a pleasure to use the term “Democracy” in this TRIPLE III TIME message as a positive element in the area of Continuous Innovation & Change! I recommend re-reading the quotes and consider even more high-value applications of it’s meaning.