In our discussions with business leaders, they often express frustration with the inability of people in their department or company to work together without distracting conflict. They say:
Why don’t they work well together?
Some refuse to even talk to a particular individual.
I don’t understand why people act the way they do.
Why don’t they see things the way I do?
Overcoming these issues is never simple, but the common approach is referred to as team building. This approach is often accompanied by direct types of game planning, where team members participate in a variety of activities. The games are helpful exercises, after which a facilitator helps the group discuss the lessons learned. We have used this technique on several occasions and we find the results interesting.… Read the rest
Our clients are often asking us to find better ways to motivate their staff. They are trying to get them more involved in a new challenge or are considering a financial incentive to spur productivity. They may be trying to encourage new ideas or overcome seemly insurmountable obstacles. Carolyn Dewar and Scott Keller provide us with several ideas in their Harvard Business Review Article, Four Motivation Mistakes Most Managers Make.
You may be a member of a civic club or company which has operated in the same way over a long period of time. You may have observed that your club membership is not growing and maybe even shrinking. In the case of a business, sales are not what they once were. You may feel as though you are trapped and need to make some changes but you sense some resistance. To quote Mac Anderson and Tom Feltenstein, Change is Good… You Go First.
Creating change in any organization is difficult. As that organization grows and becomes more successful, the leadership which made it successful is replaced by management, who intend to maintain that success. That maintenance is the management of the status quo.… Read the rest
There comes a day in the growth of a business or organization where the owner or founder must hire people with the expectation that they will help to contribute to its growth and success. This is true whether the hire will be working in the shop, taking orders at the front counter, writing software, or managing a part of the business. So often the entry of this new employee results in negative results. The manager and the new employee are frustrated and disappointed. With this hiring, comes some new skills which the leader must master to produce the desired results. Let us start with the assumption that the interviewing and selection process was done well and the new employee arrives for their first day on the job.… Read the rest
It’s no longer enough to be good, you must be exceptional. It is no longer enough to have satisfied customers, you must seek to develop a loyal and delighted customer base. It’s no longer enough to maintain. You must be aggressive, responsive, and quick. Your challenge is getting everyone on your team or in your department committed and focused on achieving organizational success. As an effective team leader, your role is to build the best, strongest, most productive team possible. Your team or department’s results, or lack thereof, will be in direct proportion to the cohesiveness of your team.… Read the rest
“The very essence of leadership is that you have a vision. You can’t blow an uncertain trumpet.” – Fr. Theodore Heshurgh Former President of The University of Notre Dame
A powerful vision provides inspiration, challenge, and purpose. It gives meaning to your work and purpose to your business. Your business gives you a place where you can satisfy your need to achieve. Everyone’s life needs a purpose, something important to strive for. One way to add both meaning and context to your vision is to establish values. Clearly defined values simplify decision making. They also help ensure consistency as well as ethical and behavioral congruence… Read the rest
Management guru, Peter Drucker once said, “The better a man is, the more mistakes will he make– for the more new things he will try. I would never promote a man into a top level job who had not made mistakes, and big ones at that. Otherwise, he is sure to be mediocre.” At one time or another, everyone makes mistakes, some more catastrophic than others. But the trick is to effectively manage the mistake with humility so that it’s not career ending. Here are some tips to keep in mind when you have made a mistake at work.