Hiring Managers Should Recruit Their Own Talent

Posted February 17, 2017 by The Metiss Group
Categories: Leadership, Selection

It wasn’t long ago that most leaders had assistance booking their travel, typing their memos, and printing and copying their reports.  Now, with today’s technology, most leaders book their own travel on-line, type their own memos, and have high-speed laser printers for printing their reports.  It’s time for leaders to use technology to do their own recruiting as well.

Today, just like in the days of having assistants typing memos, most leaders seek assistance recruiting their next hire – typically from HR.  These HR experts, while well intentioned, are working with some handicaps.  They typically don’t know exactly where the industry or profession-specific experts are to be found, and if they find the superstars they typically aren’t given access because they lack the credentials to “enter the fold.”  If they do get access to an industry or professional group (online or in person), the passive candidate superstar wants to talk to the industry expert to understand what might be alluring about the work being done in the department with the vacancy, not the HR person.

College athletic coaches understand this the best.  When they recruit superstars, they personally contact the recruit, meet with them, and pitch them and their family on joining their team.  College coaches do not rely on someone from the admissions office to recruit their talent.  Hiring manages shouldn’t either.

There are many easy to use technological resources for leaders to recruit their own talent.  Aside from the common job boards, industry sites, and LinkedIn are often inexpensive ways for effectively reaching passive job-seeking superstars.

Leaders empowered with the tools to recruit their own talent make more successful hires.

Annual Goals Should Have Shorter Sub-Goals

Posted February 10, 2017 by The Metiss Group
Categories: Leadership, Performance Acceleration

At the beginning of the year organizations set their annual goals and most leaders, in turn, set their team’s annual goals.  Goal setting plans should not stop there.

If performance against goals is to be measured and achieved, each annual goal must have shorter sub-goals.  Leaders and direct reports should set and review these sub-goals regularly – ideally as part of their one-on-one meetings.  The organization’s annual goals should be a primary focus for leaders and each of their direct reports as they review progress weekly.

For example, if the organization’s sales goal is $10 million, a sales person’s weekly sub-goal might be to make 20 calls to prospective customers and set three appointments.  Leaders should not be as concerned with what their direct report’s sub-goals are, but whether or not they lead to accomplishing the organization’s annual goal.  If the monthly or quarterly goals are not being met, it allows leaders to have healthy conversations about what has been done, and what adjustments might be helpful.

Leaders who make sure each of their direct reports clearly understand the organization’s goals, and empower direct reports to set and achieve their sub-goals will experience more success.

Call The Elephant Out On The Table…Even If It’s Been There For Ages

Posted February 3, 2017 by The Metiss Group
Categories: Communication, Leadership

Empowerment is built on trust and a healthy relationship cultivated between leaders and their direct reports.  With empowerment comes an obligation to call out troubling situations that have gone ignored.  This is most difficult for leaders who greatly care about the person, but that’s when it is most critical.  How much trust can there really be if something obvious is being avoided?

When providing feedback, these steps should help the leader:

  • Take accountability for actions;
  • Describe the situation and behaviors;
  • Assign accountability to the direct report for identifying and implementing a solution.

For example: “I have to tell you, I feel guilty for not having brought up this issue sooner, but I have so much respect for you, I need to share with you something I should have said a long time ago.  I’m concerned you are losing credibility when you are unprepared for client sessions and not meeting deadlines. I’m confident you would never do anything to intentionally harm your credibility or ours.  What do you think you can do to turn the situation around?”

Empowered direct reports know when and how they have fallen short of expectations so they can feel the success of implementing a solution.

Beware Of The Helicopter Managers

Posted January 27, 2017 by The Metiss Group
Categories: Leadership

We all know helicopter parents who are always hovering overhead to make sure that their children are not in trouble. In one survey of 725 employers hiring recent college graduates, more than 25% had been contacted directly by applicants’ parents or received applicants’ resumes from parents; some even had parents show up at interviews with their children, negotiate the terms of their job offers, and ask for a raise or promotion.

In the workplace, many leaders become helicopter managers, hovering over their direct reports in a well-intentioned but ill-fated attempt to provide support. These are givers gone awry—people so desperate to help others that they develop a white knight complex, and end up causing harm instead. Studies suggest that helicopter managers prevent their direct reports from becoming independent and competent, while disrupting their learning and confidence for future tasks. In focusing on the short-term benefits of helping, helicopter managers overlook the long-term costs.

To grow, people need to be challenged. Research shows that challenges are important predictors of learning and development on the job. Evidence reveals that people achieve higher performance when they are given difficult goals. Difficult goals motivate people to work harder and smarter, develop their knowledge and skills, and test out different task strategies, all of which facilitate effectiveness and growth.

Leaders who empower their managers to avoid the tendency to be a helicopter manager will be more successful.

Surrounded By Great People

Posted January 20, 2017 by The Metiss Group
Categories: Leadership, Selection

“If you’re the smartest person in the room, you’re in the wrong room.” – Anonymous

In the over 10,000 executives we have assessed, we have seen a wide range of assessment results for leaders.  It is shocking how poorly many leaders score.  When we ask those leaders about their results, they are not surprised. They confidently confirm our findings demonstrating humbleness and self-awareness.  However, without exception, those successful leaders have intentionally surrounded themselves with people with better skills than they have.

Although it seems obvious leaders would select direct reports who are smarter than they are, it takes a great deal of humility and self-confidence for a leader to do so.  These leaders enjoy scoring without the ball, perfectly willing to let their competent team run up the score, knowing at the end of the day they will be successful.

Empowered leaders hire better people than themselves and are more successful.

Performance Reviews Versus Performance Appraisals

Posted January 13, 2017 by The Metiss Group
Categories: Leadership, Performance Acceleration

What’s the difference between a performance review and a performance appraisal?  Although there are no formal or official distinctions between a performance review and a performance appraisal, and both terms are frequently used interchangeably, think of performance reviews as part of the performance acceleration process and performance appraisals as an event.

Performance appraisals are the formal appraisal document a supervisor delivers to their direct report on the organization’s official performance appraisal form.  The event occurs either annually or semi-annually, and often encompasses a salary adjustment.  The lengthy form is filed in the employee’s file and rarely referenced again.

Performance reviews are informal reviews between a supervisor and their direct report as a part of a process in which the direct report’s performance is discussed and adjustments are communicated and tracked.  The review should cover previously communicated topics and take place at least quarterly; lengthy performance forms are not used (blank paper and/or 5×7 cards work best).  In some cases, leaders have found doing this quarterly satisfies their performance appraisal and the corporate form can be abandoned. The performance reviews should drive the performance appraisal event.

Leaders who use performance appraisals AND performance reviews to empower direct reports find more success.

Think Tactically and Strategically When Developing Job Definitions

Posted January 6, 2017 by The Metiss Group
Categories: Leadership, Performance Acceleration

The left and right hemispheres of our brain provide different functions.  Our left brain focuses on tactical or analytical activities while our right brain is used for strategic or creative activities.  We function best when we focus our attention on one of the brain specialties at a time.  In fact, many leaders structure their meetings so as to deal with tactical and strategic thinking in different sessions; however, there are times when employing both aspects are critical to the success of a given effort.

When developing a direct report’s job definition, whether using an accountability matrix or job description, leaders should use both tactical and strategic thinking.  The tactical components of a job definition include the specific required activities and the way in which they are performed.  The strategic aspects of a job are the success factors and priorities as they relate to the organization’s strategic direction and initiatives.

Leaders who challenge themselves and empower their direct reports to include both tactical and strategic components in their job definitions experience more short-term and long-term success.