Archive for April 2013

Continually Challenge Your Employees

April 28, 2013

If you’ve ever embarked on an exercise program, you know after a while your body strengthens and exercises that were once difficult to perform are easy to do.  You then increase the intensity of the exercise by adding more weight or more reps until that becomes easy and then you add more again to challenge yourself.  Continually pushing our bodies is what creates the health improvements we seek.  If we stopped improving, eventually we would lose the gains we made.

The same is true with our work endeavors.  We must continually improve our work or eventually fall behind.  The “A” player who stops pushing for improvement will eventually become a “B” player and if still refuses to grow will become a “C” player and ultimately out of work.  You should insure your direct reports are continually challenged either through internal motivations or through your coaching.

Push your direct reports to improve and they will continue to be successful.


Always Be Looking For Ways To Develop Your Direct Reports

April 22, 2013

You are probably familiar with the Chinese proverb: “Be not afraid of growing slowly, be afraid only of standing still.”  As a leader, you should be challenging your direct reports to always be growing.

If you are not already doing so, empower your direct reports to chair your team’s weekly staff meetings.  This popular empowerment technique achieves many purposes.  First, it develops your direct reports to run effective meetings.  Second, it saves you time as you are no longer responsible for meeting preparation and follow-up.  Finally, you become more productive in the meetings focusing on the content and less on the process.

Empower and encourage your direct reports to always be growing and success will surly come.

Tip: Tailor Feedback To Your Direct Report’s Personality Style

April 15, 2013
One of the mistakes leaders make in giving feedback is delivering feedback in the same fashion for every direct report.  Just as a parent knows the proper way to connect with each of their children, a leader can improve their feedback by tailoring the message to the direct report’s personality style.

If you have a quiet introverted direct report, recognizing them in front of the whole team will not be as effective as a private and sincere attaboy. The extrovert, however, would love public recognition and a big deal made out of a similar accomplishment.

Get to know your direct reports and how they prefer recognition, tailor your feedback, and they will feel more empowered and successful (and more likely to repeat the recognized behavior).

Encourage Your Direct Reports To Focus On Organization Success First

April 8, 2013

If your administrative assistant prepared for the perfect meeting, yet the meeting did not go well, was s/he successful?  If the operations department increased productivity by 25%, yet the company missed it’s sales goal, were they successful?  If the sales department experienced record sales, yet the organization lost money, was that success?

Most people in an organization think of their department, work team, or individual contributions as being their most important focus and measure their success by how well those work units perform. Although the accomplishments of work units are important, at the end of the day, the success of the organization is all that matters. The goals and accomplishments of the whole team must take precedent.  For that to happen leaders must clearly communicate the organization’s goals and objectives and reward everyone when the organization succeeds.

Empower your team to put the organization first and the whole team will experience more success.

Determine Leadership Requirements Before Conducting 360’s

April 1, 2013

As 360 degree leadership effectiveness tools become better indicators of perceived leadership behaviors, more-and-more companies are embarking on formal 360 degree evaluations of their leadership teams.  These insightful reports help leaders focus on developing the leadership skills those observing them in the workplace see as most needed.

However, prior to conducting 360 degree evaluations and delivering results, the leadership group must identify the leadership practices that are important to the organization.  Everyone should understand the organization’s leadership focus before getting their results.  Once leaders receive their reports their natural tendency is to dismiss the feedback in areas in which they scored poorly.  Having committed to focusing on specific leadership styles before receiving feedback forces them to be more objective and embrace development opportunities.

Empower your direct reports by choosing the important leadership practices before receiving 360 degree feedback and they’ll have a more successful development plan.