your staff to do what you tell them to do? Do you live by the old adage, “Do as
I say, not as I do?”
team or staff of one is not an easy task. Providing guidelines, policies, and
sometimes frequent reminders is helpful. But the most powerful tool of all is
setting an example.Sure, commands,
instilling fear of being fired, and “because I said so” might get the job done
for a while or in the immediate—but, in the long-term, you’ll never gain your
staff’s respect, you’ll lose valuable employees, and never be invited to lunch.
What can you
do to earn or regain your staff’s respect? I’m glad you asked.
you can get started:
to work on time. That
is, if youexpect your staff to do
the same. And if you do stroll in late, apologize to them and get to work.
you will be late, let them know in advance. It’s just respectful. This allows
them to tackle other tasks while waiting for your approval on pending tasks.
if you are unexpectedly detained. With the dawn of cell phones, this is a
practical and proven method of communicating.
up on taking a lot of extra perks. It’s a quick way to lose your staff’s
respect and create resentment. Enjoying well-earned perks is a perk, however,
when your enjoyment of said perks infiltrates your day to day tasks, your staff
will take notice.
position will no doubt allow you to take a few liberties, like a longer lunch
now and then, working from home, or enjoying a bigger office. Don’t get caught
taking advantage of or boasting about it. Don’t worry, they notice.
can blossomwith a member of your
support staff; if it does:
hide it; that will only create needless attention to the relationship.
hold special private meetings in your office. It can easily lead to and be
construed as conflict of interest and/or bring about doubt in confidentiality boundaries.
use the relationship for personal gain. Expecting a bigger raise or approved
time-off can quickly turn a friendship into a law suit. And, if that friendship
happens to turn romantic, you’ve now entered into treacherous grounds. In fact,
before proceeding, check with the policies and procedures manual you signed.
·Don’t discuss your off-the-clock
activities during on-the-clock hours.
Apply common sense. Coworkers may begin to distance themselves from your
“friend,” hence, bringing about
tension among your staff, possibly leading to gossip which can lead to lack of
productivity. Not a good thing.
all, you set the standard of civility for the entire office.
allow anger to get the best of you. Everyone experiences frustration which can
lead to anger; find a way to control it. If you don’t, after a while your staff
apathetic to your outbursts and/or find you amusing by comparing you to their
three year old child’s tantrums. Don’t use curse words. If one should slip out,
apologize to those around you.
raise your voice. How does that help make your point or change the situation?
Besides after a while, it’ll turn into the ol’ “in one ear…out the other.”
berate or point out a staff member’s mistake in front of others. Oh, you don’t
have a private office with a door? Take a walk to the conference room. Ask the
employee to stay after work for a few minutes. Take him/her out to lunch to
discuss the problem. Find a way to maintain that person’s privacy and dignity.
forget to say “please” and “thank you.” Without saying “please” it becomes a command instead of
a request. “Thank you” expresses your
gratitude. By the way, individually, these phrases take one-second to say; I
responsibility for your mistakes. This
includesyour staff’s, as well.
hesitate to apologize. For some it takes courage to admit they are wrong. A
sincere apology not only sets things straight, but earns the respect of others.
overreact, make excuses, or lie. Um, how will this help the situation and your
accept the consequences and fix it. Try a more positive and productive approach
by exemplifying a “how do we fix it” attitude.
the glory. Could you
have succeeded without your staff?
them privately and publicly. No need to buy balloons and tiaras, but a sincere
and brief statement of gratitude is always welcome.
your appreciation, at least occasionally. Depending on the company’s policy and
your budget, consider bringing in coffee/tea, taking your staff out to lunch,
giving a gift card, approving an hour off, or offering a compliment.
A title may
warrant authority and respect, but it’s not necessarily genuine; respect is
earned through consistent words and actions that exemplify leadership.
1000 posts and
8 years are big numbers, especially in blogging, where the average blog life expectancy
is about the same
as a flea.
I guess that
makes me either persistent or stubborn. In any case, it seems like a good time
to pause and reflect: First post:Welcome to Great Leadership!, published on 10/28/2007. This was actually
my second attempt at a blog. My first was called “How to Buy a Used Car”. After
my first post, I realized I had nothing else to write about, so I had to pick
Why I started blogging? To share what I know, to expand my
ability to influence the development of leaders, for my own learning and development,
and to make a little extra income.
Why I keep blogging? Same reasons. Plus, it’s allowed me to
meet all kinds of awesome people (way
too many to mention, as I’m afraid I’ll leave someone out), establish a
personal brand, launch an eBook, start my own business, and led to all kinds of other
Total page views: should be about 9 million by the time
this is published.
Dumbest mistake: Criticizing a big company after reading something in the news without having all the facts. I was still finding “my voice” and decided to try out controversial. Lesson learned: There are always two sides to every story. Keep my opinions to myself and stick to writing practical “how to” advice about leadership. I’m not a journalist and can’t afford the legal fees that come with ticking people off.
What’s next? I’m not sure, but I hope to keep
doing this as long as I can. Social media platforms seem to come and go, and I
do try to keep up, but I don’t have the time of interest to chase every new
fad. Fortunately, I picked a topic that isn’t going away anytime soon, and I
still can come up with new things to write about, so I guess it’s onward to the
next 1000 posts!
Thanks for reading
Great Leadership, I really do appreciate it!
All organizations worry about leadership, from the mom and
pop community businesses to the giant global entities both domestic and
international. There is still a propensity to use the word manager verses
leader which can have a significant different intend and meaning. Managers tend
to govern over process, data, projects and products while leaders tend to
utilize human capital to navigate these same areas and participate as part of
Good leadership is defined as proper training, rewarding,
assisting, coaching and respecting those who “carry the load”. The focus of
leaders is on utilizing people as a company’s most important product, to
establish missions, strategies and goals for the organization. Studies have
shown that, without a doubt, a majority of new entrants leave their employers
first because of ineffective leadership and secondarily for new more suitable
Good leadership begins with identifying key resources with
competencies that meets the demands of a business’s vision and strategy.
Connecting with these new resources is paramount to successfully leading and
earning the trust and respect of these key company assets. Many leaders fail to
engage their resources because they don’t know how and literally don’t have the
tools to do so.
Baby Boomer leaders are trying to engage Millennials who are
more strategic, more technically savvy and more impatient than any generation
before them. Many Boomers are frightened by social media like Twitter, LinkedIn
and Facebook which are beginning to invade companies in such a way that is
paralyzing to the harmony of the team that is led, in many cases, by the “type
writer generation”. These young eager beavers will only be patent with these, “less
than impressive leaders”, for a short period of time then, without warning,
will bolt to companies that offer them the challenges, diversity, involvement,
and opportunity that they seek.
Can the generation gap be bridged before the boomers leave
the workplace in significant numbers? Will upper management (Boomers/X’ers) see
the value in including the Millennials is the long range planning process?
After all, they will have to live with the decisions that are made without
Engaging all of the generations within a culture is of utmost
importance. Because of the economy and the fact that 401k plans are yet to rise
to the level that they had attained pre -recession, the Boomers and the
Traditionalist (small numbers) are still delaying their exit dates.
Engagement is defined as anencounter,conflict,orbattle. That
explains a lot. When a leader encounters his/her resources, their success is
predicated on the approach that is used. Is it inclusive? Does it allow for
differing opinions? Is devil’s advocacy allowed? Is there leading by example?
These are but a few elements that can
cause the “conflict” or “the battle” aspect of the definition to takes center
stage. The element of engagement’s having the most significance is “trust”.
Without it, the efforts to successfully connect are simply an exercise in
futility. A group that lacks trust for their leader will experience high
attrition, increased tension, low productivity and low morale.
Companies tend to go through a litany of buzz words from holistic approach, strategic, at the end of the
day, milestone, empowerment and executive presence. Many of these words are used to control,
discriminate, separate, and suffocate those who are not in management’s favor
or considered having less upward mobility. These same companies tends to use
label like hi potential, key to retain, top talent and other terms which on the
surface, motivates those given the titles while others who are equally as
important to the organization are left to ponder their value. Labels tends to
establish “sub cultures” or the “haves verses the have not’s”.
A solution would be to force leaders to differentiate based
on performance accompanied by constant and current feedback and differentiated
reward systems instead of labels. Companies also use rating systems to reward
and recognize performance and tuck these systems under the guides of pay for
performance. In reality, they are not true pay for performance systems because
there are limits to the percentage of people who fit in each category. A true
pay for performance systems is a differentiating system that is driven by
Individual performance instead of by percentages. It forces leaders to rank
employees base on value, performance and teaming as they consider the budgets
made available to them.
Finally, companies that truly understand the difficulties that
the generation gap presents, values the importance of trust among those on the
team, and seeks help in engaging the new more technically competent workforce,
will emerge as leaders of the pack and succeed at retaining the dwindling
resource pool of technological cyber soldiers within its ranks.
Ted Bagley received his bachelor’s degree in
business from Franklin University in Columbus, Ohio, and his master’s degree in
psychological and educational counseling from North Carolina Central
University. He is the vice president of global human resources operations for
Amgen Biotechnical Corporation, the world’s largest biotechnical company.
Bagley resides in Simi Valley, California, with his wife and four children. “The
Success Factor: Navigating the Treacherous Waters of Corporate America” is
his third book and is available for purchase on Amazon.
I often hear managers blame “the company” for not allowing
employees to be innovative. While that may be true to some extent, it
frustrates me that these managers don’t seem to understand that in the eyes of
their employees, they are they
Regardless of what kind of company you may work in, there is
plenty a leader can do to create an environment where employees are encouraged
to be innovative.
When faced with
open positions and under pressure to hire, or tolerating a poor performer
because of a freeze on hiring replacements, I’ve heard many managers say “well, a warm body is better than nobody”.
I would beg to
differ. In most cases, a “warm body” (or bad hire) is far worse than leaving a position vacant until you can find a great
hire or firing a poor performer even though the person cannot be replaced.
What are the
costs of a single bad hire? Read my latest post over at About.com Management and Leadership to find out!
I believe we
are all leaders in our families, communities, and workplaces. “But wait,”
you say, “I’m not a formal leader in my organization.” That may be - but
it doesn’t mean that you’re not a powerful influencer. The reality is you are -
we all are - in daily conversations with others.
conversations with others might have neutral impact. More likely, though, our
conversations have a powerful impact. Those conversations inspire,
discount, validate, or erode others’ skills, ideas, efforts, and accomplishments
- whether we’re aware of it or not.
leaders and influencers, let’s carefully consider a leader's
responsibilities - and a leader's reason for being.
leaders set high standards for performance and values, validate efforts and
contributions, and ensure cooperative interaction and performance in a
trusting, respectful work environment.”
So far, most
people have said this rings true for them as they consider their best bosses,
how those bosses behaved, and how they inspired top performance and great team
citizenship. I’d love your feedback, as well.
I hope you can
see how this purpose of leadership statement applies not only in the workplace,
but in our communities, neighborhoods, and families, too.
believe we are at our best as leaders and influencers when we express
gratitude for people’s skills, efforts, and ideas . . . when we clarify purpose
and goals . . . when we praise progress . . . when we redirect instead of
punish . . . when we celebrate cooperative interaction, not competitive
this was a number of unfortunate interactions I overheard or observed recently.
These were “you’re not good enough” messages, delivered
The intent of
the influencer (some were parents, some were formal leaders, some were
peers) might have been to inspire greater performance from the listener.
Their impact, though, was deflating and defeating. You could see it,
If what people
are doing and saying is not beneficial, effective leaders and influencers must
engage - to educate about the opportunity or reset the agreed-to goal or to
listen and learn about what's getting in the way of aligned behavior and
hundreds of options available to us, as influencers, to value the listener
while inspiring aligned behavior.
deflating, dismissing, or discounting a person’s efforts, skills, progress, and
ideas is not going to create an engaged, willing partner.
behaviors certainly don’t create a safe, inspiring, engaging, productive
environment with colleagues, family, or neighbors.
We leaders and
influencers need to make civility a minimum standard in all of our
interactions. We can control our words, our tone, our intent, our decisions,
and our actions to be civil to others.
With a little
extra consideration, we can extend that civility and reach towards
acknowledging others and validating others' contributions.
How might you
live the leader’s purpose in your next interaction? Plan ahead, be of service,
and dive in.
Edmonds is a
sought-after speaker, author, and executive consultant. He’s the CEO of The Purposeful
Culture Group. After a 15-year career leading and managing teams,
Chris began his consulting company in 1990. Since 1995, Chris has also served
as a senior consultant with The Ken Blanchard Companies. He is the author or
co-author of seven books, including Amazon best sellers The Culture Engine and Leading
At A Higher Level with Ken Blanchard. His blog posts, podcasts,
assessments, research, and videos can be found at http://drivingresultsthroughculture.com.
One of the most effective ways to
manage difficult employees is using a 90-day performance improvement plan.
These plans, when structured and executed properly, can help coach an employee
through the steps needed to change their behavior.