Confessions of an Accidental Leader

One Vital Skill to Leadership Competency – Mastering the Art of Small and Talk Making Others Comfortable with You

Do This and You’ll Never Be Blindsided by Your Best Employee Leaving- or Before There’s a Major Conflict in Your Midst!

Leadership influence is asking questions and attentively listeningI’ll never forget the evening my husband and I were standing around the pool at a work party, when the CEO of the non-profit where my husband worked walked by. We greeted him, exclaiming how nice the evening was. As he walked past us he responded, “I’m sorry, I don’t do small talk.” I was stunned! We had held him in such high esteem. Both being in our early 20’s we had considered him our mentor, so I’ll never forget how that comment made us feel, as he went over and stood talking to a millionaire in our midst. This is one of the incidence that put the fire in me to coach, train, and develop leaders and their staff with the people skills  that will cause them to valued and care about one another, while fulfilling their calling and mission through their business.

“There’s hardly a higher compliment you can pay an individual that to help that person be useful and find satisfaction and significance.” by John C. Maxwell

So how do you do this, learn to genuinely care about people? You begin by asking questions, while attentively listening. As a leader, this is an imperative skill to master! Believe me, when people feel their leader is interested in them and their growth, they’ll be more engaged, more dedicated and produce more. So overall it’s just good business to attentively listen, and care about the needs of your employees!  

“Napoleon Bonaparte knew every officer of his army by name. -He asked about their home and discussed maneuvers and battles he knew that this officer had been involved in.  It’s no wonder their devotion to him!

Begin first by asking questions to learn the key elements of people’s lives. Where they grew up, how they fit into the family constellation, what kind of hobbies they have etc. You can then effectively follow-up with sincere interest and concern for them. This can be done one-on-one, during a round table discussion, at a team-building exercise, standing around at an event or when beginning a business meeting. I used to play a game seeing how long it would take, and how many questions I would h”Napoleon Bonaparte knew every officer of his army by name. -He asked about their home and discussed maneuvers and battles he knew that this officer had been involved in.  It’s no wonder their devotion to him!ave to ask before I would find some kind of commonality or connection with the person. Asking questions is a magical tool.

“What’s worse than training your workers and losing them? Not training them and keeping them.” Zig Ziglar

listen attentively,care about employeesQuestions are the answer when engaging in small talk. In fact, you don’t have to say a thing, just listen and ask another question, while giving them the physical cues that you are listening attentively. Such as stopping everything you were doing to pay attention; turn toward them and look straight into their eyes; even checking for their eye color. And by all means, don’t take calls, or allow interruptions from text messaging etc. As much as possible, for a few minutes, look at their eyes, and nod periodically throughout the conversation saying:

                     * hmmm . . .                      * Interesting. . .                                 * I understand. . .                      * Really?                      * Is that right?

I’ve been told you can learn a new skill if you’ll be willing to get out of your comfort zone and practice for 15 minutes each day. Try starting conversations with the clerk at a counter, while standing in line, when you’re in a group waiting. Work on making others feel comfortable with you. No, I’m not suggesting you become a Chatty Cathy, or attempt being the “High I” behavioral style if you aren’t one naturally, just practice being hospitable on a daily basis!

A GREAT LEADER says, How can I make those around me more successful?

The most successful executives have mastered the art of small talk! It is essential to their effectiveness and influence!

As an Executive or Business Owner, Are Your Employees Driving You Crazy, or is it That Someone is Out of Position?

business meeting - woman ceoLove ‘em or hate ‘em you can’t live without ‘em.  If you want to build your business to levels that will pay while you’re retired, you will have to maximize your time and hire employees to delegate work to.  However, if you don’t take the time to thoroughly follow a process to hire the “right” person for the appropriate job, everything will decline from there.

When you have an employee positioned incorrectly in a job, believe me you’ll know.  The tell-tale signs are:

  • Do they avoid doing the very thing they were hired for?

  • Is their performance less than adequate?

  • Are they unhappy?

  • Do they make those around them miserable and FRUSTRATED?

  • Do you constantly have to explain the fundamentals of their responsibilities?

  • Are you ready to pull out your hair?

Then you may have an employee who is misplaced and out of position in the workforce.  You’ll do yourself and them a favor if you’ll either find the right fit for them, a different role, or let them go!  (Personally I’ll go the extra mile to help make it work for them to stay!)  However, I hear it all the time, “Being let go was the best thing that ever happened to me.  I would have never left on my own, and I wouldn’t have found this work that I love, without being let go from the position I was in.

If this post sounds familiar with you, but you’re still not sure, give me a call. As a Business Coach and Executive Coach,  I can spot an out of position person in no time!  And, we can use the  “DISC Profile” to be absolutely sure.  With the profile, I can coach any employee to discover for themselves where the best fit for them will be.  You’ll be glad as a leader/manager you did!  It’s the first main responsibility of managing people.  Making sure their behavioral style fits the requirements of the role they’re in!

Does this sound like your story?  If so, please share it with us below!   We’d love to know. . .

Do You Feel Buried Alive by All Your Conflicting Priorities? HELP IS HERE!

Would You Like Life to be Balanced and Extraordinary?  You CAN!

Do you feel buried alive by all your conflicting priorities, and the various hats you  wear throughout each day?  Are you finding your electronics ruling your life, instead of you ruling them?  With all their pings, bleeps, and blips demanding your attention, NOW?  Do you feel guilty you’re not getting to everything?

So, how can successfully navigate all your priorities?

In fact, did you know that taking time for other priorities outside work, including elements that affect our heart, brain, and spirit will bring greater fulfillment to our lives. The younger generation seems to know. They’re demanding work-life balance after watching what’s happened to their parents, who gave it all the work!

Well, it’s here, a way to assess and take into account the various important, diverse hats we all wear each day.  Roles like dad or mom, brother, sister, soccer coach, volunteer, housekeeper, nurse, grandparent, rocket scientist, accountant, leader, manager, or other, that make up the complete YOU!  And, in this day and age we’re finally recognizing that success isn’t just about setting goals and achieving them, it’s about the quality of your life you experience in each of these roles, every day, not just when you retire. So, let me ask you, how would you like to drill down to explore these important roles, to determine how and when to live them with intention? This is exactly what you can expect on May 22nd.  You’ll discover how you can more effectively manage your ENERGY, DECISIONS, and where you could more effectively put your ATTENTION and focus?

It is so much more than time management.  Check out this Franklin Covey workshop, 5Choices to Extraordinary Productivity, I’ll be facilitating with Eric Timmis.  Eric and I are honored to be the Franklin Covey trainers for the Greater Tucson American Society for Training and Development this May 22nd here in Tucson.  If you’d like to know more, Check out this excellent overview of the program: Then go HERE to learn more and to  SIGN-UP and join us.

Avoid Leadership Miscommunication

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  • How do misunderstandings begin?
  • What can you do, as a leader, to be sure your communication isn’t taken wrong?
  • Find how to better mitigate conflict when it arises in your midst.

Leadership for a Manager is all About Managing People Well!

Manage People Well and You’ll Succeed

Here’s where the rubber meets the road in successful businesses where people feel valued for their contributions! Managing people is all about developing other people to bring out their unique:

  • Talentsshowing the results

  • Gifting’s

  • Personality, Birth Order & Generational Bent

  • Knowledge, and Education

  • Skills Sets

to meet the needs of their position at work.  Great managers develop and release their employees by assisting them through training, coaching, directing, supporting, encouraging, and delegating.  Lee Iacocca managed to lift Chrysler Motors back from varying challenging issues including labor disputes and bankruptcy.  Through it all he managed to maintain his value of “succeeding at the people level”.  What this meant was that he insisted, and I quote:  “In the end, all business operations can be reduced to three words,

“PEOPLE – PRODUCT & PROFITS.

PEOPLE come first.”

If fact one of my very favorite quotes states that to be a superb leader, or manager:

“You need to develop the skill of:

MAKING OTHER PEOPLE FEEL IMPORTANT.”

Dr. John C. Maxwell

Handshake in front of business people

In fact,

“No man will make a great leader who wants to

do it ALL himself,

or to get the credit for doing it!”

Andrew Carnegie

Again, management isn’t about you.  It’s about what you can do with and through others to build and develop them, while simultaneously meeting the mission, vision, and strategic plan of the company.  J. Paul Getty, the wealthy oil mogul, when asked: ‘What was the most important quality of a successful executive?’ replied:

“It doesn’t make much difference how much other knowledge or experience an executive possesses.  If he is unable to achieve results through people, he is worthless as an executive.”   

                                                                                                             Rosevelt

Are you hearing a similar theme?  As a leader, it’s about extracting from your people, their very best on behalf of the company, in ways that honor, value, and build them. You truly have the opportunity to make a difference in someone else’s life.  Because of you they can gain a new skill, learn a new competency, or even be directed toward their dream position and ultimately live a fulfilling life.  You have the opportunity to be the difference in each and every employee who calls you their boss.  So, it’s important that you get the right perspective on your position, and learn what great leaders/managers say and do to create great employees.  A great leader says, as they work with their employees, “How can I make those around me more successful?”  In fact, one of the very best questions you can ask yourself, to evaluate why you are a leader, is to discern what your motive is in carrying the title leader/manager/supervisor while you support, coach, direct, and lead the people under you:

“Am I building people?

Or, am I building my dream

and using people to do it.”

Fred Smith of Federal Express

 

This question goes to the heart of why you are in this role, and what your true management motivation should be.  In fact, when you correctly understand what your “Job Description” is, you will begin to understand that everyone you work with is hungry.  Yes, that’s right, they’re hungry to be understood, to feel worthwhile, important, and ultimately in their own way, to be recognized as valuable . . . valuable to you and to the organization you both work for.  Now, if you still feel like you’re going to throw up when you reading a speech like this, and I understand, that was me not too many years ago, you’ve got a ways to go.  However, if this now resonates with you, motivating you to work toward finding out how you can genuinely meet the unspoken needs of those who are a part of your tribe, those who call you their boss, you are on your way to great leadership!  It all begins with the right attitude and perspective of things!

Words For Leaders For Monday Motivation

As a leader you have to find what keeps you motivated.  You may be an entrepreneur, executive, manager, or business owner, it doesn’t matter which.  You set the tone with your attitude, so let it begin now, on Monday!  What one thing can you take away from these comments that will give you Monday Motivation?  Share it below in the comments.

If it’ won’t show, please go here:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3lZiK8zyC_g

As an Executive Coach and Business Coach, it’s my privilege to find the resources to encourage, support, motivate, and put a fire under my clients.  Here’s to you having a great week!  Sue

Copywriting SuccessTeleseminar With Debra Jason

“Pushing Your Prospects’ Buttons: A 5-Step Copywriting Success System!” with Debra Jason

 

Debra James of the Write DirectionOn this call you will discover how Debra empowers you to write your marketing message in a way that captivates and converts your prospects into loyal customers . . .see more below

DATE: Thur. November 21st 

TIME: 12:00-1:00 (MST) 2:00pm (EST)

 

On this call you will discover how Debra empowers you to write your marketing message in a way that captivates and converts your prospects into loyal customers– even if you have been struggling with how to transform your ideas into words in the past. This way you reach a broader audience, attract more clients, and generate more income so that you can live the lifestyle you’ve dreamed about, which is why you went into business for yourself to begin with – isn’t it?

SUE: Being a leader, or business owner, means knowing how to use the right words and methods to communicate your message to gain exposure. Copywriting is one skill you either must know, or have an expert copywriter such as Debra, to do the writing for you! Where use copy you wonder? Everywhere, your website, blog, when advertising, on Facebook, and especially in your newsletter. Join the call and listen to Debra as she provides complete, powerful, clear methods as to HOW to do it, along with easy to use verbal templates. All on this call!

Are You Ready to Hire Your First Office Manager pt. II

Save Yourself a Lot of Headaches, by Putting the Correct Foundations in Place!

The next best practice for managing managers is:

  1. Know them.  Find out what keeps them with you and your company, and in this position, as well as what would cause them to want to leave.

  2. Regularly take time with them.  The best way is to have a weekly meeting to keep your pulse on what’s going on with them, and to discover who’s doing what.

  3. Take the time to find out what motivates them, looking for ways to communicate special thanks and encouragement.  Give them a short survey and include a list of items they can choose from. i.e.

  • Time off

  • Gift card to ________________

  • A spa treatment

  • What’s their favorite candy or drink

  • Do they like public praise, or would they prefer a sincere note of thanks.

  • Tickets to a ball game

Then when you notice exceptional behavior, remember to reward them with one of the items they chose.  Positive reinforcement goes a long way.  Also, you’re modeling how to treat their employees.  This is influencing up!  Just go into any Starbucks and watch the level of confidence their employees display.

I will pay more for the ability to deal with people than any other ability under the sun.”  asserted John D. Rockefeller

The next important leadership item is the performance review.  I admire the Starbucks standards and systems.  With two grown children who have been shift managers with an accumulated 14yrs of experience with Starbucks, I have had a rare opportunity to study them from the inside.  They are a model organization regarding encouraging their employees and managers to “feel” like company partners.  I interviewed our city’s District Managers a few years ago, and they described a practice I have implemented with every company I consulted with since.  They not only have exception training with high standards, and detailed manuals for everything, but they do what is called “Skip Level Performance Reviews.”  For instance, they will skip the store manager and interview the shift managers (who are directly under the Store Managers) in order to ascertain just how well the Store Managers are fulfilling their responsibilities, and how they are being treated by the Store Manager.  This kind of accountability keeps the Store Managers on their toes.  Then the Store Manager will skip the shifts and speak with the employees about the Shift Manager.  This also gives one the opportunity to learn if the employees are thriving or struggling under this manager.  If you wait for them to come to you, it’s probably already out of hand, and will need time and intervention, which costs money.  If you do discover there is a problem, corroborate the truth of it by interviewing the other employees to discern if this is an isolated case between the manager and employee, or if it is necessary to either correct the manager, or possibly provide more training. Either way, take care of it, or it will grow exponentially and sabotage the culture of the office, and you will loose credibility and influence.   The Starbucks system of performance reviews works ingeniously, measuring how well they are fulfilling the expectations of being a manager!  As well, if the managers are responsible for certain levels of sales, the numbers never lie.  As well, how they’re creating raving fans can be measured by providing customer surveys.  Feedback, feedback, feedback provides concrete evidence! With the right systems in place, you’ll be able to keep the pulse of a place, knowing when you need to provide extra training and possibly need take a more hands on approach for a time.  Whether you have one or many employees, with the Starbucks systems in place, a company can run efficiently with scheduled, regular performance reviews.

BOOKS TO HELP YOU:

“Developing the Leader Within You” Dr. John C. Maxwell

“Developing the Leaders Around You” Dr. John C. Maxwell

“Love “Em or Lose “Em” by Beverly Kaye and Sharon Jordan-Evans

“The Boss’s Survival Guide” by Bob Rosner, Allan Halcrow, Alan Levins

Are You Ready to Hire Your First Office Manager pt. I

Save Yourself a Lot of Headaches, by Putting the Correct Foundations in Place!

When you hire your first office Manager, you can avoid a lot of problems by putting the correct foundations in place.  First off, the manager MUST be rightly positioned.  Making sure their behavioral style matches the needs of the position, and that the skills, knowledge, and training of the person fits their responsibilities.  A lot of headaches can be avoided right here!  Then, they must have a clearly written, and understood job description which includes:

  • Their specific responsibilities

  • Attitudes expected of them

  • Compensation the company will be providing

  • Holidays and/or days, and sick leave

  • When performance reviews will be given to them

Continuing education should be provided so that they are continually upgrading their leadership skills.  This should include how much the company is willing to invest in their training and/or materials.  You can’t manage poorly communicated expectations.  Every time I go into a company to consult, or provide executive coaching, and the manager is frustrated with the owners, it is invariably these items which were loosely agreed upon, and not put in writing. If this is the case, you will eventually experience conflict over what the Office Manager expected and was told, as opposed to what the owner remembers he/she said.  They need to be given the company handbook detailing the

  • Mission

  • Vision

  • Values

along with the job descriptions of the employees they will be managing.  They must have a crystal clear understanding of how to support, train, monitor and encourage their employees.  Problems can be averted by setting the correct foundations at the beginning.  Having a clear understanding of their responsibilities, will avoid any need to micro manage as well!

Done right, you will have more time to do the things you love doing, which is why you became a business owner in the first place!

End of pt. 1

 

Managing to Succeed as a Boss and Leader!

What Great Managers Do With their Employees, To Add Value to Their Company

Here’s where the rubber meets the road in successful businesses where people feel valued for their contributions! Managing people is all about developing other people to bring out their unique:

  • talents
  • gifts
  • personality
  • knowledge, and education
  • skills

to meet the needs of their position at work.  Great managers develop and release their employees by assisting them through training, coaching, directing, supporting, encouraging, and delegating.  Lee Iaccoca managed to lift Chrysler Motors back from varying challenging issues including labor disputes and bankruptcy.  Through it all he managed to maintain his value of “succeeding at the people level”.  What this meant was that he insisted, and I quote:  “In the end, all business operations can be reduced to three words,

“PEOPLE – PRODUCT & PROFITS.
PEOPLE come first.”

If fact one of my very favorite quotes states that to be a superb leader, or manager:

“You need to develop the skill of:
MAKING OTHER PEOPLE FEEL IMPORTANT.”
Dr. John C. Maxwell

In fact,

“No man will make a great leader who wants to
do it ALL himself,
or to get the credit for doing it!”
Andrew Carnegie

Again, management isn’t about youIt’s about what you can do with and through others to build and develop them, while simultaneously meeting the mission, vision, and strategic plan of the company. J. Paul Getty, the wealthy oil mogul, when asked what was the most important quality of a successful executive replied:

“It doesn’t make much difference how much other knowledge
or experience an executive possesses.  If he is unable to achieve results
through people, he is worthless as an executive!”

Are you hearing a similar theme?  As a leader, it’s about extracting from your people, their very best on behalf of the company, in ways that honor, value, and build them. You get to make a difference in someone else’s life.  Because of you, they can gain a new skill, learn a new competency, or even be directed toward their dream position and ultimately live a fulfilling work life.  You have the opportunity to “be” the difference in each and every employee who calls you their boss. So, it’s important that you get the right perspective on your position, and learn what great leaders/managers say and do to create great employees.  A great leader says, as they work with their employees, “How can I make those around me more successful?” In fact, one of the very best questions you can ask yourself to evaluate why you are a leader, to discern what your motive is in carrying the title leader/manager/supervisor while you support, coach, direct, and lead the people under you is:

“Am I building people?
Or, am I building my dream
and using people to do it.”
Fred Smith of Federal Express

This question goes to the heart of why you are in this role, what your motivation is.  In fact, when you correctly understand what your “Job Description” is, you will begin to understand that everyone you work with is hungry. Yes, that’s right.  They’re hungry to be understood, to feel worthwhile, important, and ultimately in their own way, to be recognized as valuable . . . valuable to you and to the organization you both work for.  And you know you’ve reached this level of leadership when instead of feeling like you’re going to throw-up when you’re reading or hearing something like this, that speaks to the soft side of business, – like I myself use to feel;  instead, hearing this now resonates with you, motivating you to work toward finding out how you can genuinely meet the unspoken needs of those who are a part of your tribe, who call you boss.

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Confessions of an Accidental Leader
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