Is Leadership a Genetic or Learned Behavior?

Is Leadership a Genetic and Learned Behavior

The question of whether we are born with leadership skills or learned them has always troubled me. When I was nine years old, I remember taking the hands of younger 4-H members and teaching them the sewing skills I learned the year before. My father told me I was bossy. I thought I just cared about people, but as I matured, I found myself increasingly in leadership roles. Was genetic make-up to blame? Perhaps it was simply the fact that I was the youngest of five children and had to fight my way to the top.

Who are the relevant teachers in our lives that teach us leadership abilities? Our parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles, and school teachers help us understand society rules, ethical behaviors. They drive us to learn and speak-up for ourselves. Most leaders have a role model in their life who believes in us no matter what we do. At some point, if we turned out to be a leader, we committed to constructive behavior. We developed ethical values and beliefs that help us think as a leader would and behave as a leader would behave. We are aware of these thoughts and feelings, and we make a conscious decision on how to address situations that require our leadership commitment.

Successful leaders are often successful because they choose to believe they will succeed. They have a positive self-image, which manifests itself into self-confidence and is contagious to those around them. They courageously apply their abilities and strengths, and others see them as winners in the game of life. However, they can sometimes reflect arrogance and overate their performance as compared to their peers. They also have difficulty accepting feedback from their peers and supervisors because the opinions expressed are inconsistent with their image of success.

Successful people walk the talk and consistently reflect the behaviors they preach. They are self-determined and possess a sense of ownership and personal commitment to the projects or activities they accept. They require consistency that unfortunately leads them to resist change. They feel like the real “me” cannot make these changes to the business. They hold that feeling to themselves and move forward as a leader would by supporting the company plan. Successful people. Communicate success to their co-workers. They are persistent in the face of adversity and have a high internal focus of control. They often have a hard time letting go of failures and easily over-commit their time. They like to win!

Can anyone be a winner, or do they have to possess the genetic make-up to be one?. Leaders can be developed through exceptional role models, self-confidence, and a positive coaching environment. However, being an excellent leader takes courage, humility, and discipline. If you believe you can be a better leader, contact me at mary@goldenprofessionalcoaching.com to discuss a coaching engagement.

Coaching in the New World

Marshall Goldsmith’s Stakeholder Center Coaching takes leaders from learning what to do to stopping behaviors that are making them fail!

Coaching in the New World

Leadership is a commitment to constructive behavior. Marshall Goldsmith’s Stakeholder Centered Coaching provides guaranteed and measurable leadership growth by enabling successful leaders to lead and behave more effectively through positive behavior change that is sustained, recognized and acknowledged by others.

At Golden Professional Coaching, we work from the outside in. We identify behaviors that need changing and work with executives to think, feel, and behave differently. We work with the individual’s value system to ensure the change is long-lasting.

Leaders often fall into one bucket. Either they are so self-confident that they already believe they are successful, or they decide they are choosing to succeed or they have a strong attitude that they will succeed. A successful coach meets the individual where they are and helps them overcome the arrogance associated with their current attitude. For example, if an executive says I am already successful, he or she may consistently overrate his/her performance as compared to their peers. They may have difficulty accepting feedback or have opinions that are inconsistent with their image of success.

Peter Drucker once said, “50% of leaders I have met don’t need to learn what to do. They need to learn what to stop doing.”

As leaders, we spend a lot of time teaching others what to do, but virtually no time teaching leaders what to stop doing. The greatest challenge for new leaders is giving up their old familiar tasks and delegating them to someone new for fear the new person will not do the task the same way they did. Even worse, the new person may do it better!

Contact Golden Professional Coaching, LLC to set up a coaching engagement today! (214-668-0093)

What Creates An Organizations Culture?

Leaders are facing enormous business challenges, and need to make changes in their organizations. Gain insight on how best to effectively make these changes and form a new culture.

Leaders at all levels are facing enormous challenges in achieving and sustaining planned operating results. Challenges are emerging from every business arena. Executives need to be cognizant about globalization, political opportunities, economic change, tariff negotiations, additional costs due to enforced regulations, and tightened accounting governance so that incidents such as Enron, World Com and the banking crises never occur again.  The CEO and his/her staff have one primary responsibility and that is providing shareholder value, yet this obligation has become even more difficult than in the past. CEOs are typically driving an organization’s culture and its associate’s sense of trust and well-being.

The way things are done in a company from recruitment, rewards, punishments, team building, achievement of goals and objectives, meeting management, handling conflict, dealing with competition and more are all a reflection of the organization’s culture. Yet, one wonders how does a corporation change the establishment’s culture when the business has become so challenging even for the best leaders.

Culture is the framework within which businesses operate and the binoculars through which others view an organization. If we view a business as a system of interacting and interrelated parts, then culture simply creates, defines and supports that philosophy. However, it is extremely unwise to consider that culture is only defined by what companies do today. This can lead to costly and painful problems for the company later. Cultural change efforts that focus only on the what are doomed to failure before the change ever begins. The greater question is why do organizations do things the way they do? One has to ask the question, is there a particular benefit of doing things in a certain way. Are we doing things this way because we have always done them that way and now the technology has changed to offer a better way? Culture can sometimes be described as an anxiety-reducing agent. Because of this phenomena, company cultures are extremely resistant to change.

Consider businesses that failed due to their inability to change their culture. IBM is a great example from the 1980s when the company ran into serious financial difficulties. Up to that point the company was unwilling to change the ways in which it was approaching the market even though the market was rapidly changing around it. Consider your own business. Are you willing to change even if it means breaking tradition?

To determine your readiness for change, take a few minutes and evaluate the organization’s characteristics. Consider each characteristic and how deeply rooted the current business practices are in the organization. Ask yourself, why do we do things the way we do on a particular trait. Then rate the need to change from one to ten. One should be an urgent need to change, while ten would represent no reason to change. Next, rate the ease of change from one to ten – one being the most difficult and ten being the easiest.

 

Organizational Cultural Characteristics

Characteristic Need to change Ease of change
Associate development
Leadership development
Team accomplishments
Innovation
Risk Taking
Stability
Trust in management
Attention to Detail
Meeting management
Project implementations
Managing and achieving goals
Total

Now compare the total score on the need to change to the total score on the ease of change. If the two scores are close together, your company’s ability to change should not be difficult. However, if you honestly evaluate each characteristic you will often find a behavior that needs to be addressed.  Unfortunately, what we often see is that there is a perception of cause and effect and that is enough to cause a behavior to become a cultural value. Assuming that the behavior and the result occur together often enough, the behavior will be taken for granted. Team members will no longer question the behavior because it is the culture and that is how their world works. Other cultural values will arise to support and enable the behavior and in the end, a simple behavior leads to an interlocking network of beliefs, assumptions, and values. Attempting to change any piece is extremely difficult because every other piece attempts to pull it back into place. Suffice it to say that cultures do not change easily.

Making a company cultural change takes hard work on everyone’s part but starts at the top. Initially, leadership needs to gain awareness across the company about the need for change. Doing so requires a solid communication plan and a management team that is locked arm-in-arm. The communication should be designed to create a desire in the enterprise for change. Many times this means educating the employee community about why change is needed and ideas that can help improve business but require acceptance. Once acceptance begins, workers need to be supported with training and education on policies, procedures, and systems changes. Knowledge of what is new must be tested regularly for the first year or more until change becomes the new culture.

Is your organization facing change? Contact Mary Kuniski at mkuniski@me.comor log on to http://www.goldenprofessionalcoaching.com to make an appointment.

 

 

 

 

 

Attributes That Make A Great Leader

Have you ever wondered what you could do to be a better leader? Try Marshall Goldsmith’s Global Leader of the Future 360 assessment and compare your results to this article on attributes that make a great leader!

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Attributes That Make a Great Leader

Building leadership skills take humility, courage, and discipline. When I think about the attributes of the best leader I have ever worked with, I realize he used a servant leadership philosophy to manage his team. Traditional leaders exercise power to achieve results. By comparison, the servant-leader shares power,  puts the needs of others first, and helps his/her people develop and perform as executives. Servant leaders use their power to benefit the people they lead.

The foundation of a servant leader is integrity, which inspires trust. If a leader trusts his/her team, their team will believe in them. Successful leaders show stamina and are tactical, strategic and maintain a positive attitude. These managers empower their team to make decisions, set expectations and evaluate performance. They listen to their staff and serve them. As a result, their teams follow them.

The best leader I ever worked for was not perfect, but he was consistent in his approach and allowed me to do my job. Below is a list of competencies that he possessed that I believe were the most valuable in making him successful.

  1. Leaders remain focused and control their emotions

We face a million distractions in the office each day. If we allow ourselves to lose focus on the priorities, we will become overwhelmed and fail. If we plan our goals, define how we will achieve them, and follow up on the progress regularly, we will stay focused on the targets and be successful. Controlling our emotions plays a significant role in remaining focused. When we lose our temper, we lose focus.

2. Let go of the past

So often in business, we believe we have tried something once and if what we tried failed we think we should never try it again. The industry needs change, and they are cyclical. What did not work ten years ago may easily be what is needed today. One example of this was the demise of Montgomery Ward. In 1872, the retailer opened as the first catalog retailer in the world. The company served the needs of the rural customer and quickly became the largest mail-order company in the world. They never changed their approach and ultimately closed the mail order business rather than take the leap that Amazon made to put all their merchandise online. This may be an extreme example, yet we all have examples where we have said, “we tried that once, and it did not work.” I say time to try it again using a different approach. 

  1. Take ownership

Leaders are only as effective as how much they put on their plate. That does not mean doing the work but does mean owning the results good or bad. If something goes wrong the leader steps in and helps fix the problem. If the team or team member makes a mistake, the leader is responsible and must take ownership, and then ensure the team or team member learns from his/her mistake.

  1. Stay out of your own way (Build a mature ego)

When we first begin as leaders, our egos are immature and we often try to show off our success to our superiors. In some ways doing so works because the acclaim we receive is part of what motivates us to succeed.  However, showing off can also be a problem for us as we take our eye off the ball and start worrying about winning and losing our status. Rather than worrying about the commendations you might receive for doing something special, just do the work and your reward will come later as your ego matures.

  1. Communicate and praise

I can’t say enough about how important it is to communicate to your team. Communicate your goals and strategy. Recite the company’s mission and vision at every opportunity. Meet with your staff members one-on-one on a regular weekly or bi-weekly schedule. Provide your employees with feedback and praise.  Walk the floor and say good morning or afternoon. Learn about your employees likes and dislikes and any personal info they want to share. Talk with them about what makes them happy and they will be happy employees and know that you care about them as a person as well as an employee.

  1. Support your team

The team is the whole game and everyone on the team needs to feel as important as the other guy. The moment the leader or others are out for themselves and their own win, the leader and the team loses. Make sure the work is spread around to all team members and not just to your favorite team member. The only way employees learn effectively is by doing. They can’t do if you play favorites and give the work to only one person.

  1. Simplify – Business can be simple.

We deliver something people want and charge them for the service. But how we do that can get complicated in a hurry. Here’s the catch: A complicated plan is hard to communicate with our teams, and that makes it hard for them and us to win. Look at your business processes and see what you can eliminate. Get rid of checking the checkers – people who check to see if other people did their jobs. Hold people accountable for what they should be doing and streamline the processes. You will find the improved execution of the processes and reduced cost by eliminating the labor used for complicated processes.

  1. Empower your people.

Leaders delegate. That’s a fact. However, they don’t just delegate, they train, empower and communicate in clear effective language employees responsibilities and expectations. Empowerment allows leaders to take on more tasks than one person can do. When leaders do not empower their people they will fail or get frustrated and quit.

  1. Listen to your stakeholders

We all have stakeholders. Stakeholders could be our boss, customers, direct reports, peers or anyone that we work with on a regular basis. Completing an annual 360 evaluation with your stakeholders would provide you with some outstanding feedback that you could use to improve your skills. This 360 can be as simple as sending out a note to ask for feedback or a little more professional by contacting a certified coach to prepare and send out an anonymous request for feedback. The most important step is to provide a response to your stakeholders after receiving the feedback as to steps you will take to correct any deficiencies that were pointed out to you.

  1. Admit when you are wrong

When you are wrong admit to your team that you have made an error and want to correct it. This shows you are human and provides some confidence to your team that they too can try something new and will not get chastised if they make a mistake. They will see that you have humility and courage and will value you more as their leader for admitting you made a mistake.

Final Thoughts

My favorite boss was a class act guy who was a leader with courage, humility, and discipline. He displayed all the competencies I have listed about, yet it is important to note that there were still a few actions he took where he could have had a greater sense of awareness about what his stakeholders needed. This is an important distinction because we learn to be better leaders every day by the actions we take. The next time your leader does something that you think is not right, remember that he/she too is still maturing his/her ego and method of leadership.

 To find out more about Marshall Goldsmith’s Stakeholder Centered Coaching for leaders on the rise, contact mkuniski@me.comor go to http://www.goldenprofessionalcoaching.com.

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 Presented by Golden Professional Coaching LLC

A Marshall Goldsmith Stakeholder Centered Coaching Company

We Build Tomorrow’s Leaders

 

Unrecognized Ineffective Habits of Successful Leaders – Part Four

Did you ever think upholding boundaries as a leader could hinder your leadership effectiveness? No, well think again. Read this blog to surface boundaries that may hurt instead of help!

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Four weeks ago, I began this series with a list of 20 ineffective (unrecognized) habits of successful leaders. This issue is the last installment of those 20 habits. This series is intended to provide, even the best leader, one or two ideas of areas in which he or she can improve his/her leadership style. To read the previous three blogs on this topic, log on to MaryKuniski.com and enter your email address to follow my blog. This week’s blog covers the problems that occur when leaders withhold the necessary information from their teams.

Upholding Boundaries

According to Z. Hereford in essential life skills, personal boundaries are the physical, emotional and mental limits we establish to protect ourselves from being manipulated, used, or violated by others. They allow us to separate who we are, and what we think and feel, from the thoughts and feelings of others. The presence of personal boundaries helps us express ourselves as the individuals we are, while we acknowledge the same in others. (Herefore, Z, www.essentiallifeskills.net)

In business, we see the strong need for boundaries, so employees understand his/her limit, which in turn helps them maintain focus on their tasks. Unfortunately, these boundaries sometimes get in the way of a supervisor in providing the employee with the best workplace they can have. For example, supervisors are often required to maintain certain secret information, and it is up to the manager to determine what that might be. Some leaders go so far as to stop communicating with their employees for fear they are crossing boundaries. Listed below are five common areas where supervisors should break through the barriers and recognize their employees.

Withholding Information

Leadership often assigns special projects or reports to their staff to develop the talent of the associate to move them to the next level. There is a delicate balance between giving the associate enough information to complete the task or project and not giving enough information so the employee cannot complete the project.

I once worked for a leader who refused to communicate with me. He had a picture in his mind as to what he was looking for as an output for a project he assigned to me but refused to share his thoughts with me. I spent many hours reformatting the same data over and over again and never did “get it right.”  The refusal to share information with me appeared to be intended to maintain an advantage over me. What was meant to be a learning experience became an immense frustration and all I learned was not to trust this manager when he assigned projects in the future.  What I should have asked him to do was sketch what he thought the output should look like so I had a starting point. Because I did not ask those questions, we both failed in our communication.

Failing to give proper recognition or express gratitude

Many managers cannot praise or express gratitude to their employees because they fear doing so will take away their power and break boundaries with the associate. This behavior is the most basic form of rude behavior, yet we see it all the time with leaders. According to Gallup, employee engagement has been static for the last three decades. Gallup also claims that one of the most common areas of employee dissatisfaction is the inability of their leadership to praise and reward them for a job well done. In our interactions with others, we often miss opportunities to show genuine appreciation and recognition. So often, the only time employees hear our praise is during their performance review. Recognizing the strength of others requires a conscious effort, and it does not take much time. If we commit to doing so regularly, we will find it becomes a positive habit, increases morale and creates a confident culture.

The best formula I have found for giving positive recognition is by using the acronym TAPE, written by Dale Carnegie. T stands for THINGS. Perhaps the individual is particularly proud of something they own – could be their baseball collection, jewelry or clothes. Leaders should be aware of their associate’s pride and joy activities and things and talk with them about their interests in day-to-day conversations.

A stands for ACHIEVEMENTS, which can be research, projects, or anything that takes a focused and concerted effort. These achievements are the most often the areas of praise given in the business world. Achievements should always be recognized publicly and promptly.

stands for PERSONAL TRAITS and are the favorable characteristics individuals possess that make them valuable to you and your organization. When leaders recognize their employees for these characteristics, they are providing the most potent praise of all. When giving praise to employees, one needs to be careful to include evidence of the reason for recognition. For example, if the leader walks up behind his/her employee and says you did a great job today, the employee may wonder whom he/she is talking to and what they did to deserve the praise.

Therefore, the final letter is and stands for EVIDENCE.  When offering praise or recognition to one’s employees, the conversation should go something like this: Look the employee in the eyes and state his/her name. Tell him/her what they did well and provide evidence that what you say is true. Close by thanking the employee one more time.

Example

Jane, you offered the executives an excellent presentation today on your project. I was pleased that you included facts, figures, and projections. When presenting to executives, it is vital that you always back up your theories with numbers. Thank you, Jane, for your hard work.

Punishing the messenger:

Have you ever gone to your leader, presented bad news and felt the lash of his/her tongue. This situation occurs much more often than we think. The poorly misguided manager feels like he/she needs to lash out to someone and attacks the innocent person who is usually only trying to help. The result is that the employee will most likely never present lousy news or offer a suggestion to that supervisor again.

A more appropriate response to this type of news is a simple thank you, and according to Marshall Goldsmith, is the only appropriate answer. Although I agree with Marshall that the response should be simple thank you, I believe asking additional questions, in this case, would be appropriate if asked in a respectful manner.

Not Listening

Not listening is likely the most passive-aggressive form of disrespect for colleagues. Why don’t leaders listen to their teams? The leader may be embarrassed by what he/she might hear. Alternatively, his or her ego is so immature that they think they know best. In Marshall Goldsmith’s stakeholder centered coaching program we show leaders how to listen and respond to their teams. Doing so is not easy. It takes hard work, humility, and discipline. If you are interested in experiencing Stakeholder Centered Coaching, contact me at mkuniski@me.com.

“Daring to set boundaries is about having the courage to love ourselves even when we risk disappointing others.”   Brene Brown

Final Thoughts

Firm boundaries, such as prohibiting the use of inappropriate language or verbal abuse in the workplace are entirely appropriate. However, associates should be encouraged to speak in a respectful manner that is not condescending or abusive. With clearly defined boundaries regarding communication, associates use the appropriate tone and language with one another, which improves workplace interactions.

Boundaries discourage inappropriate behavior by setting rules of conduct within the workplace. Codes of conduct define what behavior is appropriate on the job and what behavior is unacceptable. It is a leader responsibility to set boundaries for all and then enforce them for all. However, leaders need to ensure their limitations do not take away from the ability of their workforce from receiving the required information and recognition to complete their jobs.

To find out more about Marshall Goldsmith’s Stakeholder Centered Coaching for leaders on the rise, contact mkuniski@me.comor go to http://www.goldenprofessionalcoaching.com.

 Presented by Golden Professional Coaching LLC

A Marshall Goldsmith Stakeholder Centered Coaching Company

cropped-Golden-with-plain-C-2.pngWe Build Tomorrow’s Leaders

Reference: “What Got You There Won’t Get You There.” Marshall Goldsmith, pg. 40

 

 

 

UNRECOGNIZED INEFFECTIVE HABITS OF SUCCESSFUL LEADERS – PART THREE

Having a bit ego is not necessarily a bad habit as long as the ego has matured. A leadership coach gives examples of how leaders can be more effective when working to mature his/her ego.

Empowering the Ego

Most leaders I have worked with have their egos in check, but we know they are proud of their accomplishments. Their behavior surrounding their ego is somewhat expected and helps drive their self-confidence. Conversely, when their ego gets in the way of humility, great leaders can fall very quickly. Last week we reviewed the behaviors of leaders who use anger, negativity, clinging to the past, excuses and playing favorites to rule their organization. This week we will study the effects of empowering the ego. To read last’s Part Two, click here https://wordpress.com/read/feeds/75996734

An excessive need to be “me”

Have you ever worked with someone who appears to know it all? To them, admitting they made a mistake is a significant challenge because they want to avoid “losing face”. However, in the eyes of other people, a person who can admit to mistakes and move on from them is more likely to garner respect than someone who blusters and pretends they weren’t responsible. Ultimately, continued refusal to face up to being wrong or causing a problem can take a toll on one’s reputation, relationships, work, or professional life. If a person is not already used to admitting their own mistakes this new skill can liberate them and allow them to move on to better relationships and outcomes.

Get ready to own your errors!

 Looking at many leaders, we have to ask ourselves, can his/her ego honestly think, feel, say, and act that way? They may think they can run the company by themselves and do any job in this organization that their team is doing today, but is that reality or just ego. Believing they are good enough to do it all is not necessarily a position of arrogance or superiority. Instead, assuming they can do anything can be representative of a mature ego. The ego needs to mature to build a leaders’ self-confidence. When a leader heals and develops their ego, their career begins to transform, and the way they view the world lifts to a higher octave.

A leader with a mature ego is done pretending they are not good enough, and he/she discovers something shocking. They have grown to the point that they are secure, creative, connected, confident, intuitive, and wise enough to do anything they want to do. They realize if they try and fail at something they do not lose face by admitting their mistake and moving on to the next idea. They only have developed a new habit that says I have the self-confidence to be a leader, make decisions, make mistakes and move on.

Passing the buck

“The most important mark of a leader other leaders can trust is never passing the buck.”

MICHAEL HYATT

 Blaming others for their own mistakes is the antonym of leadership and a mature ego. How often do we face employees who are afraid to admit to their errors for fear of the punishment? I once talked with a CEO who was frustrated because her team was afraid to use their critical thinking skills and make logical decisions. The employee’s lack of self-confidence put a significant burden on the CEO because her employees would ask her advice on every single decision, which wasted a tremendous amount of her time. They feared deciding on their own because her punishments were harsh.

As leaders, we need to evaluate the method in which we communicate the action we asked our employees to take and reframe the communication in our mind to determine if someone less experienced than we are would perceive the conversation in a different way. Real leaders need to take complete ownership when things go wrong. That’s what a leader does even if it means getting fired. If a leader throws someone under the bus, they lose the trust of his/her team making it impossible to lead them.

Refusing to express regret

 The inability to take responsibility for our actions and admit we are wrong eliminates our ability to recognize how our actions affect others. Leaders often fear to show regret thinking falsely that a regret is a form of weakness.

Often as leaders, we are required to take actions we don’t necessarily want to make, but it is our job to do what is expected of us. I can think of many occasions over the years when I had to lay employees off due to a change in the business. When I was young and had an immature ego, I was able to complete those lay-offs without any thought to the individual.  I realized how important it was to consider the reaction that would come from the employee and allow them to save face as my ego became more mature.

 Winning too much

 

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Can you think of any sports professionals that need to win at all costs and in all situations? They go after a win when it matters when it doesn’t matter, and when it’s entirely beside the point. Have you experienced any leaders that will take the opposite view of any discussion point and fight to win it even if they don’t care about the solution? I have difficulty thinking about my college football coach, who was a revered faculty member. I worked in the dining hall during college, and we were not allowed to enter the room when the football team was eating for fear we would overhear strategy and pass it on to the competition. At one point, the milk ran out in the dining area, and no one would go out and fix it for fear of the coach. Since I didn’t care much about football at the time, I took the initiative to go milk the cow. Such meritocracy was just uncalled for but was a regular occurrence during that time.

Now, years later we find out that the assistant coach was molesting boys in the football locker room and the coach knew all about it. Rather than go to the police with the information, the coach chose to force the retirement of the assistant coach and continued to coach his precious team to protect them from the scandal. The evidence is clear that many individuals were aware of what was going on and gave no thought to the young boys who had their lives ruined.  Where was the coaches’ ethical values and where were the rest of the coaches and players? Think about Lance Armstrong and Tonya Harding; where were their values when they decided to do whatever they had to do to win.

The challenge is not with the desire to win. We all should want to win and increase the visibility of our business due to our success. The challenge is winning while maintaining our ethical values and validating that our winners are doing so honestly. Leaders have to own the integrity of their business and win but not at any cost.

Telling the world how smart you are

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Do you remember the international game show called,  “Who Wants to be a Millionaire?” This was a show where contestants were asked trivia questions and had the opportunity to call a friend or use the audience’ response to win the million dollars. The show aired for months before the first winner was announced. The first winner, who happened to be an IRS agent,  was a true expert on all facts. His answers seemed to come out of nowhere. On the final question, he used his lifeline to call his Dad and rather than ask him a question he said, “ hey Dad I am going to win a million dollars, the answer to the question is x.” Confetti flowed from the ceiling and it was an exciting moment.

We often face individuals who appear to be self-proclaimed experts and talking with them can be extremely irritating. However, let’s be clear that there are true experts in every field. As a leader, we are much better served to show off our listening skills than our expert skills. However, if you really want to be an expert on anything simply google “how to be an expert on anything” and you will come up with over a million hits telling you how to do so.

Final Thoughts

This week’s’ blog has everything to do with our ego. As leaders, it is important that we build a mature ego.  Some individuals take offense to leaders who have egos. However, it is my contention that natural leaders start with an immature ego that allows poor behaviors like winning at all costs, controlling every conversation, acting like they are an expert at everything, or refusing to express regret. If a leader will allow their ego to mature as described in this blog, they will be rewarded with faster and larger success as an executive.

Are you looking forward to Part Four? Next week will review upholding boundaries. Be sure to click follow to be notified of a new posting.

 Presented by Golden Professional Coaching LLC

A Marshall Goldsmith Stakeholder Centered Coaching Company

We Build Tomorrow’s Leaders

Reference: “What Got You There Won’t Get You There.” Marshall Goldsmith, pg. 40

Unrecognized Ineffective Habits of Successful Leaders – Part Two

Showing visible emotions have no place in business. Leaders who use emotional volatility as a management tool will only survive a short time as an executive. They use scare tactics to get the job done and use and abuse those around them.

“Last week we talked about great leaders who attempt to add too much value by taking over every meeting and every situation and promoting themselves to all who will listen. This week we will explore the deterioration of management respect when overusing emotions. To read last’s Part One, click here https://marykuniski.com/2018/06/27/unrecognized-ineffective-leadership-habits/.

“I realize there is something incredibly honest about trees in the winter, how they are experts at letting things go.” 

Jeffrey McDaniel

Overusing Emotions

Speaking when angry

Showing visible emotions have no place in business. Unfortunately, we are all human and no matter how hard we try our feelings will come out from time-to-time when we are facing stressful situations.  Our response to these unexpected emotions often separates the good from the great leaders. Alternatively, leaders who use emotional volatility as a management tool will only survive a short time as an executive. They use scare tactics to get the job done and use and abuse those around them.

I once worked for a Regional Vice President who believed in using emotional volatility as a scare tactic to engage his store managers across the region. One can only guess how he rose up the ladder to that level. For nine months he drove the staff crazy with his ridiculous demands. Store managers and their crews were working around the clock to meet his requirements. The stores did improve in appearance, but after a time the regional management team had enough of his needs and together made serious complaints to the corporate office. Not only did this leader have to apologize to his team of District and Store Managers, but he was demoted to a store manager and never had a chance again to rise to a leadership level. His career virtually ended after the complaints rolled in.

“Speak when you are angry and you will make the best speech you will ever regret.” Ambrose Bierce

How does one control his or her emotions?

Here’s a simple formula. Think Ctrl, Alt, Del. Ctrl stands for controlling your emotions. Alt stands for altering your attitude, and Del stands for delete negative thoughts. The next time you feel ready to explode, hit ctrl, alt, del on your emotions and smile and reboot!

 Negativity

 According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics negativity costs business $3 billion a year due to its harmful effects. No matter what the cause, negativity is damaging to the workplace. Gossiping, poor attitude, communication, and even external investors can breed negativity. Unless a leader quickly and directly addresses the situation, the consequences will tangibly affect the business. For instance, negativity can lead to distrust within a team, a decrease in employee engagement, or even liability issues if it evolves into harassment. Negativity in the workplace saps energy and diverts attention from productivity and performance, and because of this, leaders need to be proactive in maintaining a positive culture.

How to convert to a positive culture?

Leaders need to model the behavior they want to see. For example, if a leader spends his/her entire management meeting verbally acosting his/her staff when business is down, business will likely get worse. The best leaders I have experienced  communicate in a positive way that they understand why they did not make the plan during the previous period, but identify all the ways the team can overcome the problems they had in the last period. All they need to be successful is a positive approach and extra elbow grease. Using this method provides an encouraging positive environment that discourages negative gossip and improves morale.

Leaders who provide rewards and recognition to their team will see an increase in morale and productivity. Negativity is harmful to the workplace and can be eliminated through positive communication and individual recognition.

Clinging to the past

I once had a district manager who loved to say, “shoot while the ducks are flying.” One day during a district visit my store manager got out a pop gun and put a plastic duck in a Ficus tree. When the DM walked into his office, the store manager came out from behind his door and shot the duck. While it was not a good idea to be holding a gun when his DM showed up, the store manager made his point that we cannot live in the past. Our customers and we struggle with change. How many times have we heard or said, “but we have always done it this way or if it ain’t broke don’t fix it.” The point both parties were making was going after the business while its happening. Do whatever you need to do to keep it going.

Today, we are experiencing change more rapidly than at any time in history. In 1984, my husband and I  purchased the a board game called Dark Tower. It was the first game with some technology. The game had a tower that spun around for each player. It was pretty exciting, and we spent three days playing it before realizing we were obsessed with the game. Think about what we are obsessed with today. We are in an age of virtual distraction, and our electronics are changing faster than we can absorb. The ideals, beliefs, and perspectives of the past are exploding to reveal a wildly different future, which is why we are perplexed when we see businesses frantically clinging to the past and relying on old approaches rather than shaping new ones. Consider the retailers that failed or are failing due to their inability to change. Montgomery Ward – the original eCommerce retailer failed because they could not adapt to match the Amazon fulfillment approach. They merely operated themselves out of business. Radio Shack, a key retailer of electronics could not keep up with the changing marketplace. Toys R Us – the number one retailer of toys going out of business now. How does this happen? Undoubtedly, the failure of leadership to accept and make a dramatic change to keep up with the changing landscape made a massive contribution to the failure of these retailers.

Too often, we fall into the trap of thinking that our past successes will enable future ones. Events occur, and we overestimate the risks of attempting a new approach to driving business and underestimate the risk of standing still. For example, would we ever have thought that 9/11 would happen and reinforce the need for us to accelerate our rate of change, innovation, and creativity?

How do we make change happen?

Use the acronym ADKAR to remember the steps. First, make sure all employees are aware of the need for change. Outstanding communication that identifies the business problem and provides the financial implication of the problem is required. If the message is on point, it will generate a DESIRE for change. Escalating the desire for change is crucial to final acceptance. Next, an evaluation needs to be completed to determine if each workgroup has the KNOWLEDGE and ABILITY to make change occur and be successful. Most important of all is REINFORCEMENT of the change. Leaders who do not identify a methodology to ensure the change sticks are immediately subject to failure.

Making excuses

“In the long run, we shape our lives, and we shape ouerselves. The process never ends until we die. Moreover, the choices we make are our responsibility.

Eleanor Roosevelt

Why is it that we believe we need excuses for not getting work done. We are all busy so making explanations look legitimate has gotten a lot harder. How many times have you had an employee arrive late for work and say traffic was horrible when you were in the same traffic. Perhaps you have someone that is known for not answering his/her emails. Their excuse – it went to my spam email. These plausible excuses become more and more deniable as time goes on.

As a leader, do you accept responsibility for your actions? Accepting responsibility has two primary components. First, one has to take responsibility for his/her actions or failures. Leaders who fail to do this will immediately lose the respect of his/her staff. All human beings make mistakes and/or poor choices – some mistakes being worse than others. Errors include occasions when we fail to act when we know we should.  The second component is accepting responsibility when you have indirect responsibility for those that report to you. When you take responsibility for your direct reports mistakes your character is revealed.

Accepting responsibility, both personal and indirect responsibility is one of the most important factors in defining a person’s character.  When that responsible moment comes, what you do or don’t do is an indication of the type of person you are.

How to change?

Accepting responsibility requires you to own your behavior and that of your team. Admit your misconduct or failure-to-act when you should have done so. Next, offer a sincere apology to those you have wronged. If possible, make amends or do what is needed to correct what you have done. Finally, accept whatever punishment is handed out for the choice you made. These steps may sound simple, but they can be tough to take. Accepting responsibility is part of being a great leader. Start early in your career with this process and accepting responsibility becomes more natural as time goes on.

Playing Favorites

Who doesn’t like to be the boss’s favorite? Unfortunately, for all its management inappropriateness, favoritism is rampant in the business world.  Georgetown University’s business school surveyed senior executives at companies with over 1,000 employees and found that 84% admitted bias is alive and well in their organizations. There is an apparent reason for this behavior. Managers want to give work assignments to those employees whom they can trust. Typically, the favorites are the trusted employees. Trusted employees are most often given the favored assignment due to their competency in completing the task, but this behavior does not allow other employees to be trained or show their skills. They too might be supported if allowed to show their skills and abilities.

How to stop showing favoritism?

Leaders need first to be aware that they are showing favoritism. One of the best ways to ensure they are not favoring certain employees is to make a conscious effort to divvy up the work assignments in a fair and equitable way. Next, managers need to hold themselves and others accountable for getting the work done. If one of the employees fails to do the job, don’t let them off the hook. Instead, challenge them to get back on track and only give them help when they have made the effort to complete the work themselves.

Executives can be successful leaders by receiving stakeholder-centered feedback and addressing areas of opportunity like those discussed in today’s blog.  With courage, humility, and discipline good leaders can become great leaders. The business world could use a lot more great leaders! For more information about improving your leadership skills, contact Executive Coach, Mary Kuniski at mkuniski@me.com.

Published by GoldenProfessionalCoaching.com

A Marshall Goldsmith Stakeholder Centered Coaching Company

We Build Tomorrow’s Leaders

Reference:

“What Got You There Won’t Get You There.” Marshall Goldsmith, pg. 40

“The Golden Book” Dale Carnegie

“https://www.forbes.com/sites/victorlipman/2018/01/16/a-common-but-overlooked-   howmanagement-problem-playing-favorites/#7f7771f635dd

https://appliedpsychologydegree.usc.edu/resources/articles/discouraging-negativity-in-the-workplace

 

 

Unrecognized Ineffective Leadership Habits

Successful Leadership takes discipline, powerful communication, inspiration to keep good employees happy, inclusion of all cultures, and most of all assuring personal success. Extraordinary leaders still make ordinary mistakes This four part series reviews those mistakes and describes how leaders can avoid them

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Great leaders exhibit courage, humility, and discipline combined with selected competencies that can drive their performance from good to great. Key competencies that successful leaders need to be exceptional managing are communication, associate engagement, business change, the inclusion of ideas and people from all cultures, faiths, and beliefs, and assuring personal success. For a closer look at the definition of these competencies click here https://wordpress.com/post/marykuniski.com/531.

Unfortunately, even the best leaders have bad practices. This series will examine the unfortunate habits of those whom we consider good leaders and provide future leaders with some ideas on how to overcome these unacceptable behaviors. Four primary categories represent 20 ineffective habits of successful leaders. These categories include the following: 1) promoting one’s value; 2) overusing emotions; 3) empowering the ego 4) upholding boundaries. This week’s blog will focus on the methods some leaders use to promote their value.

 Adding Too Much Value

We have all attended meetings only to discover that the person that takes over every session is in attendance. Nothing could be more frustrating to the meeting leader than having an attendee who knows nothing about the topic, shows up late and interrupts the meeting to talk about something completely out of context to the discussion. A consultant I once worked with routinely showed up 20 minutes late to every assemblage and asked us to repeat everything that we discussed in the time he missed. We all decided he was trying to show us how important he was by arriving late, but he certainly did not gain our admiration using this behavior. He would talk and talk about what he had done at other clients but he never really added value to the discussion because he did not understand the day-to-day operations of our business.  He merely wanted to be heard and had an overwhelming desire to add his two cents to every discussion.

Keeping in mind this consultant was a direct pipeline to our supervisors we were a little stumped on how to deal with the situation. In reality, our bosses would have had more respect for us if we called the consultant out on the behavior. Meeting leaders have a responsibility to keep meetings on track by having an agenda with time blocks for each topic and sending the program out to the participants in advance of the meeting. The time and date of the meeting should also be broadcast to all participants, and the meeting should start and end promptly as advertised. Latecomers should not be allowed to interrupt the meeting. When the attendee is late several times and participants refuse his/her request to repeat information they will stop attending late. If they are unavoidably late, they can make an appointment with the meeting leader to catch up after the meeting. The meeting leader should limit the amount of time given to participants to discuss topics. If he or she feels the discussion is going on too long and not making progress, they can undoubtedly table the discussion until the next meeting and ask everyone to finetune their thoughts. Meeting leaders must show balanced governance to prevent participants from attempting to add value when none exists.

Claiming Credit That We Do Not Deserve

As our consultant’s engagement was ending, all the captains of the teams he established were aghast when he took the credit for the results of the commitment. He certainly had the right to claim some credit. After all, he was the one who came up with the ideas for the four workgroups. However, workgroups mean multiple individuals were working together to resolve problems. The teams developed and changed processes, communicated to the executives and their managers, and implemented change management. The workgroups deserved to be recognized for their efforts as they went far and above their regular jobs. The consultant may not have been aware that he was going to be recognized for the results of the workgroups. However, his response should have been to circle back and make it clear where the credit was due to the leaders in each workgroup. Using that approach would have earned him credibility and admiration.

What should the workgroups have done?  Each team had a captain who was steering the work of the group and reporting results to the executives. These captains should have gotten together and provided a list of names in their cohort to the consultant so he could ensure the workgroups were recognized. A small reminder such as this will usually stimulate the individual who is taking credit to provide credit where it is due.

Passing Judgment.

We all are judgmental at times. It is simply unavoidable. Yes, even you. I  am many times. I believe it is human nature.  Walt Whitman once said, “Be curious, not judgmental.”

We have to ask ourselves how helpful it is to be judgmental. Does it do any good when we talked about the girl who just walked by, and most of her body was covered in Tattoos? Did we make a sale when we prejudged a customer and assumed they did not want the top of the line TV? Think about it for a second; we see someone and based on their looks or actions, we pass judgment on them. Not a good judgment, either. Usually without even knowing the person. Moreover, that’s it — that’s usually the extent of our interaction with that person. We don’t make an effort to get to know the person, or understand them, or see whether our judgment was right or not.

So let’s consider what happens when we pass judgment on people we do know. We see something they do, and get angry at it, or disappointed in the person, or think worse of them. We judge, without understanding. That’s the end of it — we don’t try to find out more, and through communication begin to understand, and through understanding, start to build a bridge between two human beings.

How do we stop this personal behavior? Pure acceptance of each other probably will not work, however, what is the most natural solution? Dale Carnegie says, “Become genuinely interested in other people.” Building a new habit of becoming genuinely interested in others helps us recognize when we might be judgmental. To make this change, we should stop at least once each day when we begin to judge another person and observe them. We might reframe what we are seeing in a new scenario that is easier for us to accept. This process takes a great deal of self-awareness. Seek to understand the other person. Put yourself in his/her shoes. Try to imagine their background. If possible, talk to them and find out their story. Once we are aware and understand how the individual got to this point, we will stop being judgmental and begin to accept the person for whom he/she is without trying to change them. Taking this action will relieve a great deal of stress in our lives.

Starting with No, But, or However

Dale Carnegie often pointed out that we should never tell someone they are wrong. Don’t the words No, But or However already say the speaker is wrong? Think about it a minute. You are having a great meeting; Everyone is participating and throwing out their best ideas. Someone brings up an idea that has been tried before and you say NO we tried that before and it didn’t work. Suddenly, dead silence falls around the room, and no more suggestions are forthcoming. The same could happen with the word BUT (which is an acronym for Behold The Underlying Truth). You partially agree with the idea but you want to add one more thing. Instead of saying but, perhaps you could use the word AND we can add one more element and make this idea better.  The word HOWEVER is used to introduce a statement that contrasts with or seems to contradict something that has been previously been said. Doesn’t that definition sound like a fancy way to tell the other person No?

So often when we respond, we immediately say what we think or give our opinion without giving it much thought.  How different our response might be if we allowed ourselves to formulate our opinion with evidence before responding. We might even ask a question or two to ensure our understanding. The next time you disagree with someone take a minute or two to consider why you disagree. Ask yourself why you think that and what proof do you have that what you think is correct. Then when you respond you can begin the substantiation, then tell what you believe the verification indicates to you and then what you believe based on the evidence. The conversation might go something like this.

Person 1 – We cannot add any additional resources to our staff because there is no space for them to sit.

Person 2 – I have read some interesting articles that indicate many companies are adding a second shift to have employees share the space available and the results are improved productivity. I have also read that allowing employees to work from home is becoming very popular and would only require us to supply a computer and access to our network. Therefore, I believe we can add resources to our staff by entertaining one or both of these solutions.

This type of answer does take a little practice but what a difference your response makes and how you benefit with admiration as a leader.

Making Destructive Comments

We all do it; we make negative or sarcastic comments right in front of the person, so they get our point or to make ourselves sound sharp and witty. People make adverse comments all day long, and the comments often lead to downgrading themselves. For example, a person might say to themselves no one ever bothers to tell me anything, or there’s no way this will work. Perhaps they think of themselves as a loser because other people can do what they cannot do.

Facing problems such as destructive comments head-on is the only way to handle these situations. Begin by logging what you and the other person said. Next, analyze why you said something destructive about yourself or another person. If you did say something harmful to another person go back as soon as possible and apologize. Let the other person save face by explaining you were in the wrong by making a comment. Continue this practice until you can determine the true cause of your unhelpful feelings. Once you understand the cause, you can correct the situation. When leaders make destructive comments, they are often showing their insecurity. Only you can change this insecure behavior!

Final Thoughts

Demonstrating genuine and positive leadership can be very difficult at times. Even successful leaders have moments when their behavior does not match the picture of an effective leader. It is very rare when we influence our employees each day through praise and honest appreciation. Even if our employees have made a mistake, as leaders, we are challenged to call attention to people’s mistakes indirectly. Often if we talk about own mistakes first, we can make our point to our employee without criticizing them.

For more information about improving your leadership skills, contact Executive Coach, Mary Kuniski at mkuniski@me.com.

Published by GoldenProfessionalCoaching.com

A Marshall Goldsmith Stakeholder Centered Coaching Company

We Build Tomorrow’s Leaders

Reference: “What Got You There Won’t Get You There.” Marshall Goldsmith, pg. 40

“The Golden Book” Dale Carnegie

Can Amazon Be Beat With Customer Service?

CEO of Fedex, Frederick Smith responds with customer service. He walks the talk.

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The Impact of Amazon

Every day I am asked what I think the impact of Amazon is on brick and mortar retail. There is no question that Amazon is affecting the assortment, accessibility, and speed of delivery. However, with the company’s growth, the organization appears to be lacking in face-to-face customer service. As their home deliveries grow the final miles become saturated with employees that are untrained in customer service skills. Last week, we received a bicycle camera we never even ordered and for which we were not charged. Try to talk to a human being to resolve the problem – impossible.  Have you felt like home deliveries in the little white van are a bit like a private detective arriving at your front door? Are you afraid to open your entry to the person delivering, and if you have opened your door, have you received a thank you for your purchase? The need for outstanding customer service in today’s business world is growing. Providing outstanding customer service is one way for retailers to overcome the loss of business to  Amazon.

Outstanding Customer Service

Recently, I had a positive experience with FedEx that made me realize that some companies are still out there providing outstanding customer service.  I needed some workbooks printed for a workshop that I was giving 1200 miles away. The associate at my local FedEx spent a great deal of time with me so we could determine the optimal number of pages, the best paper, and the best way to copy the document. At one point I mentioned that I had to carry the copies on the airplane, and the store associate indicated she would be happy to locate a local FedEx office so I would not have to take the prints on the plane. She promised they would be ready on Saturday morning by 9:00 am. When I arrived at the local FedEx, not only were the documents available, but I found out that my local store associate had called that morning to ensure the workbooks were ready. I was so blown away by the experience that I was compelled to write a positive note via email to the CEO, Frederick W. Smith. Below is an excerpt of the letter of response I received two days later.

“We appreciate your kind remarks regarding the service you received from Dollie. There is no doubt that our company’s success is directly attributed to the commitment of our employees to provide the best service offered in this industry, and we also understand the lasting impact that a courteous, professional employee can have on our customers. It is a pleasure to hear firsthand that Dollie’s assistance was helpful to you, and I am confident that both she and her manager appreciate your praise. Your letter serves as another important reminder to all of us at FedEx that our customers always deserve our best efforts. We have an internal process for recognizing such events, and Dollie will be rewarded for her efforts on your behalf.

A letter such as yours is particularly gratifying; a heartfelt note of praise from a person says not only a lot about the intended recipient of the recognition, but it also means a lot about someone who would take time out of their busy day to acknowledge the efforts of another. We thank you for taking the time out of your day to bring this to our attention.”

Upon receipt of this beautifully written response, I was reminded of the many years I spent as a store manager, and asked myself the question, “did I provide this level of service every day?” Outstanding customer service begins at the very top. Regional and District Managers need to walk the talk in every visit and every customer interaction. Store Managers need to talk about customer service and customer follow-up every day to their associates. I can tell you without a doubt that the next time I need copies or something shipped, I will be going back to FedEx. Not only did all the local staff meet the customer service challenge, but there was a CEO walking the talk.  The store associate was recognized and he graciously complimented me for taking the time to acknowledge the outstanding employee. He left me feeling like I had done something spectacular when all I did was send an email. I would love to send more emails like this but unfortunately, I have not found that same level of customer service in the brick and mortar stores, and even if I found it would I find the CEO’s email on the Internet? What this says to me is that retailers are missing the opportunity to offset the impact of Amazon with outstanding customer service. Congratulations FedEx’s CEO, Frederick Smith, for a job well done!

http://www.goldenprofessionalcoaching.com – A Marshall Goldsmith Stakeholder Centered Coaching Company

We Build Tomorrow’s Leaders

A Diamond in the Rough: Identifying Qualified Candidates For Business Leadership

Determining your future management needs is very difficult with today’s baby boomers retiring. Learn how to build a effective plan to identify and train emerging leaders through executive coaching.

canstockphoto49928082Developing the right talent today will ideally contribute to tomorrow’s business success. In our last issue, we talked about Jane and the challenge in determining whether she was qualified to receive the investment in executive coaching to move her to the next level. Jane has courage, humility, and discipline but is lacking in several critical competencies that could cause her to fail.  To determine her potential, due diligence must be completed to make a very thoughtful decision. As an organization, evident criteria must be developed for future business needs and accurate data gathered on the employee to which one needs to compare to the criteria. The most common method to collect this information is to complete a Marshall Goldsmith Global Leader Stakeholder-Centered 360 assessment, which is offered by Golden Professional Coaching LLC.

To ensure the achievement of any succession planning effort, the executive board will need to identify any significant business challenges they anticipate in the upcoming one-to-five years. Critical positions required to support business continuity must be identified and flagged along with the competencies individuals will need to be successful in situations to meet the defined business challenges. The process is used to develop a pool of talent to step into critical positions as employees leave or retire.

To illustrate this point, let’s again look at Jane’s profile. The mission statement should include a statement about the organization’s ethical values. For example, if the company is concerned about the employee’s work/life balance, Jane’s behavior regarding overtime could be a checkmark against moving her up the ladder. Conversely, if the company has a five-year strategy to improve research and development to drive more business, Jane might just fit the business need and, therefore, be worth investing in executive coaching.

“If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them.” Henry David Thoreau

Succession planning can only be helpful when the process is supporting business strategies and goals. Often businesses are completing succession planning without a goal in mind. Executives need to be vested in the process to ensure its success. They will need to clearly define and manage the development of key talent. Employees will also need to understand their role in the process and know what is expected of them.

Developing the Talent Pool

“Unleash the potential that is in another and you unleash the potential that is in you.” Matshona Dhliwayo

The C-Suite executives begin the succession planning process by identifying their business challenges and critical positions for the next one-to-five years. The following steps in the plan development are to gather data on all employees. This data should include name, address, marital status, college degree(s), previous jobs (employers), awards, top 5-6 skills, bottom 5-6 skills, willingness to relocate, foreign languages in which they are fluent, career interests, and desire to move into a leadership role. Each employee should complete a pre-prepared form with this information and provide it to his/her manager.

The Nine-Box Model

Managers have a crucial responsibility at this stage, which is to place each employee in the correct location on the nine-box grid. The nine-box model is one of the most widely used tools in succession planning and leadership development today. The model is typically used to assess individuals on two dimensions including their past performance and their future potential.

The X-axis (horizontal line) of three boxes assesses performance, and the Y-axis of three boxes (vertical line) assesses leadership potential. A combination of Y and X axis makes up the box within the grid in which each employee is placed.

Below is an example of a typical nine-box chart from VIA Consulting, who has some beautiful materials available for no charge. More often than not, there are three categories for performance and three categories for the potential of the employee.  This type of grid can easily be customized to meet the needs of the business.  The horizontal line places the employee in a performance assessment placement from Low Performer (first row) to High Performer (3rdRow). Next, the employee is evaluated against leadership potential using the vertical line. The first column indicates that the employee does not have future potential with the 3rdcolumn indicates the employee has high potential.

9box

While an individual leader can use the nine-boxes to assess their own employees, the real value to this process is when a leadership team uses the nine-box grid as part of a “talent review” to have a discussion about the entire organization’s collective talent. Once the nine-box grids have been completed by each manager, each division should complete a talent review and identify back-fills for each critical position. Employees in the division should be ranked by potential and performance. Plans should be developed to resolve the issues with the low performer/low potential associates. These individuals will hold the company back. Finally, each division will present their high-potentials and company will recognize their high-potentials and their diamonds in the rough.

“Many people think of management as cutting deals and laying people off and hiring people and buying and selling companies. That’s not management; that’s deal-making. Management is the opportunity to help people become better people. Practiced that way, it’s a magnificent profession.” –Clayton M. Christensen

Now that we have identified the vital back-fill individuals for the critical positions, we also need to identify the individuals that will back-fill the key individuals. These individuals come from the middle column (top two rows) and are perfect candidates for executive coaching. We know they will likely hold leadership roles in the next one-to-five years, but also know they are not ready. Now could we go out and offer managers off the street for these positions? Most certainly we could use that approach, but the real cost/benefit of doing so just does not work.

First, the cost of recruitment is generally three times the person’s salary. Then there is training. The best case for a new employee is six months but more likely a year. Then there is the break in continuity of having an employee that understands the company model. These costs far exceed the cost of an executive coach, which averages 25% of the employee’s salary.

Golden Professional Coaching offers professional executive coaching to the diamonds in the rough using the Marshall Goldsmith Stakeholder Centered Coaching method. If you are interested in a program with a 95% success rate, please contact us at mkuniski@me.com. It is time to take those diamonds in the rough and turn them into your company’s future leaders!

http://www.goldenprofessionalcoaching.com