Build Your Leaders

Posts Tagged ‘Build Your Leaders’

Managers as Care-Fronters

July 2nd, 2012

Looking back on my early career, I was an excellent salesman but a lousy manager. I didn’t understand the power of intention.

My aim in those days was to fix whatever problem arose, with little concern about the people involved. When I began to focus on the people—rather than the problem—my management skills improved. When I saw the employee at his or her best, rather than at his worst, I earned the employee’s respect, loyalty, and dedication. I focused equally on the employee’s growth and well-being and the agency’s goals.

Great managers are “care-fronters.” Coined some three decades ago by pastoral theologian David Augsburger in his popular book Caring Enough to Confront, care-fronting combines “genuine caring that bids another to grow” with “real confrontation that calls out new insight and understanding.”

Augsburger explains:

“Care-fronting unifies concern for relationship with concern for goals. So one can have something to stand for (goals), as well as someone to stand with (relationship) without sacrificing one for the other, or collapsing one into another.”

I still carry shame about the way I used to manage. Perhaps I would have changed sooner had I discovered Augsburger’s words.

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The New Role of Purpose in Recruitment, Retention, and Productivity

June 5th, 2012

The Herman Trend Alert reports that there’s been a dramatic shift in employee attitudes towards work. A new report by global brand consultancy Calling Brands reveals purpose is emerging as a powerful new driver of attraction, retention and productivity.

Few businesses are already leveraging this value. (It is important to remember that this sample included only employees from larger organizations.)

According to Crunch Time: The Power of Purpose, working for an organization with an underlying spirit that goes beyond commercial and operational goals ranks ahead of many other factors such as level of responsibility in a job and even career progression. This research reveals a fundamental shift in employee attitudes. Being defined as a key driver of effort and loyalty in existing staff members means that people are willing to work harder and stick with a business longer—if they see purpose in action.

The new importance placed on purpose is a significant discovery considering how little attention business leaders have given to it until now. What is also clear from their study is that communicating purpose is no longer just an human resources issue: it is important organization-wide.

Having surveyed 4,202 people in the United Kingdom, Germany and United States, the Calling Brands study is one of the first to investigate the specific impact of corporate Purpose on employee attitudes. Calling Brands conducted interviews with HR and Communications chiefs from major multinational organizations. The consensus among the interviewees was that employees now seek greater and deeper fulfillment from their working lives.

The survey also revealed that, on average, 57 percent of respondents (64 percent Germany, 58 percent US, 48 percent UK) said they would favor joining an organization that has a clearly defined purpose. Moreover, an average of 65 percent of respondents claimed that purpose would motivate them to go the extra mile in their jobs, and 64 percent claimed it would engender a greater sense of loyalty towards the organization they work for.

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Get on Point; Stay on Point!

May 2nd, 2012

Quite often clients retain me for presentation training when what they really want is help organizing their thoughts.

They share:

“My boss says that I take too long to get the point.”

“I have trouble articulating what I really mean.”

“I don’t seem to hold my audience’s attention.”

Forbes Magazine estimates most speeches last 40 minutes. Ron Huff in his book, Say It In Six, says six minutes or shorter is the ideal length for any communication. While it may be impossible to restrict every communication to six minutes, I would agree–brevity is best.

Brevity often accompanies greatness. Consider:

  • When Nelson Mandela was released from prison in South Africa, he delivered a stunning speech that marked the end of apartheid. He spoke for five minutes.
  • It’s been said Winston Churchill’s oratory saved Britain from defeat in World War II.  His “Never Give In” speech lasted six minutes and “Blood Sweet and Tears” was even shorter, two and half minute.
  • Over one hundred years ago, Susan B. Anthony made one of the strongest speeches ever for woman’s rights, and she did it in less than five minutes.

Huff offers a five-step worksheet to “say it in six.”

  1. “Let’s get right to the point. There’s a burning issue here that we need to discuss….”
  2. “Here’s a quick overview – just a bit of background….”
  3. “This led to an idea….”
  4. “This idea will more than pay for itself. Here’s the payoff….
  5. “Here’s what we need from you to get going….”

Dale Carnegie in his book, Effective Speaking, suggests a similar format:

Example: Offer an incident that graphically illustrates the main idea you wish to convey.

Point: In clear-cut terms, make your point.

Action: Tell the audience what you want them to do.

Benefit:  Give them the benefit for doing what you ask.

I recommend clients structure their thoughts by answering these questions:

  1. What is the one message, mission or theme you want to communicate?
  2. What are the sub-themes that fall under the central theme (can you limit to three)?
  3. What examples and/or personal stories bring life to these sub-themes?
  4. What action do you want your audience to take?
  5. What is the benefit to them for taking this action?

Brevity is short, but it is not shallow. By structuring your presentations around these five questions, you will streamline your communications, stay on point, maintain the audiences’ attention and stimulate them to action.

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Trend Alert: A Shortage of Corporate Executives?

March 2nd, 2012

It’s hard for me to fathom, but a surprising new study claims there’s going to be a shortage of qualified people who want to become corporate executives. While workers want overall success, not even one in a thousand wants to be a corporate executive, according to Intelligent Office’s first “Work IQ Study.”

More than half of the respondents aspire to be entrepreneurs (nearly 65 percent) or work as independents (61 percent). As independents, they want more flexible work hours than the traditional 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.  Additionally, nearly half of the respondents want a work hard/play hard work life balance.

Joyce Gioia is a strategic business futurist from Greensboro, North Carolina, whom I’ve been following for years. She predicts a worldwide shortage of corporate executives and suggests that smart employers will embrace “intrapreneurship” by giving employees opportunities to feel like entrepreneurs while still working for the organization.

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