What Does It Really Cost?

As I wrapped up the last blog, I referenced a study that showed how many organizations lose as much as 17 hours per week to miscommunication. Unlike the Salesforce.com study, I couldn’t put my find on any of the additional details that study covered or who conducted it. That said, I found it! We typically share these statistics during the second lesson of our Emerging Leader Development course, Critical Principles for Effective Communication… Here you go:

According to an SIS International Research study, the cumulative cost per year due to productivity losses resulting from communication barriers is more than $26,000 per employee. Not only that, the study found that a business with 100 employees spends an average downtime of 17 hours a week clarifying communications. Translated into dollars, that’s more than $530,000 a year.

I go on to detail out that math for companies half that size and twice that size, just so participants have a chance to relate it to the...

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A Fight To Be The Best!

I can vividly remember back a dozen or so years ago to a time where an absentee plant manager would send a late night email to one of his minions on the local management team demanding a to-the-minute update on the various metrics we were all required to track on a monthly basis. He always expected those numbers to be presented at the 8:45a production meeting; never mind the fact that he sent his diktat by email around 10p the night before, most of us didn’t arrive in the building to even access his emails until 7:30a, and those reports typically required several hours to complete each month even when we had the necessary data to put them together… That’s when one of the management team members taught me an interesting lesson, “the hard it is to prove something is correct, the harder it will be to disprove…” 

That was also the day I learned that the majority of my peers had learned to pay very little attention to our absentee boss’s...

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Responsibility Stinks!

Originally shared in A Daily Dose Of Leadership on July 1, 2020.

Do you remember a time in your career, or even in your personal life, when so many people weren’t depending on you to make the right decisions? And maybe there wasn’t even anyone watching if you did something stupid, or something you wouldn’t have been proud to tell your grand kids about… Since smart phones have entered the equation, those days seem to be gone, huh…

I kinda remember those days… But I more clearly remember the day I volunteered to serve on a safety committee and learned that every move I made from that point forward would be under a microscope. The idea we touched on in the last message about Monkey See, Monkey Do would be hard at work in my life from that day forward. I couldn’t promote the importance of choosing safe behaviors and continue to do dumb stuff that could get me hurt if I wanted to earn any credibility at all! And as I accepted different roles...

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Monkey See, Monkey Do? Team Member See? Team Member Do!!!

Originally shared in A Daily Dose Of Leadership on June 30, 2020.

Ok… Think back to when you were a kid. What did you see the people you admired most doing that you weren’t allowed to do? Maybe you were too young, maybe “it was bad for you”, or maybe it was just something that same person had told you that you weren’t allowed to do…

How did that usually end up? For me, it typically only made me work that much harder to do that exact thing that I was told I shouldn’t be doing because that person I wanted to emulate was doing it! I was quite frequently very successful in accomplishing that forbidden thing… To save a little face here, I won’t go into any of the specifics. But I’m sure your imagination can do its own work. And I’m also sure I’m not alone!

Now fast forward to your current leadership responsibility. How often have you been in situations where you’ve either wanted to, or absolutely had to, do...

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Part of a Winning Team

Originally shared in A Daily Dose Of Leadership on July 31, 2020.

Have you ever noticed how quick folks tend to be to associate themselves with a sports team when that team is performing well but how those same folks can tend to distance themselves in the bad years. Phrases like We’re going to the playoffs can be fairly common during the good years, but those are often replaced with things like They’re just really bad this year when things aren’t looking so good. 

It’s not at all uncommon to hear both of those things said by the same person, about the same team, in back to back seasons! But why?

I believe each and every one of us have a deep desire to be part of something bigger than ourselves. According to Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, the desire for community must be met before we can really begin to feel accomplished personally.

OK Wes, what does this have to do with the topics we’ve been working through over the last several blogs?...

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An Infection That Festers Over Timeā€¦

Originally shared in A Daily Dose Of Leadership on July 22, 2020.

In October ‘05, I was hit nearly head on by a kid who was apparently training to race at Indianapolis. While I was able to walk away from the incident (it definitely wasn’t an accident because he clearly chose the behaviors that caused it), I was transported to the local ER and diagnosed with a significant case of whiplash. Prior to that, I had a little bit of experience with chiropractors and had a good friend who owned a practice in town. Rather than immediately filling the prescription I was given at the ER to mask the intense pain I was experiencing, my next stop was at my friend’s office to begin treating the issues that were causing that pain.

While it did indeed take a while to get as close to normal as possible, I noticed significant relief in just that first visit – without the opiates that had yet to gain the attention they have today. Over the weeks that followed, Dr. T continued to...

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It's Never a One-Time Event

Originally shared in A Daily Dose Of Leadership on July 21, 2020.

Have you ever heard a horror story telling how a once revered organization was being accused of things that only seemed possible in poliTICKS or some corrupt third world country? We all have! Quite honestly, it’s tough to avoid hearing such stuff… I’m very intentional about not watching any type of national “news” shows, and rarely anything local either, but they still just seem to pop up in one place or another!

The most recent example that’s getting all kinds of attention is the debacle formerly known as the Washington Redskins. The name change is one thing; but even that appears to be far more of a reaction than anything resembling proactive concern for anyone it may or may not truly offend. Let’s be honest here, Dan Snyder has a strong history of offending even the most loyal Washington sports fans so I highly doubt he just started caring now.

And how about all the...

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Action Cures...

Originally shared in A Daily Dose Of Leadership on July 15, 2020.

More often than not, I’ve heard folks say that Action cures FEAR… I’m not about to argue with that; I truly believe that the majority of folks spend more time worrying about all the things that could possibly go wrong from taking action on something than it would likely take them to just do it, make some mistakes along the way and learn from them, then do it better the next time. And even when that entire cycle requires more time, it isn’t likely to require much more energy! Worrying is hard work!

While taking action really can cure fear, that’s not what I was referencing with Action Cures… in the subject line!

Action can cure quite a bit more than just fear… I believe action can go a long way toward curing poverty. I also believe taking action plays a significant role in curing a ton of health issues that bog so many people down. And just as importantly, action can help...

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It's All About Mindset!

Originally shared in A Daily Dose Of Leadership on July 14, 2020.

If you want it done right, you better do it yourself!

Ever feel that way? Of course you have! Be honest, when was the last time you actually said that out loud with a sarcastic tone when someone dropped the ball in one way or another? Not only was the task not completed just exactly like we had shown them, it took them far longer than it would have taken us and now we still have to circle back to take care of it ourselves… UGH!!!

Anyone who’s moved from being a high performing individual contributor into a role where they have responsibility for overseeing a team of people, regardless of the industry or their specific job title, has undoubtedly felt this way more than a few times! While it’s fairly natural, and typically considered normal, it’s absolutely not necessary…

In his most recent book, The Infinite Game, Simon Sinek said that “leaders are not responsible for results....

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