How Do You Measure Success?

We closed last time by touching briefly on how critical it is to be able to measure tangible results as we work to avoid many of the reasons for why leadership training fails. Leading up to that, we looked at the wide variations in what’s even referred to as leadership training and we dug into the significant difference between knowing something and applying it… 

As Cindy and I begin working with an organization, or an individual leader within that organization, we always start the process by having a very strategic conversation with the primary decision maker(s) to develop a firm understanding of the issues they’re dealing with so we can assist them by providing the most applicable material for their team members and in creating the most effective plan for how their team members can take action on that material afterward. It’s incredibly important to understand where they are before we ever try to help them move forward! A while back while talking with...

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Accountable for Results

Once we’ve been intentional about defining leadership development, our work should be done! Right?

Before you fall completely out of your chair, laughing at that ridiculous statement, I’ll challenge you to show anything of significance that’s truly that simple… If we want to achieve significant results, especially the tangible results that make a measurable impact on our organization’s bottom line, we’ll have to be sure to see it through - not just issue a statement and call it done…

For close to 15 years, I worked for a Human Resource Manager who was always very vocal about what he expected from me anytime I attended any type of class or conference. I was required to report back to him, and often the entire management team, showing I had learned and what steps I would be implementing in the process I led. I was also responsible for seeing this through and for showing a tangible return on the investment that had been made for me to attend...

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Soft Skills that Make a Hard Impact

I closed the last post by bringing up one of the biggest challenges I’ve seen organization’s struggle with in determining whether or not they make an investment into the new skills someone will need as they transition into a role with leadership responsibility. When we’re intentional about accurately defining leadership development, we can begin to identify specific areas that need to be addressed in our growing team members. This is also where we should be establishing baseline measurements for a few key metrics that tie directly back to effective leadership - in the lack thereof…

Over the last twenty years, the most common push-back I’ve seen to making an investment in providing the necessary training and development that can be so critical in helping new supervisors and managers lead their teams effectively has been the concern of not knowing if it makes any difference at all. In so many cases, those soft skills are viewed as intangible and...

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Can We Afford Not To…?

I closed the last post by mentioning how many organizations view “soft skills” training as something that’s nice to do when there’s time but far less critical to the day to day operation of the business than any technical training tying directly back to their specific industry. But is that the right decision?

In chapter 16 of Leadership Gold, People Quit People, Not Companies, John Maxwell says “Some sources estimate that as many as 65% of people leaving companies do so because of their managers… The ‘company’ doesn’t do anything negative to them, people do.” In many cases, these are the same managers that have risen through the ranks of that company as they’ve developed strong technical skills and became some of the organization’s top producers. But as we discussed in the last post with regards to just how that can impact communication, being great at doing doesn’t always translate to being effective in...

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Why is Leadership Development Important?

Picture this.. Joe is offered an entry level position with a company as he begins his career. In the months that follow, he works as hard as he possibly can to develop the skills necessary to excel in his new role. Joe is extremely dependable and is outperforming most of his peers by the end of his first year in the organization. 

About 18 months in, Joe’s supervisor accepts a position with another company. Based on everything he’s done to hone his technical skills and learn the ins and outs of the process, Joe is offered the supervisor spot! 

Mary graduated at the top of her class with an expertise that resulted in several employers making her outstanding offers right away. She chose the one that was the best fit for her and she’s been one of their top performers for more than a decade. While she’s an absolute master of her craft and gets genuine fulfillment from everything involved, there have been times where she’s considered taking that...

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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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How To Do It and What To Expect...

On April 23, 1910 in Paris, Teddy Roosevelt gave a speech called Citizenship in a Republic. In full disclosure, I’ve never read or heard the entire thing (but that may no longer be true by the time you’re reading this). However, that speech is where one of my favorite quotes of all time - commonly referred to as “The Man in the Arena” - was first shared:

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at...

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What? How? And Definitely WHY?!

I closed the last blog by referencing something I heard John Maxwell share recently, “Not investing in your team is short-cutting yourself as a leader,” then I challenged you to think about what tasks you’re still hanging onto that could really be passed on to someone on your team AND would serve to empower them in the process.

Once we begin delegating with the intention of developing the people around us, we need to also consider what tools could help those same people most to truly master those assignments we’re handing them. While it’s not quite across the board, most companies tend to have solid systems in place for helping team members improve their technical skills. Those hard skills, as we often call them, apply directly to the task at hand and typically have an immediate and visible impact on the final product we’re working to produce.

But the higher the level of responsibility for leading a team, the more we’ll find ourselves...

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