Action Speaks Louder Than Words!

When we’re truly interested in learning how to improve the recruiting process in our organization, we need to be willing to commit to taking action quickly with potential candidates. If we prove unresponsive from the very beginning, some of the best potential team members may quickly get the impression that this is what they can expect even after they join the company. When we paint a great picture of all the opportunities we can provide but don’t back it with the action to match, all our effort crafting that message can be lost.

Before we go deeper into that though, let’s circle back to something from the last post. I mentioned how smaller companies often need team members to develop quickly since each person represents a larger percentage of the total. This can have a significant impact on career growth and retention, and ties very closely with improving the recruiting process. But when the management team in a bigger organization really accepts leadership...

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Offering More Than The Competition!

I floated several different ideas for the title of this post by Cindy before landing on “Offering More Than The Competition”... She shot them all down! She said they were each accurate but would likely send the wrong message. As I was studying some material on The Model of Human Behavior yesterday, I read something from Dr. Robert Rohm stating “It takes a good C type personality to complete the loose ends of a D.” And thank God I have one…

Since I ended up going with a more appropriate title, rather than something that would have toed the line a bit, let’s jump straight to the main course. We looked at the importance of telling the right story in the last post, That matters! But we still need to make sure we can provide them with something more tangible to get them in the door!

Those of us who are blessed to live in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia may not always realize how great our job market has historically been. In addition to many great...

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The Cost of Starting Fresh

Several years ago, I was presented with a fancy certificate of recognition from a regional workforce development board for the work I had done with them on a grant that was focused on getting unemployed and under-employed individuals into skilled, full time roles. This particular grant was designed to take fees paid to the government in the H1-B Visa process and re-allocate them to organizations that were hiring in an attempt to offset some of their training costs. I had indeed worked closely with that group for a couple of years leading up to that but I had no idea that I had written more grants than anyone else in the state. I just thought it made sense and believed doing whatever I could to alleviate the significant costs we were absorbing to train new employees was part of my job… 

The initial grant I was dealing with would cover up to 50% of the new employee’s salary for up to six months, but I had to make a strong business case for the time and costs involved...

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Knowing is the Easy Part. It’s the Doing that’s Tough!

In his Forbes article, Peter Bregman commented “I’ve never seen a leader fail because he or she didn’t know enough about leadership. In fact, I can’t remember ever meeting a leader who didn’t know enough about leadership.” But knowing and doing are two very different things, huh…?

During the dozen or so years I oversaw a behavior-based safety process for my home facility and traveled across North America training folks on that process in other facilities, one of my responsibilities was to attend an annual conference on the topic so I could learn about new developments in the field while bench-marking with my peers from other companies around the world. I always left that three day event with pages of notes and dozens of business cards for people I could connect with moving forward to bounce ideas around. The challenge was always in having time to ensure the rubber met the road… Between the travel/training schedule and the full time...

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Why Leadership Training Fails

Over the last few weeks in these posts and A Daily Dose Of Leadership, we worked through a question so many organizations need to answer (Why is Leadership Development Important?), then we made the rubber meet the road by Defining Leadership Development. With that foundation under our belts, let’s close the loop here by digging into Why Leadership Training Fails.

As we ate lunch recently, a friend of mine who is relatively new to our area made a comment about how interested he was in having intentional interaction with other local leaders. He’s in a relatively high profile public sector position and has regular conversation with several of his peers in local government positions but he mentioned that even within that community, the views on leadership could vary significantly. He also tossed out the number of leadership books that are currently in print as he pointed out the vast differences in perspective you could find depending on where you looked. As I dug for...

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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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It Won’t Just Magically Happen!

We started defining leadership development in the last post by looking at the importance of truly serving our team members rather than barking commands. While that’s quite the noble concept, it’s far from natural for almost anyone moving into their first position with leadership responsibility. I’ve rarely seen someone promoted because of how effective they’ve proven to be in serving the people around them. Unfortunately, that kind of servant leadership prior to being in a position of authority is often overlooked completely or taken for granted. Have you ever heard anyone say “nice guys finish last”?

In almost every scenario I’ve seen where someone earned a promotion to a position where they now had responsibility for leading a team of people, it was based primarily on a strong ethic and excellent technical skills - both of which are extremely valuable in any field! But having those two important traits doesn’t necessarily translate...

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Defining Leadership Development

Through the last several posts, we worked through just a few answers to the question Why is leadership development important? In that process, I share some statistics from a few different studies citing costs organizations encounter when they don’t put a priority on developing the people filling their leadership roles; costs that are rarely tracked and even more rarely understood or tied directly back to a failure in developing leaders… If you missed any of that, you’re welcome to circle back to a page I put together compiling it all

Let’s take the next step through by clearly defining leadership development… Promoting someone into a leadership role doesn’t make them a leader anymore than selling them at McDonald’s would make them a hamburger! (I considered substituting milkshake for hamburger but I think it’s been years since a milkshake machine has worked at any McDonald’s worldwide…) And hearing a group...

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It’s HOW You Say It...

If I only had a dollar for each time Cindy’s told me, “It’s not what you say, it’s HOW you say it…” Can you relate - with me or with Cindy??? I can sure think of a bunch of times where I’ve felt that same way!

In providing yet another answer to the question we’ve looked at in the last two posts, Why is leadership development important?, let’s take a look at how much effective communication matters… In doing that, we almost have to consider just how little attention this gets as outstanding individual contributors climb through the ranks in their organization - until something crazy happens that shines a spotlight on the issue!

As I think back to all the times Cindy has made that comment to me, I know there were a bunch of instances where I simply brushed her off by saying, “That’s just how I am.” While that is indeed the case, it wasn’t until I learned how to understand and apply The Model of Human...

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