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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Don’t Just Get It Right, Get It Correct!

Before we close the loop on what we can do to exceed expectations for the folks with the final primary behavioral, I’m going to insert a quick plug for the complimentary session Cindy and I are hosting on Friday, Feb 12 at 2:30p on How Top Leaders Set the Tone for Recruitment & Retention. Whether you have a SHRM or HRCI credential that you can use the approved continuing education for or not, the only reason I can imagine this not being a relevant topic would be that you just don’t mind hemorrhaging money due to turnover. And if that’s the case, no worries at all. But if that topic will be of any value, here’s the link to register at no cost

Now, let’s look at some things we can be sure to do to really exceed expectations when we’re serving the 25% of the population who are Reserved and Task-Oriented; our more CAUTIOUS friends…

While the folks who have this CONTEMPLATIVE style will approach things with a slower pace, it’s...

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Extra Energy and Excitement

While exceeding expectations with the DRIVEN folks we looked at in the last post will often involve less sizzle and more steak, the next 30% - the INSPIRING ones - may actually enjoy the sizzle! Once we have that clear picture of what they expect, we can go above and beyond with this Fast-Paced and People-Oriented group by being as energetic and entertaining through the process and with the end result we provide.

By making the process fun for them and doing what we can to include their team, we’ll show them that a level of value that can easily be overlooked if we happen to be part of the 70% who don’t share their INTERACTIVE approach. Another thing we can do to really serve them is to provide them with opportunities to be INVOLVED in as much of the process as we possibly can. Showing them that they’re INFLUENCING the outcome will show our desire to IMPRESS them.

These customers, clients, or friends will typically be quick to share lots of ideas and feelings about...

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Driven to Exceed Expectations

In a large majority of the initial conversations I have with folks around the DISC Model of Human Behavior, I’m told “I’ve taken an assessment. I’m a D (or an I, or an S, or a C)” and that’s about as far as they take it. Interestingly enough, statements like that are almost always made under the assumption that they actually know how to use what their assessment told them. I won’t even go into the tirade about whether or not the assessment they took was anything even resembling accurate…

Don’t get me wrong, I believe a scientifically validated DISC assessment can provide us with some great information - but the key lies in understanding how we can effectively use that information on a day to day basis! There’s where the real value is with any type of assessment… And it absolutely should not stop at simply understanding we’re this or we’re that, we need to have a framework for recognizing how we can best...

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Aligning Intentions with Perceptions

Even after doing all the things we’ve looked at through the last several posts to ensure we’re on the right track to being able to exceed expectations with each person we interact with, there can be a huge gap between what we intend and what they perceive! Nearly all of us have grown up hearing just how important it is to follow The Golden Rule by doing unto others as we’d have them do unto us. But there are times with even the purest of purpose, things can go awry…

Have you ever met someone who seems to view the world through a pair of rose colored glasses? You know, one of those folks who can find the best in any situation… Hope about someone who can brighten just about any room simply by walking out of it? I’m not sure what color their glasses are, but they probably don’t have that same rosy tint!

Cindy and I were in a training session a few years ago where the instructor divided us into small groups and challenged each group to review...

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Not On or To Them, but FOR Them!

I got my first taste of behavior-based safety in late spring or early summer of 1998. Cindy and I had only been dating a few months at that point so I was still teetering on the edge to say the least… By the time I went through the two day training process required to conduct behavioral observations in January ‘99, we were nearly a year into a pretty solid relationship so some of my extremely rough edges were beginning to get at least a little bit smoother. Looking back, I can see so many places where God’s hand was moving in my life at that time but I’ll save those stories for another time.

For now, I’d like to share a subtle but crucial lesson that I probably should have pulled away from those two days of training. Truth be told, it took a few years for me to really get it!

You may have heard me reference this before but I’ll hash it out here again. One of the core tenets of behavior-based safety is that employees are trained to watch their...

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What Do You Expect from ME?

Once we’ve worked to ensure we’re very clear about exactly what it is that we provide for our customers, our clients, the team members we lead, or even our family, we’d each do well to invest some additional time into making sure we understand just what it is they’re really hoping to receive through their interaction with us. 

Gosh Wes, why would I need to do that if I’ve already put so much into clarifying what I can offer in each of those situations? Shouldn’t that be enough?

I remember hearing a story about a couple who were going through marriage counseling. The wife was upset because her husband wasn’t communicating with her. The husband was upset because he just couldn’t figure out how to please his wife. As the counselor asked the wife a series of probing questions to really dig into what her husband wasn’t communicating with her about, she finally said “he hasn’t even told me that he loves me since the...

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Clarifying Expectations

Over the last several weeks in this series, as well as through a few separate lessons in our Leading At The Next Level program, I’ve heavily stressed the importance of EXCEEDING EXPECTATIONS and how doing that consistently puts us in a very small percentage of society. In the LinkedIn article I published recently, I shared something that Cindy and I discussed with a great group of leaders during our quarterly Executive Leadership Elite Think Tank session as we worked through ways business owners and executives could earn genuine buy-in to their organization’s mission and vision. I won’t hash all of that out here, but you’re welcome to check it out for yourself if you like…

Here’s the thing, taking the necessary steps to truly exceed expectations, whether that’s with the customers & clients we serve, the team we’re a part of or the organization that pays us, or the team and family members we’ve committed to lead...

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From You, Down…

We’ve worked through some critical things we can each take complete responsibility for controlling in our own lives and with the teams we lead in the last several posts. Before we get the milk & cookies ready for Santa and prepare for New Year, assuming he’s allowed to travel this year as long as he’s wearing all of his PPE, let’s consider one final thing about Controlling What We Can Control!

I often reference the nearly 15 years I worked in behavior-based safety. And for good reason, I learned some amazing lessons then that have applied to so many other areas of leadership and life in general. The behaviors we studied so closely certainly tied directly to our overall safety performance as a company, but the same behaviors tie back to just about every other part of our lives too!

One of the things I don’t often reference from those years is the massive amount of data we collected regarding the safe and at-risk behaviors that were observed and...

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So What CAN You Control?

In the LinkedIn article I just published, I put out a challenge to everyone it reaches to approach the coming year by taking the responsibility to Control What You Can Control! I don’t believe any of us have had a shortage of crap to work through in 2020… To paint a picture of just how important it can be to keep our focus on the things we can control, I shared a story about some amazing results I saw a small group of people achieve by doing that! If you use LinkedIn, or even if you don’t, I believe you’d enjoy reading it for yourself…

With that idea in mind, I’ll issue that same challenge to you! Let’s stop waiting for SOMEONE to do SOMETHING about all the mess we’ve dealt with in 2020 and take 2021 by the horns as we control what WE can control!!!

So what can we control?

For years, I’ve heard over and over that we can only control two things: our attitude and our actions. If you share my Christian faith, I’m...

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