A Solid Framework to Build On

An article I recently read on the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) website titled In Search of Soft Skills: Why you should teach employees to be more resilient, communicative, and creative opened by stating “Being gifted at performing the technical aspects of a job can take an employee only so far. To become a stellar employee or an admired leader requires an arsenal of skills that are harder to measure but critical to success.”

I agree with most of that statement, kinda… To me, the idea of gifted implies that someone is naturally good at something. While we all know a few folks who seem to pick up on certain technical skills faster than the rest of us, I’ve seen far more people who master their craft through an intense amount of dedication and effort. I’m betting that calling those folks gifted and acting like they didn’t work hard to become great at what they do will piss them off! I do, however, agree that mastering the technical...

Continue Reading...

What Do They Mean by “Soft Skills”?

In his Forbes.com article titled Here Are The Top 5 Soft Skills I Look For In Candidates, Mark Pena opens by saying, “In an automating workforce, soft skills are the irreplaceably human element of work - and the thing employers are desperate to find.”

I can’t count the number of times I’ve heard the idea of soft skills referenced throughout my career, but I’ve rarely heard anyone provide tangible examples of soft skills that I could learn quickly or apply immediately. I’m not suggesting that it’s not possible or never happens, I’m just saying it’s rare… Soft Skills seem to almost always be something that’s ambiguous, or something that you either have or you don’t. I’ve just never been willing to buy into that idea, especially when I hear things like “you get hired for what you know but you get fired for who you are…” (There’s even a Psychology Today article with nearly that exact...

Continue Reading...

The Power of Collaboration

So last time we looked at why it’s important for someone in a leadership role to develop emotional intelligence... Whether that’s us in the role or it’s the leader we report to, not understanding what causes those highest emotional moments can drive quite the wedge between folks who generally get along well otherwise. But why is emotional intelligence important for everyone - regardless of the level of leadership responsibility they hold?

I frequently reference a study done by Salesforce.com that showed “86% of the executives they surveyed cited lack of collaboration and ineffective communication as the primary reason for workplace failure.” We often hear the term “individual contributor” with regards to someone who isn’t in a leadership role, but how often do we really see someone who truly works alone without any interaction with other people? I can’t think of a single example!

If that Salesforce study is even close to...

Continue Reading...

Return On Investment

Had last week not been quite as packed as it was, we would have wrapped up this final response to Why is Effective Communication Important? and now be starting digging into Communication Skills in the Workplace. I could run through the list of craziness that’s packed the last 10 days or so but that wouldn’t get us where we need to be - and I doubt you care… So let’s work through one last response to Why is Effective Communication Important? so we can turn the page!

We started by looking at how the message we send can be so much different from what we intend if we’re not incredibly intentional about crafting it to specifically match the communication style of the other person. Then we looked at why effective communication is absolutely critical for anyone with leadership responsibility; “Leadership is influence. Nothing More, Nothing Less!” Those two reasons alone should make a strong case for why effective communication is important! But...

Continue Reading...

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...

Continue Reading...

It’s Not My Fault!?

Be it a job we didn’t get, a performance issue in our department, or we just busted our tail on a patch of ice in the parking lot, a fairly natural inclination is to look for someone we can assign the blame to. And in many cases, we’ve even built fancy processes to guide us in doing just that; 5 Why, Root Cause Analysis, 6 Sigma just to name a few…

Oh, I know… The real intent behind each of those problem-solving tools is actually identifying breakdowns within a system in order to prevent recurrence and produce better results moving forward. But is that what typically happens? 

And this issue certainly isn’t limited to corporate cultures, the barrage of personal injury attorney commercials on the afternoon TV we play to keep our dogs from barking at every single noise in the universe drives that point home daily! Nearly everywhere we turn, something in society points a proverbial finger of blame… This has become such a common issue that...

Continue Reading...

Identify the Destination and Love the Journey

Through the last few posts and the LinkedIn article that set the tone for them, we’ve looked at some of the most pressing issues that cause so many of us to lock onto a goal and lose nearly all focus on anything but that goal. In many cases, that can suck the joy out of just about everything else around us. While that’s (usually) not our intent, it happens just the same…

As I closed the last post, I promised to dig deeper into how we can each be more intentional about enjoying the unique journey we’re on. Not long after that, as I was driving to a meeting and listening to Psycho-Cybernetics on Audible at 3X speed, I noticed that even Maxwell Maltz saw this as a significant issue when he wrote the book more than 60 years ago! Since I was listening (really fast) rather than reading, I won’t even attempt to quote him directly… His point, though, was along the lines of having a clear goal to work toward then live in the steps we’re taking on a...

Continue Reading...

Lean & Mean!

For almost all of the nearly 20 years I worked in manufacturing, I had at least some level of involvement with implementing the tools most commonly referred to as LEAN. Truth be told, at least ten of those years consisted of a high level of hands-on involvement where I worked directly with teams throughout the facility to build the various tools within that methodology into the workflow for improved productivity. I even have a fancy framed certificate (that’s buried amongst a bunch of other fancy certificates) showing where I completed a customized Lean Manufacturing course at the University of Michigan… Impressive, huh…

In addition to all that, I even got to learn to concepts of Lean from a true master consultant who had read about it in a book but never seemed to be able to offer tangible examples of how any of his other clients implemented what he was regurgitating to achieve a tangible return on investment - but I’ll save that story for another day...

Continue Reading...

The Real Thing!

Through the last several posts, we’ve looked at why it’s so important for us to Control What We Can Control, we’ve dug into What We Can Control, we’ve discussed how Our Attitude and Our Actions play a critical role in all this, and we discussed how You Can Compound Your Results IF you stay consistent and intentional about your growth and development. As we continue looking at the things we truly can control in a world that often seems out of control, this next idea is critical for how we lead our teams but it matters just as much in every other area of our lives!

Before I get rolling with that though, I need to make sure I’ve shared an invitation for you to join us for a complimentary webinar, the first in a new monthly series for 2021, that we’ll be hosting on Friday, January 15 at 2:30pm! We’ll be sharing our lesson on Navigating Leadership Roadblocks for the first time in this format, and it’s been approved for...

Continue Reading...

The Why, The What, and The How!

We’ve looked at several things that anyone interested in moving their mission statement from the wall of their front lobby to the actions of their team can take action on. Now let’s remove any remaining confusion there may be between the mission and the vision.

Before digging into this, let me clarify something: I couldn't care any less as to whether we use the right term as long as we’re DOING the right things! I’ve seen organizations waste far more time differentiating which statement is which than their executive team ever invested into living an example for their team members to follow. I suppose they thought that as long as both looked good in a frame, they wouldn’t actually have to change anything they did. I believe we’ve covered that in enough detail so far that we’d be beating the proverbial dead horse to hash it out again…

If we want to truly lead our teams in building a culture that EXCEEDS EXPECTATIONS in every aspect of...

Continue Reading...
1 2 3
Close

50% Complete

Let's Talk!

Complete this form and we'll be in touch soon to set up a time to discuss how we can serve you.