Winning Well books at the bookstore

The Inside Story

As we prepare for our Winning Well speaking tour, I’m deeply grateful for the opportunity to talk with the media about our mission to help leaders Win Well–without losing their soul.

Today, I’m sharing My Interview with Dr. Gayle Carson.

We discuss:

  • Why I left Verizon to pursue this dream
  • The most difficult part of transitioning from executive to entrepreneur
  • How I’m looking to make a difference in the world
  • What makes my multi-media course unique and who can most benefit
  • Advice for others beginning their entrepreneurial journey
  • What inspired me to write Winning Well
  • The art of collaboration
  • My 5 year vision for Let’s Grow Leaders

Winning Well-3DWinning Well is now available for pre-order (lowest price guarantee, and eligible for Prime shipping), click here. If you’re an LGL fan, please know that pre-orders significantly enhance market positioning…and will help us spread the Winning Well mission more quickly.

AMAZON is offering 25% off any book through Dec. 14th. See offer here. 

We are booking dates now for our Winning Well speaking tour. If you’re interested learning more, please call me at 443-750-1249.

California LGL Community

The Winning Well Tour is taking me to CA for 2 weeks in May. And since CA is a long way from MD, I’d love to add more sites to the itinerary. I’ll be in Long Beach the week of 5/10 and Santa Monica the week of 5/26. This would be a great opportunity to add speaking/training/consulting  without having to fund the travel. Please reach out if you would like to talk more.

 

Great 360 Degree Feedback Tools

8 Reasons Your Peers Rate You Low on Your 360 Feedback Assessment

Without a doubt, the peer rating is by far the most consistent shocker for folks taking a 360 degree feedback assessment. Managers usually have a good grip on what their boss thinks, and at least an inkling of the pain points for their direct reports, but for some reason peer feedback tends to feel like stepping on a Lego in the middle of the night– yikes, where did THAT come from?

As I work with managers to dig underneath such painful perceptions, here are 8 key issues that continue to surface.

8 Reasons Your Peers Rate You Poorly

  1. You fight for your team at all costs.
    Of course this is generally a good characteristic, but anything taken to extremes can become toxic. Sometimes the best person for the special assignment is not the guy on your team, it’s Bobby on Mark’s team. Sometimes your team screws up. Sometimes the bigger bonus needs to go to the guy on the other team who knocked it out of the park, even though your teams been working hard too. Yes, advocate for your team. But also take a step back to be able to stay objective.
  2. You hoard talent.
    You’ve nurtured gaggle of A players, but now you’re afraid to let them go. You’re sure to put the best talent on your projects and give the leftovers to support other objectives.
  3. You’re lazy.
    They’re tired of picking up the slack.
  4. They don’t know you.
    You show up, do you work, and go home. You don’t let anyone know who you are a person. It’s hard to trust a bot.
  5. You don’t know them.
    You work side-by-side but never take a personal interest in anything they’re doing. They’re far more likely to trust the guy in the next cube who remembers their mother is ill and that they like to eat pizza on Tuesdays.
  6. You withhold best practices.
    You’ve figured out a way to do the work faster, cheaper, or with higher quality–and you enjoy being at the top of the stack rank, so you’re slow to share the secret to your success.
  7. You don’t follow-through.
    They can’t count on you to do what you say you will.
  8. You under-communicate.
    You’re doing great work, but it’s in a silo. No one knows quite what is going on.

If you don’t know where you stand with your peers, it’s worth asking. Effective peer relationships are one of the consistent predictors of career advancement. 

Now Available

At last, my next book, Winning Well (being published by AMACOM) is now available for pre-order on Amazon.

Winning Well-3DIt can feel like a rigged game. Executives set impossible goals, so managers drive their teams to burnout trying to deliver. Employees demand connection and support, so managers focus on relationships and fail to make the numbers. The fallout is stress, frustration, and disengagement, and not just among team members―two-thirds of managers report being disengaged.

To succeed, managers need balance: they must push people to achieve while creating an environment that makes them truly want to. Winning Well offers a quick, practical action plan―complete with examples, stories, online assessments, and more―for getting the results you need. Managers learn how to:

• Stamp out the corrosive win-at-all-costs mentality
• Focus on the game, not just the score
• Reinforce behaviors that produce results
• Set clear expectations―delegating outcomes rather than focusing on process
• Celebrate even small successes
• Correct poor performance using the INSPIRE accountability method
• Demonstrate confidence and humility
• Energize teams to sustain excellent performance
• And more!

Today’s hypercompetitive economy has created tense, overextended workplaces. Keep it productive, rewarding, and even fun with this one-stop success kit.

I know this book will add value for your teams. Pre-orders significantly help the positioning of the book in the marketplace. I truly appreciate the support of the LGL community in spreading the word, and buying some advance copies for your team.  

I’m also booking keynotes and workshops for the Winning Well book tour this Spring. Please call me at 443 750-1249 to discuss further.

6 Reasons to Give Your Team More Upward Exposure

“If I bring my SME along to the meeting, my boss will think I don’t know what I’m doing.”

“She’s a little rough around the edges. She’s not ready for that kind of exposure.”

“Not all exposure is good exposure. What if he says something stupid?”

These are just a few of the reasons managers give for keeping their employees in the background doing the heavy lifting, while they present the results and negotiate the political landscape. Of course, from one perspective that makes a lot of sense. It’s more efficient to have the workers doing the work, and let the managers explain it. But there’s also much lost in such division of labor.

When a manager serves as an Ambassador, they know that true advocacy also involves teaching their team how to position the work that they do.

6 Reasons to Give Your Team More Upward Exposure

    1. The Spotlight Will Show Up When You Least Expect It
      Perhaps the most pragmatic reason to get your team comfortable speaking at the next level is that someday, you won’t be around and they’ll need to. Some exec will start asking questions as they poke about, and if your employee’s not prepared, he’ll likely stick his foot in his mouth.
    2. It’s the Best Way to Understand the Bigger Picture
      No matter how many times you explain “why” you are asking your team to do something, somehow when your boss says it, the lightbulbs go off. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard my managers say, “You know I said that exact thing, but when you said it, they listened.” Sure it’s frustrating. But the point isn’t who gets credit for getting through–the point is getting through.
    3. They’ll Learn By Watching You
      Bringing your employees along gives them a great chance to watch you in a more senior environment. They’ll learn more from watching than anything you could tell them.
    4. They’ll Learn By Watching Your Boss
      I’ll never forget the first time I walked onto the C-level floor. The atmosphere was completely different than the scurry below. There was a calm intensity and standard protocol. Not easy to explain. The only way I learned to swim in those waters was to watch the bigger fish.
    5. The Preparation Is Great Development
      The conversation you have while preparing for, and debriefing, the session is full of opportunities for growth and connection.
    6. It Takes Time to Build a Brand
      Don’t wait until Jane is perfectly ready to be promoted until you start talking up her accomplishments and skills. A slow and steady trickle of positive exposure will lay a strong foundation when it’s time to throw her hat in the ring.

It’s natural to want to protect your team until their completely ready for higher level exposure. Don’t throw them into the spotlight under-prepared, but regular exposure to higher level people and strategy will go a long way in accelerating their development.

How to Build a High-Performing Team- despite a stack-ranked performance management system

Bell curves bring out the worst in your best. Rewarding individual performance drives individual behavior. Yet most performance management systems do just that.

Of course unless you’re running HR, you’re can’t change the system, but you can build great teams within it.

In this video I share 6 ways to encourage true teamwork and collaboration.

Lead past the curve to greatness.

 

If you’re looking to take your team to the next level, I’d love to give you a demo or my online course, Results that Last, just send me an email at karin.hurt@letsgrowleaders.com

8 Secrets to Creating a Collaborative Culture

I’ve never met someone who would admit to preferring drama over collaboration. And yet, most cultures have too much drama, too little collaboration. What’s up with that?

This weekend we stayed in a beach house in Nags Head with my sister, and 28 of her closest friends (most of whom we had never met) to run the Outer Banks Southern Fried racing weekend. The kids ran the 5K and the grown-ups ran the 1/2 marathon.

We’ve been here since Thursday night, as of this writing (Sunday at 7:57 pm), there’s been zero drama and no fistacuffs (did I mention there are 14 boys between the ages of 10-16?)

The leadership anthropologist in me is fascinated by this dynamic. So here’s what I’ve observed from this incubator of positive collaboration.

8 Secrets to Creating a Collaborative Culture

connector (1)Got collaboration issues? Try nurturing a few of these elements.

  1. Respect–For The “Other Team’s” Goals and Objectives
    Every family came with a gaggle of  objectives. Some wanted a breath to connect. Some ready to run their personal best. Some were marathoning virgins, just trying to finish. We all put it out there in one way or another, and we all cheered on.
  2.  Norms–Big Rules are Discussed, Respected and Upheld
    Some were easy, “No kid goes to the beach without a grown-up.” But who goes to the PG13 movie is a heck of a lot trickier when the village is involved.
  3. Patience– No Child (or Grown-Up) Left Behind
    Herding 29 took longer. We had to breathe.
  4. Humor–We’re Laughing With You, Not At You (okay, okay, maybe a few times at you, but it’s all in good fun)
    I promised not to say more, to protect the innocent.
  5. Branding–The Power of Being Part of Something Biggershirts
    We branded our team with a great orange tee-shirt. We were easy to spot. The best part was when we got pulled in with the locals to staff the 5K finish–apparently they needed some friendlies, and that was our brand. Apparently our kids weren’t at all surprised to see us at the end of the race handing out medals and bananas. #thatsawin
  6. Rituals-Creating and Respecting
    We had a 16th birthday, a Baptismal anniversary, some firsts, and some other commotion. Some good, some tricky, all shared.
  7. Skills–Knowing What You’re Good at and Bringing All Your Gifts to the Party
    The cooks cooked, the cleaners cleaned, the creatives made a party, the singers got the birthday celebration on key. My husband cooked. #miracle. No one asked about their role, they just stepped up.
  8. Boundaries–Letting Go of Your Have to-Haves, and Hanging On To Your Must Dos
    Every team had a room. If your door was shut, the communal game was off, except for my sister (during my after-run nap) when she was on the wrong floor, thinking it was her room.

Collaboration takes energy and effort. Let go to grow fast.

P.S. The Connector Role is part of my 7 Roles Every Manager Must Master Model. Want to learn more? Contact me at karin.hurt@letsgrowleaders.com to set up a demo of my new online course.

4 Reasons Your Feedback is Being Ignored

The number one frustration I hear from team leaders is that their feedback falls on deaf ears. The employee seems to get it–for a minute, and then they go right back to their old habits.

So they give the same feedback again, this time “louder” either literally, or through progressive discipline, or sadly sometimes threats or biting sarcasm.

Sure, there are some folks out there “you just can’t fix,” but frequently that’s not the real issue.

4 Reasobuilderns Your Feedback is Being Ignored

When I turn the tables and ask the employees why the behavior continues, here’s what they tell me.

  1. The Feedback Flood Factor
    “I’m trying to do better, I really am. But it’s all just too much. Every time we meet, he’s giving me something else to work on. No matter what I do, I can’t seem to get it right, so I’ve learned to just block him out and do the best I can.” If you want real change, isolate one behavior at a time.
  2. The “Do as I Say, Not as I Do” Factor
    “My boss keeps telling me my customer courtesy credits are too high– that I’m costing the business too much money. So I really worked on that for a while. But then, I found my customers started to ask to speak to my supervisor. And guess, what? She always gave them the credit! She looks like the hero, and the credit she gives them goes against my numbers and I still end up on progressive action.” If you want your employees to hear your feedback, be sure you’re following your own standards. If there are reasons you make exceptions, be sure you clearly differentiate and explain the thought process, so they can follow consistent parameters.
  3. The “I Don’t Know How” Factor
    “My manager says I need to be more strategic. That sounds awesome. I’m all for that. But what does that mean? How do I do that?” Be sure your feedback is specific and actionable. Explain what success looks like in terms of specific behaviors.
  4. The “I Disagree” Factor
    “My supervisor keeps asking me to do this, but I just don’t think it’s right. It’s going to have a negative impact on MY customers. I’ve tried to explain my concerns, but she just keeps citing policy, and that this decision is ‘above my pay grade.’ ” Sure, we all have to implement policies we may not agree with, the important factor here is to really listen to the concerns and explain why. Just shutting down the conversation MAY lead to compliance, but not always. And it certainly won’t lead to commitment.

Most employees want to do a good job. If your feedback is being ignored, dig deeper to get to root cause.

How to Improve Your Balanced Scorecard: An LGL Video

As Builder week continues on Let’s Grow Leaders, I’m mixing it up a bit and sharing some insights on Improving Your Balanced Scorecard. This video is part of my online multi-media series. Click here to learn more and download some free resources as well.

Also, I’m going to be mixing in more video from time to time. I’d love for you to subscribe to my YouTube channel.

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17 Leadership Role Models Who Get Results That Last

ho is your favorite leadership role model? This month, as Frontline Festival authors were submitting their posts, I asked them to consider the 7 Results That Last roles, and identify one role model who exemplified the values and behaviors inherent in that role. I loved the responses, and enjoyed the over-lap across some of the roles.

And now I invite you to play along. Who is your favorite role model and which of the 7 roles do you think they exhibit particularly well?

Thought Leaders Share Their Favorite Leadership Role Models

“We need role models who are going to break the mold.” -Carly Simon

translatorTranslators

David Dye of Trailblaze suggests Nelson Mandela.  He didn’t just work for peace, he articulated why forgiveness was vital and how specific activities, like supporting the national rugby team, made a difference. Follow David.

 

“If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.” –Nelson Mandela

 

connector (1)Connectors

Paula Kiger of Perspicacity suggests the post-presidency Jimmy Carter. He has worked with so many different nationalities and causes, connecting all along the way. Follow Paula. 

“Unless both sides win, no agreement can be permanent.” -Jimmy Carter

John Manning of Map Consulting suggests Franklin D. Roosevelt. Follow John.  

 

builderBuilders

Wally Bock of Three Star Leadership suggests A. G Lafley, CEO of Proctor and Gamble. His career is marked by consistently helping individuals and teams and his company do better.  Follow Wally.

Lisa Hamaker of How Good Can You Stand It? suggests Albert Einstein. He is mostly known as a genius in mathematics and physics, however he also knew that spirituality entered greatly into his work, “I want to know God’s thoughts, the rest are details.” Einstein also understood that the value of intrinsic motivation far outweighs the extrinsic, ““Everything that is really great and inspiring is created by the individual who can labor in freedom.” Follow Lisa.

“We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking that created them.” – Albert Einstein

John Hunter of Curious Cat Management Improvement  suggests the late W. Edwards Deming, engineer and management consultant.  “He clearly articulated the importance of building a management system that was effective and continually improving.  This is the theme of my book, Management Matters: Building Enterprise Capability. – Follow John.

Dr. Artika Tyner of the Planting People. Growing Justice Institute suggests Charles Hamilton Houston. Social engineering was developed in response to racial inequities in the justice system. Civil rights pioneer, the late Charles Hamilton Houston, developed this theory due to his lifelong commitment to burying the remnants of racism. Houston characterized a social engineer as the mouthpiece of the weak and a sentinel guarding against wrong. Follow Artika.

 

galvanizerGalvanizers

Matt McWilliams of Matt McWilliams Consulting suggests Mike Krzyzewski – “As much as I can’t stand Duke (my dad went to Wake Forest), I respect Coach K because he always, always, always instills BELIEF in his team. He helps them taste the win long before they’ve experienced it.” Follow Matt.

“Imagination has a great deal to do with winning.” -Mike Kryzewski

Bill Treasurer of Giant Leap Consulting suggests Warren Buffet. Follow Bill.

 

#resultsthatlastBackers

Lisa Kohn from Thoughtful Leaders Blog suggests Nelson Mandela, the first black democratically elected President of South Africa and the leader and face of the Anti-Apartheid movement.  He fought against racial discrimination and for his actions, he served a twenty-seven year prison sentence. Showing his determination, focus, and will power after he got out of prison, he worked again for what was right. Follow Lisa.

 

ambassadorAmbassadors

Chantal Bechervaise of Take It Personel-ly  shares, “A well-known leader that comes to mind is also one of my favorite authors too, Mark Miller. I feel that he exemplifies servant leadership and after reading the 7 roles, I think he is a great match for all of them.”  Follow Chantal.

“When you expect the best from people, you will often see more in them than they see in themselves. The good news is that people generally rise to the level of expectations placed on them.” -Mark Miller

Beth Beutler of H.O.P.E. Unlimited suggests the Biblical leader, Nehemiah, is a great example of all the roles, but fits well as an ambassador. He had to travel back to his home country to spearhead the re-building effort while guiding the team to protect the borders from enemies as they rebuilt. Follow Beth.

 

acceleratorAccelerators

Michelle Cubas, CPCC, ACC, of Positive Potentials, LLC . suggests three leaders that have dared to stand on the edge of conventional behavior and thinking. Daniel Pink is a current trend disrupter and contrarian who fits this description. Jim Collins has a place in this segment, too. Terrie St. Marie (Starbucker) who has written a post describing the difference between a boss and a leader. Follow Michelle.

Paul LaRue of The UPwards Leader  suggests Steve Jobs and Bill Gates. Steve Jobs and Bill Gates. Even though personal computing was in it’s infancy, they still kicked out the traditional modes of doing business that “have always been done this way.” Follow Paul.

“If I’d had some set idea of a finish line, don’t you think I would have crossed it years ago?” Bill Gates

Blogger David Oddis  has the privilege of knowing a few accelerators. Names that come to mind are Brandon Jackson, Sean Poris and Mark Portofe. These gentlemen do what great leaders do. They will with out a second thought put themselves in front of the bus if needed. They will jump in and work side by side with staff to meet goals, encouraging and lifting spirits. They are not status takers or neck breakers, they are leaders and these are the type of people I want on my projects. They get it! Follow David.

Chery Gegelman of Simply Understanding suggests President Ronald Reagan who said, The greatest leader is not necessarily the one who does the greatest things. He is the one that gets the people to do the greatest things.” Follow Chery.

William Steiner of Executive Coaching Concepts suggests Jack Welch of GE, famous for his WORK OUT team methodology which brought people from all levels in a business together to take a fresh look at all business processes and reinvigorate the whole approach.  Follow William.

BONUS TRACKS

top learning trendsFun to be interviewed on the future of training on the Top Learning Trends in Training and Development in 2016 and Beyond by HR Dive.

If you haven’t downloaded my FREE e-book Mentroing in the Age of the Millennial, or want to participate in my EASY 5 Day Leadership challenge, click here.

 

A Powerful and Cost Effective Way to Become a Stronger Manager

There’s no question. The best way to get better at leading is by leading. Learn some skills, get out of your comfort zone,  try them out, get feedback, take it seriously, adjust, repeat.

It’s the premise behind high-end executive development programs that include action learning projects and 360 feedback assessments.

The trouble is, such programs are often reserved for high-potential talent at a certain level of the organization. They take a significant investment and require a lot of time off the job, while the”real work” piles up.

I want you and the other managers in your organization to have access to high-quality leadership development that’s INTEGRATED with your day jobs. Learn a skill, apply it with your team while you work on real work, get feedback, take it seriously, repeat.

That’s why I’m bringing you this new mixed media course, which includes results-enhancing work you do with your team and a 360. Watch the video and head over the Results That Last course landing page to learn more. While you’re there you can sign up for a FREE 5 day leadership challenge and download my new e-book Mentoring in the Age of the Millennial.  I also want to make it easy for you to convince your boss of the amazing value of this investment, so you’ll even find a customizable email you can prepare to help persuade your boss, as to why you should begin immediately.

 

There’s real value in having teams of managers going through this together, which is why I’ve made it easier to purchase multiple licenses with tiered pricing. I’m finding most of the companies I’ve talked with are starting with a 10-person pilot to try it out.

If you would like you learn more about how this would work for your company or non-profit, send me an email at karin.hurt@letsgrowleaders.com and I can schedule a demo.

Please help me spread the word about this course, and make it easier for others to get results that last, the right way.