the secret to managing remote teams

Managing Remote Teams: Let’s Grow Leaders April Frontline Festival

Welcome to the Let’s Grow Leaders Frontline Festival on managing remote teams. We asked thought leaders from around the world to share their very best post on this topic.

Thanks to Joy and Tom Guthrie of Vizwerx Group for the great pic and to all our contributors!

As we head out to the PMI EMEA Project Management Conference in Berlin, next month’s Frontline Festival is all about project management and planning. New contributors are always welcome. Submit your relevant blog posts here!

Management Mindsets for Leading Remote Teams

Jon Mertz of Thin Difference offers Hope is a Strategy, in which he shares that the key to managing any team, remote or otherwise, is fostering hope. Though it might seem too warm and fuzzy, hope liberates employee engagement. Follow Jon.

Paula Kiger of Big Green Pen writes Think About This Before Joining the Gig Economy Nation. If you manage a remote team, this piece will give you some insight into what to expect. It’s easy to forget that your remote workers have struggle (and triumphs) you don’t see. Follow Paula.

Julie Winkle Giulioni of DesignArounds wrote Rethinking Remote Relationships to remind us that creating connectivity within remote teams is about tapping hearts…not keyboards or touchpads.  Follow Julie.

Success in management requires learning as fast as the world is changing. – Warren Bennis

Building Relationships When Managing Remote Teams

Sean Glaze of Great Results Teambuilding reminds us that it is the job of virtual management to ensure that those necessary relationships among the team, no matter how geographically distant, are supported and maintained. This is not a simple order – and history offers us a cautionary example of the dangers that expansion and distance create. Consider the Roman Empire in Sean’s post: Three Tips to Manage Virtual Teams More EffectivelyFollow Sean.

David Grossman of The Grossman Group gives us Eight Successful Tips for Connecting with Remote Workers. With the numbers of hard-to-reach and remote workers growing, communication is even more of a critical part of a supervisor’s job. As much as remote workers may appreciate the convenience working remotely offers, they still need the human connection, conversation and insight of the workplace even when they are miles away or on the shop floor, to help them feel valued and included. Follow David.

Robyn McLeod of Thoughtful Leaders Blog  provides Three Ways to Hear What Your Team Thinks About You,  sharing three surefire ways to hear what your team thinks by giving them opportunities and channels for sharing their points of view. Follow Robyn.

Wally Bock of Three Star Leadership gives us Making Virtual Teams Productive. In many ways, leading a virtual team is like leading one where everyone is in the same place, except when it comes to social support. Follow Wally.

John Hunter of Curious Cat Management Improvement gives us How to Manage What You Can’t Measure.  The importance of psychology in managing people (remotely or in person) is too often underappreciated. Paying attention to what research can show about motivation, fear, trust, etc. is even more important and valuable for remote teams. A conscious effort is needed to make sure that connections between remote workers and other team members are strong. It is also more important to make communication explicit.  We often create problems – remote or not – when communication is largely implicit. Follow John.

Most good relationships are built on mutual trust and respect. – Mona Sutphen

Overcoming Challenges in Managing Remote Teams

Kaylee Riley of Patriot Software, LLC  knows that although letting employees work remotely has many benefits; it can be difficult to communicate information, set up meeting times, and hold everyone accountable. In Five Challenges of Managing Remote Teams (and How to Overcome Them) she helps us learn how to effectively lead remote teams and keep business operations running smoothly Follow Kaylee.

Eleonora Israele of Lead Change gives us Bringing Unity to a Remote Team. There are tons of advantages to working remotely and hiring remote workers, but there are some setbacks too. The lack of face-to-face communication and in-house team-building can cause contract or remote workers to feel less company loyalty, dedication, and connection.  Follow Eleonora.

Ken Downer of Rapid Start Leadership shares 15 Pretty Good Virtual Team Building Notes. Building a team is tough enough when you are all face to face; add time and distance between team members and the degree of difficulty quickly rises. These ideas can help you bridge the gap, build trust, and make you more effective as a team, wherever you happen to be.  Follow Ken.

Eileen McDargh of The Energizer provides The Care and Feeding of Virtual Teams. The good news about technology is that teams can be spread throughout the world, offering a rich background for global enterprises. The difficult news is that time zones and the absence of visual interaction can cause teams to stumble or even fail to start at all. Follow Eileen.

Obstacles are things a person sees when he takes his eyes off the goal. – E. Joseph Cossman

Your turn. We’d love to hear your best practices for managing remote teams. Please share in the comments below.

employee engagement

Employee Engagement: Ideas on Insights for Improvement– A Frontline Festival

Welcome to the Let’s Grow Leaders Frontline Festival on employee engagement. We asked thought leaders from around the world to share their very best post on this topic.

Thanks to Joy and Tom Guthrie of Vizwerx Group for the great pic and to all our contributors!

Next month’s Frontline Festival is all about managing remote teams. New contributors are always welcome. Submit your relevant blog posts here!

Employee Engagement Research Statistics and a Call to Action

Jon Mertz of Thin Difference shares some scary statistics from the Edelman trust barometer which indicate that trust and employee engagement are declining. We need a leadership jolt and reboot our practices to raise trust and engagement to better levels. Follow Jon.

Dean Vella of University of Notre Dame Online  shares some of the research-based insights on the drivers of employee motivation in his post Motivating Employees is Key to Effective Management.  Lots of great information here from some of the best research in employee motivation showcasing how soft-skills are so vital in running highly effective organizations. Follow Dean.

Julie Winkle Giulioni of DesignArounds takes an in-depth look at the causes of attrition and ways to make your organization more sticky in Attenuating Attrition: How Leaders Can Create a Sticky Situation. Follow Julie.

Ways to Increase Employee Engagement

According to Eileen McDargh of The Energizer, when a job is patterned, the same-old-same-old stuff, and a traditional career ladder is offered, great talent will not accept nor will they stay. In today’s fast-paced, changing competitive world, resilient people look for creative options, the ability to adapt on the fly, and the excitement of a challenge. Learn how you can, as an organization, change your policies to take advantage of this energyFollow Eileen.

The only way to do great work is to love what you do.” -Steve Jobs

Sean Glaze of Great Results Teambuilding shares a motivational technique that applies to basketball,  business, education, medicine and virtually any industry where people can be inspired to give more effort and focus to their jobs.  Follow Sean.

Lisa Kohn from Chatsworth Consulting Group presents Skipping to work, bounding up the stairs, and other signs we love our jobs on The Thoughtful Leaders™ Blog.  She shares that one of the best ways to increase engagement is to help employees find what they love at work, so they indeed skip on their way in. Follow Lisa.

Chris Edmonds of Driving Results through Culture gives us a Culture Leadership Charge: Seismic Change, where he describes the changes society is facing. This shift creates new demands on leaders. Leaders must change how they influence others to leverage employee passions, creativity and productivity no matter where those employees choose to work. Follow Chris.

Paul LaRue of The UPwards Leader reminds us not to be crabby leaders. Crabs in a fisherman’s crate will pull other crabs down into the pack to prevent some from escaping. Does your leadership pull people down, or allow them to stretch and fulfill their gifts? Follow Paul.

Jesse Stoner of Seapoint Center for Collaborative Leadership reminds us to First Engage Yourself: 7 Ways to Increase Your Own Engagement and Satisfaction. She gives us seven questions to evaluate our own level of engagement along with tips on what we can do if we score low on any of them.  Follow Jesse.

David Grossman of The Grossman Group explains that employees come to work for different reasons, have different goals, and are motivated by different things. If employees could collectively tell you what they want and need, here’s what they might say. Follow David.

“The way your employees feel is the way your customers will feel. And if your employees don’t feel valued, neither will your customers.”
-Sybil F. Stershic

 

According to Wally Bock of Three Star Leadership study after study has shown us that if you’re the boss, you are the person with the biggest impact on the productivity, morale and engagement of your team. He shares 10 ways managers can create better engagement. Our favorite was his number one answer:

“1. Show up a lot. All good things flow from this. You get to know your people and they get to know you.” Follow Wally.

William Steiner of Executive Coaching Concepts shares a post dealing with the lack of engagement from an “under management epidemic” that occurs when managers get so busy they do not take the time to connect well with their staff and focus on the fundamentals. He offers several suggestions for allocating more time to do just thatFollow William.

Shelley Row of Shelley Row Associates offers some tips for reaching true consensus with your team–a feat that when done well, demonstrates the level of engagement on the team. Follow Shelley.

Barbara Kimmel of Trust Across America shares a sad but true story of employees being afraid to complete online satisfaction surveys for fear of retribution. When that happens, leadership may want to take a long look in the mirror.  Trust? My Company is a Sh_tshow!  Follow Barbara.

Ken Downer of Rapid Start Leadership shares Demotivation: 7 Ways You Might Be Killing Your Team’s Spirit. A team’s spirit means everything when it comes to productivity and engagement, but despite our best intentions, the way we lead can be a source of demotivation. Ken gives some concrete steps to get the team organized again.  Follow Ken.

Rachel Gray of Patriot Software, LLC  shows us How to Improve Employee Engagement. Engaged employees can increase your bottom line and lower your turnover rate. Rachel gives us five actionable steps toward that goal.  Follow Rachel.

Dean Vella of University of Notre Dame Online shares that recruiters and interviewers are looking deeper into a candidate beyond skills and experience. They also want to know how they will adapt and get along with their co-workers. This is referred to emotional intelligence and is known to play a role in promotion. EQ feeds employee engagement and is a part of work collaboration and team cohesiveness. Follow Dean.

P.S. If you’re looking for more great quotes on employee engagement, check out Kevin Kruse’s collection here. 

innovation and creativity at work

Innovation and Creativity at Work: A Frontline Festival

Are you searching for ways to bring more innovation and creativity to your team? In this month’s Frontline Festival, thought leaders from around the world share their insights on how to foster innovation at work.

Thanks to Joy and Tom Guthrie of Vizwerx Group for the great pic and to all our contributors!

Next month’s Frontline Festival is all about employee engagement. New contributors always welcome. Submit your relevant blog posts here!

Innovation and Creativity in Customer Service

Chip Bell of Chip Bell Group (in the Inc. article, How to ‘Kaleidoscope’ Your Customers reminds us that today’s customers do not talk (remark) or tweet about good service; only experiences they find unique, special, and ingenious. Research shows value-added (taking what customers expect and adding more) will not provide a solid ROI. But, value-unique (delivering an unexpected, compelling surprise) creates animated advocates and fuels bottom line impact. Follow Chip.

As technology advances, you must innovate certain aspects of your business, too. Because so much communication takes place online, in-person customer service is limited.  Kaylee Riley of Patriot Software, LLC inspires us to come up with creative ways to provide excellent (and personal) customer service when we communicate with customers online.  Follow Kaylee.

Innovation & Critical Thinking

Own the UglySusan Mazza of Random Acts of Leadership  shares why positive thinking isn’t enough. In fact, sometimes we need a more realistic view of reality to create positive movement and action. Sometimes what may occur as “negative” is actually a very good thing for business. Follow Susan.

According to Ken Downer of Rapid Start Leadership to lead well you have to be able to think creatively and independently. The good news is that thinking is a skill; these 25 ideas will help you sharpen those thinking skills and improve your chances to succeed as a leader. Follow Ken

Tanveer Naseer of Tanveer Naseer Leadership helps us learn about the neurological mechanisms that can impede your employees’ creativity and ability to collaborate. He gives us three strategies leaders can employ to overcome these impediments. Follow Tanveer.

Sean Glaze of Great Results Teambuilding  posits that as complicated as sometimes we try to make it sound, innovation is most often either a MODIFICATION of an existing idea or the MARRIAGE of two existing ideas in a new or unexpected way… consider this very simple equation: NI = OI + YI.  Follow Sean.

Wendy Dailey of My Dailey Journey shares that in order for HR to help eliminate the salary gap, we need to change how we look at compensation and stop asking for salary history.  Follow Wendy.

Innovation Through Collaboration

“Innovation has nothing to do with how many R & D dollars you have. When Apple came up with the Mac, IBM was spending at least 100 times more on R & D. It’s not about money. It’s about the people you have, how you’re led, and how much you get it.”
– 
Steve Jobs

There is no innovation and creativity without failure. Period. Brene Brown
Read more at: https://www.brainyquote.com/topics/innovation

Jon Mertz of Thin Difference offers that we’re at the tipping point of a new era of leadership. leaving stale leaders behind. The big change required is better collaboration and productive problem-solving. To get smart citizens, we need smart leadersFollow Jon.

Julie Winkle Giulioni of DesignArounds tells us that a key prerequisite for creativity and innovation is curiosity.  This post explores what it is and how to leverage it for improved results. Follow Julie

Shelley Row of Shelley Row Associates takes an innovative look at the role of feelings in the workplace. Follow Shelley

Encouraging Innovation

“There is no innovation and creativity without failure. Period.”
Brene Brown

According to David Grossman of The Grossman Group  research published by the Harvard Business Review on fostering innovation within companies underscores the value of encouraging employees to be decision-makers. Read on to find out what the most successful innovation leaders do to foster innovation in their teams. Follow David.

John Hunter of Curious Cat Management Improvement advises we make sure people have time, encouragement and freedom to pursue their passion. Far too often managers spend their time dealing with problems: problems with employees, and dealing with internal politics. Shift priorities so we instead prioritize creating space for people to flourish with other things being done if there is time.  Follow John.

Wally Bock of Three Star Leadership provides questions, answers, and the four commandments of creativity and innovation. Follow Wally.

Jesse Stoner of Seapoint Center for Collaborative Leadership shares: Your questions are more important than your answers. In your role as a leader, before jumping to a conclusion, ask questions that increase possibilities and creativity like “What don’t we know yet?”  Follow Jesse.

Are you a leadership blogger? We would love to have you join us in the next Frontline Festival. New contributors are always welcome.

Frontline Festival: Leaders Share about Strategy and Alignment

Welcome to the Let’s Grow Leaders Frontline Festival on Strategy and Alignment. We asked thought leaders from around the world to share their very best post on strategy.

Thanks to Joy and Tom Guthrie of Vizwerx Group for the great pic and to all our contributors!

Next month’s Frontline Festival is all about inspiring innovation and creativity. New contributors always welcome. Submit your relevant blog posts here!

Including Your Team and Customers in Strategic Planning Efforts

According to Jesse Stoner of Seapoint Center for Collaborative Leadership, one of the biggest mistakes leaders make is thinking they are supposed to have all the answers, especially when it comes to vision and strategy. There is a natural desire to look like you are smart and know what you’re doing,, but sometimes the smartest thing you can do is to involve your team. Here are eight guidelines to help you do it right.  Follow Jesse.

improve customer servicePaul LaRue of The UPwards Leader notices that many companies limit the amount of feedback they receive from customers and/or employees. Sometimes it’s an oversight; many times it’s deliberate to truncate open constructive discussion. Follow Paul

Ensuring Organizational Capacity to Execute Your Strategy

John Hunter of Curious Cat Management Improvement reminds us that it is important to plan well and to align the organization to successfully turn a strategy into action. Too little focus is given to building the capability of the organization to execute on the strategy. Lofty ideas without capability are not of much use, but the ability to execute strategy throughout the organization is powerful. Follow John.

Skip Prichard of Leadership Insights shares that no matter what process is used for strategy development, a strategic talent assessment is needed before “dropping the flag” on execution. There can be no achievement, nor alignment, without the right people in place.  Follow Skip.

According to Julie Winkle Giulioni of DesignArounds,  strategic alignment is a driving force for successful organizations. One thing exceptional leaders do is use ongoing performance dialogue to ensure that everyone is rowing in the same direction. Julie shares ways to supplement (or replace) the traditional performance appraisal process to keep your team aligned and executing your strategy well. Follow Julie

Leadership is a potent combination of strategy and character. But if you must be without one, be without the strategy.
-Norman Schwarzkopf

Susan Mazza of Random Acts of Leadership shares that learning to work smarter, not just harder is a surefire way to accelerate and even amplify your success. However, there is a big difference between believing you can avoid hard work if you work smarter and knowing that working smarter will help ensure your hard work will pay off.  Follow Susan.

Ken Downer of Rapid Start Leadership gives us a bizarre social experiment reminiscent of Lord of the Flies, which sheds light on what it takes for leaders to unite a group of people and get them all pulling together. Follow Ken

Rachel Gray of Patriot Software, LLC  notes that in 2018, you might be looking for new strategies to drive customers to your small business. Creating a powerful and unique website that aligns with your business brand is a great strategy to increase customer traffic and, in turn, sales. Follow Rachel.

Simplify

The essence of strategy is choosing what not to do.”  —Michael Porter

Mind the MIT Let's Grow LeadersWally Bock of Three Star Leadership reminds us that if you want people in your organization to align their actions with your strategy, keep your strategy simple. Boil it down to a slogan if you can. Follow Wally.

Michelle Cubas, CPCC, ACC, of Positive Potentials, LLC has noticed that people tend to see strategy in terms of goals and action items while the strategy is the map with the overall vision. To bring clarity she shares a dynamic concept that visualizes the strategic planning process.  Follow Michelle.

Beth Beutler of H.O.P.E. Unlimited  reveals a simple three word “strategy” that has guided her career for years.  Follow Beth.

Strategic Planning and Stepping Up to More

Wendy Dailey of My Dailey Journey relays that as she finds herself focusing more on networking & helping others, she thinks that a key to success is local groups. This post talks about stepping up to be a part of the bigger picture and engaging volunteers to build stronger professional organizations.   Follow Wendy.

Jon Mertz of Thin Difference reflects that some may view the past year with a sense of excitement while others view it as turmoil. In either view, finding our citizenship soul is critical. Follow Jon.

We’re always looking for new contributors to the Frontline Festival. If you’re a blogger, we welcome you to share your insights.

resiliancy

Frontline Festival: Leaders Share about Overcoming Setbacks, Resiliency, and Lessons Learned (with video)

Welcome back to the Let’s Grow Leaders Frontline Festival. This month’s festival is about overcoming setbacks, resiliancy, and lessons learned. Thanks to Joy and Tom Guthrie of Vizwerx Group for the great pic and to all our contributors! Next month’s Frontline Festival is all about employee engagement in relation to customer service.  Submit your relevant blog posts here!

Resiliency and Overcoming Setbacks

According to Chip Bell of Chip Bell Group, customers love service providers with a “never say die” attitude. When that resilience is part of their manner, customers feel they have an advocates working on their behalf. He shares a guest post he wrote for Eileen McDargh with more on the topic of “Service Resiliance.”  Follow Chip

Susan Mazza of Random Acts of Leadership  reminds us that if we want to set ourselves up to be resilient enough to pursue dreams through to realization, it is critical that we get clear about more than just goals–but also why those goals truly matter.  Follow Susan.

great books on resilienceOn the best books I’ve read on resiliency is Option B by Sheryl Sanburg and Adam Grant. What concept I found particularly useful was the 3 traps that sabotage resliency: Permanance, pervasiveness, and personalization. You can read more about the 3 Ps In Eileen McDargh’s post as well.

Given the horrific parade of disasters in recent times, this post from Eileen McDargh of The Energizer looks at what survivors can do AND what those who wish to help others can do. Follow Eileen.

In this 20 minute podcast interview, Jesse Stoner of Seapoint Center for Collaborative Leadership interviews Eileen McDargh, who explains how resiliency is a life skill that supports you not only during challenges and times of adversity, but also during times of opportunity and growth. Resiliency is not about bouncing back, it’s about bouncing forward.   Follow Jesse.

Julie Winkle Giulioni of DesignArounds advises that the ability to learn, develop and grow is today’s only sustainable competitive advantage. As a result, effective leaders appreciate the need for learning agility.  Follow Julie

Sean Glaze of Great Results Teambuilding advises that we apply and repeat three amazingly simple ways to help our team, so they will be far more likely to thrive through change and overcome common pitfalls often encountered on the path to progress. He also provides a second post about invisible fences that limit your team.  Follow Sean.

John Hunter of Curious Cat Management Improvement thinks the key is to actively seek to learn and create robust systems.  The best way to be resilient and overcome setbacks is to actively seek knowledge and improve.  Don’t try to explain why failures were unavoidable or blame others (which are both common) or ignore them.  Instead seek out the reasons why the causes of the result (systems in the organization, your thought process, the actions you took…) led to the problem and seek to change so the future will have better results.   Follow John.

Lisa Kohn from Thoughtful Leaders Blog presents leadership lessons of yellow birds, where she shares that there are always simple ways available to us to find meaning and motivation to be the best leader — and person — we can be. We just have to be open and look for them.  Follow Lisa.

Paula Kiger of Big Green Pen shares an anecdote about how she and her daughter tackled replacing a doorknob together,  rather than hiring a locksmith. It gave them renewed confidence, mother-daughter bonding, and lessons that applied to more than home repair. Follow Paula.

Alli Polin of Break the Frame advises that we can never predict when life will feel like it’s crashing down. She offers encouragement to open the window to what’s next with these three lessons on resilience and change.  Follow Alli.building resiliency

Jon Mertz of Thin Difference gives a charge: Leaders, take note. There is enough chaos in the world. We do not need to create more. Good leaders know how to find the center in chaos and focus on what matters most. That’s how we can make positive change. Follow Jon.

Lessons and Learning

On her recent trip to Scotland, Shelley Row of Shelley Row Associates applied some important concepts to scaling difficult tasksFollow Shelley

Mike Kappel of Patriot Software shares his hard-learned lessons on working with a team and how small business leaders can improve their team building skills.  Follow Mike

Thomas Mangum of ThomasMangum.com shares about how power doesn’t make you a leader, caring does.  Follow Thomas.

Beth Beutler of H.O.P.E. Unlimited offers some ponderings about the time when the mistake–was hers.  Follow Beth.

Wally Bock of Three Star Leadership shares what he learned–and didn’t learn–from his worst boss ever.  Follow Wally.

David Grossman of The Grossman Group shares a leadership lesson he learned about inspiration and aspiration from Disney’s Moana.

 

 

 

Frontline Festival: Leaders Share About Team Building (with video)

Welcome back to the Let’s Grow Leaders Frontline Festival. This month’s festival is about team building. Thanks to Joy and Tom Guthrie of Vizwerx Group for the great pic and to all our contributors! Next month’s Frontline Festival is all lessons learned, overcoming setbacks and resiliency.  Submit your relevant blog posts here!

Leaders need to adjust to the skill and abilities of the people, and don’t expect new people to fit into the team exactly as those doing the job previously. John Hunter of Curious Cat Management Improvement reminds us to take care to design the system to minimize risk of failure and maximize the advantages each employee brings to work every day in Take Advantage of the Strengths Each Person Brings to Work. Follow John.


Sean Glaze of Great Results Teambuilding tells us a good leader will recognize the importance of encouragement as a key part of team building.  In 12 Exalting Phrases Leaders Should Share with their Team, he helps you to take advantage of every opportunity to be an encouraging and inspiring flame that your people want to be near and benefit from.  He also shares ways to strengthen your team even if you aren’t ready to schedule a team building event.  Follow Sean.

David Grossman of The Grossman Group  explains that research shows the best and most effective teams aren’t those that combined the best and brightest people, but rather, something you might not expect.  Follow David.

In Are You a Team Player? Nikki Heise of Ridgeline Coaching explores the definition of team and asks how we look at our teams at work.

Most of us do most of our work in teams. Here are four important things you should know that make a core work team effective, from Wally Bock of Three Star Leadership  Follow Wally.

Looking for teamwork quotes? Here are some unique ones from Inc.

Jesse Stoner of Seapoint Center for Collaborative Leadership shares how understanding the characteristics of effective teams gives you a target to shoot for and better prepares you to support your team’s development. They conducted an extensive research study which revealed six Benchmarks of Team Excellence.  Follow Jesse.

In the post,The Biggest Barrier to Your Team’s Development? You,  Robyn McLeod of Thoughtful Leaders Blog shares how to avoid getting in the way of your team’s success and the steps you can take to help them flourish.   Follow Robyn.

Learn about three critical factors leaders need to employ to help keep their employees on course to achieving the long-term goals of their organization via Tanveer Naseer of Tanveer Naseer Leadership  Follow Tanveer.

Chris Edmonds of Driving Results through Culture asks “How can your team boost it’s performance?” then looks at Formula 1 racing for insights. This pit crew changed all four tires during a mid-race pit stop in less than three seconds! Everyone knowing their responsibilities doesn’t boost team results – everyone working in harmony while doing what they must do is the way to nirvana. Follow Chris.

Are your teams coming up with the same old tired solutions to new problems? Learn how to inspire them through the use of creativity via Eileen McDargh of The Energizer   Follow Eileen.

A strong team can take any crazy vision and turn it into reality. – John Carmack

Team building is an important part of managing a small business workforce. Foster collaboration between your employees with these simple team building activities from Amanda Cameron of Patriot Software, LLC    Follow Amanda.

In order for a team to function properly and effectively, they must find common ground. Eric Torrence of Thin Difference shares five ways we are all alike. By focusing on what unites us, even tasks that seem insurmountable are possible.  Follow Eric. 

Shelley Row of Shelley Row Associates observed strong teamwork in an unfortunate, emergency situationFollow Shelley

American Business models began to move away from “command-control” in the 1990s. Since then, team building has been covered from top to toe over the last decades because it was a novel approach to performance.  Michelle Cubas, CPCC, ACC, of Positive Potentials, LLC  asks, why does it still seem foreign to many managers?   Follow Michelle.

Beth Beutler of H.O.P.E. Unlimited gives us some questions to ask when our team doesn’t seem to be performing wellFollow Beth.

brand awareness

Frontline Festival: Leaders Share about Building Brand Awareness

Welcome back to the Let’s Grow Leaders Frontline Festival. This month’s festival is about building brand awareness. Thanks to Joy and Tom Guthrie of Vizwerx Group for the great pic and to all our contributors! Next month’s Frontline Festival is all about team building. What’s your favorite team building experience? What are your best practices for building teams?  Submit your relevant blog posts here!

Our Reflections on the Festival Contributions and Insights on Building an Army of Brand Ambassadors

John Hunter of Curious Cat Management Improvement  talks about how building brand recognition with your team starts with inspiring passion in your message and teaching employees about what your business stands for.  Aligning Marketing Vision and Management  

David Grossman of The Grossman Group explains that when done well, internal branding is a powerful and proven strategy to drive engagement and the behaviors leaders want inside organizations, especially as it relates to a company’s ability to deliver on its brand promise. Top 10 Tips for Successful Internal Branding Efforts  Follow David.

Brand is just a perception, and perception will match reality over time. Sometimes it will be ahead, other times it will be behind. But brand is simply a collective impression some have about a product. – Elon Musk

Michelle Cubas, CPCC, ACC, of Positive Potentials, LLC discusses team buy-in on brand awareness which takes many forms. Find ways to support your efforts.  Ways to Build Team Brand Awareness   Follow Michelle.

Amanda Cameron of Patriot Software, LLC   says that building brand recognition with your team starts with inspiring passion in your message and teaching employees about what your business stands for. Building Brand Recognition With Your Team   Follow Amanda.

Shelley Row of ShelleyRow.com warns us that the tone of our emails can negatively affect our brand. Flaming Emails: Don’t Be THAT Person.    Follow Shelley.

Beth Beutler of H.O.P.E. Unlimited  looks at why something as simple as our email signature can help our brand.  Five Ways to Make Your Email Signatures Work!   Follow Beth.

The keys to brand success are self-definition, transparency, authenticity and accountability. – Simon Mainwaring

A Few of My Thoughts on Brand Awareness

So many companies have strict social media policies for employees. I’m always struck by the impact social media can have in progressive companies who embrace these powerful tools and encourage their employees to blog and tweet about the brand. Encouraging employees to have a voice and not just be a “bot.”

I love this Inc. article, How to Find the Right Employees to Be Your Brand Ambassadors, where Eric Markowitz shares how to recruit and encourage employees to promote your brand on social media.

My most popular piece on the topic was published in Brand Quarterly   7 Ways to Turn Your Employees into Brand Ambassadors.

In this Fast Company article, 10 Excuses That Silently Damage Managers Careers, David Dye and I tackle some of the language that can easily derail your personal brand.

In The Amazing Side Effect of Making-it-Right Customer Service, we explore the benefits of customer service that builds brands and creates a best-in-class customer experience.

I’m often asked to speak on how to turn your employees into brand ambassadors. I really enjoyed my work with senior HR leaders at the HR Asia Summit C-Suite Symposium forum this spring on the topic, where we discussed the importance of building empathetic connections between employees and your companies purpose– and connecting what you’re asking employees to do, with why you’re asking them to do it at every level of the business.

 

Snap, Crackle, STOP– What's Your Brand?

Have you ever thought of yourself as a brand?

Most people associate brands with companies, services or products– but don’t always stop to think about their personal brand let alone how to build it.

This is a guest post from Jonathan Green.

“Jonathan is a culture evangelist who focuses on leadership development behaviors and communications strategies. His expertise is service models that provide world-class experience. He has worked in a variety of verticals including Finance, Utilities, Tech, and Telecom. Green has spent the last seven years working for a large Telecom provider and thoroughly enjoys the fast paced and ever-changing environment. Check out his blog at monsterleaders.com

As individuals, we actually have much more at stake as our brand is being observed, assessed and judged on a regular basis. In my work with young leaders, I carve out time out to help them consider their brand and to be deliberate about enhancing promoting it. The key is simplicity. Break it down into manageable parts.

1 – Image

2 – Behaviors

3 – Attitude

I usually start by relating the personal branding process to one of two topics that most of us have dealt with at one time or another: dating and cereal.

Dating

Consider the following:

When you go on a first date, what are you looking to teach your date about you?

… that your baggage is not as severe as that of her last boyfriend/girlfriend?

… that your brain functions at a normal capacity?

… that your hygiene practices are in line with conventional societal norms?

… that you are the kind of person they would want to live with until the end of time?

Your BRAND is on the line, and you are selling it. Your image is a mix of who you actually are and who you want the other person to believe you are. You don’t start a conversation with the worst decisions you have made in your life as you do not want to be defined by those. However, those are part of who you are, they are the scars and stripes that you carry with you all the time. So is your image true to yourself? Do your behaviors match your desired outcome? And most important, you have a choice in what attitudes you bring to the table is your attitude one that others want to subject themselves to?

Now, Mix in Cereal

Another way to look at it is to think of yourself as a brand of cereal.

Is it good for you? (do others want to be around you?)

Do you like the taste (do others enjoy talking to you, learning from you, sharing experiences with you?)

Is it made by a company that is safe and reputable (can you be trusted, do your behaviors build relationships?)

Some Easy Steps to get started

1. Ask yourself some questions
– How do I want to be viewed?
– What words do I want others to use to describe me?
– What words best describe the ideal me: reliable? intelligent? upbeat?…?

2. Reverse engineer your brand
– what behaviors must I exhibit to be viewed in this way?
– with whom should I be involved?
– where should I hang out?

3. Check it
– Do my behaviors reinforce my desired brand?
– What words are being used to describe me?

4. Who is promoting your brand?
– who is selling your brand, to whom and where?
– recruit some “sales people”

Encouraging young leaders to consider these questions can help set the stage for important inner dialogue and external changes. I have found that this work leads to amazing development, growth and a future driven by behaviors that matter.

Snap, Crackle, STOP– What’s Your Brand?

Have you ever thought of yourself as a brand?

Most people associate brands with companies, services or products– but don’t always stop to think about their personal brand let alone how to build it.

This is a guest post from Jonathan Green.

“Jonathan is a culture evangelist who focuses on leadership development behaviors and communications strategies. His expertise is service models that provide world-class experience. He has worked in a variety of verticals including Finance, Utilities, Tech, and Telecom. Green has spent the last seven years working for a large Telecom provider and thoroughly enjoys the fast paced and ever-changing environment. Check out his blog at monsterleaders.com

As individuals, we actually have much more at stake as our brand is being observed, assessed and judged on a regular basis. In my work with young leaders, I carve out time out to help them consider their brand and to be deliberate about enhancing promoting it. The key is simplicity. Break it down into manageable parts.

1 – Image

2 – Behaviors

3 – Attitude

I usually start by relating the personal branding process to one of two topics that most of us have dealt with at one time or another: dating and cereal.

Dating

Consider the following:

When you go on a first date, what are you looking to teach your date about you?

… that your baggage is not as severe as that of her last boyfriend/girlfriend?

… that your brain functions at a normal capacity?

… that your hygiene practices are in line with conventional societal norms?

… that you are the kind of person they would want to live with until the end of time?

Your BRAND is on the line, and you are selling it. Your image is a mix of who you actually are and who you want the other person to believe you are. You don’t start a conversation with the worst decisions you have made in your life as you do not want to be defined by those. However, those are part of who you are, they are the scars and stripes that you carry with you all the time. So is your image true to yourself? Do your behaviors match your desired outcome? And most important, you have a choice in what attitudes you bring to the table is your attitude one that others want to subject themselves to?

Now, Mix in Cereal

Another way to look at it is to think of yourself as a brand of cereal.

Is it good for you? (do others want to be around you?)

Do you like the taste (do others enjoy talking to you, learning from you, sharing experiences with you?)

Is it made by a company that is safe and reputable (can you be trusted, do your behaviors build relationships?)

Some Easy Steps to get started

1. Ask yourself some questions
– How do I want to be viewed?
– What words do I want others to use to describe me?
– What words best describe the ideal me: reliable? intelligent? upbeat?…?

2. Reverse engineer your brand
– what behaviors must I exhibit to be viewed in this way?
– with whom should I be involved?
– where should I hang out?

3. Check it
– Do my behaviors reinforce my desired brand?
– What words are being used to describe me?

4. Who is promoting your brand?
– who is selling your brand, to whom and where?
– recruit some “sales people”

Encouraging young leaders to consider these questions can help set the stage for important inner dialogue and external changes. I have found that this work leads to amazing development, growth and a future driven by behaviors that matter.

Label With Care: Creating Possibilites Through Better Personal Branding

How we label ourselves matters. Sometimes we wear old labels without even noticing.

Years ago, I attended a diversity workshop with an exercise designed to get us thinking about labels. The main idea was that the more we talked about our differences in a safe environment, the better we would understand one another and get along. If we got along, our teams would be high-performing and results would follow.

We all were handed a stack of sticky labels and a marker. The first step was to list all the labels that we used to describe ourselves (mother, friend, change agent, energetic). We then placed these labels all over our bodies and walked around and talked about how we felt. The next step was to have others create labels for us based on how they saw us.

We then donned those stickies (with more discussion). This led to others giving us really nice labels (nice, kind, smart)… and a big group hug at the end. I must admit that although I love the concept, this was a bit corny, even for the HR gal (yup, one of the labels I was given)…but it was a snuggly day, and we all felt better and went back to work.

I hadn’t thought about that exercise in years. Until recently, when the image of the labelled swarms came rushing back.

I have been working with a few folks on broadening their career horizons. After years of being really, really good at what they are really, really good at, they are feeling stuck. They want to try new stuff, but they are being viewed so positively in one arena, people are having a hard time seeing the possibilities and other talents.

And then, I started seeing the truth in labeling. It is not always others putting the “stickies” on them. I began noticing that under pressure, the first label they put on is the most comfortable. “Oh, I can do that, I’m the ____ woman.” Leave it to me, I’ve got years of experience doing __” They keep putting on the tattered labels they claim they are trying to release.

When they see it, they do great work on repackaging.

How we talk about ourselves matters. We can label ourselves without even noticing. We’ve been saying the words so long, we forget the implications.

It might be time to refresh the label exercise, in a virtual way.

  • What labels do we put on first? Why?
  • What labels are we most proud of? Why?
  • Which labels do we want to discard? Why?
  • What labels are yearning to put on our forehead… next? Why?