7 mistakes that frustrate your coworkers

7 Big Mistakes that Frustrate Coworkers and Damage Your Brand

Have you ever ticked off your coworkers and didn’t know why?

You didn’t mean to. You’re working hard, moving fast, and advocating for your team. And one day you overhear two coworkers complaining about you in the hallway. Or you catch a peer typing “WTF” under the table in a staff meeting.

Avoid Damaging Your Reputation With Coworkers By Avoiding These 7 Mistakes

Here are seven big mistakes we’ve seen many well-intentioned, hard-working managers (sadly including ourselves) make while working diligently to improve the business—inadvertently ticking off their peers in the process.

1. Over-advocating for Your Team

The Problem:

Of course, advocating for, and defending your team, is generally a good characteristic. People want to know their boss has their backs.

But be careful to keep a realistic and balanced perspective.

Sometimes the best person for that coveted special assignment isn’t YOUR box nine candidate, but THEIR’S.

Sometimes it’s YOUR TEAM that screwed things up NOT THEIRS. And yes, sometimes the bigger bonus needs to go to the guy on the other team who knocked it out of the park—even though your team has been working hard too.

Start Here: 

Yes, advocate for your team. But also take a step back and stay objective.

2. Hoarding Talent

The Problem:

When you’ve spent significant time developing your team, it can be difficult to let them go to another team or department—even if it’s in their best interest, or for the greater good of the organization. After all, who wants to be the farm team for the rest of the company?

Start Here:

Take the long-view. As you become known as a leader who both develops AND supports people’s career growth, you’ll become a magnet for high-potential talent drawn to that kind of support.

3. Unbridled Tenacity

The Problem: 

When you know you’re “right” it can be tough to figure out how to also be effective. When you disagree in front of an audience, particularly if that audience is your boss, even if you’re right, your peers may feel like you’ve thrown them under the bus.

Start Here:

Be willing to lose a battle or two. Stakeholder potentially contentious issues off-line. When conflict arises, pick up the phone instead of shooting off a frustrated email. Resist the urge to work out conflicts in front of others. Resolving coworker conflict is not a spectator sport.

4. Not Spending Enough Time Together

The Problem:

It’s easy to under-invest in coworker relationships. Leaders tend to focus on their team and boss first and hope the peer relationships will evolve naturally. Just like any human interaction, coworker relationships take time and energy to grow properly.

In addition, peer relationships are naturally tricky since you’re often competing in a stack rack, for resources or for senior leader attention.

Start Here:

Make a deliberate investment in the relationship. Take time to understand your coworker’s goals and objectives. Ask them what worries them and how you can help. Break bread. Learn about who they are outside of work. Invest in their success.

5. Not Asking For Help

The Problem:

When you know your coworkers are slammed, you don’t want to ask for help. But if others are reaching out and supporting one another, not asking for help can be perceived as arrogance.

Start Here: 

Take time to understand your coworkers’ strengths and areas of expertise. Ask for their advice or support from time-to-time. Of course, be sure to offer your support in return.

6. Not Acknowledging Their Contribution

The Problem: 

Okay, suppose they did help you. And now you’re getting praise for your great work. But forget to mention their support. And now they’re ticked.

Start Here:

Be gracious in your public gratitude and go out of your way to make a big deal out of the support you’ve received from others— particularly in front of the people that matter most to your peers.

7. Withholding Best Practices

The Problem:

Often high-performers will share if asked but are too busy (or competitive) to do so proactively. Or they don’t share because they don’t want to look braggy. Meanwhile, people are wasting time spinning their wheels because they’re unaware that a coworker has already figured out a better way.

Start Here:

Suggest ways to make it easy and natural for your team to regularly share best practices (here are some ideas on how to do that).

Sometimes when you’re moving fast and working hard, it’s easy to slip off of one of these slippery slopes and damage a peer relationship. It’s never to late invest more deeply for greater influence and impact.

Your turn.

What else would you add? What do you see as the biggest mistakes derailing coworker relationships?

make useless performance feedback helpful

How to Make No-good, Useless Performance Feedback Helpful

Don’t let useless performance feedback sap motivation.

My phone buzzed with a text message from Amena, a young manager. “Just had annual eval – most useless performance feedback ever.”

I’d coached this woman—a hardworking, strategic thinker who passionately cared about the company and its customers. Another text quickly followed the first: “My eval was ‘good’ on everything except where I was ‘very good’ at getting along with people.”

Which was rapidly followed by this:

useless performance feedback text

Have you experienced her frustration? Too often, meaningless platitudes followed by a vague assertion that something you’ve never heard about should have been better are the norm.

Because many managers lack the courage or know-how to give meaningful feedback and help their people grow, they default to no-good, useless performance feedback that isn’t just a waste of time—it’s painful and destructive.

But like you, most leaders don’t intend to give poor feedback or hurt people, so what goes wrong?

Characteristics of Useless Performance Feedback

Three characteristics make performance feedback so destructive. If you can identify and avoid these three problems, you’re on your way to helping your people achieve great results and becoming a leader they can rely on and trust.

Problem #1: One-sided Feedback

People need to hear what they’re doing well. They also need to know where they aren’t getting the job done. Many managers err on one side or the other.

Some managers hang in the land of “great work, love what you’re doing” and never address real performance concerns or tell their people how they can grow. This frustrates people who want to do a good job. Your top performers want to excel, and if you don’t help them, they’ll find a leader who will.

Other managers live in the world of “I’ll encourage you when it’s perfect—and there’s no such thing as perfect.” This one-sided barrage of critical feedback and improvement plans demoralizes people. If nothing they do will ever be good enough, why bother?

Solution: Balance your Ratios

People need encouragement and they need to hear what’s not working. You get more of what you encourage and celebrate, less of what you criticize and ignore. So, address both.

Consistently encourage what’s working. When someone isn’t performing well, talk about it. However, unless your team member has specifically asked for feedback, avoid the dreaded “sandwich method” where you shove something negative between two niceties.

That feels manipulative—or they might focus on your positive comments and ignore what you were really trying to say.

Problem #2: Vague Feedback

Another critical feedback mistake is to speak in vague generalities. Examples include the feedback Amena received that she hadn’t “been very productive in the last three months” as well as statements like:

  • “You’re doing great.”
  • “You rocked it back there.”
  • “You need to step up.”
  • “You’ve got a great/poor attitude.”

Notice that both encouraging and critical feedback can be vague and general. There are a couple of problems with vague feedback. First, the person doesn’t know what they did well (or poorly) so it’s unlikely to reinforce or change behavior.

Second, when you address a general characteristic, like someone’s attitude, you’ve put yourself in an impossible situation. You can’t actually know what their attitude is. Their attitude is an internal set of feelings and thoughts. You’re not seeing an attitude; you’re seeing behaviors that you interpret as a great or poor attitude.

Speaking in vague generalities often results in frustration, misunderstandings, and doesn’t encourage performance.

Solution: Address Specific Behaviors

When you encourage someone, be specific about what they did and why it mattered. Eg: “I really appreciate the extra time you spent solving that client’s problem this morning. I know they’re difficult. You showed so much patience. They called me this afternoon to let me know how much they appreciate the firm and will be renewing their account.”

When you need to share feedback about something that isn’t going well, you can use the INSPIRE Method to plan for and hold the conversation. The N step in INSPIRE stands for “Noticing” a specific behavior.

Be specific. Eg: “I noticed that you came into the meeting fifteen minutes after it started.” Or “I noticed that when your colleagues brought up ideas in this morning’s meeting, you interrupted them with negative comments.”

Where a vague generality leads to defensiveness, a specific observation is the start of a conversation.

Problem #3: Delayed Feedback

Perhaps the most frustrating aspect of the feedback Amena received is that she didn’t hear about it for months.

Without looking at your calendar, you probably don’t remember what you did three weeks ago, much less three months. When you wait weeks or months to reflect on someone’s performance, you have no chance of changing behavior.

Moreover, as Amena shouted in her text, if it was wrong back then, why didn’t you say something? It’s a fair question. Formal performance evaluations should never contain any surprises.

Solution: Do it Now

Encourage and redirect your people as close as possible to the event you’re reacting to. The more time that goes by, the less meaningful your feedback.

One barrier to quick feedback is unclear or vague expectations. One of the most common problems leaders bring us are team members who aren’t performing to their expectations. We always ask two questions:

1) If we asked the person what success looks like, would they have the same answer you do?

If not, that’s the first conversation to have. Reset expectations and go from there.

(Often, the leader will ask us, “Do I really need to do that? Shouldn’t they just know?” The answer is yes, you do; and no, they won’t. Be clear and eliminate any possibility of misunderstanding.)

2) Have you told them that there’s a problem?

Too often, the answer to this question is version of “No, not really.” It’s magical thinking to believe that someone will spontaneously decide that their behavior isn’t working when all the evidence they have says that everything is fine. Have an INSPIRE conversation that gets results and builds the relationship.

Your Turn

You can transform useless performance feedback into helpful, energizing, and productive conversations when you consistently encourage, correct when needed, address specific behaviors, and share feedback quickly.

We’d love to hear from you, what’s your number one way to prevent no-good, useless performance feedback and have productive conversations that help everyone grow?

See Also: Avoid These Infuriating Phrases When Giving End-Of-Year Feedback

5 Reasons Your Team Just Doesn't Get It

5 Reasons Your Team Just Doesn’t Get It

When your team just doesn’t get it, you’ve got a chance to level up.

It’s a lament we’ve heard from many leaders—usually accompanied by frustrated pacing or a discouraged slouch with their head in their hands: “I don’t know what else to do. My team just doesn’t get it.”

This is one of the most frustrating leadership experiences. You’re working hard, moving fast, and passionate about what you do, but your people seem clueless. They don’t focus on the MITs (Most Important Thing). They seem lackadaisical about the details that matter most, and they don’t seem worried at all about the strategic issues keeping you up at night.

5 Reasons Your Team Just Doesn’t Get It (and what to do about it)

1. They don’t know what you know.

You earned that insight, energy, and wisdom. You know what’s likely to happen because you’ve been there. But your people might not get it because they don’t have your experience or knowledge.

Have you ever tried to describe the taste of an orange to someone who’s never eaten one? It’s challenging. It’s so fundamental that you’ll use it as a baseline for other conversations: “It tastes like an orange, only more bitter.” But someone who’s never tasted an orange won’t get it. You’ve got to start with them tasting an orange and build from there.

If you want your people to be able to think as you do, give them the same information you used to decide. Connect what they do to the strategic reasons for their work. Help them understand how their decisions affect the customers, their team, and themselves.

2. You haven’t said it so they understand it.

We are professional communicators. We speak for a living—and yet, just this week, Karin said to David, “Can you finish one of those sentences? I’m not following you.”

Later that day, David looked at Karin and said, “I understand all the words you just said, but feel like I’m missing something important.” Communication isn’t always easy—even for professionals!

You probably don’t communicate as clearly as you think you do. In fact, we can almost guarantee it.

The words in your head make sense to you, but that doesn’t mean they’ll have the same meaning for another person—if they even hear all of them. Your message winds its way through an obstacle course of competing priorities, distractions, and the filters each person has in their head.

To guarantee that people hear and receive your most critical messages, use 5×5 communication (say it five times, five different ways) and check for understanding (ask people to share what they heard, using their own words).

When you use five different ways of communicating and consistently check for understanding, you will find the communication tools that work most effectively for your people.

3. You hired the wrong person.

There are also times where someone doesn’t get it because their values don’t align with yours or they lack the skills they need to perform well.  One of the most common places this happens is in demanding, stressful jobs. Desperate for bodies, recruiters undersell the challenges and what it takes to thrive in the role.

If you’re regularly hearing exit interviews like “It was way harder than I expected” or “This isn’t what I thought it would be” then it’s time to look at your hiring process.

When a role or culture is demanding, don’t shy away from it. We have both hired for teams that asked more from people than most people would want to give. Don’t hide it; lead with it. Eg: “This role isn’t for most people. It’s demanding and hard. And it will give you an opportunity to make a real difference to our customers, clients, and your career.”

Follow up with behavior-based interview questions that help you identify if your candidates have shown this character, capacity, and values they’ll need to succeed.

4. They get it—and wish you would too.

It’s quite possible that you’re the one who doesn’t get it.

Doug is a senior leader who was frustrated by his team’s performance. He’d done an incredible job training them in the methods and processes that he’d introduced and that had fueled his company’s success over the past twenty years.

The problem was that technology had changed. His customers, and the way they consumed his product, had changed. Doug had been a victim of his own success. His people understood their customer and half-heartedly met Doug’s expectations while trying to fulfill their customer’s expectations.

His team got it. But Doug had to relearn what success looked like and how to lead a team that wanted to succeed but needed to do it differently than Doug had.

5. You don’t ask for what you really want.

Another common cause when your team just doesn’t get it is that your measurements ask for something different from what you really want. People focus on getting a score and forget the game. Common examples include:

  • The target has changed recently, but you haven’t updated your 5×5 communication and measurement strategy. Everyone’s still working toward the old definition of success.
  • People hit their KPIs, but focus on them exclusively and ignore the strategy or experience that the numbers represent.
  • Too many measurements obscure what matters most. Eg: Your customer service checklist has 54 items and people can score well on the rubric without providing a great customer experience.
  • You had a hidden benchmark that you never shared. You likely took this measurement for granted, but then realized that people with different experiences or personalities needed to know it’s important.

The key to solving the measurement problem is to ask clearly for what you want. Help everyone focus on a few meaningful metrics that paint a complete picture of success. Connect those numbers to the strategy and the specific behaviors that make the numbers meaningful.

One way to know that your team gets it is frequently to check for understanding about what truly matters most. Eg “Why do we track these referrals—what does that represent? What should it mean when the numbers are good? What do we do that gets us the numbers we want to see?”

These questions are brief micro-engagements that continually reconnect your people to the strategy and behaviors behind the numbers.

Your Turn

It’s frustrating when your team just doesn’t get it, but it’s also a huge chance to get better and improve your leadership, processes, or communication. We’d love to hear from you: What have you learned when your team just doesn’t get it that made you a better leader?

how to manage a strong but arrogant high-performer

How to Manage a Strong, Arrogant, Slightly Obnoxious High-Performer

When it comes to results—no one can touch him. There’s just one problem. He’s a jerk. How do you manage a strong, arrogant, slightly obnoxious high-performer?

A Profile of a Slighty Obnoxious High Performer

They come in all shapes and forms. “Dan” is charismatic and handsome, plus two espresso shots of attitude.

“Megan” is blonde, with a great purse, an MBA from a top 25, and a sarcastic streak that makes everyone in her wake feel like crap.

“Joe” can out-gun anyone with a spreadsheet at twenty paces, but ignores you if you can’t outwit his wittiness.

“Art” knows more about your business than you. He’s seen it all. But instead of helping others learn, he’s constantly talking about how he’s “just about done” with all the rookies.

You didn’t select them, but here they are on your team. They drive results, with implications.

Your bosses’ boss loves them—after all, they’re at the top of every stack rank report they see. So coaching feels tricky.

What should you do?

Door Number 1:  Ignore the issues. Be grateful for the results. And pray they move on before they do too much damage to the team?

OR

Door Number 2:  Be the brave leader who has the tough conversation, and helps them understand their impact while helping them develop their full potential?

Sadly, I see so many “leaders” grit their teeth, complain to their spouse, and slip quietly through door number 1, praying that the next leader who manages this obnoxious high-performer will have more courage.

Why?

  • “After all, this guy’s clearly high-potential.” (Read that: “I’m worried I’ll work for him someday and don’t want to burn any bridges.”
  • “I’m not sure I’m as smart as him. I’d better shut up and listen.” (Read that: “I’m insecure.”)
  • “Sure, she’s obnoxious, but she gets damn good results, and goodness knows we need that right now.”  (Read that: “Why not? Everyone else does.”)
  • “She’s ticking off all her peers, but … maybe she’ll raise the bar.” (Read that: “Crap, maybe this confident humility stuff is all bunk, time to unsubscribe from LGL.”)

6 Tips for Managing a Slightly Obnoxious High-Performer

What To Do Behind Door #2

If you’re leading for long-term success, head directly to door number 2.

1. Show Concern

Start with acknowledging their competence and impact. Something like, “You’re smart and your results are on fire.  AND I’m deeply concerned that the way you’re showing up is going to derail your career. Would you be open to some exploration around this issue?”

2. Show Her the Data and Get Specific With Examples

If you’re the boss, your opinion will matter a bit, but not if they see you as a temporary stepping stone to tolerate. Offer a 360-degree assessment, or have him do it himself,

Or as author Julie Winkle Giulioni says, ask them to talk to others and bring you a “plateful of feedback.”

The more you can help them understand the specific behaviors that are ticking others off, the easier it will be to get their attention. It’s quite possible they’re so busy working on results, they’ve lost the peripheral vision necessary for positive relationships.

I’ll never forget the time my boss said to me. “Your peer had a great idea in the last meeting. But you just passed right over it to share yours. You’re not the only one with good ideas around here. How hard would it have been to take out a pen and write that down?”  Yikes.  Amen.

3. Offer Help

When you’re passionate and great at what you do, it’s tricky to see how annoying you are. Ask for permission to point it out the next time. Invent a secret signal if needed.

4. Set a Goal

Get them focused on a specific goal of supporting another on the team and advocating for their ideas. Build that into their formal development plan. Even if they are not interested in being a people manager, being difficult to work with is never a good long-term career strategy.

5. Help Them Navigate the Narrative

If their intentions are good, but they’re coming across a bit braggy, tell them about this Harvard research.  Why Managers Should Reveal Their Failures (HBR Ascend),  and help them on their internal re-branding strategy.

6. Consider Making the Tough Choice

It’s easy to get sucked into the trap of thinking you have no choice but to accept the behavior. Be sure you’re looking at the bigger picture and the drain on the productivity and morale of the rest of your team. Are you losing other “A players” (or even solid B players) because they don’t want to work with this person? See also: Why Leaders Should Not Be Afraid to Fire Their Top Performer (Inc.)

Your turn.

What advice do you have for managing an obnoxious high-performer?

3 Most Important Leadership Skills

3 of the Most Important Leadership Skills Your Leaders Hope You Have

Senior leaders share the most important leadership skills to master now.

As we work with senior leaders to build their leadership development programs, the conversation always turns to the most important leadership skills their frontline and middle-level leaders need.

Inevitably, these veteran leaders bring up similar abilities – the skills that differentiate top leaders from their peers. Master these important leadership skills and you’ll build a foundation for success throughout your career.

If you’re responsible for training or building leaders in your organization, how can you ensure that they learn and practice these skills?

The 3 Most Important Leaders Skills

1. Time management

We’ve never met a leader with too much time on their hands. In fact, this is isn’t just a skill that senior leaders identify—every leader we’ve ever met talks about the challenge of prioritizing their overwhelming flood of responsibilities, meetings, and day-to-day crises.

You can’t lead when you’re exhausted or reactively flipping back and forth from one crisis to the next. So how do you master time management?

The first step is to reframe your goal. Most people think of time management as “How can I squeeze more activity into my day?” But more isn’t always the answer. Rather, focus on how you can do what matters most and make the most difference with the time you have.

My mantra is: Infinite need. Finite me. Mind the MIT.

“Infinite need” means that there will always be one more activity you could do. That never ends. You’ll never finish the list. Let go of that desire.

“Finite me” recognizes your limits—limited time, energy, and money.

“Mind the MIT” calls you to focus on what matters most. MIT stands for Most Important Thing. What matters most for your business, your team, and the results you need to achieve? What are the two or three critical activities that will consistently produce those results?

Once you know your MITs, time management is about making room for what matters most. Some of your schedule is outside of your control (though you can have more influence if you can show the RoI), but as a leader, you have several ways to free up time to do the work only you can do.

2. Practice Accountability & Tough Conversations

Recently we spoke with a high performing leader about the best leaders in her life. She was unequivocal: “The best leaders I’ve ever had were the ones who cared about me enough to tell me what I was doing that wasn’t working and then showed me how I could be more effective.”

Your ability to achieve breakthrough results depends on your skill at tough conversations. Most leaders live in the twilight zone of vague conversations that don’t directly address struggling performers because they don’t want to hurt the relationship or lose the person.

If you struggle to have direct conversations, start by recognizing that if you really care about someone and their career, a direct conversation honors them and is compassionate. Then, equip yourself with the tools to do it well.

The I.N.S.P.I.R.E. method will help you prepare for and hold a performance conversation that builds your relationship and achieves results.

3. Work from the Why

In another recent conversation, an executive described her most effective managers: “They understand what matters most to our clients and how our KPIs relate to serving the customer. They get that the KPIs are there to serve the customer.”

This leadership skill has increased in prominence over the past decade. Work from the why starts with a clear grasp of your business, how it serves its customers, and how it operates financially.

Working from the why is about helping your team to understand why you do what you do, connecting everything you ask of your team to a meaningful reason you’re asking it, and then helping team members understand the specific behaviors that lead to successful outcomes.

Working from the why transforms “busy” into game-changing results. The connection to meaning and purpose energizes team members and inspires performance.

What are Your Most Important Leadership Skills?

Leaders consistently list these three as some of the most important leadership skills you can have—but they’re not the only ones we hear. Also, high on the list are communication, connection with your team, and motivating your team.

Leave us a comment and add your thoughts: What is one of the most important leadership skills you hope every leader brings to their team?

 

The Best Way to Help Your Team Win

The Best Way to Help Your Team Win

No one comes to work wanting to do a bad job. Losing is stressful. When the scorecard trends in the wrong direction, how do you help your team win?

And how do you help a strong team get even better?

Focus on the game, not the score.

How to Help Your Team Win

Brian (not his real name) began the team meeting by covering the team’s scorecard and Key Performance Indicators.

“Great work on your sales KPIs, we’re in the top-tier across the board. We are so close to beating Sharon’s district. If everyone just sold one more today, I think we can do it! Also, we seem to be struggling in the customer service KPIs. We have a downward trend and there are four districts ahead of us. I need more focus there across the board. Janet, you are doing the best so whatever you’re doing keep it up! Everyone else, I need you to try a bit harder. Awesome. Thanks everyone, now let’s go make it a great day. Remember, fantastic customer service!”

If that sounds like a team huddle you’ve ever been in, you know why we have a love/hate relationship with KPIs. Brian’s team may understand the KPIs, but they don’t have a clue what they are supposed to do when they leave that meeting.

What should they DO to sell one more?

How DO they improve the customer experience?

KPIs Are Indicators, Not Action

Scorecards and KPIs provide wonderful directional indicators. Good trends point to actions worth replicating. Bad trends shine a spotlight on what must change. A hard look at the data can help you identify the best practices which will help your team win. Comparative scorecards will also help you identify outliers who need more support.

KPIs are important.

While KPIs are great directional indicators, one of the biggest mistakes we see team leaders make is talking about the KPIs INSTEAD of the BEHAVIORS needed to achieve them.

People don’t change scorecards, they change behaviors.

A focus on KPIs versus behaviors can lead to useless, even stupid, actions.

Almost any behavior applied with enough focus will create a short-term lift in results.

Micromanagement can get you there for a hot minute. Fear and intimidation will work for a while. Heavy incentives and hoopla will create a short-term lift. Ice cream and pizza can’t hurt either.

But, upward trends in KPIs without an underlying change in the right behaviors, can lead to a false sense of security.

When the fear goes away or the sugar wears off, the results go back down.

The Behaviors That Matter (Try This Approach to Change the Conversation and Up your Game)

The only way to build sustained results is to improve the underlying behaviors. Don’t ask a sales rep to make more calls if they don’t know what makes a call successful. Don’t ask a team leader to spend more time on the floor, if they don’t understand how to support and encourage their team.

So what are the right behaviors? Why not ask the team?

Let’s go back to Brian’s meeting. Sales were solid, but the customer experience was suffering. He needed his team focused on the customer experience.

What if Brian started by showing up curious?

“We’ve got a downward trend in our CX metrics, but a few of you are knocking this out of the park. In fact, Janet, you’ve had one hundred and thirty-seven customers say they would recommend you to a friend this month. What specifically are you doing that we can learn from? Who else has a best practice to share? Okay, great. Now, I’m giving everyone three index cards.  I’d like each of you to pay careful attention to your interactions with customers today. At the end of the day, I want you to write your very best approach for providing a ‘wow’ customer experience. Please be as specific as possible. For example, showing up confident, energetic and sounding interested in the first forty seconds of the call.

Please give me your cards before you leave today. I’ll look at the themes overnight and tomorrow morning in our team huddle we’ll talk about what we learned.”

And of course, Mark should do a check for understanding to ensure everyone knows what they’re going to do. “So, just to ensure I’ve communicated this well. What are you going to do with the cards today? And what will we do in our huddle tomorrow?”

This easy exercise works at multiple levels. First, it ensures everyone focuses on your customer’s experience that day—as they are paying attention to their behaviors and the impact they are having. And it turns your collective conversation the next morning to best practice sharing.

Your Turn

What tools and techniques have you used to ensure the conversation focuses on behaviors?

How have you avoided the distraction of numbers and KPIs?

See Also: How to Lead When Your Team is Exhausted

how to help a new manager be more confident

How to Help a New Manager Be More Confident

We were just wrapping up the first session of a  leadership program when “Sal” raised his hand. “How do you help a new manager be more confident?”

He continued, “I mean it’s tricky to have a difficult conversation or run a great meeting when you’re not convinced you know what you’re doing. And the problem is, your lack of confidence makes your team question your competence. Which of course you can sense, which makes you feel even less adequate.

And then the whole thing just goes downhill from there. I want to get in front of this as fast as I can to help this new manager, what advice do you have?”

3 Ways to Help a New Manager Be More Confident

I’m so glad Sal asked that question because the struggle is real.

It’s tricky to show up confident when you’re not convinced you know what you’re doing. So, if you’re looking for ways to help a new manager (or yourself) show up with more confidence start here.

1. Train Them on The Fundamentals

This sounds obvious, but most managers we talk with tell us they wish they had received some fundamental leadership training when they first started their role.

By the time they land in one of our foundation programs they say, “Wow, I wish I had learned this ten years ago! It would have saved me so much heartache and frustration.”

If you want to help a new manager be successful, be sure they’ve received training on fundamentals like setting and reinforcing expectations, checking for understanding,  keeping the team focused on what matters most, building trust and connection, how to delegate, and building a cadence of accountability and celebration.

Be sure to pick a practical training program, that gives them ways to practice and reinforce what they’ve learned.

You don’t learn how to be a great leader by watching a video.

Be sure to ask these 5 questions before choosing a leadership development program.

2. Ask Confidence-Building Questions

When managers lack confidence, we often find that they have had one or two bad experiences that dominate their thinking.

“OMG one time I tried to give someone feedback and THEY CRIED!!!!”

“I tried to give my team recognition and no one seemed to care, so why bother…”

The truth is, sadly, our brains are wired to remember the bad experiences more than the good ones, which is not helpful. Confidence-building questions can help your new manager bring more positive memories to the forefront and balance their thinking.

Here are a few starters:

  • What does your team love about your leadership? How does that help them to be successful?
  • Can I do this? If so how?  HT to Dan Pink
  • Tell me about a time you had an awesome _________ conversation. What made it so successful?
  • How did you learn to do ____? What ideas do you have about how you could teach that to your team?
  • (For a new manager promoted over their peers) What is one behavior that you know led to your success in your former role? WHY did that work? How can you help your team better understand the “why” and “how”?

3. Break it Down

When a new manager takes over a team for the first time, there is so much to learn and it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. Help them focus on one skill and outcome at a time.

Here’s an example (just to get you started …):

  • Week one: Get to know your team by having a one-on-one with each team member (learn about who they are as people.)
  • Week two: Establish your top MIT (Most Important Thing) priorities.
  • Week three: Work with your team to communicate those priorities and check for understanding.
  • Week four: Build your 5 x 5 communication plan. (How will you communicate those priorities five times, five different ways?)
  • Week five: Help your team identify their most critical behaviors for achieving their MIT priorities
  • Week six: Focus on recognition. Celebrate what’s going great. Where do you see the behaviors in action? How can you recognize these behaviors in ways that are specific, relevant and timely?

Just a start

So that’s a start. What would you add? What’s your best advice for helping a new manager build confidence and competence?

Other Resources You May Find Helpful

Winning WellWinning Well: A Manager’s Guide to Getting Results Without Losing Your Soul

9 Ways to Teach Yourself to Be a More Confident Boss

10 Common Excuses That Silently Damage Manager’s Careers

Why To Be Over-Confident (every now and then)

How to Help Employees Have More Confidence

how to promote the best leaders

How to Promote the Best Leaders

To promote the best first-time leaders, focus on more than results.

Your decisions about who you put in management and leadership roles are some of the most important leadership decisions you’ll ever make. It’s a decision about who you will trust with your most important asset—your people. With so much at stake and riding on the quality of your leaders, what do you look for when you want to promote the best leaders?

Many leaders look to their high achievers—the people who are very effective at what they do. The best programmer, the top salesperson, the teacher who consistently helps students overcome obstacles and achieve. Others look for a person’s willingness to speak up, take charge, and “get things done.”

Unfortunately, neither high-performance nor a commanding personality are reliable indicators that a person can lead well.

Some high-performers are fantastic leaders and others struggle to make the transition. Some outgoing personalities lead well and others don’t. (And some of your quiet folks may amaze you with their ability to bring people together to get things done.)

The Problem with Performance

We’re not saying that a leader’s technical proficiency and expertise doesn’t matter. It does.

People need to trust their leader and their competence at work. Being a remarkable example goes a long way.

It’s not that dissimilar from how you hire for roles requiring technical competence. You look for competence at the fundamentals, but excellence in their area of expertise matters even more.

In the same way, when you’re looking for leaders, you want good performance. But, the number one ability you are looking for is their capacity to lead.

One of the biggest mistakes we see leaders make when promoting high-performers to leadership positions is using performance or personality as a surrogate for leadership.

Promote the Best Leaders (even if they haven’t led before)

So how can you tell if someone has the capacity to lead—before they’ve actually led?

Start with these foundational characteristics:

  • Technical knowledge and expertise and a strong track record of results (they know what they’re doing and command the respect of others up, down, and sideways.)
  • Integrity (you can count on them to do the right thing consistently.)
  • Accountability (they do what they say they will— and hold others to a similar standard.)
  • Vision (they see opportunities where others don’t and can rally their peers around a compelling vision.)
  • Commitment (they care about the success of the team— beyond their own results.)
  • Confidence (they are willing and able to stand up for what matters and speak the truth—in a way others can hear.)
  • Humility (they surround themselves with people who will challenge them and encourage new ideas.)

Note: This confident-humility dynamic includes the ability to use power judiciously.

Most employees don’t come to you with all of these characteristics fully developed. In fact, apart from integrity, character, and personal responsibility, the others will always develop over time.

This means that you will need to invest in building these traits in your employees and give them opportunities to demonstrate these abilities.

Whether you use formal 9 box succession planning or a more informal process, you’ll want to train leadership skills, and then give people a chance to lead. These opportunities reveal leaders and build leadership capacity. You’ll discover who can influence before they have formal power, and who can exercise influence without abusing the privilege.

Ad hoc projects, interdepartmental teams, committees, interim-assignments when a supervisor is absent, as well as employee-sponsored initiatives are ample chances for your team to practice their leadership skills.

As you evaluate potential (and pitfalls), don’t forget to follow up these assignments with a debrief about what worked, what they learned, and what they would (or could) do differently next time.

To promote the best leaders, look for the people who lead where they are and don’t need position power to get things done.

Your Turn

We’d love to hear from you. Leave a comment and share your number one strategy to develop leadership and promote the best leaders?

See Also: 9 Creative Ways to Develop Your Managers

7 Big Rules For a Successful Talent Review

Practical Help for Exhausted Leaders Get More Done

Practical Help for Exhausted Leaders Who Need to Get More Done

To get more done, start with you.

In the past few months, we’ve heard from many leaders asking for help with time management. They feel the pressing need to get more done, but many of them feel like they’re already maxed out or running on empty.

How do you maintain your energy, do what needs doing, and make sure you have enough for important decisions and relationships?

I’ve had to ask myself this question many times throughout my life. In the past, I had a nasty habit of running myself into the ground until I was sick, exhausted, and no good to anyone. That’s no way to live and it certainly isn’t good leadership.

If you want to sustain your impact and accomplish your leadership goals, it’s essential to maintain your energy and use your time as effectively as possible. Let’s start with your energy.

Five Ways to Manage Your Energy

1. Stop thinking in terms of work-life balance.

You have a life. Work is part of that life.

When you think of work vs life, you often begin taking from one to supplement the other. In short order, you are literally fighting yourself.

A healthy perspective on what you do and why you do it is vital to making good decisions. If you’ve thought of “work” and “life” as two different things, it’s time to reframe:  How does your work integrate with and serve your life?

2. Know your “why.”

I’d woken up in a hotel one thousand miles away from home. Karin texted me just as I left the hotel on my way to a client where I would facilitate a Winning Well leadership workshop. Her message?

“Go change some lives.”

That’s my “why.” Investing in people and helping them become the best leader they can be fuels me. It motivates me. It’s the literal energy behind the words I’m typing right now.

Your “why” is your greatest source of leadership energy.

Why are you leading?

This is the answer to many questions – especially when you don’t feel like it and it genuinely takes real effort to lead.

What is your purpose? Why did you sign up? If your why is about the power, prestige, or pay that comes with leadership roles, you’ll likely run out of steam. There’s never enough power, fame, or money for your sacrifice and work.

But serving the people and purpose in your work can be endless sources of energy. Let those ground you and motivate you.

3. Watch your energy drains.

What gives and depletes your energy?

I’m an introvert. I love being with people, but I also know that it depletes my energy. If I do it long enough, I can actually become physically ill.

When I conduct multi-day workshops with groups that enjoy evening dinners and fun, I often explain that I want to be my best for the workshop and will forgo one night of fun to ensure I get the solitude necessary to recharge my emotional batteries.

If you’re an extrovert, do you spend time with people who energize and motivate you in the direction you want to go? Do you take enough time to reflect on your relationships?

4. Make fewer decisions.

Making decisions takes energy. The more decisions you make in a day, the more difficult it becomes to make the next one. Stop making decisions you don’t need to make.

  • Insist that people on your team make decisions they should make.
  • Unsubscribe from the unhelpful email that saps your decision-making energy.
  • Make low-risk decisions quickly. If the consequences are minimal, make decisions quickly and move on.
  • Make decisions once. This is an old and essential productivity tool: look at an email once. Then either delete it, act on it, schedule it for future action, put in a file related to its project, or put it in a ‘maybe read later’ file.

5. Get outside your bubble.

This helps your energy and the quality of your leadership decisions. Connect with people outside your team and organization. See how what you’re doing relates to your community and the world. You’ll get insights that re-inspire you and new ideas to use with your team.

Get More Done

As you take care of yourself and manage your energy, it’s time to look at how you’re leading and where you get more done in ways that serve your team and the results you want to achieve.

1. Mind the MIT.

It’s a mantra: “Infinite need. Finite me. Mind the MIT.”

If your list feels overwhelming, that’s because it is. There will always be more to do than you can possibly achieve. Recognize it. Embrace it. Then let go of your need to do everything.

Doing more in less time isn’t always the answer. In fact, it’s a poor choice when it distracts you from taking effective action where it matters most.

Start by getting crystal clear about your MIT (Most Important Thing). What’s the strategic goal you’ve got to achieve in the next three months? What’s the MIT for this week? For today? For the next hour?

Get focused and Mind the MIT. Do your daily MIT first whenever possible.

2. Communicate for results.

Most leaders think they’ve communicated, but ask their team what their leader said and it gets murky fast. Don’t let that happen to you.

Clarify the MIT. Be clear about what needs to happen, when it will be done, the specific next steps, and follow up. Don’t leave understanding to chance: check for understanding and ensure everyone on the team is on the same page.

3. Schedule the finish.

Good intentions, talented people, and strong commitment don’t ensure results.

You’ll reclaim lots of wasted time when you don’t leave the finish to chance. Schedule the finish by making an appointment on your calendar for the next step or follow up. For example:

If the team will send a referral request to their top ten customers, schedule the finish by letting them know that at the next meeting you will ask them to submit their list of who they emailed and what they heard.

4. Build a more powerful team.

Your work as a leader is to bring people together to get results you can’t do on your own. The better your team, the more time you’ll have to do the work that only you can do.

Learn your team member’s confidence and competence so you can quickly have the conversation that will help them grow. Use the 9 What’s Coaching Method to help them solve problems on their own. Ask how you can help and look for opportunities to invest in their growth.

5. Close every loop.

You scheduled the finish. Now it’s time to finish. Did everyone keep their commitment? Is it done? Were results what was expected? If so—take time to celebrate and encourage your people.

If not, take time to practice accountability. Don’t wait. Have the INSPIRE conversation as soon as possible. Every day you delay is another week or month of poor results and wasted emotional energy as you avoid the conversation.

6. Do Less

Take time as a team to Own the UGLY – what’s not working, what’s got to go, and where can you improve your processes? What can you stop doing altogether? What can you do more efficiently?

You’ll find answers, but only if you take the time to ask the questions and commit to the solutions. As you eliminate inefficiencies or unnecessary tasks, resist the urge to re-schedule that time.

If your work requires creativity or problem solving, you’ll get a return on the investment of a built-in margin where you intentionally allow yourself and your team to think, reflect, and recharge.

Your Turn

I’ve learned that hard way that you’re no good to anyone when you’re an exhausted, irritable mess. It’s also your responsibility as a leader to take care of yourself – no one can do that for you. We’d love to hear from you too: leave us a comment and share your best practices to manage your energy and get more done?

See Also: How to Lead When Your Team is Exhausted

how to transition into a

How to Transition Into a New Team With Confidence and Grace

Laura had a strong track record of success in her previous role and had earned the respect of her peers. But now, just a few weeks after her transition into a new team, she called us in exasperation.

“My manager said he selected me for the role because of my reputation for bringing tons of new ideas. So, I came in gung-ho sharing everything I know. But, every time I speak up, people roll their eyes. I feel like I might be wearing them out.

I wonder if I made a mistake coming over. I wonder if I should have just stayed in my previous role where people want to hear what I have to say and are eager for me to share my ideas.”

Kevin, also neck-deep a transition into a new team, faced a different, but equally frustrating, problem.

As an introvert, he’d built success in his last department over time. His peers came to know that his quiet observations meant that he was working carefully to connect the dots. His previous team knew that when he finally shared his point of view, they should stop and pay attention.

But this new team seemed to interpret his silence as weakness, and they seem to have written him off.

“I’m trying to go slow and really listen to what everyone has to say. I don’t want to come across like a know-it-all, and I’m trying to feel everyone out. So I don’t say much. But yesterday, when I finally did say something important, everyone just talked right over me. I think I’ve lost their respect and now it’s hard to recover.”

Kevin also confided that he worried he had made the wrong choice.

How to Transition Into a New Team with Confidence and Grace

Joining a new team is tricky. Show up overconfident and you turn people off — “Who do you think you are?” But if you’re overly humble, your new team may wonder what value you add and why you were chosen in the first place.

After a few missteps of our own over the years, the best approach we’ve found is to navigate the tricky balance of confident humility by showing up as an interested supporter and an interesting expert.

Be an interested supporter (humility.)

1. Get to know your peers one person at a time.

Yes, this is time-consuming, particularly as you are learning the ropes of a new gig, but the ROI in terms of support and collaboration is worth it. Schedule time to meet with each of your peers to learn about their work as well as what excites and frustrates them.  Learn a little bit about them personally, such as what they do for fun.

2. Ask great questions.

Ask questions about what’s working. “Wow, I’ve noticed the team is knocking this metric out of the park, why is that?” (People love to talk about what they’re doing well, and as a bonus, you’ll likely pick up a few best practices).

Also, ask strategic questions about the team’s most important priorities that show that you care deeply about the team and supporting everyone’s success.

You might also try questions like, “What does it (or would it) look like when the team is performing at its very best? What will it take to get there?”

Of course, the most important interested supporter question is “How can I help?

3. Be an ACTIVE listener

In team meetings, listen carefully to what people are saying. Ask clarifying questions and take notes to show you’re engaged.

AND

Be an interesting expert (confidence.)

4. Share who you are.

In those one-on-one meetings you scheduled, don’t be afraid to share a bit about yourself, your background and how you’re looking to contribute to the team.

5. Look for small ways to add immediate value.

Look for ways to fix a frustration, share a best practice, or roll up your sleeves to get a peer out of a jam.

6. Offer input and ideas without pre-apology.

If you’ve managed the interested supporter approach well, you’ve laid fertile ground to share your ideas and make a contribution. Resist the urge to weaken your communication with false humility such as “This is probably a dumb idea,” or I’m not sure if this will work.” Just state your idea with confidence, “I have an idea,” or “What do you think would happen if we tried this?”

When you show up as an interested supporter AND an interesting expert, your peers will be more likely to extend a similar approach back to you as they welcome you to the team.

Your turn. What would you add? What advice do you have for someone working to transition into a new team with confidence and grace?

Related Content You May Find Helpful

How to Find More Courage and Innovation in Your New Employees (CEO Blog Nation)

One Surprising Secret to Being Recognized as the Expert

If you’re a manager taking over a new team see, How to Get Your New Team to Trust You 

how to be great at recognition

How to Be Great at Recognition (Even if It’s Not in Your DNA)

We had just finished talking about ways to be great at recognition as part of a Winning Well leadership development program with a fast-growing company.  One of the senior leaders, “Joe” who happened to be sitting in on the session so he could reinforce the learning, took me aside:

“Karin, I’m missing that gene.”

“Which gene?” I asked.

“That ‘be great at recognition’ gene,” he sighed.

I’m listening to what my people are saying here today, and clearly they aren’t getting enough recognition from me. But, I’ll be honest. It just doesn’t come naturally for me. I guess I’m just old school. I mean, when I was growing up in this business, no one talked about recogntion. You just did your job the very best you could. Making a great product, growing the business, and delighting clients was its own reward. I’d like to get better, but it’s hard.

4 Ways to Be Better at Recognition (Even if It’s Not in Your DNA)

If you’ve ever felt like Joe, you’re in good company. We hear this from senior leaders we work with quite frequently. Here’s what we’ve seen work best to compensate for that “missing gene.”

1. Change Your Frame: Learn the Science Beneath the ROI

Well done recognition does far more than make employees feel good and increase your employee engagement survey results. Because it draws an employee’s attention to their strengths and to what’s working, positive feedback actually helps them build new neural pathways that lead to higher functioning in that area.

According to brain science, people grow far more neurons and synaptic connections where they already have the most neurons and synaptic connections. In other words, each brain grows most where it’s already strongest. As Joseph LeDoux, a professor of neuroscience at New York University memorably described it, “Added connetions are therefore more like new little buds on a branch rather than new branches.” Through this lens learning looks a lot like building, little by little by little on the unique patterns that are already within you. Which means learning has to start by finding and understanding those patterns.” – Marcus Buckingham and Ashley Goodall, The Feedback Fallacy, Harvard Business Review 2019

When you can reframe recognition as a way to help your team get smarter, faster re-cognition, it’s easier to see the ROI and the effort may feel more vital.

2. Schedule Small Chunks of Time For Informal Recognition

Karin, did you just suggest I formalize informal recognition? Well, yes. I did.

If it doesn’t come naturally to you, your best bet to be great at recognition is to turn it into a task. For example, if you schedule a task on Thursday that you’re going to pick up the phone or walk into people’s offices and thank them for something specific, meaningful and timely, and you KNOW that task is coming up. You’re going to be more likely on the lookout for examples to complete that task.

3.  Measure It

Giving yourself a micro-goal can make all the difference. One way to do this is to put three pennies in your pocket. As you walk around during the day, every time you notice (and recognize) something positive that you want more of, you move the penny to the other pocket. At the end of the day is to have all the pennies moved over to the opposite pocket.

After you build the habit, what was once felt unnatural should come more naturally.

4. Ask Others to help

It’s likely that someone on your team carries this gene, so don’t be afraid to ask for help. Designate someone to help you think of ways to do creative recognition.

Or even more simply, ask your direct reports to let you know when they see something great going on, or to nominate a peer. This doesn’t have to be a big formal process or program. It can be as simple as saying, “I’d like to learn more about the great work and collaboration that is happening around here. I’d like each of you to drop me an email each week letting me know about one great thing that you’ve experienced.”

Then you have a nice list to choose from to reach out and say a quick “thank you” to the person they mentioned. Side benefit—your inbox will be filled with good news. Why wouldn’t you want more of that? 😉

Your turn.

What advice would you add for someone missing the “How to Be Great at Recognition” Gene?

See Also 8 Reasons Recognition Programs Fail (CEO Magazine)

Prefer a video version of this “How to Be Great at Recognition” topic? Check out my Asking For a Friend Vlog on LinkedIn.

How to Get Better Results in 2020: A Frontline Festival

Welcome to the Let’s Grow Leaders Frontline Festival!  This month, our contributors share their thoughts about how to achieve better results in 2020. Thanks to Joy and Tom Guthrie of Vizwerx Group for the great pic and to all our contributors.

Are you a leadership writer? We’d love to have you join us with your articles, videos, podcast episodes, or simply your best thinking on the topic (even if you don’t have additional content to link.) Our topic for February is career development. Click here to submit your thoughts and content!

Featured Asking For a Friend Guest: Ed Krow

Author of Strategic HR: Driving Bottom-Line Results Through Your People

Answering the question: “I really want to set my team up for better results in 2020. What advice do you have for getting my team off to a fast start?”

If you are looking for more tips like this, follow Karin’s Asking For a Friend series on LinkedIn.

Getting Better Results in 2020 Through Effective Leadership

Wally Bock of Three Star Leadership asks, 21st Century Leadership, Are We There Yet? He explains three ways leadership in the 21st century will be different as well as how you can transform the way you lead to improve results in 2020.  Follow Wally.

 

S. Chris Edmonds of Driving Results through Culture gives us a video message about refining our desired culture at work. Want better results? Refine the culture!  Follow Chris.

 

 

Julie Winkle GiulioniJulie Winkle Giulioni of JulieWinkleGiulioni.com gives us Redefine Results by Redefining Career Development. Leaders who are willing to think differently and redefine career development will find that they can drive extraordinary results – in the new year and beyond!  Follow Julie.

 

Sean GlazeSean Glaze of Great Results Teambuilding provides Add Common Since to Improve Ownership Thinking and Innovation on Your Team. Wishing is victim-based thinking that leads to pouting – which is a waste of time… So instead of wishing, what can you and your team THINK DIFFERENTLY so you ensure that you and your team begin to perform differently (and better!)  Follow Sean.

 

Jessica Thiefels of The Organic Content Marketer gives us How to Build Thought Leadership with Guest Posting.  Driving thought leadership in your industry takes intentional and consistent work. One way to achieve better results in 2020 is to leverage guest posting as a tool and to do it right. With these tips, you’ll be on your way to building a stronger thought leadership presence in 2020!  Follow Jessica

 

Building Stronger Relationships in 2020

Lisa Kohn from Thoughtful Leaders Blog gives us Our Differences Drive Us Crazy (but Make Us Stronger) where she shares why we think others should be like us, why it’s actually better that they’re not, and how to handle those differences (even though they drive us crazy).  Follow Lisa.

 

Nate Regier of Next Element Consulting gives us the Top 10 Fake News Stories of 2019. The drama mavens would prefer that you believe these fake narratives because they keep you small, afraid, and willing to accept anything. Compassion is the practice of demonstrating that people are valuable, capable, and responsible. Compassion fosters connection, innovation, and purpose. Here are some news stories you can believe to inspire you toward better meaningful results in 2020.  Follow Nate.

 

David GrossmanDavid Grossman of The Grossman Group shared 5 Simple Steps to Show Employees You Care and Get the Business Results You Seek. Leadership is personal; employees follow leaders because of how leaders make them feel. When done in a genuine way, these steps demonstrate that you care and open the possibility of changing how you see your employees as well as yourself. The end goal is engagement from employees which means higher productivity and better business results.  Follow David.

 

Shelley RowShelley Row of Shelley Row Associates shares Big Decisions: Are You Considering a Broad Range of Information Sources?  When you need to gather information for a big decision this year, who will you go to? Do you ever consider going to people like the argumentative person, the contrarian, or the inquisitor — those that sometimes drive you crazy? There may be benefits to getting their input too.  Follow Shelley.

 

Challenging Yourself For Business and Personal Growth

Beth BeutlerBeth Beutler of H.O.P.E. Unlimited suggests that habits, rather than goals, are the path to greater results in 2020. Examples include moving intentionally nearly every day, even if just for a few minutes outside your regular pattern of movement, getting out of the office for breaths of fresh air, doing a little organizing (digital, office or home) each day, etc.  Consistent, intentional attention applied to new (or existing) habits will naturally lead to positive results in many areas of life and work.  Follow Beth.

 

Rachel Blakely-GrayRachel Blakely-Gray of Patriot Software, LLC   writes How to Improve Business: Achieving Better Results in 2020. To achieve better results in 2020 try making improvements in your business. From setting reachable stretch goals to improving inter-office communication, check out the six tips in this article to get a head-start on achieving better business results.  Follow Rachel.

 

Michelle Cubas, CPCC, ACC, of Positive Potentials gives us A Simple Tip for Best Results in 2020. Simple is powerful. Occam’s Razor says the simplest solution is usually the correct one.  Follow Michelle.

 

 

Ken Downer of Rapid Start Leadership shares Why I Resolve to Do Nothing This Year. There’s a problem with New Year’s resolutions that maybe hasn’t come up in conversation before. Here’s a fun look at why I think resolutions set us up for failure, and three ways to improve the odds of actually achieving what we set out to do.  Follow Ken.

 

John Hunter

John Hunter of Curious Cat Management Improvement gives us How To Improve.   I am not focused on getting the best result this minute, I am focused on finding the best methods that will produce the best results over the long term (predictable, repeatable system performance).  Follow John.

 

Eileen McDargh of The Resiliency Group writes Top Three Intentions for 2020.  “I believe 2020 beckons us to deeply search for what would be our best, most clear vision for our lives, our nation, and our planet. Each of us has a role to play and a purpose in a world that is more interconnected yet more fragile than ever before. No one is insignificant.”  Follow Eileen.

 

Jesse Lynn StonerJesse Lyn Stoner of Seapoint Center for Collaborative Leadership gives us 5 Reasons You Should NOT Set Goals. Common wisdom says to start the new year off with clear goals. For most people, setting goals can make the difference between mediocre and high performance. But there are also times goal-setting is a waste of time or can even decrease your motivation and confidence.  Follow Jesse.

 

 Jon Verbeck of Verbeck Associates CFO Service advises that better financial performance for 2020 will occur by tracking key metrics and intentionally making needed changes for improvement. Use a weekly scorecard to track results and key performance indicators to help lead improvement discussions with the team.  Follow Jon.

 

Your turn: What would you add? What’s your best advice for setting your team up for a successful 2020?