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Do You Have The #1 Quality of Great Leaders

Do You Have The #1 Quality of Great Leaders Too often leadership development has been a process of turning out exact replicas of a certain personality type.  Commanding, egocentric and persuasive leaders have, in the past, been seen as ideal.  Even years after the corporate scandals of Enron and WorldCom, where some of these larger-than-life personalities were at the very root of the problem, one would think we’d be over our infatuation with charismatic leaders. Of course there are common qualities that great leaders possess: courage, integrity, tenacity, just to name a few.  But these traits can come in many different forms.  One could argue that the leadership styles of Mahatma Ghandi, Lee Iaccoca and Colin Powell are vastly different while there are some traits they all had in common. The question is can these traits be developed? Is something as intangible as integrity teachable? Or is it an innate quality that you either have or you don’t? ... Read More

The real impact of holding on to low performers

The real impact of holding on to low performers In the last article article, we talked about the number one mistake companies make – holding on to low performers. Here are some consequences of employees not carrying their fair share of the work… Others are left to pick up the slack. Top Performers begin to resent the underperformer(s), as well as the manager who allows them to stay. [When the underperformers know they are not meeting expectations] they have to deal with personal disappointment. [When the underperformers don’t know they aren’t meeting expectations] they are being set up for future failure. The manager is likely so busy managing the underperformers that s/he neglects the development of Top Performers. The bottom-line of all these consequences is that team and business results suffer.  And yet, ironically, suffering is what you are trying to avoid by not addressing the situation. As with most things in life, you either suffer the effort... Read More

The #1 Mistake Companies Make

The #1 Mistake Companies Make Since 2002, I’ve been working with businesses both big and small.  There is one thing that stands out to me that successful businesses do better than struggling businesses that ultimately fail.  It is so simple – but it’s not easy.  What is it? Letting underperformers go.  That’s it.  Not letting low performers go is the biggest mistake I see companies make. It’s also the second most common reason I get hired to consult with companies.  First and foremost, I get contracted to help them hire Top Performers.  Second, I get hired to coach, develop, and hopefully turn around underperformers. Sometimes the underperformers I coach have been underperforming for YEARS.  Why is it when someone obviously isn’t succeeding in a position have they been allowed to flounder for so long? The three most common reasons are: 1. The manager is overly empathetic to the person’s challenges.  “They are a nice... Read More

7 characteristics of the very best employees

7 characteristics of the very best employees When looking at the “best” in any field, there are seven common characteristics to look.  They apply when promoting for leadership positions, as well. 1. The Best have vision.  They are future-oriented and can see ahead of the pack.  They work hard in the present for the desired result in the future.  They follow Stephen Covey’s principle, “begin with the end in mind”. 2. The Best are optimists.  Closely related to having a vision is exhibiting optimism.  You can’t get to the top if you don’t think there is a top or if you doubt your ability to make it there.  No matter how bad things are, the Best always believe things can get better. 3. The Best dare to take risks.  They know that to achieve their dreams, they must do what others aren’t willing to do. It isn’t about eliminating fear.  Or waiting until you feel no... Read More

Are you promotable?

Are you promotable? There are some very BASIC characteristics to look for before you promote someone.  Obviously we are looking for the right set of skills, behaviors and attitude.  But even more basic than that are some habits to look for. HABIT 1.    Show up on time – If my friends heard me say I’m always on time, they would crack up.  I actually have a reputation for being “fashionably” late.  But the truth is…I usually am on time in my business.  I have never missed a flight, or been late to an interview or meeting with a client.  Why do I make such an effort to be on time in professional settings? Because I know in that scenario my reputation is on the line.  And so is the reputation of anyone who is persistently and consistently late or missing deadlines. I think the word to remember here is COURTESY.   When looking... Read More

Five ways to help new managers succeed

Five ways to help new managers succeed If you are a company that prides itself on promoting from within and maximizing the talent and knowledge of your employees, how do you solve the 5 challenges of promoting within? (as discussed in our previous article) 1. Just like you can assess candidate’s motivation, behavior, and competencies in the hiring process, so too you can assess a potential employee’s attributes and see if they have what it takes to manage.  You will also learn their strengths and development opportunities, allowing you to capitalize on what they are great at while helping them improve or minimize their weaknesses. 2. When talking to the employee, you must give them clear, specific and measurable accountabilities for the management position.  Having them understand the daily schedule, work environment, expectations, and responsibilities of being a manager will give them a clearer picture of what they will be doing.  Don’t assume they know the... Read More

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