Make Your Team Winner of the Year

Change.ResultsDid you know that less than a third of all projects are completed on time and within budget? Here in the U.S., $122 million is wasted every year due to poor project performance, according to Capterra Project Management Blog.

Many blame project failures on lack of resources, ongoing conflicts, poor facilitation, wrong team members, no one doing the work, etc.

What is the secret to making your team winner of the year?  Accountability. Projects excel when teams are accountable for their results.

As the facilitator, being a sounding board and checking on progress weekly, monthly and quarterly is required for success! And, to ensure accountability.

Many facilitators would respond, “What?! I don’t have the time and I shouldn’t have to babysit!”

Many would further blame their team members, “They should know when to come to me and ask questions.”

However, learning how to be a sounding board while checking on progress isn’t hard. It keeps everyone accountable.

How to Ensure Accountability

  1. Distribute minutes for each group team meeting. This reminds everyone what they agreed to do.
  2. Schedule weekly one-on-one meetings. Check in to determine the status and progress being made between group meetings. This prevents any surprises and helps you uncover any brewing problems.
  3. Expect great results. Be clear you are checking in to ensure great results with no surprises.
  4. Listen for progress. Listen and acknowledge progress, initiatives and other steps forward. As the sounding board for the team, allow them to vent. Make sure these sessions end on a positive note so actions will be taken to move project forward.
  5. Brainstorm to find resources. When the “I’m too busy” excuse erupts, ask them for ideas on how to move forward or delegate tasks. (Remember, you are a sounding board.) Encourage them to take initiatives to find the money, materials and people.
  6. Pay attention to what is working and what is not working. When checking in, don’t micro-manage their work efforts or working relationships. Instead, expect each person to handle these challenges on their own. Step in only when their excuses jeopardize the project’s progress.
  7. Stay focused. When a task isn’t done, stay focused on why. Determine if the problem is due to lack of skills, or inability to focus on the current challenge. Partner the person with an experienced team member for training. This will prevent future issues.
  8. Remind them of the big picture. When you are checking in, repeat the purpose of the project, the goal, and current milestones.
  9. Acknowledgement works wonders. Always say please and thank you. These simple phrases make a profound difference. Acknowledge them for their efforts, no matter how small. Share progress and don’t forget to brag!

©Jeannette Seibly, 2018

Jeannette Seibly has been recognized as a catalyst and leadership expert for the past 25 years. As an executive coach, speaker and author, she provides straight talk with dynamic results. Are you a good sounding board? Do you hold your team members accountable? Don’t wait or it might too late. Contact Jeannette now for a preliminary confidential conversation.

How to Get Positive Results from Tough Conversations

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No matter how you define them, tough conversations, conflicts and confrontations are all one in the same. And, most people will avoid them at all cost.

A top sales rep failed to take care of a customer’s request. Instead of her manager reminding her that clients’ emails needed to be handled immediately, he took care of the request himself. He dreaded any type of tough conversation and rationalized it was easier to do it himself. He feared he would upset her and didn’t want to listen to her excuses. But, when it happened again, the manager’s upset was apparent when he told her he shouldn’t need to do her job for her. The problem was, he forgot this was their first conversation about it. The result? She quit and took several clients with her.

Usually when we have a conversation that is not going well or need to have one that we anticipate will go badly, we feel anxious and tense.  Just the thought of having one of these conversations changes our breathing and heart rate … signally to our bodies that something doesn’t feel right!

To add to these feelings of dread, our memories are not infallible. Many studies have shown that our minds begin to distort the past almost immediately.

So, we wait and hope problems will magically disappear (and, they rarely do). Or, we jump right in without preparing ourselves to create a positive result. Gossip and finger-pointing grow, creating a mountain out of a molehill! All because you felt it would be easier to avoid having a tough conversation.

A manager hated his job, but, needed the paycheck. His boss would remind him periodically that he needed to listen more, instead of coming across as a know-it-all bully in meetings. Nothing changed and several employees quit. Why? His boss didn’t know how to talk straight, which left the manager unclear of what needed to change and how to do it. The manager’s career was derailed.

It’s critical today, more so than ever due to the difficulty of attracting and keeping great employees, that bosses and business leaders learn how to get positive results from having tough conversations.

8 Ways to Handle Tough Conversations

  1. Create the Intended Outcome Before the Meeting. This is multi-step process. First, write out what worked and what didn’t work … focus on the facts of what happened. This exercise gets you to the heart of the upset or conflict based on your POV. Second, look at the problem from both sides to help clarify for you what is in the best interests of the aggrieved person … and, the company, employees, vendors, and customers. Third, review company policy and have copies available, if needed. Then, and only then, determine your intended outcome.
  2. Set Up a Specific Time to Meet. Schedule a time that is mutually convenient to begin and end the meeting. Ensure there is enough time so no one feels rushed.
  3. Make it Private. Provide a confidential one-on-one setting and include others directly involved. This is important since you want people to speak freely to fully resolve the issue.
  4. Talk Straight. Saying what you mean in a manner that others can readily understand is important. Don’t let your feelings about who is right or wrong take over the meeting, or it will sabotage your results. It’s beneficial to role play your conversation with your coach or mentor before the meeting to build your confidence.
  5. Ask for Their Perspective First! Asking them to go first serves three purposes. First, it allows them to vent or share what the problem is based on their perceptions. Second, you can see what the real issue(s) is from their POV. Third, they are more likely to listen to you if they have a chance to talk first.
  6. Use Persuasive Listening Skills. Repeat back to them what you heard them say to their satisfaction, using the same words. Do not assume you know how someone is feeling. Because, if you do, you may be wrong and it will spark additional upset. When you are sure they are done talking, then, share your POV. Give opportunities for each person to contribute to building a solution.
  7. Keep Your Ego at Bay. Dial down your ego and dial up your humility. Remember, being right will not get the issue resolved. Use “I” phrases when talking. Don’t disrespect anyone by saying, “These things should never happen.” or “Everyone believes I’m right.”
  8. Focus on Win-Win-Win Outcomes. Everyone wants to feel that they’ve won. Be open and willing to table the final outcome if further information is required. Schedule the next meeting. Follow-up. Stay in communication. Don’t wait!

Bosses and business leaders must learn how to have tough conversations that make a positive difference. These 8 ways provided above will improve your results with employees, clients and vendors, while improving your business reputation. An added bonus in having tough conversations is that these will dramatically improve your ability to hire, coach, manage, and train your teams to produce intended results.

©Jeannette Seibly, 2018

Jeannette Seibly has been recognized as a catalyst and leadership expert for the past 25 years. As an executive coach, speaker and author, she provides straight talk with dynamic results. What’s in the way of you and your team members having tough conversations? Persuasive listening training is critical and will help you and your teams overcome underlying fears. Don’t wait until it’s too late. Contact Jeannette now for a preliminary confidential conversation.

How to Improve Team Accountability and Business Growth

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Want to improve your business growth? Hold your team (and yourself) accountable!

Many times we play the blame-game when we don’t achieve our intended results. We blame the economy, lack of resources, our boss, and each other. This no-win blame-game hinders your business growth (and your career too).

A key employee took over facilitating a project after the former facilitator received a promotion. The former facilitator had done an excellent job of holding team members accountable for their results and setting up the required systems. The key employee ignored the established systems since she was “not a detail person.” After two team members complained, she stopped holding team members accountable because she wanted to be liked. When chaos erupted after failing to meet a client’s deadline, she blamed the team and said, “It’s not my fault!” Her boss fired her.

Team accountability is required to produce intended results. If you don’t have the skills to hold your team accountable, it’s critical that you take responsibility for learning them now!

It’s Never Too Late to Hold Your Team Accountable

11 Key Skills:

  1. Start with a Positive Attitude. No matter where you are in the project or what mischief has already happened, be respectful and speak positively about each and every team member. Vent your frustrations privately. Otherwise, team members will not don’t feel their efforts matter.
  2. Clarify the Team’s Natural Strengths and Weaknesses. When you use a qualified assessment tool, the objective data will address “why” some members naturally excel, while others need additional encouragement to succeed. Share this data appropriately with team members to build a “can do” attitude and team comradery.
  3. Participate in Team and Facilitator Training. Many facilitators don’t know how to conduct an effective meeting, and don’t have team and project management skills. (Often they don’t know that they don’t know!) Attend workshops to gain these skills, especially if you’re in the middle of a project. Additional training can uncover issues lurking in the background and missed opportunities.
  4. Check on Progress. Too often we believe everything has been handled after each meeting. However, we fail to conduct interim check-ins and follow-up with each person one-on-one to make sure there are no surprises. These check-ins uncover inactivity, nips in the bud brewing resentments, and helps discover additional resources required.
  5. Listen As Though Your Results Depend On It. Listen for: what’s working and what’s not working. Your ability to truly listen sets the tone for others to pay attention too! Often you can prevent future issues by also hearing what others are not saying!
  6. Keep the Goal. If you’re not hitting your milestones, changing your goal to support the team’s efforts may feel good. However, it’s only momentary and will diminish the team’s satisfaction, credibility and future career opportunities. Instead, work with an executive/business coach to discover why and get back on track.
  7. Distribute Minutes from Each and Every Meeting. This traditional idea is still very important today … it keeps everyone accountable. Only keep track of what has been agreed on and who is responsible for completing a task or spearheading a study, etc. Distribute minutes within 24 to 48 hours after the meeting.
  8. Be a Parrot. At the beginning of each meeting, remind members of the goal, purpose, company values, and company or client mandates. This will set the context for the meeting. Then, conduct a review of team progress.
  9. Handle Tough Conversations Quickly. Holding people accountable won’t initially win you any popularity contests if it hasn’t been done previously. But, over time, people will change their opinions based on how well you handle tough conversations. Here’s how … Handle disagreements quickly before they escalate. Ask questions to clarify and understand their concerns. Repeat what they said before offering your own opinions. Remain neutral.
  10. Let Them Go. Holding people accountable will uncover team members who are not willing to do the work. Give them the choice of staying or leaving. Don’t humiliate them with snide comments; these don’t motivate any one!
  11. Celebrate Every Success. Host a small celebration and use the Brag! exercises to help everyone be fully acknowledged.

Remember, it’s never too late to take responsibility for training your team (and you) to be accountable. Use these 11 key skills to ensure success of your project and grow your business (and your future career options too).

©Jeannette Seibly, 2018

Jeannette Seibly has been recognized as a catalyst and leadership expert for the past 25 years. As an executive coach, speaker and author, she provides straight talk with dynamic results. What’s in the way of holding your team members accountable? Don’t wait or it might too late. Contact Jeannette now for a preliminary confidential conversation.

Increase Your Value by Listening…It Builds Solutions

Silhouettes of Business People Discussing Outdoors

The art of listening and building solutions can be learned by anyone.

As busy business owners, executives and entrepreneurs, it can be hard to listen when we don’t want to hear what someone is saying. We blame it on our busy-ness, ever-present distractions and the other person’s irritating communication style.

However, it’s important to remember, our employees, customers and vendors provide the greatest value in helping us build solutions and profitably grow our businesses. It’s on us to listen and learn, while hearing and providing what the team needs to win.

It’s Profitable to Listen

Be open to other’s contributions. Your team, customers and vendors are valuable sources of information. Encourage them to rock the boat with their potential solutions. Then, work with your team to determine how these solutions can strategically build a positive outcome and ROI. One successful business owner stated, “My team and customers come up with 100’s of ideas, only a couple that can be actually implemented profitably.”

Talk straight. This sounds easy, but, it’s not. One business owner loves to rely on his emotional reactions when making decisions. As a result, his decisions constantly change, making it hard for others to get a straight answer. Using the 5 W’s (why, when, where, who and what) deep dive into asking questions without interrogating anyone.

Listen for what you don’t know. Yes, this can be hard on the ego. It’s also the reason many companies are struggling today. An executive believed he could intuitively tell the “right answer” without objective data. As a result, the company is struggling to grow and become profitable due to his “know-it-all” attitude. Avoid quickly rubber stamping any ideas, or automatically dismissing any suggestions based on your emotions and lack of real objective data.

Welcome brainstorming. The true art of brainstorming will not allow you to disregard off-the-wall comments as these can elicit the best ideas from others. One executive loved to play the game of pretending to listen to other’s ideas, but, would only implement his own. As a result, he was fired for ignoring key information.

Learn from everyone’s mistakes. No matter what we do to avoid them, mistakes and failures happen … to everyone. Instead of assessing blame and engaging in gossip to feel better, seek solutions. Objectively review what worked and didn’t work. This process will minimize the emotional roller-coast. It also provides clarity to address overlooked action steps that seemed unimportant, but were critical to success. Do NOT be distracted by the shiny object syndrome that naturally occurs when you need to resolve current challenges. One business owner loved her new ideas and used them as a distraction to avoid working through her business challenges. When she listened to her business coach, she saved time and money, and was able to strategically focus to build a profitable business.

When you start to really listen, you will hear valuable solutions and opportunities that you would never think of on your own. This is the least expensive and most profitable way to grow your business.

©Jeannette Seibly, 2018

Jeannette Seibly has been recognized as a catalyst and leadership expert for the past 25 years. As an executive coach, speaker and author, she provides straight talk with dynamic results.  The art of listening for and building solutions can be learned by everyone. Take the time to find out why you don’t always listen to what others have to say. Don’t wait! Contact Jeannette now for a preliminary confidential conversation.

Change Can Transform Your Results for Success

Change.Results

Change occurs around us daily, whether we know it or not.

Many of us fear the impact change can have on our jobs and in our lives. Often, we feel helpless or become resigned.

Success anywhere in our lives must embrace change, not for the sake of doing or thinking differently, but, because it is required to achieve our intended results. Embracing change allows us to be open to new ideas, explore outside our comfort zones and seek new career opportunities, financial options and ways to improve the quality our lives.

Traps We Often Fall Into

While many people refuse to let go of long-held beliefs, even when they get in the way of our success, it’s important to transform our points of view to achieve intended results.

Procrastination. Waiting until the proverbial perfect time or until life intervenes with dramatic events is time wasted. Making important changes now will create a happier, healthier and more successful you.

Boredom. We often allow distractions and disruptions to get in the way of focusing, being silent and listening because we are bored. Disengaging from old patterns of thoughts and behaviors is required to create new pathways for results.

Fear. To avoid addressing our fears, we often unconsciously calculate a risk-aversion formula that keeps us feeling safe and secure.

When I was a kid, I hated cooked peas. While my enjoyment of these tiny green vegetables hasn’t changed, the risk/reward ratio is also very low. However, the risk/reward for engaging in difficult conversations with coaching executives offers greater risks … and provides greater rewards. My natural confidence boost and career satisfaction have been amazing … and, they have greatly benefited too!

Embracing Change Is an Inside Job

Remember, life is a process, not an event. When old habits reappear, practice self-compassion, don’t beat yourself up and move on!

Self-Insightfulness. Mindfulness, meditation and awareness allow us to address the “why” of our past, release these unconscious emotions and make changes more easily. Work with a coach or therapist to guide the creation of new personal and professional practices.

Forgiveness. Forgive yourself and others for what you have done or not done. While it may not be easy, let go of regrets when memories resurface. For example, if you need to repay a person, work out a plan to do so (e.g., repayment of money borrowed). Apologize if you upset someone. Get back into focused action after you’ve failed in a project.

Change the Energy. Revitalizing yourself is easier when you also make physical changes in your life. Change or alter your office, desk or cubicle … and, your personal living space too. Drive a new way to work. Greet each person you meet with a smile and “Hi!” Get a new job. Changes allow you to create new opportunities, and they can be fun and rewarding too.

Walk, Talk and Write It Out. Exercise, talk confidentially with a couple close friends and journal your thoughts and activities to make it easier to let go of the old and welcome the new. Remember, change may require modifications to your life (e.g., adopting a new puppy will require pet proofing your home).

Inner Power and Strength. Naturally developing these inner beliefs takes time and awareness. Resilience, acceptance and compassion are the keys to stop the old feelings of “helplessness” or “being controlling.”

Success anywhere in our lives must embrace change to transform our results.

©Jeannette Seibly, 2018

Jeannette Seibly has been recognized as a catalyst for the past 25 years. As an executive coach, speaker and author, she provides straight talk with dynamic results. Do you need to make changes? (Hint, everyone does!) Uncertain as to what to do? Don’t wait for the unintended consequences! Contact Jeannette now for a preliminary confidential conversation.

SeibCo’s 2018 Business Survey Results.  Get your free copy now: How to Achieve Success When 2018 Is Not Business as Usual

How to Create Positive Workplace Etiquette

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“Workplace etiquette creates a better working environment for everyone.” Jeannette Seibly

Millennials enjoy working in pods, impromptu meetings in hallways, team lunches and brainstorming in huddle rooms, according to VTS Blog. Offices and cubicles have effectively disappeared from the millennial-focused workplace. This can create difficulty for some employees that rely on privacy, personal space and the ability to concentrate to get work done.

It’s important for all employees to be aware of how workplace etiquette impacts everyone.

Ask, Don’t Assume before Creating Standard Policies

In a confidential survey ask, what is working and what is not working before making any changes. Many companies use online survey systems (e.g., SurveyMonkey.com) for easy distribution and review of responses.

Concerns Most Often Addressed

Dress Code

  • -Wear appropriate clothing, jewelry, shoes, etc.
  • -Safety is important.
  • -No personal grooming at the desk or in the common areas.

Code of Conduct

  • -Talk with individuals promptly in a professional manner to address specific complaints.
  • -No pop-over the walls to ask questions, instead walk around to talk.
  • -Knock before entering someone’s work space.
  • -Don’t interrupt conversations or meetings.
  • -Take all personal calls in private areas.
  • -Use speaker phones and schedule conference calls in rooms with doors.
  • -Designate areas where meetings may be held.

Smells

  • -Setup a common area for employees to eat and discourage eating at desks.
  • -Ban certain foods that can cause dreadful smells.
  • -Fragrance-free, smoke-free and pet-free environments support those with allergies and sensitives.

Sights

  • -Have a standard for desk décor and neatness.
  • -Ban political, sexual or religious displays.

Sounds

  • -No pacing around while talking on cell phones.
  • -Turn off ringtones, buzzers and alert sounds from electronic devices.
  • -Remind staff to lower voices or send private messages when conversations are too loud.
  • -Encourage use of headphones to reduce noise.

Positive workplace etiquette creates a better working environment for everyone.

(c)Jeannette Seibly, 2018

Jeannette Seibly has been recognized as a catalyst for the past 25 years. As an executive coach, speaker and author, she provides straight talk with dynamic results.  Creating a healthy workplace environment attracts and retains productive employees.  Contact Jeannette now for a preliminary confidential conversation.

 

Is Ghosting the Best Way to Say “No”?

talking it outRecently I talked with a business owner that complained about people’s inability (or unwillingness) to follow-up and follow through. She was upset that people in business would behave that way. Ironically, she failed to follow-up and follow through on a commitment she made with me, and did not return my phone call or email. I was ghosted.

Whether you are someone new to the world of work or an experienced business professional, ghosting has become the new way of saying “no” or avoiding necessary conversations. However, the problem is, there are future consequences to this very bad practice.

What is ghosting?

Many will contend companies have been using ghosting practices for years when they ignored or snubbed job candidates.

Ghosting is now so prevalent that business professionals are using it to avoid having conversations and disappointing others.

New hires and current employees are using ghosting to avoid starting (and keeping) jobs they don’t want, having conversations they feel incapable of having and/or wanting to avoid confrontations.

Sadly, people using this ghosting practice fail to realize that a momentary feeling of relief won’t last. When you ignore or snub someone instead of talking it out or saying “no, thank you”, your reputation in the business world has been hurt, sometimes irrevocably.

People have long memories. Your new business ideas, desire to work with an elite team, hopes for the promotion or need for a new job can be sidelined. All because you practiced ghosting!

6 Good Practices Instead of Using ‘No Response is A Response’  

Conflict Resolution. Many business professionals use ghosting due to the fear (often, unconsciously) of saying “no” and wanting to avoid conflict or disappointment. Often, they fail to realize a short term burst of disappointment or discomfort is better than creating a long-term reputation where others avoid working and talking with you. If you have changed your mind, let the person know. Otherwise, your silence will create a lack of trust inside yourself, and with others.

Integrity. Doing what you say you will do is important and is a life-long practice to develop. Ignoring your promise to setup a business meeting, show up on the job or project or fulfill a promise may feel good in the moment. However, the truth may be, you forgot, are running late, failed to prepare or changed your mind. Call and have a voice-to-voice conversation directly with the person. Offer solutions, not excuses.

Emotional Intelligence. Many people today want to be part of a team, until, they feel their contributions are overlooked or their ideas dissed. Take responsibility for how you feel. It is a golden opportunity to develop the communication skills and confidence to talk it out. Remember, no one was born a powerful or experienced communicator. Everyone has feelings that come and go. Take classes (e.g., Toastmasters, Landmark), practice mindfulness, talk it out and role-play with someone you trust and/or hire a coach to guide you through the issue. Most importantly, learn from the experience.

Communicate. Gain confidence and competence by having voice-to-voice conversations. Do not blame others for your ghosting, regardless of the reason. Apologize. If you were waiting for a different job offer, oversold your abilities, felt uncomfortable during the interview process or wanted to avoid attending an event, tell the truth. Texting and social media are not the same as having conversations!

Due Diligence. Learn how to ask the right questions to discover true concerns or feelings of discomfort. Only say “yes” if it works for you, otherwise, say “no, thank you.” Build these skills now. They are critical for your success in working with others and completing future work assignments, while building your reputation.

Avoid Career Derailment. While the job market is really hot today, it will change. Being “blackballed” by recruiters, key employees, leaders and hiring managers can (and probably will) come back to haunt you in upcoming years. Many have a list and a longer memory. Do not ghost!

Using the above recommendations to avoid ghosting and learn how to communicate will make a profound difference in your career. These skills are critical to your success, now and in the future.

©Jeannette Seibly, 2018

Jeannette Seibly has been recognized as a catalyst for the past 25 years. As an executive coach, speaker and author, she provides straight talk with dynamic results.  Do you need help developing persuasive listening and communication skills? Are you willing to learn and use them? Don’t wait until you’ve ghosted the wrong person and get stuck with the consequences! Contact Jeannette now for a preliminary confidential conversation.

What Happens to Your Business If Something Happens to You?

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Many business owners, executives and entrepreneurs have failed to plan for their retirement or for when they are no longer able to handle their job responsibilities. As a result, when something does happen, the company and its employees, clients and vendors will experience unnecessary chaos, uncertainty and stress. Some companies will need to close their doors.

All of this can be prevented by creating and implementing a well-thought-out succession plan now.

Start Developing Your Successors Now!

Business requirements have evolved, along with the qualities required to be successful. When you select your successor(s), it’s important to see beyond likeability, hearing what you want to hear or seeing potential in the person that is not evident to others.

It’s costly to select the wrong person. According to Harvard Business Review, 64% of executives in new positions fail within the first 18 months! (Remember, when they leave, they will take good employees and customers with them!) So, it’s important to get it right the first time.

9 Keys to Create Successor Success

  1. Job Fitness. Whether you promote from within or hire from the outside, the person must fit the job responsibilities to be successful. (For example, if financial management skills are required and they don’t have the interest and skills, they will make poor financial decisions.) Use a qualified job assessment and a 360-degree feedback assessment to develop and uncover any concerns that need to be addressed now. Developing the successor’s skills and business savvy are required before they receive the new job title and compensation package.
  1. Conduct Conversations Over Time. Meet at least quarterly and assess the future successor’s values, vision, interests, skills and understanding of the business and industry each time. It’s a great opportunity to mentor, talk over challenges and learn from one another.
  1. Design a Long-Term Game Plan. The intent is for the transition to be seamless. A customized game plan prepares each successor, so there are no surprises to the company and its employees, customers and vendors. Develop more than one person in the event of life and/or career changes. Update the plan every three years. And, remember, ask each person first before slating them for the position and make sure they will do the work to be ready!
  1. Executive Coach. Hire each future leader an executive coach to be the person’s confidential sounding board. Relying solely on internal mentors can hurt a successor’s future if confidentiality is broken.
  1. Outside Experience. It’s important for future leaders to gain the depth and breadth of experience by having worked for other companies, especially if the company is family-owned. As part of the Game Plan, have these potential leaders work in another company environment for five years, preferably in a management role. This will expand their point of view and leadership skills.
  1. Redefine Job Responsibilities. One year from retirement, review and update job descriptions with the people slated for the new roles. Don’t be afraid to redefine jobs and split the roles based on key skill requirements (e.g., Chief Financial Officer (CFO) may handle financial matters well, but not human resources issues. Break the position into two jobs, CFO and CPO (Chief People Officer).)
  1. Common Values. This is a critical factor that is often overlooked, particularly when nepotism is involved. If someone does not possess the values or integrity required to run the company, don’t be afraid to say, “no.”
  1. Step Away. Too often, the person leaving wants to stay and have the successor shadow them. This is not advised since successors lose important credibility that they are unable to gain later. Set aside egos, let go and move forward. (Please note: smart successors will set up quarterly meetings during the first year to meet and talk through issues with the former leader.)
  1. Let go. Sale of the company is always an option. When emotional attachment is high and there is a strong desire to leave a legacy, this option is often ignored. It can actually be more financially beneficial to all parties.

By creating a long-term succession game plan now, you develop successful successors.

©Jeannette Seibly, 2018

Jeannette Seibly has been recognized as a catalyst for the past 25 years. As an executive coach, speaker and author, she provides straight talk with dynamic results.  Are you having trouble planning for the future, and picking and developing your successor(s)? Don’t wait to let go of the reins! Contact Jeannette now for a preliminary confidential conversation.

Are Your Future Leaders Ready to Lead?

strategic hiring

The mindset of how to identify and train new leaders has changed. Due to technology advancements, geographical influences, and financial and people demands, many companies are failing to clarify what they need, and failing to find and develop the right ones. As a result, many future leaders are not ready to lead.

How do you identify and develop future leaders for your company?

First, Identify and Qualify Them

Competence. Are they results producers? Where is the gap between the skills they currently have and those required? Do they have the people savvy to effectively communicate and work with anyone, anywhere and at any time?

Qualified Assessments. Use them. Start now. They help uncover what you don’t know about a person—the kind of information left uncovered that can come back to haunt you. Due to their incredible accuracy, qualified assessments are invaluable in helping guide the development. They clarify the “why” a person is effective, or not.

Oust Biases. Identify your own biases and set them aside.

A business owner was having a hard time hiring the right person to take over running his company. He had failed several times. His bias was to hire people he liked who had the right title and came with the right connections. If they had a one-time winning experience, that helped too. Unfortunately, using these biases as criteria for a leader does not translate into actually being able to effectively run and build a financially successful company!

Don’t Promote Too Soon. This is a company’s biggest hidden expense. When managers promote employees who are not ready, lack the resilience to handle challenges or conflicts, or do not have the interest in developing the required skills (regardless of what they tell you), they leave. They take employees and clients with them. Use incremental titles to keep Millennials who are impatient to get ahead.

Second, Develop Them

Recognize Lone Rangers. Many up-and-coming leaders refuse to take advice. These DIYers will take the company and management team down with them rather than ask for help. Provide them board and management team training focused on working with and through others, managing conflict and executing change. If they are ineffective and unwilling to improve, now is the time to look elsewhere.

Preparation. Assign them team projects and have them participate in trade association events and boards. Include them in high-level discussions and ask their opinions. This will help them understand there is more to leadership than just having the title. They will either relish the opportunities or dread them. Do not overlook their readiness to assume the next leadership role.

The Right Coaching. The laser-like ability to develop talent is a critical skill many current leaders, executives and business owners do not have. Provide future leaders with an internal mentor and an external coach to help groom them. Guide the creation of quarterly goals and check in to ensure they are on the right track.

What If They Are Not Ready?

There may come a time when you need to bring in someone from the outside to get the company on track and build future internal leaders. The problem is where to look. One option is finding a current executive, but they are often happy in their current job and must be promised job security to move. Another option is a consultant, but they are often overlooked because they have gray hair. Other challenges could be stereotypes or consultant only wanting to work part-time. Ask your network for introductions. Ensure the new leader is able to develop a successful succession plan, work past family business or existing succession plan biases, and navigate internal company politics. Don’t forget to negotiate a win-win exit plan for them when the internal candidates are ready.

©Jeannette Seibly, 2017-2018

Jeannette Seibly has been recognized as a catalyst for the past 25 years. As an executive coach, speaker and author, she provides straight talk with dynamic results.  Are you having trouble planning for the future and/or letting go of the reins? Don’t wait! Contact Jeannette now for a preliminary confidential conversation.

 

10 Quick Must-Have-Skills to be Career Fit

Develop Leaders2There are necessary must-have-skills that will support you in any career. They determine your ability to be promoted and ready for future career opportunities, and, they impact your side gigs and entrepreneurial interests as well. If you become too comfortable and fail to develop your skills, there is a greater risk of being sidelined in your career.

Instead of expecting your employer to help you develop these skills, take program(s) (on-line and in workshops), hire a coach and raise your hand when opportunities appear at work.

Remember, no one was born possessing these skills … it takes time and commitment to be ready when career options appear.

Career Fitness!

Regardless of your career choice(s) the following 10 skills are required to succeed in any position.

    1. Communication. Possessing and developing good verbal, non-verbal and written skills are critical. Become aware of how your choice of words, gestures and stories impact others.
    2. Decision-making. The ability to create, negotiate and follow-through on agreements is key to making good decisions with win-win outcomes. Remember, someone may forget the details, but, they won’t forget whether your attitude was helpful or hurtful.
    3. Project Management. Many studies have shown that accountability and responsibility are required to brainstorm an idea with a positive ROI, design a viable system and execute the plan to achieve intended results. Work with your coach when team conflicts, withdrawal of funds or other project stopping situations occur; otherwise, they will take the project (and your career) off course!
    4. Resiliency. The key is, when mistakes or failures happen, and they will, learn how to responsibly resolve the matter and move on. Use it as a teaching moment for you and the team…and keep moving forward.
    5. Business Basics. There will be skills that you enjoy learning and others that you won’t. It’s important to use a qualified assessment to understand “why.” This awareness helps you develop the needed mindset required to learn all of them. For example, if you don’t have an interest in financial management, becoming an accountant is not the best idea. However, it is important to learn basic accounting skills, read a P&L and develop good money practices.
    6. Sales and Customer Service. In almost any position within a company (or as a business owner), you impact the customer! Take responsibility for ensuring you’re a positive contributor in the sales cycle (e.g., prospecting, uncovering needs, presenting and winning the sale) and delivering the results.
    7. Follow-up and Follow-through. In the current survey I’m conducting, one of the most common challenges many express is the failure of people to return calls or provide promised information. Listen and deliver. Do NOT rely on your brochure or website to answer a prospective customer’s questions or current customer’s interest in learning more. This can be one of the most important skills you learn, and the reason opportunities disappear.
    8. Manage Your Time. Good habits are developed through positive practices. Return all calls. Be on time for everything. And, fulfill your promises.
    9. Bragging. Self-promotion is important today. If you’re not aware of your achievements, neither is anyone else. You will be overlooked for promotions, pay increases, and new business and other lucrative opportunities. Learn how to brag in a business savvy manner. You cannot rely on your boss, customers or business associates to do it for you!
    10. Hire, Manage and Coach. Every boss needs to learn these critical ingredients for business success … it starts with hiring the right person for the right job. Only then can you effectively manage and coach. Engaged workforces, satisfied customers and profitable performance don’t happen by accident!

If you are willing to learn and practice these 10 must-have-skills, you will succeed in your career!

©Jeannette Seibly, 2018

Jeannette Seibly has been recognized as a catalyst for the past 25 years. As an executive coach, speaker and author, she provides straight talk with dynamic results. Remember, it’s up to you to learn and perfect the necessary career skills so you can have a great career, start your own business and/or become a self-employed! Don’t wait! Step up now! Check out her website, or contact Jeannette for a preliminary confidential conversation.