Effectively Manage Your Leaders’ Focus

Many companies today are moving away from the traditional skill-based job descriptions, toward performance-based job descriptions for their leaders. What’s the difference? Skill-based simply means they have the skills and knowledge to do the tasks. They may or may not use these skills to work in the direction of the Vision and Mission of the company. Performance-based is focused on the design and execution of goals and focused action plans to achieve the Company’s intended results.

When companies can clearly define performance expectations up front, both leaders within the company and the newly-hired know what is required. They can focus their efforts with a clear direction, communicate these metrics to their employees and manage accordingly. This takes the guess work out of hiring the right person and conducting effective performance appraisals.

To ensure these new descriptions are successful, you must:

Focus on the results.  Start with action verbs to ensure their role is clear. For example:Lead an initiative to upgrade financial reporting from monthly to weekly. Convert 100 customers to new product/service. Sell 30 customers product/service each month. (Fill in actual name of product or service.) Be sure to include a timeline and budget. The key is to now manage with these numbers to determine what’s working and what needs improvement on a weekly basis. This will ensure no surprises at month end (e.g., people, price point, budgets and/or systems).

Allow for innovation. New ideas are critical for growth. People create workable and sustainable systems and follow them – or not. At the end of the day, these processes must meet the demands of your customers. The leaders within your organization must be able to work with and through others to achieve the intended results, sometimes on a global basis. Use a qualified assessment to ensure clarity of the person’s interest, thinking style and core behaviors. These are critical for hiring for job fit and ongoing laser-like coaching.

Tell the truth.  In order to grow the enterprise for on-going success, it requires truth-telling today. To transform anything, you must succinctly tell the actual issues/circumstances that prevented the results previously or created the new challenges. Share appropriately. For example: when developing an IT system: company experienced 50% growth during the past twelve months, lost 25% of current customers since the system could not handle volume of orders and lack of training prevented managers from up-selling and cross-selling repeat orders.

©Jeannette L. Seibly, 2012

Your Career as a Leader is at Risk!

“About 40% of executives who change jobs or get promoted fail in the first 18 months.” New Job? Get a Head Start Now, February 17, 2012, Fortune, written by Anne Fisher

 

More than ever, great leadership skills are required of executives, in both the private sector as business owners and in the C-suite of large public corporations. Failure to acquire these skills is a critical error. You can’t force others to become loyal and trusting followers. If you have no one to lead you’ll get fired!  It takes concerted effort on your part, each and every day, to balance the requirements of your company’s needs while supporting your employees abilities to thrive. You’re only as great as your employees’ results!

Stay Ahead. Today, companies are promoting record numbers of people who lack the required management skills or essential interest in being the boss. Not surprisingly, many executives are fired because they are unable to effectively lead their teams and deliver the results. Regardless of the leader’s level of expertise, create a 30-60-90-180 day plan with specific results, projects and training required. Consider including one community involvement activity or on-site customer visit. Keep it simple in design to ensure time to practice and learn.

Clear Focus. Employees readily accept advancement into leadership roles due to better title, corner office and compensation. If it’s solely for the power trip, the “me” focus is a serious problem that leads to failure! A strong leader takes care of her/his people by first being committed to the organization in thought and action. They are more committed to everyone getting a paycheck, than just getting their own!

Be Resourceful. Too often you hear a common complaint, “I don’t have what I need to get the job done.” “I don’t have the budget to do what I want to do.” These are excuses that get in the way of being successful. Learn to ask the right questions of others, and implement ideas appropriately. Some of our most treasured successes began with the innovation born from not having enough (obvious) resources!

Cultivate Trust. If no one trusts you, they may still follow your lead; albeit very reluctantly. They may unconsciously sabotage your efforts and nitpick your manner. Building trust takes time. Work with your business advisor to develop true confidence in yourself and your decision making skills. Then, develop a plan to resolve the previously created issues with your employees. (Visit: SeibCo.com)

Strength/Weakness. Every strength has a potential weakness. Likewise, every weakness has a positive strength. Take a qualified assessment to learn how to navigate these paradoxes with your business advisor. Also, participate in a qualified 360-degree assessment to fine-you’re your effectiveness (See: SmartHiringMadeEasy.com)

Invest in Self.  Many times we falsely believe we’ve reached the pinnacle of our success and have nothing new to learn! Strong leaders engage in ongoing education and remain open to improvement. Strong leaders hire business advisors to help with strategic building of their companies and handling nuances inherent in tactical implementation. These same leaders participate in technical training to better appreciate the challenges their employees may have. New awareness brings about new opportunities. You’re never too old to learn something new; you’ll never be too smart with nothing new to learn!

©Jeannette Seibly, 2012

3 Must-Change Habits for Executives

We all have acquired bad habits. The problem is they impede our ability to develop as a confident executive, a leader others wish to follow. Failure to gain others’ respect for you as a leader, regularly use win-win approaches and consistently produce desired results are ticking time bombs to your career!

Poor listening skills. Checking email during meetings, insisting on being right or multitasking when someone is talking will derail many careers. Multitasking is a myth. Active listening is a requirement for successful executives.  When you are able to accurately hear what people are saying – and not saying – you’ll also be able prevent bad outcomes. Executive leadership requires solid information-based decisions rather than poorly informed ones.

Menacing comments. Threatening others covertly (e.g., their job is in jeopardy) when the job is not getting done as you envisioned it, is a bad habit of many leaders. It rarely builds loyalty or intended results. If someone is not achieving the desired outcome, first look at how you communicate. Did you state the needed results? Did you listen to their concerns? Did you work through those push-backs or excuses (think, outside their comfort-zone or ethical considerations) effectively? Create a detailed Action Plan; then, coach them to take one step forward at a time. Involve other team members as appropriate.

Control at any cost. Being a know-it-all. Nit-picking others’ efforts. Fearing someone’s mistake will ruin you. Claiming others are untrustworthy. These behaviors signify an unconfident executive. A leader who doesn’t trust him or herself. You may be someone who achieved a leadership role before it was time. It is not too late to learn how to work with and through others for exceptional results. Hire a business advisor and develop the skills to inspect progress without micro-managing. To ask the right questions in the right manner and elicit the best in others. Good executives enable their employees to achieve even better results than they have achieved!

 

Jeannette Seibly is an international business advisor and executive consultant for privately-held companies with revenues of $1MM up to $30MM. She has created million-dollar results for 25 companies, and 3 millionaires!

(c)Jeannette Seibly, 2012

5 Attitudes to Fast Track Career Derailment

Wonder why so many business professionals, executives and biz leaders are included in the ever increasing statistic of job shopping? These qualified professionals live under the false illusion that finding the perfect career or job will automatically have them earning mega-bucks, working for a great boss, while having fun in life!

  1. I can do anything. Sixty-three to seventy-nine percent of the workforce toil in jobs that don’t fit them. They continue seeking similar work with similar responsibilities only to achieve similar dissatisfaction.  (Think, do the same thing over and over, yet expect different results). Or they leap into a different type of industry that poorly suits them while arrogantly thumbing their nose at their past employers. Stop blindly seeking job satisfaction at the expense of your resume. Build bridges, don’t burn them.
  2. Gimme, Gimme. Most people jump for extra pennies or dollars in their paycheck, but leave those jobs because they are unhappy! Job gratification is personal. Satisfaction can be achieved meeting deadlines within budget, completing work to customers’ needs, etc. Your fulfillment comes from within you by building on your strengths to stretch your skills. 
  3. Grass is Greener. All companies have similar problems. The list is long: bosses who are poor managers; compensation and benefit packages that need improvements; economic focuses on financial results that negates a balanced work-life style. Job fit is critical to minimize these concerns. Employees (and executives) in the right job are much more productive and tolerant than others with the same challenges.
  4. Not My Problem. If you’re someone who creates elephants for your bosses and co-workers, or is continually putting the monkey on someone else’s back, no one wants to hire you! Learn how to handle issues by turning monologues into dialogues with the right person who can make the difference. Be part of the solution. Clean up your elephant tracks. 
  5. More is Better. A bigger company does not mean it is better run, regardless of their bigger budgets! Don’t assume your boss will be more understanding or the tools you need to do your job will be readily forthcoming. Millions of dollars are spent each year obtaining more certifications and more education, hoping this will transform people into fitting their work requirements. If people are not in jobs that fit them, additional education will not transform them into rock stars.

Rather than believe you’re stuck in a job or career, recognize you’re there because of your unwillingness to make an actual and real difference! Only you are responsible for your work-life happiness!

It’s an attitude. The time is now! Take charge of your career. Professionals who hire a career advisor have a competitive edge, with their current employer or their next one. They don’t wait for someone else to show them the right direction. They take a qualified assessment to clarify job fit. The assessment determines thinking style (major component in job satisfaction), core behavior (how they use their job skills vs. how the company needs the job done) and occupational interests (little or no interest equals poor quality, iffy results). They learn to how sell themselves in a biz savvy manner (http://TimeToBrag.com). They write down the top three qualifiers for their next job. The result? New opportunities appear quicker. They are sought after by their next employer or boss. They are on the right track to fulfill their career goals. (http://SeibCo.com)

©Jeannette Seibly, 2012

Leaders! Learn to lead in 3 steps.

There are leaders amongst us today who achieved their status by domineering, controlling and scheming how to use the organization’s resources and connections to their own advantage. For them, it’s not about serving their clients or employees or other benefactors. It’s about “what’s in it for me.” They falsely believe this makes them successful long term leaders. The truth?  It’s a short term fix, with long term consequences. Career derailment is inevitable.

Want to learn how to be a good long-term leader? Want to possess skills and attitudes that consistently work? First and foremost, hire a business advisor to help you see what you’ve been unwilling to see about yourself. To do what you’ve been unwilling to do. Remember, long term executive savvy requires a higher quality of leadership competencies and expertise.

1 – Straight talk. Attempting to out-talk or manipulate people into thinking the way you do is not the mark of a true leader.  Listen to others’ ideas and build upon them. Understand there is always more than one way to achieve the required results.

2 – Goals. Set true and compelling goals on behalf of the company. This is different than focusing on your own personal financial or professional gains. One Regional Manager wanted his people to get out there and sell so he could purchase his dream sailboat. Needless to say, this manager’s self-serving attitude permeated the team and discouraged them from playing full-out. Their buy-in was to achieve the company’s sales goals, not rack up big boy toys for him. His career as a sales manager sunk. Be prepared to understand and communicate what is in it for your team. Focus 100% on your employees winning. You are only as successful as your people!

3 – Elicit the best in others. Lying, playing people against each other, and using punitive threats to get your way or achieve goals does not bode well in the long run, although it may appear to provide needed short term gains. This type of leadership style creates havoc, litigation and bad will with internal and external clients. Learn how to manage people or hire someone else to do it for you. Learn to talk straight and tell the truth appropriately. It will make a difference in people wanting to work with you. It will build your career as a leader.

©Jeannette L. Seibly, 2012