Are you a trustworthy boss?

I recently received a call from a new boss who wanted to know what type of “penalties” he should apply because his employees were not responding to his emails fast enough.

The more important question would be why are they not responding? Are they unclear about his request and timeline? Are they incredibly busy handling his clients’ needs? Does he have a bad tendency to make all his requests “Urgent?” Although his employees might not see his management style as autocratic now, it won’t take long for them to stop trusting him if he relies upon “threats” to get the job done.

The bottom line is that in order to build a company of loyal employees, you need to create a level of trust between you and each of your employees. Continually threatening people with loss of jobs, perks, or being written up, will only cause them to lose their trust in you. It’s hard for employees to do their work when they are fearful.

Emails. If you need to send additional requests, mark them “Second Request,” THIRD Request,” or FOURTH REQUEST at the beginning of the subject line. If it is Urgent, do the same. However, don’t use these terms often or they lose their attention grabbing effect. Normally give them at least 24 to 48 hours to respond. If it’s not urgent, provide a suggested “due date” for their response.

Pick Up the Phone. If it is truly urgent or complicated, or you don’t have strong writing skills, call them. Person-to-person dialogue often prevents misunderstandings. It’s your responsibility as the boss to exercise persuasive listening skills to ensure your employees understand what you are requesting.

Quality of Work. If someone does not have the skills to do the work, simply sending it back along with an implied or even overt threat will not get you the quality of work required. Take time and walk them through exactly what you need, and the format you need it in (e.g., Word, Excel, numbers, graphs, columns, etc.). Keep your requirements simple if someone is developing their skills.

A woman with specialized technical skills was hired by a company to help them avoid lawsuits. However, her manner of interacting with the management team had them failing to respond to her demands. Instead of her boss talking with her and offering her guidance, he simply waited until the lawsuit had been averted and fired her!

Coaching. Simply getting what you need from someone and firing them without warning only compels others not trust you or your leadership style. If someone needs help to improve interpersonal, management and/or project skills, provide them with the necessary training. Arrange for their own coach (from outside the company) to help them excel in their current position or as they move through a necessary job transition.

Bottom line? When people are not responding in a respectful manner and are busy taking copious notes, there is no trust. Work with your business advisor and take an objective look.  What do you need to transform in your approach and management style to be a leader who elicits trust, a leader others want to follow.

(c)Jeannette L. Seibly, 2012

Accountability Elephants

A company wanted to terminate an employee who was not achieving results. She had a multitude of excuses, blamed her boss for his lack of support and refused to be held accountable for her employees’ actions. When the boss had had enough, the HR Director stressed, “Her employees won’t be happy. She is well liked.” The reality? Many of her employees were happy to see her go since they already realized she was the bottleneck for not getting things done, poor decisions being made and low morale.

Laissez-faire leadership has been creating a devastating impact on companies worldwide, according to Herman Trend Alert, August 22, 2012. Many business professionals are not holding themselves accountable for their results or their employees’.  They blame increasingly complex business environments, workloads and lack of financial and other resources. To complicate these concerns, many leaders have become more concerned about being liked, holding onto their power of control, not rocking the boat or micromanaging to the point of exhaustion.

Delegation. Work-life balance is something we strive to achieve. We blame our employers for our failure to achieve this ideal. The truism is there are time periods when personal concerns (e.g., health, family, and home) will take precedence in your life. There are other times when your professional considerations require stronger attention. Be proactive. Learn to manage these inevitable transitions by requesting help (at home and work).  Stop waiting for the perfect time to cross train. Do it now before the need arises. Learn to trust others to make decisions appropriate for their experience and abilities to alleviate bottlenecks before they start.

Build on strengths. When you are in a job that aligns with your strengths, work life becomes easier to manage. The same is true for your employees. Learn how to hire people who fit their work, and how to manage them accordingly. Hold your employees accountable for results, sales quotas and other objectively set metrics. If employees are unable to meet these measures, it may be time to review their fit with the job. A good person in the wrong job can inhibit her/his own ability to accomplish normal tasks with ease, and issues seem to get muddled and, never resolved. Take the time and spend the money to hire the right people. Learn how to create a work flow that recognizes a person’s strengths.

Handle the Elephants. Most people love to put off until tomorrow what isn’t urgent today. Unfortunately, this growing stockpile doesn’t deplete naturally and unaddressed issues actually grow exponentially.  Hold yourself accountable by enlisting the help of your business advisor as an objective sounding board. Determine effective resolutions for both potential and long-term elephants. You may be pleased to find some can simply be crossed off your list!

Need immediate help to transform your leaders into fearless, effective, no-nonsense contributors? Contact your business advisor today to transform your business!

Want to be leader of excellence?

Many business professionals have the goal of becoming leaders of a team, company or industry. Yet, many fall short. They fail to develop the key characteristics so crucial to giving them and their company the competitive “edge factor” required for excellence.

Great leaders inspire.

They are visionaries. Often strong employees and managers focus too narrowly on their own little sphere. They fear political corporate pushback. They hope someone else risks making the changes required for the company to become successful. As a result of this paralysis, they fail to create the opportunities, systems and attitudes necessary to generate a positive ROI. Visionaries, however, are fearless and know that if someone isn’t listening, they can find someone else to support their efforts.

They believe there isn’t a problem that can’t be resolved. Leaders have a mindset that recognizes problems and obstacles, but do not allow themselves to be limited by them. They formulate ideas and know how to enroll others into devising solutions to “make the results happen.”

They are driven to excel. While many companies rely upon incremental steps to achieve goals, great leaders look beyond 100% success. They create goals to achieve what may initially seem impossible. They hire the right business advisors, coaches and trainers to support their people to succeed.

©Jeannette L. Seibly, 2012

Not Producing Intended Results?

Leaders often are perplexed when a project or plan is not working. Everyone wants to change the goal. The plan was created to achieve a specific goal; changing the goal is a strange way to produce those intended results! A compelling goal that is well-crafted requires commitment, focused actions and the right people. Too often the success of any team effort is contingent upon the leader’s people, project and profitability skills. Leaders often derail a team by failing to include others, building upon their ideas and staying focused on the ultimate goal of a profitable venture.

Difference of opinions. Many groups crash when they don’t take the time to effectively work through differences of opinions. Team members must be heard; otherwise, they can become trouble-makers! Productive discussions, sometimes seen as confrontational, are required to build better outcomes, uncover overlooked problems and build agreement.  Team leaders and members need to provide on-the-spot training to show others how to use persuasive listening skills to encourage everyone’s contributions.

Doomsday conspiracy. When people on a team are not committed to the plan designed to achieve the goal, or the goal itself, the project will fail, for either reason. A conspiracy of nay-sayers will evolve to rationalize their point of view when leaders don’t listen. Every member of the team has the responsibility for ensuring others’ concerns are addressed.  Many people view change as difficult, not necessary or are fearful of an unknown outcome. As the leader, it’s your role to facilitate actions and conversations to support the intended results, while positively impacting the bottom line, client relationships and a positive workplace.

What’s in it for me? Employees today want to know what’s in it for them. It’s important to provide insight into how their contributions are part of the solution. Start by sharing the situation or problem needing to be resolved, along with the proposed goal and plans to achieve the goal. If it impacts their potential bonuses and/or paychecks, share this in a positive manner. Honesty is key.  If they are not readily agreeable with the goal or project, they may be hearing it for the first time and need additional time to process it. Remember, you’ve been thinking about it for hours, days, or months!

©Jeannette 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:

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:

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

Learn How to Work Well with Bad Bosses

I recently received an article in my Inbox from a business associate’s employee. It was about bosses being difficult (a nicer title than the actual one sent to me!). I, myself, have worked for bosses who truly understood the technical aspects of the job and industry, but did not know how to manage. I learned a lot from them. I’ve also worked for a couple who received their job title for reasons unknown. And I learned how to work with them to achieve needed results, too. In any company, there will be bosses who earn their title, while others happen to be in the right place at the wrong time. These bad bosses often exhibit poor communication styles, lack of organization or project skills and show favoritism.

The goal? It’s your job to learn how to work well with them in order to receive your paychecks, acquire job expertise, and support your own career aspirations. A career lesson to be learned. Otherwise, there’s an excellent chance your next boss will be the same with a different name!

A true story: a client was disparaging his boss, and his actions. He believed his co-workers felt the same way. One example was how this difficult boss distributed quarterly bonuses after completion of a major project. As his coach, I recommended he talk with the boss and clear up any misunderstandings. He did so very reluctantly and was happily amazed by the outcome! Not only did his boss stop sharpening the pencil, my client became known for his ability to work well with a difficult person. Other employees came to him for advice when dealing with this boss, and others. The President of the company acknowledged his executive growth and promised new opportunities in the future.

Hire your boss a coach. Obviously, this needs to be accomplished very diplomatically. Most bad bosses do not know another way to behave. They hate people challenges due to a lack of logic. They may become emotionally inept at handling these issues because of their own need to be liked. Maybe your boss takes the job more seriously, believes you and your co-workers should too, and is simply more demanding than others as a result. A good coach will help the boss see him- or herself objectively, develop more effective ways of interacting with others and develop people or project management skills to get results.

Eye of the Beholder. While you can always find others who will agree with your assessment of how bad the boss is, look for others who have a different perspective about the things your boss is doing well. Listen to them. Maybe s/he is fair in bonus distribution and allocating OT. Perhaps s/he offers great ideas and ensures you receive the credit for implementation. When dealing with more controversial concerns, handle the roadblocks provided by your boss in an assertive manner to resolve customer or project difficulties. Remember, your boss (and others) may find productive disagreements helpful and getting to the source of excuses beneficial in order to achieve required results consistently. Needing to be liked or overly nice does not equate with being effective.

It’s a process, not an event. It is natural for employees to expect an immediate difference and readily noticeable changes when a boss is advised of deficiencies. The reality? Bad habits take time to correct, regardless. For example, how long does it take someone to quit smoking cigarettes? It takes most people more than a few months, before it is deemed successful. So keep acknowledging any positive change. Hire yourself a coach to help you deal with your own life goals and interpersonal fears. You’ll be amazed by the difference it makes when you learn to be patient with yourself and are effective at achieving your own goals. Your new awareness makes it easier for others to get along with you!

©Jeannette Seibly, 2012

Jeannette Seibly is a Business Advisor and has successfully coached 1000’s of business owners and executives to be successful leaders while growing their businesses. Three of them became millionaires!

3 In-Sync Leadership Talents

When your leadership style is in-sync with the requirements of your job, you can produce outstanding results. Your confidence soars, and so does your company’s profits. It takes less energy to work with and through others to get the job done. Others enjoy the process and professional growth; they feel comfortable voicing their concerns about issues.

Strong Listening  Skills. To reduce non-productive conflict (which creates corporate elephants), it pays to listen! Allow others the freedom to voice their opinions and learn how to work towards developing a win-win solution to build exceptional outcomes.

Tell the truth. Lies, innuendos or half-truths will come back to haunt you and the organization. Talk straight. If the topic is confidential, simply state, “I can’t talk about that.” Why? Confidentially means you don’t talk about it!

Take responsibility. Nobody is perfect. Everyone makes mistakes. Every relationship will hit a bump where the continued ability to work well with each other requires forgiveness, apologies, and/or doing more than the other. When you make a promise, fulfill it. When you fail to achieve a result, don’t blame others. Simply apologize and ask what is needed to move forward.

(c)Jeannette L. 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

Honor the Fear Factor

New ideas, products and/or services can be difficult for many people to grasp if they are not part of the creation process. Too often when a boss, business development group or sales team comes up with the “new big money-maker” idea, others become fearful. Instead of creating a thought-out blueprint and return on investment on paper, they simply attempt to wing it! Worse, they attempt to control every aspect of the process as issues arise. Steamrolling others and not enrolling them into the process usually creates disastrous results. Employees and customers become fearful. Want to turn this loose/loose scenerio around? Honor their fears for positive outcomes.

It’s OK. Create an environment of innovation where mistakes happen and everyone learns from them. An environment where “What if’s….” are welcomed. Implement according to a well-designed, focused and simple blueprint. It keeps everyone on the same page. Allow others the opportunities to voice ideas or concerns, and explore them without repercussions. This sort of transparency prevents covert squashing!

Stay focused. Don’t make changes to simply change or falsely make others happy. Stop allowing the newest “bright shining object” to deter the process. Detours usually cost money and valuable time while wreaking havoc.

Come Down to Reality. When the team is concerned about an outcome, take time to listen. It’s usually based upon sad experience of past errors in poorly executed projects. Nay-sayers do quietly sabotage efforts, often due to their fear of the unknown or mistaken assumptions (e.g., changes in job duties, unwillingness to learn new systems, poor relationship with project leader or team members, etc.) Share the economic and market impact of the new service or product constantly. Repetition is the key to quell fears. Don’t make promises about big bonuses or payouts without the ability to follow through.

Keep it simple. Share the plan and idea in small bite-size pieces. Start with very simple questions to hook others’ interest, get them thinking and help get them on the same page. For example, asking a broad question can be a deterrent, i.e. “How can this company save a million dollars?” Instead, ask simpler engaging questions, such as “What is one idea you could implement today to save money?”

©Jeannette L. Seibly, 2012

5 Ways to Combat Never-Ending Excuses!

I recently received an email from someone I had met several weeks ago. We had created a great idea for her business growth. It was a simple and sound plan with a positive ROI. Her excuse for not following-through? She wanted to stay focused on what she was currently doing and wouldn’t  be able to implement the idea. Huh? Then, like most of us do to when confronted to move outside our comfort zones, she listed several “excuses” and included a quote from a well-known author to support her rationalization.

Our automatic excuse-maker kicks into full gear and we can come up with amazing reasons to justify not acting upon ideas or following-through on plans! The problem is,    we engage our mental monologues in time-consuming thoughts that take more time than implementing the process would require! Then, we spend additional time (yes, and money) to enroll others into our justification for achieving poor results. We falsely await an epiphany without doing the necessary work! We rely upon mysticism that if we don’t act upon something, or follow-through, it wasn’t meant to be. Unfortunately, these cyclical excuses intensify as we use them more and more often.

How do we break out of this nasty trap? How do we move outside our comfort zones before they shrink to ensnare us completely? How do we achieve our goals with ease and positive financial results?

First – Hire a life coach or biz advisor who will propel you forward. You are still required to do the work, yes. The difference is a coach helps you break through the barriers  to do what you have been avoiding, so you can have what you always wanted!

Second – Complete the five exercises in the book, “It’s Time to Brag!” ( and become aware of your past accomplishments. You can’t build on weaknesses. Use these “brags” in a biz savvy manner for sales presentations, retaining clients, and asking for new job assignments.

Third – Create a blueprint based upon future goals, not simply recreating what you did in the past. This can be a challenge since human beings love to operate inside their comfort zones, which include either generating strategic ideas that cannot be implemented, or tactical plans that only regurgitate our current work with a new twist. Neither provides “value-added” results.

Fourth – Ensure a positive ROI.  It’s like any investment of time or money. Ask yourself, “Does the plan provide a potential positive cash flow as it is designed, based upon the hours, days, or months involved?” If it does not, modify.

Fifth – Learn to recognize and shift your automatic excuses immediately. Saying “no” to requests may feel liberating. But in reality, if it’s not used judiciously, it only serves to entrench us deeper into our ruts. Learn to maneuver successfully through inevitable challenges via conversations with your biz advisor for positive results!

(c)Jeannette L Seibly, 2012