Get Unstuck

When you are stuck or simply procrastinating, being overly focused on your inner psyche to justify the reasons why will keep you from doing what you need to do. It takes as much time, or more, to create excuses than to simply do the work! Become responsible for your own motivation instead of blaming your boss or employees for being uninspired.  To rejuvenate a project, uncover the source of an issue, or resolve an employee concern, use the steps in the eGuide “5 Simple Steps to Improve Your Results!” The mark of a true leader is doing what needs to be done in an effective manner, regardless of how you feel about wanting to do it. 

(c)Jeannette L. Seibly, 2013 

Has Your Project Gone Off Track?

Project managers can become fearful when a project is past due and over budget. At that point, they have usually lost control of the team and feel disempowered and blameful. To make things more difficult, they refuse to get qualified advice on how to get back on course to achieve their goals.  Instead, they spend more time coming up with excuses the boss will agree with than making the right changes to the action plan.

Successful project managers have a stronger commitment to the project and team than to their egos. They stretch their minds by listening and asking good business questions, not questions designed to force others to agree with them. They believe 99 percent of the world’s information is in others’ heads, and their successful results show it!

(c)Jeannette L. Seibly, 2013

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!

Leadership Maturity

Reprint from 2-11-2011

Honestly ask yourself:

Are you able to discuss others’ opinions without being defensive?

Do you know how to take an idea or concept and make it profitable?

Do you laugh at appropriate jokes without taking it personally, even if it’s about you?

Do you have the ability to see the bigger picture and patience to rephrase it into bite-size pieces so that others can get on the same page?

Can you make decisions that balance both the facts and the human interests?

If you answered yes to these questions, good for you! You are on the right track as a leader. The higher up the corporate ladder we climb the more our effective leadership relies upon interpersonal skills such as these and less about technical expertise.

But often as leaders, we take ourselves too seriously. We are unable to build upon ideas or create a consensus that works. We openly disparage others when they disagree with us. We exclude people with broader experience instead of learning from them, and defend our limited experience in an attempt to feel better about ourselves. This is career limiting behavior for any leader!

Persuasive Listening. To truly listen, we must silence our internal chatterbox and refrain from thinking about our response when others are talking. We will hear similarity in arguments even when it appears we are on a different side of the issue. Good leadership skills – like active listening – provide new solutions that might not be readily apparent.

Be open to differing opinions. We can make better decisions for our companies and organizations when we openly hear what others have to say. But if we become defensive or belittle differing perspectives, we make less than adequate decisions, fail to address the bigger picture or miss details for implementation entirely.  We create a negative reputation for ourselves and our organizations. Disparaging others reflects more negatively upon the speaker than the person being belittled!

Be a team player. Many leaders don’t make good team players. They may play at being part of the group; however, they are more interested in how it applies or affects them personally.  Team has evolved into a broader definition this decade: It’s getting everyone on the same page and moving forward together. It’s not about everyone thinking the same thing or using the same signals or jargon!  It’s about learning to appreciate others and elicit the best in them, as they are. Learn this masterful skill and be seen as a leader to follow!

©Jeannette L. Seibly, 2011

Fight the Good Fight with Leverage

Leverage is required in many situations to win a good business fight. In some cases, you may automatically have leverage due to your position, title or power to make the ultimate decision. However, you need to be responsible about how and when you use this leverage; future repercussions are inevitable. As an employee, customer or vendor, you need others to help you leverage a win-win outcome. There are cost vs. benefit ratios that need to be considered for the company, others and your own career. Playing the ostrich and hoping the issue will go away rarely works well for everyone involved.

You may win this fight. But lose the war. Even though we don’t have crystal balls to look into the future, talk with a trusted colleague to weigh the pro and con of possible outcomes, now and for the future. If this is a policy or legal issue, talk with human resources director or vice president. If it relates to a customer or vendor, set up a meeting with your boss and the person in charge of these relationships. Be clear as to the purpose and desired outcome. Be more committed to resolving the issue than forcing your own ideas as the only solutions.

It’s not about you. It’s often hard to set aside your own ego in these situations. Particularly, if the issue is you vs. your boss. This will require you to think beyond the current upset or violation of your trust. When the issue involves your client, employee or vendor, ask them what they believe is the needed resolution to keep a positive business relationship. Steamrolling everyone to agree with your decisions or opinions will only create a backlash for you in the near future, particularly, if you are wrong or lied about the facts.

Share the challenge selectively. Share your challenge confidentially only with someone who can help you and is in a position to do so. Follow their advice, even if it doesn’t seem like it will work and stay in communication during and after the resolution. The lone-ranger approach and reliance upon your own mental monologue will limit your future in the company. The worst practice for a business professional to engage in is to talk with everyone else! That creates liability for you professionally and financially. Create a learning opportunity from the situation and look with your coach (or business mentor) to see what you need to do in the future to prevent these types of issues from occurring.

©Jeannette Seibly, 2011