Monday, January 26, 2015

Leaders Need Change

If you think back a number of years you may recall that there used to be a VERY distinguishable difference between leaders and staff.  ALL work was done by the staff and the leaders oversaw that work.  The leaders’ thought was, “I don’t care how you get it done, just do it.  Now!”  There was a very clear line in the sand.

Today’s leaders are finding out that they can’t command staff’s best work.  An environment must be created to promote the desire to do their best.  It’s actually become more of a partnership between leader and staff.

Think of all the things that have gone on over the years, like:
  • more competition,
  • new technology,
  • restructuring/mergers,
  • changing values and needs of today’s staff,
  • increased demand for better customer service.
This is all reflected in the way we lead.

Three basic things can help you out on your road to a new partnership.
  • Energize: It’s not possible to be effective while just trying to infuse energy in your team.  Use their energy, channel into it, and leave them with more than what they started out with.
  • Support: You’ll need to be there for them to pick up the pieces if they fall.  That doesn’t mean to be there to stop them from falling.  This is how people learn.  Encourage staff to question.  Even if it’s the dumbest question you’ve ever heard, it’s a learning time for them.
  • Communicate: You’ve heard the old saying, “knowledge is power”, I’m sure.  True statement.  But the only way that it can be good is to spread some of that knowledge around.  The constant changes that we live with requires you to communicate more and more.  Don’t always rely on training, memos, etc.  Get out there and do it yourself.

For goodness sakes, don’t be afraid of change.  Change is good.  Most people just make it bad.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

I Love a Spicy Meatball

Yes, I love a spicy meatball . . . and wings, and dips, and pizza.  But they sometimes rub 
me the wrong way, if you get my drift.  Spicy is good.  Too spicy is bad.

Kind of like people.  You've heard the saying, "If you're the smartest person in the room, you're in the wrong room".  Don't be the equalizer.  You've got to add some spice to the room.  But you can't just do it randomly.  Just like spicy foods, if someone on the team is too spicy, you're going to have problems.

A good spicy team member is going to communicate, share openly and willingly, question ideas/decisions, and be honest and straight forward.  But to keep from becoming too spicy, he/she's also going to actively treat others with respect and be supportive.

You don't want all yes wo/men on your teams.  You'll never improve to the degree that you need to keep up.  Spicy people are a key.  You need people to keep things active and to keep everyone's minds flowing and thinking.  The first idea isn't always the best.  In fact, it usually isn't.  You need quality discussion.

Walt Disney once said that, "Ideas come from curiosity".  When setting up teams, take care to really look at everyone you're considering.  You need people that exhibit curiosity.  Spice it up a bit and get a good mix.  A good mix equals good results.