So, You’ve Got a New Job- Part 2

Screen Shot 2017-07-21 at 9.39.29 AMPreoccupied with the exciting possibilities of your new role, you’ve totally forgotten that the journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step – your first day. But not to worry – we’ve got your back! These tips are sure to keep you cool under the pressure of what to do when you’re new.

The Commute

During the interview process, your trusty GPS guided you to your new office in just 15 minutes. However, your route may have been contingent upon the time of day and weather. A drive at 1 pm on a sunny Wednesday could be much shorter than one on Monday at 8 am during a torrential downpour.

A good practice is to take a trip to the office beforehand to make sure you’ve accounted for traffic and detours. By testing your hypothetical drive, you can feel confident in the fact you’ll arrive at work early rather than late.

If your preference is to crank up Pandora while you get ready for work, you may have to put down the air guitar and devote a few minutes to listening to your local news or radio to find out if there are any road closures, accidents, or inclement weather that could impact your driving time. You and Pearl Jam can thank us later.

The Attire

You know those papers and/or booklets you received when you accepted the position? It serves well to read them, as these documents are often the keepers of clandestine information related to your new role.

Read your employee handbook thoroughly and carefully to ensure you’re in-line with your organization’s expectations. Of course, you’ll dress professionally, but your interpretation of sandals may be Birkenstocks, while your company’s expectation of sandals is open-toed dress shoes.

The Layout

While interviewing, you parked in visitor parking and stopped at the front desk to indicate your arrival. Easy, right? But now that you’re “official,” you’ll have to park in the fourth deck and ride the elevator to the 17th floor. Yikes!

No sweat. You’ve gained an extra fifteen minutes from properly planning your commute and can navigate your way to your new desk like a boss. An east and west elevator, or stopping to ask for directions from passersby, will be a breeze rather than panic-inducing since you’ve got time to spare.

The People

During your interview, you were congenial, charming, and attentive. Let’s let the good times roll! You’ll be inundated with new names and faces all day, so be just as authentic and personable as you were when getting the job as you are in keeping your job. Scientific research suggests that our facial expressions influence our emotions, so smiling and being pleasant when meeting your coworkers will serve both you and your new crew well.

Displaying a positive, can-do attitude not only signals to those around you that you are receptive and capable, it also breaks the ice when asking job-related questions. Those gray skies of uncertainty will clear up when you put on a happy face.

Well, look who’s survived the first day? Go you! You’ve given yourself a head start on fulfilling the expectations of your new role just by putting your best foot forward on day one.

So, You’ve Got a New Job – Part 1

Screen Shot 2017-07-14 at 12.13.07 PM

Whether you’re leaving to pursue a new career, trek across Tibet for sheer adventure, or take same personal time off from the workforce, leaving your current employer as respectfully as when you came in has benefits.

Here are a few reasons why you shouldn’t jump ship until you’ve secured your anchor.

The Beauty in the Two-Week Notice

Even if your boss wasn’t the most gracious in giving deadlines, your ample notice of resignation will be a gift to your coworkers who’ll likely have to shoulder the load in your absence if a replacement isn’t found before your departure. Remember, there is no “I” in team.

Established a good rapport with those you’ve shared a parking deck with during your stint at your company? They’ll likely want to celebrate your new beginnings. A last hurrah after work is a networking opportunity in disguise, as many of your coworkers will likely want to keep in touch with you (added bonus – LinkedIn buddies!).

Giving two-weeks’ notice graciously can also allot time to speak with HR to find out about things like: payouts for unused vacation days, COBRA benefits to bridge your coverage if there is a lag in the time for open enrollment at your new gig, and implementing your suggestions for improvement via the exit interview.

Training the new “You” 

Now that you’ve submitted your notice to separate (in writing), use this as an opportunity to add to your repertoire and resume!

You may not realize how much you contributed to your organization until you’ve created the training agenda for the new “you.” Listing all of your responsibilities not only validates your capabilities (GO YOU!), it can also be used as leverage for a counteroffer at your new employer or a great incentive to update your resume. Another plus – this list may highlight areas where there are gaps in your skillset that you can, ideally, develop in your new gig.

You are the expert when it comes to your role so be sure to impart this knowledge to the person replacing you. Remember all of those times you wanted to bang your head into your desk from frustration? Be generous in doling out the metaphorical Excedrin by providing thorough training to your proxy.

Perks of professionalism

Who doesn’t love having proof of how fantastic they are? Good news! Your willingness to work out your two-week notice and train your replacement, just might move your former boss to pen you a letter of recommendation that will last throughout the ages.

ASK for a letter of recommendation as you are closing up shop if your boss hasn’t mentioned it – chances are they will be happy to write one for you!

Don’t be the person to eat and run. If you apply good manners at a host’s dinner table, be sure to apply the same courtesy to your employer when quitting your job.

That Moment When You Need Someone To Go The Extra Mile

That Moment When You Need Someone To Go The Extra Mile

We know it all too well. You gave the new project to Joe to run because you needed his expertise to really knock this one out of the park!

You don’t just want Joe to “work” on the project, you want him to invest in the project and do what you’ve seen him do so well.

But, HOW do you actually get Joe to do that on this project?

This week, we’ve got Coach Bill Koch with us to share some of his best insights.

So, without further adieu…

Screen Shot 2017-05-31 at 10.48.00 PM“I often work with clients on the fast track. They have been ‘rock star’ individual contributors with deep expertise, domain knowledge, and amazing abilities to get things done. That track record for great performance gets rewarded with promotion into positions of management and leadership where one is expected to motivate and inspire a team. And this is right where some of the best and brightest people feel stuck – often for the first time on their fast-paced career trajectory.

In coaching conversations, I often receive questions and quotations such as:

  • ‘I know how to perform, but not how to lead.’
  • ‘I feel more comfortable doing than leading.’
  • ‘Management would be fine if it weren’t for all the people problems.’
  • ‘This is hard…I’m not sure I want this.’

Beyond such anecdotal indicators, I have analyzed data from a large body of client 360° evaluations with feedback data collected from Bosses, Peers, and Direct Reports. Among 50+ business competencies that are measured through this 360 instrument, these are among the most frequently rated as Opportunities for Development:

  • Getting Work Done Through Others
  • Motivating Others
  • Managerial Courage
  • Developing Direct Reports
  • Directing Others
  • Building Effective Teams

See the theme here? It’s about leading others. How to manage Direct Reports is one of the toughest challenges because it’s often new to us. Think of leadership skills as an underdeveloped muscle. We need training and exercise – maybe a personal trainer too.

Even more challenging – how do we get a Direct Report to “step it up” and go the extra mile? Should we use a carrot or a stick? Do we demand and command, or can we inspire and attract people to provide peak performance? The answer is “yes” – depending on the situation. It’s art and science. And new leaders need to practice becoming nimble and able to use multiple methods depending on the business need.

What does great leadership look like in your organization? When were you inspired to do your best work? Think of those experiences as you consider what you ask of your team. How can you inspire and motivate your Direct Reports to do the extraordinary?

There are times when leaders must make critical decisions in the face of looming deadlines, limited resources, and organizational demands. These events call for swift action. Think “military threat” kind of situations. The leader takes charge. But this behavior must be reserved for critical situations. “Command and Control” is not for daily use.

Great leadership is about developing people, building a team, and fostering a caring connection that transcends the workplace and the work at hand. It means making a personal investment in others. And it pays dividends in the form of commitment to the company from people who feel a part of the organization. It’s because the leader makes them feel welcome, valued, and appreciated.

What can you do to ‘step it up’ if you expect more from your Direct Reports?

  • Frequent 1:1 developmental conversations
  • Taking a personal interest in your Direct Reports
  • Making sure the work you assign is meaningful
  • Setting clear goals and objectives with your Direct Reports
  • Welcoming feedback on your leadership performance
  • Fostering a supportive team environment that’s friendly – maybe even fun!
  • Recognizing great contributions in front of other members of the team
  • Rewarding good work at the time it is performed

Leaders who invest more effort in these areas will find that their team is in step and capable of doing great work. Your Direct Reports want some autonomy to do things in their own style. The leader is responsible for setting the expectations and objectives so that individuals can flourish in a way that contributes to objectives you establish for the team.

Ask yourself if you’re creating an environment that makes people want to go the extra mile to perform at their best for your organization.

The End of A Quarter

The End of A Quarter

We made it through March — can you believe it?

2017 is already flying by, and at this point you’ve got a pretty clear idea (thanks to your fabulous KPI’s) of where you are trending on your 2017 yearly goals.

So, how are you looking?

Does it look like you’re right on track to be where you want to be?

As of today, are you looking like you’re a little ahead of schedule?

Or as you read the sentence above, did you have that sinking feeling in your gut of “Oh goodness — not another reminder that we are already looking like we are behind schedule?”

Over the next couple of weeks, we’ll be taking a deeper dive into how to make sure you’ve communicated what success (for this year) is to your team, accountability, and on change.

Hang in there — you’ve got this, and so does your team!

Among the Best: Taking a Look at Company Culture

 

screen-shot-2017-02-03-at-1-06-35-pm

Company Culture.

It’s such a prevalent topic of our conversations about the workplace today. We all talk / write / philosophize about that perfect company culture; the one we, our competitors, or our luminaries should have.

But – what is it, really?

It’s so much more than the passion or vision statement on the wall. It’s comprised by the people who enter our office doors, and the decisions that we make every day. It’s our value-system, and is not to be underestimated. It’s how the world perceives us, more likely why, our company does business.

Company culture is what we stand for.

As a growing population of millennials enter the workforce, a company’s culture is highly scrutinized by these prospective employees. As cited in Fast Company’s article, What Millennial Employees Really Want, Deloitte’s 2015 Millennial survey found that 64% of Millennials find that their personal values have the greatest influence on their decision making.

Need more data? They also found that those who share an organization’s values, are more satisfied with their organization’s sense of purpose, and are more likely to stick around in an organization. Out of all of those surveyed, 2 out of every 3 millennials planned to leave their current employer by 2020.

These figures shouldn’t be very surprising. What they show is that company leaders need to carefully examine the culture cultivated within their organizations in order to attract the best talent and then retain them over the longterm.

Over the next few weeks, we’ll be looking at a few different aspects and problems often found in organizations today — some positive and some that are rarely discussed. The application of these topics can be applied to large global organizations, or to individual teams within companies.

It only takes one leader, positively influencing those around them, to start a cultural shift from one “norm” to the next.

 

1 https://www.fastcompany.com/3046989/what-millennial-employees-really-want
https://www2.deloitte.com/global/en/pages/about-deloitte/articles/millennialsurvey.html

Continuing You in 2017

screen-shot-2017-01-06-at-4-42-10-pm

So, do you have your 3 words you want to use to describe yourself this year?

If you’re curious about what we’re talking about, check out last week’s post here.

What we know is that having a goal (these three words) is awesome – and to actually make things happen, we need some actions we can commit to.

Ready to start?

Step 1: Look at your calendar and pick a time each month (for an hour) that you can block to take the time to reflect on YOU

  • Strive for consistency, such as the last Friday or the first day of each month
  • Send yourself a re-occurring invite for that time each month through December

Step 2: Take each of your three words and ask yourself, what is one thing I can do between now and the next reflection time to start to see progress?

Step 3: WRITE IT DOWN. Put it somewhere you’ll see so it doesn’t get lost in the shuffle of life!

Need some places to start?

  • Maybe you want to hit new goals this year …
    • Define one of those and talk to your Manager about it in your next 1×1
  • Or you want to finish a 10k …
    • Decide on the month you want to race and choose which race you want to do (AND maybe even register for it!)
  • Or maybe you want to start an herb garden …
    • Take some time to choose a couple of herbs you want to start with

Then, when you have your blocked time next month, ask yourself some questions about these words. For example:

  • How am I seeing change in these areas?
  • What more can I do?
  • Who do I need to talk to in order to make that happen?
  • What is the next step or thing I can do before next month?

Excited for YOU in 2017?

Us too!

Be sure to share your words with us. We’d love to know!

Don’t forget you!

Don’t forget you!

What. a. WEEK.

Work was crazy. Personal life was crazy. And, our county has been a little crazy gearing up for our next presidential election.

When our lives (and the lives around us) are busy, it can be easy to forget to take care of ourselves.

So, as the weekend approaches, think about what you need to do for you (and this doesn’t need to be extravagant)!

Need a starting point?

  • Actually eat (read: chew!) lunch – don’t scarf it down in 2 minutes flat
  • Take 30 minutes to start a book you’ve been meaning to read (for fun)
  • Take a long shower
  • Get outside and go for a walk (even if just around the parking lot)
  • Get a Pumpkin Spice Latte (celebrate the season, right?!) and spend a few minutes at a coffee shop

Doing something for you doesn’t have to be extravagant and a little self-care can do wonders for your energy level.

ENJOY!