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

 

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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

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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!

Navigating Your Workplace

Murkey Water

Organizational politics.

I know… those two little words made you shutter. No matter how large or small an organization is—all of them have politics. Regardless of where you are in your organization, navigating these can be tricky!

Terry Hildebrandt, PhD, PCC is back to Middle Seats to share some tips on becoming more political savvy.

Here’s what he’s got to say:

Screen Shot 2014-10-10 at 1.14.22 PMPolitics do not need to be negative. In fact, one can use political savvy in a very ethical and positive way to expand one’s influence and increase the probability of getting what you want at work and in life.

 

Here are some steps:

 

Step 1: Recognize Key Players

 

In any given scenario there will be key players. The obvious players include the executive sponsor, the team members, any relevant customers or suppliers, and supporting staff. What is less clear are the hidden players that work behind the scenes to influence the stakeholders to make certain decisions or take certain actions.

 

Best Practice: Create a Stakeholder Map listing each of the key players and their roles and relationships.

 

Step 2: Identify Interests

 

Each of the key players identified in step 1 will have their own interests that need to be understood. It is your job to build relationships with the key players in order to understand their true motivations. This will require some time and networking skills to talk to those close to key stakeholders to understand their perspectives.

 

Best Practice: create a table listing all the key players and their interests as they become clear to you.

 

Step 3: Understanding Authority and Power

 

Understanding who has authority (those empowered by the organization to make decisions) and who has power (those who have the ability to influence those in authority to make decisions) among the key players will help you understand how influence flows in an organization, how decisions are made, and how resources get allocated.

 

Best Practice: creating a power and authority map of who has access to the ears of key managers can help you better understand how power and authority flow in your organization.

 

Check back next week for Terry’s final two steps!

Welcome 2015

2015Last week we thought about where we’ve come from in 2014… This week let’s think about where we want to go!

The options are endless for what 2015 can become when we choose to be intentional about the year.

It’s easy to feel the pressure of creating “New Years Resolutions”. What if we take a different perspective on setting goals for the New Year?

What are three words you would like to use to describe 2015 on the very last day of the year?

Now, what would you need to accomplish, achieve, change, or become to make those three words a reality?

Put these words/thoughts/scribbles in a place where we can easily refer to.

In the next few weeks, we’ll be diving deeper into how to take the things you listed above and craft them into actionable and achievable goals.

But for now – bring it on, 2015!

We’re convinced you’ll be the best year yet.