Saturday, December 18, 2010

Why should you care if people like you?

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I really enjoy finding new people that I've never had the chance to read about or meet. I have not had the opportunity to meet Seth Godin. I believe that I would like to, he seems like my kind of guy. Here's the link to his blog. I really enjoyed this observation he made. Enjoy.

EMPOWER YOUR PEOPLE

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(Part 1) (Part 2) Finishing up my profile on James F. Lincoln, I would like to focus on what I believe to be one of his greatest abilities, Empowering his people. For his time he was a revolutionary thinker that was able to put his forward thinking into tangible results. For example, His workers wages nearly doubled during the Great Depression. That feat alone would have put him into the annuls of Great Leaders. He continually looked for ways to make his workforce more efficient and profitable not only for the company but for the workers as well. How did he effectively Empower his people?


JAMES F. LINCOLN PART 2

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(Part 1 here) In a interesting turn of events I had the opportunity to talk with a friend last night and he was venting about his work and the way his manager leads his team. I guess, I should say, he was venting at the lack of leadership and how the manager does not go out of his way to empower his employees or show them appreciation. For example, The manager started a internal contest with the team that for every unsolicited positive feedback the company received for a team member, the company would give the employee $20 per positive feedback. Problem is, the contest ended on November 30th and the manager still has not rewarded the employees who received the positive feedback per the rules of his contest. This manager promptly took a very good idea and has now turned it into a BIG NEGATIVE. The employees are now even more disgruntled for not receiving the rewards for their efforts. I can honestly say that my friend is a very hard working man. Would perform above and beyond regardless of the incentive. But, you can see how the employees are disgruntled about it.

How would have James Lincoln handled this situation? By all accounts he would have implemented a similar program to encourage the employees and their efforts. The key difference would have been that he would have promptly followed up on his incentive program and made a big deal about handing out the rewards to the employees. There by encouraging the increase in productivity and setting new standards of performance.

Friday, December 17, 2010

JAMES F. LINCOLN

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"The Christian ethic should control our acts. If it did control our acts, the savings in the cost of distribution would be tremendous…Competition, then, would be in improving the quality of products and increasing efficiency in producing and distributing them; not in deception, as is now too customary."
James F. Lincoln


Between 1914 and 1965 James F. Lincoln authored an outstanding story of business ethics, productivity growth and industry leadership at the Lincoln Electric Company. 


Some of the things that he pioneered and what makes him important to Leadership and Management:

  • Created piecework pay and a employee advisory board in 1914
  • Established group life insurance polices for employees in 1915.
  • Implemented paid vacation in 1923.
  • Developed employee stock ownership plan in 1925.

A FISH OUT OF WATER

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http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/view_photog.php?photogid=851














They say pride comes before the fall. I think that we as Leaders would do well to follow that warning. We often tend to find ourselves getting "Better than others" after a series of successes either by ourselves or by our team. How can we keep Pride from creeping in and destroying all that we have worked so hard to achieve?


  • Praise Others: When there's cause for praise, direct it at the team, individual or the support staff who really put the effort in or came up with the winning play. Also, don't forget to direct praise at your Spouse, Children,Parents or Friends. Most of us do not get where we are in life without the support of others.
  • "We" instead of "I": Whenever talking of recent successes use the term, "We" instead of "I" Acknowledging a team effort and atmosphere will also keep you grounded and make those working with you a lot more appreciative of your leadership when they receive recognition as well. 
  • Feedback: Keep a open door policy whenever possible. Your team will enjoy the fact that they can come to you with issues or problems and not feel like they will be looked down upon or disciplined for it. Also, keep your friends close and seek their counsel and feedback as well. They will help you keep grounded.
These are just a few things that I feel will keep us all from floating to high. What other things have you done or can suggest to keep us grounded? Please leave a comment.



Thursday, December 16, 2010

AFTER THE FAILURE, NOW WHAT?

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I would like to follow up on my last post. I believe that a lot of leaders miss out on this opportune moment to help in the recovery process when a failure or missed deadline has occurred. As I have heard many people make the statement, " It's not how you fail, It's about how you get back up" No one likes to fail, let the team down or cause your company to miss that important contract.

When this moment arrives we absorb it, we take the member or team aside and get the "Why, where, what and How" from their point of view. We then take external input if available and put it all together. After we have analyzed it all we come back and do training and start building them back up. It's easy to just flame throw everyone and everything when things go bad. It shows our people a lot to be accountable and to hold them accountable. It's even better to then build them back up with facts and improved practices.




















http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/dont-delay/200902/fear-failure

FORGIVE AND THEN LEARN FROM IT

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Continuing on the theme of accountability.

As previously mentioned, a good leader has to learn to accept mistakes and failures as a part of growth and risk. Being accountable for the good and the bad. Along with that is holding your employees accountable for their mistakes. Holding accountable doesn't mean public executions. It means pulling them aside, capturing the moment to teach, to learn.

Encouraging a culture in your company or office of talking about failures and their causes will go far with your employees. Analyze why the failure occurred and  then implement the proper steps to ensure that particular failure doesn't re-occur. If we are ever going to break new ground in our businesses we have to foster an atmosphere where people aren't afraid of taking different approaches to accomplishing the mission or task.

Yes, there will be failures and loss. But with each failure we will learn more about our people and ourselves. Along the way we will also discover possibilities and new ventures that we would have never discovered without these failures. Learn from these failures and then forgive your people. Forgiveness is a powerful tool that we can use to empower our people.


“The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.” - Mahatma Gandhi

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

ACCOUNTABILITY, ARE YOU HOLDING YOURSELF ACCOUNTABLE?

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As leaders it's easy to get caught up in titles and a nice income. But, how do you react when the pressure is on? What do you do when your team drops the ball, doesn't convert the third down play? I have seen leaders who have no problem taking credit for making the call that led to the touchdown. But when the play ends in a sack or turnover allows the blame to fall at the feet of their team. We must be able to take the good with the bad. We have to accept that we are as human as the people we lead. Good leaders absorb the blow of bad news or missed deadlines. More importantly, we also take the time to turn it into a learning lesson for our team and ourselves. We all know the feeling of having to go to the top to deliver bad news. Keep that in mind the next time one of your employees comes and falls on their sword. You choose how you will react. You choose whether to have mercy or to have their head on a silver platter. Our employees will respect us when they know that we can deal with and absorb any news.

I'd love to hear your thoughts about this and any examples that you may have as well.

YOUR TEAM IS IN CRISIS MODE, WHAT DO YOU DO?

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I have been in many situations where the next minute of time will decide if you fail miserably or will come out looking like Superman. As leaders we are faced with difficult decisions that are ours alone to make. That is why we are leaders, that is why you must stay accountable to your people and to your shareholders. The following article gives a quick example of how you can make or break your reputation as a leader. What will you do?

http://leadership.13apples.com/leadership-psyche-1/
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Good article about why conflict is sometimes a good thing.

http://blogs.hbr.org/kotter/2010/12/the-good-fight-how-conflict-ca.html

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

IT'S OFFICIAL, I'M A BLOGGER

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I finally got the courage up to start this blog. I want this blog to be a place where professionals can come and get thought provoking articles about Leadership and how we lead our people. I am not claiming to be an expert in Leadership. But, I do have over 20 years experience leading people. I hope that you will enjoy this and pass it on to someone else who might be able to use the knowledge contained herein.
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