For Bosses on Boss’s Day: Have You Done Eough?

October 16th is Boss’s Day.

When I think of Boss’s Day I think of the bosses I’ve had, the bosses I’ve seen and the boss I’ve been. I think of the skills I admired and echoed.  I think of the skills I could see that were buried under layers of self-discipline issues and integrity challenges.  I think of the good, the bad and the ugly:

  • The boss that was in his late 40’s, that would have temper tantrums like a two-year old when things did not go well.  (Stomping feet, throwing things, and completely consumed with blaming someone instead of problem solving.)
  • The boss that was kind, fun, supportive, and late for everything!
  • A different boss that realized in a training that her constant tardiness felt like a slap in the face to many of her employees and they were questioning her integrity.   (Her discovery was profound and behavior-altering!)
  • The boss that listened first to understand, then evaluated if the team had the tools,training and support to do their job before determining how to handle poor performance.  (Building trust and a strong organization!)

The Enemy Within: Internal Customer Service Impacts Growth

This is the second post in a three part series about customer service.  The first post asked the question, “Can great customer service be taught to anyone?”

This post examines the need for people at every level of an organization to share a vision and view each other as their customer:

  • Have you ever needed something from a co-worker in order to do your job but encountered red-tape or bad attitudes?
  • Have you ever gone in search of answers about data that was required for a critical report only to be passed from person to person and from department to department, finding that no one would provide a straight answer let alone take ownership?
  • Have you ever sat through a meeting where it was more important to point fingers and place blame than it was to look for solutions?
  • Has your organization ever laid anyone off because it wasn’t generating enough revenue, and you know that you know, that you know; that the biggest challenges they are facing weren’t created “out there”  it was created by the silos, politics and turf wars within the organization?

Employee Engagement | Banging Pans and Throwing Fish in Corporate America

One evening several summers ago, my husband and I (who don’t have children of our own) were at a playground with my six and seven-year-old niece and nephew.  They took me to the highest part of a fort and told me that I was the princess, they were my guards, and that my husband was “the bad guy.”  I was instructed to stay in the tower and they would protect me!  In the moments that followed, my husband and I were transported back to a world we have nearly forgotten.

As I found myself savoring each second of that evening, I also found myself wondering why we don’t visit that world more often.

The entire experience made me think about the Disney Movie, Monsters, Inc., a movie about Monsters that power their world by capturing the energy in a child’s scream.  Through a series of events they discover that a child’s laugh produces much more energy than a scream.  …Ultimately transforming their entire world.  Do you see the connection to the workplace?  

Leaders that Open Doors are Treasure Hunters

leaders-open-doors-blog-tour-square-300x300This post is part of the Leadership Opportunity Fest Blog Tour, hosted by Bill Treasurer.  Watch the Leadership Opportunity Fest webinar here, find his book on Amazon, and then join us for the blog tour on August 13th as we celebrate leaders who open doors.

The title of the book came from a lesson Bill learned from his pre-school aged son Ian, when he proudly proclaimed he had been the leader for the day. When Bill asked what that meant, Ian proudly shared, “I got to open doors for people.”

The purpose of the Leadership Opportunity Fest Blog Tour is to celebrate leaders that opened doors for others.  My story  first appeared on SmartBlog for Leadership titled Diamonds in the Rough:  How to recognize Star Employees

Many years ago, a customer wrote a letter about me to my regional manager. To this day, I don’t know what prompted him to write the letter, and I don’t remember everything that it said, but I do remember that he called me “a diamond in the rough.”

While he saw potential, my focus was on all of my rough edges. I had recently transitioned from nonprofits and small businesses to my first job in corporate America. The processes, the language, the attire, the politics and the overall environment were so different so that, as thrilled as I was to be there, I was also intimidated and afraid that my knowledge and ideas were too simple and too child-like to be worthy.

What is interesting to me today is that the customer who wrote the note was an incredibly successful and busy CEO. In spite of his schedule, he intentionally chose to invest his time in both me and in the organization I worked for by writing that note.

The reason I share this story is that since then, I’ve frequently asked executives and hiring managers what their biggest challenge is. At least 90% of the time I get the same answer: “People.” That comment is quickly followed by an explanation about how hard it is to find enough qualified and caring people to do the work.

So here’s the challenge, if polished gems don’t grow on trees: How and where do you find them? Taking a lesson from Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffma’s Strengths Finder Research, and the CEO I mentioned earlier, you invest your time and mine for them.

Consider these true stories.

A vibrant, outgoing skilled woman has a position doing routine clerical work. Her people skills are not challenged; her ability to problem solve is not challenged, and her desire to have fun at work is not understood. She is undervalued and treated like an ugly duckling. When she is transferred to another department where her natural strengths are unleashed, she increases customer satisfaction and key metrics by several percentage points. She is suddenly a swan!

Willing To Exchange Our Lives For YOUR Freedom

“A Veteran, whether active duty, discharged, retired, or reserve, is someone who, at one point in his or her life, wrote a blank check made payable to The United States of America, for an amount up to and including his or her own life.”  Unknown

This Saturday is Armed Forces Day.  In honor of the men and women that have written a blank check for their lives in exchange for our freedom I asked several friends to help us understand their choice…  Adonis Phillips, Joseph Pullen, David Groce and LaDine Roth Cravotta are Veterans, Cathy Herring is a mother of a Veteran.