Last April, here on the blog I asked the question: What’s stopping you from moving forward? And to answer it, I used the metaphor of paddling a kayak. Today, I have another metaphor to address the same question.
Imagine a bungee cord
Imagine a bungee cord. One end is attached to a fixed object and the other is hooked to the back of your belt. As long as you stay close to the stationary end, the cord remains loose and there is no tension. But as you walk away, the slack in the cord will begin to tighten and you’ll feel a pull on your back. Continue to step away and you’ll find that eventually it will be a struggle to keep going. In fact, not only will the bungee cord hold you back from moving forward, but you will also be at serious risk of either losing your pants or getting smacked by a broken bungee.
All of us have bungee cords attached to us, links to the past that hold us back from moving forward. And the more we try to get ahead, the more the stress and tension grows forcing us to stay where we are. And often the fear of losing our pants or getting smacked by the broken bungee keeps us from continuing to try. Continue reading
Are you trustworthy? Do you find that your coworkers are reluctant to rely on you? Are you left out of confidential meetings? Does your supervisor double-check your work or micro-manage you? Are you always the last person to find out what everyone else already seems to know?
Regular readers of the blog know that I often talk about the importance of building workplace trust. In fact, in a previous blog post titled How can you build trust in the workplace?, I offered four ideas. Workplace trust is essential to establish not only your reputation, but also to build a strong network of people who will help you throughout your career. So if you often find yourself in situations such as those above, it may be time to self-reflect; to consider whether your own actions are inadvertently causing others to view you as untrustworthy.
Five things you may be doing that send the wrong message
My latest column in The Globe and Mail published on December 31, and in it I spelled out five unintentional behaviours you may be exhibiting that cause others think that you are not to be trusted.
Note: if you are a subscriber to The Globe and Mail, you can also read the column directly at their website at this link: https://tgam.ca/2VlSTDZ
I’d love to hear your thoughts on this topic. Do you work with people who are untrustworthy? Are there any other signs that you think are dead giveaways of people who should not be trusted? Please share your perspective and your experiences by adding your comments below.
As the holiday season approaches, here at the Turning Managers into Leaders blog, we’re taking a short hiatus to celebrate. But rest assured, we’ll be back, enthused and energized, ready to share and learn, on Monday January 7, 2019. In 2019, the blog will turn ten years old, and I am so grateful that you all have been such an important part of its creation and its growth. I look forward to another fantastic year of exchanging ideas and starting dialogues (and perhaps even some arguments), in the pursuit of becoming even better leaders than you already are!
Until January then, my best wishes to all of you and your loved ones for a festive, joyous, rejuvenating season with family and friends. I hope you’ll continue old traditions and find the time to create new ones! See you in 2019!
If you’re a leader, then you’re responsible for decision-making. Which is why it we have a whole section on Problem Solving tools on the blog. Today’s insight comes from peanuts in the shell – a concession staple at just about any baseball game!
So think about the last time you purchased a bag of these tasty treats. As you shelled the peanuts, did you put the empty shells back in the same bag? Chances are you didn’t, likely for a couple of reasons. One, because it instinctively doesn’t make sense to put the waste in with the good peanuts, and two (and perhaps more importantly), every time you put the unwanted shells back in the bag, you reduce your chances of getting a good peanut the next time you reach in.
How does this apply to decision-making in the workplace?
There is a workplace equivalent to this scenario, having to do with decision-making. As a leader, you are charged with making a variety of decisions, often requiring you to select the best choice from a number of possible options. Using this metaphor, it makes sense to discard choices as you evaluate them as unsuitable. Why put them back in the bag where they’ll just continue to muddle and reduce the efficacy of your decision-making? But that’s exactly what we often do. Continue reading
All year, I’ve been giving you video tips on explicit actions leaders can take to motivate their people and build employee commitment for the long haul. Last week, I went back to basics with “Provide a workplace that is free from bullying and harassment”. Today, #33, happens to be our final strategy in this continuing series, so it seems only appropriate that it should be about a celebration. Specifically, today’s motivating tip is to plan periodic office parties. Let me explain further.
Plan periodic office parties
Your goal should be to maximize attendance for motivation value, so consider holding your office party during office hours, ideally over the lunch hour. Plan to have them once a quarter, or even monthly. Encourage employees to get involved in the planning; in fact, go as far as appointing each of your employees to one of the quarterly or monthly “planning committees” so that over the year each of your people are involved in one event. Continue reading
Absolutely fundamental to gaining employee commitment: a workplace that is free of bullying and harassment
So far, in our ongoing series on specific actions leaders can take to gain employee commitment, I’ve shared a variety of ideas that range from basic to the unexpected. Today’s strategy however falls under “absolutely fundamental”. It is to provide a workplace that is free from bullying and harassment. Not fancy or exotic, but unequivocally essential. And when you do it right, the result is solid employee commitment!
Provide a workplace that is free from bullying and harassment
All employees have the right to be in a safe workplace that is free from violence, harassment and bullying. Not only is it the right thing to do from an ethical perspective, but it is also required by law. And it’s your job as a leader to make it so. Continue reading
Employee retention is an issue that should be top of mind for leaders everywhere. Sure, depending on your industry or market sector, employee turnover may be a fact of life, but have you ever noticed that when employees leave, it’s never the lousy ones that jump ship? The unfortunate reality is that the ones who are most likely to leave are the ones that are in greatest demand elsewhere. And of course, those are usually your best and your brightest, the ones that you really want to keep!
What are you doing?
So what are you doing for employee retention? What actions are you taking to ensure that your top employees want to stay in your organization? What are you doing to engage them so that your company is their employer of choice? If the answer is “nothing”, then you’re putting yourself at a serious competitive advantage. Because you can bet that those who are departing are going right over to organizations who have taken concrete steps to entice and engage them. In my latest column for The Globe and Mail, published this morning, I lay out five proven ideas to stop your finest from fleeing to what they see as greener pastures.
If you get the print version of The Globe, you’ll find this article on page B13.
Note: if you are a subscriber to The Globe and Mail, you can also read the column directly at their website at this link: https://tgam.ca/2DYzp2F
So I’m well aware that this subject usually seems to get people riled up, primarily because of my assertion that the answer to employee retention and engagement is not “money”. But, as always, even if you don’t agree with me, I’m interested in your perspective and your experiences. So please share by adding your comments below.
In our last video episode in our ongoing series focusing on specific motivating actions leaders can take to secure employee commitment, I suggested that you let your employees telecommute, even occasionally. Today’s idea: offer each of your employees the opportunity to annually attend at least one training program or learning conference of their choice.
Let your people attend at least one training event (of their choice) annually
When you invest financial resources into your employees, what you’re really telling them is that you value them and want to set them up for success. No wonder then that this seemingly simple action invariably results in increased employee commitment. And when you let your employees choose which training or conference to attend, the motivating value goes up significantly.
Concerned about abuse? It can be managed
Now I’ve heard the objections to this … what if the employee selects training that is not ideal for their job? Or what if the employee chooses a conference that is at some exotic location that costs an arm and a leg in travel expenses? Continue reading
Leadership training programs in Alberta – get your 2018 professional development points before you run out of time!
For the fourth year in a row, I am so pleased to be partnering with the Chartered Professional Accountants of Alberta (CPA Alberta) to deliver high-quality cost-effective leadership training in a series of ten “public” programs until March 2019. The first two sessions happened in October, but I now have three more events coming up in December in Edmonton and Calgary. If you belong to a professional association that requires you to complete a specified number of professional development credits annually, then these one-day programs will most definitely qualify (and may be one of your last chances to get your 2018 requirement met).
You don’t have to be a member of CPA Alberta to attend
Even if you aren’t a member of the CPA Alberta, these are “public” programs which means that they are open to ANYONE from ANY organization … you DO NOT have to be a member of CPA Alberta to register. These one-day sessions are very reasonably priced at a fraction of what it can cost through some commercial vendors, and if you register early, you can get even more savings. Add in a continental breakfast and a light lunch, and the fact that we get to spend the day together … how could life get any better?
Here are the dates!
- Productivity Skills for Leaders – Wednesday December 5
- Just for Leaders: Project Management 101 – Thursday December 6
- Just for Leaders: Project Management 101 – Monday December 17
Click on any program link above for further information or to register directly at the CPA Alberta site. You will need to create a secure account on their system in order to register; it’s a quick and easy process.
Let me know if you register for any of these events. That way I know to watch for you there!
Last year, I was a featured expert in a story about narcissists in the workplace, and how one can function effectively with (or despite) them, no matter whether they are your co-workers or your boss. And certainly, if you follow American politics, there is a lot of conversation about whether a certain head of state is a prime example of a narcissist. So it isn’t surprising that this topic continues to be front and centre in the news. One question that often comes up in my leadership development practice is about how to separate leaders from narcissists, particularly during hiring, as the outcome of hiring one over the other can be enormous. Ironically of course, on the surface, narcissists look suspiciously like leaders; it isn’t until later that the truth comes out.
Last week, CNN Business News put out an article titled How narcissistic CEOs put companies at risk, explaining how narcissist leaders create long-lasting negative consequences for their companies. From a leadership perspective, a couple of points in particular caught my attention. Continue reading