I was a wimp for three years. I was a coach for twelve more after that. Add it up and I spent fifteen years in sales leadership at a Fortune 50 company. Not surprisingly, my success as a leader came in those final twelve years. I realized, with the help of the people I was leading, that they wanted candor not coddling. Continue Reading…
A lot of people do not like performance reviews. Many times it is the anticipation of bad news that can cause anxiety in the individual. The fear of the unknown can overwhelm people.
That’s the problem. Nothing that is discussed in a performance review should be unknown.
That is why they are called performance reviews – NOT performance reveals! Continue Reading…
“If you ever find yourself trying to read me, stop it. I am not intentionally being vague. I am just being a bad communicator at that moment.” This statement became part of my introduction to people joining my team.
Most people reacted to that statement in two ways. Some seemed relieved. Some were confused. Whether it was relief or confusion, both reactions were the result of working on teams where they spent too much time trying to figure out their boss. Continue Reading…
It was one of those meetings. Every time I brought up an issue or an idea, all I got was blank stares or nodding heads. Every time I tried to illicit feedback from my team, I felt as if I were pulling teeth. All I heard was crickets.
When I finally had enough, I looked at my high performing team and said, “You’re all fired!” There was a nervous laugh until they saw my face. I had a stone cold look I learned when I was in the Army. The laughing stopped. Continue Reading…
Confronting your boss is not fun. When I have done it, I have been met with anger, indifference, and/or passive aggressiveness. I have also seen some very positive reactions as well.
When I speak to groups about Building A Culture of Leadership within an organization, I always discuss the need for those without the title to speak up and lead up. I can usually count on someone approaching me after the program with a problem.
Some people tell me about their boss and the issues they will encounter if they attempt to lead up. I usually respond with empathy and one of two quotes from my dad:
• Just because it isn’t easy to do does not mean you should not be doing it!
• Whoever said leadership was going to be easy?
These quotes have some bite to them, but they are true nonetheless. Continue Reading…
“No team ever failed because of too much communication.
It is almost always the opposite.”
At Acme Inc., we believe that good communication is the bedrock for all successful relationships in business and in life. From good communication flow trust, understanding and teamwork both with our customers and with each other.
Acme Inc. Is A Communication Company “When in doubt, over-‐communicate.” Continue Reading…
If I challenge my boss, she will thank me. If I speak up for what is right, my boss will not persecute me. If I fight for my integrity despite pressure from above, I will always keep my job.
None of these results are guaranteed if I do the right thing. The only time I have a guarantee is if I stay silent. My silence guarantees things will stay the way they are. Speaking up is the only way change may happen.
Based on comments I received on my last blog post, I am reposting this blog from November 2012 to encourage people to SPEAK UP if in matters of integrity.
It was another day at work with Janet. She was once again telling me about her problems with her boyfriend. In my mind, she needed to ditch this loser.
I was confident he was lying to her, cheating on her, and was not the guy she should commit to any longer. But, her friends were advising her differently.
Me: “Who are these friends?”
Janet: “My girlfriends from the gym who I hang out with after work.”
Me: “Are any of them married?”
Janet: “No, why?”
Me: “Seek advice from people who are where you want to be. Not from people who are where you are.”
I agreed to talk to the boss. Three of my peers approached me about a sales campaign that they thought missed the mark. It was our boss’s idea, but it wasn’t a good one.
Over time, I became the person my peers came to when someone needed to confront our boss. I accepted that role and felt comfortable doing it. I just wish my peers would have spoken directly to our boss themselves instead of going through me. Continue Reading…
Titles mean something. Team Leader, Manager, Supervisor, Vice-President- they are all titles bestowed on those who are called by an organization to lead. They have the official duties and responsibilities that go with the title.
John Maxwell says leadership is influence. If that is true, are the people with the titles the only ones called to lead? No. The title gives them some positional authority, but leaders are needed at every level of an organization. Continue Reading…