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Carl Robinson, Ph.D. on Leadership March 28, 2012
 
We help maximize the effectiveness of individuals and organizations by helping them improve their ability to lead, work together, select and develop their people.  Some of our related business services include: executive coaching, executive team coaching and executive assessments for development and selection.


Carl Robinson, Ph.D., Managing Principal
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Seattle, Washington
206-545-1990
carl@leadershipconsulting.com

In This Issue:

Increasing Employee Loyalty in Tough Times

Executive-Level Execution for the "Idea Person"

The Situation Room: Sensitive Materials Mishandling


Book Report: The Manager's Pocket Guide to Social Media

Authors Richard Brynteson, Jason DeBoer-Moran, and Carol Rinkoff have finally produced the guidebook many managers have been waiting for with The Manager's Pocket Guide to Social Media (HRD Press, 2011).
 
This insightful little book dives to surprising depths in the areas of how organizations can adapt to the newest form of "Power Marketing", as well as grasping the concepts around utilizing social media for the purposes of driving innovation, creating partnerships, and gathering the metrics that can prove how what has been described as a business intrusion can actually be tranformed into a productivity gain.
 
The interwoven case studies help to keep the information from ever becoming dry, and provide thought-provoking contextual examples that should drive you to think about how these new technologies can benefit your organization as well.
>Buy from Amazon.com

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Increasing Employee Loyalty in Tough Times

Here is the question of the day:
 
How do you build teamwork in a period that has been punctuated by desperation?
  
Regardless of the team building efforts that your company undertakes, they all boil down to this: You must
  
1) Instill workplace pride, and
  
2) Understand what matters most to your employees.
  
In our current climate, employers may decide that motivating employees and team building are superfluous, since employees have so few other career options. After all, your staff should just be grateful to have a job at all, right? Wrong.
  
Tough times are not an opportunity to take your employees for granted. On the contrary, this is an ideal time to establish employee loyalty, increase motivation and build (or rebuild) team identity by focusing on employee satisfaction.
 
Author Jon R. Katzenbach, has found that the most motivational managers make a personal connection to the worker, and that personal connection is used to make them feel good about the work they do.
 
“Pride is more powerful than money. Employee pride – the admiration of co-workers as well as family and friends, the spirit of teams in pursuit of a dream, and the high that comes from having done a job well – is the powerful motivational force that compels individuals and companies to excel.”
  
So how can we instill pride in employees for the challenges that they take on? One way is to implement programs such as family day. Having employees invite their family members to visit them at work gives them a chance to share the positive aspects of what they do every day. Essentially, any way of recognizing the employee’s expertise will contribute to building pride.
  
The key to understanding what matters most to your employees is to make a personal connection to each one. Take the time to learn what makes each person in your department tick, and you’ll learn how to get the highest possible productivity levels.
  
Find out why your employees have chosen their current career path, and what goals they have for the future. How does the current job fit into their overall career path? Even though you may not be able to offer salary increases or promotions in this climate, try to weave current job tasks into their long-term goals.
  
Overall, the more you can connect with employees and their goals, the higher productivity you will receive from them.

Executive-Level Execution for the "Idea Person"

You have an important business goal. You know that it is attainable, and you know what you need to do.
 
With all of the plans and strategies that we have in place, why do we have so much trouble actually getting things done?
 
Many leaders consider themselves to be “Idea People”, and while this high-level visioning is important, their ability to actually implement those ideas is often lacking, and this is when it becomes difficult to execute plans. Not just at the executive’s desk, but throughout the organization.
 
Practicing involved leadership doesn’t make you a micro-manager. Honing your execution skills means that you are able to link aspirations and results. It is the fundamental job of a business leader. If you don't know how to execute, the whole of your effort as a leader will be less than the sum of its parts.
 
Master these four core execution processes and watch your ability to lead effectively take some powerful new steps forward.
 
Start Leading, Stop Presiding
Leaders who excel at execution immerse themselves in the substance of execution and even some of the key details. They use their knowledge of the business to probe and question constantly. They bring weaknesses to light and rally their people to correct them. It’s simply a matter of taking action.
 
Become Skilled at Executing
Stay in touch with day-to-day realities; don’t let information be filtered by others who have their own perceptions and agendas. Know your people and your business. Getting accurate information will help you and others around you learn things about what is happening in the organization, and what needs to happen next.
 
Be Persistent About Realism
It is at the heart of successful execution. Don’t allow yourself to avoid the truth, no matter how much others would like to mask the (sometimes) painful reality that lies ahead. Clarify priorities and move forward with plans that have a solid base.
 
Link Rewards to Performance
Ensure effective follow through. Make sure that action always follows words. If action steps are connected to the plans, any obstacles will reveal themselves right away, and can be addressed. From there, recognize the achievers in a tangible way. This could take the shape of base pay, stock options, or even increased flexibility. A small investment in coaching and dialog with these potential performers will give them the tools they need for succeed.
 
Most of all, know thyself. Resilience and fortitude to successfully execute the organization’s plans comes from self-mastery. You will earn your leadership through conveying your inner strength, confidence, which will give you the ability to sift through high-level strategies to the successful execution of those strategies.

The Situation Room: Sensitive Materials Mishandling

Sean holds an important position in your very busy office. He supervises a staff of approximately 30 employees who do a variety of things including some frontline service and records management. Your office works with sensitive data that needs to be protected for legal compliance, and a smooth workflow between employees makes it all possible.
 
Recently you have noticed unusual bottlenecking in this department, and you spoke with Sean about it to see if there was anything specific causing the problems. He mentioned that a few newer employees weren’t up to speed but that he was “working on it”. Several weeks passed and the situation worsened. In passing you ask one of the newer employees how the training was going and to your surprise she tells you that they have yet to begin. She then apologizes for an incident that happened the previous week where she had gotten a folder back from Sean and handed it to a client only to find later that day that it contained the confidential information of another client. The department has yet to recover the file. This is a potentially serious infraction, and required your direct attention and some documentation immediately. It was the first you had heard of it.
 
You approach Sean’s desk, and it seems he knows why you are there before you speak. When you inquire as to why you were not informed immediately of the error Sean tells you that he didn’t want the employee to get reprimanded for what amounted to his mistake. In regards to getting the files back he also tells you in a way that reminds you of your previous conversation that he is “working on it”. Sean has never had an issue regarding his work performance before.
 
What is your next step?


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