Leadership GPS – Are Your Leaders Lost?

“Invest in Your People”

Leadership Development

Are Your Leaders Lost without their GPS?

In today’s business environment, organizations need everyone, both leaders and team members to be actively engaged in driving the business.  However, if your leaders are like the leaders in many organizations, they are overwhelmed and unclear about their role, their organizational boundaries, and their authority.  This lack of clarity and feeling of being overwhelmed is often exacerbated as they navigate through complex and bureaucratic organizational systems that may leave them feeling exhausted, hopeless, and stuck.  Leaders spend the majority of their time just trying to keep up, putting out the next fire, and fighting roadblocks. 

It is time we acknowledge that our leaders are just getting by at best, being constantly stuck on “defense”, in reactionary mode.  Our leaders are not leading anything, as they are unable to be on “offense”, proactively ensuring the execution of organizational strategy by planning, developing, inspiring, and improving the business through the people that drive it forward.    

Leaders are searching for the mystical ingredients that will make things easier.  They are searching for simplicity, clarity, and an engaged workforce that supports one another and works toward a common goal.   Leaders want answers to questions such as:

  • “How am I supposed to devote time to developing others when I am so overwhelmed with my own responsibilities?”
  • “How do I get my employees to “Own It” and be more engaged in the business?”
  • “How do I change an environment that is content with being reactive?”
  • “How do I explain and communicate strategy to others when it is unclear to me?”
  • “How am I supposed to manage the competing and conflicting priorities that are part of my day to day work?”

If your leaders feel this way more days than not, they probably feel as if they have been abandoned by the organization, lost, and unable to acquire a signal on their “GPS” to get themselves back on track. They are unclear about where to go and how to get there.  They are lost without a clear leadership guidance tool and the proper behaviors necessary to navigate through the challenges and detours that are a natural part of achieving goals through engaged people.

So how can I help my leaders navigate this challenging environment and drive engagement and accountability?

DEVELOP VISIBLE LEADERSHIP SKILLS:  WE ARE ALL LEADERS!

Many organizations have invested a massive amount of time focusing on initiatives such as updating their facilities, implementing lean and six sigma tools that often become the flavor of the month, and other “point in time” diagnostic efforts that don’t seem to deliver much value.  Although these initiatives are important if done in the right context, often overlooked is the most critical investment – developing our people in a way that will engage them to the business and deliver sustainable results. The development of people that CSI is referring to encompasses the entire organization.

It has often been said that leadership is all about authority and the title that goes along with it.  At CSI, we believe that nothing can be further from the truth.  Leadership is not about job titles or authority, it is about action and behaviors.  It’s about the ability to influence outcomes and inspire others.  Leaders can and must be found at all levels across the organization.  There is a critical need to develop individuals to learn and apply key behaviors that inspire others, spark influence, and drive to sustainable results and outcomes.  High performance is achieved only when everyone on the team, not just a select few choose to lead.

Eight Foundational Attributes of Engagement

To place a framework around the key behaviors required to generate the output of increased engagement, CSI has identified the Eight Foundational Attributes of Engagement.  These attributes must be understood, practiced, and measured to elevate engagement within a team or organization.  These attributes support the foundation that is the overall Leadership GPS Model and move leaders to “transformational” thinking around the goals, people, and systems required to ensure long term success.  Highly engaged employees are described as having “it”; it is as if they have somehow found the secret magical recipe to inspire and influence others.  They are described as having presence in the way that they incorporate the behaviors defined under each attribute into the work environment in a natural, “the way we work around here way”.  The impact can become cultural when an organization works toward shifting the paradigm and provides the support, training, and coaching needed for this transformation. 

What are these Eight Leadership Attributes of a Highly Engaged Workforce?  Join us for our four part series as we unveil and unpack each of the 8 leadership attributes.

Click Here to View Part One

Communication Secrets of the World’s Most Influential Leaders

Communication Secrets of the World’s Most Influential Leaders

It is impossible to become a great leader without being a great communicator.  It is the ability to develop a keen external awareness that separates the truly great communicators from those who muddle through their interactions with others. If you examine the world’s greatest leaders, you’ll find them all to be exceptional communicators. They might talk about their ideas, but they do so in a way which also speaks to your emotions and your aspirations. They realize if their message doesn’t take deep root with the audience then it likely won’t be understood, much less championed.  The following are several communication secrets that all great leaders share:

  1. Get Personal Stop issuing corporate communications and begin having organizational conversations – think dialog not monologue.
  2. Get Specific – Learn to communicate with clarity. Simple and concise is always better than complicated and confusing.
  3. Always Be the Last to Speak – Simply broadcasting your message will not have the same result as engaging in meaningful conversation.
  4. Read Between the Lines – Great leaders have the uncanny ability to understand what is not said, witnessed, or heard. If you keep your eyes & ears open and your mouth shut, you’ll be amazed at how your level or organizational awareness is raised.
  5. Speak to Groups as Individuals – Great communicators can tailor a message such that each and every person feels as if they were speaking directly to them. Knowing how to work a room and establish credibility, trust, and rapport are keys to successful interactions.

“Great leaders are almost always great simplifiers, who can cut through argument, debate and doubt, to offer a solution everybody can understand.” ― Colin Powell

8 Leadership Attributes of a Highly Engaged Workforce [Series]

PART 1

Eight Foundational Leadership Attributes of Engagement 

To place a framework around the key behaviors required to generate the output of increased engagement, CSI has identified the Eight Foundational Attributes of Engagement.  These attributes must be understood, practiced, and measured to elevate engagement within a team or organization.  These attributes support the foundation that is the overall Leadership GPS Model and move leaders to “transformational” thinking around the goals, people, and systems required to ensure long term success.  Highly engaged employees are described as having “it”; it is as if they have somehow found the secret magical recipe to inspire and influence others.  They are described as having presence in the way that they incorporate the behaviors defined under each attribute into the work environment in a natural, “the way we work around here way”.  The impact can become cultural when an organization works toward shifting the paradigm and provides the support, training, and coaching needed for this transformation. 

What are these Eight Leadership Attributes of a Highly Engaged Workforce? 

The Engagement Attributes of (1) Business Acumen and (2) Altruistic Decision Making

Think back to the first time you were empowered to make a business decision.  What was the situation?  Did you feel prepared?  Did you receive praise and reinforcement for your decision that inspired you to engage more, critical feedback on your decision that moved you to silence, or a thoughtful review of the positive and consequential impacts of your decision that educated you and encouraged you to think differently next time?  As leaders, one of our biggest responsibilities is developing our people and their knowledge of the business from both a micro and macro perspective so that they are able to evaluate risks and opportunities and make decisions quickly that are organizationally focused. Elevating Engagement goes hand in hand with being intentional about educating employees on the competition, the drivers of business success, and how the way.

Join us for our 4 part series as we unveil and unpack each of the 8 leadership attributes. 

10 Preferences and Ideologies of Generation Z that will Re-Shape the Work Climate

10 Preferences and Ideologies of Generation Z that will Re-Shape the Work Climate

Ready or not, here they come!  You may notice some slight nuances in work attitude and style, as you welcome to your organization summer interns and the recent group of group of new graduates.  Perhaps you catch yourself thinking something is different, something is changing, but yet, you still have not been able to identify exactly what that “something” is.  If you have found yourself thinking these thoughts, you are right.  Something is different, Generation Z (the post-millennial generation) is entering the workforce and it is time that organizations begin to understand their motivations and expectations and how they might influence and shape the world of work. 

10 Preferences and Ideologies of Generation Z that will Re-Shape the Work Climate

  1. Preference for intrapersonal and independent work/learning over group work/learning
  2. Preference to work alone, and in a social setting
  3. Gravitate toward an entrepreneurial mindset
  4. Seek more than just a job; they want a job with purpose and a sense of fulfillment that helps to move the world forward
  5. Possess the skills needed to operate in a high tech world, but prefer person to person contact as opposed to on-line interaction
  6. Grew up in an on-demand economy and therefore expect immediacy in the delivery of products and services
  7. Have been “on-camera” all of their lives and therefore are more aware of the power of presence in influencing others
  8. See the internet as a tool to socialize and also gain information that they can apply to real life
  9. Conservative and pragmatic about money
  10. Understand that systems are broken

Join us for our 10 part series that will take a more in depth look at how each of these preferences will re-shape the work climate. 

YOUR TUESDAY TIP – 4 Summer Workplace Safety Tips for the 4th of July

4 Summer Workplace Safety Tips to Keep Your Workforce Successful 

With July 4th right around the corner, safety is the topic at the forefront of everyone’s minds. Particularly during the Summer months, hot weather and accompanying conditions can be a detriment to employee productivity and the overall success of the enterprise.

Here are 4 best practices to help you create a workplace safety environment under the harsh summer sun: 

  1. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate: Dehydration poses an exceptional threat during the dry months of summer. Have cool, fresh water easily accessible to employees and encourage them to drink regularly throughout the day. 
  2. Conquer your productivity slump: Though summer is the season for vacation and relaxation, it is important to stay calibrated and maintain the ability to bounce back to productivity. Conquer summertime distractions and the urge to drop all tasks at hand by setting achievable goals for yourself and prioritizing your responsibilities. 
  3. Dress for success: Stay suited in clothing that combats the summer heat. Keep your cool by selecting lightweight, breathable fabrics that will maximize air circulation, allowing heat and moist air to escape.
  4. Relax: Due to the slow paced nature of the summer months, it is not uncommon to feel heightened levels of monotony, lethargy, and exhaustion. Whether it be a few hours, days, or weeks, grant yourself the time to step away from your everyday routine and rediscover your work passion.

Safety done right: Congratulations to our client, Rockline Industries, for setting a MAJOR safety milestone – eight million safe work hours at their Arkansas Plant. 

To read more about their safety success, click here 

 

 

Moving Leaders From a Position of “Defense” to “Offense”

PROCESS BASED LEADERSHIP® & LEADER STANDARD WORK:

Consistently focus on, role model and confirm the behaviors and activities that demonstrate the habits of effective leaders.

In today’s business environment, organizations need everyone – leaders and team members to be actively engaged in driving the business.  Process Based Leadership® is a system that brings a sound, process-driven approach to executing a strategy and operating a business.  By implementing core non-negotiable business focus, accountability, communication, and behavioral processes throughout all organizational levels and functions, leaders help their organization establish an operating system that drives clarity, connectivity, and consistency.  This strong foundation not only improves overall Team Effectiveness, but also positions Leaders to swing the pendulum from constantly being in reactive mode to being more proactive.

 

Involving all employees in the tactical creation and execution of Process Based Leadership® ensures that the processes will be established within the confines of daily operations in a cascading flow.  In order to provide a consistent level of support, leaders need to be able to prioritize and focus on what’s important as well as hold themselves accountable in leading their people.  Leaders need to set the tone and serve as positive role models for fostering cultures of collective accountability vs. dependency and support their employees to ensure they are performing per expectations and to the best of their abilities.  

 

Leader Standard Work is an impactful lean tool/technique that documents the repetitive pattern of activities that represent the current least wasteful method of planning and controlling normal business processes.  Leader standard work requires the commitment to outline the important responsibilities and activities of a leader (such as 1-on-1’s, GEMBA Walks, attend shift huddles) and then to confirm that the activities are occurring as planned.  In the spirit of continuous improvement, adjustments are made, as necessary.  Some examples of expectations and benefits of Leader Standard Work:

 

  • Support Process Based Leadership® – adherence to non-negotiables
  • Removal of barriers that are impacting an individual or a team
  • Provide a proactive approach to managing your business
  • Support employees-growth & development
  • Empower employees to “Own It” – decisions, problem solving, Continuous Improvement
  • Set vision/direction
  • Provide for ease of assimilation if someone new stepped into your role

 

Leader Standard Work is an invaluable tool to help ensure a consistent approach to how leaders drive performance across the organization in support of Process Based Leadership®.  It is this culture of leaders supporting their employees and holding themselves accountable that ensures they are doing the right things to help move the business forward.

 

YOUR TUESDAY TIP – 10 Things That Require Zero Talent

Within the boundaries of the business world, talent is often ascribed as a primary contributor of success. However, placing too much stock in this point of view can be a critical misstep. The reality is that success exists as a veritable cocktail of elements, and, unlike talent, many of these elements are within one’s own circle of control.

A recent social media post has highlighted a list of 10 exercisable behaviors that do not necessarily require talent, but can impact success both personally and professionally:

“Whenever you do a thing, act as if all the world were watching.” – Thomas Jefferson

The Countdown Is On: Attendees, Get Ready For SHRM 17′ (Video Preview)

The countdown is on.

We’re merely days away from SHRM 2017 Annual Conference & Exposition, and our excitement is palpable – so much so that we are giving you a glimpse of our upcoming presentation. Take a look and see exactly why you don’t want to miss it:

This sneak peek provides just a taste of the HR obstacles that renowned speaker, Shane Yount, will be tackling. Prepare to gain critical insights surrounding 2017’s hottest HR industry trends, organizational barriers, and learn innovative ways to respond. Join Shane and the Competitive Solutions team as we reveal proven systems to efficiently identify, enumerate, and execute on the central priorities of your organization.


Session Details: 

Session: HR Leading the Way: Aligning Goals, People, and Systems for Sustainable Success
Room: La Nouvelle Ballroom C
Date/Time: Sunday 06/18/2017 12:30 PM – 02:00 PM
 
Session: HR Metrics That Matter: Learn to Drive Sustainable Business Processes
Room: 293-296
Date/Time: Monday 06/19/2017 10:45 AM – 12:00 PM

 

Shane Yount to Speak at SHRM 2017 Annual Conference & Exposition

New Orleans, LA: Shane Yount, Principal / Author with Competitive Solutions, Inc. (CSI), will speak at the SHRM 2017 Annual Conference & Exposition on Sunday, June 18th, as well as Monday, June 19th. 

The titles of his presentations are “HR Leading the Way: Aligning Goals, People, and Systems for Sustainable Success,” and “HR Metrics that Matter: Learn to Drive Sustainable Business Processes,” respectively. These presentations will encompass a multitude of trending topics within the HR industry, and will ultimately provide the attendee with the true essence of performance management and how it can benefit their organizations.  Individuals will take away examples of how companies are successfully using performance management to retain, motivate, and engage their workforce.

Competitive Solutions, Inc. (CSI) has over twenty five years in leadership training and consulting experience.  CSI specializes in helping organizations develop meaningful business metrics, create culture of true accountability and improve communication within the organization deploying a business methodology called Process Based Leadership®.  This methodology achieves total process connectivity and consistency of utilization within all layers and departments in the organization.

YOUR TUESDAY TIP – Using Scorecards to Motivate (Infographic)

Stop using spreadsheets! If you would like more information, join our free webinar on June 8th entitled “The Pitfalls and Payoffs of Using Business Scorecards or Dashboards” or contact us today.

Request Invitation to Webinar or to Learn More

“A genuine leader is not a searcher for consensus but a molder of consensus.”
– Martin Luther King, Jr.