Better Connection Leads to Better Results by Jim Johnson

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So you lead others within a great organization that you know does great things.  You believe in your organization’s vision and mission.

But your team’s results are lack-luster.

How does this happen?

Perhaps it is because you have work to do in helping your team connect to its purpose, performance, and priorities.

“But I’ve promoted the vision!  I’ve shared the mission!”

To build and keep momentum in peak performance, a leader must continually work to connect with his team.  Communication can never be a one-and-done venture.

I’ve been blessed to have traveled all over the world.  I’ve been on remote islands in the Philippines.  I’ve been metro areas in the Netherlands.  I’ve been on the road throughout Indonesia.  Almost everywhere I’ve been, I’ve seen ads for Coca-Cola.  You and I have seen countless TV ads for Coke. Does Coke really need to advertise their product? Do people really need to be told what Coke is?  No.

But Coke continually markets Coke to keep its product top-of-mind for consumers everywhere.

Let me ask you:  how are you keeping your team’s mission, performance targets, standards top-of-mind with each of your team members?

Organizations and leaders win when they continually connect with their team members.  So when results are falling short, ask:

  • How are we connecting with the staff?
  • What could we/should we change in our communication to better connect with our team?
  • Is this a communication issue or a training issue or both?
  • What motivates our staff to “do more” in 2018?

Your team is capable of executing plans and doing outstanding work.  They want to be a part of a team that wins.

It is your job as the leader to help connect the purpose, the performance, and the priorities of your work with each member on your team.

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How to Become Known

CEO Next Door

I’m reading the brand new book, The CEO Nextdoor.  I highly recommend it!  I want to share some thoughts and excerpts from the chapter entitled “Stand Out:  How to Become Known.”  I’ve talked with many staff members over the years who truly want to move up in the company.  I’ve heard all kinds of stories of desire, and I’ve witnessed all sorts of tactics people employ to get to their next level.  Here are some insights from authors, Elena L. Botelho and Kim R. Powell on how to become known at work:

 

“Build relationships to deliver results for the good of the company – not your own self-interest.”

Make the Most of even the Toughest Boss Situations:

  1. Understand your boss’s goals.  What does success look like to them?  How does your role fit into that?
  2. Don’t guess their expectations and preferences.  Ask.  What are their top goals for your work?
  3. Let your boss help you.  “People who see themselves as being invested in your success want to be consulted and involved i your important career moves.”
  4. Master the regular update on the things that matter.  Send focused updates to your boss.  “How do I help this individual above me achieve the goals for the enterprise?  That’s the secret to making your superior your sponsor…”

Everyone wants to get noticed at work, right?  Being busy is not what’s needed.  Focus on adding “the most value and contribute what the organization values most.”  “You need to make a contribution that moves the needle for the company.  Something that is visibly and meaningfully core to what drives value.”

Oh, there’s more in this chapter.  Do yourself a favor and order it today.  It is well-written, thought-provoking, and it will challenge you to become better whether or not you are a CEO or are aspiring to become one.  

 

LeaderBox – Leadership Resources for YOU

Are you looking for leadership material to read and apply?  I just found a great new resource called LeaderBox.  Each month, LeaderBox will send you books on leadership as well as other resources to help you become better:  a better leader, a better thinker, a better doer.

I am providing a link that you can use to learn more.  Invest in yourself this year.  LeaderBox can help!

Click on the icon below to get started:

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Or follow this link to get started: LeaderBox

The Best Version

I just received in the mail the book The Dream Manager (Matthew Kelly). It was recommended to me by a new friend about a week ago.  Here’s an excerpt from the very beginning of the book:

“A company’s purpose is to become the-best-version-of-itself.  The next question is:  What is an employee’s purpose?  Most would say, ‘to help the company achieve its purpose,’ but they would be wrong.  That is certainly part of an employee’s role, but an employee’s primary purpose is to become the-best-version-of-himself or herself…

The company exists for people.  When a company forgets that it exists to serve its customers, it quickly goes out of business.  Our employees are our first customers, and our most influential customers.  

A person’s purpose is to become the-best-version-of-himself or herself.”

I’m looking forward to diving deeper into this book.  Thank you, Scott Druhot, for the recommendation!

Update:  I just finished this book during my lunch!  Wow!  I will be implementing these ideas with my leadership team soon!  You need to read this book!

 

Does Your Team Know What Your Team Does? by Jim Johnson

I’ve been working on a little project here at work.  I lead 4 different, unique divisions.  We are all on the same floor.  There is a lot of collaboration between the teams.  But I discovered something.  The team still doesn’t always know what the team (overall) does.

So I addressed it.

With the help of my leadership team, I created a document (12 pages long) that highlights each of my divisions, the work they do, and the up-to-date results they are getting.  In each of their sections, I also shared the company awards they’ve received over the past couple of years (it’s always good to be reminded of this!).  Each team member was listed and all of their photos were included.

Teams can do the work day in and day out.  We all are busy.  My team is full of flawed, human beings – myself included!  We are not perfect.  But we do a lot to move our company forward.  We work hard to serve our customers (members) to our best ability.  We care about each other inside and outside of work.

I created this document to be sure my team understands all that goes on.  I want them to appreciate their own efforts and results.  I want them to appreciate the efforts of those working on the other side of the room.  Together, we are making a positive impact.

I challenge you to do something similar with your team.  This exercise helped me focus on the positive strengths this team has.  I think it will help my team focus on that, too.

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Brainstorming & a Shock Test

In a little over an hour, my leadership team and I will gather in a room to start a brainstorming session.  We’re going to talk about how we can become better/do better.  But instead of talking about ethereal topics, we’re going to put a timeline on our path to improvement.  We’re going to get specific on how we plan to improve.  We’re going to own our journey and our results.

MS Leadership TeamLast week, we all attended the Global Leadership Summit (#gls17, #fwgls) here in Fort Wayne, Indiana.  We were exposed to a lot of great content.  It’s time to put that content to work for us.  Today’s brainstorming session will kick-off this process.

Shock Test?  Yes.  We’re going to discuss what we would do/be differently when a deadline is applied to something we are expected to provide every day.  More on this later…

Today is about being intentional, creative, and influential.

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It’s about leadership.

Ask for the Commitment by Jim Johnson

I do a lot of coaching and work with coaches on their coaching.  Over the years, I’ve heard from coaches where they have team players that “do get it”.  Through many coaching sessions, the team player continues to remain where they are, not improving.  At times, this static-ness becomes a detriment to the team.

In a conversation with one of these coaches who had one of these team players, I asked, “Who does most of the talking during your coaching sessions?”

“I do,” the coach quickly responded.

“And you continue to see the same results from this team member?”  I ask.

“Yes, and I’m frustrated!”

“Then talk less,” I say, “it’s time you ask them for a commitment to change.”

This launched us into a good conversation about the coach’s focus – it had been all about what the coach wanted to happen.  The team member only had to sit and listen.  The team member “had to have skin in the game.”  They just had to endure a coaching session, and then it was back to the same behaviors.

There was no commitment coming from the team member.  None.

So the coach and agreed upon these next steps:

  • At the next coaching session, the coach would approach the same topic but this time ask the team member for their commitment to the process.
  • The coach would ask something such as:  “What things do you need to do more of or less of to bring about the change needed in your performance and to improve your relationships with your coworkers?”
  • The coach then needed to be quiet and expect answers from the team member. Ask more follow up questions and listen.
  • The coaching session would be documented and followed-up on.
  • The coach would take time in between coaching sessions to be around the team even more to observe and listen.
  • Feedback would be provided at future coaching sessions.
  • The team member’s commitment would be reviewed and evaluated in future sessions.

This plan was implemented.  It worked.  The coach remained consistent.  The team member complied and improved.  But she eventually left the company.  Why?

Expectations were backed up with accountability – the team member didn’t want this kind of accountability over the long-haul.  She knew (in my opinion) that she would not keep up her end of the commitment.  So she left.  And that was ok.

The coach’s team is now performing well together.  Their results have improved.  Their reputation has improved among their peers.

Leader, do not be afraid to ask for a commitment from your team.  Back up your expectations with accountability.  Be consistent in your coaching, documentation, and follow-up.  Your team can and will improve!

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