Here are some of my notes from Day 2 of the Global Leadership Summit (#gls17) from this past Friday. I attended the remote site in Fort Wayne, Indiana (the largest remote site in the world).
Lazlo Bock (former VP of People Operations at Google)
“Often there is a gap between the values leaders talk about and the values they live.”
“Find the best people, grow them fast, and retain them.”
“The experience of our work should have purpose. Give work meaning. Have a mission that matters.” Lazlo cited a survey that found:
“We must remind our teams of our mission all the time. It’s not a one-and-done thing.” How? Lazlo said that the best way to get our mission into our team members’ heads and hearts is through story-telling. But not just any stories – LIFE-CHANGING stories. These kinds of stories make a personal connection with our mission (I bet this work with our customers, too).
The Meaning of our Mission Matters. Here’s a way to uncover how we are connecting our mission to the people who carry it out as well as to our customers:
“Instead of giving quick answers to a team member’s inquiry on your opinion on an issues, ask them first: “What do you think?”
“Hire people better than I am.”
Julie Funt – CEO, WhiteSpace at Work
“When talented people are too overloaded/busy, work suffers. We tolerate overload.”
“White Space – that strategic pause taken between activities to reflect and think. Great leaders use white space. It can take the form of a personal retreat to an hour break to minutes.”
What White Space is not:
“White Space is the permission to think the unthought thought.”
“We must ‘de-crap-i-fy our workflows.”
“Lollipop of Mediocrity – lick it once, and you’ll suck forever.” Brian Wilson
Mental Filters to help simplify our lives using White Space:
Use this codes in dealing with emails (a major factor to overload):
Marcus Buckingham – Author and Founding of the Marcus Buckingham Company
“You learn nothing about success by studying your failures.”
“At work, we need more BEST teams.”
When it comes to performance reviews, one size does not fit all. One size fits one. This is how we need to view performance reviews.”
In writing a performance review, these are key goals:
As leaders/managers of people, practice frequently (weekly) “Strength-Based Check-Ins” about “near-term” future work. This is done in a brief 1-on-1. Ask:
Do not give feedback in these brief 1-on-1 meetings. People want “coaching attention”.
Asking great questions will help them get better!”
A few days ago, I shared how to create a great customer experience. Today, I want to use those same steps to show you how you can become more valuable – to add value – to your team and others in your company.
When a team member or colleague brings you an issue, problem, concern, question…take time to truly listen to what it is they are saying. Don’t jump to a conclusion or give them a fast answer. Listen carefully.
Ask great questions to get to the core issue. Avoid asking yes/no questions or “why” questions. Asking great questions will get you to their core issue the fastest. It also demonstrates that you are actively listening to them.
If the person in front of you is frustrated, angry, tense, etc., take the time to empathize with them. Don’t merely sympathize (“oh, I’m sorry”). Don’t make light of their situation (“today sucks to be you!”). Feel what they are feeling and identify with that.
Once you have the core issue clarified, think. What resources do you have that can help resolve your team member’s issue? What resources do you know about that can help? Who else can you call on for assistance? Think.
Once you’ve listened carefully, asked great questions, empathized with the person, and really thought about the best way to help, then (AND ONLY THEN) act. Far too often people jump into action too quickly. Act with intention and purpose.
Following up a couple of days later says that you care about how the resolution is working or not working for the person you helped. This can be a great learning opportunity for you. It will create stronger relationships at work as you demonstrate your willingness and ability to invest in someone else.
Make your work interactions better. Follow this process to add value to your team and your company.
Remember, when you get better, your company gets better.
If you are in business, you deal with customers all the time. You want to provide a great customer experience, I know it! And your customers want a great experience as well.
But it doesn’t happen automatically.
Providing a great experience for our customers must be done intentionally. I created the following to help my team understand how they can deliver a great experience with our customers (we call them members at credit unions). Does this make sense in your business environment? Comment below. We all would love to read your insights.
Will your team get better just because they show up for work? Doubtful.
Coaching is the only, sustainable way to improve your team. Of course, your team needs training and communication, but coaching is the only way YOU, the coach/manager/leader, will be able to enable them to become better.
As a leader, you cannot rely on other leaders to improve their teams to compensate for weaknesses on your team. Each team leader must dedicate themselves to team improvement. Then, as a whole, your company becomes better.
Improve your coaching and you help your team members become better. Then your team becomes better. Your company (and your customers and communities) become better.
That’s a winning combination.
My boss just shared the following with our Lead Team. It is worth your time to read this. I’m not sure where he found this, but read it, let it sink in, and then let’s all do it.
But Enough About Me…
I sat in on a solid coaching session with a regional manager and two area managers while traveling last week.
Okay, to be honest, I sat near the session and not “in it”.
The hotel I was staying in was under construction and the temporary dining area was not very large.
I was given the one open table near three guys having dinner and talking shop.
Not having earplugs or a television close enough to focus on, their conversation became the soundtrack of my meal. Thankfully, the most senior guy in the group doled out some pretty good advice.
Beyond the nuts and bolts of their particular business (some type of manufacturing), there was a more general piece of advice he gave that had me smiling and trying to see the reactions from his mid-30-years old dinner mates.
He told them, “Don’t take this the wrong way, but I heard way too many complaints about First World problems in front of your teams today.”
As his dinner mates smiled sheepishly, he continued, “You guys are doing well. I know you work hard and believe me, I’m proud of our results. But your teams don’t need to hear about how much your kids’ private schools cost or how frustrated you are with the guys putting in your new pool.”
I will give him credit.
He made that point in a clear, yet non-scolding way.
As they joked around a bit about not wanting to sound like “that guy”, the senior manager put a nice ribbon on the subject.
He told them, “Look, sometimes the difference between the boss that you are inspired by and one that you resent is what he or she talks about most. If you are always talking about yourself, they see you as a ‘me first’ person.”
He continued, “If you are asking questions about their jobs, their families, their goals… they’ll walk through a wall for you because they know you are interested in their success…not just yours.”
I fought off the urge to lean over and high-five that senior manager.
Well, mostly because that would have been really weird.
Whether it is the employees working for you, the peers working with you or the customers you work for, how much of your conversations are centered on them?
Folks who focus their attention on others tend to attract more goodwill and success towards themselves.
Strive to be that person.
Best rates end tomorrow, May 23. Use code: 17FrndER-3659 at the following site to find a GLS site and reserve your spot for this year’s event!