Archive for the ‘Company Culture Change’ Category

Gaining the confidence of your boss

Monday, September 7th, 2015

Dan Sullivan, a consultant to entrepreneurs and financial analysts, once said that the purpose of employees is to build the confidence of the business owner.

When I first heard that, I thought it was one of the most arrogant things I’d ever heard! It took me about five to ten years to really figure out what he meant, and then I got it.

It’s about the way in which a successful business relies on a pyramid of trust.

If you’re an entrepreneur, you know that you can’t be generative and come up with ideas and feel confident selling if you can’t count on your people to deliver and to live their word. Without that, the whole business suffers.

But I think it goes beyond the entrepreneur – it also applies to managers. The manager can’t feel confident and feel like he or she can go to customers and move things along unless they know that the employees are going to do what they say they will do.

So building the confidence of your boss essentially means that you are completely transparent about what you have done, about anything that might be undone, and clear about how you are going to get the plan accomplished. There should be absolutely no surprises. Hit your numbers, hit your deadlines, and let him or her know any time something might be out of alignment.

Do the right thing

Monday, August 10th, 2015

You’ve made some good decisions, and you’ve made a few lousy ones. Welcome to the human race. But what can you learn from your personal history to improve the ratio of good to lousy?

You know the decisions I’m talking about. You needed to meet a goal or quota, so you did the wrong thing by the client. You thought the client and your boss wouldn’t notice. That didn’t work. You violated your value of always doing the right thing by the customer, and a bad result was your reward.

You had to get home early to meet with friends, so you didn’t double-check that project before sending it out to the client. You lost the deal because you didn’t uphold your value of quality work. Again, bad result.

You were in a pinch to fill a position, so you hired someone you knew just didn’t share your values. Twenty-four hours after the start time, you knew you had a problem.

In each of these cases, you made a decision that deep in your gut felt wrong before you even made it. That sick feeling was all you needed to know for certain that you blew it. And in the long run, you know it will catch up with you. And it’s not going to be pretty when it does.

Pay attention to that feeling, and do the right thing.

Complaining about work outside of work

Monday, July 27th, 2015

It’s become a national sport to go home and complain about the boss or coworkers or the job itself. A lot of times it’s accompanied by a muttered promise: “As soon as I find something else, I am outta here.”

Whenever I hear that, I think, “This person is projecting their own stuff. And if they quit, they’re probably not going to like the next job either. Or the job after that. Or the job after that.” The problem is…everywhere you go…there you are!

If you complain about someone instead of going directly to the person to fix the problem, you’re really hurting two people: The one who has to sit and listen to you, which is never fun, and the person you are talking down, because you are not helping them in any kind of productive way.

So the only person to complain about in this scenario…is you!

Integrity requires that we skip the eye-rolling conversations with teammates or spouses and instead put on our grown-up pants and go authentically to that person, and that person only, to make a specific request to make things better. It may seem like an impossibly scary thing, but if you approach honestly and with care, focused only on resolving the problem instead of casting blame, you’ll be amazed at what is possible.

You’ll also be amazed at how the clouds of negativity disperse from your own dinner table!

Engagement Is Low, But Awareness Is Sky-High

Monday, June 22nd, 2015

The numbers on employee engagement are still pretty bad. But a 2012 report from Deloitte shows that the message is finally getting through about the importance of engagement.

94% of executives and 88% of employees now see workplace culture as important to business success. Better yet, 83% of executives and 84% of employees say that having engaged employees is the top factor contributing to a company’s success!

But when asked about the culture in their own companies, fewer than one in five executives and employees feel that their own workplace culture is healthy. They know it’s important, but they don’t see it around them.

Wherever you are in the company, YOU can start the turnaround. Lift up those around you with positive feedback and enthusiasm. Call it tight on dysfunctional behaviors. Commit to throwing your heart over the bar every day.

It’s contagious! Be the one who leads the way to the healthy culture most people KNOW is so important, and others WILL follow.

Turn Off The Tech In Meetings

Monday, June 15th, 2015

You know that message that plays before the movie begins in a theatre—the one that says to silence your cellphones? I’m beginning to think we need the same announcement in meetings.

Or maybe more like an airline—they need to be stowed in your carry-on before the meeting takes off!

In several recent surveys, over half of respondents admitted to checking their phones in meetings. But meetings are more productive and SHORTER when everyone is focused. Less time and money are wasted, and everyone gets back to their own work more quickly.

So in your next meeting, see if the chair will make a request of the gathered throng to put their phones, tablets, and other distractions out of sight for everyone’s sake.