Posts Tagged ‘Roxanne Emmerich’

What’s Good for the Company

Saturday, June 1st, 2013

I’m forever mystified when someone tells me they really don’t care much about the good of the company they work for. “It can fall into the ocean as far as I’m concerned” was one especially memorable one I once heard.

“Hmm,” I said. “Your paycheck is gonna get awfully wet.”

Companies are made up of people. What happens to the company happens to the people in it. If you harm a company, it doesn’t harm the building it’s in. It doesn’t harm the computer systems or the products on the shelves. It harms the people. And if you make a company successful, it’s the people who benefit.

A company is made up of individuals with their own hopes and dreams and ideas of success. But it only becomes a company when all of those individuals come together to put the critical drivers of the company first.

I can hear it now: I do have my own hopes, you know! Well of course you do—we ALL do. But a rising tide lifts all boats. And when all those individuals put self-interest aside and focus on the good of the company, the success comes back to them in spades.

It’s not a contest between the good of the company and the good of you. One leads to the other.

Focus your work on the key results and critical drivers of the business—because the success of the business is YOUR business.

Be Coachable

Sunday, April 21st, 2013

Think of the superstar high performers you’ve seen over the years in your business. How many have you seen dance the Big Dance for a while, then suddenly self-destruct?

I’ve seen far too many myself.

Once I started paying attention to this pattern, I started noticing what made the difference between those who would do well and then crash, and those who would do well…and then do better and better. The ones who crashed were not able to accept advice and coaching. The ones who persisted and thrived were. Period.

Being perfect is overrated. I don’t need to know that someone who works for me is perfect. I need to know they’re coachable.

Being coachable doesn’t just mean you’re open to suggestions. It means you’re hungry for them, thirsty for them. You DEMAND input, because you know that’s the golden road to rocking it.

Some high performers think they don’t need any more coaching. They’re high performers after all! But a real high performer knows she can always go higher. She…

  • Records her sales calls and asks the boss to review them.
  • Asks how she’s doing, often.
  • Asks how she can improve.
  • When getting coached, she’s open and grateful and NEVER tells the coach they’re wrong.

Master coachability and there is literally nothing you CAN’T master.

Go Out on the Top of Your Game

Saturday, March 9th, 2013

Nothing lasts forever, and at some point, you may be looking for a new job. The circumstances of the change may vary—maybe it’s your idea, or maybe you’ve been forced out—but your approach to the change should not vary.

Not everyone knows this. I had an old friend who was a software programmer in San Jose. At the time I knew him, he’d held several jobs in a few years. He told me he wasn’t happy in his newest job and wanted to find a new one. Again.

“Are you moving toward a new job,” I asked, “or running away from your current mess?”

“Well,” he said, “if I’m honest with myself…I suppose I’m running away.” And in the process, I learned he had done some bridge-burning, left some projects unfinished, and said some things he couldn’t take back.

“That’s too bad,” I said, “because there was obviously some lesson you missed while there, some mistakes you’ll probably repeat. I suggest you stay and learn the lesson so you can move toward something—otherwise, we’ll be having this exact same conversation in another year when you’re looking for your next job.”

Despite my sage advice, he left anyway, and started a new job…which he recently lost. Same story, different day.

The trick here is to be honest with yourself. If you’re getting married, it’s easy to say you’re moving toward a relationship—but you might be moving away from being alone. That’s a very different reason to get married, and not a very good one. How many divorced and/or miserable people are out there raising their hands on this one?

You will find that almost EVERY bad decision follows from a violation of a value—a moving away from a fear instead of moving toward something you love.

Making a career change is an important decision—not one to be taken lightly. If you’re going to leave your job, make sure you’re leaving to move toward something…not running away from a boss, coworker or lack of performance.

If you’re not hitting it out of the park at this job, I hate to say it, but you probably won’t be rockin’ it at your next one either. Remember— what you resist persists. Fix any problems where you are before moving on to something else.

You should ALWAYS go out at the top of your game. Only switch jobs when you are truly passionate about a new opportunity, then let your boss know months in advance what your plans are and tie up every loose end. Be the ultimate professional.

Confronting a Gossip

Saturday, March 2nd, 2013

When most people think of a dysfunctional workplace, they picture a lot of screaming and yelling. That’s unpleasant, but believe it or not, it’s not the most destructive thing a workplace can endure. Real dysfunction has little that has to do with raised voices.

If I had to nominate just one thing as the most destructive symptom of the dysfunctional workplace, there’s no contest. It’s GOSSIP. And the only way to root it out is by going straight to the source—confronting the gossip directly.

But how do you confront a gossip?

Step one is to recognize that gossip is an attempt at communication— seriously screwed up communication, sure, but communication nonetheless. You can’t eliminate the behavior without providing something to replace it—namely a good and healthy way of communicating.

If Joe was late once again with his report, Jack might be tempted to do a little quiet backstabbing. But if he wants an actual change in Joe’s behavior and a sane workplace, all Jack has to do is to go to Joe and say, “Joe, when you are late with that analysis, I end up on my knees to my boss because then my report is late. Please promise me you’ll get that to me on time from now on.”

Reasonable. Direct. Easy.

If instead Jack makes the wrong choice and comes to you with gossip about Joe, simply say, “Gee, it sounds like you need to talk to Joe directly so you can work this out.” Then add the clincher: “Let’s go over to Joe right now and make your suggestion about what you want to see changed.”

If Jack says, “Oooh, I don’t know if I want to do that, he’ll get mad,” you point out how much madder he would be if he learned that he was being talked about behind his back! “I know you want to do this honestly, so let’s go ask Joe for what you need.” Reasonable. Direct. Easy!

It’s amazing how quickly gossip withers on the vine when you stop feeding it. So have some courage, be the one who not only declares a zero-tolerance policy for talking behind another person’s back, but also walks the walks. Then watch the dysfunction ebb away.

Quick Tip

Be sure to watch yourself as well! Nothing will kill your gossip-free initiative quicker than gossiping yourself.

Grow with systems, NOT acquisitions

Sunday, January 13th, 2013

Growth is not hard. It’s all in the systems.

Many companies have succeeded in creating successful systems for administering this or that transaction, but they have failed miserably at creating replicable systems for growing their companies.

Here are a few of the systems you need to focus on if you want to grow your company: (more…)