Poll

(1) 2 3 4 ... 31 »

Leadership : The High Cost of Poor Executive Hiring Decisions

Posted by kevinb on 4/25/18 (28 reads)

One of the services that I frequently provide is helping companies evaluate C-level job candidates, for positions such as CEO, CFO, COO, CTO, Chief HR Officer, GM, and heads of sales and marketing. Typically, the candidates have been identified and vetted by an executive recruiter or by some other source, and I evaluate "final" candidates or those who otherwise are being seriously considered for the position.

It's likely that you have all seen the statistics about the high rates of failure (or at least disappointment and underwhelm) regarding executive hires or promotions and the enormous cost (both in terms of "real" money and of negative impacts on the company) associated with poor hires and transitions. Executive hiring decisions can have an enormous positive or negative impact, especially on small-to-medium-sized companies, and, not to over-dramatize, but I have seen nearly make-or-break types of outcomes at the company-level.

On that point, Elena Botelho, Shoma Chatterjee and Kim R. Powell have recently published the following article entitled Seemingly ‘Safe' People Bets That Can Trip Up CEOs. It is an interesting and insightful article which identifies common traps executives fall into when selecting team members and some ways to overcome them.

Leadership : For Leaders, Relationships are Key at Work

Posted by kevinb on 4/10/18 (87 reads)

I deal with business owners, C-level leaders, and mid-level managers nearly every day, and a too-common challenge I see is that many view employees more as objects and as a means to an end than as people. More as tools to be directed, managed, and coordinated than resources and associates to be coached, mentored, and developed.

Don't get me wrong - these leaders and managers aren't ogres, but they often tend to "miss the boat" when it comes to promoting the ideas of benefitting others and helping employees achieve their potential.

Leaders are paid to get results, but those who are overly bottom-line oriented don't experience the satisfaction of the journey, and often limit others' sense of fulfillment. Those who focus primarily on functionality take the emotions out of business and underestimate the value of creating harmony and a sense of mission.  Those who are too commanding don't emphasize the importance of teamwork and contributing to the success of the group. Those who are overly structured and controlling place constraints on employees' opportunities to explore new ideas and experiment with new methods.

Organizational Excellence : Employee Engagement: Having a Great Day at Work

Posted by kevinb on 3/22/18 (218 reads)

Think about the last time you had a great day at work. What made it great? I like to think that when you have a great day at work, then you've had an engaged day at work. Studies and surveys show, however, that in the U.S., employee engagement is low; with only about 2 in 3 employees being engaged at work. That means that one-third of us (gulp!) are either not engaged or are actively disengaged. Far too few workers in the U.S. are having predominantly great days at work.

BlessingWhite (a Division of GP Strategies) views that an engaged organization is one where employees reach maximum job satisfaction while at the same time make a significant contribution to the goals of their team and the organization as a whole. True engagement happens when there is a mutually beneficial relationship between the organization and the employee, an alignment between what the organization needs (maximum contribution) and what their employees want (maximum satisfaction).

So, what does high employee engagement look like?

Personal Improvement : A "Formula" to Change Your Life

Posted by kevinb on 3/8/18 (371 reads)

Ok, are you ready for a bit of a "deep dive"? I want to take you beyond the go-go-go of your day-to-day life and have you step back from the seemingly endless items on your to-do list (at home or work) ...at least for a few minutes. It is so easy to get caught up in our daily goings-on and we can quickly fall into "autopilot" mode; where we are seemingly merely going through the motions.

In June of last year, there was a terrific article in Forbes entitled The Hidden Cost of Operating on Auto Pilot - which you can access here.

The author's final statement is: "It's time we all took a long collective breath and decided to live our lives more purposefully, more intentionally, more mindfully. By design, not by default."

I agree, wholeheartedly. And I believe that a simple "formula" can help:

 

Organizational Excellence : 11 Commandments for an Enthusiastic Team

Posted by kevinb on 2/16/18 (440 reads)

In cleaning out some old files, I came across a single sheet of paper with a typed list entitled "11 Commandments for an Enthusiastic Team." I couldn't recall its source, but a Google search led me to a book by Ian Percy of the same name (subtitled Collaborating with Purpose and Passion), published in 2003.

Regardless of the age of this list, these 11 items are all still relevant today, so I wanted to share; along with some comments of my own.

1.  Help each other be right - rather than wrong

It's easy to over-rely on who's supposedly right and wrong as a determining factor, but what's the bigger picture? Think about what's important and what you are trying to accomplish, rather than feeding your ego or keeping score.

2.  Look for ways to make new ideas work - rather than for reasons they won't

Too often we have the mindset of: "We've tried that before." "That just won't work." "We don't do things that way." Instead, try: "What if we try it again?" "What if we look at it differently?" "Who could we speak with to get a different perspective?" or "What would we do to make this work if it was our only option?"

Leadership : Moral Leadership

Posted by kevinb on 2/9/18 (352 reads)

Fortune magazine, in their September 15, 2017 issue, published an article by Dov Seidman entitled "Four Pillars of Moral Leadership." It is based on the guiding precept that while the rules of engagement in business seem to be ever-changing, there are basic rules of moral leadership that stand the test of time. The following is based on the shortened version which is posted here.

MORAL LEADERS:

1.   Are Driven by Purpose

2.   Inspire and Elevate Others

3.   Are Animated by both Courage and Patience

4.   Keep Building Muscle

 

Driven by Purpose  

More today than ever, the millennial generation demands from their work what is worthy, valuable and noble - connected to human progress or the betterment of the world. Essentially, why do we do what we do? It is the Moral Leader's job to help define the organization's purpose and to share that vision with everyone in the organization. 

Leadership : 8 Leadership Resolutions for 2018

Posted by kevinb on 1/22/18 (352 reads)

A recent article that caught my eye is entitled "8 Resolutions on the CEOs Desk" from the Korn Ferry Institute. Some of the ideas are new, and some are familiar, but what is most important is recognizing that CEOs and senior leaders can best drive the success of their business by setting the example and creating the environment where people are highly valued and supported.

Following are the 8 Resolutions from that article with some additional comments.

Create an effective culture

A 2017 Korn Ferry study of talent acquisition managers found that the number one reason a candidate chooses one company over another is CULTURE.  As we move further away from the Great Recession, the stability of salary and benefits are much more of a given, and people are more attracted to transparent, fair and purpose-driven companies. Culture starts at the top, and according to Arvinder Dhesi, a Korn Ferry senior client partner, "Everything that we do contributes to the culture. There's no culture-neutral behavior."

Improve the engagement of your employees

Studies continue to show that only about 30% of employees are fully or highly engaged in their work. Improving that number, even by a few percentage points, provides a massive opportunity for increased productivity. The path to greater employee engagement is not unlike creating an effective culture. It requires sponsorship and commitment from top management to take systemic actions that link individual success with organizational success.

Goals / Purpose : An Exercise to Help Start the New Year Off Right

Posted by kevinb on 1/11/18 (321 reads)

I wanted to share with you a practice that I began many years ago that is invaluable to me. I'm a staunch believer in setting goals, actively working on them, and monitoring my progress. And this is a perfect time of year to establish or refresh your goals (if you haven't done so already).

Note: You can find some of my previous posts about Goals here.

 

Planning for the coming year can seem daunting and your To-Do list may already seem overwhelming. So, before you make big plans for 2018, consider this simple, eye-opening exercise to put things in perspective.

Write down everything you accomplished in 2017. All the big projects, all the milestones, all the To-Do items that yielded a positive result. I like to organize my list in the following categories: Family, Financial, Social, Business/Career, Ethics & Beliefs, Physical, and Mental.

Simple enough so far, right?

Organizational Excellence : Executing on Growth with an MOS

Posted by kevinb on 12/12/17 (369 reads)

One plus one, does not always equal two. The truth is that, as your organization grows and adds staff, operations become exponentially more complex. Let's take a look at how to help address some of those challenges.

When business owners or leaders drive for growth, the natural focus is on initiatives like marketing and sales campaigns; innovation of new products and services; and ensuring capacity is sufficient to meet increased demand. Underlying all of those actions, however, is the fact that it takes people to execute them.

As a business grows, so does the number of employees. More employees mean more complexity, which increases the risk for confusion and inefficiency unless leaders intentionally put a structure and approach in place to guide and manage outcomes. One of the best ways to align and prioritize the efforts of people in a growing organization is to have an effective MOS: Management Operating System.

Organizational Excellence : Fostering Accountability

Posted by kevinb on 11/21/17 (363 reads)

As a supplement to our post entitled Creating a Culture of Accountability from February, here are some thoughts that should help when you are attempting to foster accountability.

Strive for clarity in five areas:

1. Clear expectations. The first step is to be crystal clear about what you expect. This means being clear about the outcome you're looking for, how you'll measure success, and how people should go about achieving the objective. It doesn't all have to come from you. In fact, the more skilled your people are, the more ideas and strategies should be coming from them. Have a genuinely two-way conversation, and before it's over, ask the other person to summarize the important pieces - the outcome they're going for, how they are going to achieve it, and how they'll know whether they're successful - to make sure you're ending up on the same page. Writing out a summary is a good idea but doesn't replace saying it out loud.

(1) 2 3 4 ... 31 »