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Organizational Excellence : Cultivating a Culture of Fairness

Posted by kevinb on 7/24/17 (27 reads)

Everybody wants to believe that they are being treated equally, with the same set of rules and the same consistency when it comes to meeting expectations.

"That's not fair!" This is one of the first protests we learn about when we are young. Whether it is in response to punishment by parents, a grade given by a teacher, or a rule infraction by schoolmates on the playground, children show an instinctual dislike of getting the "short end of the stick". Psychologists refer to this as "disadvantageous-inequity aversion". (see related article in The New Yorker) Getting less than others is perceived to be an insult and a demotion in social status. It's no wonder that when we grow up and transition into the competitive work world, our opinion of how fairly (or not) we are being treated continues to strongly impact our thinking and behaviors.

Organizational Excellence : Leveraging Individual Assessments to Improve Results

Posted by kevinb on 7/10/17 (110 reads)

When you are looking in the mirror, you are looking at the problem. But, remember, you are also looking at the solution.

At JFD Performance Solutions, we use a variety of individual, group, and organizational assessments in our business coaching and consulting. Individual assessments (or self-assessments), increase your awareness of your own individuality. Among other things, they help you be more conscious of who you are, what motivates you, and what you're good at while acknowledging what you still have yet to learn.

Two individual assessments that we'd like to focus on today are 1) DISC/Behaviors and 2) Motivators/Values.

DISC/Behaviors

A person's behavior or manner of doing things is a necessary and integral part of who they are. In other words, much of our behavior comes from "nature" (inherent) and much comes from "nurture" (our upbringing). DISC is the universal language of "how we act" (our observable human behavior).

Organizational Excellence : Seven Sources of Workplace Stress

Posted by kevinb on 5/31/17 (272 reads)

Most of us would probably agree that a workplace with chronically high stress is NOT a great place to work. While a certain amount of stress is good because it moves people to action, severe or long-term stress creates a negative work environment. Why should leaders care about creating a low-stress, positive workplace? Because the evidence indicates that organizations with a healthy culture enjoy superior performance. For example, the "Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For" outperformed the general market by almost double between 1998 and 2015. While there are many factors that contribute to making a company a great place to work, one way for leaders to achieve that goal is to understand the source and level of employee stress and take action to help them find the right balance.    

First, let's explore the different types of stress. The term "eustress" describes normal or "good stress" where our pulse increases and we experience a hormone change, but there is no fear or perception of threat. Eustress creates excitement or anticipation in the face of a challenge and generally leads to heightened performance.  

Organizational Excellence : If C.H.A.N.G.E. Was an Acronym

Posted by kevinb on 5/8/17 (383 reads)

Managing Change in Organizations.

If change was an acronym, what would it be?

C.H.A.N.G.E.: Constant Havoc Amidst Needy Grumbling Employees

or

C.H.A.N.G.E.: Challenging, Hostile, And No-Good Edicts (from management)

or

C.H.A.N.G.E.: Corrosive Headaches Arriving and Not Going (away) Effectively

We might laugh because these are funny and we might laugh (wince?) because they touch a nerve. Even organizations and employees who claim to thrive on change reach their limits and, as a rule, we all struggle with the pace of rapid change.

 

Leadership : Authority and Power

Posted by kevinb on 4/19/17 (452 reads)

Have you ever observed two individuals of equal position, rank, and authority in an organization? One seems to accomplish everything successfully and with ease, while the other seems to always be "under the gun," having a crisis and a difficult time. You are viewing the difference between a true, high impact leader and a person who perhaps has a leadership title. The true, high impact leaders in any organization are easy to recognize. They're the ones who always seem to accomplish more than the masses and with apparent ease. The key is the leader's ability to get others to accomplish more than they ever thought they could.

In the words of Dwight D. Eisenhower, "Leadership is the art of getting someone else to do something you want done because he wants to do it." An ineffective leader is one who makes a simple task look difficult. This phenomenon occurs at all levels in an organization. 

Personal Improvement : Book Summary: "The Knight in Rusty Armor" by Robert Fisher

Posted by kevinb on 4/4/17 (1651 reads)

The book, written 30 years ago, includes a Forward which sums it up nicely: This is a lighthearted tale of a desperate knight in search of his true self. His journey reflects our own - filled with hope and despair, belief and disillusionment, laughter and tears. Anyone who has ever struggled with the meaning of life and love will discover profound wisdom and truth as this delightful fantasy unfolds. "The Knight" is an experience that will expand your mind, touch your heart, and nourish your soul.

This book was recommended to me by a fellow business coach who frequently utilizes it when working with his clients. It is a short read, but I recommend that you not read it too quickly, as you might miss some of the superb lessons and insights that are packed into it.

Here is a summary of the story, including some of its key points and lessons (from my perspective):

Chapter 1 - The Knight's Dilemma

Although he thought of himself as a good, kind, and loving man (e.g., he fought foes who were bad, mean and hateful; he slew dragons; and he rescued fair damsels in distress), he wanted to be the number one knight in the kingdom and so he was never satisfied. Unfortunately, he neglected his wife and son because he was either away on a crusade or preoccupied with his knight business when he was home.

He had become so enamored with his armor that he wore it constantly around their castle (even to dinner and to bed) and it began to become his sole identity.

Motivation / Inspiration : The Right Attitude

Posted by kevinb on 3/21/17 (4604 reads)

Do You Want To Be More Successful? The Right Attitude is All You Need!


As we all know, one of the most important things that impacts personal and organizational results is the attitude of the people involved.

A famous quote says, "Your attitude today determines your success tomorrow." The most valuable asset you can possess is a positive attitude towards your life. Your attitude determines how much success you can achieve in all aspects of your life. Your attitude is also one of the first things people notice about you and impacts all the business and personal relationships you will have. Positive attitude is not a product of heredity; but with proper training, anyone can acquire this important trait.

If your attitude is not positive, then you can use some tools to do an "attitude tune-up."

1. Understand the power of your attitude. Your attitude is the most powerful tool for positive action that can help you become successful, so you will need to understand this before you can work on the following steps towards adjusting your attitude for the better. Your attitude impacts everything you do, the way you think, and your motivational levels. In order to turn your attitude around and get into action towards your goals, you need to be able to consistently fight any negative or pessimistic thoughts that you may get. You need to surround yourself with positive things and people, and you need to keep on your ultimate goal of achieving the success and wealth you want.

Personal Improvement : Creating Value as a Coach

Posted by kevinb on 3/7/17 (463 reads)

Coaching is a powerful, highly-tuned process of communication and problem solving. The relationship between coach and client is "co-creative." It focuses entirely on the client's interests, challenges, and goals.

Coaches come in all "shapes and sizes"; there's no one ideal profile. A great many individuals have the blend of authenticity, integrity, skills, and business savvy necessary to become a successful coach.

It would be extremely challenging, however, to be a good coach without the experience, maturity, and acquired life skills of a journey already in progress. The best coaches are, in essence, guides along the path of life for those who wish to travel in a similar direction.

As a coach, I have the marvelous opportunity and privilege to create value in the life of another. When I do that, a surprising thing happens: I create value in my own life as well.

In 2011, when I was getting certified as a coach through the Resource Associates Coaching Academy, we discussed the key attributes and time-tested principles of "coaching that creates value." We learned how to implement them so that our coaching would be powerful, effective, and valuable. I thought I'd share these attributes and principles with you here.

Coaching that creates value is ...

Organizational Excellence : Creating a Culture of Accountability

Posted by kevinb on 2/28/17 (687 reads)

I read this article written recently by Tom Loeblein, President/CEO of Healthcare Management Consultants, and it completely resonated with me. I see so many organizations that wrestle with the exact challenges regarding accountability that Tom discusses. And, I see business owners and managers struggle with (and complain about) low/non-performing employees, but take little corrective action.

These same leaders typically understand the negative impact that under-performing employees have on the organization, but often have myriad reasons and excuses why they allow the situation to exist. Essentially, they are willfully accepting lesser results -- as well as the negative impact that these situations have on their better-performing employees. So, I hope this article is the "kick in the pants" that those of you need who are allowing a lack of accountability to undermine your organization and your employees. As Tom note below: "Creating a culture of accountability isn't easy but it is absolutely critical for successful companies."

Identifying the Greatest Weakness in Your Organization

Leadership : Eating Last to Lead First

Posted by kevinb on 2/14/17 (498 reads)

Imagine a world where almost everyone wakes up inspired to go to work, feels trusted and valued during the day, then returns home feeling fulfilled. This is not a crazy, idealized notion. Simon Sinek, author of Start with Why and more recently Leaders Eat Last: Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don't, noticed in his travels around the world that great leaders create environments in which people naturally work together to do remarkable things.

Some of these teams trust each other so deeply that they would literally put their lives on the line for each other. Far more common, unfortunately, are teams that seem doomed to infighting, fragmentation, and failure...no matter what incentives are offered. But why?

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