Want to know what is going on in our organization? Eat a meal in the employee lunch room!

Lunchroom

By

W. Michael Phibbs

Have you ever watched Undercover Boss? Do you recognize similar problems in your work environment and wish that one day you would have a chance to tell your boss what you see as the problems hampering your organization and potential solutions? Fire Chiefs for decades have told up and coming Front Line Officers that if they want to know what is going on in their organizations they should eat a meal at a station. You build trust while breaking bread together. While sitting down together for a meal, fire fighters will tell you exactly what the feel, both good and bad. This sound advice resonates through all segments of public safety to the public sector. Steve Jobs once said of turnaround expert, “But how can he be an expert when he eats his lunch alone in his office.”1 Another widely endorsed action that will increase your understanding of what is really happening in your organization is MBWA (Manage By Walking About). MBWA is less effective than breaking down barriers over a meal, but the basic principal is the same, get out of your office and talk to the troops who do the work.

As years go by and we move up in ranks it is easy to become lost in our own office siloes. A new term, “Cubiment”, short for “cubical environment” has been created to describe how people spend their entire working day in the solitary environment of their cubicles (Cubical Farm is now too long for our even faster paced world). Most do not hear from their boss unless something is not going right. Even the most well-meaning manager can become fixated in clearing out their daily In-box. Little by little, day after day, we slowly become disassociated from the most important people in an organization. We cannot create organizational energy through email and power points expounding how proud we are of our employees. Human interaction and connection is the way real leaders become change agents.

Lunch can be a sacred time to spend with others you know and trust. Through the process of breaking bread together, leaders not only learn what is going on, but also have an opportunity to discuss ideas for the future. They can discuss where their organizations are going and obtain unfiltered feedback from their team members. Free flowing ideas will not happen at a banquet, or corporate outing, but will arise at a table in your own lunchroom. If you only eat at the Executive Lunchroom or at your desk, you may find it difficult to find people who trust you enough to eat with, at least at first. Over time, when people get accustomed to seeing you, some brave person will approach you and want to talk, and you should do just that, talk, about anything. You will be amazed at what you learn. I have seen many managers become re-inspired and become highly effective leaders through these little lunch room chats. You get a chance to really find out what is going on inside of your organizations. You can mentor people and learn who the up in coming leaders really are. In short, by breaking bread allows you have positive employee engagement.

What are you waiting for? Today, or tomorrow, set an appointment time in your Outlook calendar to eat with someone new. Either invite someone to sit with you or go over to a table ask to sit with a group. Engage them in small talk. It may take a while to break down the silos and build trust. By talking to people today, you head off problems of tomorrow. Pack a lunch and realize there is no limit to what you can be accomplish by breaking bread with someone new.

 

1.Becoming Steve Jobs, by Brent Schelander and Rick Tetzeli,

Advertisements

Create success through Evidence Based Leadership techniques.

EBL

By

Mike Phibbs

Everyone has read a book with “Leadership” somewhere in the title. Why, we all want to become leaders that inspire and sought after for our sage advice. So, we go to the local book store and find a book that explains how Company A transformed itself from an average company to an extraordinary icon in its industry. Once you begin to read the plethora of books you realize two critical ideas. First, most books are more about management then leadership. Second, the ideas may be great for that specific organization but will not work for yours. However, there are two easy solutions for wading through the sea of books and learning how to truly transform you into a highly effective leader. To begin, you must understand the true nature of leadership and then look for Evidence Based Leadership training that provides a high-octane boost and will accelerate your leadership potential well past the next level.

First, understand that leadership and management are systematically opposed. People like to disguise management training as leadership training since it is cool to be a leader and a drag to be a manager. The overall concept is as simple as leaders lead and managers manage. True understanding of leadership requires a deeper understanding than that simple statement. Leadership is about transformation through the creation of a greater vision for the future and in-depth understanding of people to guide and motivate people. Leaders possess the ability to create the end goal vision for their organizations. They readily read the tea leaves and anticipate where the road blocks are, and how to navigate around them. They understand how to overcome organizational inertia that resists change and can prevent average leaders from creating an impact. Effective leaders have the capability to transform their organizations and take them to the next level. Extraordinary leaders transcend these bounds and create legendary organizations.

Management is about putting parameters on organizations. They develop and follow rules and regulations and keep score. They are the traffic cops that keep the organization moving along at a specified pace. Managers put the brakes on organizational change until ideas are clearly vetted. I am not saying managers are bad people. Managers are the yin to the leadership yang. They develop the strategies that keep organizations going day-to-day. Without managers a high-octane leadership driven organization will wander from one vision to the next, but it will make great time. Management trims the sails and ensures check points are developed and targets are met. Another analogy says leaders want to expand the balloon. Managers want to have rules limiting how fast it expands and requires constant pressure testing to ensure the balloon does not pop.
Now, are people born with innate leadership capacity? Have you ever read in the newspaper, “A great leader was born today at General Hospital” or hear in the hospital hallway, “That baby has great management potential.” Some people do seem to inherit innate leadership skills, but they are still limited. Some possess exceptional leadership skills that work in one industry, but they may flop in another. There is light at the end of the tunnel for struggling leaders: Evidence Based Leadership.

Evidence Based Leadership is a compilation of proven techniques that work in any organization, or profession. At first, I too was reluctant to believe there is a one size fits all solution to leadership problems. However, after I read the key principles and concepts I found they are right on point. I read the concepts and was reminded how it worked in another organization. The Evidence Based Leadership skills are based on facts of which leadership interventions works and which ones don’t. Your next book on leadership should be on Evidence Based Leadership. Then you can read other books on successful leadership and suddenly realized they took the long road to success. By understanding the differences between leadership and management and the principles of Evidence Based Leadership you are on the express route to being an exceptional leader.

Ninja Leadership Training for $39.99. Call now and we’ll throw in a set of steak knives.

“One step Ninja Leadership Training programs for $39.99. Call now and we will throw in a set of steak knives for free; just pay separate shipping and handling. At the end of the 4 hour video, you will be able to Ginsu your way through any leadership problems. When you walk into a room a soft light will shine down on you, and tranquil music will fill the air. You will instantly be able to ‘WOW’ people with your enlightenment.” You see commercials like these on television, usually on weekends, and during late night reruns of B-movies.

Well, I’m here to tell you, there is no one stop leadership training program in the world. Each program must be tailored to the needs of the student leader. A very few people are near the pinnacle as leaders and only need a little polishing. Some have no leadership skills and need an entire program. Most people in leadership positions already possess some level of competency as a leader. These are the people who truly need custom training programs to develop their leadership skills, without wasting time rehashing skills they already have.

A custom made leadership training program creates a higher rate of return for your training dollar. Custom training programs are just that, custom. They assess your current skill sets and create pathways to take you to the next level. However, to save money, you can still attend a large seminar and learn all sorts of leadership techniques that are not worth the price of admission. Its your call to make. Find a certified leadership trainer or call the 1-800 numbers for the instant enlightenment video with steak knives. That simple decision may truly gauge your Splash on the Matrix.

In case you didn’t realize it, and some people apparently didn’t, the Ninja Leadership Training was a parody to get my point across and not a real product.

Ninja 2

A fun and reliable way to score your leadership and management talents.

90 for leadership blog

Ever thought about the perception of your effectiveness as a leader or manager of your team? No? Your team loves you right? Perception is reality when you’re in charge of a team. Everyone in a supervisory role believes they have great leadership and management skills, but the truth is most are not that gifted. It’s not that we’re delusional, we simply judge ourselves in the best light possible, namely, from own perspective. Our egos don’t want to look at the bigger picture, therefore, we resist feedback. In order to facilitate, if not force supervisors to see the perceptions from their teams perspectives consultants developed the 360 evaluations. The 360 combines perspectives from the top down, sideways, and from the bottom up. Great, however, with all of the data the 360 provides, it is still easy to overlook your team’s perspective on your ability to lead and manage. Notice I said, “Team”. If you don’t refer to the people you supervise as “Team” you, my friend, are in deep trouble as a leader. Your boss and friends may think you are great, but if you team has a dissimilar perspective you are not as effective as you could be. You may be what is keeping your “Team” from not just being at the next level, but stopping them from being effective at their current level. Now for the fun part, there is a new tool that allows you to rate your leadership splash and post it to social media. Using the Matrix from Integritas Leadership Solutions, LLC, you can rate yourself, or someone else, on leadership and management aptitudes and directly post the scores to face book. When you receive multiple scores from your team members you can plot them and see your splash as a leader and manager.

First, understand both management and leadership positions are diametrically opposed. They are always trying to get ahead of each other. They both have an important part to play in any organization but most people confuse the divergent skills and abilities required for management for leadership. Leadership is about breaking out of the box and taking your team to a new level. Leaders, create a vision, overcome the inertia of status quo, and bring the team to life to meet new challenges. Management is about policies and procedures, following the rules. Basically, managers keep you in the box. When you were back in school, the leader was the high school rock star and everyone wanted to follow him or her. The manager was the chemistry geek who had to follow the rules or his test tubes would blow up. You asked the chemistry geek how to do your homework, but went to the rock stars house to hang out. Hint, the chemistry geek never forgot, or forgave, you and is now retaliating for your transgressions through their management roles.

Now, fast forward to today and learn something about yourself. The Integritas Leadership Solutions Matrix rates you on your leadership and management abilities. The basic program allows you to answer the questions and then places your score on a graph for you to see. You can then post your score to Facebook. When you have your team complete the basic program you can see your splash as a leader and manager. Let’s take a look at how at how they developed the score:

Leadership can be rated on your ability to create a vision and inspiration. Can you create a vision that is compelling and can you inspire people to follow you. When you look back are people following?
Management is more mundane, but just as important. Do you have the basic knowledge to perform your job at the level required and do you have the ability to perform.

The Matrix is a fun way to receive your score as a leader or manager. More importantly, it is a way for you to gauge your effectiveness. Now, go to the Matrix site and get your score on these four basic skill sets, Vision, Inspiration, Knowledge and Ability. www.integritasleadership.net/matrix

As a leader or manager are you the next Captain Bligh?

As a leader you strive to increase the performance of your team. Sometimes you only need to look in the mirror to see why things failed. One of the best known failures of leadership was Captain William Bligh, of HMS Bounty fame. Without getting too in-depth into a discussion of Bligh, I will try to make four important points that you probably didn’t learn in the movie and mistakes you may be also making.

First, Captain Bligh was an incredibly talented sailor. As a ships navigator he possessed incredible skills to plot accurate courses for the fleets. He knew the ships he sailed on from stem to stern. His abilities as a seaman were never in doubt. The best sea captains in the British Navy would recruit him to lead their ships on long distant voyages. When Captain Cook circumnavigated the world Lieutenant Bligh charted the course. Like many in the modern business world he was he was extremely competent at a baseline level, and eager to move up.

Second, As Bligh moved up the ranks he began to make many of the same mistakes I see in offices today. He had the competencies of his last assignment but could not satisfactorily make the jump to the next level of responsibility. Bligh failed as a leader because he violated many accepted codes of conduct required for the level of ship’s captain. His leadership and management values began to change. He lost contact with critical skills which made him great as a junior officer. I see many officer supervisors justify that they needed to change their values as they moved up because their new jobs required them to be more flexible. Wrong, as you move up you must maintain the values that made you successful or you will shift with the currents.

Third, Bligh attempted to be the popular captain. Many new leaders likewise try to be popular in their offices. By attempting to be popular he fluctuated in the levels of discipline he would accept from the crew. Four, he punished minor offenses more strictly than accepted levels on other ships. During severe incidents the punishment given was far less harsh than what was expected. In short, through fluctuating on punishments he left his crew guessing what the captain would do next. I see this same thing happening at all levels in modern industry. Leaders are afraid to take a consistent stand on performance that they actually cause lower performance and undercut their own credibility. Find out how effective your skills are as a leader and manager, and see if you are Captain Bligh.

Lessons for you to apply to be effective as a leader and manager:

• Build the skill sets required of your new level. Be as competent at your new level as you were at your old level. Know the important tasks to be accomplished.

• Maintain your value compass. Your values made you successful so don’t change what worked for you.

• Do not try to be popular. If you are a great leader first, a good manager second, then success will follow your team. Success creates popularity, not the other way around.

• Be consistent with rewards and punishment. Wavering on either one will cause people to question your judgment and this will impact your effectiveness.

Understanding there are differences between leadership and management.

One of the biggest challenges in teaching anyone looking to move up in their organizations is the difference between leadership and management. Before class begins, many students try to get ahead by going to book stores and buying a book with Leadership in the title. Unfortunately most leadership books are thinly disguised books on management.
Simply stated, leadership and management are at polar ends of the organizational spectrum. In short, leadership is the ability to create a vision for your team that inspires them to follow you across the line of success. Management is designed to hold back the horses through policies, procedures and organizational structures. Management builds the boxes that leadership is designed to break out from.
Another way to look at leadership and management is described in the 90 Degree North Supervisory Matrix. Leadership is a set of values on vision and inspiration on one axis. Management is set of values on knowledge and ability on the other. Where the two cross determines your score. 90 Degree North Supervisory Matrix allows anyone to rate their leadership and management abilities, or anyone else’s, and post the overall score onto Facebook. The site is free because you only get the overall scores and not the individual question scores.
Most supervisors believe you just need to be fair to make an impact and move up in an organization. Nothing could be farther from the truth. To be even relatively successful in business you must competent in both leadership and management skills. To be outstanding and highly sought after, one must strive to excel past the median value scores and receive the exceptional ranking on performance. Anyone can learn the skills necessary to take their careers to the highest level, but first they must understand the difference between leadership and management.