My blog topic for today is a bit on the lighter side. Ever seen the program on ABC named “Shark Tank”? While it’s obviously an entertainment show, there are some incredibly interesting strategic and management aspects to the show.
In case you haven’t heard of the Show, here’s the quick synopsis from the Show’s web site:
The Sharks are back to continue their search to invest in the best products and businesses that America has to offer. The critically acclaimed Shark Tank gives budding entrepreneurs the chance to make their dreams come true, and possibly make a business deal that will make them a millionaire. Season Three continues to make TV history, with the Sharks offering over $6.2 million of their own money in investment deals to bankroll a creative array of innovative entrepreneurs.
The “Sharks” consist of people like Marc Cuban, owner and chairman of HDNet and owner of the Dallas Mavericks (among many other companies); Barbara Corcoran, Kevin O’Leary, Lori Greiner, Daymond John, and Robert Herjavec.
As a small business owner, I’m always extremely curious as to other business owner’s ideas, perceptions of value, and their plans to grow – and this show gives each of the entrepreneurs a crash course on what they’ve gotten right, and where they’re completely clueless.
If you’ve got the time and inclination, I would recommend checking it out – Fridays on ABC at 8pm. Like most things, some episodes are great, while others are annoying – but you’ll definitely come away with new ideas, new motivations, and new strategies.
Status Not Quo
This quote, written by Eric Harvey reminds us of important leadership objectives that many business leaders often neglect or forget in the heat of everyday “doing business”.
His team turned to those who truly know and understand what effective leadership feels and looks like. They surveyed thousands of working individuals from a full range of professions, experiences, and geographic locations – asking them one simple question:
“Based on your experience, what is it that truly effective and highly respected leaders DO?”
Over 500 responses were received from employees, team members, and leaders from all levels around the world – of which 145 were selected and assembled within the 10 topic chapters that comprise this work.
Following are some quotes from the first chapter focusing on learning and development that resonated with me.
The growth and development of people is the highest calling of leadership.
Harvey S. Firestone
An effective leader should always prepare the next person to take on a leadership role. A good way to do this is to identify a potential leader on your team. When the leader has been identified, talk with the person to ensure they have the same goals that you have for them. If both of you agree, start working with that person by setting expectations, encouraging leadership courses, attending meetings with you – or in your place, assigning high-level duties, and be open if he or she has a different way of approaching situations than you.
Kathy Ibrahim, Burlington, North Carolina
Many leaders are so busy leading that they neglect to take time to think, vision, plan, and develop themselves as people.
Tommy Echols, Cicero, New York
Remember that knowledge and experience are not for your secret memory file. When you have the benefit of knowledge and experience, don’t brag about them or use them as weapons for chastising your team. Instead, use them as tools for development. Share your knowledge and
experience so that others may learn. It does not take anything away from you, and can come back to you in multiple ways through the success of your team.
Nancy Springler, New Orleans, Louisiana
As an author, speaker, and writers’ group leader, I’ve learned that while it’s great to be organized, goal oriented, and enthusiastic, be wary of enjoying the sound of your own voice. A violin solo may be beautiful but lacks the strength of many instruments blended into a mighty orchestra. Become a group maestro by making eye contact and being aware of body language and the emotion behind the words. An active listener absorbs and repeats or rephrases the speaker’s words and seeks clarification: “So what I’m hearing you say is … Is that right?” Remember: Effective Leaders Listen!
Virginia Nygard, Port St. Lucie, Florida
My goal is to make my team members more effective – and prepare them to become my bosses through the use of the 5 “E”s. Empathize, Encourage, Educate, Empower, and Expect.
Freddie Cogburn, Maryville, Tennessee
Support others in reaching their own goals by asking them on a regular basis how they are getting on with the task at hand and offer them your help or experience if they need it. You could perhaps give them an example of a project you were working on and how someone else helped you meet your goal.
Julia Reedshaw, Leeds, West Yorkshire, UK
AND THIS IS MY FAVORITE QUOTE:
Truly effective leaders must be PRESENT! With the pace of change, globalization, technology advancements, and doing more with less, whatever happened to management by walking around? Too often in today’s environment, leaders are so distracted that they are disconnected as to what is happening with their people. One-on-ones are put off for other “strategic priorities” and performance feedback is infrequent – missing opportunities for meaningful, timely, and productive personal development discussions. All of this can lead to a distrusting, disjointed, and disenchanted environment.
Effective leaders are accessible and present; they consistently engage with their people, give their people their full attention, view their people as a priority, and develop them accordingly. They align their actions with their words, do what they say they are going to do, and equally reward good performance, as well as
uphold the consequences for poor performance.
Effective communication – an essential attribute of leadership – can often be lost in today’s fast-paced world of technology! Don’t miss the opportunities that managing by walking around can reveal! When was the last time you stopped by the desk of a direct report and asked, “How are things going? … What can I do
to help?” Your PRESENCE matters!
Tasha Delaney, East Fallowfield, Pennsylvania
Harvey’s closing comment adds a perspective we all should remember:
As a manager, act with the understanding that your management role has an objective of developing and encouraging others to succeed by doing the right task at the right time … every day … every week … every month … to become the best they can possibly be.
Bayless Engineering & Manufacturing