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Posts Tagged ‘management’

Generations, What Generations?

July 23, 2013 2 comments

Take a moment to watch this video. Great example!

I recently had the opportunity to attend a presentation on the Multi-Generational issues that face most companies today, and definitely will in the future! It was of the best presentations I have seen on the subject!

I give full credit to the team of Amy Lynch and Kim Lear from Bridgeworks for their excellent presentation. The company has also published two books entitled: When Generations Collide and The M-Factor: How The Millenial Generation Is Rocking The Workplace.

I have attached two summaries from them for your consideration. When you think of the different groups, we all know others, or fellow employees, that embody these characteristics, motivations, and skill sets. Each group has its’ unique strengths whose diversity, talents, and traits, when understood and embraced, can truly bring strength and opportunity to any Company or organization. Understanding these differences can also really make a big difference in success in selling or buying products and services.

For example:

What Traditionalists (born before 1946) really want is some of YOUR time. They want to talk, discuss, and have you explain things for them.

Baby Boomers (born 1946-64) are typically hard workers, very busy and stressed out so they really want you to help them save some of THEIR time.

Gen X-ers (1965-1979) are natural skeptics, and really want you to explain the WHY for them. You need to earn their trust.

Millenials (1980-85) like to work as a team, are very computer and media savvy, and are more socially conscious that the other groups.

What will the GenEdge group bring? The jury is still out, but they have a lot of promise. Sit back and enjoy the ride!

I hope this helps you to better understand the generational issues which affect our personal and business lives. Understand, and embrace, each of their skills and traits and you will benefit from it for generations to come!

genmatrix

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NUTS ‘N BOLTS LEADERSHIP

November 12, 2012 Leave a comment

I came across this book called “How To” Strategies and Practical Tips For Leaders at ALL Levels” by Eric Harvey and Paul Sims. It appealed to me as a refresher to those of us who have been in management for a long time as well as a training tool for people just beginning in that arena.

I’ve copied some pieces of their message below:

“If you’ve been in management for any length of time, you’ve undoubtedly come   to realize that it’s a multi-faceted profession – a somewhat complex calling that includes the classic and academically described duties of “planning, directing, controlling, etc.” … and much more. 

Like a coin, leadership has two sides. There’s the proactive side – the actions you initiate to positively affect people and their performance. And there’s the reactive side – the actions you take in response to unanticipated issues and situations. The key to these equally important sides is ACTION. And the way we see it, in order to act properly and effectively in these fast-paced times, your management “toolbox” needs to be filled with solid nuts and bolts techniques.

Here are some “How To” tips that should help:

  • Address Performance Problems Early. One of the surest ways to demotivate employees is allowing people to do sub-par work. When that happens, others have to pick up the slack. You owe it to the rest of the team to address an employee’s deficiencies as soon as you become aware of them. Waiting only increases the intensity of everyone else’s bad feelings.
  • Think “Development.” Make developing the members of your team (and yourself) one of your top priorities. Besides providing formal training, pursue opportunities for building skills, awareness, and confidence that require minimal time and resources (e.g., watching videos, distributing industry publications, mentoring).
  • Always Give the “Why.” A combined lesson from Human Nature 101 and Common Sense 101: There’s a much better chance that people will be motivated and give their enthusiastic support if they understand the reason behind a goal, assignment, or decision. So, always follow the what with the why
  • Teach Business Literacy. One powerful way to get people motivated is to teach them the business of the business. The more people understand how a successful organization is run, the better they’ll be able to contribute to your overall mission and the bottom line … and feel like they truly are a part of your success.
  • Let your employees lead. Help others on your team develop by letting them take the lead on certain activities and projects. Most of us like “being in charge” – at least some of the time. It’s a great way to build skills, commitment, and responsibility.
  • Involve them in Decision Making. Have an important decision to make? Let employees decide! Or at least ask for their ideas and suggestions. They are, after all, the ones who will feel the impact the most. Besides, you’ll probably end up with a better decision – one that your people will be inclined to support because they helped make it.
  • Keep them informed.Hold regular “state of the business” meetings to keep everyone informed on what’s happening within the organization (future plans, new products or services, planned purchases, etc.). Make sure people do NOT feel “kept in the dark.
  • Spread the wealth.Rotate the drudgework so that everyone shares part of the load. Likewise, spread around the high-profile assignments so that every person has an occasional opportunity to strut his or her stuff.
  • Respect their time. If you expect employees to believe that their work is important, you have to believe it, too. More importantly, you have to behave like you believe it! Don’t expect people to drop whatever they’re doing every time you need something. Instead, ask if they have a few minutes to chat. Better yet, ask for a time when they’ll be available to meet with you.”

All of these are very solid tips that can help all of us become and/or remain better leaders for our businesses.

Andrea McAfee

Bayless Engineering

www.baylessengineering.com

Get Your “Generations Working Together”

July 30, 2012 2 comments

This topic is something many of us employers don’t think about until we find dissention within our workforce.

If you’re looking to narrow the gaps that inherently exist between different workplace generations the above titled book by Laura E. Bernstein offers the following tips each manager needs to do!

  • Acknowledge that everyone wants to be treated with dignity and respect. And, remember that those expectations will likely be defined differently by different people.
  • Give coworkers, customers, and suppliers the same benefit of the doubt that you wish from them.
  • Presume that everyone you interact with is motivated by good intentions – unless they prove otherwise.
  • Accept that you can learn from others’ different life experiences, perspectives, and approaches – just as others can learn from yours.
  • Make an effort to focus on your similarities with others rather than your differences. Find, appreciate, and celebrate the common ground you share with those you work with … and work for.
  • Be willing to flex your natural style and preferences in order to work more effectively with all of your colleagues. Increased cooperation and collaboration results in greater success … for EVERYONE!
  • Be open and tactfully honest about your personal “hot buttons” (i.e., recurring sources of tension or conflict) and mindful of the things that bother others.
  • Remember that each individual brings something special (and needed) to the table … each person represents a piece that must be present in order for your organizational puzzle to be complete.
  • Focus on what really matters: productivity, teamwork, customer service, and mutual success.
  • Accept the fact that how you treat, deal with, and respond to others is purely and simply a matter of your own choosing.

I believe that many of these practices should be followed not only in business but are equally important to observe in our daily lives.

Andrea McAfee

Bayless Engineering & Manufacturing

www.baylessengineering.com

“HEY LEADER, WAKE UP AND HEAR THE FEEDBACK!”

March 11, 2012 18 comments

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.

Andrea McAfee

Bayless Engineering & Manufacturing

www.baylessengineering.com

 

Do You Work in a High-Integrity Organization?

May 29, 2011 1 comment

Recently I ran across this excerpt from “LEADING TO ETHICS” 10 Leadership Strategies For Building A High-Integrity Organization by Eric Harvey, Andy Smith, and Paul Sims.

Do You Work in a High-Integrity Organization?

High-integrity, ethical leaders:

Build Values and Ethics Awareness.
They regularly communicate and discuss the organization’s shared values, operating principles, and ethical standards – making sure they are understood, supported, and accepted at all levels.

Hold People Accountable.
They hold themselves and others accountable for ethical behavior. And they have zero-tolerance for values violations because they know that “one bad apple can spoil the bunch.”

Lead By Example.
They recognize that they earn the right to expect others to perform with integrity when they, themselves, “walk the talk.”

Use Values To Drive Decisions.
They apply the organization’s values and guiding principles when making decisions – whether big and strategic, or small and seemingly insignificant. They realize that ethics are displayed in everything we do, and everything we do counts.

Ensure In-Sync Policies and Practices.
They make sure that rules and standards support the organization’s values and ethics at every level. And, should an ethical dilemma occur, they welcome the opportunity to resolve the issue quickly and without fear of reprisal.

Pay Attention To Perceptions.
They pay close attention to the feelings, opinions, and reactions of their colleagues, their employees, the customers they serve, and everyone in their circle of influence. They realize that perceptions ARE reality when it comes to ethics and integrity.

Hire and Promote Ethical People.
They use the organization’s mission, vision, and values as criteria for hiring and promotion decisions. And, they ONLY select those individuals who believe in these principles and who behave with integrity.

This served as a reminder to me that there is more to “doing business” than just “doing business”. It also prompts one to look within their own organization (s) to learn whether not only they, themselves, but also management, and even employees measure up to these high standards of integrity.

Andrea McAfee

Controller

Bayless Engineering & Manufacturing

www.baylessengineering.com