Archive

Posts Tagged ‘Valley Industrial Association’

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

Advertisements

Personal Branding – The Social Network Way

September 17, 2012 Leave a comment

I attended the Professionals In Human Resources Conference (PIHRA) at the end of August 2012.  Besides exceptionally interesting workshops and keynote speakers, I learned new terminology “Employer Branding”.  Companies are creating their own Social Network brand in-part to recruit potential employees.  Did you know, according to Jobvite Social Recruiting Survey results 2012: As much as 92% of recruiting is now happening through social networks!   Most popular social networks being used for recruiting:  LinkedIn 93%, Facebook 66% and Twitter 54%.  Since implementing social recruiting, 49% saw an increase in quality of candidates, 43% reported an increase in candidate quality, 20% reported it took less time to hire, 31% saw increase in employee referrals, according to the survey.  Has your company created its Social Media Brand?  As you may know I have been advocating “Personal Branding” for jobseekers for several years; interesting, the way Social Media is changing the method individuals are recruited and employed.

John Silver

ITT Technical Institute

jsilver@itt-tech.edu

Paralysis of Analysis

August 13, 2012 Leave a comment

Did you know, many companies are now being held back by the “paralysis of analysis.” Maybe it’s time to jettison some of data analysis and return to conventional thinking and develop a more creative vision for action. A sense of urgency and the ability to make prophetic decisions, not necessary data driven decisions, may end up being the difference between being successful and unsuccessful in a competitive world.

John Silver

ITT Technical Institute

Business Culture

June 1, 2012 Leave a comment

A Business’s culture is a complex fusion of the values, beliefs and norms that permeates all levels of the business – from the physical appearance, to dress codes, team dynamics, comp and benefits, hiring and retention strategies, training and development programs and communication processes.  A healthy business culture can reduce turnover, improve the quality of new hires, enhance productivity, encourage innovation, and enhance a company’s stature in the community.

What would your employees and customers say about your business culture?

 

John Silver

jsilver@itt-tech.edu

“Rule #32 – Enjoy the Little Things” ~ Zombieland

Shamelessly reposted from a blog post by Pam Capistrano, our CEO, and my lovely wife!  Zombies – yes!

This morning while driving I was reminded that it’s the little things in life that we need to appreciate.  My son had to point out that this is also Rule #32 in Zombieland, so it must be important!

Our daily lives seem to become more high stress and demand more and more each day.  As an entrepreneur in a state that is considered the 8th largest economy in the world, I feel the pressure of success daily.  It is during these times that I need to remind myself to stop and appreciate the little things.

Below is a list of some little things that may make me smile.

  • Sunrises and Sunsets
  •  Puppy Breath
  • The smell of popcorn when you enter the movie theatre
  • The small cry of a newborn
  • Someone saying thank you after you go out of your way to be nice
  • Vacation with great friends
  • A warm breeze on a summer afternoon
  • The unexpected hoot of an owl while sitting on the porch swing
  • A loving, respectful spouse
  • Teenagers (I know weird, but imagine someone who has lost their child, I’m sure they’d love to be dealing with a teenager rather than their grief)
  • Spring flowers
  • Summer fruit

I could go on and on.  There are so many little things to be thankful for that we should stop and appreciate.  I hope that this post has helped you stop and take a minute to think of some of the things that make you smile.    I’d love to hear some of your favorite little things in life!

Scott Capistrano

www.statusnotquo.com

The Manager’s Communication Handbook

In trying to find ways to improve our company’s working environment I continually search for resources to help guide me in my efforts. Since most organizations often find communication problematic, “The Manager’s Communication Handbook” by David Cottrell and Eric Harvey addresses the issue. Here is an excerpt from the book’s introduction you may find interesting.

“What is the greatest frustration for most employees? Could it be they think they’re not getting paid enough? Or that the workplace is cramped or noisy? Maybe they think management expects too much from them? Could organizational bureaucracy or politics be number one on the frustration list? All of these possibilities are easy to imagine … and justify. However, in survey after survey, employees place communication problems at the top of their frustration list.

Communication?

Yes, communication. Most managers spend so much time and effort communicating it’s hard for them to believe it could be a major problem. The paradox is that while employees are frustrated by a perceived lack of communication with their managers, most managers feel they are outstanding communicators. In a recent study, researchers asked a group of managers to evaluate their personal communication skills. The study discovered that 90% of the managers rated their communication skills in the top 10% of all managers. Obviously, 80% of the managers think they are better communicators than they actually are. Do you think their perceptions are a little off from reality?

We often hear that “communication is the key” or “leadership is communication” or any number of slogans about the importance of communication. These slogans are common because they’re true – communication is critical. It’s one of the most powerful tools managers have in their “toolbox.” Communication can be as tactical as posting the daily numbers or as strategic and profound as sharing the purpose and vision of the organization.

With so much emphasis on communication, how could it be such a big problem?

Actually, communication may not be the problem, and communicating more may not be the solution. In most cases, employees don’t need more information. Most of the information they receive doesn’t get read; that which gets read is frequently not understood; and that which is understood is usually not remembered.

The real problem is that the communication being delivered is not the same as, or connected with, the message being received. In other words, managers’ communication is often filled with so much “static” that the message is not understood, supported, or accepted by employees. The static preventing connected communication could be many things including ambiguity, confusion, inconsistency, conflict, or distrust.

What causes this communication static?

One factor is the proliferation of communication methods in recent years – e-mail, voice mail, meetings, conference calls, cell phones, pagers, memos, video, intranets, newsletters, etc. With so many options, we tend to pay more attention to how we’re going to communicate than what we’re going to communicate. In other words, it’s more about the method than the message.

As a result, most managers think of communication as an activity as opposed to an outcome. The focus is on producing slick graphics, writing a clever memo, or delivering a great presentation, instead of creating commitment, passion, and enthusiasm among employees.

Another reason for the communication static is we’ve forgotten that true communication is a two-way process. Some of the technological advances that have made communication easier have also de-personalized it. It’s not enough to just put out a message and hope employees “get it.” We have to follow up to be certain we connected – to make sure the message received was the same one we intended to give.

To effectively eliminate communication static and build understanding, support, and acceptance, we need to make a shift and think of communication as an outcome. To do that, we want to look at communication from the receiver’s perspective. We should ask the question, “What is my desired outcome with this communication? What do I want employees to think, feel, and do after receiving my message?”

At a minimum, our objective should be for others to understand our communication. But employees can clearly understand the message and still not agree with it or be willing to follow our direction. The ultimate goal is to build support and acceptance – to have receivers internalize your message, to move them to action. Understanding is intellectual; support and acceptance are emotional. It’s like the difference between compliance and commitmentwhich one would you rather have from your coworkers?”

Andrea McAfee

www.baylessengineering.com

Business Valuation – in the Shark Tank

March 20, 2012 4 comments

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.

Scott Capistrano

Status Not Quo

www.statusnotquo.com