PD Strategies Blog

PD Strategies Blog

Performance and Development Strategies Blog is the informational place to get timely and purposeful articles on the issues that concern you most.

TAKE YOUR ATTITUDE TO THE NEXT LEVEL BUSINESS WILL FOLLOW

Positive-Attitude
“Your Attitude Determines Your Altitude.” Zig Ziglar The fact is that people do not put enough emphasis on how attitude affects performance. Yes, attitudes DO affect performance. In fact, they affect everything that we do. Now if you doubt that then look back at the involuntary terminations in your organization. You will probably find that most of the terminations occurred due to poor attitudes and behaviors rather than lack of skills. There is a strong link between attitude and performance. Let’s start with defining what attitude means in this context. An attitude is a pattern of thought. It affects how we approach everything we do. If you change your attitude and change your outlook you will change your outcomes. Not that this is as easy as turning on a switch. It is not that easy. You can change your attitude, your outlook, and how you think but it will take real...
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NOW IS THE TIME TO TAKE STRATEGIC LEADERSHIP

Leader-Inspires
Are you a strategic leader? A strategic leader has a vision and shares that vision. He or she inspires goals and timetables to achieve that vision. When I speak with my Westchester County NY business leaders about traits that make a good leader no one can agree. However, they all agree that a leader must have vision. That is to say that they are strategic. All successful strategic leaders must be able to set goals and achieve results. Here is a results-based model of leadership proven to produce success.   It begins with setting goals through your organization's strategic plan that are focused on your vision. In this process you define the desired results from your team members. It continues by aligning the people and the processes to ensure its realization. The goal is to have all your operations linked to the plan. Then virtually everything that happens should work toward achieving...
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DO THEY HAVE SKIN IN THE GAME?

Take-Ownership-1200x800
Do you want your team to have skin in the game and take ownership? If you want that then make sure you are not being a control freak. Rather than giving them detailed instructions tell them what needs to be done and make them accountable for the results. If you are frustrated with the results of your team, here are two questions that you need to ask yourself. First, have you provided them with the tools to succeed? Second, have you clearly communicated the objectives and desired results?   You may have you given plenty of detailed directions without explaining reasons and objectives. That will destroy their incentive. Instead of giving assignments with specific instructions try something different. Here are two different approaches to giving an employee an assignment. Let’s say that you have a project the needs to be completed. You could give your team member a complete set of instructions...
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POWER AND AUTHORITY ARE NOT THE SAME

Message-from-Leader
Do you think that your words and actions inspire others? If you are the manager or the owner is that enough to have people, follow you? As the owner or manager, you have the authority by virtue of your role. However, your power is granted by those on your team or those you supervise. For example, in organization I have worked with there are always certain people who are sought out or considered “go to” people. Although they may have no title people seem to value their opinions and respect them. These are individuals who have been granted power by others by virtue of their leadership skills. How much power do you do you have? Why not find out. Ask your colleagues or employees to give you some “360 feedback.” Ask them what they feel is your biggest leadership challenge and what you can do to improve it. That should develop...
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A MANAGER WITH GREAT LEADERSHIP SKILLS

Empower-People
A great core competency of managers is having excellent leadership skills. Management and Leadership are both important roles and it is best if they work together. A manager guides and controls but he or she can never achieve excellence without leadership skills. The roles of leadership are visioning, modeling, and motivating. In the earlier times of business, the role of a manager was not that complex. The manager oversaw what employees did. People performed or were fired. This traditional boss is no longer effective and no longer welcome. Management today is more complex. A manager today is responsible for the performance of the team, the business, or the company. The buck stops there but this does not mean that everything happens there. Things can be offloaded and delegated with confidence it the manager knows how to lead. That means that a leader gets results by working with and inspiring the team....
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MANAGING A REMOTE WORK TEAM

Virtual-Team-Meeting
Many businesses have been working remotely now for almost a year. Some people have moved forward to take full advantage of the new technology. Others are adapting. Still others are fighting it. When crisis has happened in the past, we have come out of it stronger, but we did not go back to the way things were before. We won’t be going back to the way things were this time either. In adapting we have learned better ways to get work done. Virtual teams which have been around for a while will take a more prominent role. There will also be new hybrids of in person combined with virtual. Technology has shown us the way. Today we a seeing more efficient ways to work that takes less time and does not involve travel. Online training is now amazingly effective through webinars or interactive sessions. Although technology is the same human nature...
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MAKE SURE YOUR BUSINESS PLAN IS MORE THAN TACTICS

Create-A-Vision
If 2020 has taught us anything it is that we must think strategically. If you look down at details without look at the horizon and considering options you may be blindsided. While no one could have anticipated 2020, there are “what if” scenarios that you can consider. Then you can develop strategies to deal with each. A strategic plan will consider the business today, look into the future, and have the way set out to create the future. To remain successful a business must have that plan to be successful now and in the future. Here are some of the things I discuss when helping my Westchester, NY, clients with a strategic plan: 1.        Make sure you know what business you are in. Whether you are in real estate, construction and contracting, graphic design, or consulting you must define what you provide to the customer. For example, as the pandemic hit...
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EVERY ORGANIZATION HAS CULTURE – IS YOURS THE ONE YOU WANT

Company-Culture
Did you ever think that you as the leader create the culture of your company? Are you happy with the culture you have created? A culture has much to do with your organizational values. Are those value, however, just on paper or are they living values? Leadership and management are behaviors that are much more complex than mastering an individual job. For that reason and others as well the failure rate of managers is higher than for individual performers. Management consultant and author Ken Blanchard believes that leadership is responsible for creating positive work cultures, customer loyalty, and organizational change. Ken reinforces the values and beliefs that have been proven to create positive corporate cultures. You have it wrong if you consider yourself a leader because you have been placed in charge. On the other hand, a person with no direct reports can be a very effective leader. The reason that...
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DELEGATION WITH CONFIDENCE IN ACCOUNTABILITY

Accountable-Team
You cannot complain that you must do everything yourself if you never delegate. You don’t delegate because you don’t feel confident about letting someone else do it. This is a catch 22! Or is it? As a business leader you need to be in control of your business BUT you don’t need to be a control freak. Taking that route leads to being overwhelmed. As a sole entrepreneur you, of course, need to control everything but once you decide to grow being a control freak will hold you back. Once you hire employees your job becomes managing results of others rather than doing everything yourself. If you don’t do that effectively you will spend all of your time driving the fire truck and putting out fires. You’ll worry about how to do every detail but you will lose sight of the big picture. Why is this problematic? If you hire a...
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ARE YOU BUSY DOING THE RIGHT THINGS RIGHT?

Aligned-Team
Have you greeted certain people by asking them how they are doing? Then they respond, “very busy.” I had a recruiter who worked for me in HR and he was always running around but he was not recruiting! As a leader of yourself or others you must do the right things and you must do things right. Both behaviors are required to lead a team or manage a business. In Doing Things Right you establish detailed steps and timetables for achieving needed results, establish structure, monitor results, and execute specific plans. On the other hand, Doing the Right Things includes establishing direction, aligning people, and motivating and inspiring people. In short, management (Doing Things Right) is important but will not succeed without leadership (Doing the Right Things). In the case of an entrepreneurial leader this would be described as the difference between working IN your business and working ON your business....
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HOW CAN I STEP UP THE PERFORMANCE OF MY WESTCHESTER NY TEAM?

Accountable-Team
Westchester employers are working on plans for rebuilding business after the pandemic. This will require the best and most productive employees on their team. You then need to develop your employees so that they can produce better results. Your employees really want opportunities to grow and develop. There is so much out there written about performance reviews Most organizations do annual performance appraisals and most human resource professionals are charged with developing a performance appraisal system. This process alone is one of the most universally disliked systems. The reason is that most appraisal systems do not focus enough on two particularly important areas—Employee Development and Results. We should be focusing more on performance development rather than performance management. We start with expectations but before we measure expectations, we need to set expectations. It is not merely enough to tell an employee here is your job description and see me if you...
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TELL WHAT NEEDS TO BE DONE NOT HOW TO DO IT

Team-Empowerment
George S. Patton said, “Don't tell people how to do things, tell them what to do and let them surprise you with their results.” As a manager or leader how to you communicate what needs to be done? Do you delegate with confidence or are you a micro manager? Once you hire employees your job becomes managing results of others rather than doing everything yourself. If you don’t do that effectively you will spend all of your time driving the fire truck and putting out fires. You’ll worry about how to do every detail, but you will lose sight of the big picture. This is problematic because if you hire a new employee but continue to try to do everything without delegating, you are defeating the whole purpose of hiring help. For example, the new employee may ask a question or offer take on a project. “Don't worry “, you say,...
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CREATE A GOOD BALANCE BETWEEN MANAGEMENT AND LEADERSHIP

Successful-Business-Team
Both management and leadership are necessary. Management is a matter of job title that is given by your organization or by yourself if you are the owner of the company. On the other hand, leadership is recognition by those whom you lead. Expressed in different terms a manager has the authority and a leader has the power. The leader’s power is earned through empathy for the team, clear direction, trust, and other factors. Some leaders are born but most of us believe that they are made. Leadership is developed and, furthermore, there is not just one set of leadership traits. In fact, there are examples of two highly effective leaders with highly contradictory traits. The leadership in the US Armed forces, for example, inspires and demands that each person does his or her best. A military leader does not have to possess the traits and style of George S. Patten to...
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THESE TIMES CALL FOR NEW MANAGEMENT PROCEDURES

Virtual-Team-Leader
We have seen some advantages to the online technology we have used in the last six months. I am finding that a greater number of people prefer doing more things online. We are seeing a steady growth of teams who work and collaborate virtually.  People work from home and a working team can be spread out geographically. A team could consist of employees with a manager leader or it could be a group of associates who are independent contractors. They could even all volunteers in a volunteer organization. Regardless of the composition of the team, the things needed to create traditional high performing teams also apply to virtual teams. It needs to have a visionary and motivating leader combined with engaged and dedicated team members. These team members need to have a strong motivation for achievement of their goals. Moreover, the team’s goal AND the members’ individual goals must be aligned....
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BALANCING EMPOWERMENT WITH CONTROL

Accountable-Team
I was just engaged by a CEO to coach two people: a manager and one of her employees. She (the manager) has problem with the employee’s accountability. He (the employee) does not like being micromanaged. Both people have valid points. There is a delicate balance between control and empowerment Here is a problem that comes up all too often. Control and accountability need to be supported but we also need to empower our teams. If you do it right, you will have both. But it is tough to let go. After all, when you started your business, you needed to do everything, or it would not get done. Sometimes you had time management issues, but you must work through them. Now your business grows, and you simply can't get it all done. Time to hire someone. Now you are at the pinnacle of a growing business. At this point you are...
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SUCCESS IS THE RESULT OF A POSITIVE LEADER

Accountable-Team
A successful organization does not happen by accident. Success is the result of a focused leader with a positive agenda. Last month I worked with an organization that was having difficulty with its people. I asked some employees what they thought was the problem. They replied, “We need positive leadership. We need leadership with people skills.” What does your organization need? Does it need more sales or more profits? Does it need updated marketing that get results? Does your organizational structure need to change to get business to the next level? Regardless of how you answer these questions one fact is abundantly clear. It is your people who achieve the results. That is true for any size organization and it is also true if you are a sole practitioner.   Let’s start with you and your personal leadership. Ask yourself these questions:  Am I the best I can be? Am I goal directed...
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BECOME A BETTER LEADER BY TAKING FEEDBACK

Message-from-Leader
In order to lead others, you must first be able to lead yourself. Have you ever looked in the mirror and asked, “Am I a person who inspires and encourages others?”   And have you have had a 360-degree feedback; that is how people who at levels see your leadership. There is a difference between power and authority. If you are a manager or if you own your own business, you have the authority by virtue of your role. However, your power is granted by those on your team or those you supervise. You may have noticed in your workplace that people without titles have been sought out by others for advice and approval. They have been granted power by others by virtue of their leadership skills. How much power do you do you have? If you are not sure why not ask the people around you to give you some guidance....
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BUILD AN ENGAGED WORKFORCE BY BEING INCLUSIVE

Aligned-Team
Why do people leave jobs? There are certainly any number of reasons. We certainly will not deny a very attractive opportunity. The money and the opportunity certainly must be worth staying. We know that it is important to our business success to have an engaged team dedicated to working together for a group result. So why do so many employees leave, or worse, why do they stay and become a drag on the organization? Here is a sobering fact. Employees do not leave companies, they leave supervisors. Many supervisors believe that if only the pay and fringe benefits were better their best employees would stay. I would not deny the compensation is important. However, people who are truly engaged with their company and their team have a sense of belonging. They will not leave for a slightly better offer. We have a diverse workforce in 2020. It is not enough to...
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SUGGESTIONS ON BUILDING GREAT WORK TEAMS

Employee-Value-Proposition
As business has changed the hierarchical organization chart has given way to flat organizations with cross functional teams. The recent need to work virtually has only accelerated this trend. It is not enough to be a great individual performer if that performer can’t work with anyone or collaborate. “The way a team plays as a whole determines its success. You may have the greatest bunch of individual stars in the world, but if they don’t play together, the club won’t be worth a dime.” Think about this quote as it relates to the business world. All organizations have a great number of individual stars or top performers – employees who are skilled and knowledgeable and have the necessary attitudes and behaviors to accomplish anything they desire, yet the organization is coming up short on their results. According to Suzanne Willis Zoglio, Ph.D. author of 7 Keys to Building Great Work teams,...
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TIME TO REALIGN

Aligned-Team
Are you getting ready to reopen your business? What will be your new realities? Things have changed in the business world where we operate. If you lead the business, you have ideas and plans about what to do next. What about your employees? They certainly have opinions and have been exposed to so much information. You are your team certainly want to get back to work. But while you all want to hit the ground running are you are understanding what to do next. In other words, are you and your team on the same page? If you really want to improve your organization you will want to learn the good, the bad, and the ugly. If you cannot handle the truth you won’t have an opportunity to make things better. With all the changes you will want to have an organizational assessment of your business. There are highly effective assessment...
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