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.

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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VITUAL TEAMS ARE BECOMING A REALITY

Virtual-Team-Leader
It is said that necessity is the mother of invention. If that is true, then the Corona Virus may have accelerated the creation of virtual teams. Virtual teams have been growing for a while now. In fact, a 2017 survey by The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) showed that 60% of companies embraced virtual work. In 2019, the number had jumped to 69%. Now that so many are being forced to work virtually what will the 2020 SHRM survey show? Employees have shown that they prefer telecommuting but is it productive? It can be but only if the virtual team is well led. I believe that a well led virtual team will be more productive will be less susceptible to interruptions such as illness breaks in childcare service. Moreover, it is seen as a best practice for great workplaces. Also, we are growing as a gig economy using virtual work....
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TAKE YOUR LEADERS’ SKILLS TO THE NEXT LEVEL

Leadership-Plan
I hope that you are not setting up your leaders for failure. You could be doing that if you are basing future leadership roles on their current experience. Unfortunately, this seems to happen most often by default. The most common mistake is taking an individual performer and promoting that person to supervisor without any training at all. The newly promoted supervisor still sees the jobs of the people he or she is supervising through his or her own individual performer lens. What is need is an understanding of motivation, leadership and interpersonal skills in addition to knowledge of the job. But it does not stop there. All leadership roles are not the same at all levels. Managing other managers is different from managing individual performers. According to Lawrence Peter, author of the Peter Principle, companies make a flawed assumption that because a person is good at one job, he will continue...
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PEOPLE WITH A SENSE OF OWNERSHIP GET IT DONE

Create-A-Vision
The best way to get people to do want you want done is helping them see what is in it for them. One way to do this is to give people the pride of ownership in their work. When that happens, they own and take pride in results and they feel accountability for getting it right and they take responsibility when it is not right. 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 given plenty of detailed directions without explaining reasons and objectives but that does not ensure success. The first thing you need to do is let go and empower your team. Instead of giving assignments with specific instructions try something different. Here are two...
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LEVERAGE YOUR OWN LEADERSHIP STRENGTHS

Level-5-Leadership
There is a distinction between management and leadership. 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. Of course, you can be both and have both. The leader’s power is earned through empathy for the team, clear direction, trust, and other factors. Most people believe that no one is a born leader. There is a belief by most that leadership is developed and there is no one set of leadership traits. In fact, there are examples of two very effective leaders with highly contradictory traits. The leadership in the US Armed forces inspires and demands that each person does his or her very best. A military leader does not...
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ARE YOUR TWEAKING OR TRANSFORMING YOUR BUSINESS?

Decisions
Why would you continue doing the same thing year after year? Over time things change, don’t they? I am sure that you have heard it said that what got you to where you are with not get you to where you want to go next. I am working with my Westchester County NY business owners on developing their future business plans. I urge every business owner to have a Strategic Business Plan. A strategic plan will consider the business today, look into the future, and then plan to create the business’ future. To remain successful a business must have that plan now and in the future. Here are some of the things I discuss when helping my clients with a strategic plan: Make sure you know what business you are in. This is not about what products or services that you provide. How is the customer served? What need is being...
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YOU NEED TO HOLD THEM ACCOUNTABLE

Accountability
Achievers are always accountable for results. And leadership fails when the leader does not hold all team members accountable. I am sure you have heard that many times before. You might have even heard it from a boss you had imploring you to “hold them accountable.” Some people see this as a problem. They fear that holding people accountable will hurt relationships. In reality, it requires more skilled relation building over mutually agreed to goals. Creating a culture of accountability requires collaboration, communication of goals, and understanding the nature of motivation. Having conversations about accountability should be combined with empowering your team to take ownership of their work. You need to communicate the goals and the desired outcomes, but they need to be a part of it. Be totally transparent regarding challenges and obstacles. Your team should not fear making mistakes but should learn from them. Honest and direct conversations need...
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HOW TO CREATE A HIGH PERFORMING TEAM

Aligned-Team
An organization is only as good as its people. Great people and great teams do not happen by accident. Creating a successful team requires right actions by the leadership.   There are two very important actions that must be taken by team leaders. First, you must start with the right people and these people must share your values. But then leadership has the challenge of retaining those high performers by keeping them engaged and producing results. Engaged employees will lead to loyal customers and loyal customers will lead to a sustainable business. In our business climate it is not enough to be good, we must exceed our customers’ expectations. That is not going to happen if you have a lot of highly qualified but individual performers who don’t share vision, values, and goals. You need cohesive and effective teams to make it happen, not people in individual silos. Everyone has different talents...
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