Category: Culture

September 23, 2015 / / Culture

MILLENNIALLEADERSBusiness owners and today’s business leaders fear the worse, “who will lead my organization in ten or twenty years?” It can’t be these lazy workforce millennials we’re getting today.” Its true millennials are different. During the interview, they immediately ask about vacation time, flex time, and their desire to climb the corporate ladder in a week. Millennials are eager, demanding and have high expectations from their employer. However, just as they have high expectations about you, doesn’t mean you can’t have high expectations for them.

Weeding out the bad weeds of hiring young or future leaders can be a challenge. What do you look for when considering top-notch talent? Below, are five things to look for when hiring your next millennial leader.

Step 1: Over-Embellished Resume

Millennials are experts at embellishing their experience. By the time they’re thirty, they’ve all owned businesses, held a director/manager title, and are experts at social media. While experience is important, find out what their real skillsets are. Ask questions related to past projects. I once had an interviewer asks me about the largest project I’ve ever managed. She asked me about my role in the project, what was considered large in terms of revenue, how many people were on the team and the list went on. Dive in deeper into the experience of the candidate. If they’re like me, they may list all their skills and expertise including management skills, software skills, and knowledge. Ask them direct questions regarding their knowledge. For example, “You say you’re in expert in operations management. Give me an example of how you managed the operations of a business and how it relates to all key components of operations (budget, human resources, management of employees…)? Read the Post Hiring Millennial Leaders

August 27, 2015 / / Culture

Business People Practicing MeditationThat deep breathe of relief the moment your head hits the pillow. Another long day of navigating the events of work, family, and “stuff.” It’s exhausting. In today’s world, the day of life can be challenging. All people deal with an emotional roller coaster either professional or personally and it starts to take a toll on our mind and body. As you look to develop your organization, health is probably one of the most impactful benefits you can provide your employees. Health isn’t just healthcare. It’s everything from time off to gym memberships and healthy eating. Everything that gives an employee time to relax will only enhance your employee’s performance, and have a greater reward on your organization.

There are 4 areas of health your organization needs to consider important to maintain a healthy employee and therefore, a healthy company. There is a variety of other benefits you can offer that contribute to a healthy environment, these are just four of the best that should be a “non-negotiable” on positive performance. Read the Post Healthy Employees, Healthy Organization

August 18, 2015 / / Culture

LeadershipThat moment self-critics often consider the crossroads of choice where you have to make a decision on whether the path you’re on is the correct path. For any individual that identifies themselves as leaders, this crossroad has happened in multiple instances of their personal and professional life. This past week, I’ve heard more about leadership and what makes a great leader then most probably here in a year. I attended the Global Leadership Summit 2 weeks ago, and the pre-conference and post-conference analysis of who I am as a leader were at the forefront of my mind. Leading into the conference, a series of events happened where I need to self-evaluate myself and how I’m leading. After the conference, I realized there are a few aspects of my leadership style that may not be best suited for the type of environment I’m leading in.

Through the process of breaking bad leadership, I’ve come up with five steps that helped me through the process of evaluating my leadership and what I could do to see positive change moving forward. Read the Post Breaking Bad: Leadership

July 22, 2015 / / Culture

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An age-old challenge for leaders within all organizations is the ability to govern employee performance. Even more difficult is confronting employees who haven’t met the standards of the organization. This is where the personalities of managers come into play. Some avoid confrontation by walking around the subject and reiterating the importance of hitting goals. This might not only reference hard goals but soft goals as well. Soft goals relate to the individual’s behavior in the workplace like helpfulness, attitude, and being a team player. Other managers are strict and straight forward on how they approach employees who are not meeting their goals. It’s essential for managers to be able to adapt to different employee personalities and find balance in their approach.

Recently, I had a manager who introduced a concept of how an employee can self-evaluate their performance in an organization. Immediately, it made sense and I thought it was worth sharing. Anyone in business will immediately understand this concept but even for non-business minded individuals, the concept is so easy to understand, you can easily adopt it into your own organization. Read the Post How to Govern Employee Performance

July 6, 2015 / / Culture

We’ve all been in organizations where leadership seems to be butting heads. It’s common for individuals to have their own perspective on the culture of an organization. It’s even more understandable when ownership or executives have an idea on how culture should be adapted within their own organization. But what happens when culture organically starts to change the environment of the organization and leadership either wasn’t ready for it or doesn’t want it? For many start-ups, culture is immediately established. Even before a great product is created, many executug of wartives will focus on establishing a strong company culture. Forbes says “When headcount is in single digits, founders, CEOs, and first employees sit and talk through every decision together. The problems are simpler, the communication more direct – and there’s less ambiguity about what’s important and how to act.” It’s true when companies are first forming, everyone has a common interest to succeed and work together to accomplish such goals. However, over time as the company grows, culture starts to be formed either organically or through a series of rules introduced by management to help established order. Over time, this newly formed culture becomes the norm and employees either adapt or leave.

For many new companies, some of the first employees will start to vacate because the organization lost its “start-up” feel. For other first employees, they stick around because they have seniority, which usually comes with benefits, promotions, and decision-making power. Historically, at some point something will happen where the company will have to adapt a new culture. Somewhere around the fifty-employee mark, executives will start to evaluate the direction and environment they are trying to retain as an organization. In many cases, new managers or executives will be hired that brings new perspective to the organization and this may cause the Culture War to begin. Read the Post Culture wars: When culture organically changes without leadership’s approval

June 11, 2015 / / Culture

I’ve always found our military to be one of the most interesting case studies when considering organizational architecture and success. The military goes against 95% of concepts I tend to accept as the future of organizational structures. However, there’s one aspect of the military I think goes beyond any organizational structure, which leads to complete success. The notion that a man or women would do anything for the human being they’re serving alongside is a concept of servant leadership, many organizations can’t even begin to grasp.

Trust. In America, we are victims to the love of sports. According to Gallup, 63% of Americans consider themselves a sports fan and if you ask any individual during a playoff (of any sport), the percentage increases. We love the story especially when it involves an underdog. You don’t even have to like that particular sport. I’m not a fan of basketball, hockey or horseracing but yet I found myself watching parts of all three this past weekend. One component of sports is the level of trust we give to sports franchises. When the New England Patriots got caught cheating, every Patriots fan claimed their innocence without hearing the facts. We trust sports teams like we trust our own family members and depending on your family, maybe more. Read the Post Organizational Trust: Moving Beyond the Job

June 3, 2015 / / Culture

Power is one of the hardest things to overcome. I know because in my own professional development I’ve struggled with the need to have power. Over the last few years as my mentality of leadership and management has changed, so has my desire for power. However, our human nature still desires power. It’s the reason why people of power lie, cheat, and steal, so they can maintain being on top. It’s one of the instrumental challenges we face as leaders of any size organization. You probably still have managers within your organization that struggle with their need to come across as powerful and uses tactics to show their power within the organization.

Don’t get me wrong. An individual’s confidence and ability to speak their mind is completely different than being on a complete power trip. We want leaders within an organization to be outspoken and take stances on subjects opposed to sitting quietly and allowing things to just happen. It’s how we interact with your fellow co-workers and your employees that determine what kind of leader you are and whether or not you’re a power-hungry individual looking to show your wrath in order to look powerful. Read the Post Understanding the Paradigm Shift in Organizational Structures

April 28, 2015 / / Culture

Leader vs. managerBob Nelson once said, “An employee’s motivation is a direct result of the sum of interactions with his or her manager.” I use to consider management as an ultimate goal of success. In fact, I believe a majority of individuals strive to either 1) be in management or 2) own their own business where they are in charge of decisions, people, and policy. However, the more I consider what a manager is, the more I realize, that’s not what I want to be.

In my current full-time role, I am a manager. In fact, my title says, “Client Experience Manager.” I have a direct impact on decisions, people, and policy. This week, I had an opportunity to spend a considerable amount of time with an employee discussing corporate culture and the challenges we face as an organization. Many of these organizational challenges are common among companies our size, and all of these challenges can be overcome with proper direction. It wasn’t the discussion about the culture that affected me the most. It was the conversation itself and how this employee entrusted me with information that’s valuable to the success of the organization. She trusted me. She trusted how I would use the information and how it can be used for the betterment of our organization. Why is this important? Read the Post Leader of Excellence, Manager of Failure