We have already talked about being wired for problems. We all have different styles, and some behavioral styles have this uncanny ability to scan the environment for problems.
At first this sounds negative.
Always pointing out what is wrong.
But there is a flip side to having a style or mind that is wired to discover problems.
That same mind or style is also wired for solutions.
The more I work with people about their style, the more they need to see these two sides.
Not everything about our style is positive.
Sometimes we don’t always like everything about our style.
But our styles have two sides.
You may be more prone to follow the rules, and that same style promotes excellence and accuracy.
You may be prone to be talkative and social, and that same style can move people to believe, and hope, and dream.
You may be prone to be a little scattered or distracted, and that same style breaks out of the status quo and moves organizations forward through change.
You may be prone to focus on the task or the process, and that same style will build organizations that can scale.
Knowing who you are, and your style is the first step. If you haven’t taken one of these assessments, contact me and let’s find how you are wired, and how you can make the most impact in your world, your business, and your journey.
Winter here has been weird.
In a week and a half, the temps have varied from 65 to 8.
Running has been a challenge.
Some days are cold, some are warm.
My body and my attitude has needed to adjust.
Luckily I am part of a Tribe.
The Running Tribe.
The Running Tribe spends time together.
The Running Tribe encourages each other.
The Running Tribe is a little weird.
The Running Tribe laughs together, especially while waiting around for the start of strange races that get us outside despite the weather.
Life can be weird.
In a week and a half, I can go from confident to insecure, happy to sad, encouraged to frustrated.
Leading can be a challenge.
Parenting can be a challenge.
Partnering can be a challenge.
Friendships can be a challenge.
Some days are cold, some are warm.
My body and my attitude has needed to adjust.
We need more Tribes.
Tribes for each challenge.
A Leadership Tribe.
A Parenting Tribe.
A Partnering Tribe.
A Friendship Tribe.
Find the Tribes.
Create the Tribes.
Join the Tribes.
Join My Tribes.
Let’s try doing these things together.
Creating and running a business is not easy work.
You have competing demands of your time, attention, and energy.
Success increases that competition.
Success increases the demands.
You start to grow.
You start to expand.
Things start to break.
The old ways are not enough.
Processes are created and updated.
Processes start to build the right foundation: forms, agreements, and structure.
Processes are designed to make things more uniform, more streamlined.
Processes are meant to free up time and energy.
You need increased capacity.
You start to discover and learn your own style, skills, and “highest and best use.”
You are good at some things.
You are not so good at other things.
You may need to give some things away to others.
The Customer likes what you have to offer.
The Customer still remembers when they took the risk on you.
The Customer likes how they used to connect with you.
The Customer wants to continue without a lot of disruptive change.
Balancing Processes, You and the Customer can be a challenge.
Some Processes can upset the Customer.
You may resist the Processes because it feels confining.
The Processes may put a little distance between You and the Customer.
The Customer may always want to speak directly to You.
Building and scaling a business is not easy.
Sometimes we spend too much time focusing on just one of the areas.
When we focus only on Processes – we unleash rules, policies, and procedures that can choke off flexibility and creativity.
When we focus only on You – we can get lost in self-reflection, doubt, and self-criticism.
When we focus only on the Customer – we suffer, compromise, and become spread too thin.
Balancing Processes, You and the Customer is even harder when you grow.
What Processes do You really need? Which make our jobs easier with the least impact to the Customer, and the largest return on time/energy for You?
Where should You be spending the bulk of your time?
What does the Customer really want from You and any Processes?
As you scale, remember to ask questions and regularly spend time thinking about all three.
Treat them well.
There are a few reasons.
Reason One: Well treated employees are more productive, engaged, treat customers better, and will contribute to your bottom line. Employees (the right ones of course) are great assets who provide service, innovate, invent, and create.
Reason One is the “right” thing to do, but somethings are interfering with it.
This is not a complete list, but here are a few interference observations.
The Recession. The fears associated with economic decline cause a retreating, and no or low investment in people. Years go by, and despite economic improvement, the pattern of retreat and non-investment continues.
Old Patterns and Mindsets. Recognizing only a certain type of employee performance or style. Thinking that employees are “lucky to have a job” or “don’t have the same work ethic as we did.” Having benefits structured in a way that access to them requires long periods of service. These patterns sometimes go unnoticed by those in the pattern, but have negative results on current employees.
The Incumbent Bargain. Not realizing that the person holding the job today is well below market price. Through a series of decisions (see other observations for insight) you may be completely unaware of the current one-sided deal you are getting.
On to the other reasons (as if Reason One wasn’t enough).
Reason Two: Unemployment rates have been steadily declining. When I assist organizations trying to find talent, it feels more like trying to pan for gold, long after the gold rush has moved on. With rates below 3% in my own State, essentially there is almost no-one left, and other companies are going to start stealing your talented employees.
Reason Three: The Old Patterns and Mindsets not only create dissatisfaction with current employees (essentially incentivizing them to look elsewhere) but also position your organization at a disadvantage to attract new talent. You may find your organization is in a death-spiral of employees leaving and no easy way to replace them.
Reason Four: It is going to cost you if you have not been attentive to the market shifting around you. If the Incumbent Bargain is not on your radar screen, you may be surprised what it will cost you to replace your experienced and knowledgeable employees. More and more today I hear “we are going to have to pay what?” when it comes to replacing existing employees. The “you are lucky to have a job” may soon be replaced with “you are lucky to still have me” dialogue.
Whatever reason you choose Treat Them Well, you may be surprised if you don’t.
(Images courtesy of Family Fresh Meals)
“Leadership is a lot like cooking in a crockpot.”
“What do you mean?”
“You put all these little things together, but it takes time for them to connect and combine. Eventually you have something.”
The Leadership Recipe is not a quick stir fry.
You don’t become a great leader by reading one book.
You don’t become a great leader by applying one principle.
You don’t become a great leader by learning a little about yourself.
You don’t become a great leader because you own a business.
You don’t become a great leader when you have people to supervise.
Leadership is a long slow process.
Becoming a great leader is the result of many individual items, when combined over time creates something new.
Below is a partial Leadership ingredient list:
As these items simmer, you add a few more.
Eventually you have something.
But unlike soup, the Leadership Recipe continually requires additional ingredients.
A dash of understanding.
A pinch of flexibility.
A little spice – to make it interesting.
A healthy few cups of feedback.
Do you want to be a great leader?
Be prepared for a lifetime in the Leadership Crockpot.
P.S. Leave a comment on the key ingredients in your Leadership Crockpot.
It is a thing we are into at the moment.
Each week, I take a number.
I stand in the long line.
Numbers are called, I glance down at my number.
More numbers, more glances.
Don’t want to miss it.
The Magic Number.
A pound, sliced medium.
A pound, sliced not too thin.
A pound, sliced kinda thick.
Each time the result disappoints.
Too thick. Too thin. Never just right.
But there was yesterday.
A pause and a question.
“Are you making breakfast sandwiches?”
“Then I know exactly what you need.”
A perfect thickness.
A satisfied customer.
How often do we try to meet the customer’s description without understanding the reasons why they need something?
Descriptions are helpful.
Reasons are magic.