Friday, September 15, 2017

Propaganda, Culture & Employer Brand

You spend so much time telling me your culture and people are the most valuable assets of your organization....but you don't round, you don't invest precious resources in employees, and you spend your whole day in meetings claiming to be busy.

You don't have the culture you think you do.

Your turnover hasn't improved in a meaningful way for years

You don't dare take risks to move your organization from old school to a cutting edge contemporary company...but... care about your organization and your employees.

Please. Stop. Talking.
All of this has happened on your watch.

If you believe that your press releases, HR policies, and "Memos to Staff" are even remotely based on how your employees, and potential employees view your organization you are kidding yourself.

You can not hide from reality.
You can not hide from indecision.
You can not hide from how the world sees you.

Please. Start. Doing.
Here's the good news. You have the ability, today, to turn your excuses into a well thought out plan of action. It will require effort. It will require perceived risk...and it will require your leadership.

No one else can do it but you.

Step One
Take a look at your value statements, your messages to your employees, and (if you have anything) the messages to prospective candidates about your organization on your career site.

Now, align your behavior, the time on your calendar, and the words you use with your colleagues to match these messages.

Step Two
Build a comprehensive employer brand strategy to immediately begin using your employees as both retention and talent attraction tools.

Step Three
Ignore the noise. Your senior leadership colleagues will not understand what you're doing. Your Marketing department will feel incredibly threatened because they will have no idea what you're doing either.

Keep pushing. Only you can make this happen. 

It will be lonely...and nerve-wracking...and...


How About You
Are you ready to finally get rid of all of those tired excuses you've been using since the 1990s?

There is a reason HR does not get the respect it deserves, and that starts with us.

You can do it...and I will help you if you need me.

I'd love to hear from you.

No Excuses.


Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Simple, Not Easy

I've attended many leadership development classes. I've facilitated hundreds of hours of them too. In addition, conferences have been a regular part of my life for years as an attendee and speaker, and I've sought out the leadership-oriented sessions at every opportunity.

Through it all, the various approaches discussed, models I presented, and the themes about effective leadership behaviors all seemed so...


Why Are We Still Talking About This
So why are we still struggling to move from all of the talk about effective leadership, to workplace cultures that have world class leaders with employees lined up to join their teams?


The answer actually is quite simple...

...leadership is hard. 

All of the wisdom, case studies, models, encouragement, examples, and fancy jargon are incredibly useful up to the point where we have to do something. It's the "doing" that is so damn hard. 

If we think about practicing a musical instrument for hours, it still feels very different when we take the stage and perform in front of a crowd. 

If we think about practicing a sport for hours, it still feels different when we step on the ice or court to play in front of a crowd.

And when we lead people, it is very different from "practicing" in an artificial classroom setting.
How About You
What approach do you take to transition from the simple messages around effective leadership behavior and turn them into your leadership practice? Would your employees tell me you are doing a good job; or, is there some room for humility, and then improvement?

I'd love to hear from you.

No Excuses.


Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Bleed the Fifth

"If you are a boss, ask yourself: When you look back at how you've treated followers, peers, and superiors, in their eyes, will you have earned the right to be proud of yourself? Or will they believe that you ought to be ashamed of yourself and be embarrassed by how you have trampled others' dignity day after day?"
Robert I. Sutton

For those that believe they are "great leaders" and have so much experience and "always know the answers" I have some bad news for you.

You have created a corporate culture rife with fear. 

Yes you have. 

Your arrogance and "coaching" are not perceived the way you've convinced yourself that they are. Your teams are not being honest with you, they are worried about losing their jobs, and the fact that you are "always right" simply adds fuel to the culture bonfire you've created.

You Can't Change
Well, maybe you can change. But I suspect it will be the most difficult thing you've ever done in your career, and here's why.

You have to actively infuse humility into who you are as a leader.

I'm not talking about dropping a bunch of leadership jargon on the team. I'm not talking about employee feedback sessions that you facilitate and get the comments that you were expecting all along.

Newsflash! They are not going to tell you their truth. They will continue to bleed quietly and "accept" your reality.

As the high value team members slip away, and you continue to behave in the exact same way year after year, it makes me wonder how much longer the tired excuses can be used to justify the same results?

How About You
What would it take for you to really change your style? Perhaps if you were threatened with your position? Maybe if you publicly fell flat on your face and your team, despite their feelings about how you treat them, rallied to support you?

What would it take for you to get over yourself?

I'd love to hear from you.

No Excuses.