Organizational Health: I’m Not Here For The Money

Empty Pockets

Talent development, succession planning, leadership training – call it what you want . . . but be serious about it. 

In most organizations, talent development is probably the most under-budgeted, under-staffed, under-creative, and underutilized department in the organization.

The First Thing To Go

I know a person who was laid off three months ago when his entire Talent Development Department was eliminated due to budget cuts.

Anyone in training or HR knows the old saying, “Training is always the first one to go.”

It happens over and over again, when actually during budget cuts is not the time to cut talent development.  But that’s just one portion of the whole picture.

Looking to the Past for Hope

What I’ve been seeing so much of lately is that leaders don’t want to try anything “new” and they don’t want to invest any (more) money.  They want to stick to the same old tried and true models.

So when they go to hire, most leaders look mainly at things like this:

“What you’ve done in the past…”

“What positions you have had in the past…”

Rather than looking forward at things like this:

“What you can do for us now…?”

“What you can bring to us in the future…?”

In this day and age (and economy,) no one can simply rest on their laurels, so to speak.

A Healthy Understanding

We have seen through numerous studies over the last few years that money is not the number one thing employee’s want from their jobs.  Up around the top of most desired benefits from employment is usually something to do with development/promotion opportunities.

Consequently, it’s the job of the HR and organization leaders to stop and say, “Hey, we need to start looking at this more seriously and investing in it”.

According to a recent survey by Burson-Marsteller and global research training firm Great Place to Work, the top two programs that help companies achieve stability are Branding (75%) and Career Development (75%).  What’s that?  Career development?  Hmmmm.

When you only hire someone on the grounds of what he HAS done in the past – over and over – then that’s what you’re going to get, the same OLD stuff.  Not only does leadership need to look at what the person HAS done, but what he CAN do, and WILL do in the future, and build upon that.

Modern Day Training and Development

There have been so many advances in training techniques over just the last few years.  The days of the instructor standing at the front of the room talking about textbook theories (boooooring…..) are gone – or should be.

Now we can add video, audio, animation, Internet links, and infographics to our PowerPoints (remember to keep your slides simple).

We can make it easier for employees to get access to training with online courses using such programs as Lectora or Captivate.  We can get the message out to more people at one time with social media, Go-to-Training, Google hangouts or your own built in video/teleconferencing.

And don’t forget about team facilitation, gaming, and other types of interactive programs.  There are countless ideas if you just look for them.

Looking Fresh. Feeling Fresh.

Don’t hire the guy that’s done the same thing over and over for 25 years.  That’s just going to get you the same thing that he started out with and has been regurgitating for years.

Hire for experience AND knowledge AND attitude.

If you look at the most successful organizations today, you’ll see that they do just that – Disney, Zappos, Wegman’s.  And sometimes the focus is mainly on attitude.  That way you have a better chance of people “fitting” in the organization and staying longer.

But leadership also has to do their part.  unfortunately, quite often they just hire and hope for the best.  This is quite sad because developing your talent from within is one of the most important aspects and advantages of your business.  This is what employee’s want and what your organization needs.

Creating a Magic Kingdom

Here’s a good example.  The Walt Disney Company (my fave).  I would LOVE to get a job there training with the Disney Institute, HR, or about anything else for that matter.  However, that may not ever happen.  Disney does a great job of promoting from within.

They do that with a lot of cross-training and putting cast members in positions where their knowledge of the organization will work best . . . like training.

Facilitators at the Disney Institute and Disney Traditions (orientation) classes have all come up within the organization.  In fact cast members who facilitate in Traditions may very well be heading to work at the Jungle Cruise or Tower of Terror after class.

A Final Note:

Leaders – the composition of the office has changed, and you have to acknowledge that.  We now have FOUR generations of workers in our businesses:

  • Mature/World War II Generation (born before 1946)
  • Baby Boomers (1946–1965)
  • Generation X (1966–1980)
  • Generation Y/Millennials (1981–2000)

I guarantee you that the Gen-X’s and Gen-Y’s do not learn well in the same ways as the previous two generations. So for leaders and the people in charge of the organizational health, it is highly important to train and develop in ways that work for EVERYBODY!

So ask yourselves a couple of these questions:

Where is my organization honestly headed?  What do my employees want?  How many employees do I lose to competitors who develop them better than me?  What’s my next step? I would love to hear your thoughts!

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——————–
Andy Uskavitch
Andy Uskavitch is Leadership Development and Customer Service Specialist
He develops and facilitates Leadership, Motivation & Teambuilding Seminars
Email | LinkedIn | Facebook | Twitter | Blog |  (727) 568-5433

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Leadership Nostalgia: The Perils of Leading in the Past

Leadership Nostalgia

Are we leading organizations, ministries, groups or teams as though we are living in 1990 – or worse yet, 1950? Non-profits are most guilty, living in the founder’s dreams way beyond their life cycle.

Such visions were birthed in a former reality and the values, decisions, strategies and structures reflected that reality.

News Flash – it is 2013.

Looking Back

The past is cool, even if it was hard. Every day brought doubts, fears and unanswerable questions:

  • Will we have enough customers, recruit enough attendees, ever have a positive cash flow balance?
  • Will we be ready to handle what an uncharted future holds?
  • Will we ever really know what we we’re doing?

It was wild, and we were irrational. Especially we entrepreneurs! Just ask Jeffrey Bussgang

Leadership Nostalgia

Leadership Qualities

There is a kind of “leadership nostalgia” that robs us of present-day effectiveness and a truly transformational future. Just look at any arena of work. The problem is nostalgia is selective; we only remember the extremes.

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times,” said Dickens in A Tale of Two Cities, a perfect opening line for any new venture! As we recall the past, we either lived from one crisis to another or “everything just exploded and we could not even keep up with demand…what a rush!!!”

There were no normal days…or so we thought. But leading in the past is dangerous.

Look at these examples:

  • In America, one political group wants to restore American values while another wants to recreate the protest–driven activism of the 1960’s.
  • One graduate school clings to maintaining a purist “on-campus” experience for everyone; another hires a new President who will “take us back to the glory years” of our institution.
  • One church does a contemporary makeover – cooler music, hipper pastors, newer buildings, but still equates more butts in seats and dollars in the budget as success. Another appeals to “the early church” as THE model, unaware that all 1st century strategies do not meet 21st century challenges.

Leading the Future

We need to be leading OUT OF the past, not IN the past.

We need to be learning FROM the past, not longing FOR the past.

Here is what it takes to make that change:

Look Backward Briefly

Driving blindly into the future creates the same head-on collision as staring intently into the rear view mirror. Mine lessons from the past quickly because too much leadership nostalgia sucks the creative energy from the room. And take time to learn from mistakes. Scott Berkun has a great post on how to categorize and analyze your mistakes.

But don’t dwell on the past – mistakes or successes.

People care very little about what you did 40 years ago; time to get connected to the world TODAY and tell some new stories.

Get Very Clear about the Core…and Move On!

Look closely at values, culture, services, and products. Do we need it all? What some think is “our DNA” is really an extension of personal philosophy. If the organism is changing, so is the DNA.

Preserve only what really matters.

The Future is Not Yours Alone

Here is where most founders and long-term leaders get stuck. They have a “This is my baby” mentality – I gave it life!” Thinking they are “passing the baton” or “preparing the next generation to lead” they have changed only the ship’s crew, asking them to sail the same vessel.

Sure, it got a paint job and some high-tech navigation equipment, but it is still The SS Yesteryear.

In the cargo hold you’ll find the same vision, same strategies, and desires for younger leaders to utilize the same leadership style (theirs, of course). For church leaders, look at Protégé: Developing Your Next Generation of Church Leaders by Steve Saccone and for business leaders you will gain much from Feeding Your Leadership Pipeline by Dan Tobin.

Do you have the courage to hand the rudder to a new crew and let them overhaul the entire vessel? Or even put this boat in dry dock and build a new ship? That’d be courageous leadership!

From Wall Street to Main Street to the streets surrounding Capitol Hill, it is time for new leadership models, approaches, strategies and structures.

Will you be part of the team to build them? Will you let others really own the process and the outcomes? I would love to hear your thoughts!

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Dr. Bill Donahue
Dr. Bill Donahue is President of LeaderSync Group, Inc

Bill is a professor at TIU and a Leadership Speaker and Consultant
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It’s Lonely at the Top – 4 Ways to Help Employees Make the Step Change to Leader

Becoming a Leader

In a recent National Post article Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, where shown riding the subway with the caption “Prince Charles shows he’s just a regular bloke.”

Although the article didn’t convince me that the Prince is a regular bloke (I don’t think that regular blokes only take the subway once every 25 years!), it did (in a very strange way) highlight an issue when employees are promoted to leadership positions: they are no longer seen by their former co-workers as “regular blokes.”

The new leader must form new bonds and this, coupled with the pressure of trying to succeed in a new position, can be difficult for the newly promoted leader.

4 Ways to Help Employees Make the Step Change to Leader

Here are four ways that company’s can help to ensure their employees don’t feel lonely at the top.

1. Make Relationship-Building a Part of Leadership Development

Building relationships with co-workers is important. Of equal or maybe greater significance to a leader is their ability to form new relationships with those who report to them. The dynamics of this relationship can be difficult to grasp and therefore should be a part of the professional development of all future leaders.

2. Teach People Skills

It is common practice to select potential leaders within an organization partly based on character traits that would be beneficial to the company. Having a natural ability to relate with others should be one of these traits.

It is great to have a leader that has the technical knowledge to answer specific questions from their team however, the further up the ladder they progress, the less valuable these technical skills become. Great leaders surround themselves with people smarter then they are and find a way to get them to produce – these are people skills, not technical skills.

“Many corporate and governmental organizations assessments of leaders are exclusively focused on how well they handle the files in the inbox. But there is almost no assessment of their leadership skills.” ~ General Rick Hillier

3. Coach, Coach, Coach

Picking the right candidate for the job and providing all the formal training you can find will do little for how your top performer feels the first time they have to give their former lunch room buddy a poor mid-year review unless they receive continuous coaching.

Set your new leader up with someone in a different department that is one or two levels above their position on the org. chart. Of course the coach will need coaching on how to be a coach, but that is a part of the continuous professional development model you have implemented.

4. Team Build

Making friends isn’t easy. Making them with a new group of co-workers is even harder. Not only will frequent opportunities for team development help your newly promoted leader feel like they are part of the group, it will also help those that have been in management positions for a while get to know the new kid on the block.

If there is any resentment held by the more experienced leaders in your company towards the young up and comer, team building can be structured in such a way as to break down the walls of communication and help close the generational gap.

 “Under many existing development models, leaders learn to think about jobs in terms of what they control. This notion has led to excluding others and a lack of teamwork.” ~ Ram Charan

Keeping Real

No one is expecting that when an employee is promoted that they will have to completely drop all friendships they developed in their previous role. Nor are they expected to invite the management team over to watch football on Sunday afternoon (or hockey on Saturday night) with this said, their relationships will change: their new title dictates so.

To help ensure success for the employee and the company, it is important that relationship skills are recognized as a vital skill in their professional development and included in leadership development programs.

Have you experienced the feeling of isolation after being promoted? How much of a divide do you think is healthy between management and a company’s workforce? Do you think social media can help maintain a healthy balance between management and worker or will the line be too blurred? What kind of leadership training does your company offer? I would love to hear your thoughts!

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Sandy Cooper

Sandy Cooper is a HSEQ Advisor in the offshore oil and gas industry
He works within a management system to help develop worker leadership skills
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Leadership and the PERSON Model

Whole Person

Yes, as we all know, a leader in any organization or industry, is not a spiritual entity from above or a superhero that can transcend the speed of light.

Rather a leader is a PERSON, a human being who has emotions, can make mistakes and has to take the initiative to make things happen, whether the result is positive or negative.

What is PERSON?

In terms of leadership, PERSON may stand for six characteristics which a leader must possess in order to be effective and successful.  They are:

P (passion)
E (empowerment)
R (responsibility)
S (strength)
O (objectivity)
N (noteworthiness)

You can dub this a leadership model, along with the thousands of others which currently exist and people practice. Or you may just consider utilizing this acronym to ponder on what you believe are qualities of an exemplar leader.

Passion

A leader must be passionate about not only the work and achieving the end results of his/her core business.

But a leader must also be passionate about the organization’s mission statement.  Passion for both is paramount to not only his/her personal success, but the success of the overarching organization as well.  A good leader should act in such a manner that employees want to embrace positivity, dedication, and that same degree of passion for success.

Empowerment

No matter how difficult it may be, an exemplar leader empowers employees.

This leader empowers some to take over projects or tasks which he/she may have owned.

While it is never easy to relinquish control, a good leader will pass the torch to the most qualified employees and entrust them with greater responsibility.

A time of empowerment is especially critical when an organization undergoes any major changes, whether it is new ownership, new executive leadership, reorganization, etc.  The greatest test for any leader is when major organizational changes occur.  It is the ultimate litmus test of a leader’s strength.

Responsibility

In today’s business world and economy, leaders in any industry take risks on a regular basis.

The scope of risk varies by industry.  Obviously, a risk in trading on the stock market and one in a nonprofit organization are somewhat different in nature.  Sometimes things pan out and a risk taken has a positive impact on an organization.  However, sometimes a risk taken may have negative consequences.

Whether a negative end result is caused by external or internal factors, it is a leader’s job to take responsibility for the end result.  Playing the blame game and blaming others for failure is unprofessional conduct for a leader.  If a leader does not want to take responsibility for a project/initiative going wrong, then that person should not be a leader.

When something fails, an exemplar leader will accept responsibility and take the appropriate measures to determine the root cause and lessons learned, not blame others as an easy way out.

Strength

An ideal leader does not have to possess physical strength, like Hercules.

Rather, a leader should be strong mentally and emotionally.

A strong leader must possess the fortitude to stand up for what he/she believes in, not matter what popular/public opinion may think/say.

A strong leader must be able to hang in there when the going gets tough, whether it is due to a demanding client, ethical situation, downward spiral of a project, negative economic conditions, etc.

A person in a leadership position has to wear many hats and has to please many people, i.e. Board of Directors, employees, clients, etc. and pleasing everyone is sometimes impossible.  A strong leader has to sometimes make decisions which will not please everyone all of the time.

Objectivity

An ideal leader must remain objective.

Objectivity not only applies to a leader’s behavior toward fellow employees and underlings.  It also refers to objectivity in decision making.  Whether the decision to be made is a major or minor one, a good leader must examine the facts or data and make a decision based on that information which he/she believes is most beneficial to stakeholders, customers and the organization.

Noteworthiness

A noteworthy leader produces positive results both inside and outside the organization.

This person is extremely accomplished and is highly respected by his/her colleagues, both internal and external.  He/she has a strong work ethic, great communication skills and lights up a room when entering.  A noteworthy leader is unforgettable and is a person who belongs on any organization’s wall of fame.

Taking the PERSON model, what six characteristics do you think a leader should possess? Do you know anyone who fits the PERSON model? What do you feel your greatest strength is as a leader? I would love to hear your thoughts!

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———————–
Marie Maher
Marie Maher is Director of Operations Analysis at The College Board
She manages projects and new operational initiatives for testing programs
Email | LinkedIn | Twitter | Facebook | Web | Skype: Marm69

Image Source: wholeperson.com

Leaders: The Keys to Purposeful Motivation

Carrot and Stick

You motivate everyone around you every day whether you know it or not.  Motivation can be a positive force or a negative force.  They key to success in motivation is to recognize its power and use it to positively change the lives of everyone on your team.

Successful leadership relies on motivating your team to accomplish the goals you have set.

Lee Iacocca said this: “Management is nothing more than motivating other people

Purposeful Motivation

Purposeful motivation is not a one-time event.  It isn’t something you set in motion and let it run.  You can’t just delegate motivation to someone else.  As a successful leader, motivation is your number one job.

“People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing – that’s why we recommend it daily.”~ Zig Ziglar

As basic to life as a shower is, so is motivation to leadership.  You just can’t lead without it.

The In’s and Out’s of Motivation

There are two types of motivation: Positive and Negative Motivation.

Positive motivation works by drawing people in. Negative motivation works by pushing people out.

Let’s examine both of these types of motivations to see how they work toward organizational excellence.

On Positive Motivation

Congratulation, Celebration, and Cultivation will bring Calibration

To motivate your team to succeed:

  • Congratulate members on their positive outcomes
  • Celebrate positive movement towards the goal with the whole team
  • Cultivate the strengths of each person on your team
  • If you do these things, they will Calibrate their behavior to your expectations

Congratulate

“If you woke up breathing, congratulations!  You have another chance.” ~ Andrea Boydston

Every day each member of your team does something worthy of your congratulations.  Let’s start with showing up for work.  Do you say good morning as you walk in the door?  This makes for a great way to start the day.  Wouldn’t you like to hear someone say, “Thank you for allowing us to benefit from your strengths today?”

Then there are the obvious ones like completing projects on time, facilitating a meeting well, giving a presentation to the executives.

Nothing says thank you like saying thank you. It’s that simple.

Celebrate

“There are exactly as many special occasions in life as we choose to celebrate.” ~ Robert Brault

Somewhere near the end of a year, each team will be establishing its goals for the following year.  These goals usually define success as accomplishing something by year-end: sales goals, profit goals, new customer goals, etc.

The leader sets the vision for how the team will accomplish its goals.

It’s hard to stay motivated if the goals are something that can only be achieved twelve months in the future.  Help your team stay motivated by breaking the year-end goals into smaller pieces: quarterly, monthly, weekly, and daily goals.

Then you can celebrate reaching goals not just at the end of the year, but at the end of each day, week, month, and quarter.

Cultivate

“Mentor, mentor, mentor. Encourage and cultivate the next generation of leaders” ~ Tom Peters

It is human nature to grow, to become better every day.  A leader can tap into that desire and provide opportunities for their team to achieve greater and greater success.  Investing time with your team through mentoring is an essential component to motivation.

Calibrate

cal·i·brate  [ kálli bràyt ] Noun: To check, adjust, or determine by comparison with a standard. –  American Heritage Dictionary

As your team sees their success, they will model their behavior after yours.  Through your motivation, a cycle of expanding success is started.

On Negative Motivation

Domination and Denigration will bring Repudiation

To motivate people to fail:

  • Dominate each discussion with only your opinions
  • Denigrate individuals by focusing on every misstep and weakness
  • And they will Repudiate your behavior and leave

Dominate

“Your job is to make the best decision, not to decide.” Jamie Dimon

There is a limit to the knowledge of any one person.  The leader who limits decision to only their opinion will see their team lose interest in offering differing thoughts that many times are better thoughts.

Denigrate

“Sometimes when you innovate, you make mistakes. It is best to admit them quickly, and get on with improving your other innovations” ~ Steve Jobs

The only way to never make mistakes is to never try.  The leader who disparages their team for mistakes will soon find the team stops trying.

Repudiate

“Lack of loyalty is one of the major causes of failure in every walk of life”  ~ Napoleon Hill

Loyalty is a two-way street.  But it starts with the leader being loyal to the team.  Negative motivation is a sure way to eliminate loyalty, and ensure failure.

So what are some of the ways you can learn to positively motivate your teams toward achieving excellence in their daily work? What are some of the tricks and techniques that have worked best for you? Conversely, what have you seen in your workplace that has soured the mood and made people leave? I would love to hear your thoughts!

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Denis McLaughlin
Denis McLaughlin is President of Leadership GPS, Inc.
He is a Leadership Development Expert, Coach, Teacher, Speaker, and Writer
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Hey Leaders: Get Curious!

Being Curious

What does “curious” mean?  (Exactly.)

“Curious.”  It’s a strange word.

If you read it over and over it doesn’t look like how it sounds, and it barely resembles what it means.  It isn’t an adjective describing something like a cure unless you refer to a fascination (“I thought the anecdote was curious myself”), and it isn’t a conjugated verb tense when referring to radioactive units of measurement:

1 Curie, 2 Curie-um, 3 Curious…

So What is “Curious?”

The Free Dictionary defines “curious” as:

cu·ri·ous [kyoor-ee-uhs]

  1. Eager to learn more: curious investigators; a trapdoor that made me curious.
  2. Unduly inquisitive; prying.
  3. Arousing interest because of novelty or strangeness: a curious fact.
  4. Archaic: Accomplished with skill or ingenuity OR Extremely careful; scrupulous.

And of course many of us in the USA have been touched by NASA’s Curiosity Mars Science Laboratory character on Mars for which this blog is namesaked.

But wait!  There’s more…

Curiosity Saved the Cat

Yes, I know, I know… you probably have heard that “Curiosity Killed the Cat“… But my version is more true than the original saying.

Anyone who’s owned a cat or even observed one knows that a cat is at least 80% curious during its few waking hours. The fact that the average domestic cat lives 12-14 years easily tells me that curiosity hardly “kills” a cat.

If it did, their lifespans would probably be closer to 6 months.

And so with that logic, curiosity and the characteristics that often come with it (tenacity, patience, resourcefulness, imaginative, solution-driven, etc) can lead to survival, utmost achievement, and a perpetuation of “living” that might be unparalleled to any other characteristic.

So why don’t we hear about more leaders being described as CURIOUS?

What led to my achievement?

“Oh that’s easy: I AM CURIOUS…”

When I was asked what has led to my achievement, my response was that I am curious. With my answer, all eyebrows went up as their complementary blank stares bore into my soul.  I felt compelled to say, “Nah, I’m just kidding!” so that I could move on to a far more lofty answer, the one they seemed to have expected in contrast to my simple adjective.

But… “curious” isn’t  a simplistic answer AT ALL. And it is almost never easy. I think it’s just underestimated, as though any fool can do it and do it well.

But let me tell you, being curious is anything but simplistic or something that handled well by fools.

Getting More Curious

And so I got curious.  Again.

And this raises some questions:

  • Why aren’t we getting back to basics when it comes to linking leadership traits and success traits?
  • During these times when companies are struggling to work differently, how many truly struggle because leadership cannot embrace a new way of thinking?
  • How many truly struggle because they have lost the wonderment of asking curious questions?
  • How many truly struggle because they have lost the imagination that got them into position in the first place?

Braniac is As Brainiac Does

Good ‘ol Albert Einstein said it best when he said…

“I am not more gifted than the average human being. If you know anything about history, you would know that is so–what hard times I had in studying and the fact that I do not have a memory like some other people do… I am just more curious than the average person and I will not give up on a problem until I have found the proper solution.

This is one of my greatest satisfactions in life–solving problems–and the harder they are, the more satisfaction do I get out of them.

Maybe you could consider me a bit more patient in continuing with my problem than is the average human being.

Now, if you understand what I have just told you, you see that it is not a matter of being more gifted but a matter of being more curious and maybe more patient until you solve a problem.”  ~ Albert Einstein, as listed in goodreads.com for “curiousity”)

Question, question, question… and Get Curious

And so as I leave you with those words, ask yourself how curious you let yourself get throughout the day?  How much do you allow yourself and enable yourself to ask questions and find everyday things interesting?  Just curious… what’s stopping you?

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Christa Dhimo
Christa Dhimo is President & Founder, via Best Practices
She helps clients by aligning human capital performance with business results

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Leaders: How Do You Look at Seniority?

Seniority

Have you heard this statement before? It is: “I have seniority.”

So what do you mean exactly by “seniority? And why does this matter?

sen·ior·i·ty

   [seen-yawr-i-tee, -yor-] noun

1. the state of being senior;  priority of birth; superior age.
2. priority, precedence, or status obtained as the result of a person’s length of service, as in a profession, trade,company, or union.

Barring unionized workforces, I just don’t believe this statement has as much meaning as it used to.  I remember, at the time I was coming into the workforce, hearing that term all the time.

It was common to hear phrases like these:

“I have seniority over you.”

 “I have nothing to worry about because I have seniority.”

Just a Number?

My step-daughter just turned 18 (. . . thank you all for the condolences…)  But seriously, I didn’t realize how A single number could be so magical.

18 = I’m an adult? 

Just like the word “seniority,”it can be just a number, or just a word. the number or word really has not power, authority, or gravitas. You don’t really get those things by reaching an age or place in line.

You have to live up to it.

Times are a Changing! 

Do you remember the days of resumes and one-on-one interviews?  Many organizations don’t even bother with resumes anymore and are now relying on interviews and web presence . . . (and BTW, what’s a one-on-one interview?)

Things have changed and many things that we used to know so well are becoming just words.  Just because one has seniority doesn’t necessarily mean he has the most knowledge, the most creativity, or the most comprehension.

It doesn’t mean he has what’s needed to be promoted and take the department or organization to the next level.

Many times, the employees with seniority are not the most productive. In fact, in some organizations, those with tenure may be those saying, “It can’t be done; we tried it ten years ago and it didn’t work.”

These people are not innovative; they’re usually opposed to changes, especially where new technology is concerned.

Seniority - Just a Word

Sure, there are many things that you can do with that word that you couldn’t do as a new employee.

You may have a few more perks like:

  • Job transfer
  • Shift assignment
  • Flexible scheduling
  • Vacation accrual
  • Promotion opportunities

But it’s not a magical “get out of jail card.”

While seniority was valued in the past, for many people today, the longer you have been with a company, the more your job may be in jeopardy.

Technology is changing things faster than ever.

Younger workers can be perceived as more creative and innovative and may even have more relevant educational experiences and training.

On Action and Development

So as a leader, if you haven’t already, now is the time to pause and take a look at your staff.  Start developing them and get them away from the coffee machine.

John C. Maxwell says:

“Leadership is not about titles, positions or flowcharts.  It is about one life influencing another.”

Today’s leaders need to be up on, and stay up on, the newest trends, behaviors, and procedures.  And start training!  Not only your new staff but your senior staff as well.

If you downsize, merge, restructure, whatever – is it the guy that hangs out at the coffee machine all day, with “seniority” that you want to hold on to?

Or the guy with less time but busts his rear end for you, comes in early, stays late, and has continued to learn.  You ultimately need to know that you can trust them to have a positive impact on the business and to make good decisions.

Good leaders will help shape their employees and afford them the needed training to keep up on the continuous changes in their businesses.

Organizational Health Check-Up

There will come a time when you need to make important employment decisions.

A quality leader will look at all of the information and weigh all the options first.

By all means you don’t get rid of your senior people just because they’ve been there for many years and tip the pay scale.  Does anyone remember the 3400 employees laid off by a company called Circuit City?  That didn’t work out too well.

As long as your senior people are doing a good job and you’re encouraging them, helping them, and motivating them to continuously learn, they’re as precious as gold to you.

They know history.  And in many organizations, especially with high turnover, that’s a commodity.

A survey, conducted by IBM and reported on in the Economist, stated that,

“When the baby-boom generation retires, many organizations will find out too late that a career’s worth of experience has walked out the door, leaving insufficient talent to fill the void.”

Don’t just be a manager.  Be a Leaderinfluential, empowering, inspiring, motivating.  It will make your future decisions much easier.

Have you looked at your training program lately?  Are your senior people still looked after?  Can you honestly say that you support your staff? Please share your thoughts and comments. I would love to hear them!

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Learn, Grow & Develop Other Leaders

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Andy Uskavitch is Leadership Development at Florida Blood Services
He develops and facilitates Leadership, Motivation & Teambuilding Seminars
Email | LinkedIn | Facebook | Twitter | Blog |  (727) 568-5433

Image Sources:  dohiyimir.typepad.com

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