The old is forever new?

Over 10 years ago, Marcus Buckingham & Curt Coffman of the Gallup Organization published First Break All the Rules, What the World’s Greatest Managers Do Differently. Their extensive research suggested that the best business leaders and their managers are those that build a work environment where the employees answer yes to these 12 Questions:

Do I know what is expected of me at work?
Do I have the materials and equipment I need to do my work right?
At work, do I have the opportunity to do what I do best every day?
In the last seven days, have I received recognition or praise for doing good work?
Does my supervisor or someone at work seem to care about me as a person?
Is there someone at work who encourages my development?
At work, do my opinions seem to count?
Does the mission/purpose of my company make me feel my job is important?
Are my co-workers committed to doing quality work?
Do I have a best friend at work?
In the last six months, has someone at work talked to me about my progress?
This last year, have I had the opportunity at work to learn and grow?

How many of your key direct reports would answer all yes? How many nines or is it just six? How would your manager’s direct reports respond if given the opportunity?

Think about what you need to do to improve your “fun to come to work” quotient in creating a better, more cohesive work environment.

Late last year, I wrote about weekly, monthly or at the very least quarterly structured one-to-one’s with your direct reports that enables them to keep you abreast of their deliverables. In doing so, you then have the opportunity to spend time with your best employee’s, praising, nurturing and guiding them to take on more responsibility, accountability and authority.

When this transfer or delegation takes place your plate gets smaller freeing you to focus on strategy and vision. Buckingham encouraged leaders to spend time with your best people and provide constant feedback. If you can’t or won’t spend an hour every quarter talking to an employee, then you shouldn’t be a manager, team leader, president or CEO of a small to mid-sized company.

I’ll harp on performance contracts again suggesting you mutually agree to the right outcomes, not steps. Standardize the end but not the means and encourage or mentor your employees to use his or her own style to create their own steps to deliver the result or outcome you want.

In a recent post late last year, Who’s in YOUR Wallet, I shared the Aptitude x Attitude = Success. So during your one-to-one’s and your MBWA (management by walking around) study the best managers in your company and revise your training focus to incorporate what they know.

Send your talented people to learn new skills or knowledge.

Change recruiting practices to hire for talent, revise employee job descriptions and qualifications.

Buckingham and Coffman explain how the best managers select an employee for talent rather than for skills or experience; how they set expectations for him or her — they define the right outcomes rather than the right steps; how they motivate people — they build on each person’s unique strengths rather than trying to fix his weaknesses.

“There’s Nothing Like a Good Old Fashion Recession To Make You Run A Business Better!’
Millard Drexler; CEO JCrew

CEOs, Determine Your “Make or Break” and get going on it!

My 2011 Vistage Speaker Series starts on January 20th.

We will have an amazing speaker, former Vistage COO, Dan Barnett conduct his “Make or Break” workshop in the afternoon. His message focuses on the power of execution in business.

How does he know this you ask?

If you are a business owner of a 5 million annual revenue company and looking for tips and techniques on great execution, come see for yourself. Be part of a group of 13 to 15 where the collective wisdom exceeds 200 leadership years.

We talk a lot about Productivity and getting more with less using technology. Technology is only an enabler however once you have a compelling vision. The true catalyst for great productivity is having a clear outcome and plan for your business and life.

What is the ONE THING that you or your business needs to do to deliver on your vision?

For Vistage COO, Dan Barnett, it was “membership growth.” He focused all his staff on that and painted a picture for them of what it would look like. Everything they did was focused around the “Make or Break.” Every week he reviewed a dashboard with his staff.  Now this is not your typical dashboard with financial numbers on it.  Sure those are there, but Dan makes the case that financial indicators only give you a picture of the past and does not give you an opportunity to correct quickly.  His dashboard included a picture of the progress.

Are you able to predict your future? Dan and his team did for 5 years….

Consider Giving this a try and let me know your progress.

  • Practical steps for the CEO (of your business or your life!)
  • Write down your vision AND the ONE THING that you need to do to be great at it.
  • Create a dashboard to monitor those activities that get you closer to that ONE THING.
  • Make sure your staff has the tools needed to get their jobs done, including technology and helpdesk services that add value.
  • Execute!  Make the ONE thing your FIRST thing every day!

Call or email me and see if there is room for you at our conference room table on the afternoon of January 20th.

CEO Confidence Soars

The Q4 2010 Vistage CEO Confidence Index member survey has been tabulated and with over 1700 CEOs responding suggests many if not most business owners and CEOs are looking forward to a very strong growth year. There were 22 questions and when asked at question #17 “Will business in 2011 be better than in was in 2010?” 73% responded it would be better!

Survey Highlights were:

  • 58% of CEOs stated that, compared to a year ago, overall economic conditions of the U.S. have improved.
  • 46% of CEOs surveyed said they pledged personal assets or invested cash to help their companies weather the economic downturn.
  • Only 20% of CEOs stated that it’s easier to obtain credit today than six months ago, while 38% responded that it’s not easier.
  • 39% of CEOs stated that they are currently marketing their sustainability or “green practices” to their clients or customers.
  • Only 15% of CEOs believe that current immigration laws are hampering their ability to hire skilled workers..

 Dr. Richard Curtin, Director of Surveys and Consumers at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and Vistage consultant for the Confidence Index notes, “This was the most favorable outlook for economic growth since the start of 2004.”

Here’s the link to the survey