The Daily Disciplines of Leadership

Discipline

“Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishment.” — Jim Rohn

As a leader, you will have your big moments. But, great leaders are made not in the big moments, but in the daily disciplines. While there are many things that demand your focus, here are three things that need your attention daily. This daily attention will help build the bridge between goals and accomplishments.

Get real

Develop the daily discipline of being a realist. You can have pie in the sky goals all you want; the fact is, they aren’t going to happen often. Great leaders understand where they are and what is currently possible. Then, and only then, can you start building up to achieving big goals; one realistic goal at a time.

It’s not about you

Not one day goes by that your leadership is about you. Develop the discipline of being the support system for your people. What do they need? Are they lacking resources, training, or engagement? Do they need support, encouragement, or maybe just a listening ear? Make sure you are in-touch with the needs of your people on a daily basis.

Small steps

It’s the small steps you take every single day that will make all the difference in the long-run. Develop the discipline to do the small, seemingly insignificant, things on a daily basis. You can only make giant strides for so long before one of two things happen. You exhaust yourself and your people, or you find yourself so far down the wrong path that it’s extremely difficult to change course.

Build the Bridge

Get realistic about where you are, where you are going, and what it is going to take to get there. Remember that your leadership is never about you. And, discipline yourself to take the small steps every day that make a big difference over time. Build the bridge between your goals and your accomplishments by developing the daily leadership disciplines that lead to success.

 

 

© 2017 Elizabeth Stincelli

 

Liz Stincelli is passionate about recognizing and inspiring the leader in each of us. She is the Founder of Stincelli Advisors where she focuses on helping organizations change attitudes, change communication dynamics, improve collaboration and problem-solving, engage employees, and strengthen organizational culture. Liz holds a Doctor of Management degree with an emphasis on organizational leadership.

Learn more about Liz by visiting her website, stincelliadvisors.com and connect with her on Twitter @infinitestin, Google+, and LinkedIn. You can contact her by email at stincelliadvisors@gmail.com.

 

Why Can’t You Retain Top Talent?

 leaving“Being the best at whatever talent you have, that’s what stimulates life.” – Tom Landry

The competitive nature of today’s global economy stipulates that you have and retain the top talent in your organization. We acknowledge that to do so is as great of a challenge as it has ever been.

A recent article in USA Today highlighted how American workers are on the move. They reported that “27 percent of employees switched jobs in the 12 months ending in the first quarter according to payroll processor ADP, the most since the firm began tracking the figure in 2014.”

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Courtesy: USA Today

So what is a leader to do in order to retain and recruit top talent for their organizations? We have identified several characteristics that may shed some light on why your top talent may be headed through that revolving door. We believe as you take care of these leadership issues you can build the type of team that people would want to work for and think twice about leaving. But first, why are they leaving?

Lack of clear expectations

Nothing will frustrate your top talent more than a lack of a clear set of expectations and vision. Without it, your organization is adrift and your people struggle to find their way. Employees have to fight extra hard to succeed when they do not clearly understand what is expected of them in the first place. The constant feeling that they are not performing at an acceptable level, even if they don’t know what that level is, will send top talent running for the door.

Lack of investment

Your top talent needs to know that you are totally invested in their success. The buy-in is a two-way street and it needs to be demonstrated in tangible ways that reinforce your commitment to their success. Your investment in them shows that they are valued and that you are confident in their ability to make a meaningful contribution to the organization. When top talent feels that you do not value them enough to invest your time and resources in them, they will begin to seek an employer who will.

Perceived lack of respect

The culture and morale of your organization rest on foundational leadership principles. Namely among them are trust and respect. Top talent is especially attuned to the respect or lack thereof, that you have for them. These employees have devoted much of their lives to developing the skills, knowledge, and experience that make them so valuable. If the people in your organization perceive that you do not respect them, then it only stands to reason that they will be a part of a future exit from your organization.

Lack of a clear path forward

We want to be very clear about this leadership principle. Unless your people have a clear path forward, it will be clear to them that they are in the wrong place. In his book, The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership, John Maxwell writes, “You can find smart, talented, successful people who are able to go only so far because of the limitations of their leadership.” It could be that the top talent in your organization is leaving, not because of a lack of opportunity, but because of a lack of leadership and a clear vision as to where they are going. It is incumbent upon you as the leader to provide it.

Lack of authentic leadership

Nothing will demoralize your people or your team members more quickly than a phony leader. Besides, too much is at stake for a leader to be anything other than genuine. Authenticity is the foundation for trust. No one wants to work for a leader who cannot be trusted. If you lack authenticity, employees will start to question your motives; they will perceive that you have hidden agendas that are not in their best interests. If the top talent within your organization can’t find authentic leadership where they are, they will look elsewhere for it.

We all have the desire to succeed; we want to know that our contributions are valued and that we are making a difference. Top talent has sacrificed far too much to achieve their level of skill to compromise on the leadership environment they work in. Provide them with the clear expectations they need to be successful. Invest your time and resources in helping them achieve great things. Leave no doubt as to how much you respect and trust them and their abilities. Provide them with a clear path forward and the means to follow that path. And, be an authentic leader, someone that top talent can look up to and emulate.

Your organization can only rise as high as your top talent. Isn’t it time to start retaining those employees who have the potential to add so much value? What adjustments will you make to your leadership today?

 

© 2017 Doug Dickerson and Liz Stincelli

 

 

Doug Dickerson is an internationally recognized leadership speaker, columnist, and author. His books include: “Leaders Without Borders: 9 Essentials for Everyday Leaders”, “Great Leaders Wanted”, “Leadership by the Numbers”, and “It Only Takes a Minute: Daily Inspiration for Leaders on the Move”. He lives outside beautiful Charleston, South Carolina.

Email Doug at: managementmoment@gmail.com.

Follow Doug on Twitter  @DougDickersonSC and on Instagram at: DougDickerson1.

 

Improving Management Team Performance

Team-1“Ultimately, leadership is not about glorious crowning acts. It’s about keeping your team focused on a goal and motivated to do their best to achieve it, especially when the stakes are high and the consequences really matter. It is about laying the groundwork for others’ success, and then standing back and letting them shine.” —Chris Hadfield

The key to improving management team performance is summarized quite nicely in the Chris Hadfield quote above. When your management team can lay the groundwork for their employees to succeed and then stand back and let them shine, the whole organization performs better. So, what should you be looking at to improve the performance of your management team?

What is their focus?

What are your managers focusing on? It can be easy for them to get caught up in focusing solely on the bottom line and forget about the employees who are contributing to that bottom line. Or, they can become so concerned with gaining recognition for themselves that they forget about the people who are really doing the work. The best management teams focus on the ‘what’ and the ‘who’. When management spends their energy on supporting their employees in determining the ‘how’ for themselves, performance improves at every level of the organization.

How are their relationships?

What kind of relationships are your managers developing? Relationships are built on mutual trust and respect; they cannot thrive in an us vs. them environment. Without strong relationships managers are ineffective. If you want to improve the performance of your management team, help them build strong, trusting, inclusive relationships.

How do they accomplish objectives?

How do your managers accomplish the objectives that you have set for them? Many managers defer to micromanagement as a means for accomplishing tasks and achieving goals. Micromanagement kills employee engagement and does more harm to productivity than good. When you put an end to micromanagement and empower employees to make decisions and take action on their own you greatly improve performance.

As Your Management Team Performs

As your management team performs, so will their employees. Make sure your managers are focusing on the right things. Help them build the relationships that lead to efficiency and top performance. Teach them to empower and support employees in accomplishing objectives rather than micromanaging them. When your management team provides the foundation employees need to succeed and can then stand back and lets employees shine, everyone’s performance improves.

What action will you take today to start improving the performance of your management team?

 

 

© 2017 Elizabeth Stincelli

 

Liz Stincelli is passionate about recognizing and inspiring the leader in each of us. She is the Founder of Stincelli Advisors where she focuses on helping organizations change attitudes, change communication dynamics, improve collaboration and problem-solving, engage employees, and strengthen organizational culture. Liz holds a Doctor of Management degree with an emphasis on organizational leadership.

Learn more about Liz by visiting her website, stincelliadvisors.com and connect with her on Twitter @infinitestin, Google+, and LinkedIn. You can contact her by email at stincelliadvisors@gmail.com.

 

Four Steps for Avoiding Employee Burnout

burnout“That’s the thing: You don’t understand burnout unless you’ve been burned out. And it’s something you can’t even explain. It’s just doing something you have absolutely no passion for.” —Elena Delle Donne

You expect a lot from your employees. And, as hard as they try, even the best employees burnout from time to time. The work still needs to get done so, how can you as a leader help avoid employee burnout?

Their passion not yours

Our passion is what energizes us. One of the biggest causes of burnout is working hard on someone else’s passion. When you find ways for employees to use their own passions in pursuit of shared goals, they are more likely to stay energized and avoid burnout.

Challenging opportunities

After performing the same tasks over and over again we start operating on autopilot. Challenging opportunities keep employees engaged in their work. When they are engaged, they are far less likely to experience burnout.

Part of the big picture

No one wants to feel like a small, insignificant cog in a big machine. Every employee needs to know that their contributions are an important part of a bigger picture. When employees feel that they are an integral part of something bigger than themselves, they are less likely to succumb to burnout.

Show gratitude

We all want to know that we are appreciated. When you show gratitude to employees for their hard work and appreciation for their unique talents, they are more likely to devote 110% of their efforts to the success of the whole. When employees see that their work is appreciated, they will be energized.

Energize Your Employees

Energizing your employees is the key to avoiding employee burnout. Incorporate their passion into their work. Continually offer them challenging opportunities. Make sure they understand how important their role is in the big picture. Show gratitude for their contributions and acknowledge the value of their unique talents. Don’t let your employees’ job just become a job. Avoid employee burnout by making work meaningful, rewarding, and energizing.

© 2017 Elizabeth Stincelli

Liz Stincelli is passionate about recognizing and inspiring the leader in each of us. She is the Founder of Stincelli Advisors where she focuses on helping organizations change attitudes, change communication dynamics, improve collaboration and problem-solving, engage employees, and strengthen organizational culture. Liz holds a Doctor of Management degree with an emphasis on organizational leadership.

Learn more about Liz by visiting her website, stincelliadvisors.com and connect with her on Twitter @infinitestin, Google+, and LinkedIn. You can contact her by email at stincelliadvisors@gmail.com.

Culture: Not Merely a Handbook

policy“If I can impact an executive and his or her team, I can help to change the culture of an organization.” —Srikumar Rao

Just like you can’t legislate morals, you cannot build culture by policy alone. Culture is far more than just words in a handbook, it is more than some vision painted in the hallway; culture is constantly changing, it adapts with every interaction that takes place. One of your greatest challenges as a leader is to guide the development of your culture. So, if it is not built by policy, what does build culture?

It lives and breathes

Culture is a living, breathing thing; it needs care. If you, as a leader, neglect the culture of your organization it will fail to flourish. It will slowly become toxic with the ability to poison everyone who works with your organization. Conscious care builds culture.

It evolves

Culture is constantly changing. Every act can potentially have an impact on it. Your culture can evolve in ways that benefit employees and customers alike or evolution can lead it down the path to destruction. As a leader, your actions set the example to your employees. And, positive actions build culture.

It is bigger than the sum of its parts

Culture is built out of the relationships, interaction, and the dynamics of the people in the organization. But, culture is much bigger than the sum of its parts. Every member of your team plays an important role in the organization. Valuing the contributions that individuals make to the success of the whole builds culture.

What are You Building?

Culture cannot be written into existence by any policy. Culture lives and breathes; make sure to care for it. Culture is constantly evolving; guide it in a positive direction. Culture is built on the individual relationships and interactions that make up the whole; value every contribution. Your behavior, as a leader, is what builds culture.

© 2017 Elizabeth Stincelli

Liz Stincelli is passionate about recognizing and inspiring the leader in each of us. She is the Founder of Stincelli Advisors where she focuses on helping organizations change attitudes, change communication dynamics, improve collaboration and problem-solving, engage employees, and strengthen organizational culture. Liz holds a Doctor of Management degree with an emphasis on organizational leadership.

Learn more about Liz by visiting her website, stincelliadvisors.com and connect with her on Twitter @infinitestin, Google+, and LinkedIn. You can contact her by email at stincelliadvisors@gmail.com.

Three Steps to Earning Employee Loyalty

loyalty“If you’re not loyal to your team, you can get by for a while, but eventually you will need to rely on their loyalty to you, and it just won’t be there.” —Tim Schafer

I don’t care how smart you are, where you went to school, or how fabulous you think you are every time you look in the mirror; none of us succeeds alone. Your success takes family, friends, colleagues, and connections; a whole team of people have contributed to getting you from where you were to where you are now. And, you will need their continued loyalty to get to achieve your next great aspiration. When push comes to shove, will your employees be there for you? Here are three steps to earning employee loyalty.

Earn their respect

Do not assume that you are owed respect based merely on your position. Respect must be earned on a daily basis through your words, actions, and policies. Set an example; be someone worth looking up too. When times get tough, that is when your respect will be put to the test. Will your employees remain loyal?

Earn their trust

Employees are always watching. And, like respect, trust must be earned on a daily basis. Are your words and actions in alignment with your stated values? Are you transparent? Are you the same person regardless of who you are with? Employees will only remain loyal when they know they can trust you.

Have their backs

If you want your employees to remain loyal, they must feel safe. In order for them to feel secure they must know that you have their backs. If you support your employees not only during periods of success, but also during times of failure, they will know you their backs.

Show Your Loyalty

When your actions earn the respect of employees; when they know they can trust you; and when you have their backs, it shows employees that you are committed to being loyal to them. And, when you show employees how loyal you are to them, they will be loyal to you in return. You’ll never make it alone; start proving your loyalty today.

© 2017 Elizabeth Stincelli

Liz Stincelli is passionate about recognizing and inspiring the leader in each of us. She is the Founder of Stincelli Advisors where she focuses on helping organizations change attitudes, change communication dynamics, improve collaboration and problem-solving, engage employees, and strengthen organizational culture. Liz holds a Doctor of Management degree with an emphasis on organizational leadership.

Learn more about Liz by visiting her website, stincelliadvisors.com and connect with her on Twitter @infinitestin, Google+, and LinkedIn. You can contact her by email at stincelliadvisors@gmail.com.

Four Steps for Energizing Your Employees

Energy“Super-ambitious goals tend to be unifying and energizing to people; but only if they believe there’s a chance of success.” —Peter Diamandis

If you want to energize your employees in working toward shared goals, they must believe that success is possible. I’m not just talking about company success, but also success for them as individuals. Here are four steps for energizing your employees.

Invest in them

When employees see that you are willing to invest your time and resources in their growth and success, they will be energized. As they grow so will their potential to make more meaningful contributions toward shared goals. When you invest in your employees, they will be willing to invest their best resources into the success of the organization.

Encourage them

When you encourage employees to overcome their fears and chase their dreams, they will become energized. We all want to be encouraged and to know that someone believes in us. When your employees feel encouraged, they will give 110% to achieving shared goals.

Provide opportunities

When you provide employees with new and challenging opportunities it shows that you trust in their abilities. Being challenged and given opportunities energizes employees. When employees know that there are ample opportunities, they will proudly contribute to the success of the organization.

Have their back

Make sure that employees feel safe. When you show them that you have their back in success and in failure, they will be energized. When employees know that you have their back, they will be willing to stretch beyond their current capabilities to reach higher and add even more value to organizational objectives.

Give Them a Reason to Believe

If you want to energize your employees, you must give them a reason to believe that they can be successful. They need to know that they can succeed personally as they are contributing to the success of the organization. Invest your time and resources in them. Give them encouragement. Provide them with challenging opportunities. Show them that you have their back. Give them a reason to believe that they can succeed and they will be energized.

© 2017 Elizabeth Stincelli

Liz Stincelli is passionate about recognizing and inspiring the leader in each of us. She is the Founder of Stincelli Advisors where she focuses on helping organizations change attitudes, change communication dynamics, improve collaboration and problem-solving, engage employees, and strengthen organizational culture. Liz holds a Doctor of Management degree with an emphasis on organizational leadership.

Learn more about Liz by visiting her website, stincelliadvisors.com and connect with her on Twitter @infinitestin, Google+, and LinkedIn. You can contact her by email at stincelliadvisors@gmail.com.