Archive for December, 2010

All companies compete to find the best people in the workplace to fill their key leadership positions

All companies compete to find the best people in the workplace to fill their key leadership positions. But once they hire them, are they able to keep them happy and productive?

Some of the most promising and highest potential leaders we have worked with have attained great success in their jobs and worked hard to earn that success, only to ultimately decide that the price to remain is too high. The problem isn’t that they aren’t suited for the work, but rather that the size of their workload is too much to handle in a normal work week.

As the new generation of workers becomes qualified for higher positions on the corporate ladder, they have a different set of expectations than their predecessors. By and large, these are people who work to live, and not the other way around. Ironically, those who are the most talented, ambitious, and have promising futures are the ones searching hardest for balance in their lives. They choose in greater numbers to avoid the jobs that require 60+ hours in a typical week.

This choice has been called “opting out,” and it has been described in numerous places, most recently in The Opt Out Revolt: Why People are Leaving Companies to Create Kaleidoscope Careers
by Lisa Mainiero and Sherry Sullivan.

Burning Out the Brightest

To me, the tragedy isn’t that people are losing jobs, because as the book title suggests, those who opt out are doing just fine, thank you. Rather, it’s that the most promising and productive people are the ones leaving, meaning the companies involved are losing some of their best and brightest emerging leaders. I hear these individuals say things like: “I value myself too much to pay such a high price for success at work.”

To be fair, we shouldn’t label companies in question as taskmasters. Surely, some organizations are better than others at demonstrating that they value a work/life balance for their employees. But in many cases, the nature of management jobs – the ones higher up on the corporate ladder — require a larger time commitment. People who stick to a 40-hour week don’t get let go, but they do get put into a new box that limits their potential ascent within the organization.

Gender plays one role in this phenomenon, but not the only role. Women seem to opt out in greater numbers, often because of choices to focus on raising children. Their employers seem to show a willingness to reduce the workload for new mothers or parents, but these employees also lose their status as high potential leaders in the organization. (To be fair, men are opting out, too.)

Organizations are rapidly realizing that their pipeline for emerging leaders is becoming sparse, and many senior leaders have publicly discussed the lack of qualified people in the workforce. That’s why opting out poses a greater problem for them than for individuals. There will always be bodies that are willing to fill leadership roles. But from our perspective, the ones leaving are the ones that demonstrate the highest levels of emotional intelligence, relational capacity, and maturity.

Tasks Before Relationships?

There’s another side to this discussion of heavy workloads. As an alternative to opting out, many try to adjust their jobs to make them more manageable. We work with leaders who work to prioritize tasks, and invest their time in more urgent matters. This adjustment leads to a different set of challenges.

At the Bailey Group, we often talk about relationship-based leadership as a core characteristic of an effective leader. The ability to be a coach, mentor, motivator, and people-focused leader is a valuable and powerful part of a leader’s job. Sadly, we observe that this relationship-based work, which takes a significant investment of time and energy, is the part of the job that gets set aside when leaders try to streamline their workloads.

Whether this adjustment represents an intentional decision or an unintended one, reducing the relational part of the job has numerous repercussions for organizations. As one-on-one meetings get postponed and team meetings become tactical instead of strategic, workers become less engaged. The leaders in question struggle: they know that they need to be more attentive to the needs of their staff. They are used to being successful at their jobs, and frustrated to be missing opportunities to help their team develop. Yet to readjust requires adding time to the workday, reinforcing this cycle of overactivity.

My colleagues and I observe that opting out is the right choice for some people. They find other ways to succeed, fill their time productively, and invest in new relationships, both professionally and personally. Since they’ve had professional success, they can afford to take breaks. In time, they build successful new careers and generally feel better about themselves.

Our clients tell us that key leadership positions are becoming harder to fill, with organizations investing considerable resources in recruiting and transitional training. Some companies communicate that they value employees with balanced lives, but then take actions that contradict the message. That’s a growing problem, especially as baby boomers retire and the next generation of leaders—those who place even greater value on balance—take their places.

If you work in a business environment, chances are you will have to take part in a team effort at some point in your career

If you work in a business environment, chances are you will have to take part in a team effort at some point in your career. You may even find yourself as the leader of a team, in which case you will need to cultivate some valuable skills in order to lead effectively. These skills will help create a cohesive, creative group with a high success rate. Here are the top five tips for becoming a successful team leader.

Establish Authority

While it may be tempting to be seen as “one of the guys”, this is not the best way to be a successful leader. As a leader, you need to make sure your authority is never in doubt and that you have the ability to guide the group. At the same time, it’s important not to come across as a dictator, and someone who is out of touch with the rest of the team. Take a look at what your group needs from you in order to find a balance between making everyone comfortable while also keeping them on their toes so that they work as efficiently as possible.

Involve Employees

Your role as a leader is to make sure the group feels like they’re contributing to something bigger than themselves. Part of this includes involving your team in the decision making process. Guide them, but also give them an outlet for their thoughts and ideas while giving them feedback. By getting them involved in setting goals and objectives, you are making it easier for them to feel like they are making an important contribution to the team.

Communicate Effectively

Good communication is one of the most important traits to have as an effective team leader. It is very important to clearly and routinely communicate to the team regarding the goals and vision of the team objectives. There should never be any doubt about what each member should be doing, the timeframe for achieving certain projects or the process of achieving the goals themselves. Good communication also involves listening to what your employees have to say, so if there is ever a problem you can tackle it right away instead of letting it slide until it’s too late.

Encourage Unity

The idea of having a team of employees work on a project is that it makes the work go much faster and more efficiently than if each person worked on their own. Because of this, the unity of the team is incredibly important. As a leader, you must work to create symbiosis and synergy within the team. Each person should have a role that is important and vital to the success of the team as a whole in order to motivate them and make them feel like a valued member.

Keep Moving Forward

No matter how great your team is, there will likely be a time that you run into problems. As a leader, it’s necessary for you to evaluate what went wrong, make the necessary changes and then start looking forward again. You will need to motivate the team to keep them on track and keep them from getting discouraged.

Teleconference on productivity presented by

Teleconference on PRODUCTIVITY presented by

Titusville, NJ  — 17 June 2010 – – Small Business Owners can learn about the importance of productivity and profitability in the hour-long Teleseminar on June 23rd at 8:00pm EDT.

Hosted by Smart Office Strategies, Are You Productive or Just Busy? Our Teleconference will provide you with accountability tools. Participants attending will learn:

?      The difference between getting a lot of work done vs. a lot of money making work done

?      Strategies you can implement immediately to increase results, energy & joy.

?      How to be more productive

?      How to have a more profitable business

?      How to turn your good intentions into consistent action.

To register in advance, go to: Smart Office Strategies-Seminars. Upon registration, participants will receive a confirmation email, phone number, and pass code. The cost of the teleconference has been waived-this class is complimentary. When you register an Audio Stream will be available and be forwarded to all registered guests.

About the host: Yvonne McCoy will be the host of the teleconference.

Yvonne is a partner in Smart Office Strategies and the founder of ADEPT Coaching and Consulting. Her varied business experiences as well as her personal experiences make her a dynamic, content rich and entertaining speaker.

Whether on the subjects faced by entrepreneurial business environments or personal development, she offers real answers to real problems. Yvonne strives to give you strategies that get you moving now and keep you moving. They will deliver lightness from the struggle, energy for the future and success on all levels

Teleconference – Are you Productive or just Busy?

Tuesday:  June 23rd, 2010

Time:  8:00pm EDT

Register at the Website: Smart Office Strategies-Seminars

Leadership development is an important piece of managing and leading

Leadership development is an important piece of managing and leading.  It can become necessary in various situations in your management career. With that, it’s important to fully acknowledge how to work with it successfully. Quite a few leadership training and management development courses teach how to handle negotiation and conflict resolution with different parties. To be an effective leader, it is crucial to master the skill of negotiation. These skills will be essential for use with colleagues or other professionals.

Upon beginning the process of negotiation, the first item on the list is to identify the expected length of the relationship. How long do you envision the relationship with the other party?  Whether it is a long-term relationship or a short-term, it will determine how to proceed with any negotiation.  The next important step is to contemplate how many types of outcomes you have to choose from.  Determine the outcome based on the situation in which an issue is open to discussion and what resolutions are possible.  A leadership training course is an excellent way to learn how to effectively manage complex situations.

Each business relationship has different settings. Some of the settings require taking in what people may need or require from you.  Think about what the other party may need or want.  In circumstances like these, a third party may be necessary for some conversations. Sometimes it is wise just to have a third party be visible.

A Leadership expert will agree that a group conversation is a great way to resolve any conflicts, bring people together and solve problems. An expert also says that a resolution skill is important in any type of management or supervisory role. This is also true for HR (Human Resources) in all kinds of organizations. Those in a leadership position should be required to have this skill as cooperation from each person involved is crucial to getting essential goals accomplished and organizing the goals as a team. In completing a development training program is one way to help you solidify the talent in future management and leaders.

An important aspect of leadership and management is that it is used as a wonderful management tool in a workplace environment to get any task done in a more efficient way. This is a valuable and proven process as it feeds enthusiasm within employees and they feel as if they have participated in a process rather than being told what to do. Leadership development educates and brings a team together.

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