Different Folks Requires Different Strokes

Control Freak 7Yes, I admit it. I was once a control freak! I was an “old school” micro-manager. Trust me – in my 40+ year career as an award-winning entrepreneur and general manager for a major corporation, I’ve made my fair share of mistakes. I’m here to confess my number one sin in the hope that first-time supervisors, managers and business leaders will learn what not to do. I also think there’s a lesson here for seasoned veterans who developed their management style in the late 1960’s like I did. Social psychologist Douglas McGregor referred to it as a “Theory X” style of management. Managers who adopted this style believed that workers were inherently lazy and needed to be bullied or brow-beaten into performing their work.  Employees were never to question authority.  “Do as I say – not as I do. When I tell you to jump – the only thing you can ask is how high”. There are still a number of managers and business leaders out there who continue to manage and lead that way. They manage and lead by intimidation. I’m here to tell you the days of the “Bully Boss” are over.

#Worth Remembering …The definition of insanity is doing the same thing – expecting a different result” – Albert Einstein

Times have certainly changed for the better. If I knew then what I know now there is no question I would have managed differently. After reading this article I hope you’ll manage differently too. What you need to decide is – will the management style that got you here – be the same style that will help you be as successful moving forward? I believe we’re not born knowing how to manage or lead others effectively. I believe it’s a learned behaviour. We all start out making certain assumptions, based on our past experiences and perceptions, as to the kind of role we think managers and leaders need to play. But we also know, based on our experiences, that our perceptions may not always be correct and that sometimes we have to change our way of thinking to become better at what we do. Today’s managers and business leaders need to change the way they manage others to stay in step with an ever-changing workforce. Different folks require different stokes. It’s now about inclusion – not exclusion. It’s now about building collaborative teams.

#Worth Remembering … One of the most important things about being a good manager is to rule with a heart. You have to know the business, but you have to know what’s at the heart of a business and that’s people. – Oprah Winfrey

Daniel Goleman, in his groundbreaking book – “Working with Emotional Intelligence”, might have said it best. “We are being judged by a new yardstick; not just how smart we are, or by our training and expertise, but also by how well we handle ourselves and each other”. Emotional intelligence often referred to as soft-skills now plays a more pivotal role in how we manage and lead others. If you can’t connect on an emotional level with the people you work with and interact with – then you stand little chance of being successful. Productivity and profitability is still the name of the game. That will never change. But how we get there has. People like to work with people they like. And the only way to get people to like you is to work with them in a way that they like. It’s no longer about your technical ability. It’s about your ability to connect with others, communicate, educate and delegate in a style that they like. If you can’t do that then you can’t manage or lead. It’s no longer my way or the highway. It’s about our way. You need to learn to manage and lead the 21st Century way. You need to change because they aren’t going to.

Copyright (c) 2018. Brian Smith-PLD. Not to be reproduced without permission. Are you looking for a keynote speaker or workshop facilitator who can deliver an entertaining and informative session on a variety of soft skills topics? To find out more about Brian and what he can do for you and your organization visit https://briansmithpld.com

 

Would You Work For You?

judge-with-gavel1Would you work for you? Would you work for a Boss who belittles you, and berates you in front of your co-workers, instead of behind closed doors? Would you work for a Boss who always needs to be right – even when they are wrong.? Would you work for a Boss who promises you something one day – and then takes it away from you the next? Does this sound all too familiar? Chances are we’ve all worked for a Boss just like that. I believe great Bosses aren’t born – they’re made. If given the chance, what kind of Boss would you be? Take a moment and think about that. If you had to put a list together of the top ten things a great Boss should be – what would you put on your list?

I think a great Boss should be:

  1. Patient: Able to accept or tolerate delays, problems, or suffering without becoming annoyed or impatient.
  2. Open-minded: Be willing to accept new ideas.
  3. Honest: The quality of being honest.
  4. Empathetic: Show an ability to understand and share the feelings of others.
  5. Flexible: Demonstrate a willingness to change or compromise.
  6. Trustworthy: Have the ability to be relied on, to be honest, or truthful.
  7. Fair: Treat others in a way that is right or reasonable and not allowing personal opinions to influence their judgement.
  8. Consistent: Acting or doing things in the same way over time, especially to be fair or accurate.
  9. Loyal: Give firm and constant support or allegiance to a person or organization.
  10. Compassionate: Feeling or showing sympathy and concern for others regardless of their standing or position.

People don’t quit companies – they quit lousy Bosses. Always remember that you get to decide what kind of Boss you want to be. Culture is created from the top down, never the bottom up. Most people, if given a choice, would rather not be the Boss. But everyone gets to decide what kind of Boss they want to follow. Keep that in mind the next time you’re given the opportunity. Be the kind of Boss you’d like to follow. Ask yourself – would you work for you? If the answer is no – then you need to change.

Copyright (c) 2018. Brian Smith-PLD. Not to be reproduced without permission. Are you looking for a keynote speaker or someone to conduct an in-house training session on soft-skills training or leadership development? To find out more about Brian and what he can do for you and your organization visit https://briansmithpld.com

Why Women Make Better Leaders

 

 

EmpathyWhy women make better leaders can be summed up in just one word – “Empathy”. (The ability to see it from another person’s point of view). Women seem to come by it naturally, while most men have to work at it. Dee Dee Myers – author of “Why Women Should Rule The World” believes that women are more successful at managing small businesses because women can make people accountable for their actions but, they are also there to support them. “Females have the trait, where maybe most males do not”. Mary Matalin, former counsellor to President George W. Bush and Vice President Cheney was quoted as saying – “Women around the world are rewriting history at a ferocious pace with or without mans permission”. It’s easy to argue that men haven’t been doing such a good job lately of managing things. That’s not a political statement – I’m just stating the facts. In the words of Bob Dylan – “The times they are a changing”.

It’s great to see that more and more women are taking up a seat at the boardroom table and leading Fortune 500 Companies. Women are outpacing men in starting their own small businesses. According to research conducted by The Centre for Women’s Business – 1 in 5 of all firms generating 1 million dollars or more in sales is owned by women. The Seventh Annual Business Report, commisioned by American Express, finds that the number of businesses owned by women has more than doubled in 20 years, as has their revenue. Women are starting an average of 849 new businesses per day, up 3% from 2016. There are 11.6 million women-owned businesses in the United States, employing nearly 9 million people and generating more than 1.7 trillion in revenue. Facts and figures published by Statistics Canada on Canadian Women Entrepreneurs tell a similar story. Of all the small and medium-sized enterprises in Canada – 47% are entirely or partly owned by women. The average net profit of female-owned businesses has increased from 52% of male-owned businesses to 89%. Based on these numbers I think it’s safe to say the glass ceiling has been shattered.

Putting gender aside, what does it really take to be a successful owner or manage a small business?

Successful small business owners and managers:

  • Understand themselves and how their attitude affects others.
  • Understand how their reaction to any given situation affects the outcome.
  • Have a positive attitude about themselves – which causes others to have confidence in them.
  • Understand that every situation is different, so they know they must behave and respond differently.
  • Realize that they need their people more than their people need them. They would look pretty silly trying to run things by themselves. There’s strength in numbers.
  • Know they don’t have to have all the answers, all of the time. If they surround themselves with capable people, someone on their team will.
  • Must lead by example. That sounds easy to do but it means never compromising your principles and honouring what you hold to be true – honesty, integrity and always doing what is right.

I could go on and on – but I think you get the point. Women deserve far more credit then they have been given. It’s time that ALL men realize a women’s place is far more than being barefoot and pregnant. If you’re looking to develop 21st Century leadership skills, start with empathy. Learn to count to 10 or 20 if need be, before you react. See things from the other person’s point of view. Trust me – you’ll be glad you did and so will the people who work with you.

Copyright (c) 2017. Brian Smith – Power Link Dynamics. Are you looking for a professional speaker or seminar leader who can entertain and inform on a variety of soft-skills topics? Give Brian a call. He will customize a program that is right for you, your people and your organization. To find out more visit https://briansmithpld.com

Has The Pendulum Swung Too Far?

Choices

Has political correctness gone amuck? James Damore was fired by Google for posting a memo he’d written. Right or wrong, it was his opinion. Just because you don’t agree with it, does it make it a fireable offence? The courts will decide if his dismissal was for just cause. What are we teaching our young people if everyone makes the team – everyone plays the same amount of minutes regardless of skill level? Where’s the incentive to improve? Are we teaching transferable life skills if everyone gets a trophy for just showing up? Is it fair that everyone gets the same bonus, regardless of his or her contribution to the project?

Should we be lowering physical standards so women can perform the same task side by side with men?  When the building is on fire I want someone who is physically capable of carrying me down four flights of stairs. If a woman can do it – have at it. Trust me – I won’t complain. The truth of the matter is there are some tasks that only men can perform, just as there are some tasks that only women can perform. Mind you there aren’t many that men can do that woman can’t.  If someone is physically and mentally capable of performing a task, gender is a non-issue.

I remember singing the National Anthem and reciting the Lords Prayer in school. It didn’t seem to do me any harm. Why are we afraid of hurting someone’s feelings if we call it a Christmas tree and wish people Merry Christmas?  We may not agree with the message but surely we can agree that everyone has a right to freedom of expression – as long as it doesn’t take away those same rights for someone else and it’s done in a lawful and respectful way without causing physical harm to people or damaging property. Everyone has a right to be protected under the law regardless of race, gender, religious beliefs or message.

Just because you’ve worked there the longest doesn’t mean you are entitled to get the promotion. I believe promotions should be based on ability and not longevity. Has the pendulum swung too far the other way? Are we going out of our way so as not to offend anyone? Has political correctness gone amuck? You be the judge. Some people may think we haven’t gone far enough, I respectfully disagree. But that’s just my opinion. I could be wrong, but then again I could be right.

Copyright (c) 2017. Not to be reproduced. Brian Smith – Professional Speaker, Seminar Leader, and Author. Are you looking for someone who can entertain and inform your audience on a variety of soft-skills topics?  Visit https://briansmithpld.com