Why Entrepreneurs Need To Move Away From FOMO

The ‘Fear Of Missing Out’, mainly known by its acronym FOMO has become a much talked about behavioral phenomenon ever since social media has taken over our lives. The word itself became so popular that it was added to the Oxford English Dictionary in 2013!

Until now, FOMO was a term that was applicable to the Internet junkies. However, given its psychological impact, it is now also commonly used to describe a human tendency. Surprisingly, FOMO has taken even the community of entrepreneurship in its grip.

Before we delve further into how entrepreneurship and FOMO are related, let’s first understand what exactly FOMO is.

study titled ‘Motivational, Emotional and Behavioural Correlates of Fear Of Missing Out’ defines FOMO as

the uneasy and sometimes all-consuming feeling that you’re missing out – that your peers are doing, in the know about, or in possession of more or something better than you.

In this study, nearly three-quarters of young adults reported that they had experienced the phenomenon.

People who are experiencing FOMO are always craving for more and possess ‘I want that or I want to know too’ attitude. If they don’t get what they want, it instils anxiety and depression in them.

Now, let’s understand FOMO in the context of entrepreneurship.

The first FOMO that entrepreneurs experience is related to opportunities. Entrepreneurs are wired to think that there is nothing worse than missing an opportunity that could have changed their life. This opportunity could be an idea, an investor or anything that matters to launching or growing the business – if only I had an opportunity to put my idea into action, if only I could have one meeting with the investor, and so forth.

As an entrepreneur, you should accept that entrepreneurship is all about success, failure, and missed opportunities. It’s good to be ambitious and seek opportunities, but don’t let this become an obsession. Sometimes, you just need to turn down an opportunity and wait for another one. You have to take a leap of faith and learn to say ‘no’. Like Kenny Nguyen, CEO-Founder of Big Fish Presentations and co-author of the book ‘The Big Fish Experience’ did.

He refused to attend the popular reality show ‘Shark Tank’ which gives aspiring entrepreneurs a platform to make business presentations to the investors. Of course, it was a big opportunity but somehow he felt that it was not the right time for him to participate in his venture was only a year old.

Instead, he focused all his energy on making his startup the best among the others. Today, Big Fish Presentations is one of the fastest growing companies in the startup ecosystem. Kenny Nguyen advises his peers to focus on the right opportunity, not every opportunity.

Entrepreneurs also suffer from FOMO on success. Agreed that every entrepreneur wants to become a winner, but success takes its own sweet time to give its taste to you. It’s one thing to have a vision and another thing to forget the journey that takes you there.  You should not let the fear of ‘what my successful business look like’ to stall your today’s efforts to grow it.

Keep the success in mind, but do not expect an instant win. Sometimes, it is better to adhere to the maxim ‘Slow and Steady Win The Race’.  Anu Sharma, the founder of HR Practice firmly believes so and says, “It’s not always the big leap which is needed to start off – it’s fine to take small steps and begin your journey.”

Then, there is also FOMO on a commitment to the company. Give the time, energy, money and emotions that they have invested in their business, entrepreneurs fear of exiting it even if they know that it is heading south in terms of expected targets, revenue, and profits.

This kind of behavior is also known as ‘sunk cost fallacy’ which make them continue running their company even when it is not the best thing to do. They fear on missing out on the possible success the business can bring if they stay invested.

The millennial entrepreneurs are believed to be the worst sufferers of FOMO syndrome. In fact, a report on the millennials cites that FOMO is not a cultural phenomenon, it’s an epidemic. Entrepreneurship is a trend for the millennials.

Everyone has (at least they think so!) or is looking for the billion-dollar idea that will put them in the league of Azim Premji, Sachin Bansal, Sergey Brin or Mark Zuckerberg. They want to experience entrepreneurship just for the thrill of it, without thinking it through.

FOMO in entrepreneurship is good as long as it does not make you depressed, stressful or restless. It can have a serious impact on your mental and physical well-being. Every entrepreneurial venture has its own story and journey. You can’t guarantee success or avoid failure – you can only keep working on specific goals and recognize the tradeoffs.

This article contributed by Vijay Shekhar Sharma. It first appeared in Inc42.

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Finding the Edge – Episode #2

Do You Know How Your Client's Make The Decision To Buy What You Sell?

If you own a business or run a large operating unit inside a business, have you ever given any thought as to how your clients make that all important decision as to whether or not they will buy your product or service? What is it EXACTLY that triggers their buy / don’t buy button? Is it really price that controls their decision, or are other factors involved? Leaders need to know the difference.

CustomersWhat you need to know…

Believe it or not, the price is actually one of your prospect’s last considerations. Human nature says that no matter who buys what you sell, they will always want “the best deal.” That doesn’t mean the lowest price, but it does mean they want the most “VALUE” for the price they pay. The perception that your product or service offers extraordinary value controls their final decision.

Why you need to know this…

The key is to create “extraordinary value” as it relates to what you sell. In fact, if you do this, you can even charge a much higher price. Providing the right perception of value justifies the higher price. Unfortunately, most business owners don’t have a clue how to create “extraordinary value,” and therefore don’t offer it to their prospects, costing themselves massive market share and a boatload of lost revenue.

To create value, a business must “innovate.” You must understand the things your clients want from your product or service. Then use innovative ideas and solutions to either remove the pain and frustration the customer normally experiences. What you offer should be the solution to eliminating that pain for your customer. Once the prospect associates what you sell with a benefit they receive from using it, then you have extreme value.

For example, the daycare mom who feels frustrated and worried when she drops off her child at daycare because she doesn’t know how the child is being cared for finds tremendous relief and peace of mind (extraordinary value) when the daycare installs Web Watch… a 24 camera surveillance system that allows parents to view their child online, anytime.

The cost to you if you fail to act…

If you fail to create “extraordinary value,” then you look like, feel like and smell like your competition. You will be forever doomed to compete with them on price, and when you’re forced to compete on price, you have just lost the battle. There will always be someone willing to undercut your price… ALWAYS!

By innovating your business, you begin to separate your business from your competition. You begin to eliminate your competition from the minds of your prospects… and you will have your prospects literally saying to themselves that “I would be an absolute fool if I bought this from anyone else.”

Innovation attracts your “ideal” clients to your business. These are the clients that will buy more from you at premium prices. They will spend more money and buy from you over longer periods of time. Your revenue and profits begin to skyrocket as you begin to add unprecedented market share.

Look for ways to “innovate” your business and do so in such a way that you create extraordinary value in the minds of your prospects.

It’s Not Natural

Finding these innovative ideas is hard. I get that. So that is why I have partnered with a great team who has spent years and millions of dollars developing a systematized approach to doing just that; finding innovative ways to promote your business. I call it “Finding the Edge.”

When you take a look at what we offer here, you will see a comprehensive library of tools and resources to put your business into another gear. It’s all done for you. There is pre-written marketing copy that has been used by others like yourself, in other markets to drive increased leads, higher sales price, and improve return/repeat business. Any one of those factors alone can make a big difference, but imagine what it could mean to your business is you just got two or more working at the same time. We’ve seen increases of 50%, 100% and even 200% profitability.

To take a Test Drive on our system visit Finding the Edge

Here’s to your success!

P.S. Please remember that at any time you feel ready and qualified to move forward and acquire the professional help that can enable you to build the business of your dreams, just click here and check out our E-Learning Marketing System™. It’s helping small business owners just like you get the answers and the help they need to build the business they have always wanted.

We created the E-Learning Marketing System™ with the perfect combination of online resources, tools, and support to get you out of any financial distress you’re presently experiencing… help you get laser-focused on your highest income-producing activities… and help you develop and then apply the fundamentals that build multimillion dollar businesses. Click here to see for yourself.

PPS – Oh and by the way. Acess to this amazing system normally runs for $197 per month. I am doing a year-end/new year promotion offering this whole package for just $97 per month. Imagine getting all the benefit of having your very own, done for you, marketing system to push your business to the next level; all for just $97 per month.

 

ACT NOW though, this won’t be here after the first of the year,

Leadership: Finding a Good Fit

Companies spend a lot of time and money trying to identify “good fit” during their hiring process. Candidate selection is driven by the magical, mystical notion of making a good fit decision.

Clearly, the first step usually involves matching job description requirements with the candidate’s stated background experience. Right away, the matching process starts to break down because so much screening is now contingent on keyword matching, and not much else.

Even if resume screening works well, the next step takes the candidate through an interview process. Here’s where it really gets fun.

First, well-coached candidates can ace interviews while really not bringing much value to the company. Poorly trained hiring managers, who only occasionally may conduct interviews, (i.e. it’s not their full-time job) do not possess the right skills for getting maximum value from the interview process. So the “good fit” effort takes yet another hit.

With these two key areas suffering, the station of last resort is the look and feel test. Does the candidate look and feel like the right person for the job? Sadly, this often takes us back to the untrained interviewer who merely decides to hire someone who looks like or thinks like they do, assuming that alignment of core values and ideals will work.

Struck any nerves yet?

Have I touched any nerves yet? How’s your good fit guy doing so far?

Yes, good fit selection is a far more complex challenge for companies and their job seeker candidates. Even more important is the unit manager who gets involved in the selection process.

Finding true good fit requires the ability to properly identify what that means to the company and the team. Jim Collins in his “Good to Great” talks about this challenge as ‘getting the right people on the bus’. Once your company defines its core value and vision, there will be key individuals with unique talent who can make things happen. Hiring anyone short of that impacts the final outcome, not to mention the headache and liability of releasing a “bad fit” employee.

The popular Entrepreneurs Operating System or “EOS” describes doing a kind of per seat analysis throughout the organization. First, you tie the roles and responsibilities off each workstation to the overall company mission/vision. You set a value for each position; value contributed to the company or worth of each slot. Then and only then, do you take a look at the person filling that seat or being recruited for the seat. Does the person have the skills and abilities to deliver on the expectations you previously defined for that position? Now that is fit.

Solutions

There are several emerging ways companies are trying to do more for good fit hiring. Here are a few of the main ideas.

Basic Skills Testing

Many of my client companies have developed basic skills testing to determine a candidates ability to meet baseline requirements. Sadly, there are companies that need good solid workers with basic skills, but too few job seekers can demonstrate core skills like reading, math, and simple logic.

One president of a local manufacturer told me he’s adopted both a skills test and one VERY basic math question for every interview. He takes a piece of paper and writes a five digit number like 52,698. He hands that to the candidate and asks “what is 10% of that number?” This executive swears that after conducting maybe 800 interviews in his career, less than 100 candidates could answer that question. [The answer is 5,269.8]

At one of the companies I owned, we developed a test for job seekers. We had a sample file folder that had numerous documents pertaining to the work we did. The seeker was given a checklist and told to find the applicable document from the folder, stack the file according to the checklist, and tell us if something was missing. A person with reasonable skills could finish the file in 20 minutes. Anyone who didn’t really know the work had no way to fake it.

Personality Traits

Ever since Karl Jung first developed his 4 part personality classification system, there have been spin-off theories that are widely adopted by major corporations. These include DISC, Myers Briggs MBTI (R), and Birkman testing. While the Jung-based psychology gives interesting personality indicators, the complexities of human thinking and its far-reaching impact in the workplace can only be counted as a starting point. Whether someone scores an INTJ or ENFT will only go so far in helping a manager make a good fit decision.

The whole notion of personality assessment having a scale for introvert versus extrovert is under heavy scrutiny now. There is a body of work being studied that suggests “ambiverts” (people who demonstrate either both tendency depending on the situation) represent a bigger segment of the workforce, plus they have been proven to be better performers.

Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence testing or “EI” has become a popular topic for defining and exploring better fit conditions. We probably know people who are masters at managing their emotions. They don’t get angry in stressful situations. Instead, they have the ability to look at a problem and calmly find a solution. They’re excellent decision makers, and they know when to trust their intuition. Regardless of their strengths, however, they’re usually willing to look at themselves honestly. They take criticism well, and they know when to use it to improve their performance.

People like this have a high degree of emotional intelligence or EI. They know themselves very well, and they’re also able to sense the emotional needs of others.

Leadership in Placement

For example, one large cosmetics company recently revised their hiring process for salespeople to choose candidates based on their EI. The result? People hired with the new system have sold, on average, $91,000 more than salespeople selected under the old system. There has also been significantly lower staff turnover among the group chosen for their EI.

Cultural Fit

Companies seeking to define their own culture must identify candidates who fit that culture. Whether the elements are work ethic, training, expertise, or attitude, the company’s culture helps define fit.

From Entrepreneur Magazine :

There’s no denying that cultural fit is important but make sure you actually know what it is before judging candidates. It’s easy to mistake cultural fit for personal biases — just because you wouldn’t mind being stuck in an airport with a candidate doesn’t necessarily mean he’s a great fit for your company.

A candidate’s approach shouldn’t be so divisive that it creates rifts among employees, but you shouldn’t be afraid to hire somebody whose personality clashes with your own. If you perceive that a candidate would make a meaningful contribution to your company while maintaining decorum, that candidate might be a cultural match.

If you have doubts about making a career change, take my free assessment. Find out exactly where you stand.

The Bigger Question

Good fit ultimately comes down to being able to harness the power of your mind’s attention and your heart’s affection. Managers tapping into the hearts and minds of their team will yield the greatest results. Having employees who are not open to contributing at that level will never be a good fit.

Using the tools mentioned above can give insight into ways people might fit well with your team. However, your own ability as the leader to direct, inspire and instill fit within your team is your biggest task.

Question: How do you and your company manage to find the right fit?  You can leave a comment by clicking here.

 

Leadership : #MeToo vs Improving Personal Accountability

Personal accountability is a wide and somewhat confusing concept. When it comes to leadership, the best leaders not only embrace personal accountability, but they demand it.

Sadly, the headlines today contain stories about cover-ups and sexual improprieties (that’s me being very nice about it). Celebrities, athletes, politicians, key executives, and others are being “found out”. Those who are reported allegedly engaged in bad acts that included theft, fraud, sexual abuses, and collusion, just to name a few.

The #MeToo movement is not limited to the entertainment world. It reaches the boardrooms and back rooms of many of our best respected corporate brands. [Writer’s note: in case you are wondering, the #MeToo movement hit Twitter after the Harvey Weinstein scandal broke. People who had been sexually assaulted were encouraged to tweet simply #MeToo.].

It seems that the old saying is still true:

Power corrupts. Absolute power corrupts absolutely.

People in power take license with the authority that comes with their position. When the power is abused as in lording it over those with whom you work, whether for sexual favor or financial twisting, it is still wrong. So what is the remedy, the fix?

Personal Accountability

Large corporations and many smaller businesses have built-in accountabilities for things like accounting, finance, compliance, and other regulatory mandates. Yet the integrity of the leadership is left somewhat unchecked. Yes, there are Boards who write morality clauses into employment contracts. People are fired for violation of those clauses. Great for the Board who demanded that control. Unfortunately, the presence of these controls is seen in only a few cases.

When there is a contractual clause, there is accountability of a statutory nature. The person subject to such control may or may not be very influenced by its presence. If the leader’s tendency is to conduct bad acts, they will figure out ways to do it in secret. The secret only lasts so long.

Accountability must begin in the heart. A moral compass must be engaged that prevents any such bad act. The best leader has long ago figured out what, when and how to establish their own personal system of accountability.

Over the years I’ve had the good fortune of knowing a group of business leaders who started very young making pledges to one another for accountability. They met regularly and shared the temptations they faced. If one member was slipping, the group lifted them up (figuratively). They routinely reaffirmed the pledge for proper conduct. The discipline grew. As they rose in prominence in their respective professions, the habits for accountability became the foundation of integrity. To this day these leaders enjoy reputations for good character and high standards of integrity.

Accountable

I argue this came from a discipline adopted at that early stage of their career. They made decisions long ago about the right ways to act.

Fighting the Beast

The coin here definitely has two sides; at least if you try to be objective. As I began preparing this article, I spoke with several close confidants. Even within this small sampling, the extremes on the scale revealed thoughts I had never considered.

One executive, a male, expressed total frustration with the dynamic. While he couldn’t deny the presence of a small percentage of male managers with horrible reputations for sexual harassment, he was equally appalled by the presence of females who cry foul without a real threat.

My friend contends, at a minimum, the line gets blurry. What action at work, physical or verbal, can be construed to be harmful? What about the office dating that has led to marriages that work. Yes, many do not, but plenty do. In the story above, my friend, a life-long HR professional said that he’s even heard complaints about “Susie, you look nice today.” Where is the line?

Managers have been sunk by false allegations of impropriety, careers ruined, yet there was no recourse. The consensus was, trust the female’s complaint. My friend’s summary statement was “there are some crazy people out there.”

On the other extreme, a female entrepreneur I know just happened to be writing her own story about the #MeToo movement. In her version she states yes, she’s been the ‘victim’ of actions that could be taken as sexually explicit, but she admits never being forced into being violated. While she’s had her own experience with men making statements and doing things like reaching and groping, she calls it a blessing to have never had to experience what many other women are now revealing.

While acknowledging this smaller segment of bad actors, she chooses to stake a claim on the men who have been mentors, champions, coaches, and supporters of her career. She says the ‘good guy’ population is much larger (thankfully). She even goes so far as to say we should add a #WeToo alternative to the #MeToo campaign. i.e. for every woman who has felt threatened, there are probably two or more who have been encouraged and helped by male influence.

If you need help building your own system for personal accountability, consider joining a Mastermind group like those we host at HeadwayExec.

In the end

It all comes back to moral character or decay. Which direction are you heading? If you are a leader (male or female) have you established your own moral high ground from which you choose to operate? In small entrepreneurial shops, you may get away with being a hugging kind of person, but larger corporate settings may not allow such behavior. Regardless, the boundaries have to be set.

Boundary setting is not just for your employees to protect themselves from you, but boundaries you choose never to cross. As an example, I know one male leader who will not permit private, one-on-one meetings with female staffers. It doesn’t matter how long the employee has been there, if a woman wants to meet with him, there will be another party in the room. That may be extreme, but I can tell you it has earned him a high degree of respect. People don’t even try to share an off-color story with him. He wants a straight narrow line shining brightly in his organization. His people respect that and want to work there.

Do they have fun? Yes, they do. It’s the kind of fun everyone can enjoy. The business thrives.

Question: What have you done to establish accountability and raise your own standards for office behavior? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

 

 

 

Where Do the Other Guys Go?

Have you ever been to a leadership conference where everyone in the room tries to give you the impression they already know the answers? You spend the day or two making small talk, perhaps exploring some “new ideas”, yet there is an overwhelming sense that all the people there have already climbed the mountain.

Where do the Other Guys go?

Where do the Other Guys go?

If that’s true, where did all the other guys go? Surely there are some colleagues in your industry who don’t have all the answers. You know it’s true because you deal with some of them on a regular basis.

I never seem to meet the executives who are the “bad guys”; the ones who are bad bosses. Where do they go? Is there a bad boss conference that is secretly held at some discreet location halfway around the globe?

Or is it possible the bad bosses are just simply so bad they aren’t even aware they need help?

Enter the 80/20

The practical reality is The Pareto Principle. You may know it as the 80/20 rule. Yes, I firmly believe only about 20% of our business executives can be rated as good leaders. The other 80% might be rated as OK managers, but they fail to achieve effective leadership.

The good ones are the ones that keep looking for ways to improve. They are hungry to participate in industry groups, networking, TED Talks, round-tables, or workshops attended by other like-minded leaders. They keep growing. They even help facilitate and organize events to attract great leaders.

Sadly, the other 80% keep going to work making life relatively miserable for employees or volunteers.

When I try to broach this topic at a leadership mastermind, I get mixed responses. On one hand, I get reactions like the preachers see every Sunday at church. When a touchy subject is mentioned, people squirm in their seats, but look around as if to say, “certainly that is not me, it must be the other person over there”. On the other hand, I have people say “yes, I want to work on this”.

Executives who have been thrown into management roles are seldom fully prepared to be in the position. They were identified as a high potential or a leading single performer. For that effort, they are rewarded with a promotion into management. Yet they lack the preparation to lead, so there is a need to grow. The other option is the fake-it-until-you-make-it mindset. Maybe they will be successful, likely not.

Lastly, there is a small percentage of talent in the leadership pool who move around between companies and industries because they have achieved proven results. Then there are those “up-and-comers” who are demonstrating leadership talent and who will one day be the next wave of key leaders.

Where Are You?

Where do you fit in this spectrum? Have you recognized the need to do more or be more to be a better leader? There may be forces working against you.

When your company asks you to take on a management role, are you ready to accept it and admit you need help? Probably not. You dive in, using the same energy and zeal that got you recognized as a key contributor. You work harder. Maybe you spend more hours at the office or take work home.

The pressure will mount. Various things you try to do are received with mixed results. Some things work. Other things do not. Your team is getting restless. You know there is a gap in what the job requires versus what you can deliver. What can you do?

Hiring an Executive Coach might be the best investment you can make.
You might want to talk to someone on our team today
to discuss ways to achieve measurable results from executive coaching.

Three Things to Master

Maintain your confidence –  stay true to yourself. You were selected because the company needed you in that job. They had a reason to give it a try. Be confident in knowing that. Come back to that truth as often as you need to. Use trusted advisors to prop up your confidence. Share what you can with close associates (not work colleagues).

Core competencies –  there will be key elements of the job you should master. Whether it is technical knowledge or subject matter expertise, become the guru on those topics. Read more, search more; get the most information you can to show the team you have a mastery of the work.

Stay centered –  don’t let the demands of the job take you off your game. Re-establish your core beliefs about who and what you are, how you can contribute, and the ways you can make a difference. Be true to those beliefs. Maintain an identity as the person you want to be at work. I’m not talking about arrogance. I’m talking about reliability and trust.

Highly effective and well-respected leaders didn’t get there by chance. They work an intentional plan. They grow, they seek counsel, and they are constantly learning.

Question: Where are you in the leadership growth process? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

If you own or operate a mid-stage company, you may want to explore ways to strengthen your leadership team. I am here to help make that transition.

Schedule a FREE call today

Tips for VP/CXO Executives Who Have Never Had to Search for a Position Before

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Approximately 60 percent of executives I speak with will share with me in our initial conversation that they have always been recruited for positions – and that for the first time in a very long time, they are faced with finding their next opportunity themselves. They may have some contacts and even a few recruiters they keep in touch with. But their resume has not been updated in over a decade, they don’t do much with LinkedIn, and they are aware the job search landscape has changed … but don’t feel prepared for the trip. They generally think the right next move is to  “update their resume and see what is out there…”

If that sounds like you, the tips below will help bring clarity regarding the correct steps to take to move forward confidently. It is a positive place to be, filled with opportunity since you come with no preconceived notions of the job search!

Equally important to note is you want to start your executive transition the right way. The reason why is because the wrong resume, the wrong approach, the wrong job search techniques and the wrong expectations can sap your energy and leave you feeling frustrated in a matter of weeks or months.

Here are some key tips to prevent that from happening to you:

DETERMINE YOUR FOCUS OF DIRECTION

First, you have to plan. A few things you will want to know are:

  • What key skills do you want to use?
  • What size company do you want to be with?
  • What titles would you find enticing?
  • Do you have a location preference?
  • What industry would you like to be in?
  • What are your driving motivators? (The things you have to have no matter what. This could be an industry change, a compensation range, a location or other.)
  • What is your time frame and sense of urgency?
  • How is the industry you are interested in doing economically? It is growing or stable? Is it in decline? Ideally, you want to fish where the fish are biting so bear that in mind if your industry is lagging … you may want to look for industries that are connected or on the periphery that present more opportunities.

BUILD YOUR EXECUTIVE RESUME

Now that you have defined the points important to you, you can (and must) build your resume TO them. That means beginning at the end and working backward. Your CXO resume is a marketing document, not a historical career narrative. A very valuable exercise is to explore online jobs to gauge what you are drawn to. Once you have found two or three, you can look for running themes in keywords and phrases. You want to use these as the basis for designing your executive resume.

To read more of this article, click here

Helping Rising Stars Shine

What can we do about a manager who won’t lead? I was asked this question during a large conference recently. (I love doing the live Q&As at these things).

First, let me set the stage as to why the question was framed this way. We had been talking about “making rising stars shine”, those who might become part of a succession or executive continuity plan; the development of high potential candidates inside a company. Included with the presentation were some ideas about the key distinctions between management and leadership. In summary, I had said:

I had stated that companies must decide between creating and sponsoring a management development program or a leadership development one. Do you want to build managers or leaders? It’s a key strategic choice and one that is valid depending on the job grades, corporate cultures, and industry specifics.

Back to the Question

What to do about a manager who won’t lead? This implies that the company has an expectation of its managers to be leaders. Personally, I prefer that mindset. Here are your options.

Dive In –  Begin making proactive inquiries as to what the manager is doing exactly. Track behaviors and outcomes. I was told this person has been quoted as saying “I just want to do the work”. It sounds like they were a bad choice for Manager. While they might have the skill set to make the process happen and get deliverables out, the statement would suggest a big disconnect with any notion of leadership, desire or insight.

Perhaps this person was thrust into the role due to a battlefield promotion. The job came open and they were the brightest bulb on the string. I mean no disrespect as this is the common practice in many places. However, making this kind of promotion often serves to simply snuff out the high producer. When asked to oversee other employees, the circumstances unwind. The top producer is now just a tyrant of a boss.

Make Assessments – Get specific about what the expectations are and find ways to develop the skills and behaviors of leadership you want your unit leads to use. This is a personal task. Each candidate must be evaluated for specific strengths and weaknesses.

Stakeholders need to get involved, sharing their views of the situation. A continuous feedback loop including those stakeholders must be developed and used.

Coaching –  The person needs coaching about the role and the expectations. Whether the coaching is done internally or with external resources, a coach can come alongside the person to work through the process for building awareness, designing a growth plan, running the stakeholder feedback, and getting results.

Last but Not Least –  You may need to make a change. This person may simply not be suited for the role, especially when the corporate expectation is to provide leadership, not just management. The initial selection to place the candidate in the role might just be a bust. That happens.

The offset to consider is the impact on the rest of the team. Will perpetuating this person’s role while hopefully getting some development coaching be good enough to avoid burning out the rest of the team? Of should you act more swiftly to vacate the position and select a candidate who aspires to lead more than manage?

Helping Rising Stars Shine

It’s not easy to design and operate an internal program to groom leadership talent. Whether you have to pluck unit leads from the ranks or supply a pipeline of talent that gets exposed to solid leadership development (most smaller companies cannot afford such luxury), grooming your next wave of managers and leaders is no small task.

If you would like to hear more about ways to design a high potential development program, use the link below.

If You Were a Tree What Would You Be? And Other Useless Interview Questions. A Manager’s Guide to EPIC Interviewing. (Charleston, SC: Palmetto, 2017)

My friend and colleague Roger Ferguson has released a new book.  Roger is not your typical Human Resources (HR) guy. He understands the importance of legal compliance, can recruit at any level, and can generate an airtight policy on just about any issue that surfaces. He prefers, however, to focus his efforts on process improvement and the bottom-line impact that HR can have on organizations.

He has amassed a career total of some $80 million in documented process improvements. He is known for is the award winning creation of Big Five Performance Management, an amazingly simple but effective alternative to traditional employee performance appraisals. Now, he is targeting the dreaded world of hiring practices. Here is his intro to the topic.

Family, Friends, and Colleagues

I have just published a new book, “If You Were a Tree What Would You Be?  And Other Useless Interview Questions.  A Manager’s Guide to EPIC Interviewing.”   Yes, it’s a long title for a little book but that little book is big on content, packed with information on how to structure and lead better interviews and how to make better hiring decisions.

How important is this topic?  Only about 10% of managers have received formal training in how to conduct an interview.  It is no wonder that sometimes the candidate we thought was a rock star in the interview turned out to be a dud in the workplace.  This happens a lot and can be costly to the organization and stressful for everyone involved, especially the hiring manager.

EPIC interviewing is a simple four-step plan for creating more efficient and effective interviews.  Using behavior-based interviewing techniques as a foundation, readers will then be taught how to differentiate their hiring practices from their competitors?   Want everyone clamoring to work for you?  This book is a great start.

I have leveraged and now share what I have learned my +30 plus years of hiring experience with two Fortune 500 companies (JPMorgan Chase Bank and the Flour Corporation).    The book makes an ideal gift for any sons or daughters who may be entering their first roles as supervisors or managers.

The book is available on Amazon/Kindle by clicking here.   I will appreciate any and all support you can offer by forwarding this email as you feel appropriate.

Thank you for your time and attention,

Roger Ferguson
iSi Human Resources Consulting
832.544.2316
www.bigfiveperformance.com
www.linkedin.com/in/rogerfergusonisi

Career Moves: What’s So Special About Me?

Answer: Everything

Professionals in all walks of life often struggle with one key element. When asked about their strengths, they sometimes stumble through the answer.

I Am Special

I Am Special

From all of my coaching experience, I find that most people have a hard time accurately describing their greatest accomplishments and their core strengths. It seems that social standards keep us from “bragging” about ourselves.

I contend it is actually deeper than that. When we have a gift or a natural talent, we take it for granted. It feels natural, so you don’t think it’s all that special.

Here’s an example. Pro golfers who hit tee shots over 300 yards don’t think that is very special. They are concerned with hitting a few feet left or right of a target spot out there over the 300 yard distance. Any other golfer though is in awe of being able to hit a ball that far.

There are similar analogies in business. A finance chief who can run detailed calculations in his head does not see that as a gift. Rather he is concerned with decimal accuracy. The engineer who can see a detailed design in their mind doesn’t count that as a talent, but rather a natural facet of their work.

The list of examples goes on. So what’s the point?

As we make career moves, we must be able to explain core strengths, talents, and accomplishments. You have to be able to differentiate yourself from the competition for a job. The best way to do that is to describe key strengths and unique talents, evidenced by key accomplishments.

Regardless of how routine YOU think those accomplishments may be, they might be very special to a potential hiring manager. The thing you can “do in your sleep” may be the missing link at a new company.

If you think about it, finding a fit for your highest and best use is the perfect opportunity; one where you are able to perform what comes so naturally and what can be in high demand at a new job.

In his breakout book “Promote!”, author, speaker and superb career coach Rick Gillis explains:

Your career success depends on your ability to properly promote yourself. Yet most people can’t express their value in a way that wows without also bragging or being obnoxious. As an employment and careers expert, Rick Gillis has come to consider this skill gap a deadly deficiency. Left unaddressed, it kills careers.

Here are six PROMOTE! points for your consideration.

  • Don’t assume that your boss knows exactly what you do. S/he doesn’t.
  • Embrace the difference between articulating your value and bragging.
  • Adopt an accomplishment mindset and narrative.
  • Quantify your worth.
  • Source and shape your wins.
  • Master the three-part accomplishment statement.

Your accomplishments demonstrate ways you build value for your current or potential employer. You have to be able to talk in terms of those value-adding attributes when you want to make a move or ask for a raise/promotion. Don’t leave anything on the table. Just because something you do feels natural and “easy” for you (like hitting a golf ball 300 yards), to a hiring manager or your boss, that can be a big deal!

ACTION STEP

As you start the new year, take a moment to look back on your skills and abilities plus the key accomplishments in your career. Build an inventory of all of that valuable information. Write them down! Keep the list handy when you decide to talk about raises or career moves.