DOUG THORPEDOUG THORPE https://dougthorpe.com Leadership Powered by Common Sense Mon, 20 Nov 2017 10:00:47 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://dougthorpe.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/cropped-h-logo-32x32.jpg DOUG THORPE https://dougthorpe.com 32 32 114195028 Leadership: Finding a Good Fit https://dougthorpe.com/leadership-finding-good-fit/ https://dougthorpe.com/leadership-finding-good-fit/#respond Mon, 20 Nov 2017 10:00:47 +0000 Doug Thorpe https://dougthorpe.com/?p=4861 Here is the latest article from Doug Thorpe

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 […]

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Here is the latest article from Doug Thorpe

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.

 

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Price of Business Radio Show 11-15-2017 [Media Appearance] https://dougthorpe.com/appearances/price-business-radio-show-11-15-2017/ https://dougthorpe.com/appearances/price-business-radio-show-11-15-2017/#respond Wed, 15 Nov 2017 19:41:22 +0000 Doug Thorpe https://dougthorpe.com/?post_type=mediaappearance&p=4934 Here is the latest article from Doug Thorpe

Media Appearance Here’s the latest installment of the radio program “Price of Business”.

Event: Price of Business Radio Show 11-15-2017

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Calling All Remote Workers https://dougthorpe.com/calling-all-remote-workers/ https://dougthorpe.com/calling-all-remote-workers/#respond Wed, 15 Nov 2017 10:00:00 +0000 Doug Thorpe https://dougthorpe.com/?p=4877 Here is the latest article from Doug Thorpe

Since 2000 there has been a growing trend to let workers do their duties remotely; telecommuting it was once called. With the availability of so much good technology, it seemed extra generous of employers to allow workers to avoid the hassles of doing a daily commute. The company saved on facilities expense. While the trend […]

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Here is the latest article from Doug Thorpe

Since 2000 there has been a growing trend to let workers do their duties remotely; telecommuting it was once called. With the availability of so much good technology, it seemed extra generous of employers to allow workers to avoid the hassles of doing a daily commute. The company saved on facilities expense. While the trend grew steadily for a number of years, there is now a reversal happening.

Work at Home

Between 2012 and 2016, the share of employees who spend 80% or more of their time working remotely grew from 24% to 31%, according to a survey from Gallup. Some 59% of business executives said that more than half of their companies’ full-time workforce would be remote by 2020, per the results of a 2014 survey at London Business School’s Global Leadership Summit.

But not all business leaders are in favor of this trend. In May, IBM told thousands of its remote employees that they needed to return to a regional office or leave the company, Fox Business reported. Last year, insurance giant Aetna began to cut back on its work-from-home program due to concerns regarding collaboration. And in 2013, Yahoo ended its telecommuting program shortly after the beginning of former CEO Marissa Mayer’s tenure with the company.

Smaller businesses who jumped on the bandwagon are now getting off. I received a question from one of my readers who said:

…  love to see something on how to move people “ back to the office”. Many companies are doing that now since [much of their] collaborative energy has been lost as more and more people work remote from home. Is their a best practice on how to [make this recall] to limit impact on morale? 

I didn’t want to jump on this grenade by myself, so I consulted a few of my colleagues who also have successful executive coaching practices. Here are some of the issues to consider (in no particular order).

Mastering the Commute

The original reason many employers ventured down this rabbit hole was to assist workers by lessening commute times. In large metropolitan areas, daily commutes can consume 2 to 5 hours for workers. That doesn’t leave room for any family life. By eliminating the grind of a daunting commute, workers can spend time with family in a.m., get a good breakfast and be “at work” by whatever start time you declare.

The Commute

On the flip side, shutting down in the p.m. involves a simple flip of a switch and a short walk to the kitchen to say hello to kids and spouses.

By reversing the policy and asking workers to return to central facilities, you invoke the dreaded commute. As an employer, even though it’s not your fault where your people choose to live, if they’ve gotten used to no commute, the shift back may be more egregious than you think.

It Gets More Complicated

There are numerous pros and cons of telecommuting. Ultimately the primary factors that determine whether an employees experience with working remotely is successful or not involves that person’s natural personality and needs for feedback.

We have plenty of workers who want the camaraderie of working inside a team. They feed off the energy and vibe of the team around them. Team chemistry can become a perk for many employees.

If a good esprit de corps is established within the workgroup when everyone is together, you get a bonus incentive for the workers who want and need such feedback.

On the other side of that coin is the worker who likes going solo. A personality that is a little more introverted may appreciate the solitude of being able to do their work without disruptive chatter and buzz around them.

It’s not easy to accurately determine which camp all employees fall into. It has been reported that even some workers who seemed like they would be OK working alone are reporting a problem with the solitude after an extended absence from the team setting. This can be explained by the new thinking about ambivert personalities. An ambivert is someone who, depending on the situation, switches between being an extrovert and introvert.

Management’s Trust Factor

All too often I hear managers expressing concerns about whether their people are “really” working. For a boss who is prone to go there first, you may have some trust issues, my friend. If you and your company do not have accountability and productivity measures figured out, then yes, I get it. Remote workers would be a problem for you. However, if you are missing those indicators, you likely don’t know any more information about the people sitting outside your door either.

Any owner or executive who agrees to let workers stay at home must decide on what they will do to create and maintain visibility for consistent delivery of company mission/vision and value propositions.

The person in charge needs to check their motives for wanting everyone back in the office after remote commuting has been the policy. Unwinding that arrangement must be done for the best of reasons. A manager, partner, owner or principal should never ask people to give up the freedom of the remote work for bad ideas like ego, and their own control issues. Hiding behind thinly veiled ideas won’t work. Here are the excuses I know about:

  • We work better together
  • We need the chemistry
  • We need the energy of being able to collaborate

Perhaps remote delegation should have never been allowed in the first place.

What About the Office Culture?

Even if you get everyone to come back together, you as the boss may not be creating the optimum operating environment. I’ve seen too many smaller businesses with a so-called entrepreneurial spirit that are just nut houses (pardon me). The principals lead the pack with a wired and frenzied climate where meetings run too long too often, minds get changed too much, and direction is scattered at best.

Good employees will never suffer that environment for long. If a good and talented worker likes the mission and the work but hates the way the boss treats everyone, working from home is a sanctuary. It will be next to impossible to unwind that scenario.

After all, it’s been said

“People don’t quit companies, they quit bosses.”
Tweet Quote

In the End

It’s all about setting clear expectations. Not all managers know enough about leadership to be able to do this. The leader must be able to articulate clear, concise expectations about work demands. Then you need to stick with them.

If you do end up deciding that you generally want people limiting their working from home to one day a week, I’d say this:

I want to talk to you about our work from home policy. In general, I prefer people to work from home no more than _____ days a week, because of (give your reasons). On rare occasions, I’m willing to approve more than that, but I’d like the default to be no more than ____ a week. I realize I didn’t clarify this earlier, and you haven’t done anything wrong by doing it more often, but going forward, please stick to this guideline.

Also, say this now rather than just rejecting their next work from home request and explaining it then. This is a big-picture conversation to have since they’re now used to doing it a different way, not something to spring on them the next time it comes up.

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Introducing the Entrepreneur Scan https://dougthorpe.com/entrepreneur-scan/ https://dougthorpe.com/entrepreneur-scan/#respond Mon, 13 Nov 2017 10:00:00 +0000 Doug Thorpe https://dougthorpe.com/?p=4714 Here is the latest article from Doug Thorpe

When you have a business, it is only natural that you try to examine it. We all know that the more information you have about something, the more significant your chances of making correct decisions regarding it. Entrepreneurs scan their business often, even though many already know their ventures like the back of their hands. […]

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Key ways to look at your business

Here is the latest article from Doug Thorpe

When you have a business, it is only natural that you try to examine it. We all know that the more information you have about something, the more significant your chances of making correct decisions regarding it.

Entrepreneurs scan their business often, even though many already know their ventures like the back of their hands. When you think about it, the cliché “knowing the back of your hand” is a bit false. In fact, only a few of us know how the back of our hands really looks. We just think we do because we see it every day. However, we also take that view for granted, and very few of us can honestly say that we have memorized every detail of the back of our hands.

back hand scan

How does that connect with how entrepreneurs look at their businesses? Well, most entrepreneurs nowadays want to believe that they know every detail of their ventures. But the truth is, very few do. You see, there are disadvantages to being the boss.

Heard It Thru the Grapevine, Or NOT

For one thing, the boss always seems to be out of the grapevine. The boss hardly ever gets wind of any trouble that goes on in the workplace. It also means that there may be some problems that the boss will not be able to know about unless the entrepreneur scans his environment.

So how should entrepreneurs scan their environments? Well, a good idea is not to act like a drill sergeant and start shouting down your employees to get the answers you need.

For one thing, it shows that you mistrust your employees and this would only keep you out of the loop, as it were. Another thing is that you cannot expect to get the information you want this way. In intimidating your employees, you only get the information you want to hear, not the information you need.

You should let your employees feel that they can trust you. Be one of the guys. However, be sure that you do not cross the professional boundaries that exist in every workplace. You should show your employees that you are the kind of person whom they can come to for any problem. Remember that any small issue of your employees can affect the way you do your business.

Now, you know the proper way entrepreneurs scan their businesses through the employees. But there are, of course, other factors to scrutinize to have a successful venture.

Look Inward

You also need to assess yourself. What kind of entrepreneur are you? What are your strengths and weaknesses? How well do you handle the business and everything else that the world throws at you?

Remember that sometimes, we are not the best judge of our characters. Most entrepreneurs scan their characteristics by getting an outside opinion. This opinion, of course, should not be biased to be helpful to you. You need to have someone tell you to your face all of your faults and give you credit for your abilities.

Finding satisfaction in what you do is vital for growing a business or rising to the next level in life. Take my FREE Career Satisfaction Survey.

Look Outward

Entrepreneurs also scan their environment. What are potential markets available for their business? What threats out there can affect their business? Entrepreneurs examine the situation around them because it is one factor that they cannot control.

All you can do when something in the environment, whether opportunity or threat, takes place is to adapt to it. The change means that you have to be able to prepare for any contingency. It is necessary to plan to succeed. But you know that, right?

Entrepreneurs scan the market for any signs of behavioral changes that could mean the collapse of their business. Why do you think that chips and sodas develop different flavors all the time? People change all the time. One example is a change of preference. If a market gets tired of your product, you would be in considerable trouble.

Be Sure to Adapt

You need to adapt your product to the trends of the present. Anticipate future changes and do your best to prepare. However, you also need to remember your past. Sometimes, people dislike changes that a company or product goes through and, as a result, takes their business elsewhere. Ensure the continuing legacy of a good product if you think you have one.

 

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Embracing Risk: What is Your Risk Appetite? https://dougthorpe.com/embracing-risk-what-is-your-risk-apetite/ https://dougthorpe.com/embracing-risk-what-is-your-risk-apetite/#respond Wed, 08 Nov 2017 14:00:00 +0000 Doug Thorpe https://dougthorpe.com/?p=4870 Here is the latest article from Doug Thorpe

Leading a business involves risk. For some of us, just getting out of bed each day seems like a risk. For others, they can’t get enough of it. Being a risk taker is on the high end of the scale for entrepreneurs and visionaries.   Our business culture is full of stories about famous risk […]

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Here is the latest article from Doug Thorpe

Leading a business involves risk. For some of us, just getting out of bed each day seems like a risk. For others, they can’t get enough of it. Being a risk taker is on the high end of the scale for entrepreneurs and visionaries.

 

risk

Our business culture is full of stories about famous risk takers. Yet the way we each look at risk says a lot about where we are as entrepreneurs, business people, and leaders.

I come from a banking background. The basic principles of banking involve risk and reward. As your banker, I will lend you X dollars if you agree to pay me Y interest. The interest rate is a reflection of the risk I perceive to be present in your deal. I can agree to make you a mortgage loan and give you 30 years to pay it back. Residential mortgages in most markets are usually safe risks, so I can keep the rate relatively low, like 3.5%.

However, if you ask me to fund some short-term working capital so your company can go buy materials to manufacture a strange new product, like rockets to Mars (see Elon Musk story below), the rate might be double digits. That is if I agree to make the loan at all. The perceived risk is too high.

A banker’s idea of risk is not the only view though.

Let’s examine risk and embrace it!

Albert Einstein’s neighbors on Saranac Lake didn’t remember him for the Theory of Relativity, but for all the times they needed to save him from his seemingly lousy sailing skills.

Einstein
Einstein loved sailing and taking risks. He often sailed into storms when scientists and friends came to visit, although he didn’t know how to swim, and in 1944, his boat hit a rock and capsized causing him to become trapped under his sail. Yet he never panicked, these were his happiest times, where he took notes and wrote in his diary. His risk-taking helped him stay curious and innovative, and he may have even written the Theory of Relativity on a sailboat!

What’s the definition of Risk?

Risk involves the potential of losing something valuable, a high probability actually. That something can be emotional (such as a relationship), physical (such as your health), or financial (such as your job).

The Oxford Dictionary cites 1655 as the earliest use of the word “risk” in English, derived from the French “risque,” which means danger. But consider other derivatives – the Italian verb “risicare,” means “to dare,” while the dual Chinese characters for “risk” are “danger” paired with “opportunity” – and you get a different glimpse of what risk-taking entails.

Every human innovation has come from risk

From hungry prehistoric hunters chasing down large mammals across the ice to blasting into space with reusable rockets and artificial intelligence — embracing risk has driven humans to remarkable achievements.

Risk has helped “define what it means to be a human being,” according to Peter L. Bernstein, in his 1996 book, Against the Gods: The Remarkable Story of Risk. And it has propelled science, communications, finance, innovation, speed and power throughout history.

Business Innovators and Risk-Takers

Elon Musk is the ultimate serial entrepreneur and risk taker

Elon-Musk

Elon Musk is one of the great visionaries of our time. By taking risk after risk, he has helped transform the world. After attending Stanford for just two days in 1995, he deferred his enrollment to try his hand a creating an internet company with his brother. He never went back to Stanford.

In 1999, Musk and his brother sold their company, Zip2, to Compaq for $307 million cash and $34 million in stock options. But he was still disappointed that the company didn’t make a significant impact on the world, which was his broader goal. With barely any downtime, he decided to take on the financial industry, where transactions like mailing checks were slow and archaic.

He founded x.com so consumers could make electronic payments. After merging with his competitor, they were able to compete against eBay. The new company, PayPal, transformed the financial industry, and when eBay acquired PayPal for $1.5 billion, Musk was the largest shareholder and walked away with $180 million.

As a child Musk loved reading science fiction but was disappointed that NASA had no plans for a mission to Mars. And so SpaceX was born. Musk also wanted to end humanity’s addiction to fossil fuels, so he developed sustainable energy with SolarCity. And if that wasn’t enough, he founded Tesla to create an electric car that people coveted, that wouldn’t be a compromise.

But after the 2008 recession and his divorce, all his companies went into freefall. Musk was at his lowest point. He took a leap of faith and invested all his reserve capital from the sale of Paypal, his last $35 million, into Tesla.

It paid off! Tesla is now valued at more than $61 billion, SpaceX won a 1.6 billion contract with NASA, and SolarCity is America’s largest provider of solar energy. And Musk is not playing it safe. He’s now taking on city transit with his latest project, the Hyperloop.

Katherine Graham was the first female Fortune 500 CEO

katherine-graham

When her husband committed suicide in 1963, Katherine Graham took over as publisher of the Washington Post. Her father first purchased the failing paper at auction in 1939. By 1972, her success at the now-groundbreaking paper – where she was often the only woman in the room – had made her the first female Fortune 500 CEO, and later won her a Pulitzer Prize when she published her memoirs in 1998.

Even with her own doubts about running the paper, and with no female role models to draw on, Graham forged a brave, risk-embracing path at the Post, starting with the publication, against the advice of her lawyers, of the Pentagon Papers in 1971, after the New York Times was placed under a federal court injunction.

Frightened and tense, I took a big gulp and said, ‘Go ahead, go ahead, go ahead. Let’s go. Let’s Publish.

This was a key turning point for the Washington Post, which, under Graham’s helm, published Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein’s startling investigative front page articles about the Watergate conspiracy. The investigation led directly to President Nixon’s resignation under threat of impeachment in 1974 – and was immortalized in the film, All The President’s Men.

What does this mean for your business?

Human innovation has always been derived from risk, so why should we cease or even hesitate in our drive to build our businesses? Experimentation, innovation, and learning new things are all tied to curiosity and the risk of failure…or success.

The biggest risk is not taking a risk.

A risk is often equated with action, and the more risks – and action – we take, the more we learn and win. Taking risks keeps us fresh, vibrant, and innovative. It may cause stress and anxiety, but scientists are discovering that stress triggers us to be more focused, more empathetic, and better at adapting to adversity. It’s part of our quest for survival.

We are afraid of failure. Yet in science, in art, in sport, in business, in life — risk and failure elevate us to the next level. We don’t progress doing the same thing. Build a strong foundation, assess every factor you can, but take that chance. Embrace the risk.

Question: What risk is holding you back today? Is your appetite for risk a healthy one? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

Written in collaboration with the fine experts at Embroker

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Leadership : #MeToo vs Improving Personal Accountability https://dougthorpe.com/leadership-improving-accountability-vs-metoo/ https://dougthorpe.com/leadership-improving-accountability-vs-metoo/#respond Mon, 06 Nov 2017 10:00:00 +0000 Doug Thorpe https://dougthorpe.com/?p=4875 Here is the latest article from Doug Thorpe

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”. […]

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Here is the latest article from Doug Thorpe

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.

 

 

 

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Launch a Great Business [Book] https://dougthorpe.com/books/launch-great-business/ https://dougthorpe.com/books/launch-great-business/#respond Fri, 03 Nov 2017 19:07:42 +0000 Doug Thorpe https://dougthorpe.com/?post_type=book&p=4907 Here is the latest article from Doug Thorpe

Launch a Great Business by Doug Thorpe (Richmond, TX: HeadwayExec, LLC, 2017)
Why this book?

As the world’s economy changes, people in all walks of life and at every stage of their career are asking themselves “why don’t I just start a business?”

That’s a good question, but one with an answer that is very complex. Building a successful business is not as simple as opening that lemonade stand.

I’ve lived the dream of opening my own business. Heck, I’ve started five of them. Do it once and you learn a few things. Do it again and each time it gets a little better. Why?

Because the smart business owner learns. You make mistakes and learn from them. In this book, I’ve presented the top 10 things I learned along the way.

You won’t have to figure them out on your own.

 

Announcing my newest book

“Launch a Great Business: Top 10 Ways to Make your Company Soar”

Inspiration to be my own boss came at an early age. I was raised by a single Mom. Everyone told her she needed a job to provide for us. She did that for a while. But late hours and hard work only gave her so much for us to have. It wasn’t much. She got very tired of not having any control whatsoever over her time and her opportunity.

Before I got out of high school, she launched her business, an interior design firm. Now the hard work and long hours meant something. Yes, it was scary for her. It was just the two of us. She was facing College costs for me. It became her reason for going out there. She worked very hard. She was good at it. Her business grew from drapes and chairs for people’s homes to full-scale office buildings and shopping centers.

Her biggest regret was that she had waited too long to step out there. Those words stuck with me. Yet interestingly enough, as I grew up and got married, I felt the same pressure and did the same thing.

My young family needed a steady income so I took work for a paycheck. Next thing you know, 20 years had run away. The company I had dedicated those years to decided I was “aging out”. They couldn’t say that officially, but that’s what it was. I was offered an “early retirement” at the ripe old age of 45.

Mom’s words came to life. I went solo. It wasn’t easy and sometimes didn’t seem like much fun, but in the end, it was the right thing to do.

Launch a Great Business

With this book, I share with you the 10 things you must know and master to be able to make your business a success. Too few start-ups ever make it to $1,000,000. According to the SBA (Small Business Administration in the U.S.), only 15% of businesses last past 5 years. I don’t want you to be one of those fails. My passion is that you get equipped with great experience to make it work!

The book also includes two bonus sections at the end.

BONUS #1 – a recap checklist of all the sections of the book. This easy to follow guide reminds you of the key elements to put to work to achieve great success.

BONUS #2 – An introduction to my E-Learning Marketing System. All small business needs more leads, more clients, more sales. With this E-Learning Marketing System, I can show you 5 key areas you need to maximize to earn your next $100,000 without spending one dime on advertising and marketing.

Check them out for yourself!

Available at Amazon and Kindle

PS – That 20-year job I mentioned was a banker. I don’t regret that season of my life at all. It gave me experience and exposure to a wide array of businesses in a large number of industries. I met owners and leaders who were very good and some who were not. (go figure). Seeing these things first hand gave me a better education about running a successful company than any business school could ever hope to give.

I call upon all of that experience in my business coaching and executive leadership work. My new book includes some of those insights too.

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Work-Life Balance Hack (Or Not) https://dougthorpe.com/work-life-balance-hack-not/ https://dougthorpe.com/work-life-balance-hack-not/#respond Wed, 01 Nov 2017 09:00:02 +0000 Doug Thorpe https://dougthorpe.com/?p=4766 Here is the latest article from Doug Thorpe

Want to know a great life hack? There aren’t any. I chuckle every time I see that phrase pop up in a new thread. What is a life hack anyway? If you are looking for better ways to do things, then great, you are looking for growth. Hacking usually means stealing something that isn’t yours […]

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Here is the latest article from Doug Thorpe

Want to know a great life hack? There aren’t any. I chuckle every time I see that phrase pop up in a new thread.

What is a life hack anyway? If you are looking for better ways to do things, then great, you are looking for growth. Hacking usually means stealing something that isn’t yours or breaking something that worked perfectly well; not the things I want in my life.

moments

If life hack is supposed to be some form of finding new and better ways to get things done or live life, then great. Here’s one of the biggest improvements I can offer anyone at any stage of their life.

In my tribe of young professional managers, people in their 30’s and 40’s,  I am often asked to offer suggestions for one key thing they can change.

Generally, I give this advice.
Be present in the moment.

—DOUG THORPE

Tweet Quote

What does that mean? It means finding a way to be fully present, real-time, right where you are. Whether that is at work, at home, or at play. With all of our electronics, it is tempting to be on your smartphone checking work emails while at dinner or with the family.

However, this concept is not all about our high tech world. It is more about mindset.

You could be standing on the edge of the Grand Canyon with no cell service, but still consumed with a work problem you left behind three days ago. You can be at work, but mentally dealing with a problem you and the spouse didn’t quite finish before you walked out the door that morning. And this list goes on; you fill in the blanks.

Being present takes some dedicated effort. If you are married or in a serious relationship, it also takes negotiation and coordination with that significant other in your life. If you plan family events, you need to be there both physically and emotionally. Physically present but emotionally or mentally far away does not count.

The same goes for work. Sitting at your desk, but mentally away, thinking about problems at home or issues with the kids is not productive either.

Be present in the moment.

This idea takes some planning and preparation. With practice, it can truly become more natural to you.

The decade of your 30’s is tough. You are pushing to make a name for yourself at work. You likely will be married and there may be small children involved. The demand for your time and attention from all corners will be greater than ever. Finding a work-life balance will be very challenging.

Failing to invest your full attention to the moment at hand only serves to complicate the whole equation. Why? Because you start feeling like you shorted both your job and your family, so you start trying to play catch-up. This dynamic starts to snowball when those around you experience or watch your distractions and begin to feel alienated.

Try these simple things.

  • When you get home from work, park the electronic gear (cell phones, iPads, etc.) somewhere, set on silent.
  • Take a moment to unwind by changing clothes and shift the attitude to things at home.
  • If you have kids, plan the time you need with them. Make it happen.
  • If you have a spouse, you need to establish a way for the two of you to reconnect EVERY DAY! This may be different from couple to couple. More on this in another article.
  • You need to create a definition of the balance between work and everything else. When a life partner is involved, be sure their expectations are included.

Above all, when things do not go as planned:

  • Acknowledge it.
  • Talk about it with those who were impacted.
  • Re-check your plan.
  • Keep going.

Question: What do you do to stay present in the moment? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

Leave a comment below.

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E-Myth Revisited (for Everyone) https://dougthorpe.com/e-myth-revisited-for-everyone/ https://dougthorpe.com/e-myth-revisited-for-everyone/#respond Mon, 30 Oct 2017 09:00:00 +0000 Doug Thorpe https://dougthorpe.com/?p=4835 Here is the latest article from Doug Thorpe

Michael E. Gerber’s works called the seek to define entrepreneurship and business leadership. As I study those volumes, I find some key essentials that apply to every business executive, owner or aspiring manager. For many, the E-Myth has become a bible of business success and growth. You have to start with WHY. Gerber’s work even […]

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Discovering your WHY

Here is the latest article from Doug Thorpe

Michael E. Gerber’s works called the E-Myth seek to define entrepreneurship and business leadership. As I study those volumes, I find some key essentials that apply to every business executive, owner or aspiring manager. For many, the E-Myth has become a bible of business success and growth.

You have to start with WHY. Gerber’s work even pre-dates Simon Sinek‘s epic book “Find Your Why”. When a business leader, whether owner or employee, finds their ‘why’, it is like putting a match to a huge bonfire swirling with passion, excitement, commitment, and drive. Without why we collect paychecks and produce less than exciting outcomes. Without the why we merely survive.

Whether you’re an entrepreneur, an employee, a leader of a team or division or you want to tackle the WHY of your entire organization, discovering the WHY injects passion into your work. And it’s those who start with WHY that have the ability to inspire those around them.

If you’ve ever started a business or taken on a new career challenge or even a major life change, you realize YOU must be something more. Your perception of the new role carries a weight that demands more. Getting to “more” requires a form of change. Whether you like it or not, this essential change is what causes the greatest hurdles to successfully making the move.

Consciously or subconsciously, you know a change is needed, but how and where do you start with that change? I like what both writers mentioned above have to say about WHY. Finding your why is the center of the answer for the change.

If you pursue a change without knowing your why, you are just shooting in the dark. Yes, you might be able to make some logical decisions about the change that has to happen, yet even if you adopt those changes, your results may be less than rewarding.

Finding your why is vital to growing a business or rising to the next level in life. Take my FREE Career Satisfaction Survey.

Here’s a story

Two years ago I wanted to do more about my physical condition. I was getting older, less flexible and packing on a few too many pounds. I definitely sensed the need for change. I chose to join a program that helped me accomplish my goals. I didn’t just hire a coach, but I essentially hired a whole culture of change. The fitness program and the gym itself was off the chart (I loved it). What they taught about eating and food content also made sense to me; not just some radically weird diet like eating cardboard wrappers off cereal boxes.

With my own commitment to the program, I did exactly what I had hoped to do. I lost almost 25 pounds, changed pant sizes twice, and generally felt better. Plus it was a program that stuck. But do you want to know the real reason it worked? They insisted I find my why before I ever started. They didn’t want my membership fees unless I could explain my own why.

Where have you ever seen that in a gym program? It made all the difference. Oh, and my why was about connecting with the legacy I want to have with my 7 grandkids. I knew I needed to fix some health issues before I could expect to be around for their graduations and weddings.

What is YOUR Why?

You may have read some of the books or heard Simon Sinek’s great TED talk, but have you done the work? Have you figured out your why? Finding your why is not as difficult as you might think.

The process to find your why often requires taking a look back at some signposts in your life. Seeing the history of where you have been and what you have done can go a long way to helping you discover your why. What experiences did the most to inspire and energize you?

Ask yourself some questions

We should take a step back and ask ourselves some questions. You can start by asking yourself a few of these:

  • Why is it that you do what you do?
  • What thrills you about your current job role or career?
  • What does a great day look like?
  • What does success look like beyond the paycheck?
  • What does real success feel like for you?
  • How do you want to feel about your impact on the world when you retire?

You could also ask yourself these follow-up questions:

  • What do you hate about your current job role or career?
  • Why don’t you do something else?
  • What does a bad day look like?
  • What is it you don’t enjoy about your job and why?
  • What does failure look like beyond the paycheck?
  • What does real failure feel like for you?

Once again, it’s essential that you know your professional purpose before you tackle your personal brand. If you don’t take control of your brand image and who you are, someone else will.

Often, the simple process of taking a step back and taking stock of where you are at and where you want to go can answer a raft of questions that can point your professional career in a more meaningful and satisfying direction.

Question: Have you found your why? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

If the effort to find your why has left you searching, perhaps a coach can help. Not just any coach, but someone who has the training, experience, and passion (their own why) to come alongside and help.

 

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Lone Star College – Speaking of Business [Event] https://dougthorpe.com/events/lone-star-college-speaking-business/ https://dougthorpe.com/events/lone-star-college-speaking-business/#respond Fri, 27 Oct 2017 21:26:12 +0000 Doug Thorpe https://dougthorpe.com/?post_type=event&p=4840 Here is the latest article from Doug Thorpe

Event Post

Date: November 8, 2017
Time: 6:00-7:30 PM
Event: Lone Star College – Speaking of Business
Public: Public

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