When I was just out of school during the disastrous Carter economy of the late 70’s my short-order cook’s job in a Texas truck stop paid $3.35 an hour. The truth was, I needed around $10.00 per hour to pay my bills; but that didn’t change the reality that frying eggs, making toast and stuffing burgers in buns was worth $3.35 hourly.
To make ends meet I had a few options: work longer hours, find a better or additional jobs, or upgrade my skills so that they were worth $10.00 or…Continue
Added by Dave Anderson on August 21, 2015 at 3:31pm — No Comments
Micromanagement is often misunderstood. On one hand, leaders are wrongly accused of it by followers not wanting to live up to certain standards; in other cases managers strangle the potential and drain the passion from its best people by nitpicking them and becoming overinvolved in their jobs. To accurately assess whether micromanagement is taking place, or not, we should first understand its definition: to control with excessive attention to minor details. Two key words in this…Continue
Within our new LearnToLead Elite Training Center adjacent to our Agoura Hills, California offices, I have a “Wall of Influencers”. On the wall are three separate photo displays where I’m posing with a substantial mentor in my life: John Maxwell, Zig Ziglar and Johnny Gyro. Maxwell and Ziglar are renowned writers, speakers, teachers and motivators. Johnny Gyro is not known in business circles, but as a ninth dan seven-time world champion karate master, represented in three separate karate…Continue
A quick way to lose credibility is with a leadership style that says “don’t do as I do, do as I say”. If you’ve ever wondered why your people haven’t bought into you like you think they should, or how to earn even greater buy-in I suggest that doing a better job of leading by example is a great place to begin. Following are ten places to focus on in this regard:
In visiting with thousands of leaders in dozens of industries over the past two decades one thing is clear: the people who are expected to make fast, tough decisions are rarely trained how to do so. As a result, costly “gut” decisions are wrongly made, or indecision prevails in areas that end up costing the company plenty. While there is not a one-size-fits-all mechanism for making tough decisions attendees, to my workshops have found it useful when I present a series of filters to help them…Continue
Added by Dave Anderson on March 24, 2015 at 3:09pm — No Comments
The past few years have brought a stronger awareness of the importance of engaged employees in the workplace. In fact, “employee engagement” has become a mantra for manufacturers and dealers alike in their quest to attract, develop and retain talent. At the same time, conventional wisdom has long asserted that happy and satisfied employees should be a priority, and many assume that if employees are happy with their work and satisfied with their workplace that…Continue
Leaders of organizations spend much time giving thought to, creating, and communicating annual visions for their enterprises; then breaking them down into monthly forecasts for their teams to achieve. These “big pictures” provide essential direction, unity, and meaning in the workplace. While longer term planning is vital, the bulk of organizational discussion focuses on the question, “Where do we want to…Continue
Added by Dave Anderson on January 26, 2015 at 5:54pm — No Comments
In nearly every workshop I ask the question: How many of you would agree that most organizations tend to keep poor performers too long? Every time, hordes of hands shoot up. While it’s difficult to precisely quantify the cost of just a single poor performer---some researchers have attempted to—I feel safe in asserting that if managers considered the following costs they’d be inclined to more quickly prioritize either getting the person better, or getting a better…Continue
Many organizations have an unhealthy addiction to silver bullets, contests, quick fixes and an array of flavors of the month in an attempt to improve behaviors. These efforts range from the monthly spiff on demos or write-ups, to weekend “slasher sales”, to “we’re firing the bottom guy on the board this month”, to the latest twenty-group best-idea bandwagon, and the like. While versions of the aforementioned examples can play a role in bringing a short-term burst of adrenaline, or a…Continue
“I know I should probably get rid of the guy, but he’s been with me twenty-five years; he’s loyal.”
If you’ve ever managed to whine out a lame version of this “he’s loyal” rationalization to justify your defense of mediocrity roll this publication up, hand it to the nearest person and ask them to smack you in the head with it. Frankly, if you dare fathom the perpetual cost and misery that accompanies keeping a “loyal’ non-performer you’d agree a simple whack on the head is…Continue
Our business is filled with common complaints, cop outs, clichés, conventional wisdom, and excuses that will keep you average if you buy into them. As you read over the following list determine how many you have heard, said, or bought into. Then consider the reality rebuttal, offered with the intent to create a healthier perspective on each issue.
1. There’s a shortage of talented people in my area.
Reality rebuttal: It’s…Continue
Successful businesses are so common today in most industries that it’s easy for them to become complacent just because you’re “making money” or doing better than last year. Because of their ubiquity, successful companies have come to bore me. They’re certainly the rule rather than the exception, and most are so content with how they’re doing they spend a lot more time talking about becoming great or getting to the next level than they do taking the action necessary to make it…Continue
After decades of working in, and consulting with, the marketplace I’ve become convinced that the vast majority of people who miss their potential are not lazy; they are unfocused. Many put their hearts and energies into building a great career, business and life, yet never rise above mediocrity. Others become wildly successful, but still fall far short of what they could have accomplished had they focused their time, energy, talents and resources more intensely on a daily…Continue
Ultimately, we all are measured by results. However, results alone can be a misleading indicator for how effective a manager is in his or her role. For instance, while speaking recently in the UK, I cautioned that the fact they have the fastest growing economy in the western world, and are having their best automotive retail sales year since 2005, is very possibly disguising the stench of mediocre management within aspects of their operations. Hot economies, popular products and favorable…Continue
Leaders err when they believe someone should follow them simply because they’re the boss; because they have a leadership title. Yes, people will comply with this sort of “I’m the boss” leadership to keep their paycheck and job, but they only commit to leaders worth following. If you are a positional leader who is hung up on a title, here is a humbling perspective:
One of the most helpful lessons I’ve learned, applied and taught clients concerning developing others is this: I can help make you more of what you are, but I can’t make you something you’re not. There are key and critical success factors you cannot change about others; nor can you teach them to others. If you have people on your team lacking these traits the time, training, and motivational efforts you…Continue
At a Fortune business conference in 2003 a moderator asked Indra Nooyi, now Chairperson and CEO of PepsiCo: “As a leader, what keeps you awake at night?”
Without a second’s pause Nooyi replied, “Retaining my talent.”
Any leader wishing to measurably grow their organization is wise to list the same concern at the top of their list. Following are ten tips to retain talent;…Continue
Added by Dave Anderson on April 15, 2014 at 1:26pm — No Comments
For twelve years I’ve taught a three-day Strategy Summit in the 4th quarter to help clients prepare for the upcoming year. The format is simple:
The first day covers how to create a compelling vision that unites and inspires the team for the upcoming year.
Day two covers strategies to reach the vision. I present dozens of sample strategies and teach implementation principles to ensure they succeed.
Dead weight is defined by online dictionaries as: “a person who makes no contribution; a useless, usually burdensome factor.” In the workplace dead weight comes in many forms. Here are a few of the most common examples:
1. A team member who may produce the numbers, but doesn’t live your core values.
2. An incompetent team member.
3. An unproductive team member.
4. An overpaid team member, whose compensation far exceeds the worth…Continue
In Dr. Henry Cloud’s book, Necessary Endings, he stresses the necessity of pruning to create a healthier business. Pruning is a proactive process that allows an organization to reach its fullest potential.
In the dictionary, pruning is defined as: a function of cutting away to reduce the extent or reach of something by taking away unwanted or superfluous parts. I’ve long liked the concept of pruning as it allows leaders to leverage strengths and narrow focus on the…Continue