Unleash Your Leadership Potential
Feb., 7, 2013
Letter from the Editor
There's a saying that goes "Doing two things at once guarantees doing neither well." That accurately describes how I've felt trying to keep up two newsletters, The Key and Unleash Your Leadership Potential. The Key focused primarily on training tips and tricks; Unleash Your Leadership Potential focused more on management and leadership techniques. Between running a business and - maybe just a little - getting older, I found myself struggling with writing two quality newsletters.
With this single newsletter, I feel like a weight has been lifted from my shoulders; and in reality, it was a weight I had put there myself. By combining the newsletters, I'm confident that you'll find the same quality of useful tips, techniques, and content that you've come to expect. I hope the newsletter is so good that you recommend it to your colleagues.
With this issue, I'm introducing a new feature cleverly titled, Your Questions, where I respond to - wait for it - your questions! (See, you'll find the same wit in this newsletter!) If you have a question or challenge you're facing in leading, managing, delegating, or motivating others to perform (or the design, development, or implementation of training for such people), email me with your details and I'll select one idea for the next newsletter. I'll try to respond to all emails, but may get consumed with the volume.
So, welcome to the inaugural issue of the combined Unleash Your Leadership Potential. I hope you enjoy what you read! Note: If you had previously subscribed to both The Key and Unleash Your Leadership Potential, and received TWO copies of this newsletter, you will want to cancel one subscription.
So, let's get to it!
We are so excited (and, truth be told, a bit nervous) to be heading to Orlando in a couple weeks to the Training 2013 Conference & Expo in Orlando. While I present regularly at these types of conferences (I'm speaking Monday afternoon, Feb. 18), this will be the first time we've exhibited at a conference.
We've got a great story to tell with the launch of Unleash Your Leadership Potential. We'll be unveiling our new mobile app - Entelechy's Performance Checklist - that will help managers and leaders identify why someone may not be performing as expected and how to most effectively address the issue. It's really cool! Plus we've got great giveaways (including an iPad!).
We invite you to be our guest on the Training 2013 Expo Floor at Disney's Coronado Springs Resort, in Lake Buena Vista, February 18-19, 2013. Simply register as an Expo-Only ($25) attendee and enter Discount Code: EPEX3 at: www.TrainingConference.com.
See you there!
The Speed of Relationship
I love the book, The Speed of Trust, in which Stephen M. R. Covey talks about how trust facilitates all aspects of business from decision making to delegating to collaborating to getting the work done*. If you trust someone, you're likely to work more effectively with that person.
How do you build trust? I suggest that trust comes from relationship. The more you know someone, the more you trust that person - the more you know about someone, the better you can understand their actions, motives, and behavior.
Relationship is the lubrication that speeds up business and, in some cases, makes business even worth it! Few would argue that strong and genuine relationships are important. But how do you build trust and respect with your people?
Here is one leadership guru's take on how you can do this. Steve Arneson, coach and author of the infinitely practical book, Bootstrap Leadership, suggests five questions to get to know your people:
- Where did s/he grow up? Where is s/he from? Where are his/her roots? We are a product of our upbringing. Who we are is largely a result of who we were and what we did growing up. People ARE fascinating and many fascinating people work for you!
- What are his/her hobbies? What does s/he like to do when not working? While you hope your employees enjoy work, I would be surprised if they would do it for no pay. Hobbies are what we do when pay isn't required; it's what we like doing so much that we'll do it for free! What are your employees' hobbies? How did they get into those hobbies? What are they most proud of?
- Who are the most important people in his/her life? You should know the individual's spouse or significant other and his/her children; and even pets ("furry children"). Ask about these people (and pets) regularly.
- What is s/he passionate about? There may be issues or causes that the individual is passionate about. While hobbies nurture the soul, these passionate issues fire the heart of the individual. These issues often define the moral character of the person and can help you connect in deep ways with the person - something you can plug into to help motivate and energize the individual.
- What does s/he want to do with his/her life? Many people have dreams. Only if you know a person's dreams might you ever be able to help the person move toward those dreams. And don't think by NOT knowing those dreams they'll go away! Help the individual to see a vision for what's beyond the current role, and how can you help him/her get there.
To build relationships, you need to take the time to talk to people. Get to know them. Learn their stories. Listen to what drives them, what they care about, what they take pride in, and what concerns them.
Ask questions that allow you to get to know and relate to your team members in a genuine and sincere manner. Build the relationship by asking the questions that are most comfortable for you. Remember, people want to trust you and feel you are genuinely interested in their well-being. People do not leave companies. They leave bosses.
Connection and Communication is a module in Entelechy's award-winning Unleash Your Leadership Potential (ULP) program. Contact me (Terry Traut at email@example.com) to discuss how you can make ULP YOUR organization's leadership/management program!
*If you're interested in "bringing" Stephen M.R. Covey to your organization to discuss Speed of Trust, please contact me. We worked with Linkage to create his DVD training, which is designed to spur trust in your organization.
Spotlight On ...
This may come as a surprise to many readers, but it won't to my staff: I'm not really a people person.
Sure, I work hard at it because I know how important relationship and connection are to my success and the success of my business. (That may sound very shallow but I'm hoping to appeal right now to those of you who read the previous article and said, "Yeah, sure. Like I'm going to do THAT!") And if I want to succeed with and through these people, I have to connect with and relate to them.
That's why it's been such a pleasure to learn more about each of my staff in an activity we call "Spotlight On..." Sharon, one of my newer performance consultants, commented a few months ago that while many of us have been with Entelechy for years and really know each other well, she was relatively new and would appreciate knowing more about her colleagues. Could we set aside 15 minutes at each monthly staff meeting and put a spotlight on an individual on the team?
Of course, since Sharon suggested the activity, I asked her to go first to illustrate what the presentation might look like. Guess what? I found out that Sharon is a tap dancer. She even does recitals! And guess whose wife just bought a pair of tap shoes? That's right, mine! What a great connection!
I found out that Marty DOESN'T eat, sleep, and breathe Entelechy (although it seems like it at times when I find emails from her at 4:30 am)! I knew that she was involved with her sons' high school football teams, but I didn't know the extent of that involvement. She's been the cornerstone for one of the winningest teams in the state; she's organized events bigger than many conferences I've spoken at; she's managed more volunteers in a single fundraiser than people I've managed ... in my entire life! Talk about untapped capability! With my new perspective on Marty, I can take over the world! And dominate!
Last month I found out that Marsha started a side business, not surprisingly a business specializing on fitness. She and partner (and Entelechy employee) Rich stay in great shape and are an inspiration to us all. Now you may be asking how I can allow someone to do such a thing; I mean, she's a full-time employee, right? Yes she is ... and one of the best I've ever had! (I would venture to say that some of YOUR employees have second jobs that you don't know about!) My point is that knowing is better than not knowing. If it hadn't been for Spotlight On..., I might never have had known of Marsha's second job. Now that I do, we can discuss it; she doesn't need to keep it secret. Plus being an entrepreneur is a great skill, highly valued at Entelechy! Knowing Marsha's entrepreneurial capabilities allows me to tap into those skills! Check out Marsha and Rich's passion: http://www.mainelyfitness.com/
When it was my turn, I shared with my staff things - and people - that are important to me. Did they know that our daughters were born in Germany and that I did my student teaching in Spain? And that I love travel? That I love learning new things - languages, rebuilding muscle cars, woodworking - just because I love learning new things? That I come from a rather large family (101 first cousins) and all that entails?
Spotlight On ... has enabled each of us to share important things with each other. To build a relationship and a connection. And they've allowed me - someone most wouldn't describe as a people person - to be exposed to the passions, hobbies, and important people that normally wouldn't come up when I speak to people.
Whether you're a people person naturally or have to work at it, consider adding Spotlight On... to your team meetings to build connections that will increase the speed of business.
In this feature, I will answer one question that you've submitted since the previous issue. Please email your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll do my best to respond to you directly.
The following question comes from Marissa in California:
In addition to HR, I am responsible for leadership development in my company (1200 employees, growing but little budget). The CEO is a proponent of leadership development and there's interest at the lower levels, but I am afraid that without the visible support of the VPs, any leadership training I provide to supervisors, managers, and senior managers will be unsupported. How do I get the support of VPs? Can I move forward without their support?
Terry: You're right to be concerned. Leadership development is more effective when visibly supported throughout the organization, especially at the upper levels. Fortunately, you have the support of your CEO. I suggest that you enlist his or her support in discussing your plans for leadership development within the organization. Ask your CEO - with your involvement - to then discuss the importance of leadership development to the business with his/her staff (the reluctant VPs). The CEO is the only one who can change the degree and visibility of support provided by the VPs.
Get both the CEO and VPs involved in the design of the program. What would they like to see in their program? What don't they want? Build in opportunities for the VPs (and CEO) to be a part of the program. CEOs make wonderful "welcome to the program" speakers; videotaped, the message can be consistently delivered over and over again. Ask VPs to come into each class to discuss the importance - and provide examples - of leadership within their business units.
Our Unleash Your Leadership Potential Program Implementation Guide provides many examples of generating the critical buy-in required of senior leaders at organizations. One of my personal favorites is to invite a senior leader to speak at a dinner held for the attendees. The focus of the presentation is "my career journey" in which the senior leader describes how she came to her current position and the lessons she learned along the way. It's intimate, insightful, and relatively easy to plan and manage.
By the way, Unleash Your Leadership Potential would be an ideal leadership/management development program since we encourage you to make it your own (and actually work with you to do so). It can grow as you grow and evolve as your leadership needs evolve.
And Now for Something Completely Different
(Tony, I kept this section because you asked for it!)
Okay, I don't care WHO you are or what mood you're in right now, there is absolutely NO WAY you can watch this Baby Laughing Hysterically at Ripping Paper without laughing.
For those of you who love the lumberjack fighting the grizzly bear over the salmon will love this video, a commercial by Samsung.
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Terence Traut, President of Entelechy 'unlocking potential'