You Played That Well … Nice Job

If you do any amount of travel for business, you likely have been exposed to all kinds of different characters who drive cab or a shuttle bus.

On one trip you might experience someone who is extremely talkative, or very quiet, or an aggressive driver, or an overly cautious driver who doesn’t appear to know where they’re going … or something else.

I have to share with you a recent ride I took in a shuttle bus from the airport to a hotel I was staying at. I was the only passenger.

I had a nervous driver. He just seemed uncomfortable and jittery. No discussion, ‘how was your flight’ or ‘where you from’ … nothing … not a word.

Which was just fine with me, because I like to sit quietly and think.

While on the freeway to the hotel, we came across some road construction where two lanes became extra narrow with a concrete barricade on the left and no shoulder on the right.

Suddenly on the right, two vehicles were merging into the lane we were in and a couple of vehicles to our left were trying to pass. With nowhere to go, we were being squeezed out and the nervous driver was now extra nervous. He slowed down just enough to let the vehicles on the left pass us, quickly moved into their lane while avoiding collision with the merging vehicles.

Nervously, he looked into the rear view mirror to check my reaction.

Knowing he was nervous, sensing something was bothering him … I simply said, ‘you played that well … nice job.’

He beamed from ear to ear and his whole demeanor changed for the remaining 10 minutes of the trip.

I’m not positive what caused his initial discomfort, but I was glad I was able to make him smile.

My leadership tip for you this week is to never forget about the importance and power of positive reinforcement. A few well timed words, that take seconds to say, can earn you long lasting loyalty and engagement from anyone.

A few poorly expressed words, or an obvious none acknowledgement, can negatively impact your relationship and create disengagement.

So, think about this … how many positive reinforcement messages or acknowledgements have you delivered this week ?

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The Best Way To Make A Decision

decisionsLast week we heard CVS Caremark make a major announcement – they have decided to no longer sell tobacco products from their drug stores.

Hip – hip hurray !

Personally, I applaud this decision of the leadership holding themselves accountable to align their decisions with their values.

They’re wanting to promote a healthier life-style to their customers.

They may have angered some customers … but they are doing the right thing.

Don’t you wish more companies would do the same ?

If your values talk about excellent service – then give us excellent service, not entry level service.

If your values talk about high quality products – then give us a high quality product.

If your values talk about respect for your employees – then demonstrate that respect.

My leadership tip for you this week is to remind you to look to your values when making decisions about your business. Hold yourself and your team accountable to make the right decisions for the right reasons, because your leadership credibility is at stake.

Test yourself; look at the last 5 – decisions you made, and ask yourself if they were consistent with the stated values of your organization?

If they were, smile and keep up the good work.

If they weren’t, well move on and do better next time.

Remember, leaders who lack credibility are not fully trusted by their followers and have a difficult time achieving a fully engaged workforce … which is critical to long-term organizational and leadership success.

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It’s Time For An Exceptional (+) Team

Logo1Do you agree with me when I say:

Poor teamwork generally generates poor results.

Good teamwork generally generates good results.

Exceptional teamwork generally generates exceptional results.

Why do you think some teams perform better than others?

I start with this definition of team by authors Katzenbach and Smith;

“A team is a small number of people with complementary skills who are committed to a common purpose, performance goals and common approach for which they hold themselves accountable”

If a team is not performing at an exceptional level, you’ll likely find the solution somewhere in the details of this definition. What I mean by that is, the key points in this definition have greater depth to them and they can be further analyzed.

My leadership tip for you this week is to think about what has to be done to have your team perform at the exceptional (+) level.

I’m sure that many of you think your team is already performing at an exceptional level … and you probably are … so there’s really nothing for you to do. It’s your call; I’m suggesting you take it to the next level.

However, if your team isn’t at the exceptional level think about what has to be done to get there first.

Think about your leadership – is it unwavering and consistent

Think about the talent on the team – do you have the best available talent – what one or two things should you change in the recruitment and selection process?

Think about everyone’s role – are the roles correct – does everyone understand and embrace their role – what one or two role adjustments could be made that could make a significant difference?

Think about communication – does the right hand truly know and understand what the left hand is doing? … How about vice versa?

Think about the top 3 to 5 things that are hindering your team’s ability to deliver results – fix them

As the leader it’s your responsibility to ensure your team is positioned to deliver exceptional plus results for your organization or business unit … and you are always accountable for the results.

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For more leadership development tips, join Randy at www.FaceBook.com/LeadersEdge360

Mentors

Evaluate your mentor relationship.

Yes, I’m assuming that you have a mentor or coach to provide you an objective view on career, skills, challenges, performance and / or other issues important to you or your business.

If you don’t have a relationship with a mentor … set yourself a goal to begin a formal relationship with a mentor within the next 60 days. If you have a mentor relationship that’s working well, drop me a note and tell me why the relationship is a success. If you think the relationship could be better, then it’s time to fix it or abandon it – you want to receive value from the relationship with your mentor.

There are many things to consider when establishing a relationship with a mentor … here are my top three:

  1. You must absolutely trust the mentor / coach you select … you want honest feedback instead of them telling you what you want to hear.
  2. The mentor / coach must have the time and interest in helping you … they have to be there for you when you need them.
  3. You must agree on working guidelines for the relationship that work for both of you … it’s important that these be established at the beginning so each of you know what to expect from each other.

If you have an existing relationship with a mentor … just make sure you are fully satisfied that you are getting everything you want / need from them. If you don’t have a mentor / coach and don’t feel you need one because you believe you’re doing fine without one … you’re kidding yourself.

Everyone needs a mentor … even the leader.

Register to receive Randy Goruk’s Leadership Tip of the Week directly here.

For more leadership development tips, join Randy at www.FaceBook.com/LeadersEdge360

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