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Reflecting on Holidays. How can holidays foster collaboration?

To foster collaboration in any workplace, it is critical to recognize that not every person celebrates the same holidays and even if two people do celebrate the same holiday it is done often in different ways.

What might you do to show that you truly care to understand another person’s point of view, and to have the authentic curiosity to learn more about how their point of view came about?

On holidays of any nation, and every day, let’s be grateful that we can choose what to believe and how to BE.

Continue reading “Reflecting on Holidays. How can holidays foster collaboration?”

Wow! Fitting in, with a value-added mindset

Here’s our “wow” for this week:
This Wow! goes to —, our newest team member for his self-starting attitude and motivation to make a difference in moving us forward.

Why is this “wow!”? To best identify for the employer if the person is the right fit, deliverables are needed. To best identify for the employee if they are in the right fit, they need to take action.

If both the manager and the employee are thinking “how can I add most value to him/her, while staying aligned with company goals” then quick wins will follow. It takes both employee and manager to ensure a good fit and nurture the value for the company. Continue reading “Wow! Fitting in, with a value-added mindset”

Wow! The power of trust and customer feedback

You may not realize how important real (honest, open) customer feedback can be…

Here’s our “wow” for this week: This Wow! goes to — who as a trusted advisor gets our customers to tell us how they really feel about us, about our products and about any part of the process, even if it is under their full control, which might be a roadblock to complete success. Continue reading “Wow! The power of trust and customer feedback”

Wow! – When an employee steps up

When an employee steps up, something has gone right. Drill down and you’ll find … continuous communication.

Here’s our “wow” for this week: This Wow! goes to —- who has grown remarkably in his ability to compare how he is doing not to others but to to where he wants to be, and to take accountability for getting there. His positive mindset and drive are making him and our company stronger each day. And his continuous communication and accessibility made him the “go to” person when a challenge appeared. Continue reading “Wow! – When an employee steps up”

Wow! We are building an A-Team

We’re building an A-Team!

In place of our individual Wow, I’m going to take this opportunity to share a list from Jim Collins, author of “Good to Great” of the key things an A-team needs. It’s a good list and if we absorb it, and live it, we too can keep the “Wow!s” coming!

According to Jim Collins, one of the key factors for building a world class organization – and keeping it great – is its people.

A-Team Qualifications — Let’s put it to good use now!

1. You know a person is a great fit for your team when they fit with your core values walking in the door. You can train for skills. You can’t train for values.

2. An A-Team person doesn’t need to be tightly managed. The moment you feel the need to micromanage an employee, you know you’ve made a hiring mistake.

3. The right person will understand that they don’t have a job – they have responsibilities.

4. The right person will do what they say they will do. They are accountable in every action.

5. The right person will have “window” and “mirror” maturity. When something goes wrong, they look in the mirror and say “I’m responsible. Here’s what I will do to grow and change.” When things are good, they point out the window and share the success and accolades with their team. They look outside of themselves to share the praise and recognition.

6. They think that what you do is really cool and believe it is a privilege to work for you.

Hey team… we are already achieving many of these. Wow! As you and I bring new people into the company, let us always keep this list in mind. It fits who we are.

Thanks to my local colleague, Anne-Marie Faiola, The Soap Queen, for posting this first. Look for this list and lots more good stuff in Jim Collin’s upcoming book due out in May 2009.

Wow! Trust as a retention strategy, protects your bottom-line

Timing matters. Trust matters. If you are not sure you have all the information, take time to dig deeper before you make a critical decision about people.

Here’s our “wow” for this week: This Wow! goes to two individuals who I had all but given up on. At one time, not so long ago, I felt each relationship was irreparable. When someone feels this way about you, and perhaps you feel it too, it is so easy to just break. One thing bonds people together strongly enough to avoid that break: Trust. We trusted ourselves and each other enough to dig deeper.

Why is this “wow!”? What changed? Did one give in to another’s demands? Actually no, and this is another aspect that is so powerful. What trust does is allow difficult conversations to be shared, and those conversations can lead to repair. To an outsider it may seem nothing. But truly this is huge. We are in business to build value. A leader cannot do that if he or she is not trusted or if he or she does not trust the team. But it goes even further than what may seem to you very touchy-feely stuff (which it is)… trust, or lack of it, and retaining people (or not) have a significant impact on the business bottom line…

Why is this important? Trust, and taking the time to dig deeper using objective methods, can ensure that you (the leader) are not making hasty decisions that will tear down value, and immediately and negatively impact your business bottom line.

If you aren’t building trust you will experience loss. If you are not tracking what goes right and wrong, throughout the year (and why) – and if you do not have the right data to identify the real causes (and rarely are we correct when we assume what someone’s intentions are) you cannot possibly make good decisions about people.

When you are unsure, it often makes the most sense… even to the business bottom-line… to retain a person and re-fit them in a role that plays to their strengths and supports your Strategy best. Also consider how you can adapt your style to support a better fit for all.

Congrats! Wow! Trust has allowed us to dig deeper, retain people, and build value.

Wow! Team Stick Strategy

Big businesses in the U.S. are receiving bailout funds. Whether they “deserve” this or not is something many of us question. I for one am always loathe for dollars to be thrown to who yells the loudest or can harm the most, rather than those positioned to add the most value. Ok. It’s done.

So what?! Lots of things happen “just because” and we can whine about it, or we can make our own success. Every action is our choice.

We choose to keep adding value with what we’ve got… We are sticking to it! We are confident, accountable .. and we trust that our journey is adding value, including to those in our company.

Here’s our “wow” for this week: This Wow! goes to Abrige & C-Secure team members who are doing all they can with the resources at hand today…knowing there is a better tomorrow and that we control that. The prize is near from this entrepreneurial journey. You know who you are, because you are here. You exhibit confidence, trust and accountability. We are sticking together.

Why is this “wow!”? Choosing to stick when pay or perks become more tightly linked to performance requires confidence, trust and accountability. One must have the confidence in themselves that they can complete what was started. There must be trust that the leader will steer the company well if all the crew are doing what they are supposed to do. And accountability is required to meet promises to reach a long term goal, which may require more effort with less reward in the short term. We will remain strong because we have confidence, trust and accountability. Continue reading “Wow! Team Stick Strategy”

Wow! Thinking like an owner

Today more than ever a leader needs their team to care and tend to the bottom line. We’ve got that – Wow!

Here’s our “wow” for this week: This Wow! goes to —- who decided that he and a friend could build an application we needed, and do so on their own time. This way we could get exactly what we wanted, and without a subscription cost. —- was watching out for opportunities that would help us, and for the impact on our bottom-line. This is exactly what one means when they strive to have their team “thinking and acting like owners.” That we have this in our team deserves a resounding, Wow! Continue reading “Wow! Thinking like an owner”

Wow! Teamwork in hard times

What does teamwork really mean? Would the U.S. economy be where it is today if we really had this? Ok, the U.S. economy is for another post. This post is about us, and how in bad times we are becoming a better and more focused team.

This Wow! was hard to write. It was also exciting to write. It exposes leadership weaknesses (clarity, verification). It also cheers leadership strengths (vision, empathy, persistence) that compel people to do the right thing right…to keep the business – our ship- clipping along in or toward a blue ocean (niche success!), even in the midst of chaos…

Here’s our “wow” for this week: This Wow! goes to my team. This month every single person on the team deferred their pay until the work they have in progress is completed. The only exceptions made were for part-time team members who completed short projects.

Why is this “wow!”? I look around and see that we are not the only team not completely in check with our strategy day to day. There’s a better way and we are moving to it…and ready to help others do the same.

If people stop doing the right things right, the ship stops, or at least stalls and goes off course.

We didn’t stop…thanks to the team. The communication is becoming clearer every day. And we are making the small yet continuous adjustments needed to keep on course. Continue reading “Wow! Teamwork in hard times”