Wednesday, November 29, 2017

What You Can't See Can Hurt You

I have to admit, I think I know a good bit about many things -- particularly in my area of business.

That statement and thought has just made me vulnerable to being less open to improvement and greater success.

And, because I am confident in my ability and have proven to be able to work through challenges and come out successful on the other side -- that record of success - can also be a liability.

Here's an example. Most recently, I have been trying to sell my house and have been getting help from my significant other, who happens to be an expert in this area. It's created conflict - a lot.  He's given advice that's annoying, I couldn't see, didn't make sense. He'd get frustrated because I "wasn't listening" and I'd get frustrated because I couldn't "see" what he tried to explain (which was due to my lack of experience).

There have been many opportunities for improved communication and suffice it to say, for 2 accomplished professionals, one of which human dynamics is a professional specialty, it's been an interesting learning experience.

In the midst of all this, I recently had an ah ha moment. My experience with my house and close personal advisor is the same for many business owners and accomplished leaders.

A certain level of success can cause blind spots.

It can cause one to be unreceptive to tools, information or resources to achieve greater success. As Jim Collins says in his widely read book, Good to Great, "Good is the enemy of great."

And with success, can come blindness to small vulnerabilities that can become major impediments and that if attended to early, could mitigate potential damage - like a tiny leak in a damn.

Blind spots also impair our hearing. It causes us to turn a deaf ear to important or useful advice to which thoughtful consideration should be given. We in fact discount it, not believing the value or truth of it (at least that's what I did).

An advisor can say, "Hey I see a leak in your dam." You say, "I don't have a leak, I don't see a leak or that's not a leak. And anyway, if we had a leak, we would not be doing as well as we are."

But clearly, to everyone else...there's a leak.



This blind spot issue is another reason why 360 feedback surveys have become so popular in leadership coaching. The point of it is to help the coachee see what others are seeing that they are not. And, the value of multiple participants is if there is consensus, at some level, it must be true. So even though I don't see it, it probably should be given some consideration.

In my latest executive briefing Show Me The Money! , I share an uncommon prespective of quantitating employee performance in a way that can assist in more profitably managing the "human" resource in conjuction with all other areas of operations. The briefing (really a white paper on steroids that turned into a book) shares what I see, that most leaders don't that is costing them.

In fact, (in almost every case) I can sit with any leader, go through a few simple exercises and find money. My experience has afforded me the opportunity to gain a refined point of view regarding human resource management. That experience helps me quickly identify areas that are costing a company, along with areas that can be rapidly improved.

In the house selling saga, I've had to surrender to what I don't know and can't see, while trusting the expertise of another. And yes, I've had to admit on several occasions, "You were right." as I was thinking to myself, "Ghez, for such a smart person, I'm amazed I didn't see that."

As accomplished business leaders, to continually lead effectively and grow our businesses, we must hold this wisdom in our consciousness -- success can undermine success.

It's this non-negotiable mindset of a leader that will allow them to be at his/her best at all times which  then serves the greater good of their company. It will keep them open to vulnerabilities and resources for growth that initially would not be considered.

If you'd like to learn what I see that could be undermining your growth - pick up a copy of Show Me The Money! In fact, I'm happy to email you a complimentary digital copy - just ask: joann@thehumansphere.com

========================================================================================== The Human Sphere is a business growth, talent management consultancy that partners w/ senior leaders to bridge the gap between people, performance, and profits.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

The #1 Barrier to Substantially Improving Your Operations

Pic credit: http://www.bizscaping.com.au/barriers-to-new-business-ideas

I've written in a previous post that my work regarding leadership and management has evolved over the years. It's gone from teaching and coaching basic management principles, some of which I still use. Mostly, however, it's evolved to helping leaders and managers at every level understand who they are leading and what they need to know to manage more effectively through the lens of human behavior.

The work I do now truly represents my company name, The Human Sphere(tm) and it is the essence
of what causes a company to be successful or not.

What's been most exciting about this evolution is being able to take themes currently popular in the leadership development realm, like emotional intelligence for example, and distill it into it's most practical application for amazing results. It isn't just about what creates good leadership anymore, but how and why.

I've been able to, through individual coaching and peer group development which we call roundtables, work with commonly used leadership words and qualities for which very few people would be able to truly define like: empower, encourage, motivate, engage, inspire and apply them to real-time, everyday work experiences so that the true meaning is understood, manifested and practiced.  It's been thrilling to watch the results!

All of this has forged a unique path for me and the business. It's given me the opportunity to combine a variety of disciplines (psychology, metaphysics, sociology, spirituality, business operations, NLP, behavioral kinesiology) that are of great interest to me into work that is profoundly meaningful and that delivers impressive results for my clients.

The breath of my experience over the years, traveling through-out North American delivering thousands of leadership and management development workshops has given a ground floor and c-level view of what's happening in our businesses... and what isn't.

What isn't has and still is leaving a gapping hole which undermines a company's operational effectiveness and growth. What isn't can be defined as leadership that is not keeping pace with the changes and needs of the workforce.

That gap is created by a leader's lack of understanding of their "human resource" -- more specifically human behavior or how humans operates so to speak. It's a leader's constructive and profitable use of the most important resource a company has -- its human resource. I help them see that human resources is no longer just about the human resource department.

This gap I see as the #1 barrier to substantial and continuous operational improvement.
And through that gap, steadily drips talent and money.

That gap I now fill...for those who are willing to see it and do something about it.  (As Louis Hay once said, "If you want to clean the room, you have to be willing to see the dirt.") I take the most literal understanding of the human resource and transfer it to leaders and managers.

Human resource may be a department and part of org chart, but most importantly it is the folks that walk through your door every day with capabilities they will choose to engage or not.  And to be even more literal, that human resource is the collective elements of an employee's mind, heart, and spirt applied to their technical capabilities.

A leader's knowledge of this and their ability to constructively utilize it is what I've coined their HQ or Human Quotient. It is a holistic approach to leading and managing as well as a holistic view of a company's human resource. In fact how all this is managed can be considered "holistic talent management".

Side Note: With regards to employee engagement, there are 2 key factors that are the greatest influence; an employee's maturity (their willingness to apply themselves to a given situation, job specifics and company culture) and their managers maturity which includes positional competency (their ability to lead and relate in ways that activate and expand that willingness).

The good news is the gap to which I refer, can be easily remedied if a leader or leadership team is willing to do so.

Of note, however, is an additional, very common barrier to acting on this gap and that is tolerance level. I've discovered key decision-makers have a very high tolerance for what is not happening. It's as if that gap is their normal, not realizing operations could be much better and more profitable.

The bottom line is this -- everything that goes on in an organization is influenced, controlled or impacted by a human being. Yet, rarely is that assessed when operational issues occur. Typically what's initially considered is process. But process is run by humans, in fact thinking of and constructing a revised process is done by humans. Every aspect of a business is about what and how humans think and behave...period!



When all of this is finally realized, senior leaders slowly begin to turn their attention to leadership and management development. Still, not necessarily for themselves, but others.

And that's the final gap to address -- the lack of intentional, strategic leadership development at senior and c-suite levels. Unfortunately, a reality not readily considered is a company can only grow as far as its leaders grow. I consistently witness businesses being held back by the weaknesses of its leaders whether in knowledge, thinking or behavior.

So I'm excited to announce that in 2018, we'll be rolling out some offerings specifically for this group! You'll want to subscribe to this blog or to our monthly executive briefing to keep informed. (Click here)

The concluding question then is do you see this gap and are you willing to address it? Please know the effectiveness of your leaders will only go as far as their understanding of human behavior -- the lack of which will be a constant stumbling block in their performance.

Want to talk about your potential gaps?: send an email joann@thehumansphere.com or give us a call - 888.388.0565. Since we're experts, even one conversation will be helpful.

Additional posts related to this one:
Is Happiness a Human Resource?  | Leaders Have Feelings Too! | Does Your Leadership Have Your Talent on Locked Down? | Are Your Leaders Human?


==============================================================================================The Human Sphere™ is a holistic talent management-organizational develoment consultancy that partners with forward-thinking senior leaders to bridge the gap between people, performance, and profits. We focus on business growth through human-focused, results based leadership. // email: joann@thehumansphere.com // Ph: 888.388.0565