Tuesday, May 19, 2020

My Advice During Covid - Hang On To What's Certain

There is nothing new under the sun...ever heard that phrase. It's from a biblical passage, Ecc. 1:9.

Well, in the time of Covid, you might be thinking...is that true now? These are unprecedented times. We're entering into a new normal (not a fan of that phrase)...but ok, yes things are definitely unsettling and uncertain. And, some elements of life may permanently change...or not. We'll see.

However, there are some very human, historical and universal truths that are settled, certain and will remain unchanged.

While we get tossed about by how we and others are describing this current experience, as someone who lives in the realm of human behavior in life and business, I can say - and I hope this is encouraging- there are some things...and I dare say the most important things... that has not changed and will not change.

This should be comforting news! There are some very important things that are unchanging in the midst of uncertainty that we can hold on to - anchor ourselves to - as we weather potential stormy times ahead. This is true both personally and professionally.

And, what would be an essential and very useful activity is to take the time to recognize and deeply connect to this truth.

So What Has Remained The Same? What's Certain?
Ultimately, who we are as human beings - how we're created and wired - as well as our core human needs, fundamentally do not change.

No matter the context - our human makeup drives everything from how we're managing homeschoolling, being an essential worker to business owners deciding how to navigate their unique challenges.

Specifically in business, whether you are now migrating back to an office or working remotely, your human needs, that of your colleagues, those you lead, your client or customer are still the same.

Though you wouldn't think so by the plethora of "new ways to manage" articles and webinars being offered to be a more effective remote leader/manager. Themes like being more compassionate, having more empathy, developing your emotional intelligence...which can all be categorized as in essence - being more human.

Here's a news flash - 
Human needs have not changed just because we've decided to pay more attention to them and now are spotlighting their value.

In any context, personal or professional, compassion and empathy, for example, have always been needed. The kindness of my banker was needed and welcomed before Covid and will after. A leader's ability to to develop'/have emotional intelligence has been a popular need expressed for years.

Here's what's changed... these human, relational qualities are now positioned front and center - a defining element - to management and leadership success.

How we relate (lead and manage) in a time of crisis and change is now the new success currency, because other elements in working together (onsite office culture and camaraderie for example) covered up or diminished the impact of its weakness or complete absence...affording a palatable toleration.

What has remained the same is the heart, mind, soul and spirit of who we are, what shows up to work everyday and is impacted by those with whom we work. Period. As long as we work with - interact with - another human being, this will not change.

The context may be different, but our human makeup remains the same. And this is what we must become and remain anchored to - hold on to and use as our core guide going forward - no matter what.

Our "new normal" is actually our normal and has been for centuries.

What has remained are those executive leaders, managers at all levels who became effective because they were the most relatable and human and could appropriately work with the human needs in others. They will have the easiest time with the future of work transition, because they have already created meaningful connections with their team that can be transferred or translated anywhere.

They knew creating connection, fostering a productive collaborative community was not based on or held together by physical space but based on the unseen space of heart, mind and spirit.

Ironically, this achievement provided the ultimate conditions for the most productive, profitable teams that could be manifested anywhere at anytime. This is the ultimate in effective leadership.

And that's why I wrote the executive briefing book The Human Quotient. This is what we help leaders achieve - we call it "people acumen" or HQ.  Our experience has taught us that business acumen is weakened without a meaningful level of HQ.

Additionally, we created a blueprint to marry business and people acumen. It's a road map for improving results by cultivating effective leadership and management in a way that can be financially measured through the lens of human behavior science...by amplifying and valuing the human experience.

My advice during this time?...recognize and anchor yourself to that which is not changing...the needs of humanity, yourself, your family, colleagues and friends. Let it stabilize and anchor you as you navigate what's in front of you and what lies ahead.

Consider Working With Us
Achieving successful, sustainable people management - individual & team management - that can be financially measured is our expertise. Through a precisely crafted leadership and management blueprint, we enable executive leaders, along with their extended leader/manager teams, to consistently implement good management practices by developing 9 essential management skills - without major disruptions to their schedule, enormous coaching fees and all consuming consulting initiatives.

The blueprint successfully addresses the need for middle management development...that is managing managers. Our work fulfills how Peter Drucker defines the Effective Executive. 

Our core premise and a fundamental business truth > People management is business management which directly impacts business performance...and effective leadership skills naturally include effective management. Ultimately, business management skills has to include people management skills -it's unavoidable as one directly drives the other.

If this is something you know you need, make a point to learn what we do, how we do it and how you can quickly benefit financially. Go here now.

Friday, April 17, 2020

How to Make Better Decisions

Business Owners, Entrepreneurs, & Senior Leaders are having difficult challenges these days. They are faced with having to make tough decisions... particularly related to employees.
We know. We are a family of several businesses. We're experiencing this first hand. For some owners and senior executive leaders, the difficult decision to keep employees, let some go, even to stay in business...among others are heart wrenching.
I saw one of the Shark Tank guys - Robert Herjavec - talking about this on CNBC the other day. He mentioned that - for some - one of the toughest parts of making these kinds of decisions is dealing with guilt. It's an interesting emotion.
Since helping clients make decisions is part of my work as an executive advisor, I decided to put together a video series for my fellow business owners and leaders.
I'd like to add a bit of certainty to a sea of uncertainty right now. Where possible, I'd like for them to feel certain that they are making the best decisions they can during these crazy economic times.
And the best way to do that is to have a reliable process. So I'm sharing the exact step-by-step decision-making process I use with my clients (which you can download). Among other needs, I also address how to work through being emotionally conflicted and information and tools to make the best staffing decisions.

Here are the relevant series links: 
=> 4 minute intro - 3 key decision-making tips to get you started - click here
=> 5 Part Series - Including 3 videos on how to hire, when to let go or restructure

One final note. In following my series on the book The Effective Executive by Peter Drucker, you probably noticed that one of the essential components - I'd say skill - to being effective is decision-making. The above resources are extremely helpful if you see the need to improve in this area.

Exciting News! // We're excited to launch our new digital arm - Manage Global. To compliment our global reach with our LinkedIn Learning courses, we're offering a compelling resource - The Smart Management Blueprint that can be accessed and implemented in any business environment, world-wide. It provides a step-by-step roadmap to simultaneously improve business and people management while developing competent managers. If you feel a need for improvement in any of these areas you'll want to learn more. Check it out here! => https://manageglobal.solutions

Friday, March 27, 2020

2 NonNegotiable Fundamentals of Business Building You Absolutely Can't Avoid

There is so much noise in the world of leadership and management today. Go on LinkedIn and just see the breath of information in your feed - kinda makes my head hurt. There's so much discussion about what leaders should be doing, what makes a great leader, etc. Do a search on Amazon or Google about leadership and management and millions of results are revealed.
                        As a key, anchor leader - this ^ is you!

One thing for sure, if you are a senior leader or one that owns a business, there are certain fundamentals you must have in place - above all others. And yet, so many other things are discussed - I call them shiny objects - that don't actively advocate and address these fundamentals.

Two fundamentals in particular are these:

1. If you want to grow a business, you must have a reliable, effective management team or teams. And this is not just in concept only, but a team in which you have complete confidence - one you utterly trust.

2. You are the cornerstone of your business, business unit or department.

What's A Cornerstone
My husband is in construction. He has built many a building in his career from a small home to a skyscraper. One building essential every one of them needed was a cornerstone. What is it?

The cornerstone (or foundation stone or setting stone) is the first stone set in the construction of a masonry foundation. All other stones will be set in reference to this stone, thus determining the position of the entire structure.

This same building practice holds true when building a business, department or team. Everything about you as the key leader - the anchor leader - is reflected in your business or area of responsibility... whether you recognize it or not. Even if you don't see it...it's there. 

You are the cornerstone of your business or area of responsibility.
 Everything about your business is set and acts in reference to you.

Therefore, if there is anything in your business you want to change - you have to start with you. Additionally, whatever those around you actively seek to change, may very well be undone by you. I've seen it happen. 

This is very common when there is management training delivered by some random training company and the middle to lower tier managers"have to go through it", but senior leaders are exempt. 

Then when lower tier managers try to implement what they've learned, it's refused, rejected, not supported or undone by their direct reports. This reflects little to no cohesion or alignment of the leadership and management team values, principles and practices - all of which can be very confusing and frustrating to employees.

In my view, there is a tremendous amount of money wasted in this scenario and yet it's very common.

As an executive advisor, I want to caution you to not take this traditional popular route when seeking to build your management team. Work from the 2 non-negotiable fundamentals and do the following: 
1. Start with yourself. Set the stage and the example. Model what you want to see in others.
2. Be very clear on what you want and expect.
3. Consistently articulate clearly what you expect - leave no doubt.
4. Ensure that your 1st tier leadership is on board.
5. Decide how values and expectations will be deployed and monitored throughout your remaining management team.

To summarize, developing a trustworthy, competent management training begins with you - not HR. This approach is management training done right. If you'd like an expanded explanation of what it takes to ensure successful, sustainable management training - check out our Amazon Short - Top 10 Reasons Why Your Management Training Sucks

The Big Picture
When you take a macro view of your business, with you as the cornerstone in mind, you'll see that leading is not a "top down" scenario, but rather a bottom up - a completely reverse view than how a company is typically seen. Most are seen as hierarchies.

I invite you to see it completely different - see it from the bottom up. Your business or area of responsibility is built on you. A great example of this is the company Uber. If you study the personality and leadership behavior of its founder Travis Kalanick, you'll discover the company culture reflected everything about him. In his case, this was not a positive thing. It cost the company money and eventually cost him his leadership role and ownership. Imagine the business of your dreams being stripped away.

A positive example would be the company Zappos (eventually bought by Amazon just a few short years ago). The company was built on the values of its founder Tony Hsieh. It's a great case study which you can read in his book Delivering Happiness.

So what does your company or business reflect about you? Particularly if you are a small to medium size business, your company brand is your brand and vice versa. Another important question is - does your management team reflect you - the good qualities/practices....and the not so good. Does it reflect your leadership values and strengths and/or your weaknesses?

Ultimately the #1 most important question is - do have the fundamentals solidly in place? Or, are you expending resources - finances and time on important elements of your business -  but not the most important component fundamentals?

If this is something you think or would like to explore more, I invite you to take a look at how we address the core fundamentals through our Effective Executive Blueprint for Smart Management. Click here to learn more - view a short video briefing.

Also if you'd like to have a confidential discussion about what's happening in your business, we offer a complimentary 30 min. Q&A call - you talk, we listen. Click here to connect with us.

Monday, March 23, 2020

What Kind of Leadership Is Needed Now?

This is not the time to be a reluctant, faint-hearted leader. I say this as I talk with my family - there are 4 business owners among us.

Able, willing leadership shouldn't subside during a crisis...in fact it's during those times that it's needed more than ever.

Additionally, it's during times of crisis, extreme change or a major disruption when personal leadership strengths and weaknesses are exposed and amplified....and unfortunately... those personal conditions spill over onto those you lead and the areas of responsibility within the business or organization.

So, where are you? I know when I use the word leader - particular executive leader - it applies to a variety of contexts - size of company, department or team, public/private sector, owner or not. No matter where you fall, now's a good time to take stock and while doing so, see it as an opportunity to exercise your leadership muscles - to become better and stronger. It's probably safe to say - people are counting on you. They need you to "be the leader" - in fact, be an effective leader.

The really good news is no matter your level or scope of responsibility, being an effective leader is consistent in its core principles and practices no matter the situation. That means for many companies, leaders who need to lead virtually as well as leading in person, times of surety and times of uncertainty - they all still require the same core leadership elements.

So, what kind of leadership is needed now? Leadership that is always needed...leadership that's effective - leadership that matters....by leaders that truly want to be leaders.

Powerful leadership is leaning into the storm not trying to shelter from it.

And this is the key point. I'm not just talking about generic commonly seen leadership qualities but the essential leadership capability of being effective. According to Peter Drucker's years of observation, there are 2 core areas of being an effective leader. The first is what's consistently practiced - which can be done in any context and what he terms disciplines and the second is mindset. Here they are:

THE WHAT | The 8 Practices of Effective Leadership
  1. They ask: What needs to be done
  2. They ask: What is right for the enterprise?
  3. Based on those answers they develop action plans
  4. They take responsibility for decisions
  5. They take responsibility for communicating
  6. They focus on opportunities rather than problems
  7. They run productive meetings
  8. They think and say "we" rather than "I"

THE HOW | Effective Execution - The Effective Leadership Mindset
(Drucker calls them "habits of the mind")
  1. Know where their time is going.  Know where their time goes - they work systematically to manage what time they can control. They are keenly aware time is a limiting factor. The one thing that is a fixed measurement
  2. Focus on outward contribution - be results orientated - gear efforts to results rather than busy work - what results are expected of me.
  3. Build on strengths - their own and others and of situations -how can achieve what's best now with the resources we currently have.
  4. Concentrate of a few major areas - prioritize: Focusing on a few major areas with superior performance will produce outstanding results. This mindset forces them to set priorities and stick with it - know / commit to doing first things first. To assess this they tie activity to time - knowing use of time is the reality check to achieving what's needed.
  5. Make effective decisions using a systematic approach.
These are shared directly from the book The Effective Executive by Peter Drucker (known as the father of modern management). I've been vlogging and blogging my way through the book to compare his experience with executive leadership and management in his era (the book was written in 1967) with my experience in my era (I've been in business 22+ years). There has been some interesting findings.

Feel free to subscribe to this blog or my YouTube channel to follow the journey. You can read a sample of that here where I add augment Drucker's information with my experience: Are You an Average or Exceptional Executive Leader?

By the way, don't let the word "executive" trip you up. Drucker defines it not necessarily as a c-suite title or position, but as someone who has the capability to provide value in their organization as a knowledge worker. Here is a cool video summary.

How Serious Are You?
With all this said, now is as good a time as any to start or continue growing your leadership capabilities. Now is the time to honestly assess what you're doing well, what's needed now and what improvements you want to target.

Here's an interesting leadership reality check:
Your leadership is only as good, useful, relevant as your ability to successfully respond to current circumstances.
As the top CEO coach Marshall Goldsmith said, "What got you here may not get you there."

Once you've assessed, you may want to get honest about how you'll begin to make measurable improvements. Here's where being really honest with yourself comes in => Some people can easily learn about something and immediately go to work to apply it with great success.

And then, there are others who have great difficulty overcoming the inertia of generating change. Newsflash...most are in the second category - the first is quite rare.

As someone who has worked in the human performance industry for well over 20 years, it's very common to find it difficult to enact meaningful, sustainable change, individually and/or within an organization -particulary the more responsibilities one has. I discuss that in detail here - If It's So Simple, Why Aren't More Leaders Doing It?

It's very important as a leader to know the difference (not only for yourself but also when leading others) between learning about something and learning how to do something...and then doing it...in a way that matters.

That's why many leaders seek assistance when desiring change whether in the form of coaching, consulting or having an advisor - all 3 of which come in a variety of forms. You may want to read 5 Must Have Tips for Hiring an Executive Coach.

Or, if you are one of those "yes I can learn and take action" folks - my phrase - "turn knowledge into know-how" - then I suggest you make sure that you're targeted area of development is highly relevant & useful providing the most value.

Consider This Recommendation - Ensure You're Being Effective
It is in fact your professional insurance.

Reading through Mr. Drucker's book, I came across a profound insight and belief that I have not been able to shake - so much so, it has fine-tuned the focus of my work.

He believes that becoming effective should be the #1 most important skill/ capability that any leaders possesses and here is the reason why. Through his years of experience, he shared this observation:

... a leader can have good qualities, have certain skills and relevant knowledge and yet not be able to translate them into meaningful results - in other words, leverage them into something of value - value defined as: worth, merit, importance. Or put another way, someone with a lot of impressive experience and capabilities can still be ineffective. This is quite a thought!

From my work, I have observed many leaders are very busy, even worn out and stressed with good intentions to do good work. And yet, when you examine what it means to be effective, it's easy to see that all of those activities and good intention doesn't necessarily translate into being effective... and the leadership practices that cause them to be effective are not present or barely visible.

For several years now, I have helped leaders become more effective - in a way that can be financially measured. I have collaborated with clients synthesizing specific high-impact areas of leadership and people management into a 9 step-blueprint that surprisingly aligns with the principles and practices defined as effective by Mr. Drucker. That was a wonderful discovery! In fact, I had already named it The Effective Executive's Blueprint for Smart Management.

Recommend Next Steps
1. Consider learning more about the importance and value to being effective - click here to go to the resource page which includes multiple post related to my journey through the book so far.
2. Pick up the book on Amazon - The Effective Executive, Peter Drucker
3. Check out the 15 minute overview of our 9-step blueprint you can use to quickly boost the results of you and your team.
4. Or if you're ready to dive in, commit and invest to ensure success - consider our 60 day development cycle - learn more here. Our development cycles are designed with human behavior science in which you learn the what, the why and the how, to being effective and getting results through others (people management) with weekly, live support.

If you any questions or comments - feel free to connect by email joann@manageglobal.solutions.

Exciting News! // We're excited to launch our new digital arm - Manage Global. To compliment our global reach with our LinkedIn Learning courses, we're offering a compelling resource - The Smart Management Blueprint that can be accessed and implemented in any business environment, world-wide. It provides a step-by-step roadmap to simultaneously improve business and people management while developing competent managers. If you feel a need for improvement in any of these areas you'll want to learn more. Check it out here! => https://manageglobal.solutions

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

How to Successfully Manage Being Home - Free Resources


Though I'm know for the work I do in HR, leadership/management and the topics surrounding them like emotional intelligence, for those who know me, they know my work is holistic - taking in the whole human experience in business.

That's why over the years I've conducted workshops/seminars on complimentary topics to support that approach - 2 of which have been creativity and organization/time management.

In light of the present circumstances, I'd like to offer these resources free. Both are very relevant to this current times. Recommended below are some suggested uses. Feel free to enjoy and share!

|> Resource 1

Did You Know Being Creative Relieves Stress?
Yep it sure does!! Not to mention it's a ton of fun. And also, it's necessary to keep our thinking agile which is key to adpating to new circumstances.

So there are so many uses for creativity! Besides the above it..
-can help with problem solving
-bonding a team (virtual and other wise)
-has a calming effect
-brings joy
-builds a team culture of inclusion
and many more.

So here are some recommended uses:
For Yourself:
-manage your stress
-activities w/ your kids
-keep growing and/or managing your business - with potentially new ideas

For Your Team:
- do virtual team bonding - with a fun creative thinking activity
- use as a way to help them to stay positive

Important point: engaging in creative activities releases chemicals from the brain that improve mood, feelings of happiness and joy. I wrote a blog post about my personal experience which inspired the post. 11 Reasons Why Every Company Should Have A Creative Thinking Workshop...At Least Once a Year

3 Creative Thinking Resources
- Feel free to use this complimentary copy of the book/ distribute as needed. 

- If you'd like a more formal "hour of creative power" for your team. I am happy to do our viritual Power Up Your Creative Thinking Virtual Experience and I'm happy to discount the typical price. click here to learn more

- I'm going to be doing a live - creative power hour in the next few weeks (free) and if you'd like to notified  - email me: joann@manageglobal.com - put in the subject line CREATIVITY - that's it. Pass on the word!

|> Resource 2

Is It Time to Re-Organize?
I've already been thinking, "Now that I'm home more, what have I been putting off doing?" Well, one thing for sure - for me - is cleaning out closets, definitely the garage...and my office."

There is also, for some, the question of how do I need to restructure my time as I work from home and with my family.  And for those of you managing remote team, "How do we collective stay focused and productive?"

Though there are plenty of "how to manage remote teams" resources, make sure and start with managing yourself and home life first or else any measure of chaotic vibe could be translated onto your team, and you don't want that. Model what you want from them and share your successes as you all work together!

This book will help! It was written as a companion to my very popular seminar of the same name - which has been shared with thousands throughout North America for the past 15 years. Here is the book link and the audiobook version- mp3 - enjoy!

Declutter - Teleconference  - Part 1 | Part 2   | Transcript e-book

If you have any questions regarding any of the content or needs - feel free to email me: joann@manageglobal.solutions | If you'd like a webinar on time management or any content related to the book. I'm happy to do so, just shoot me an email and we'll chat - and even customize if needed.

Join the Creative Fun on Twitter! Follow our Creativity Challenges on Twitter @joanncorley #GetCreative Search the hashtag or see the latest challenge at the top tweet of my feed. Jump in any time for a great mental diversion - mental break. Invite your friends, connect with a new community! 

Exciting News! // We're excited to launch our new digital arm - Manage Global. To compliment our global reach with our LinkedIn Learning courses, we're offering a compelling resource - The Smart Management Blueprint that can be accessed and implemented in any business environment, world-wide. It provides a step-by-step roadmap to simultaneously improve business and people management while developing competent managers. If you feel a need for improvement in any of these areas you'll want to learn more. Check it out here! => https://manageglobal.solutions