Monthly Archives: September 2011

Info Exchange – 10 Thoughts About Leadership

Welcome to the Loyalty Factor Information Exchange, a bi-weekly service providing summaries of major publications and books on various management and customer relationship topics. 

 
Loyalty Factor has been instrumental in helping companies:

  • Increase Customer Satisfaction by 20 – 33%
  • Increase Revenues by 50% in 18 months
  • Increase Manufacturing Production by 200% in 18 months

Our information exchange this week highlights Jon Gordon’s 10 Thoughts about Leadership.”    

Great leaders motivate, inspire and energize their people by connecting the vision, values, purpose and business goals of the organization to individual values and needs. While some people are more natural leaders than others, the best leaders are those who go beyond cultivating their own leadership skills, and instead create a culture of leadership in their organizations.  The reality is that leadership doesn’t belong to just one person.  Leadership inspires others much like a contagious force.

Author Jon Gordon provides readers with the ten basic thoughts about leadership below; simple secrets that aim to empower people to approach life and work with positive, forward thinking to lead to true accomplishment.

 
1. People follow the leader first and the leader’s vision second
 – It doesn’t matter if the leader shares a powerful vision, if the leader is not someone who people will follow the vision will never be realized. As a leader, who you are makes a difference. The most important message you can share is yourself. 
 

2. Trust is the force that connects people to the leader and his/her vision – Without trust there is a huge gap between the leader and the vision. Without trust people will stay off the bus. However if people trust the leader they will hop on the bus with the leader and help move the bus forward towards the vision.
 

3. Leadership is not just about what you do but what you can inspire, encourage and empower others to do. 
  

4. A leader brings out the best within others by sharing the best within themselves. 
  

5. Just because you’re driving the bus doesn’t mean you have the right to run people over – The more power you are granted the more it is your responsibility to serve, develop and empower others. When you help them grow they’ll help you grow. 
  

6. “Rules without Relationship Leads to Rebellion– Andy Stanley said this. As a leader you can have all the rules you want but if you don’t invest in your people and develop a relationship with them they will rebel. This applies amazingly to children as well. It’s all about relationships.


7. Lead with optimism, enthusiasm and positive energy, guard against pessimism and weed out negativity. 
  

8. Great leaders know they don’t have all the answers. Rather they build a team of people who either know the answers or will find them. 
  

9. Leaders inspire and teach their people to focus on solutions, not complaints. (The No Complaining Rule) 
 

10. Great leaders know that success is a process not a destination – John Wooden, the legendary UCLA basketball coach, never focused on winning. He knew that winning was the byproduct of great leadership, teamwork, focus, commitment and execution of the fundamentals. As a leader, focus on your people and process, not the outcome.

Keeping Employees Engaged in Downturn Economy


Opportunity for Growth

 

How can your business turn
this around and establish
engaged, committed
and loyal employees
who give 100 percent to the
success and profitability
of the organization?  

 

 

 

 Here are some suggestions: 

  •  Build a culture that will stimulate employees and create an upwardly mobile environment for growth and prosperity.

 

  • A culture based on trust, freedom, responsibility and accountability within a framework.

 

  • A culture in which people are willing to go the extra mile and perhaps go to extreme lengths to fulfill their responsibilities and take on new responsibilities.

 

  • It’s a culture in which people are self-directed versus one in which people look to an authority figure for complete direction.

 

In a responsibility-based culture trust is essential. Managers and employees practice the elements of trust, including straightforwardness, openness, acceptance and reliability. When these four elements are present, respect is high and people are valued. Rewards and recognition systems exist. People are rewarded for their results, recognized for their performance. Everyone seeks the highest level of excellence by being the best they can be and helping others maximize their strengths to be the best they can be.

 

In my next blog, I will discuss specific ways leaders and managers can build a responsibility-based culture.

 

Dianne Durkin is president and founder of Loyalty Factor, a specialized consulting and training company that enhances employee, customer and brand loyalty for some of the nation’s most prominent corporations and many smaller businesses. Dianne’s proven expertise lies in helping companies quickly get to the core issues and outlining their impact on the organization’s profits, productivity and people.  www.loyaltyfactor.com

Info Exchange – Choosing Strategies for Change 2 of 2

Welcome to the Loyalty Factor Information Exchange, a bi-weekly service providing summaries of major publications and books on various management and customer relationship topics. 

 
Loyalty Factor has been instrumental in helping companies:

  • Increase Customer Satisfaction by 20 – 33%
  • Increase Revenues by 50% in 18 months
  • Increase Manufacturing Production by 200% in 18 months

Our information exchange this week highlights the Harvard Business Review Article, “Choosing Strategies for Change,” by John P. Kotter and Leonard A. Schlesinger. This is the second summary on this topic, covering the strategies on dealing with resistance according to the authors.   

 

Diagnosing and Dealing with Resistance

 

In today’s world, change is inevitable. Yet, organizational change can be a delicate process. The article in Harvard Business Review provides some insights into why people resist change, and how to deal with resistance to change.

 

Dealing with Resistance:

  1. One of the most common ways to overcome resistance to change is to educate people about it beforehand. Communication of ideas helps people see the need for and the logic of a change.
     
  2. If the initiators involve the potential resisters in some aspect of the design and implementation of the change, they can often forestall resistance. 
     
  3. Be supportive. This process might include providing training in new skills, or giving employees time off after a demanding period, or simply listening and providing emotional support.
     
  4. Finally, managers often deal with resistance coercively. This is a risky process because inevitably people strongly resent forced change. In situations where speed is essential and where the changes will not be popular, regardless or how they are introduced, coercion may be a manager’s only option. 
     
  5. Approach the change as an integral part of the strategy. Disjointed and incremental changes attract resistance. 

Successful organizational change efforts are always characterized by the skillful application of a number of these approaches, often in very different combinations.

Successful efforts share two major characteristics: managers employ the approaches with a sensitivity to their strengths and limitations and appraise the situations realistically.

Employee Engagement in Downturn Economy

With the business climate being very volatile and complex, it’s no surprise that enthusiastic employees can become disillusioned and slip down the scale from highly engaged to actively disengaged.  As a business owner and leader, you must build what I call a responsibility-based culture that is stimulating, upwardly mobile, and based on trust, freedom and accountability.

 

 

The Gallup Organization’s research has revealed three types of employees:

 

  • Engaged – 29%
  • Not Engaged – 55%
  • Actively Disengaged – 16%

 

The Engaged Employees (Wow, a real small percentage!):  

 

  • Consistent levels of high performance as natural innovators
  • They are energetic and enthusiastic individuals who never run out of things to do.
  • They create more work for themselves within their area of expertise and are committed to the company and their team
  • They accept accountability and responsibility for their actions.

 

The Not-engaged Employees:

 

  • Focus on doing just enough to keep their job
  • Are non-risk takers
  • Have low commitment to the organization
  • Don’t feel a sense of connection with their organization or their manager
  • Are not energized for exemplary job achievement
  • Become more focused on the steps involved in doing their job rather than the results achieved.

 

The Actively Disengaged Employees:

 

  • Unhappy at work and show their unhappiness.  
  • Thrive on the problems vs. the solution, and spread their discontent to their colleagues.

 

These unbelievable results indicate thatU.S.businesses are operating at one-third of their capacity. This would be similar to having only one-third of a bank’s branches opened each day – can you imagine that? Or one-third of a manufacturing company’s machines operated at capacity every day? Or only one-third of all emergency rooms accepted critically ailing patients on any given day?

 

The lost opportunity is obvious.  The opportunity for growth is tremendous!!

 

Dianne Durkin is president and founder of Loyalty Factor, a specialized consulting and training company that enhances employee, customer and brand loyalty for some of the nation’s most prominent corporations and many smaller businesses. Dianne’s proven expertise lies in helping companies quickly get to the core issues and outlining their impact on the organization’s profits, productivity and people.  www.loyaltyfactor.com