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Archive for the tag “leadership”

LeaderSHIT. 10 ways leaders screw things up

Some mmistake1anagers are great leaders and some aren’t.   The day-to-day of tactics of running a business are a lot different from the broad strategic vision needed to grow a business.

I won’t get into all the differences between managers and leaders.  That subject has been beat to death.  Instead I will give you my top 10 things leaders should strive NOT to do when responsible for tactics and strategies.  We all stumble into these bad habits at times.  Recognize them, and don’t make the same mistake twice.  Learning and growing is where the magic happens.

  1. Hoarding the information and having favorites. Be honest, reward results, and be transparent.  Your people can smell dishonesty and favoritism 10 miles away. HONEST!
  2. Think one size fits all.  You can’t teach a fish to fly (I know, I know—flying fish…Just stay with me please 🙂  People have things they are good at.  Encourage and reward that.  Don’t try to make people something they aren’t.  Everyone has something to offer the team, or they wouldn’t be on the team.  Help enhance their strengths.
  3. Not being consistent. This is the absolutely hardest one to do. As leaders we have to try to be the same coach when we win as we are when we lose.  This is very tough, but the only way to let people feel comfortable enough to take the risks and chances needed to be the best.
  4. Taking the credit. All together now… It’s not about you anymore! It’s about the team.  Give the credit out to the troops and stop being so damn needy for approval.
  5. Being moody. We all can be moody, but nothing destroys trust faster. Not knowing if you will bite off their heads when they ask a question is a great way for you to be left in the dark on the REAL important things.
  6. Not listening. It’s the same with your significant other, your kids, or your best friend. Take a deep breath and REALLY listen.  I know your own voice has magical healing properties, but the next time someone wants to talk to you, don’t think about what you will say next, or that you need to pick up propane for a BBQ this weekend.
  7. Ego. There is some direct connection with the need to be wanted and loved and working your way up the ladder at work. Suck it up, let someone else have the credit, admit when you are wrong, and other smart people exist in the world.  Smarter than you believe it or not.
  8. Gossip. Being part of it, or allowing it to fester. Nothing will kill an organization faster than gossip. It’s negative, most of the time not accurate, and takes the focus off the mission of the team…To win.   Talk about ideas and ways to improve yourself, not if Sally is sleeping with Bob.
  9. Lack of growth/Education. We all should be enhancing our skills and growing daily. That means taking classes, reading books, and being open-minded. You don’t know it all, but you could get better every week. 2% educational growth a week makes you over 100% smarter in a year.
  10. Not taking action. Don’t over think the think, over do the do.  Stop talking about it, researching it, and thinking about it…Just do it!  Take an action and adjust along the way. Just like Patton told us (And kind of won a World War) “A good plan today is worth a perfect plan tomorrow”.

There are a lot more, but those are my top 10.  I struggle with some daily, but I know what to look for, and how to adjust and learn from my mistakes.  Lack of leadership is the top cause in EVERY poor and average team.  Our teams get better when we get better

Knee Jerk Reaction

The world needs jerks. Ok, let me define how I view jerks before anyone gets their undies in a wad. A jerk is someone who makes you follow the rules, tells you the truth when you need to hear it, and most importantly, helps you from crossing over from being a jerk to being a scumbag. There is a BIG DIFFERENCE!

In my mind jerks keep us in line. The teacher who actually makes sure you know the lesson. A coach who takes the time to prepare you to win. You see, that’s the big difference. People who seem like jerks at certain points of our life are ausually  the ones who care the most about us.  Most of the time being strict will get you the jerk classification. That’s ok as long as the jerk doesn’t play favorites, doesn’t back stab, and is completely honest. Actually, this is the most important trait of all. Honest to the point of telling people the cold, hard, truth even when they don’t want to hear it.

Plato said “they deem him their worst enemy who tells them the truth.” In other words, people think brutally honest folks are/can be jerks. That’s one of the problems of civil society. The scumbag who tells you everything you want to hear, is considered the bell of the ball (until their scumbaggery is discovered–think Eddie Haskell) while the person who gives it to you straight is, well, usually considered a jerk.

The truth always comes out in the end. Usually the smooth talking souls who always say the right thing, and never offend anyone, have ulterior motives on their mind. We need to surround ourselves with people who help make us better. Who help us be the best we can, and who aren’t afraid to give us a dose of reality.

Show me a jerk who really cares about is family, friends and work, and I’ll show you a successful, balanced life.

I Can’t Talk To You While I’m Yelling!

The workplace has a way of reinforcing bad habits. Let me explain.  All leaders and managers, (myself included) have moments where the standard civil approaches at problems don’t work.  I call it the “breakdown of 3”.  Whenever a subordinate does something wrong continuously, the breakdown usually plays out something like this. 

Strike #1: The first incident usually doesn’t go too badly.  Maybe a sarcastic comment or two–The manager hopes that the person is just having a bad day.  “I’ll overlook this one, because Mary is usually such a good worker”.

Strike #2: The 2nd infraction causes the redness under the collar to burn a bit more.   In hopes of keeping harmony in the workplace, the thoughtful and caring leader will bring it up again, but won’t push it too hard.   A pattern is starting to develop, and patience is beginning to run out.  Here is where disaster can be avoided if the leader would take the time to sit down and have a heart to heart with the employee.  This is what should happen, and sometimes it does, but most of the time real dialog doesn’t occur.  Big mistake.  This is the pivotal moment, but because we are all so busy a REAL conversation is put on hold—-UNTIL:

Strike #3: The evil doer pushes the last button.  It always comes at a horrible time when the stress levels are already at a breaking point—Strike 3 is usually the point of no return.  I’ve been there many times, along with every manager I’ve ever worked for–Even the great ones.  So the yelling begins…..AND where life actually gets better in the workplace–For everyone except the manager–You see, the manager feels guilty, horrible, out of control, and like a failure, because they lost their cool.

This is where the meltdown actually creates a pattern where more blowups will occur.  The bad behavior of the leader actually makes things go back to normal–quickly.  All the other workers see how bad you yelled at Mary, so they start going out of their way not to make waves. Mary will hold a grudge if you don’t patch things up, but let’s assume a deep conversation does finally take place—Now Mary never wants it to go into meltdown mode ever again, so her work improves.

A leaders bad behavior is now reinforced. This can quickly turn a leader into a tyrant. In order to break out of the cycle,  dialog has to take place before strike 3.  A leader needs to take time each week to solve problems and have open feedback with everyone on the team.  No favorites, everyone treated equally.  Lack of communication is  the root of all  workplace evil–

And for the record, lack of communication usually happens in companies where communications is the main business–Welcome to radio!

(Gregory Peck knows how to communicate…(Although he does snap at the end of the movie 12 o’clock High)–

The Salvation Army Coats for Kids campaign was an amazing success

Thank you to everyone who participated in the Coats for Kids drive  this year–These are the type of events that keep local radio relevant–Live, local radio is without competition. Community events, storm coverage,  all things local..Pandora is wonderful–but it has nothing to do with the community–Facebook, twitter and Linked in are great ways to connect, but what happens when the power is out for a week  (The great Halloween snow storm of 2011)  and all you have is a portable battery operated radio?..Local radio is about the community–And it is without competition.

Coverage from Distribution Day

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