Make The Elephant Jump -- Leading With A Kind HeartWritten by Brent Filson
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To make elephant jump -- not now and then but consistently, i.e., to lead people to consistently do great things -- deep, human emotional bonding between leader and people must take place. And fundamental to that bonding is nature of heart of leader.
This is secret: You can't get elephant to jump unless you have a kind heart. Kindness in leadership means following Leadership Imperative: "I will lead people in such a way that we not only achieve needed results but they become better as leaders and people."
Most leaders focus on first part "getting better results" and forget about second part. But in truth, when you have a kind heart, getting results and helping people be better are not two things but one.
From now on, see every leadership challenge you face as a way of having people increase their knowledge, their skills, their courage, their tenacity, and their leadership abilities. Cultivating that perspective is a kindness.
But don't mistake kindness for being nice. Don't mistake kindness for having people simply feel good. Don't mistake kindness for allowing people to indulge worst aspects of their character, laziness, inconsiderateness, selfishness, etc.
Furthermore, you may be kind and have people be frustrated with you. Many great leaders I've had relationships with got me frustrated as they had me go through trouble of tackling challenges I might not otherwise have tackled. (In fact, deep, human, emotional bonding cannot happen without a great deal of frustration.) But I was motivated despite my frustrations because I recognized that they essentially had my best interests at heart.
Yes, through skill, persuasiveness, understanding, forcefulness, education, and guidance, you can get elephant to jump -- as long as you do it through kindness of your heart.
2005 © The Filson Leadership Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
The author of 23 books, Brent Filson's recent books are, THE LEADERSHIP TALK: THE GREATEST LEADERSHIP TOOL and 101 WAYS TO GIVE GREAT LEADERSHIP TALKS. He has been helping leaders of top companies worldwide get audacious results. Sign up for his free leadership e-zine and get a free white paper: "49 Ways To Turn Action Into Results," at http://www.actionleadership.com
Improve Profitable "ROE" with RetentionWritten by Phil McCutchen
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o27% higher profits •Third, understand that improving employee retention isn't so much about dollars as it is personal effort. This is hard part. It takes continuous effort and involvement by management at all levels to coach, cheerlead, mentor, and encourage. •Fourth, your strategies and tactics for employee retention should affirm that an employee's tacit (head) and explicit (external) knowledge has some intrinsic value to firm and efforts should be made to gather, catalogue, and make this information available to others who could benefit from it. Tips to Improve Employee Retention Any tactics that you implement, as part of your employee retention program, should be geared to eliciting one response from your employees, "The pay ain't bad, and they treat me great!" Most of following tips and techniques aren't rocket science. They are based on well-proven and documented successes in business world. Here are some tips based on work of Bob Nelson, author of "1,001 Ways to Reward Employees": 1. Pay employees fairly and well -- then get them to forget about money. 2. Treat each and every employee with respect. Show them that you care about them as persons, not just as workers. 3. Praise accomplishments and attempts •Both large and small •At least four times more than you criticize •Publicly and in private •Verbally and in writing •Promptly (as soon as observed) •Sincerely 4. Clearly communicate goals, responsibilities and expectations. NEVER criticize in public -- redirect in private. 5. Recognize performance appropriately and consistently: •Reward outstanding performance (e.g., with promotions and opportunities) •Do not tolerate sustained poor performance -- coach and train or remove! 6. Involve employees in plans and decisions, especially those that affect them. Solicit their ideas and opinions. Encourage initiative. 7. Create opportunities for employees to learn and grow. Link goals of organization with goals of each individual in it. 8. Actively listen to employees concerns -- both work-related and personal. 9. Share information promptly, openly and clearly. Tell truth with compassion. 10. Celebrate successes and milestones reached -- organizational and personal. Create an organizational culture that is open, trusting and fun! Techniques to Reduce 'Brain Drain' It's not enough to improve your employee retention. Turnover in high-pressure staffing environment is natural and to be expected. What you don't want is staff to leave with stuff in their heads that helps you generate business. Part of your retention strategy has to involve knowledge. You want to retain as much of tacit knowledge that contributes to your firm's business and its profitability as possible. Following lead of such organizations as General Electric, Siemens, World Bank, and others, knowledge management of your staffing or recruiting firm has to include 'Continuity Management'. Here are some techniques for gathering, storing, cataloguing and making available this knowledge: •Use in-person methods to identify knowledge that is critical to capture. According to a study by American Productivity and Quality Center (APQC), while electronic communication (email, on-line chat, etc.) has its value and its place, it does not and cannot take place of knowledge gained in face-to-face interaction. Such human interaction opportunities include: oSenior management meetings oInterviews with internal subject matter experts oInternal or external communities of practice and/or interest oInternal conferences oFocus groups oExit interviews •Establish methodology, infrastructure, and practice of capturing tacit and explicit knowledge for use oRecording and reporting tools. This may include information systems (such as your staffing software) that record activities and other business processes, meeting notes and related documents, or even audio or video tapes of events oFile storage and access. This may be hard copy files for some information or any form of digital information storage, such as databases and document management systems oEstablish review and validation process for captured knowledge •Establish methodologies and practices for access and use of knowledge oKnowledge databases should be easily accessible and updateable oBusiness information staffing software systems should be able to suggest best practices based on real-time ongoing capture of tacit and explicit information The End Result A full-blown program that addresses both employee retention and knowledge retention may seem to a big task -- one too big to handle in many respects. However, such an initiative -- even one implemented one department or division at a time -- will make your firms' future more manageable. At same time it will focus spotlight on you as a proactive, forward-looking leader who understands big picture. Such a program tells employees that management understands value of employees and their knowledge -- that is both motivating and empowering. -- end -- Resources: •Employee Retention Headquarters: www.employee-retention-hq.com •American Productivity and Quality Center: www.APQC.org •Society of Human Resources Management: www.SHRM.org •Continuity Management: www.continuitymanagement.com •American Staffing Association: www.staffingtoday.net •Bob Nelson: www.nelson-motivation.com
About the Author Phil McCutchen is Marketing Manager for VCG, Inc., the leading provider of staffing software to the staffing industry. He has been with the firm since 1991, and has more than 25 years of marketing experience. For more information: VCG Staffing Software