Unexpected WisdomWritten by Steve Kaye
If you have ever traveled across country by train, you know that meals are served with community seating. That means you can meet new people with every meal.
In late March I took train home (to Southern California) from an engagement in Massachusetts. One evening my meal companions consisted of a very nice couple and a teenager. At first, teenager had little to say. (Parents, does this sound familiar?) But through my questions he told us that he was 16, wanted to be an attorney, and could bench press 325 pounds.
Then I asked him, "What three recommendations would you give to someone in 8th grade about high school?" Without hesitation he gave an answer that all of us can use. Here are his recommendations, with my comments on how they apply to leaders:
1) Watch who you hang out with.
Certainly, your friends define who you are.
Leaders know this and thus build organizations that consist of people who reinforce productive work, discourage destructive behavior, and provide a variety of complementary skills.
A wise leader will direct a person's development by placing person with colleagues who have beneficial characteristics. Similarly, this explains why some leaders work with a coach who provides a contrast to their preferred style.
You can also manage your personal growth by associating with people who have achieved what you aspire to have. For example, one entrepreneur left a mastermind group of millionaires to join a group of multimillionaires.
2) The next four years are very important.
Turnaround or Terminate? How to Deal with "Problem"Written by Anne Alexander
Do you struggle with a "problem" employee? If so, join crowd! Many of my coaching clients - businesses owners or managers - tear their hair out over one or more toxic employees. In our business environment, we tend to recreate dynamics of family we grew up, so no wonder problems develop.
It's amazing often a business owner or manager will endure a "problem" employee, unable to help employee make positive changes and unable to fire them when necessary. Tolerating a problem employee is like walking around with a sliver in your foot - highly irritating, but you can kind of get used to it. Then, when you finally pull it out, you can't believe relief! That relief generally comes in one of two ways: either you and your employee are able to make some mutual improvements, or you part ways.
I recommend a two step approach to this issue. First, you do whatever can be done to turn situation around. Very often, you may have made a few half-hearted attempts to resolve situation, but feel lost at sea about what else can be done. You must address issues directly, calmly and clearly with employee. Expectations must be set, problems and solutions explored. Check in regularly with employee to monitor progress.
On a more powerful level, turnaround can result when you learn your own and your employee's behavioral style. I like to use Platinum Rule assessment, developed by Dr. Tony Alessandra. It's inexpensive ($30 - $50), easy to understand and extremely powerful in helping us understand our own and others' behavior. Your style and this employee's style probably differ. (For more information on Platinum rule, visit: http://www.authentic- alternatives.com/platinumrule.htm )
The Golden Rule advises you to treat others as you would like to be treated. The Platinum Rule advances this to next level and suggests that you treat others as you would like to be treated. Your "problem" employee may be - and probably is - a different style than you. The Platinum Rule shows us four core behavioral styles (Relater, Socializer, Thinker and Director) and gives us many concrete tactics of how we can flex to meet other person's style. I have seen near miracles occur - proverbial light bulbs go off - when my clients use this assessment to better understand themselves and their employees and co-workers.