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Archive for the category “organizational dynamics”

Authentic leadership will help attain and retain our Millennial workforce – Discover how to get in front of the coming tsunami hitting our work places


Authentic leadership will help attain and retain our Millennial workforce – Discover how to get in front of the coming tsunami hitting our work places 

Aren’t you getting increasingly sick about the overused phrase authentic leadership? Sure, I have used it here and there too. It was not until I read a few posts online that extensively harped on it before I finally got confused what this really means. More importantly, how can you learn and be authentic?

Along with this phrase come a few more buzz words that are also non-descriptive. The leader ought to be authentic, she should provide contagious energy, she should be engaging the audience’s senses, she should be demonstrating vulnerability and perseverance, she should be exuding confidence, she should be personable, she should be believable, she should be a great listener, and have a load of charisma if at all possible.

Isn’t it hilarious how these adjectives are very descriptive and yet meaningless as they are not really all that exact? It is all subject to individual interpretation and yet every one of us kind of sort of knows what it is supposed to be about. It is hard to pick up on the underlying driver of being authentic and that is helping and serving others. Not so fast though, because first of all a leader must first manage to be heard in the first place.

In short all of the above describe a state of being. As such it proves the adage of all nonverbal communication driving more than half of what people see and ultimately what they HEAR. Roughly a third is your tone of voice and only a small amount of communication is through the actual words that you have chosen to convey your leadership.

It is something that one has to experience personally in order to really understand it and how to learn it and then practice it daily. So what we are talking about here is appealing to the senses of our counterparts: Tone of voice, demeanor, mannerisms, facial expression, gestures, choice of words, etc.

To demonstrate this I have picked two random videos of CEO’s; not just any CEO, but airline ones. Just about all airlines claim how they love their customers and employees and invite us to fly their friendly skies. How does Delta’s own Richard Anderson strike you (Click here for the video)? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HrZmgIaO7Hc Now compare this to Southwest president Colleen Barrett (Click here to watch her in action)? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7BZw_TDCfek

Fascinating, isn’t it? When you unravel why Colleen is fairing so much better you may have noticed the traits that let her stand out:

  • She is totally focused on others and not herself.
  • She shows vulnerability by being moved by the contributions of her team members.
  • She makes the speech all about them and not herself.
  • She makes eye contact with her team members.
  • How many things can you point out?

Why is she so much more believableauthentic – than Richard? At the bottom line it shrinks down to one thing for me and I am hoping that I have stirred your snow globe a little with this again: It’s her servitude. How willing are you to serve others before yourself? Fascinating isn’t it? Leadership really has nothing to do with you at all.

She is going through great lengths making the event to be for her team members and not all about herself. That is so different with Richard. He sits in the middle of everyone’s attention and when you really listen to the customer conversation with him, even that sounds fake and forced.

Did I mention that this makes your more successful too? You have not heard about how greatly successful and admirable Delta Airlines is, right? There is a reason why they are where they are and why Southwest is such an admired and overall successful brand.

Surprising, isn’t it? Being an authentic leader boils down to serving others with your brain, heart, and soul; then it will become organic and long term sustainable. Parking your ego will be the first and most important step you can take. Don’t you like the simplicity of this concept?

Beware of Millennials looking for work places that provide a reason for them spending all of their time working there. The more you embrace the concept of progressively embracing authentic leadership (serving others before yourself), the greater the chance you will attain and retain this wonderfully talented workforce.

Ralf

5 ways of how to deal with people that have a closed mind


5 ways of how to deal with people that have a closed mind 

There are probably a few folks that totally get under your skin. They believe in things that you could never subscribe to and they are vocal and obnoxious about it. You would love to argue your point and arguments with them and yet it is like you are speaking with a rock. They will not listen – ever.

A while ago we had a neighbor who had a problem a good friend of mine who used to rent a room from my parents. This friend had a habit to park his car on the side of the neighbor right in front of his property. One day he summoned Werner (my friend) and proclaimed a no parking zone for him in front of his house. “The water and melting snow cannot flow around your tires and the water keeps creating big puddles”.

I am not sure what that to do with anything, but I was later also subject to the same reasoning. Anyway, Werner did not move his car. One day it snowed hard and when he emerged from his apartment to get into his car he found it blocked in by two piles of snow; one behind and the other in front of the car. The neighbor had had his revenge.

He did not know whom he had messed with. Werner never got mad, he got even. His car was one with built-in hydrostatic suspension. He put it on high and flattened the snow mounds in little time. He lowered it as he plowed into the snow until there was no more snow mound left. Ha! The picture above shows Werner with his “present” for the neighbor. He wrote a heartfelt greeting on it. The material (soft pinewood) had something to do with what the neighbor’s head was made of.

All humorous anecdotes aside, there is a six-step process that has a good chance of working when you encounter really head strong and opinionated folks.

  1. Preach and teach once. Then zip it. Make your point and get out. Chances are that if you are lucky you will impact the person for the occasion, but rarely in general. Spare your nerves with going overboard making points to convince people of how correct you are and they are not.
  2. You always have the chance to ignore the person. In fact, that typically is the best response. No sense getting yourself all worked up just to find out that the person responding to your posts and mails is someone that goes with the populous and not with what is the best and most prudent thing to do.
  3. Love them anyway and show empathy and compassion for them. The vast majority of folks cannot stand if they are being treated nicely by their opponents. Hatred is not the answer; only love will prove to be long term sustainable.
  4. No matter what other people do, sometimes you cannot listen to your and their brain chatter and just focus on what more you can do. Who is affected by anything you do or say?
  5. Have some fun with them. Respond in a witty fashion. Much like Werner, try to be as engaging as possible. Who knows? Perhaps one day you can convince a few people to look into the sky with us.

Ignorant people are a daily fact of life. Do not take that in silence. Make sure that you are heard, but then move on. Do not dwell on it. It will not help you, nor will it really do anything with the one whose mind is closed for the day. Do you have a story to tell with ignorant folks? Would love if you shared it with us. Use the comment field below.

Ralf

Going for the easy money – The top number 1 reason why people and companies fail


Going for the easy money – The top number 1 reason why people and companies fail 

Most enterprises will go out of their way generating profit at the end of each month in order to look good to their share and stakeholders. In fact, whole goal and strategy sessions are designed on the simple premise to stay in the positive numbers.

The kicker is that the “easier” we make things the more complacency sets in, the greater the number of hidden agendas and blind spots there will be. The easier we try making it less we have to stretch and think out of the box. For instance, when we make financial success a goal – the goal – in itself watch what will happen. More promising but less popular and more costly solutions will not be thought of, or if they exist they will never be implemented. This all comes down to merely keeping it to the status quo and thus no longer allowing innovation and risk taking to occur. It is the opposite of what entrepreneurs would want to normally do and be like.

In the case of financial goals they should never be a goal by themselves, but rather the report card (measurement) as to how well everyone did. Do not get me wrong here. Of course there needs to be proper and prudent financial planning in any endeavor, but never ever take the quick route and use this tool in place of a solid vision, mission, and other goals that should describe your future way of being and doing.

Think of how little motivation can be derived of financial goals. That is so much different when you have you and your teams working solid goals that are inspiring because they involve curiosity, courage, risk, venturing into unknown territory, etc. Ultimately that is a lot of fun along the way because it fulfills a mission greater than the sum of all people and parts. So, do you want easy or long lasting success that ultimately leads to significance? Most of the times it may be less popular staying on a tough road, but that’s where you’ll find me. See you there.

The road to success does not have an intersection with the path of least resistance or the off ramp of what is popular. Yet, so many take the sugar rush of a quick fix. In the end they have made it so much tougher reaching a sustainable goal and therefore long lasting success.

Ralf

The exciting change away from B2B to H2H


The exciting change away from B2B to H2H 

I am totally stoked about this newest change away from the old ways. B2B, or Business to Business, is supposed to describe the almost clinical relationship between businesses while they interact. It fails to recognize that living and breathing folks perform all the necessary transactions. These people have dreams and they look to be inspired. In fact, the younger the workforce is getting, the more important purpose is. That also means that the organizational purpose is gaining importance.

Businesses do not do business with businesses. People do all of it. That is where H2H, or Human to Human enters the spotlight. The future is bright for business leader-managers realize that the central focus is not the organization or money. It is the human, the individual that buys the service and goods. It is people who help make and provide them. Money will follow this trail and the organization will grow – and it will do this all but automatically.

Look for organizations that foster a culture of collaboration and transparency. The ones that will put the individual and his / her competencies in the forefront will also make the customer better off. Work to live, do not live to work.

Ralf

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