Tag Archives: leadership

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    Copy room manners

    Copy Room Manners

    Category:Leadership,ManagementTags : 
    Copy Room Manners

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    AAEAAQAAAAAAAAoUAAAAJDc3NThiOTViLWFhZWEtNGM3Yi1hZDg1LThjZDhiNTBlZDY3Mg Copy Room Manners

    The “As Usual” series

    Content creator & writer, blogger, social and digital media advocate. JB was born with a passion for writing and instructional design. JB is the owner of Radcliff Design.


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    Humility During Times of Adversity

    Humility During Adversity

    Category:Leadership,ManagementTags : 

    Humility During Adversity

    Trying to remain humble and calm during times of adversity is a tough call. Especially when everyone around you is fighting mad, or suffering from some disappointment somewhere in their career or personal life.  A working office environment has emotion and life to it.  You are not immune to what goes on there.  You also are not immune to the politics inside and outside of your office. It would be nice if we could just shut out the political rhetoric – but often it seeps in when we least want it there.

    Add a political campaign cycle to an already fragile office environment and the circumstances are ripe for vindictiveness and strife.  If you don’t believe me, just turn on your television set, and come to work the next morning. Many workers are feeling the politician pressures from within and outside.  A game of tug-of-war or tug-of-wills can and often takes place.

    The tug of war within an office environment quite often only succeeds in oppressing those who are in the middle or lower level tiers.   Within this tier,  is generally the larger chunk of your workforce.  They are the ones that get hit with a wave of disenfranchising rhetoric, genuinely laced with arsenic threats and disallowances.   It is oppressing.

    AAEAAQAAAAAAAAV5AAAAJDk5MmM1N2M0LTZjZmQtNGQ5MS04YTE2LThiM2MyYzFkMzk5YQ Humility During Adversity

    VOTE MY WAY – DO THIS OR ELSE!

    What happens within these tug of war zones,  is you get hit with lower level workers or middle management dogma.

    You deserve better, we all deserve better, but unfortunately, one side does not want to give the call – and the other side is too afraid you will call. It’s a tug of war, and you are the rope.

    Letting go of the rope. 

    As a society If we continue on the path we are headed on as a culture – pretty soon everyone will be opening up their own businesses because no one can get along.   The office environment has become way too toxic, oppressive, and controlling.  People want out, and they are leaving in droves.

    When you talk about diversity and equal rights in the workplace, that is easier said than done.  People for whatever reason – for just being born into a certain family,  have a rooted belief AAEAAQAAAAAAAAYUAAAAJDNjMzkzOThiLTEzNzQtNDc2OC1iMWRiLWE5ZDVkZGE1YWIxYw-207x300 Humility During Adversitysystem.    Thus their value systems are rooted in the very fabric of who and what they are.   It produces their attitudes and ultimately directs their behaviors.  It also tends to direct their political as well as religious viewpoints – those come out as behaviors.

    To say you can desensitize a working population into adopting a value system that is foreign to their belief system is radical thinking in-and-of-itself.

    Many workers do play the game of office politics  – just to survive.   They can walk-the-walk, and talk-the-talk, but they do not hold a common value system with those around them.  It is a game. 

    A person’s personal belief system is not the same as a company’s core value system.   Beliefs can separate us from other people, whereas values can unite us for a cause, like a business.   A business’s core values are what supports its vision, and helps to shape the culture within,  and ultimately form its identity.  That is all good – that is the way it should happen.  It is what is hidden that often stirs the pot, so to speak.

    What is Hiden?

    Political and religious views, as well as lifestyle preferences, are only acceptable at face value to some – and at a very thin surface level.  They can only be accepted as far as one’s beliefs allow. Those beliefs can vary slightly acceptable to greatly acceptable, depending on the individual.  Ripping at someone’s long-held belief system will not get you far.

    Underneath are the deeply held beliefs (roots) of the individual who may or may not adapt to your core values,  or see your point of view.  It then becomes a game of survival or tolerance.   At what level is enough – enough?

    Adopting Core Values 

    Posting an employee notice on the wall is only as good as the paper it is written on unless your core values are solid within your organization.    Some organizations have great success with their employees adopting their core values and visions. Those tend to have a higher moral and ethical workforce.   Others haven’t learned to adapt to a changing real-world environment, and the impact continues to be felt at the base. It takes time – don’t give up.

    At some point, it may become a competitive disadvantage for employers not to seek to adjust its core values.    I acknowledge that there are some businesses that need not change.  For once they change they lose their purpose, or it adversely affects their core values, as well as disrupts their belief system.  Let’s talk about that for a moment.

    QUESTIONS TO ASK YOURSELF

    1. Do your core values remain the same when you go from job-to-job?

    2. Do corporate values change? Have yours changed? Do they need too? What was the outcome of any change, or non-change?

    3. Do you expect to be rewarded for your values? What about your co-worker?

    4. Do your core values present a competitive disadvantage to your company?

    5. What core values do you see others exhibiting? What about your workforce, what do they see you doing?

    6. Does your company’s core values allow you to find a place where you feel “it works for me.”?

    7. Do you ever feel your core values might not work for everyone? How do you deal with that? What if the majority or minority disagree?  Are you open to collaboration? When do you end the conversation and give an affirmative answer – yea or nea?

    A lot of businesses are starting to understand that in a global economy you might need to adjust your core values.  The corporation itself may need to develop an attitude that is more accepting rather than directing in order to compete.

    With many companies outsourcing and setting up offices in different states, as well as internationally, you need to speak the language of business.  But that language may be different than you first thought once you factor in cultural diversity. The first step is acknowledging that cultural diversity exists and that it can be a very good thing.

    See the writing on the wall yet?

    This political year I am seeing splits within many business circles that I have never seen before; that frankly frightens me.  Conservatism is no longer conservatism, and liberalism is no longer liberalism.  These radically changing mindsets are pouring into the working lives of many. Workers are becoming agitated and depressed. They feel they are becoming disenfranchised, as the splits become more prevalent and the American culture starts to erode.  It’s not a good thing.

    There doesn’t seem to be a lot of collaborative efforts in play to help bring a common understanding of the working class needs to the table.   The right sounds more like the left in their anger, and the left strikes out with equal annoyance.   Two waves of anger do not make a positive.   Politics is a great disruptor – but at what cost to American worker? People are afraid of losing their jobs, and others just want a job.

    To the working class, the 2016 political environment has become a war zone, one created to emotionally and psychologically gain control or power over them; to disrupt and seize.   The workforce is concerned that it will become voiceless.    It shouldn’t be a battle to come to terms and find equitable solutions.  Yet, people are angry….. some in the violent sense.  We as a society need to stop fueling that type of anger.

    I hear the voices coming from  working American’s stating, “Damn the establishment!”  But what will you have after you have damned your rights into the hole?  If you can’t find some level of humility during times of adversity, you will either be confused with the outcome you sought and/or disillusioned by the choices of others.

    Trying to stay humble during times of adversity is a tough call

    No one wants to lose their job due to politics or adversity.  Sometimes remaining humble during adversity is the only thing that gets some people by.  But, when you try to put square pegs in round holes,  understand this – at some point, the game is up.

     – checkmate


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    Hiring a doormat doesn't come without pitfalls

    Hiring a doormat doesn’t come without pitfalls

    Category:LeadershipTags : 

    Hiring a doormat doesn’t come without pitfalls

    I debated on writing this one. It gets a little rough in places, and I really don’t like rough opinions. But after talking with an old friend the other day, he convinced me to do it – for him. It is always hard to watch others suffer un-needlessly. To my friend who is feeling the burn, this one is for you.

    Employees are becoming more concerned about being victimized for being themselves, not just for the way they are doing their jobs. It’s a two headed dragon!

    I wonder if doormats are a new phenomenon created by our business culture, or if they have always existed throughout the ages? I am sure they have always been with us – and probably always will be.

    The radical right, and the equally radical left, inside an organization, can and do rip working environments apart. People are getting hit with the doormat coming and going! Here a doormat, there a doormat, everywhere a doormat. Kind of sounds like a children’s nursery rhyme, and we all know the meaning of those rhymes.

    Generally this type of doormat victimization starts at the lower end, or middle management sectors. They rip apart people who would be good workers with their indecisive and critical views points. Basically they run off the busy bees – the truly motivated and often dedicated; the people with all the information about your organization in their heads.

    These radical doormats break internal communications, cause departmental animosity, and breed distrust. That distrust can follow a corporation, and the outward view then becomes a direct reflection of those in power behind it. This level of distrust reaches the communities and business circles you serve, and gives many a reason to not want to do business with your organization. The effects can be long lasting.

    THE OPPOSITE OF DOORMAT

    The happy employee is an engaged employee, even if that engagement is sitting in a cubicle by themselves, effectively working on the day’s task; or running a board meeting, digging ditches, selling tours, or pouring coffee to the masses. They are engaged, motivated to come to work, happy and productive.

    These employees are the opposite of a doormat. You will know when a true doormat joins your operation. People will begin to lose their jobs, be demoted for unknown reasons, and many just leave. Moral collapses and people begin to lose their drive when doormats take over. The happy environment is replaced with one of tyranny and discontent.

    WHAT IS A DOORMAT?

    AAEAAQAAAAAAAAe6AAAAJGZmNzkyYWZjLWJmY2EtNGE2My1iMTMxLTRkZGMxOGQyZmM5Mw Hiring a doormat doesn't come without pitfallsA doormat can be classified as a “yes” man/woman. Never questioning, never confirming, never engaging their higher ups on an issue, and always the first to point a finger;, neglect their own duties; and the first at the water cooler to discuss their dislikes.

    Sometimes they are given a position to appease a nit-picky boss who needs someone who will idolize their every word. Others are hired to return a favor for connections; information; or dare I say, “they were cute or funny”.

    AN INTERVIEW WITH A RECOVERING DOORMAT

    Doormats don’t always know they are doormats. I have an acquaintance who explained it to me this way. “When I was younger, I was able to gain favor from those in higher positions because I turned the other cheek so to speak. Others in the organization were not pleased that I was given a position over them, I was catered too and allowed privileges well above my status. One unhappy co-worker(s) even went as far as to write on the side of a building “my name, followed by the title, Brown Nose Pirate”.

    This acquaintance is now a semi- recovering doormat, and gracefully laughs off the past. He is quick to affirm that he knows how to walk-the-walk, and talk-the-talk, and it really doesn’t bother him to think about taking future positions of the same caliber. It’s money, end of discussion.

    Recovering Doormats. I wonder if there is a place for them to meet?

    DEFINING THE ROLE OF THE DOORMAT

    While I like money as well as the next person, I’m not sure doormat will ever be a title that would stick to me. I have the philosophy that if you are going to make positive changes in this world, you need to take risks. Risk is what business is all about. The type of risk I am referring to, is strategic planning and development of programs that support an organization. Being able to speak freely about those programs to those who make the final decisions – that is important.

    Doormats don’t bring that level of planning to an organization. What they bring can be summed up in the following:

    There are three different levels of doormats:

    • The shy timid doormat
    • The discontent with life doormat
    • The professional doormat

    THE SHY TIMID DOORMAT

    Does anyone even know their real name? They work like a dog day-in and day-out. They keep their heads down and coward when approached with a concern. Like a pup who has been beaten, they are the defeated. Sounds sad, but there are employers who actually seek out these types of employees (in the millions). They work long hours, say nothing, think nothing, and they are often paid little. My heart goes out to these types of doormats. I have worked with a few. I have attempted to re-train them, motivate them, and speak up for them. These people need a strong voice in order to find their own. I have a heart and compassion for the shy timid doormats.

    THE DISCONTENT WITH LIFE DOORMAT (Where the majority of doormats reside)

    I suppose I have been guilty of hiring discontent doormats. Yes, I confess that I have done the dirty deed and hired people who do not contribute to the overall picture in the longer sense. But their jobs were important for a number of reasons:

    • They have menial skills for tasks that are repetitive
    • They don’t ask questions
    • They smile and laugh with me and the janitor equally
    • They didn’t question my authority, and I rewarded them by leaving them alone.

    Even though they did tend to go from department to department stirring up their brand of discontent, it was generally regarding those much higher than my own title, and/or lower than their own. Since I ignored their office chatter and didn’t participate in their brand of office politics, they tended to leave me alone.

    They get the title of doormat because they really don’t do much to try to change their situation. Sometimes I think a few of think like the drama – it is fuel for their aggravation with the world. I’ve seen the discontent doormats in action however. As a force they can be nasty, but they generally run out of rhetoric quickly, and go about their duties. They are good workers – just discontent about life in general. Which brings in my thoughts about the professional doormat.

    THE PROFESSIONAL DOORMAT

    These types of doormats are the sleaziest type of people when it comes to having to work with. They like your pain. They like discontent – they thrive on it. These are the ones that may be educated, and have a higher level of experience, yet they don’t seem to excel when it comes to actual performance. They may look busy, but that is just a rouse. They are busy-being-busy, yet doing nothing. They are catering hand-and-foot to the higher ups. They never would they question the authority of those above them. They pass along information as if it were a weapon to control, and thus lower your status in front of everyone.

    AAEAAQAAAAAAAAbsAAAAJDQzOGVmN2Q0LTQyNWQtNGMzNC04MTQ0LTVlMmJlODE2NTJhYQ-300x210 Hiring a doormat doesn't come without pitfallsTo them, passing along information is power. A power they use effectively to disrupt the moral of an entire operation. Yet they remain fabulous! They are fabulous because they have just absorbed the responsibility of passing along information, that someone above them didn’t want to deal with. They start the gossip, and they feed it daily. If you are not within their office posses pack – your life can be miserable. They contribute to nothing but an environment of fear and discouragement.

    MOVING PAST THE DOORMAT

    AAEAAQAAAAAAAAi9AAAAJGNlZDAzYjczLWI1M2EtNDBiOS05MjBhLTQwOWNkYTg4YWQ2Zg-300x212 Hiring a doormat doesn't come without pitfallsChange is always hard – but not always!

    You might have to lose a few doormats that can’t speak the language of your business, and start hiring people who welcome a challenge to speak in any language!

    Hire people who will offer you insight and worthy content that is relevant to the position they hold. No more glorified data keepers who draw lines under numbers, write and pass pain notices, and disrupt the moral of everyone around them. Rather, begin hiring people who have a common value system that is equal with the vision for your company.

    Hire people who appreciate the shy doormat, understand the discontent door mat, and can speak up against the tyranny of the professional doormat. Hire people who can train and re-train your staff to be a voice for your organization. Don’t hire people who leave your staff frightened of their jobs, and depleted of integrity.

    Here is the tough part. Have the #&$%’s to admit when you recognize that you have a professional doormat that is destroying your vision, and that you hired them! You made a mistake – move on and correct the problem.

    Don’t back down from tyranny – approach it head on, take that risk, invest real man(woman) power into your vision and stay on course. When you stand up to tyranny – you will see how weak it really is.

    There is a saying: A man’s steps are established, and the good delights in his way. Stand up for the weak, do good always- and good will follow you all the days your life.

    ________________________

    To my old friend…. Cool Beans!

     

    ___________________________________________________

     

    AAEAAQAAAAAAAAoUAAAAJDc3NThiOTViLWFhZWEtNGM3Yi1hZDg1LThjZDhiNTBlZDY3Mg Hiring a doormat doesn't come without pitfalls

    The “As Usual” series

    Content creator & writer, blogger, social and digital media advocate. JB was born with a passion for writing and instructional design. JB is the owner of Radcliff Design.

     


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    Leadership Lessons – The Golden Rules

    Category:ManagementTags : 
    1-1 Leadership Lessons - The Golden Rules

    Leadership Lessons - The Golden Rules

    This was originally written for a group of K-12 dancers. It has been modified to reflect the business environment. If a group of K-12 students can learn these lessons, others should be able to learn them as well.

    Learning how to become an effective leader takes time and patience. Leadership involves listening to what others have to say (on both sides) and being able to come up with solutions that are best for your team and/or organization. Leadership should not be self-serving.

    Sometimes your decisions will be challenged. It’s when you are challenged that you shouldn't allow your emotions to show. If it is an explosive situation and your first instinct is to verbally respond – STOP. You have to back away from the situation and allow the matter to cool. The last thing in the world you would want is a confrontation in front of your students, team, parents, or other professionals.

    Being positive – especially when things don’t feel particularly positive, is probably the hardest lesson any leader will ever learn. You have to be able to maintain control without losing control. Sometimes the situation may be so intense you may think you will break. Step around it. There are so many more positive opportunities just around that blob of frustration.

    Step around it. There are so many more positive opportunities just around that blob of frustration.

    GOLDEN RULE

    A golden rule I learned years ago as a student instructor was “as we are meeting deadlines, your students are meeting lifelines. "Lifelines are always greater than deadlines”. Those lifelines are part of the building blocks of life. When faced with deadlines vs. lifelines – Lifelines win!

    As we are meeting deadlines, your students are meeting lifelines

    Being a leader means being a strong role model, and there can be more than one strong role model. You don’t lose any credibility by allowing someone else to prepare the steps leading to a solution. You lose credibility by not having someone there who can instruct others, when you may not be able too. People will give up on you quickly if you are wishy-washy, or a bossy–know- nothing.

    When your verbal attempts to instruct fail, you need someone there to help demonstrate the correct steps along with using the correct technical terminology if any. Don't be a bossy-know-nothing.

    Don't be a bossy-know-nothing

    Sometimes you run into situations where an assistant or manager attempts to over step everything you may say or do. In these instances, you need to take the person aside and make sure they know that in the future – overstepping boundaries will not be allowed. There are consequences.

    That being said, respect is a two way street. Those in the leadership position should understand that the assistant plays a very important role in keeping things running smoothly. Assistants help with backup when you can’t be there. You need each other.

    A word of caution – never confront a staff member in front of others “EVER”. All you will earn by doing that is their resentment instead.

    YOU ARE A MIRROR

    If you find that others are not understanding your direction, show them how it looks – done wrong. Sometimes showing them how bad it looks when done wrong will make them want to straighten it out. Once you have done that, offer to help them break up the steps one by one until they get it right. If you are going to teach, then teach, or get out of the way.

    You are a mirror of what others in your organization will look like. If you can’t give proper instruction – you aren’t helping the organization. Hire someone who can show employees the steps. They should also be using the correct technical terminology whenever giving verbal instructions. Continue to practice this training until your team is polished and can perfect that technique. Don’t allow others to practice bad habits. If you sneak in one bad habit, 100's will follow. That's a rule - don't break it if at all possible.

    ENTHUSIASM

    Enthusiasm goes a long way when administered correctly. If you are sour and always frowning – that probably won’t buy you a lot of brownie points with your team. You should be acknowledging your teams accomplishments with words like “job well done”, “excellent”, “keep going”, “give it all you got”, etc. Walk beside your co-workers; don’t just stand in front and bark out orders. Be checking your teams work from all angles and give constructive feedback to help them. Close up those weak areas, but do it like you would want to be treated.

    Being a leader is a lot of work, so leaders need to be consistent. How dedicated are you to your career? Are you that consistent? Going for the underdog. So many have a need. But determining which ones have that greater need will be your task to learn.