Remember that house all the trick or treaters just had to get to? The people who lived there not only had their porch light on, they put Halloween decorations up that invited you to come to their door. When you got there, the owners asked you about your costume, and how much candy you’d gotten. And to top it all off, they handed out the regular sized candy bars!! I remember having neighbors like that when I was growing up. Boy, I couldn’t wait to get to their house. Not just because of the “big” candy bars, also because it was just plain fun to see how they’d be dressed up and have the chance to tell them all about my Beggar’s Night.
Now think back to that other house down the street. You know – the one with the porch light off. They were the people who left the lawn chair on their stoop with the bowl of penny candy and the sign that said “Take ONLY one.” You wondered if they really just put the bowl out to show some attempt at handing out candy so their house wouldn’t get TP’ed! Wow, what a bummer…I can tell you I never went back to that house again!
If you asked your employees, am I the leader with the porch light on or off, do you know how they’d answer? It’s an important question. Being an approachable leader, one who is focused on talent, connects with employees and recognizes and rewards strong performance leads to a more engaged team. And employee engagement is important.
There’s lots of research that directly links employee engagement to organizational performance outcomes such as productivity, employee retention, customer retention, and profitability. Gallup consulting has identified twelve key questions that determine associate engagement. Think about how you could influence your employee’s responses to these questions by the type of leadership you practice.
- I know what is expected of me.
- I have the materials and equipment I need to do my work.
- I have the opportunity to do what I do best every day.
- In the last seven days, I have received recognition or praise for doing good work.
- My supervisor, or someone at work, seems to care about me as a person.
- There is someone at work who encourages my development.
- At work, my opinions seem to count.
- The mission or purpose of my organization makes me feel my job is important.
- My fellow employees are committed to doing quality work.
- I have a best friend at work.
- In the last six months, someone at work has talked to me about my progress.
- I have had opportunities at work to learn and grow.
So, if you want better performance from your team, higher employee and customer retention, and increased profitability, ask your associates about their work and their day, recognize their performance, give them opportunities, and by all means, hand out the “big” candy bars instead of the penny candy. Be sure to let your leadership porch light shine!
A gentle reminder for myself and my friends in these hectic, fast-paced times…
As I just finished a grueling, and at times frenzied, three weeks completing a project, I’ve been thinking a lot about these questions:
- What gives me peace?
- How does having a sense of peace influence my productivity?
- Am I a better leader when I am at peace?
- How does being peaceful help me be a better partner, parent, and friend?
I certainly don’t claim to have all the answers. I do feel these are some pretty important questions every person should ask themselves – and work toward finding their own answers.
Here’s why it’s important to discover and practice what gives you peace:
When you are at peace, your mind is at its clearest.
The typical noise and mental clutter we all experience throughout the day is at a minimum. During these times, solutions come more fluently and opportunities seem to dance in front of you.
When you are at peace, your calm influences others.
Ever have one of those days when the deadlines pile up and your heart rate is ever increasing? Then, you encounter that person in a meeting who takes the jacked up energy in the room down just enough for everyone to take a deep breath and approach the work with a renewed sense of calm and focus.
When you are at peace, you are less likely to behave in destructive or self-defeating ways.
You approach others with the tranquility and confidence to be collaborative and authentic. You are also even-tempered and centered enough to approach relationship issues with self-awareness and an open mind.
There are real pluses to increasing the peace you experience in life. And you don’t have to be a “Zen Master” to be at peace. Nor do you have to be perfect at being peaceful.
What’s important is that you make the space in your mind to find the answers to the question “What gives me peace?”
Then honor yourself enough to take some time each day to practice doing those things that work for you.
In peace and productivity,
Everyday, leaders develop awesome strategies that have all the right stuff to blow the roof off their goals. There are plenty of leaders who have top-notch leadership skills to develop a team of employees that collaborates like a symphony and works hard to get results. So with all those things going for great leaders, why don’t more strategies succeed?
Every conversation is an opportunity for you to strengthen your relationship with someone. Changing these simple phrases that we use in our everyday language can have a positive impact on the way we feel and help us achieve the desired outcomes of our conversations. When people feel you are collaborative and supportive, your relationships are enriched. These phrases can help you be more collaborative and supportive.
You became a leader by displaying strong competencies that drive for results and create a competitive edge. You focus on mission critical strategies and leverage relationships. These are all very important and very powerful characteristics of effective leaders.
Simple truth is, if you practice all of these competencies without humility, you will not be a person people want to follow. If you lead with humility, you will actually be a stronger, more powerful leader.
Would you like your employees to live the values of your organization and give that ever-elusive discretionary effort to “wow” your customers? Then you’re going to have to be a transparent leader with a CLEAR style.
How do you know when you’re getting in your own way of succeeding? How can you tell that something you do rubs people the wrong way? When is it time to re-evaluate how effective you really are?
Many of us go day to day without being aware of a particular performance behavior, mannerism or habit that is holding us back or perhaps even annoying the living daylights out of our co-workers. These are commonly called our blind spots – what everyone else can see but we are oblivious to. Opening our eyes to our blind spots (and we all have them) is essential to making breakthroughs in our professional development and can ultimately lead us to greater career success.