Your Role in Job Satisfaction

June 14, 2018

Graduation season is upon us and college graduates are seeking to put their newly acquired knowledge to work by building skills and experience in order to pay off student loans, establish careers, and begin an enduring and satisfying adult life.

Much of overall satisfaction with life comes from our relationships with partners, family and friends. But when we spend 40 years or more in the workplace, we should seek to find careers that provide not only a decent salary, but also fully engage us to bring out our best.

Regardless of the type of work, we each need to take individual responsibility for job satisfaction because—much like managing our physical health—it’s too important and impossible to outsource to anyone else.

It takes many things to find fulfillment at work, but they likely fall into either intrinsic or extrinsic rewards. Intrinsic rewards are those that you feel because you are fulfilled merely by the work itself. You need nothing or no one to provide you with any accolades or financial compensation for doing the job. Extrinsic rewards are those where you are given something by someone else. This could be in the form of financial incentives or in recognition.

In Necessary Dreams, author Anna Fels writes that feeling fulfilled at work requires two things: mastery and recognition. She says mastery is about expertise and the sheer enjoyment you feel when you do something you value really well. It provides meaning and satisfaction. The effort and reward are both internal.

As I wrote about in a previous post, Daniel Pink, author of the book Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us, says the key to tapping into intrinsic interests is through autonomy, mastery and purpose. These are three things that you alone are responsible for. If they are not found in your current role, it is your responsibility to find ways to get them. This could mean helping to redefine your role, taking on more responsibility, delegating things off your plate, or changing departments or companies if necessary.

The important thing to remember is that your supervisor is not going to provide you with the intrinsic motivation you may be seeking. And, for those of you just beginning your careers, you will likely need to be patient, since autonomy, mastery and purpose are unlikely to come in your first job. Just be certain you are on a path that will enable you to reach these intrinsic rewards as you grow in your chosen career.

The second essential element for workplace fulfillment, according to Fels, is being recognized for what you do. Recognition is an extrinsic reward because it comes from outside of you. Someone else needs to recognize you. All too often, companies think of extrinsic rewards as confined to high salaries and generous benefit packages. More enlightened organizations see the importance of things like flexible work hours, fairness in hiring and promoting practices, the ROWE (Results Only Work Environment) human resource strategy and unlimited vacation time as extrinsic rewards. These are all ways companies can demonstrate that they recognize employees as important and valuable partners.

Perhaps the easiest, cheapest and most important form of an extrinsic reward, however, is the simple acknowledgement of the good work an employee has done. Simply stating aloud appreciation for a job well done does wonders for fulfilling the recognition element. This shouldn’t take the place of promotions and salary increases, of course, but it should definitely be a part of the mix. And it should be done regularly.

This recognition should be done face-to-face whenever possible and it needs to be sincere. It is also best—when appropriate—if it can be done in public. Nothing boosts engagement, morale and overall job satisfaction more than this simple human interaction.

You may ask: If this extrinsic reward comes from outside of you, how is it then your responsibility for achieving job satisfaction? It turns out that you can do a lot to help encourage extrinsic rewards. Regardless of your role, you have an obligation to communicate what it is you need from your supervisor and from your organization in order to succeed.

If you need more feedback, be sure you let them know this. If there are things beyond feedback that will further motivate you, let your supervisor and leadership throughout the organization know this as well. You will likely be speaking for many of your coworkers as well. This is information that will benefit you as well as the entire organization.

Whether you’re a recent college graduate or have been in the workforce for a while and frustrated you are not finding job satisfaction, perhaps it’s time to assess the intrinsic and extrinsic factors. Determine which it is and then work on doing your part to get what you need in order to improve your satisfaction. Don’t expect or wait for others to do what is yours to do.

Leadership and the To-Don’t List

May 9, 2018

At some point in our careers we have to face the fact that it may not be our lack of skills, experience or overall accomplishments, but specific behaviors that may prevent us from getting promoted to a higher position.

What often defines those who are able to rise to the ranks of leadership is the self-awareness to recognize how certain behaviors are holding them back and the courage to do something about them. Though these behaviors may have helped you get to where you are, they may be the very things holding you back from going further.

It’s not so much what you do, but what you need to stop doing, according to leadership coach and author Marshall Goldsmith.

“The higher you go in the organization, the more your problems are behavioral,” according to Goldsmith and Mark Reiter in What Got You Here Won’t Get You There. “The higher you go, the more your issues are behavioral.”

And changing one’s behavior is extremely difficult. Consider new year’s resolutions, exercise commitments and diets that don’t lead to successful outcomes.

As a leadership coach, I work with those in—or hoping to reach—leadership positions, and most often it is not a lack of business or technical skills, but certain behaviors that are holding them back. And often it is not so much things they aren’t doing, but things they need to stop doing.

The great management consultant and author Peter Drucker said: We spend a lot of time teaching leaders what to do. We don’t spend nearly enough time teaching them what to stop.

In every performance review, employees should learn what they are seen as doing well and should continue doing; what they are not yet doing and should begin doing; and finally what they are doing, but should stop doing. For whatever reason, this last one often gets left off unless the behaviors are especially egregious.

This gets us to the To Don’t list. Unlike the To-Do list, the To Don’t list should include behaviors you need to stop doing as they are undermining your performance and your ability to grow in your leadership potential. This list should certainly contain items brought up in your performance review because they are the most obvious to your supervisor. But they may not be as obvious to your supervisor or called out in a way that can be helpful to you.

One way to compile this To Don’t list would be to review feedback from performance reviews, 360 assessments, and other ways you have been evaluated. Look for themes and consider not simply dismissing those items that you don’t consider important to change.

Take for example sarcasm. This is a trait that can come across to many as funny and perhaps lighten the mood in certain situations. Sarcasm is actually a passive-aggressive form of communication that can undermine trust. If your identity is associated with sarcasm, you might consider how this may undermine your ability to be seen as a leader.

Though you may claim that sarcasm or another behavior is just who you are and can’t be that bad if it’s gotten you this far. Consider that certain traits that may not have been a problem in getting to this point are actually preventing you from rising higher because leadership has different demands and requires different behaviors.

This can be things like speaking instead of listening, commanding instead of inspiring, making excuses instead of owning up, or clinging to the past rather than letting go that prevent would-be leaders from rising to the C-suite.

It’s worth taking the time to make your To Don’t list and treat it as importantly as you do your To Do list. First identify and write down those behaviors you wish to change. Then focus on changing them. And in the same way you are more likely succeed with your exercise or diet, enlist others to provide encouragement, support and hold you accountable.

Humility in Leadership

September 14, 2017

In my work as a leadership coach, I find that clients who make the most progress reaching their full potential are those who are able to acknowledge their weaknesses, and are secure in accepting the help to overcome them. This requires humility, and growing one’s humility leads to greater leadership.

The word humility is often defined as low self-esteem, self-degradation and meekness. When adults are asked to recount an experience of humility, they will often tell a story about a time when they were publicly humiliated. The word is weighted in weakness and negativity.

Humility is ultimately about being honest: Seeing and accepting yourself for who you really are and projecting that outward. This means obtaining an accurate understanding of your own strengths and weaknesses as well as the courage and tenacity to continue to grow. Know thyself and keep a beginner’s mind.

Humility is not about self-abasement or devaluing your own worth. In fact, to be genuinely humble requires enormous self-respect, according to Bob Burg and John David Mann in their book The Go-Giver Leader: A Little Story About What Matters Most in Business. “Self-respect is where every other kind of respect comes from. Respect from others is a reflection, not the source.”

If you want respect from others, you must first respect yourself. Trust won’t come from others until you fully trust yourself. This is an important point as you cannot seek something from others that you don’t already feel on your own. As the authors point out: You can’t ask the moon to make the sun shine.

“People with humility do not think less of themselves; they just think about themselves less,” writes Ken Blanchard in his book The One Minute Manager. Humility is the very opposite of narcissism, hubris and other forms of pride.

Yet far too often, being humble—like being vulnerable—is absent from most descriptions of what makes a great leader. And you won’t find humility taught in business schools.

As I wrote in an earlier post, humility in leadership requires listening well, admitting mistakes and promoting others. In this selfie-obsessed, social media-focused time we find ourselves, it certainly seems to run counter to cultural norms. And perhaps that is exactly why we need it so desperately in our leaders.

Increasing one’s humility is a challenging process. George Washington struggled his entire life to become and stay humble. As a young man, his ego was enormous and his ambition outstripped his many accomplishments. Yet he remained vigilant in his quest for this virtue.

How can you spot a leader who is not so humble? He or she is very likely intellectually arrogant and claims to have all the answers, and may even be threatened by new information that runs counter to what they already believe.

Researchers Bradley Owens and David Hekman studied humble leadership in every area from the military to manufacturing to ministry. They concluded that the hallmark of a humble leader is his or her willingness to admit their own limitations and mistakes.

As Owens and Hekman wrote in Academy of Management Journal, “Our findings suggest that humility appears to embolden individuals to aspire to their highest potential and enables them to make the incremental improvements necessary to progress toward that potential.”

It should come as little surprise then that humble leaders of organizations have less employee turnover, higher employee satisfaction, and better overall company performance.

Humility is what pushes us to become our best selves. And that is important in your growth as a leader.

STEM Alone Won’t Be Enough

May 21, 2017

In education today there is a focus to deliver qualified graduates to take on careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). Not only is this where the opportunities are today and likely in the future, but there is a tremendous shortage of qualified Americans to fill the number of STEM jobs currently available.

But a bachelor’s or master’s degree in a STEM field alone may not be enough. That’s because the ability to thrive in the workplace is more often dependent on interpersonal skills that have nothing to do with STEM. These soft skills may include things like cooperation, collaboration, communication, flexibility and empathy.

“Most good middle-class jobs today—the ones that cannot be outsourced, automated, roboticized, or digitized—are likely to be what I would call stempathy jobs,” writes Thomas L. Friedman in his book Thank You for Being Late: An Optimist’s Guide to Thriving in a World of Accelerations. “These are jobs that require and reward the ability to leverage technical and interpersonal skills—to blend calculus with human (or animal) psychology, to hold a conversation with Watson to make a cancer diagnosis and hold the hand of a patient to deliver it, to have a robot milk your cows but also to properly care for those cows in need of extra care with a gentle touch.”

These social skills may have been taught or modeled at home, yet are sorely missing in many workers with STEM careers. Whether people have forgotten these skills or simply choose to no longer demonstrate them in the workplace, it is a problem.

As a consultant and coach working with a variety of people in STEM organizations, I can attest that it is not technical competency or business aptitude that is often missing in many workers. In fact, it is the interpersonal skills that are often frustrating directs, coworkers and supervisors, and hampering the careers of these professionals.

According to a 2013 research study by Oxford’s Martin School, 47 percent of American jobs are at high risk of being taken by computers within the next two decades.

“Nobody cares what you know, because the Google machine knows everything,” Friedman said. The future, he argues, is about what we can do with what we know. It is our humanity and our empathy that make us uniquely different from computers.

This humanity is something we should embrace and use to our advantage rather than downplay as insignificant. It is also the very best way to protect your livelihood from being shortcut by a computer taking over your job.

Showing up in the workplace not only with our technical expertise, but also with compassion for one another is important in order to thrive individually and collectively. This means actively demonstrating cooperation, collaboration, communication, flexibility and empathy. Only in this way can STEM professionals truly reach their full potential.

Three Steps to Effectively Using 360 Feedback

May 5, 2017

If you are lucky enough to receive a 360-degree feedback survey to help you grow in your effectiveness within an organization, it’s vitally important that you do something with the results.

Constructive feedback from peers, direct reports, and bosses enable you to confirm and capitalize on your strengths and to neutralize your weaknesses in order to become a more effective leader. When taken seriously, this feedback can be especially instructive and help you reach your potential.

All too often, however, the data collected is read and then promptly put away in a file cabinet where it’s forgotten. This contributes to what is often viewed as a waste in leadership development programs.

A 2012 Study found that American companies spend almost $14 billion annually on leadership development. Much of this is wasted because there is too much attention spent on gathering data or delivering information (e.g., classroom settings) and not nearly enough in planning and executing continuous improvement and accountability.

Critics may say 360 feedback surveys are not objective and therefore may not be reliable. While it’s true that the responses are subjective to the person doing the scoring, this doesn’t mean the results are not relevant or reliable. When 15 to 20 of your colleagues agree that you have a difficult time delegating, these subjective opinions are, in fact, a valid indicator of your workplace behavior.

The data collected can sometimes turn out to be contradictory, but this too can be instructive. If, for example, your direct reports all agree you are stellar at influencing and persuading, but your CEO says otherwise, it doesn’t mean you should discount the CEO’s perspective. It means that when presenting in front of the CEO you may not be as confident, comfortable or effective as when you’re presenting to your staff.

Ideally, all of your colleagues and direct reports would voice their perspective on your strengths and weaker areas in a direct and constructive manner. But we don’t live and work in this ideal world. The survey can often be a useful way to begin a conversation.

The information you receive in results of a 360 survey can often confirm what you already know and, more importantly, contradict or surprise what you thought you knew. This should be taken and used instructively to help you to grow. Constructive feedback is not always easy to hear and often requires a coach or manager to help you develop a plan for your learning as well as hold you accountable to it.

In my experience analyzing and delivering feedback from such surveys, most of my clients find the information accurate or at least can find a kernel of truth in the responses they receive. In this way, the individual is often able to see and accept what may have previously been a blind spot for them.

In many cases, the client seeing a behavioral attribute rated particularly low by so many colleagues can help motivate him or her to make changes. This is where the guidance of a coach or manager can be especially useful in helping to navigate a successful path to growth.

The most effective process to build on the feedback is to 1) Create goals specifically around weaker areas; 2) Develop a plan for how to accomplish such goals; 3) Have someone hold you accountable for achieving the goals.

SMART Goals

By taking the low scoring areas and building SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-bound) goals around them, the individual has something to work on. Writing this down and keeping it front and center keeps it actionable.

Development Plan

Once the goals are written, the next important step is to develop a plan for how to go about achieving them. Such a plan should document the necessary resources, knowledge and skills, mindsets, settings in which to practice new behaviors, and the specific individuals you will rely on for support and review.

Accountability

Few of us are disciplined enough to achieve such behavioral goals without another person holding us accountable. This is where the person’s manager (Chairman of the board in the case of a CEO) comes in. By being completely transparent with a Development Plan, the person’s boss can then encourage, support, direct and, most importantly, hold the individual accountable for the achievement of such goals.

Like any leadership development program, a 360-feedback survey is only helpful when it is combined with follow-up action. And the best way to learn anything new is not simply by reading, but by putting into action what has been learned. This can be especially challenging with regard to behavioral skills and therefore requires the three steps highlighted above.

Know thyself by taking the 360 feedback as a measure of where you are perceived to be today. Then take the appropriate steps to move this learning into actionable steps to implement behavioral changes necessary to become a better leader.

Learning Skills: Knowing vs. Doing

June 17, 2016

So often knowledge and skills are linked together as a single unit. And while there is certainly a strong link between what we know and what we can do, these terms need to be uncoupled in order to better understand them.

The knowledge we acquire is a direct result of our learning through school, reading books and trade journals, attending training programs and seminars, etc. Staying on top of the latest research and thinking in our professional domain is vital to becoming and remaining successful.

Skills are what we are able to do with this knowledge, yet it doesn’t necessarily follow from our knowledge acquisition alone. Theory and practice are different: just witness fresh college graduates joining the workforce. But it’s not only in newcomers where this shows up since skills, like knowledge, need to be continually developed in order for each of us to stay current.

Knowledge Transfer vs. Skills Training

So how do you learn and improve your skills? Is it wrapped up in training programs promoted as “skills training,” yet delivered for the most part as knowledge transfer?

When looking at how employees are trained, there is often a tendency to focus on knowledge rather than skills. The primary reason is tradition and convenience, and because it is much easier to present knowledge to a large group of people rather than set up conditions under which these people can develop skills through practice.

Training & Discretionary Spending

The amount of money companies spend on training is often a good barometer of economic activity— when companies are growing, they increase spending on training; when they are slowing down, they cut back. Training is the most discretionary of all corporate spending.  And the larger the company, the more likely it is to invest in training and development.

In 2012, according to the Association for Talent Development (formerly ASTD), US companies spent more than $164 billion on training and development. And according to the “2014 Corporate Learning Factbook,” US spending on corporate training grew by 15% over the previous year—the highest growth rate in the previous seven years.

This increase in spending on training is not only associated with growing economic activity, but also due to a skills gap. In fact, more than 70% of surveyed organizations stated this “capabilities gap” is one of their top five challenges.

Skill Practice Yields Learning

While knowledge can be fed into the brain to be stored and retrieved as necessary, skills need to be immediately practiced in order for them to be truly learned and retained. Today there is far too little effective skills training in the corporate world.

Skills training needs to be taught differently than knowledge training. The teacher needs to be less the “sage on the stage” and more of a “guide on the side.” Some examples include:

  • Programs and classes that are experiential where students actively practice a skill as a way to truly learn it. A particular skill is demonstrated by the instructor, then immediately practiced by students where they can be corrected as necessary. This can be done outside of the workplace where students can first gain competence along with confidence. Useful for improving public speaking or presentation skills, for example.
  • Executive Coaching is an excellent way to uncover issues or concerns, educate why they are ineffective, and then help change behavior through practicing new skills in the workplace environment. Beginning with the coach’s suggestions on alternative approaches, the client can then try out new behaviors in the workplace. Through reflection and direct feedback with corrections and/or modifications, the client can further refine practice of the new skill. Especially useful for improving communication, conflict negotiation, and increasing overall executive presence.

In their book Peak: Secrets from the New Science of Expertise, authors Anders Ericsson and Robert Pool discuss what they call “deliberate practice” where the focus is solely on performance and how to improve it. Whether it’s to become a grandmaster chess champion, a concert violinist, a professional golfer or a successful business leader, quality skill development won’t be found in a book, online seminar, or traditional training course. It will come through this deliberate practice.

According to Ericsson and Pool, this deliberate, purposeful practice requires:

  • Getting outside your comfort zone — “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.” Neale Donald Walsch
  • Doing it in a focused way with clear goals and a plan for reaching them — “A goal without a plan is just a dream.” Dave Ramsey
  • Finding a way to monitor or measure your progress — “What gets measured gets managed.” Peter Drucker
  • Maintaining your motivation — “People say motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing. That’s why we recommend it daily.” Zig Ziglar

In the same way learning to play the piano requires music theory, it also requires continually putting fingers on the keyboard in order to enable muscle memory, among other things. We have to stop thinking that simply hearing, reading, or watching something will enable us to learn or improve a skill.

Skill development requires going beyond knowing to actually doing. It requires deliberate, focused attention that stretches us just beyond where we’re comfortable. It demands continual monitoring and adjustments. And the motivation to keep you continually moving forward.

Why Hire an Executive Coach

October 9, 2015

Companies used to engage executive coaches to help fix toxic behavior demonstrated by their top leaders. Today, most coaching is instead deployed in order to develop the capabilities of high-potential performers, including directors and senior managers. Coaching is no longer seen as an aspirin, but as a vitamin.

An ever-increasing pace of change requires leaders to quickly develop while on the job. Professional development programs or training that take the leader out of the organization to focus on general theories rather than the immediate day-to-day challenges are no longer sufficient.

Using 360-degree feedback is a valuable way to gather data and report back to the individual leader. This feedback has been found to stick better when the leader works with an unbiased external professional to create sustained progress based on that feedback.

Coaching provides a way to use the feedback as a springboard to formulate actionable S.M.A.R.T. goals and an individual development plan to bring about sustained behavioral change. Working in close partnership with a coach, the leader can then be given direction and support as well as be held accountable to meeting these goals.

There are now nearly 50,000 professional coaches worldwide representing about $2 Billion in revenue, according to a 2012 ICF Global Coaching Study.

Coaching is no longer limited to C-suite executives in big companies as those of all size and type now realize the importance of raising leadership capacities of high performers throughout the organization.

Many reasons exist for hiring an executive coach, including:

  • Uncover blind spots
  • Improve leadership presence
  • Improve communication skills
  • Improve interpersonal skills
  • Make sustained behavioral changes
  • Assist with a new leadership role
  • Help navigate rapid company growth

Bottom line: a coach can assist whenever you desire to grow as a leader.

A coach can be professional development expert (e.g., leadership development, emotional intelligence, performance management) who provides guidance, insight and challenges your thinking. The coach serves as a confidant and trusted advisor on whom you can fully rely upon. When the coach is external, he or she can serve as an objective outside resource to deliver tough messages those on the inside may not be able to do.

The best coaches serve as partners to their clients not because they know the specific details of your particular business, but because they know people, relationships, organizations and how to bring about behavioral change. They can help you with the interpersonal aspects of leading.

A coach can be especially helpful when you are struggling to best manage yourself when you engage with others.

But you also need to be ready to be coached. Those who are coachable are able to readily share their experience. They know their strengths and are able to accept their weaknesses. They are also capable of taking behavioral risks.

Making behavioral change is hard because it’s not instinctual and it is counter to the way we normally behave. It also becomes especially challenging when under stress, which is when it also matters most.

Perhaps one of the most important aspects to consider when choosing to hire a coach is whether the sponsors can be counted on. There may be no better link to coaching effectiveness than whether or not leadership either those above or along side the client are on-board with and supportive of the coaching effort.

As Marshall Goldsmith and Howard Morgan wrote in an article titled “Leadership is a Contact Sport,” leadership is a relationship not between a coach and “coachee,” but between the leader and colleague. It is vitally important that those stakeholders surrounding the one being coached are involved in order for coaching to succeed. Coaching cannot exist in a vacuum.

The ultimate goal of coaching is not dependency on the coach or his or her colleagues. The goal is self-reliance and therefore the one being coached needs to be committed and disciplined.

When there’s a good match between leader and coach, clearly defined goals, a roadmap that leads to behavioral change, commitment to the process, and supportive, involved stakeholders, coaching can be extremely valuable in making more effective leaders.

Successful Behavioral Change Linked to Values

September 23, 2015

Nothing will make people change their behavior—no matter how detrimental—until they can see how it is in conflict with their own value system. That alone motivates us toward successful change.

As a leadership coach working with mid-level managers, directors and C-suite executives, much of my work is helping clients change their behavior in order to become more effective leaders. And changing one’s behavior is hard work.

That’s because our behavior is a part of our identity and we defend it by saying it has worked for us to this point. Why change?

Besides, we don’t have to think about our behavior; we simply react. Therein lies the problem. Instead of reacting, we need to take time to respond.

Reacting is action without thought. Responding is action after thought. Unless you’re on the basketball court with the shot clock running down, you probably have a few moments to contemplate your response before acting. Take this time to contemplate your usual behavior, and then perhaps alter your natural and instinctual way of reacting to respond more appropriately.

But this resistance to change is also deeply rooted in our individual value system.

In his book What Got You Here Won’t Get You There, Marshall Goldsmith wrote: “We obey this natural law: People will do something—including changing their behavior—only if it can be demonstrated that doing so is in their own best interests as defined by their own values.”

Our values ultimately guide all our actions and they largely determine the decisions we make. Therefore, as a coach, it’s important for me to identify those behaviors that are out of alignment with the leader’s values in order to secure buy-in.

Goldsmith found that the higher one goes in an organization, the more his or her issues are likely to be behavioral.

In fact, he lists more than 20 such behaviors that even the greatest leaders need to stop doing in order to be more effective. These include things like: 5) Starting with NO, BUT, HOWEVER; 9) Withholding information; 16) Not listening; 17) Failing to express gratitude.

These detrimental behaviors often remain hidden because, while they may be obvious to others, they can be a blind spot for the leader. And we have become very adept at seeing only our best selves.

We judge ourselves based on our intentions and we judge others on how they make us feel, according to social psychologist John Wallen. This disconnect from seeing how our behavior impacts others can keep us from being aware of our blind spots.

The blind spot is an area a coach can help uncover and provide a roadmap for how to change. Results from a 360 analysis and other assessment tools enable the leader to gain perspective and challenge his or her previous assumptions. After seeing and accepting the data, he or she must then commit to the behavioral change.

Without this commitment, no measurable improvement is likely to occur. That’s because no one can make us change our behavior unless we want to. And that’s why the direct link must be made to the individual’s own values.

This link to our own sense of who we are and what we represent motivates us to change like nothing else. When a coach points out how the detrimental behavior is in direct conflict with the leader’s own values, it can help fire up the desire and commitment to make the change.

Integrity is a word thrown around a lot in job interviews and on corporate value statements, but to really live with integrity means to act according to the values, beliefs and principals you claim to hold dear.

You cannot behave in a way that is counter to those values, beliefs and principles without the risk of jeopardizing your integrity. Your behavior is therefore a direct reflection of just how much integrity you truly have.

When our behavior undermines our leadership effectiveness, it’s time to see and accept the compromised connection to our values, and commit to change. Only then can we succeed in making real change in our behavior that will lead to a successful outcome.

Retaining Your Top Talent

March 27, 2013

Now that the U.S. economy is beginning to show signs of life and companies are looking to hire again, it’s important to remember that this also opens the door for existing employees to explore their options elsewhere.

The last thing you want now is to lose your top talent to competitors. But if you don’t focus on the things that are important to these employees, you may find that they will indeed leave for greener pastures.

According to a recent CareerBuilder survey, nearly one-third of employers (32 percent) report that top performers left their organizations in 2012 and 39 percent are concerned that they’ll lose top talent this year. And while two-thirds of workers stated they are generally satisfied with their jobs, one quarter said they will change jobs in 2013 or 2014.

More than 3,900 full-time workers nationwide participated in the survey that was conducted online by Harris Interactive November 2012. The survey explored which job factors are most important to today’s workers.

“What determines job satisfaction is not a one-size-fits-all, but flexibility, recognition, the ability to make a difference and yes, even special perks, can go a long way,” said Rosemary Haefner, Vice President of Human Resources at CareerBuilder. “Being compensated well will always be a top consideration, but we’re seeing work-life balance, telecommuting options and learning opportunities outweigh other job factors when an employee decides whether to stay with an organization.”

A better job title is not important to more than half of workers (55 percent), however, upward mobility is key to job satisfaction and employee retention. Other things more important than job title include:

  • Flexible schedule – 59 percent
  • Being able to make a difference – 48 percent
  • Challenging work – 35 percent
  • Ability to work from home – 33 percent

Not surprisingly, nearly three quarters of workers reported that salary increases are the best way to boost employee retention while 58 percent pointed to improved benefits. Other actions workers said employers should take to reduce voluntary turnover include:

  • Provide flexible schedules – 51 percent
  • Increase employee recognition (awards, cash prizes, company trips) – 50 percent
  • Ask employees what they want and put feedback into action – 48 percent
  • Increase training and learning opportunities – 35 percent

Three areas I want to focus on include flexibility, being able to make a difference, and effective managers.

Flexibility
As I’ve written about previously, the flexibility to do the work when and where people want is an important way to stimulate employee engagement.

The premise of Results Only Work Ethic or ROWE is that employees are paid for results rather than hours worked. This provides both the freedom for employees and the results for employers. ROWE is based on the assumption that employees will do more and better work when given the latitude to decide how and when it is done.

In order to do this, of course, requires that these results are closely tracked and measured. If companies can do this and also trust their employees not to take advantage of the flexibility, then they should provide an opportunity for many to work at home.

Making a Difference
When it comes to being able to make a difference, employers need to continually remind workers the importance of their individual and collective contributions. Ensure that no matter the position, every person in every company knows how their contribution leads to the success of the organization. All of us can lose sight of this the further we are from the customer or the end result of our individual efforts.

Having a boss who reminds us of the benefit of our direct contribution can mean the difference between job satisfaction and the need to look elsewhere.

Effective Managers
Another thing to keep in mind is that people are attracted to and seek jobs at companies based on their reputation. On the other hand, people leave companies because of a bad boss. Although it may not show up directly in the research due to fear of retribution, many employees choose to leave a company not because they want better compensation, but because they don’t like their boss.

This dislike could be based on many factors, but it is worth looking into before it becomes an epidemic. Many managers and directors simply never got adequate training and instruction on how to be effective at leading people.

Talented people won’t let an incompetent or unfair manager stand in their way of job satisfaction, and will move on if necessary.

Ensure that your managers and directors know how to motivate and lead people in a way that brings increased productivity without sacrificing employee engagement. This may require training, mentoring, coaching or other interventions that are vital to keeping your top talent.

Don’t let your top talent leave now that the economy is improving. Instead, determine how you can provide what your employees need to increase overall productivity while also what they want to raise employee engagement. Then they will stay.

Managing Accountability

June 8, 2011

“Accountability breeds response-ability.” — Stephen R. Covey.

Many of the organizations I see today reflect our society’s tendency to blame other people, act like a victim, and generally not take responsibility for our own actions. This lack of accountability is a problem in the workplace because it is unproductive, it negatively impacts employee engagement and it leads to poor results.

A productive workplace requires every employee to be held accountable for his or her actions. This begins with the leader and it needs to be modeled and practiced in all employee supervision.

In Denny F. Strigl’s new book “Managers, Can You Hear Me Now? Hard Hitting Lessons on How to Get Real Results,” the former CEO and president of Verizon Wireless offers many lessons on how managers fail and how they can improve.

Specifically, Strigl sees nine reasons managers struggle:

  1. They fail to build trust and integrity
  2. They have the wrong focus
  3. They don’t model or build accountability
  4. The fail to consistently reinforce what’s important
  5. They overrely on concensus
  6. They focus on being popular
  7. They get caught up in their self-importance
  8. They put their heads in the sand
  9. They fix problems, no causes

What I see common in all of these is that they are about specific behaviors. It’s no wonder research has shown that the single most important factor in success is not education, intelligence, experience and technical expertise. It is behavior.

Exceptional managers create positive results by specific behaviors that are consistently repeated day in and day out until they become a habit.

Accountability is the specific behavior that stands out for me and Strigl has what he calls eight accountability techniques that can be helpful.

1.      The Surprise Visit – Hopefully this will catch employees doing something well and provides an opportunity to commend them. However, it also helps managers identify what’s not being done well and rectify it right then and there before it can be covered up.

2.      The Unexpected Follow-Up Phone Call – When someone on your staff tells you something they are working on, don’t let it slide until the next time he or she brings it up. Make an unscheduled call and ask them about the progress to show you listened and are holding them accountable for it

3.      Coaching – As a manager, there is a coaching opportunity in every interaction with your staff that can have accountability attached to it. Practice coaching with accountability included until it becomes an instinctive management habit and is a part of every interaction.

4.      The 5:15 Report – This is a simple reporting system should take no more than 5 minutes for you to read and 15 minutes for an employee to prepare. Examples of what to include in such a report are: progress on goals, plans and pojects; emerging long-term issues; emerging short-term problems; improvement ideas; accomplishments achieved; business opportunities; unexpected events.

5.      The Performance Agreement – This is essentially a method for documenting what a manager and direct report agree the employee will accomplish over a specific period of time. To be effective, it should be simple and leave no room for misunderstanding. This can help directly measure one’s accountability.

6.      The Operations Review – This enables senior level managers the ability to review all functions within an organization, the performances of specific managers of those functions, the results managers have achieved, and the plans they have to reach future goals. It demonstrates accountability organization-wide.

7.      The Performance Appraisal – Often dreaded by both managers and employees, this should be a fine opportunity to review 1) the goals the employee met or exceeded; 2) the goals the employee has not met; 3) the manager’s recommendations concerning what the employee should do to meet his or her goals. It should be a helpful conversation that encourages accountability.

8.      The Performance Improvement Plan – This plan clarifies issues the employee is encountering or goals that he or she is missing and sets up a course of action for improvement. For the employee this can be a wake up call. The manager must be helpful, set a clear deadline, make it measurable, and support the employee through the process.

Exceptional managers are able to delegate accountability to their staff and remain accountable themselves. This accountability must be modeled continually in word, attitude and action.

In the same way children will ignore parents’ words when their behavior does not match, employees constantly monitor their manager’s behaviors to find congruence.

“When a manager is not accountable, commitments slide,” writes Strigl. “Decisions don’t get made. Responsibilities are not fulfilled. Worst of all, results are not delivered.”

And accountability is the tool that enables managers to deliver results, says Strigl.

What about you and your organization? Are you and the people who report to you held accountable? Is accountability a core value in your workplace?

Integrity First and Foremost

April 13, 2010

“I look for three things in hiring people. The first is integrity, the second is intelligence, and the third is a high energy level. But, if you don’t have the first, the other two will kill you.” Warren Buffett

These days the word integrity is thrown around almost as often as the word awesome. And in the same way few things can be accurately described as awesome, I find few of our celebrated leaders demonstrate integrity.

Witness the news of the past few weeks where countless celebrities, sports stars, government officials, and business people demonstrated a lack of integrity in their behavior. Are we expecting too much out of these media-hyped people?

Integrity is defined as an adherence to moral and ethical principles, soundness in moral character or honesty. And unlike other knowledge and skills of leadership, integrity is not something one can learn and experiment with now and then.

We should seriously question the leadership of those who have failed us with a lack of integrity. Leaders in business and elsewhere need to consistently demonstrate integrity or we should reject them. Because without integrity there can be no true leadership. And unlike other qualities of leadership, integrity is either there or it isn’t.

So what does this say about the fallen leaders we honor so highly in our society? Did they delude us or did we delude ourselves?

Identifying integrity in someone is challenging because it is found within a person’s moral fiber or character. It isn’t something they can simply document on a resume or easily demonstrate in an interview. Integrity is proven through consistent behavior over time and verified by the people around them.

“The people with whom a person works, and especially subordinates, know in a few weeks whether he or she has integrity or not,” writer and management consultant Peter Drucker stated in The Daily Drucker. “They may forgive a person for a great deal of incompetence, ignorance, insecurity, or bad manners. But they will not forgive a lack of integrity in that person.”

Many charismatic leaders enjoy lots of media attention, but charisma can only go so far if there isn’t a solid foundation of integrity beneath the surface. We should question the supposedly strong leaders the media presents us with because simply reaching celebrity status does not make for a strong leader. In fact, it could mean just the opposite.

Great leaders model integrity through their honesty and by doing the right thing no matter the circumstances. Those leaders with integrity do what is right for the organization and the people within it—even when he or she may gain nothing from the outcome.

Strong leaders demonstrate an indisputable track record of integrity throughout their career. Look for it and demand it in those you choose to follow. Integrity is not the only quality to look for in a leader, but it may very well be the most vital.

Mark Craemer       www.craemerconsulting.com

Presidents’ Day and Great Leadership

February 15, 2010

Here at a time when we celebrate our nation’s presidents and the leadership they provide our country, it’s good to reflect on leadership itself. Is it possible we expect too much of individual leaders and too little of followers? Do we over value our leaders and under value everyone else?

In the same way the leader of our country has only so much power and influence over getting things accomplished, the same could be said of CEOs, executive directors and other leaders of organizations. Is it really possible for President Obama alone to create new jobs, reform health care and stimulate the economy? He obviously must rely on Congress to accomplish (or keep from accomplishing) these and many other things. Nevertheless, we are likely to credit or blame Obama depending on what gets done.

Unlike big government, leaders of organizations do not depend on politicians with their own constituents as well as special interests and lobbyists. Business leaders instead rely on employees with a different kind of constituent (a.k.a. families) and these employees should be delegated to and depended upon in a leadership partnership.

Recent research by Nitin Nohria and colleagues at the Harvard Business School found that, on average, only 14% of a company’s performance is dependent on its leader. Many factors ultimately determine how well an organization performs, and along with leadership, they include overall strategy, employee talent, market focus, and corporate culture.

Leadership, ideally, should be shared and organizations that recognize this are more likely to excel. Top leaders obviously must take charge and convey to employees how important their individual behaviors are to the success of the organization. A great leader must lay out a clear and consistent strategy, and then empower his or her people to effectively execute that strategy. If a leader has surrounded him or her self with the best talent in the right roles, then fully delegating to these people should be a natural progression for getting things done.

Mainstream media gives far too much attention and makes superstars out of a small subset of executives and leaders in many high-profile companies. Most-admired or highest-paid CEOs do not always make the best leaders nor do they necessarily deliver the best in shareholder value or make for a desirable place to work. The best leaders are often lesser known, share the limelight with others, and put the organization’s interests above their own.

A recent report by the Harvard Business Review on the 50 best-performing CEOs in the world ranked the performance of leaders of large public companies over their entire time in office. This long-term view is unique in these kinds of lists and of particular interest.

What their research found was that many of the most celebrated leaders regularly written about in the business press were not included and many lesser known names were. Though Apple’s Steve Jobs topped the list, other well known CEOs such as Jamie Dimon of JPMorgan Chase, Satoru Iwata of Nintendo, Jeffrey Immelt of General Electric, Sam Palmisano of IBM, and Rex Tillerson of Exxon Mobil did not even crack the top 200 of those in the study.

The study also found there was no corner on the market in terms of an industry or country dominating the list. And, interestingly, only 15 of the top 50 CEOs had an MBA.

Like the greatest U.S. Presidents, the best business leaders are those who map out an effective strategy, then inspire and enable their people to carry it out. Empowering employees with their own leadership responsibilities allows them to fully participate in leading the organization. This shared leadership approach actively engages employees to be part of the solution rather than simply staying on the sidelines.

In the same way President Obama needs to get the best out of Congress to accomplish his goals, other leaders need to find a way to inspire and fully delegate to those employees who can help get things done. Effective change does not come from passive hope with followers standing on the sidelines. Great organizations, like great countries, succeed when leadership is shared and responsibility for getting things done is embraced by everyone.

Mark Craemer       www.craemerconsulting.com

When Employees Don’t Trust the Boss

February 2, 2010

In a previous post I addressed how important the attribute of trust is in leadership. Nothing impacts an organization’s overall productivity more than the level of trust found within it. But what happens when employees don’t trust their boss?

If you have strong and irrefutable evidence that your boss is not to be trusted, it seems to me you have four choices: 1) ignore the situation and hope things will improve on their own; 2) tell someone you believe can help make a change for the better; 3) leave your boss and find another job within or outside the company; 4) trust him anyway and help enable a change in behavior.

Ignore the situation. If you choose to avoid the problem of an untrustworthy boss, this only perpetuates the distrust and does nothing to improve your life. In addition, by not confronting him, you are ultimately accepting his untrustworthy behavior. A person cannot be untrustworthy by himself—someone has to be the recipient of this distrust. You have a choice as to whether or not this is you and, if you fail to confront him, you are enabling his untrustworthy behavior. Like any relationship, you have to take responsibility for your part.

Tolerating untrustworthy behavior results in harming yourself by continuing to work for such a person, and also contributes to the dysfunction of the organization as a whole. By not doing something to rectify things, you become as responsible for the dysfunction as your boss.

Tell someone who can help. This is a tricky option because your boss’s untrustworthy behavior is unlikely limited to you alone and, if nothing has been done, it may be condoned or at least tolerated by others. Who you talk to and what you expect him or her to do could end up reflecting poorly on you. If you do speak up, it is best to have your facts straight with plenty of supporting evidence. You should also make it clear what you believe needs to be done about it. And be prepared for nothing to actually happen.

If you have a progressive company where 360 assessments are regularly conducted, then perhaps the feedback of a lack of trust will get back to your boss anonymously and encourage him to rectify his behavior. However, without specific examples to refer to, any comments regarding his untrustworthy behavior may only breed ill-will towards those around him. Regardless, by not confronting your boss directly, you are leaving others to determine your fate.

Leave your boss. You could choose to look for a new position away from your boss either within the company or at another one. By doing so, you may be taking a stand that integrity matters and you will not tolerate working for someone who lacks it. If you choose to communicate to others the distrust you feel in your boss, this could have immediate and/or long-term repercussions. Like it or not, your immediate supervisor can have a huge impact on your future employment. It is therefore important to protect this relationship as much as you can, even if you lack respect for his behavior.

Trust him anyway. Okay this may be the hardest to swallow, but I think it is ultimately the right choice even if after your best efforts you end up needing to move back to the previous option. If you believe your boss is not to be trusted, I suggest you trust him anyway. I don’t mean this out of pure naivety or passive allegiance, but out of hope for a change in behavior. Most human beings (bosses included), respond favorably to being trusted. If you are genuine in your trust and listen respectfully to him, he is likely to reciprocate and trust you back. That’s how trust works and it is also how it spreads.

Trust requires respectful listening and this is filled with opportunities for self-improvement. Listening attentively with an open mind and open heart can make a huge difference in one’s ability to trust others. Trusting him may very well cultivate trustful behavior.

Trust is a two-way street. It cannot be imposed on someone and it requires risk. The only way to find trust is to look for it and expect it in others. This is risky, yet it is the only way trust can build in any relationship.

It’s difficult for most of us to confront any person in our lives. When it’s our boss, this becomes magnified because we believe he may use his power over us to make our work lives worse or perhaps fire us.

The thing to keep in mind is that everyone wants to be trusted and most people will make every effort to become trustworthy. In addition, most of us also want feedback on how we are being perceived. As hard as it is for you to talk to your boss about untrustworthy behavior, if your mistrust is representative of a group of people and not yourself alone, you may be surprised to find just how willing he is to listen and try to improve things.

More importantly, you will have taken a very courageous leadership step that will serve you throughout your personal as well as your professional life.

Mark Craemer            www.craemerconsulting.com

Leadership and Trust

January 14, 2010

As we begin a new year this might be a good time to take stock of your leadership skills, and the most important for me is trust. Like no other attribute, your capacity to convey trustworthiness has a huge impact on your ability to effectively lead others. That’s because nothing impacts an organization’s overall productivity more than the level of trust found within it.

Is your organization one where trust is especially low or high? If trust is low, I suspect employee engagement, job satisfaction, and overall productivity are also low. On the other hand, if trust is high, more than likely there is better employee engagement, higher job satisfaction, and greater overall productivity.

According to author Stephen M. R. Covey in his book The Speed of Trust: The One Thing That Changes Everything when trust goes down productivity also goes down and costs go up. Conversely, as trust goes up productivity increases and costs decrease. This is the economics of trust in the organization.

And nothing impacts your ability to motivate employees more than the level of trust they have in you as a leader. Trusted leaders, first and foremost, are those whose actions match their words. In the same way children emulate what parents do more than what they say, employees look to see if the actions of their leaders align with their words. Keeping words and actions in lock step builds trust and credibility like nothing else.

In addition, a trustworthy leader:

  • Tells the truth even when it is easier to tell people what they want to hear;
  • Acknowledges when he or she does not have all the answers;
  • Is approachable and friendly to people without using his or her position of power to win them over;
  • Really listens to others by using paraphrase to check for understanding;
  • Shows support for employees, especially when mistakes are made;
  • Balances the need for results while being considerate of people’s feelings.

All of these attributes enable you to build lasting trust, and when people trust you, your ability to persuade them increases ten-fold.

According to Covey, trust is ultimately a function of character and competence. Character in this sense means integrity, motives, and intent with other people. Competence is your capabilities, skills, results, and track record. Both greatly impact the level of trust in any relationship.

But what if trust in your organization is already low? Is there anything that can be done to restore the lack of trust employees have in you? This is hard because trust is based on a feeling and you can’t force someone to trust you. Still, you can attempt to rebuild trust if you are: (1) sincere in your apology for any part you may have had in creating the distrust, (2) transparent with your intentions moving forward, (3) consistently able to walk your talk, and (4) able to demonstrate credibility in all your actions.

Effective business has always been the result of trustworthy relationships. If your trust as a leader is in doubt, then your organization will suffer. Strengthening this trust will serve you as well as your employees, suppliers, partners and customers like nothing else.

“The ability to establish, grow, extend, and restore trust with all stakeholders—customers, business partners, investors, and co-workers—is the key leadership competency for this new global economy,” says Covey.

Mark Craemer                              www.craemerconsulting.com

Great Managers Key to Employee Retention

December 18, 2009

During this time of economic recession and double-digit unemployment, it may seem odd to focus on employee retention. But I contend this is exactly the right time to identify and strengthen relationships with your best managers because they determine whether your best employees stay or leave the company.

Recent research on employee retention found that people leave managers, not companies. If there is a turnover problem in your company, first look at your managers because managers trump companies. Employees may join a company because of its overall prestige and reputation, but the employee’s relationship with his immediate supervisor determines how long he will stay and how productive he is while there.

Great managers, like great coaches, focus on people first and then on the actual plays. Similarly, a great novelist often begins with characters rather than a plot. And the skill set of managers is not necessarily the same as that of leaders. It is important to look at your managers not simply as leaders in waiting, but recognize the unique managerial gifts and strengths they contribute to the organization as managers.

Organizational consultant and author Warren Bennis said that managers do things right and leaders do the right things. Leaders should be concerned with looking outward and focusing on the future for the organization, while managers should be looking inward and on the immediate details of the daily operations.

In their book “First, Break all the Rules: What the World’s Greatest Managers do Differently,” Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman argue that great managers do the following:

1. Select an employee not only for her unique experience, intelligence and determination, but for her talents. Knowledge and skills are competencies that can be taught, while attitudes and beliefs are talents that are difficult to teach. Talents are recurring patterns of behavior productively applied. And they can have great value to any organization.

2. Set expectations by defining the right outcomes, rather than the right steps. Great managers communicate clearly what is expected of each person in order to accomplish the organization’s goals. Rather than direct each employee on the specific way to do their job, great managers provide freedom and support to the individual to get the job done well and on time.

3. Motivate the employee by focusing on his strengths rather than weaknesses. Great managers often act as coaches by providing clear feedback on what the employee is doing well as well as not so well. The best managers help build confidence by recognizing and utilizing each employee’s unique talents. Simply stated, stress what works and minimize what does not.

4. Develop the person to determine the right job fit and not necessarily the next rung on the corporate ladder. This often runs counter to what most of us think is necessary in many organizations. The fact is many people are not suited for nor do they want to be executives in a company. Great managers determine how to recognize and fully utilize an individual’s unique talents and enable them to be successful wherever they are in the organizational chart.

According to the Gallup Path to Business Performance, sustained increase in shareholder value must begin first by identifying employees’ strengths and second by determining the right fit for them. These steps are then directly followed by hiring great managers and creating engaged employees. Without these first four, there can be no loyal customers, sustained growth, real profit increase and, finally, stock increase.

The key to excellent performance then is to first find the best match between an employee’s talents and role. Identify and cultivate those talents so that they may be best put to use in the proper role to meet the organization’s goals and objectives. Finally, make it clear in no uncertain terms what outcomes are expected and let the individual employee determine the specific steps to reach them. In this way, great managers can keep employees fully engaged and help retain the best employees in the organization.

Mark Craemer                                    www.craemerconsulting.com

Soft Skills of Leadership

November 11, 2009

Corporate leaders need to know their business, know their customers, and have the ability to execute a strategy successfully. And leaders need to be especially agile to stay current with their business as the pace of change has accelerated so dramatically. Great leadership also requires not only understanding customers’ current needs, but accurately predicting future needs as well. This knowledge of business and customers becomes relevant only when leaders also have the ability to execute a strategy that drives growth.

In a recent study by the Institute for Corporate Productivity in partnership with the American Management Association, some 600 employees working at the manager level or above in a wide range of industries were asked to pick from a list of 14 leadership competencies. Not surprisingly, the three items mentioned above were at the top of the list. The three that followed, however, may surprise you:

• Building good relationships
• Having good communication skills
• Creating an environment of trust and respect

These three competencies were cited more frequently than the ability to develop a strategy or knowing how to align the organization well. The technical skills of business are as important as ever, but unless they are coupled with these other competencies, leaders cannot be nearly as effective. So what does this tell us about the nature of these so-called soft skills?

The context for leadership has changed dramatically in the last five years. Customers are harder to find and harder to keep, profit margins are slimmer, and many employees live with anxiety, stressed by overwork and job insecurity. As a result, corporations require leaders who know how to handle themselves in this complex environment. This means demonstrating empathy to others. It means actively listening so that they really hear what is being said even when it conflicts with what they want to hear. It means having extreme self-awareness. These soft skill competencies often fall under the heading of Emotional Intelligence and are important to any progressive organization.

Building good relationships is especially important because people are obviously the most important element in any business. An ability to really know and relate to others enables leaders to get things done. Strong relationships with employees, suppliers and customers can often be the difference success and failure. In the same way our personal relationships need care and constant attention, so too do our professional relationships.

Communication skills are one of those things most of us believe we have a talent for. But do we really? Communicating well means more than the ability to write well and feel comfortable with public speaking. The ability to really listen and let others know that you have heard them is important. Leaders also need to share difficult information and explain why decisions were made. This is because unpopular decisions that are fully explained will be perceived more favorably than those that come down without full disclosure. Good communication skills require being a good listener and being articulate and authentic in words and deeds.

To create an environment of trust and respect means many things. First and foremost, it means being approachable and friendly because people trust and respect leaders they like. Balance the need for results with being considerate of other’s feelings. Work hard to win people over without misusing your position of power. Make sure that your words match your actions. Use paraphrase to ensure you understand what is being said. And demonstrate support for your people, especially when they make mistakes.

Leadership soft skills will continue to play an increasingly important role as leaders need to do more with less and effectively manage accelerated change while nurturing themselves and their people. A leader’s ability to speak clearly and honestly will result in employees who understand and want to step up to the challenge. Authentic transparency is what employees want in their leaders. Creating an environment of trust and respect means a leader actively demonstrates his trust and respect in every interaction with employees, customers, suppliers and shareholders. Soft skills such as these enable leaders to walk their talk and this is fundamental to great leadership.

Mark Craemer                                                                                        www.craemerconsulting.com