Category Archives: Leadership
It’s very easy to get focused on the goals of what we’re trying to pursue in our leadership lives.
We have revenue objectives, attrition metrics, shareholder confidence, and profit margins to attain. More personally, we work towards our own promotions, bonuses, retirement accounts, and a position where we can leverage our time toward convenience and less stress.
When we think of the “what” that we look to impact in our endeavors, we should consider a more profound and lasting goal. That is, “who” are you doing it for?
The “what’s” we gain are not a bad in themselves. Keeping your company competitive, being profitable, and increasing the scope of your leadership are worthy goals, but they only last at the moment they are attained. Besides, promotions, 401(k)’s, and company valuations can vanish more quickly now than ever before. Many a leader has attained the top of their fields only to be towed away in the undercurrent of mergers, market shifts, scandals outside of themselves, and other catastrophic forces that show the frailness of these pursuits ultimately.
But when a leader deeply considers who they are growing their influence for, that can change the scope of their style, their approach, and their ultimate goals.
Think about the “who” that can be impacted and how you can have a greater positive reach on those you have touchpoints with:
- Your customers who rely on quality products, excellent service, and convenient experience
- The general marketplace that sees you operating with a high EQ and integrity
- Those philanthropic organizations that benefit from your desire to be more than just a company or global entity
- Your local business communities in which you impact by leveraging your influence to drive business and services and influence regulations in your market area
- Your employees whom you create meaningful employment for, with opportunity to develop their talents and careers
- Your family who you provide for and who count on you to keep yourself healthy mentally, emotionally and physically
When leaders understand the “WHO” matters more (even more than the shareholders who don’t have the same vested interest quite frankly), you will find yourself performing with a clearer vision, a voice for others, and a value to everything you work towards. You’ll also be able to withstand the shifting sands of market forces that threaten to take away the material pursuits by creating a community of people and support that is far sustainable and trustworthy.
Critics have been as long as organizations have existed. From the earliest business to the first stage performance, critics and their resulting bad reviews permeate the landscape.
The best business, show, and leader will always have their share of detractors – you just can’t please everyone, no matter how hard you try or how hard you work towards perfection. But the ease to which a person can post a negative review – on review sites, social media, or even a news source trying to tickle an ear with a juicy story – has actually caused people and businesses with the challenge of proper responses.
To avoid being embattled in a legal issue that will tarnish your reputation or alienate future customers – such as the one facing a restaurant in Kent, England – you’ll need to think along the two mind frames of acceptance and engagement that will set you apart as both professional and successful.
Response Mindset 1: Drop The Defensiveness
It’s a given that everyone has an opinion. You must accept that everyone is allowed that opinion whether you believe it or not.
You must approach every review as a chance to learn, grow, and plan to improve. When the intersect of perception versus reality converge, you must factor out your perception and look through the eyes of another person.
Yes, a negative review has the potential to hamper your personal brand or company (as 84% of reviews are deemed valid by the person reading them). But giving a prideful defense towards what might often be valid constructive criticism can take a negative response further than you want to.
If you are truly professional, you’ll discover that valid critiques will yield some of the best opportunities to grow. Ask some other clients or customers if the review has merit – you may be suprised to find others agreeing with it. This will help you understand there blind spot areas you most likely need to work on.
Response Mindset 2: Embrace The Critic
As if the first step isn’t difficult enough in our human nature, the next step is similarly hard but just as vital.
72% of all reviews go unanswered, which means that a majority of critical input is not embraced to win a customer or detractor back. While it’s quite easy to ignore negative feedback, truthfully it’s the wrong thing to do. Unless you reach out to work on a solution or explain what the issue was, the review will not go away, nor will other’s perceptions including the writer.
Always attempt to engage in the critic with an apology, then work to take the dialogue offline for a phone call to understand the concern. If the review was bogus, then your case was stated, but you can leave the person with an assurance that you’ve crossed the chasm to work it out. It it’s valid, you will have a great opportunity to rebuild credibility, trust, and the potential to lock the person in as customer, possibly even long-term.
Don’t be afraid of that negative comment on social media or an online review site. Being held hostage by the fear will make you execute poorly and be defensive as a habit. Instead treat it as if was a live interaction in person and don’t hide behind the cybernetic world of your desktop or device. The bottom line in all of this is to take all input to improve, not to win an argument that you will almost always lose if you handle it poorly.
The whole world will see your response. How you go to market online will tell everyone if the review has credibility or not, but most importantly, it will reveal more about your credibility. Respond wisely and professionally.
Setting goals is a key essential to achievement and growth for your organization. It’s the track on which your company will attain milestones in accounts, revenue, profits, and market reach, among other metrics.
There is always a balance to setting goals that are meaningful. Goals that are too aggressive wear people out and leave them demoralized, and often yield to ethical compromises juts to attain them at all. Softer goals don’t inspire and can leave organizations and their people stagnant by not stretching their skills and staying relevant with industry changes. With all of the components and methods that go into goal setting – strategic planning, SMART goals, alignment with company initiatives – many times the best goals set the company up for short term success but don’t bring your people along in developing their skills and talents.
A better method to create more sustainable goal setting is to align a 2-Way Goal Setting Process.
This method differs from the traditional top-down goal setting method of creating goals, then telling each staff person what they must do to achieve the company results. That type of goal alignment fails because it only generally helps the organization and not the teams or individuals that drive the company’s performance to begin with. Instead, 2-Way Goal Setting dovetails the individual development of people and teams with the company mission to grow your people – your talent – along with the growth of the organization.
So what does 2-Way Goal setting look like? Here are some ways to implement it into your company:
- Identify corporate strategic goals. This is one of the vital first 2 steps to start. Knowing what your organization’s needs and mission are and threading your goals through them lay the foundation of the process.
- Know your employees work and career goals. Use your employee review process (a good one, not one that measures against corporate goals as mentioned below) to acknowledge what the skill and talent needs of your people are.
- Involve HR as well as team and company leadership in each step. If your HR team is adept at providing development goals for your people, involve them in the process of skill development that threads through company success goals.
- Create Individual, Team, and Company (ITC) milestones. By either using the above methods with HR individual development ot taking the company goals and reverse engineering team and individual performance through organizational steps, you can create a synergy of congruent efforts that maximize alignment and success.
- Set up course correction milestones. this gives a good indication of where goals get missed before they are missed – whether through individual efforts or company guidance. By having correction milestones, you can minimize both discouraging efforts that fail and keep things closer to being on track, ensuring both company and people benefit in the achievement overall.
- Reward ITC successes. Likewise, acknowledging small milestones along the way, both with a singular thanks or reward in addition to team acknowledgment will spur people on the keep focused on the goals at hand.
- Envelop 2-way goal setting in the employee performance process. Circling back to HR, keep everything you do as part of developing both company goals as well as relevant employee development tools. Make this the DNA of your organization as you plan strategically for the next many years.
You can still use the traditional goal setting methods of SMART and other such methods but keeping the focus on the 2-way process will generate a better level of congruency and alignment, as well as effectiveness in reaching the goals with better overall results.
Have some great methods to have 2-way goals in your organization? Share them below!