Category Archives: Leadership
Have you ever noticed how emergency service providers – EMT’s, police, firefighters, doctors, lifeguards – don’t rush right into the scene of an accident? And have you ever considered why that is?
Think about what happens in our daily lives. We can get so bogged down by details and seeming urgencies that we lose sight of the landscape, and oftentimes the really important and critical matters that will make the largest impact to those we lead and serve.
This is the premise for responding to a scene of an accident. When the ambulance arrives, they don’t rush in and start reacting. They walk carefully into the heart of the scene to understand the incident and size up any potential danger. They don’t stop and treat the first injured person they see; instead they survey those injured and make note of the critical versus the minor injuries. From that, they can assess who needs the most urgent attention and can have a greater chance to save lives versus treating as they come across and missing a critical injury further down the scene.
This approach can serve our leadership influence well. A great leader will take these steps out of an emergency service providers’ playbook to be more effective in any matter:
- Get to the heart of the matter. Don’t stand on the sidelines, but get in the trenches to understand the issue.
- Don’t rush in. Take the time to delve into the situation, carefully observing all the variables and factors. Don’t prejudice your understanding before you truly know.
- Remove danger. If there is a critical matter that will profoundly and adversely affect everyone, address it and remove the situation by resolving it. As EMT’s remove people from an exploding gas tank, leaders need to remove their people and organization from those volatile situations before they can treat the other issues at hand.
- Triage. It’s easy to think you’re effective treating the first surface issue that comes across. yet you’re more effective and helpful when you see everyone involved and what the greatest and most urgent needs are.
- Touch every affected person. People affected by even collateral damage in a situation need to be identified and treated as well. Make sure your approach is complete and everyone is accounted for.
- Clean up. Once the scene is controlled and everyone is tended to, then create a clean up plan. Changes in systems, preventative measures, training, and perhaps noticing the signs that caused the incident will prevent future issues down the road.
- Most important – STAY CALM. A doctor or lifeguard that panics or gets excitable or overly emotional will cause nothing but anxiety in those they are supposed to be helping. Calming down a situation involves keeping yourself calm in order to instill a sense of control and hope in others during these crisis.
Great leaders make this a deliberate habit in their lives. By understanding these steps, you can meet any situation and come to the rescue to make your organization and people safer, stronger, and more secure down the road.
Have a story or strategy along this thinking that works in these situations? Would love to hear your input!
We are almost through 2019 and are just have a few months left before we find ourselves in the year 2020.
In the last 100 years, we’ve experienced these tremendous advances in the working environment:
- More women in business, both as executives and business owners
- Better laws to protect people from various forms of discrimination
- Technological advances to make work easier, work remotely, and communicate faster
- Harassment movements have culled many leaders of sexual impropriety from their positions
- The speed and transparency of the internet has magnified the poor leadership behaviors in many companies like Volkswagen, Wells Fargo, Enron, and countless others
Despite these achievements, it’s quite disturbing to see the following behaviors with old or new applications that still remain fairly prevalent in today’s workforce:
- Age discrimination
- Workplace bullying
- Focus on short-term quotas or profits over culture
- Gender pay gap
- Abusing technology to micromanage the workforce
At the core of each of these lies the uncomfortable truth – some leaders will still choose whatever means necessary to accomplish their goals no matter the cost.
Sometimes these might look like organizational goals, but have an agenda of the leader’s own that underlines the behavior, like winning at all costs, meeting quota, getting in line for a promotion, or covering up their own insecurities, just to name a few.
And some of these behaviors are organizational, created by a team of leaders for a more malignant purpose.
Aren’t we supposed to be beyond these behaviors with all the advances we’ve seen in the workplace?
Unfortunately, the answer is “we should be, but we’re not”. Granted, there will always be problems and issues as long as humans behave in ways that still get results. Once a behavior doesn’t get the desired result, that behavior will change for the most part.
But it can only change through the following steps:
- Leaders need to be more self-aware and not justify poor behavior
- Employees must speak up when issues are discovered
- Leaders must give absolute safety without any ramifications to employees raising concerns
- Leaders must fix employee concerns and not brush them aside
- Employees must hold themselves accountable to a right company culture and policies
- Leaders must hold themselves to a high standard of behavior as well as being held accountable by their people
- Employees must move or leave organizations and find ones that exhibit better workplace traits
These are only a few ways that these changes can be implemented, but they’re a good starting place for many.
Things are improving, but we must not let any individual or groups of individuals create a workplace that continues to operate under a model that isn’t congruent to the methods that some of the best and most profitable companies have proven to result of great leadership and positive culture that leads to success.
If you have a receptionist at your organization, you should give them a call just like you were a customer.
As you interact with them, ask yourself how they represent your company and brand.
A while back, I called an acquaintance at their work to check in on them. They were having some private issues not disclosed to the public, and I wanted to see how they were doing.
The woman who answered the phone was very abrupt and gruff in her tone:
“Hi, who is this?” I informed her who I was.
“What company are you from?!” As it was a personal call, I told her I wasn’t representing anyone.
“Who are you looking for?!” I told her in a calming manner.
“What is this regarding?!” I let her know it was a private matter.
“I need to know what this is regarding.” I repeated myself and in an even calmer tone.
“Sir, I need you to tell me what this is regarding!” I informed her it was a private matter and the individual I was calling would know why.
She then promptly said “Well I need to know why you’re calling, but will try to give him the message,” and promptly hung up.
Whether this person sees herself as the gatekeeper to those in the office, the way she reflected the company would have had me go elsewhere for my needs if I was a potential customer.
If your receptionist, whoever he or she is, does not exude a pleasantness that personifies their brand, they should be retrained, or most likely let go.
And that goes for your automated phone tree as well. Many times companies that claim to have superior customer service fail in this regard when the phone options don’t create a positive customer experience.
Brands can be hurt when the wrong people touch the most customers.Tweet