Are you a responsible leader?

If you were to ask the majority of leaders if they felt prepared for the role they are in, the answers you would receive might not be what you would expect to hear. In fact, statistically most leaders are under or not well prepared for assuming the leadership role they are in. So how does this happen?

Perhaps you have heard of “The Peter Principle”? If not, it’s basically the concept that many leaders in organizations keep getting promoted until they reach a level of respective incompetence. This isn’t exactly reassuring when you look around and wonder if perhaps the leader of your organization fits this description. Worse, is when this might in fact be you, and you know you are in a role well beyond your capabilities.

When you consider the experience leaders are expected to have prior to stepping into their respective role, you would expect them to have been vetted along the way. For starters, being proficient and capable of assuming this role. However, this is a gross assumption. It is also one of the ways people who become leaders, and who are weak ones end up in a leadership role. The problem is partially with the lack of checks and balances of the leadership vetting system.

Another challenge which allows weak or ill prepared leaders to step into their roles, is the fact there are too many “yes” people in organizations. If you are not familiar with “yes” people, chances are you might be one. In other words, it is far easier for people to agree and say “yes” to a leader, than it is to disagree.

When someone does not agree with a leader, and they are not trusted and respected by the leader, they run the risk of being labeled contentious or difficult. Although in reality, strong leaders would want more people to say “no” or not agree with everything.

So, what can be done to prepare leaders to be ones we look up to, are motivated by and respect? Here are some suggestions to get you started.

  • You probably have heard of an intervention. The ones typically associated with someone who has a severe problem and a group of people gather together to support getting the person with the problem help. The same concept can apply to weak leaders, and should be organized with the support of the head of human resources. If it is a small company, the second person in command of the company, along with the majority of the upper management team should be involved. I highly recommend you consult also with an outside and neutral party experienced in this type of intervention.
  • In less dramatic situations, assigning someone to open the dialogue with the leader about how they view their leadership style is a strong place to start. Often, the leader is unaware others perceive their leadership capabilities and style in a less than desirable manner.
  • Don’t assume your leader has had recent or relevant training to help support their role.
  • Leadership training is something which should be ongoing throughout their career.
  • If your leader has not taken leadership training in the last 6-12 months, it’s time for them to take a course. This can be monitored by the head of HR, or if you are the leader, make sure you have recently taken a leadership course.
  • If you are a leader, consider joining a group of CEO’s to help support your leadership evolution. There are a number of these groups throughout the country, and chances are you might have one in your city. If not, there are virtual CEO “round table” groups you can consider joining.
  • Determine what type of strengths the leader relies upon the most. This can be done with the assistance of a number of different and objective testing methods. Being a Gallup Certified Strengths Coach, I can highly recommend the StrengthsFinder survey which can determine what their top (5) strengths are. I have leveraged the results of this survey to help numerous leaders, as well as the people and the teams who support them. I guarantee it will be one of the best and most affordable investments you can and should consider.

Having responsibility for others and their careers and livelihood is an enormous responsibility. Since most people are not born leaders, but instead become and evolve into this role, recognize they are generally not prepared well for the role they are in. When you look at and realize your leader is in this situation, your expectations will be more realistically set for the outcome of what they are capable of achieving.

Kathleen E. R. Murphy is the Founder, Chief Performance Strategist and CEO of Market Me Too.  She is a Gallup Certified Strengths Finder Coachauthor of Wisdom Whispererand is a well-respected motivational and social influencer with a global following from her numerous speaking, print, radio and television media appearances.

Essentially every team is dysfunctional in some way. Our expertise is in uniting, motivating and bridging dysfunctional teams (sports & business), and turning them into epic ones.

Market Me Too also works with individuals from students to C-level executives. The individuals, business and sports teams we work with are coached on how to leverage and apply their peak performance talents on a daily basis. Our coaching produces repeatable, measurable and amazing results personally and professionally. Need proof? Just talk to our clients, or read through our testimonials.

If you want better and different results, let’s talk. We know how to help you get them. Contact Kathleen at kathymurphy@me.com or (339) 987-0195.

“NEW!” Guide for Teams:

Every team is dysfunctional at some point.  Click on the link below to obtain a “free guide” with (5) Proven Strategies To Turn Your Dysfunctional Team Into An Epic One

 

What’s your business energy level?

Having spent decades crafting my marketing and indirectly my sales skills, there is one thing which always sticks out in my mind about each of these disciplines. It is how every aspect of what we were doing was measured.  Talk about feeling like you were always under a microscope. Or, being constantly judged on the metrics associated with your discipline.

Being under continuous surveillance can take its toll on people. Although there may be some exceptions. Granted measuring results is a fundamental part of business, but what if and what are the measurements used to determine employees or the company’s energy level?

The first thing which comes to mind is the annual employee satisfaction survey which is sent out. Does this really reveal how satisfied employees are, or does it simply give them an opportunity to vent? This method isn’t going to be helpful in determining energy level’s, but short of applying medical practices (e.g., taking your temperature, blood pressure), is there a way to establish people and company energy levels?

Leaders of companies who are gifted in the emotional intelligence (EI) category are generally perceptive of how other people, and collectively what the energy level of their company is. Although this gets harder to determine when a company has over 50-100 employees. However, even if a leader is able to assess their company energy level, it is still hard to quantify this level amount. More importantly to note, it is certainly subjective.

So, is it possible or reasonable to think there are ways to determine a company’s energy level? If a company knew what it’s energy level was, and let’s say it was low, what could they do about this?

Here are some suggestions I have seen companies apply to help boost their collective energy level:

  • Rally around an organization or cause which could be in alignment with what your company does. If this is too challenging to find a direct alignment with another cause, then mutually determine one to work with. Focusing on helping others is an excellent way of changing a company’s energy level.
  • Consider physically moving to another work area within your company. Several of the companies I worked at had us move our desks every 3-6 months. The energy level of our teams soared when we did this, and it caused people to have to collaborate well together to make the move happen. When you change your physical location, it also does wonders for your overall attitude too.
  • Give your employees something to look forward to. It doesn’t have to be anything expensive to invest in, as it could be as simple as asking a food truck which specializes in desserts to randomly show up outside of your building. If the company can pay for this treat, even better.
  • Dedicating a day a week to do something different at your company also can pick up the energy level. For instance, how about having teams take turns to BBQ for each other one day a week, make waffles or ice cream sundaes or perhaps something healthy?
  • Borrowing from one of my other story ideas, how about having weekly or once a month lunch-and-learns ? The topic can either be work or non-work related. The non-work ones of course will be more fun, and you will be impressed to hear about the hobbies and subjects that your employees are enthusiasts about!
  • Pot luck lunches are lots of fun, and a low-cost option which I have seen the company energy level increase. For those employees who are competitive, throw in a prize or prizes, either monetary or simply bragging rights to who has the best, fill-in-the-blank for the item they made. Hint, pies, chili and cookies are easy contests to run.

Although I do not presently have a subjective measurement for you (yet), to help you know what your energy level is, start out with trying some of the suggestions above and see if you notice if your company energy level improves. Also, be aware if your own energy level improves too. Most importantly, be as creative as you can be with trying out different activities to give you the energy boost you are looking for.

Kathleen E. R. Murphy is the Founder, Chief Performance Strategist and CEO of Market Me Too.  She is a Gallup Certified Strengths Finder Coachauthor of Wisdom Whispererand is a well-respected motivational and social influencer with a global following from her numerous speaking, print, radio and television media appearances.

Essentially every team is dysfunctional in some way. Our expertise is in uniting, motivating and bridging dysfunctional teams (sports & business), and turning them into epic ones.

Market Me Too also works with individuals from students to C-level executives. The individuals, business and sports teams we work with are coached on how to leverage and apply their peak performance talents on a daily basis. Our coaching produces repeatable, measurable and amazing results personally and professionally. Need proof? Just talk to our clients, or read through our testimonials.

If you want better and different results, let’s talk. We know how to help you get them. Contact Kathleen at kathymurphy@me.com or (339) 987-0195.

“NEW!” Guide for Teams:

Every team is dysfunctional at some point.  Click on the link below to obtain a “free guide” with (5) Proven Strategies To Turn Your Dysfunctional Team Into An Epic One,

 

Invest in yourself to be interesting

How often have you said to yourself, or others, “I just met the most interesting person!” If this is a frequent experience, consider yourself fortunate.

If you’re like the majority of people who simply go about their daily routine, and you do not work in an industry with tons of opportunities to meet interesting people, chances are you are not putting yourself in enough situations to warrant meeting cool people. In general, if you ask someone enough questions, you are bound to learn something intriguing. Or, perhaps you are, in fact, an interesting person and either do not realize this, or give yourself credit for falling into this esteemed category.

What one person considers an interesting person, another might find to be a bit of a bore. Thankfully, we live in a world where there are a variety of people and types of work they do, hobbies they have, places they have lived, experiences they have had . . .

Some people take a more calculated approach to enriching their lives, hence putting themselves into a category of being a more interesting human being. Depending on your interests or goals are, and what type of finances you have or are working towards, can restrict some of your potential for doing or having out of the ordinary experiences.  For example, when’s the last time you . . . dove in the tropics, climbed a mountain, sailed around the world, learned a new language, or any of a dozen more adventures?

Having limited funds should not be an excuse. There are a myriad of things you can do that cost little or no money, and can head you towards becoming a more well-rounded, fascinating person. Here are five suggestions to help you become a more dynamic and interesting human being.

  1. Think about who you find interesting. What makes them interesting? Could you be like them at some point in the future?

 

  1. Lots of people talk about creating a bucket list, of things they want to do before they leave this earth. Put one together so you can have something to strive for, and to talk about once you have ticked off the various items.

 

  1. If the things you want to do will cost money, start saving – set aside a separate account or lock box. Saving for things you want to do is great way to make them happen, and ultimately an investment towards making you more interesting.

 

  1. Are there things on the list that you are afraid of doing? If you cannot get past the point of giving them a try, consider talking to a professional to work through any issues. Chances are, you might regret not doing what you always wanted to, because you were afraid. Have you heard that F.E.A.R. is an acronym for False Emotions Appearing Real.  Don’t let your mind prevent the rest of your body from doing what it wants to accomplish.

 

  1. Find a friend, work colleague, or anybody else who might be interested in doing the things you want to do, but do not want to fly solo. If you ask enough people if they want to do X, chances are you will find someone likeminded. If you are a salesperson, you already know this and should apply your sales skills to developing your interests.

There really is no excuse about why you cannot invest, improve upon, or strive towards being more interesting than you are today. Everyone has an equal opportunity to invest in themselves. So, why not go for it? Start applying some or all of the tips above and before you know it, you will be on your way towards creating the person you always knew you could be.

Kathleen E. R. Murphy is the Founder, Chief Performance Strategist and CEO of Market Me Too.  She is a Gallup Certified Strengths Finder Coachauthor of Wisdom Whispererand is a well-respected motivational and social influencer with a global following from her numerous speaking, print, radio and television media appearances.

Essentially every team is dysfunctional in some way. Our expertise is in uniting, motivating and bridging dysfunctional teams (sports & business), and turning them into epic ones.

Market Me Too also works with individuals from students to C-level executives. The individuals, business and sports teams we work with are coached on how to leverage and apply their peak performance talents on a daily basis. Our coaching produces repeatable, measurable and amazing results personally and professionally. Need proof? Just talk to our clients, or read through our testimonials.

If you want better and different results, let’s talk. We know how to help you get them. Contact Kathleen at kathymurphy@me.com or (339) 987-0195.

“NEW!” Guide for Teams:

Every team is dysfunctional at some point.  Click on the link below to obtain a “free guide” with (5) Proven Strategies To Turn Your Dysfunctional Team Into An Epic One,

 

 

(5) Tips on How to Manage Your Boss

Unless you are your own boss, you have probably uttered the words, or thought to yourself at one point or another, that your boss is driving you crazy. You may have muttered this under your breath, or shared this comment with a colleague, or someone outside your work circle.

Based on the dynamics of the typical boss and subordinate roles, it is quite likely that you will be annoyed by your boss now and then. This is normal, especially since the work is mainly flowing your way, without the ability to decline or limit the amount of assignments coming your way. Or is there?

Perhaps you have heard that everything is negotiable? It really is, but not everyone feels comfortable negotiating, so they simply accept the work that flows their way.

Those who have developed negotiating skills, even minor ones, tend to be much more satisfied with their bosses. Why? Because they are indirectly managing the situation. The best part of having a negotiating conversation with your boss, is that they may not be aware of the fact they are being managed by you.

So, if you are thinking, I do not like to negotiate, and my communication or debating skills are not up to the task, keep reading.

Similar to the belief that everyone has creative skills, if you can talk, you have to ability to also develop your negotiation skills.

At its most basic level, negotiating is about asking questions. You can do that! By asking questions about the assignment, your boss will be forced to confront whether what he or she is asking has been fully thought through.

You might be surprised how many times they have not thought through what they are asking you to accomplish, and are only serving as a middle man pushing assignments down from above. Negotiating also allows you to gain clarity on aspects of work (e.g., timeframe flexibility, who else can or should be involved, how is the success of the project outcome to be measured).

Here are five tips on how to manage your boss.

  1. At the beginning of the week, assess the mood of your boss. You can typically do this by having a brief conversation on Monday morning, or by checking in with one of your colleagues. If they are in a less than favorable mood, leave them alone until mid-day and then reassess. Monday mornings can be stressful. The beginning of the week is a popular time when the upper management team meets with your boss to review the status of how the business is going. Even if the stats are on track, this can impact the mood of your boss.

 

  1. Make sure you have a weekly assigned time to check in with your boss, even if it is for only 10 minutes each day, or once a week for 30 minutes. During any of these sessions, make sure you have set the agenda are driving the conversation. Setting the agenda puts you in charge. In essence, you are managing your boss.

 

  1. Clarify monthly or quarterly expectations. This is a critical component to managing your boss. As long as you are clear about the project and results of the work you are doing, and making sure during your weekly meetings that priorities have not changed, you will be in strong alignment with their expectations.

 

  1. Get to know your boss. Take time to go out to lunch or coffee with him or her once or twice a month to have a non-work conversation. If you do not do this, you run the risk of them not seeing you as a whole person, with other dimensions of your personality they may not be able to observe in the office. More and more people work remotely and may not have too many opportunities to meet with their boss in person, but when you do, make sure you go through this same exercise.

 

  1. Ask your boss to articulate how you can help them with your professional contributions to make them look good. This may seem awkward, but ask anyway, as most people do not know the answer, and may, in fact, be entirely wrong by making incorrect assumptions. Get the facts, work with them – another key way of managing your boss.

Depending on your career level, some of these suggestions would need to be modified, but most of these techniques actually can and will work. They have been applied successfully by people who are just starting out, all the way to the highest “C” level executives.

Managing your boss is a concept from which just about everyone can benefit. Test drive some of them and see if they work for you.

Kathleen E. R. Murphy is the Founder, Chief Performance Strategist and CEO of MarketMe Too.  She is a Gallup Certified Strengths Coach, author of Wisdom Whisperer, and is a well-respected motivational and social influencer who has a global following from her numerous speaking, print, radio and television media appearances.

Our expertise is in uniting, motivating and bridging teams (sports & business). What does this do for our clients? It provides them with an acceleration boost to reach their goals sooner, and interact with a renewed efficiency, focus and energy level.

Market Me Too also works with individuals from students to C-level executives. The individuals, business and sports teams we work with are coached on how to leverage and apply their peak performance talents on a daily basis. Our coaching produces repeatable, measurable and amazing results personally and professionally. Need proof? Just talk to our clients, or read through our testimonials.

If you want better and different results, let’s talk. We know how to help you get them. Contact Kathleen at kathymurphy@me.com or (339) 987-0195.

How do I make my company relevant?

No person or company wants to be classified as irrelevant, especially by their employees, customers or prospects. So, what if your company is being classified this way? Would you know this is happening? Would you know what to do to change the narrative and perception others have? These are tough questions, and ones every company has a chance of confronting.

Let’s make the assumption your company is being classified as irrelevant. Now what? Who is responsible for addressing this? Is this a Human Resource challenge? Perhaps, but the person at the top of the organization also is going to have to play a critical role in helping to remedy this label, and they can’t do it alone.

Based on the fact our economy is relatively strong at this point in time, and that employees have many options to consider if they are not satisfied with the company they are aligned with, retaining employees has become a top concern. One of the many reasons employees decide to abandon their present company has to do with relevancy, and whether they feel a strong alignment to the brand, or perhaps the mission of an organization.

Not all companies have the luxury of being easily aligned with a mission or brand that everyone feels compelled to support, and if they do, then they are more fortunate than others. However, this is only one factor to consider. The fact is, many companies were not founded on the principles and desires that employees, customers and prospects are now looking at via a new lens of having the company they work for also be socially and culturally responsible.

So, the real questions to consider are to think about whether your company is relevant, and then if it is not, what can you do to become relevant in the new lens that you are being looked at? Let’s start with these questions and considerations:

  • You first need to define what relevancy means to your company. This should be tackled from all levels within an organization, as you do not want to only have a top down perspective. This could be in fact what originally got your company into the irrelevant territory.
  • If you were to ask your employees what your company mission statement is, would they know what it is?
  • Would your employees feel indifferent to what your mission statement is? Or, would they feel a stronger alignment with your company when they know what it is?
  • Have you asked exiting employees why they are leaving? There could be enormous clues you will uncover if you have this conversation.
  • Do you happen to know the reason most people who have been at your company for more than three years, enjoy working at your company? Do they actually enjoy working at your company, or are they just buying time on their resume to jump to the next best opportunity?
  • How in touch are the top-level executives at your company with the pulse of the company culture?
  • When was the last time any of your executives informally met with or cruised the halls simply to engage in conversation with employees?
  • Are your executives and non-executives getting out in front of customers to have a better sense of what your company can do to make your services or products better? Is this a function you solely rely upon sales or product marketing to do? If so, you have a huge opportunity to benefit from doing this.
  • Is anyone at your company having fun?
  • Do employees seem to get along well with one another, or is there tension throughout the organization?
  • Do you have someone on your staff who you can rely upon to keep a pulse on the organization, who is not in an HR role? Ideally this would be a mid-level manager.
  • How united would you say your teams are? All of your teams, not just your sales, marketing and executive teams.
  • Would you know what kind of plan you need to course correct to make your company more relevant?

Wearing the badge of being irrelevant is similar to a scarlet letter. If you think or know your company is becoming or is irrelevant in any number of categories, there is hope to turn this scenario around. However, if you do not know how to go about doing this, make sure you align with the right type of expert to help you to course correct your direction. Similar to other situations, the first thing which needs to happen is to admit there is a problem, and then commit to addressing and fixing it.

Kathleen E. R. Murphy is the Founder, Chief Performance Strategist and CEO of MarketMe Too.  She is a Gallup Certified Strengths Coach, author of Wisdom Whisperer, and is a well-respected motivational and social influencer who has a global following from her numerous speaking, print, radio and television media appearances.

Our expertise is in uniting, motivating and bridging teams (sports & business). What does this do for our clients? It provides them with an acceleration boost to reach their goals sooner, and interact with a renewed efficiency, focus and energy level.

Market Me Too also works with individuals from students to C-level executives. The individuals, business and sports teams we work with are coached on how to leverage and apply their peak performance talents on a daily basis. Our coaching produces repeatable, measurable and amazing results personally and professionally. Need proof? Just talk to our clients, or read through our testimonials.

If you want better and different results, let’s talk. We know how to help you get them. Contact Kathleen at kathymurphy@me.com or (339) 987-0195