Leadership Anthropologist, Mentor, Coach & Business Consultant

Proactively helping business leaders engage, empower and grow!

5 Culture Movements That Are Permeating Your Company

Since well before the start of the Industrial Age, companies have existed by a command and control leadership culture model and hunkered themselves down behind corporate walls of silence.  It worked well, in many peoples minds, until we entered the Internet Age.  Since then there have been a number of movements that have affected that structure and they are actually starting to change those antiquated processes and rules.  Now, some will say this is a disruptive change that is not a good movement however this author believes it is the next evolution of the global business world.  We are going to look at five of those movements so you can see how well you have adapted your company or not!

As we progress through this period we must realize that many companies have a major disconnect between their brand, business, marketing and contemporary culture.  These companies must learn how to use the re-connection as a lever to increase their brand, business and marketing.  Our companies are no longer islands unto themselves, able to drive demand of customers and command employees without respect and a global passion for doing the right thing at the right time with the right people. Read More

The Power of Relationship Management

Collaboration Word Study

Collaboration Word Study

John Maxwell talks about building relationships, personally and in business, in every book he writes. Thousands of people buy his books and read them, yet we still suffer with a significant absence of depth and compassion in the subject, in business and personally.  As John has said: “If you want to be significant and live a life that matters, you must add value to others.” This is at the core of Relationship Capital.

I think it’s time that we, in business, really examine this idea of the power of relationship management because as technology continues to advance rapidly, a direct result of this change is the reduced need for face to face interaction in business. Without this interaction we are losing a significant amount of a valuable intangible asset called Relationship Capital.

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2017 – Seek out Innovative & Disruptive Ideas

ID-10020186 (2015_09_21 22_53_07 UTC)Have you ever noticed that the road to innovation is not straight nor is it flat, it’s disruptive, curvy and sometimes riddled with potholes? Typically, those potholes create distractions that cause burnouts, minor failures or even monumental, catastrophic failures.

The net result of this can often be loss of focus and fear within many organizations, especially as we start a new year. 2017 will be a year of major disruption in my opinion and it will require all the Ikigai and Kaizen you can muster within your organization.

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Why Being Consistent is So Important

Group DialogIn all my years in management, I have learned one really valuable lesson; Consistency makes life better in all areas.  This is especially true in leadership roles but can also be applied to teams and organizations. If consistency is a major value in your culture, there is little you cannot accomplish.

What does this really mean?:

Well first and foremost, if you say you are going to do something, you do it, without hesitation. If you say you are going to be somewhere, you are there, on time or early. If you create a new business process or initiative, you follow through. In my experience, consistency is critical as you develop, build, and grow your business.

There are 5 basic reasons for spending the time ensuring consistency:

  1. Consistency provides a basis for measurement of completed commitments.

When I try something new, I find that I need to perform it for a period of time and in a consistent manner, before I can decide if it works or not.  You really can’t measure effectiveness if what you are measuring isn’t performed consistently?  Your customers or clients look at it in the same way. Consistency lets them feel comfortable giving you more business.

I generally give new initiatives, processes, and organizational structures, at least, six months before declaring them a success or failure. During this time, you can be making minor changes which improve the process and avoids major overhauls. It demonstrates you care about the relationship whether internal or external and the measurement provides physical evidence of the performance.

Time invested in a tracking process will pay in the long run. The summer of 2016 will be exciting because we will be introducing a commitment measurement tool called “PE.ER, Performance Excellence, Engaging Recognition”. It will be a subscription model that will allow one party to request a commitment and another party to handle fulfillment of that commitment.

  1. Consistency establishes accountability as leaders, team members or employees.

I have always asked my employees to be accountable for their own career management, deliverables, and goals. This helps them grow and mature. On the other hand, they know they can expect the same in return from my leadership.

I made it a priority to allow time and access for each of my employees. I also tracked my own commitments to others. When we held meetings there was a consistent recording of expectations on any project or aspect of the business that required attention.

The simple fact that there is a set time to report on progress is often the catalyst that moves an initiative along to a successful end.

  1. Consistency supports and quantifies our reputation as leaders, teams or a company.

Great business leaders understand that growth requires a track record of success. You can’t establish a track record if you are constantly shifting gears or trying new tactics, this only leads to confusion and disengagement.

Many businesses or projects fail before they get to the finish line, not because the tactic was flawed or goals weren’t clear, but rather they lacked a consistent path with milestones and objectives. Without a documented path of success, you never know how close you are to reaching a sustainable business.

  1. Consistency shows why we are relevant as leaders, teams or a company.

This is a time-tested factoid: our employees and our customers need and expect a predictable flow of information from leaders. All too often I see businesses, both small and large, adopt a campaign or initiative only to end it before it gains traction.

It can be very effective to run advertisements, social media campaigns, numerous blog articles, weekly newsletters, or continual process changes throughout the year, but without some demonstrable method of tracking or monitoring, we will disappoint our employees, customers or vendors.

  1. Consistency reinforces and manages your message as a leader, team or company.

FACT: Your team and your customers will pay more attention to what you do rather than what you say.

Consistency in your leadership serves as a model for how they will behave.  For example, if you treat a meeting as unimportant, don’t be surprised when you find they are doing the same to fellow teammates or even the customers.

Tracking commitments allow us to look back when something doesn’t work. We can look back at what happened and ask some relevant questions. Did we shift gears too quickly? Did part of the team not deliver on a commitment? Or was the expected outcome off base from the start? Most of the time, the reason tracks back to the lack of consistency.

Would love to have a discussion regarding how you can create a consistency model within your company, regardless of size. Please check out my website or call me at 630-454-4821. Looking forward to engaging with you.

Successful Companies Empower in Eight Areas

Collaboration Graphic (2015_07_30 18_46_37 UTC)I believe there are a number of areas within an organization where authentic leaders, looking to be successful, have found great benefits by investing in them. These 8 areas are a starting point for engaging the process. The key is to make sure the discussion, responses, and support are real, valued, and measurable in some way.

In this brief article, I refer to a new tool being introduced by Standard of Trust called PE-ER (Performing Excellence, Engaging Recognition) whose focus is to allow individuals, companies, clients, peers or vendors to request, accept, and monitor commitments between participating parties. Now the platform will not be available until Late Summer 2016 but this discussion is meant to provide thought to provoke ideas for change and innovation in anticipation of the release.

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What an Engaged Employee Should Look Like

Individual Coaching WorksIn previous articles, I have been focused on making and keeping commitments. I feel this is a critical component of success for every company and leader but too often we forget about what the follower’s roles are and how they impact an organization. The basis of our new PE-ER tool, coming this summer, is “Performing Excellence, Engaging Recognition” and we believe strongly that these attributes provide the basis for any organization.

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How to Understand the Law of Attraction!

shareasimage (2015_09_21 22_53_07 UTC)Have you ever thought the world was there only to make you fail? Do you think that If you didn’t have bad luck you wouldn’t have any luck at all? This is an example of stinking thinkin’!

In reality, you make your own luck, your own failures and successes with your choices. Yes, we can blame others but we are responsible for how we handle the external impacts of outside services, products or people.

If you are one of the positive ones who think everything happens for a reason! ?
Excellent, good for you! You are correct! Well, sort of…

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Ikigai – How to See Growth in 2016!

ikigai DiagramAs we start 2016, I would like to open our imaginations a bit and examine work and life from a couple of Japanese concepts that we have all heard about but few truly understand.  The first we are going to look at is “Ikigai” or “the why you get up every day” and the second is “Kaizen” or “the philosophy of continuous improvement in work and personal lives”.

Many authors discuss these topics independently but I really feel they need to be combined to realize the real power that is present in their use and empowerment. Here we are going to examine an integrated process that can help you become more intentional and empowering in 2016.

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How to Tackle Change & WIIFM!

ID-10018273 (2015_09_21 22_53_07 UTC)In times of change, “What’s in it for ME?” (WIIFM) is the “BIG” question everyone wants an answer to as soon as possible. Basically, we are all self-centered so this should be no surprise.

As a leader, it is your responsibility to see that the communications are clear, concise and authentic. Where possible, we need to understand another component in change and that is “What’s in it for “US” as a group?” The answers to question WIIFM can actually be included with a WIIFUS response.

In my experience, the biggest mistake most leaders make when trying to change something in the life or structure of the enterprise is to lead by announcement, by propaganda, or—worse yet—by executive dictate.

What may make perfect sense in your mind may not be understood so clearly by the rest of the organization. To you, the idea is completely logical. Trouble is, to win the support of others you must appeal to the intellectual and emotional bandwidth of people.

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Unlearning Could be the Key to Successful Change

Woman at laptop 300_200Could the solution to resistance to change be a simple act of unlearning?  Let’s look into this and see just how complex this statement really is for humans.

Lao Tzu said, “To attain knowledge, add things every day. To attain wisdom, remove things every day.”

Peter Drucker said it another way, “We spend a lot of time teaching leaders what to do. We don’t spend enough time teaching leaders what to stop. Half the leaders I have met don’t need to learn what to do. They need to learn what to stop.

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