To effectively navigate a crisis scenario, companies must have a clear response plan to react promptly and honestly, and learn from their mistakes. Today’s guest post is by Thomas Mustac, Publicist — Otter PR Crises come in all shapes and sizes for businesses, but no matter how big or small, an organization will be overwhelmed if they have not adequately planned how to approach the crisis. Formulating a crisis response plan is one of the most important steps a business leader must take, as this will allow them to not only weather the crisis, but also walk away improved from the lessons they learned. Everyone knows that time is not on the side of an organization facing a crisis, but few realize there are ways to use time to their advantage. In the face of a crisis, a business leader must consider the role of time in the public’s perception of the company and its crisis response. How long did it take to respond to the crisis — did it take too long, or did it seem like a knee-jerk reaction? Was the response too brief, too long-winded, or just right? And what is the timeline for the company to implement these changes? Considering these essential questions when crafting a crisis response plan will allow a business to reclaim precious time and maintain favor in the eyes of the general public. Gaining control over a crisis Often, a company does not have time to formulate a proper crisis response after the crisis hits. Businesses that have not prepared will find themselves scrambling, frequently getting overwhelmed and responding in a way that makes the situation worse. Canny business leaders realize the intense timeline of a crisis and prepare a crisis response plan early in their organization’s life cycle. Although it […]
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Our reader poll today asks: How do you deal with someone who is passive aggressive? I ignore it and focus on the work 40.26% I call them out on it and work toward productive resolution 39.62% I get passive aggressive myself in retaliation 11.36% I get directly aggressive to counter the behavior 8.76% Pushing Back on Passive Aggression. 60% of you push back in some way on passive aggressive behavior. Whether it’s directly confronting the person or pursuing your own campaign of passive aggression, their behavior gets a response from you. Consider your approach to your response. Passive aggression met with passive aggression can simply spiral into a silent war with no resolution. Directly aggressive behavior can cause a directly aggressive response or even stronger passive aggressive behavior. There’s a chance the person demonstrating the behavior doesn’t even realize how their behavior is affecting you or others. Consider a direct response that provides actionable feedback with offers of how the issue can be resolved. Being the bigger person is hard and frustrating sometimes but it can prevent future situations from arising. – Mike Figliuolo at thoughtLEADERS, LLC Did you enjoy this post? If so, I highly encourage you to take about 30 seconds to become a regular subscriber to this blog. It’s free, fun, practical, and only a few emails a week (I promise!). SIGN UP HERE to get the thoughtLEADERS blog conveniently delivered right to your inbox!
Strategic filters can help you prioritize your efforts based on the objectives of your organization. Once you’ve created a list of initiates that you’re going to pursue to help you achieve your vision, you need to evaluate those initiatives according to objective criteria for comparing them to one another. Because ultimately you need to prioritize those initiatives. The ones you’re going to pursue are the ones that meet the majority of your objective functions. I like to use a tool that I call strategic filters for doing this evaluation. These strategic filters are going to be based upon the objective functions of your organization and the goals that you find to be important. Once you’ve constructed your strategic filters, you’re going to assess every single initiative relative to that set of filters. Let’s say our company is growing and we’re also trying to expand internationally and we really want to launch some new products. So we’re going to create two types of filters. The first filter set is going to be qualitative, the second filter set is going to be quantitative. So I may construct evaluation filters that look at things like, “Is the product new? Is it going to leverage our existing brand? Is it white label and non-branded? Is it going to help us be global or does it focus on domestic markets? And lastly, is the product simple or is it going to be complex to launch?” Those qualitative filters will help me assess those products and those initiatives based upon my goal of taking my brands global. Once I’ve decided if they’re a fit with the qualitative filters, I also need to look at the numbers. I may have three sets of numbers that I consider as my financial filters. I may look at the […]
Here are 5 top tips to conquer imposter syndrome and lead with confidence as a young entrepreneur. Today’s guest post is by Sofie Roux, Founder — BloomBox Design Labs When I started college at a school I had dreamed of attending since I was six, I was awestruck. This feeling was rapidly followed by the thought, “How will I ever measure up to this amazing place?” I threw myself into my classes and work and clubs, but I often wondered if I was doing anything right. I soon learned that almost every college student experiences some form of imposter syndrome, “the persistent inability to believe that one’s success is deserved.” I want to tell you what I learned about imposter syndrome this year — and especially how it can deeply affect young leaders. After an amazing freshman year, I decided not to return for the fall quarter, but instead to focus my energy on leading my newly formed public benefit company to bring solar-powered, off-grid science, technology, and design labs to schools around the world, to help close disparities in access to high-quality education. This was extremely daunting, but the decision to go was largely guided by the values of fearless innovation and the pursuit of truth and beauty I had observed at college. Now, I work full-time on my startup, BloomBox Design Labs. Being a young female founder can come with next-level imposter syndrome. Though I am far from an expert, and I can’t comment on running a big company, here’s what I’ve learned in the very early stages of my enterprise. In moments of doubt, I have found inspiration from innovators that I admire, and from my current favorite dog-eared book, “Meditations” by the stoic Marcus Aurelius. Before I dispense this bit of advice, I’ll just say, if you have […]
Our reader poll today asks: How do you feel about doing a deal without a contract in place? I’m fine with it in most situations 7.54% I’ll only do it with partners I’ve worked with before and trust 29.77% I’ll only do it in rare circumstances where time is short 16.27% I simply won’t do it—too much can go wrong 46.42% Flying without a net. Most of you indicate you’re not comfortable entering into a deal without the contract firmly in place. That approach is a wise one given how many misunderstandings can occur in deals as well as preventing someone from changing agreed-upon deal terms that were never documented. If the other party wants to start the work together without a contract in place, understand the risk you’re taking on and your lack of meaningful consequences if things don’t go as planned. Sure this means you might miss some opportunities by passing on a time-sensitive deal that prevents a contract from getting done but ask yourself if accepting that opportunity is worth accepting the risk that comes with it. – Mike Figliuolo at thoughtLEADERS, LLC Did you enjoy this post? If so, I highly encourage you to take about 30 seconds to become a regular subscriber to this blog. It’s free, fun, practical, and only a few emails a week (I promise!). SIGN UP HERE to get the thoughtLEADERS blog conveniently delivered right to your inbox!
Consider these five criteria when distributing work to your high-performing team. Another key task as the leader of a high performing team is how you distribute and balance work across the members of that team. It needs to be done fairly. Note, I didn’t say equally. Work allocation needs to be done fairly because you want perceptions of equality and you want people to work on things they’re good at but also that they’re excited by. There are five criteria to think about as you think about distributing work. First, for priority. Priority needs to drive everything. It’s based on the teams and the organizations goals. If a project is a top priority and somebody’s available to do that work they get that work, and you need to allocate it appropriately. Second, consider the skill set of the people where you’re thinking about distributing the work. If they have the right skill set, you’re going to get a high quality result. This also prevents people from failing. You’re giving them something they can be successful with. Next, consider availability. All things being equal in terms of priority and skill set, who is free to do the work? Who has the bandwidth? You should not be shifting resources from one project to another when you have available resources to pick up that new project. If you start shifting resources around between projects when you have available resources elsewhere, you’re going to lose momentum on that first project, and that project might fail. Next, you have to think about the development opportunity this project might present for that person, because that’s how you’re going to take your team to the next level of performance. The last consideration is, “Does somebody have an interest in it?” If someone is really interested and really […]
Dr. Sam Adeyemi offers insights to business executives and C-suite professionals on creating positivity as a team leader. Today’s guest post is by Dr. Sam Adeyemi, author of Dear Leader: Your Flagship Guide to Successful Leadership (CLICK HERE to get your copy). Here is something not every leader is ready to hear: You are the most powerful force behind the positivity in your workplace. If that positivity were the heavens, then you would be Atlas — or, at least one of his arms. So how do you cultivate positivity and find a healthy outlet for any dissatisfaction? You can start with these four step-by-step tactics for becoming a more inspiring and empathetic leader. 1. Look within yourself. One of the most popular quotes from Carl Jung, noted Swiss psychiatrist and psychoanalyst, speaks to this exact issue: “Who looks outside dreams; who looks inside awakes.” You can find this quote all over social media and cataloged on websites promising a list of quotes that will “change your life.” And, while its surface-level message of finding peace within yourself understandably resonates with many, there is even more going on here than this small excerpt betrays to the reader. Jung was describing a war between the Self and the collective noise of your outside reality. Any growth you hope to facilitate starts with you, which means you can’t hope to succeed until you know yourself and recognize your own opportunities for growth. Your ability to manage sources of negative energy and uplift your team in the workplace begins and ends with your own inner strength. You must be willing to take an honest look at yourself as a leader, then grow accordingly. Unfortunately, our natural reaction is to avoid problems and circumvent confrontation whenever possible — especially when we are confronting ourselves. […]
Our reader poll today asks: How fairly are promotion opportunities communicated throughout your organization? Very: as soon as a position is open, everyone knows and can apply 29.35% Somewhat: select people are encouraged to apply for open positions 30.54% Not very: you have to dig around and look for open positions 23.35% Not at all: you only find out about open positions after they’ve been filled 16.76% Expand the applicant pool. It’s disappointing that almost 40% of you report that promotion opportunities aren’t easy to find until it’s too late. While you may have a favorite candidate, not publicizing positions can have severely negative effects. First, you might miss out on a better candidate you didn’t know was in the organization. Second, it might lead your people to feel like the game is “fixed” and there’s no way they can advance because they don’t even have visibility into promotion opportunities. That may lead them to leave the organization since they know they won’t get a fair shot at advancement. Finally, it could prevent you from identifying the next generation of talent. People who apply might not be right for that role but they could fill future ones and should be n your radar when new openings arise. Bottom line: publicize the promotion opportunities and give everyone an equal shot at advancement. – Mike Figliuolo at thoughtLEADERS, LLC Did you enjoy this post? If so, I highly encourage you to take about 30 seconds to become a regular subscriber to this blog. It’s free, fun, practical, and only a few emails a week (I promise!). SIGN UP HERE to get the thoughtLEADERS blog conveniently delivered right to your inbox!
Chemistry and trust are what differentiates an average team from a high-performing team. It’s great to have a clear vision and mission and a nice set of prioritized initiatives, and you’ve got all the right people. But what starts differentiating a team from a high-performing team is chemistry and trust between the members of that team. These intangibles are some of the most critical elements of building that team, but they’re also some of the most elusive ones to build and to capture. You need to understand it’s about personalities and shared beliefs. Make sure everyone on your team is involved in the interview process because candidates will show different sides of themselves to different people. And sometimes, those sides can be unattractive detractors from what you’re trying to build. When I was a consultant, we were bringing in another consultant onto the team, and that person interviewed very well with the other members of the consulting staff. At the end of the interview process, we all got together in the team room, and we talked about this candidate. And all of us were very excited about hiring him. And then we stopped and we asked our front desk receptionist what she thought of him. She said, “He was incredibly rude. He spoke down to me. He acted like I didn’t matter.” That individual did not get an offer of employment from us. And he’s probably still wondering why. To assess what people are like, you can use some standard tools out there like The Myers-Brigg Type Indicator, Personalysis, and other standard evaluation tools to help people understand each others’ personalities and their styles and their preferences. Don’t just do it for candidates. Sit down and do it with the entire team. It’s not critical for people to have the same personalities; actually, it’s quite detrimental. What matters […]
We can be victims of our own thoughts holding us back. False equivalencies limit our beliefs and can turn our greatest strengths into barriers and limitations. Today’s post is by Elizabeth B. Crook, author of Live Large: The Achiever’s Guide to What’s Next (CLICK HERE to get your copy). As a business leader, you know the challenges of managing cash flow, dealing with personal issues or handling a customer who is dissatisfied – all problems we sign up for as leaders. Yet in my work as a business strategist for twenty-five years, there is an issue more common and potentially disabling to leaders than any of the above – limiting beliefs. Back in the 50s Walt Kelly, creator of the comic strip character Pogo, expressed it best, “We have met the enemy and he is us.” One way limiting beliefs show up in our lives is in the form of false equivalencies. False equivalencies are defined by the belief that doing something or not doing something will make us “good” or “bad.” Here are three common ones – you might recognize in yourself – I know I did! Abandoning a project/goal/position = being a quitter Tolerating unacceptable conditions = being patient Taking time off/resting = being lazy False equivalencies can keep us trapped in situations, limiting our options. Mark, a CEO of a rapidly growing manufacturing company, came to me for some “next step” work when his company was going through a growing phase. He had a loyal team who had been with him since the company’s formative years, yet he was resisting trimming out the staffers who weren’t able to grow with the company and adding more experienced management to his team. Puzzled at first, I recalled Mark’s telling me about the early years. “We had an investor, who […]
Our reader poll today asks: How comfortable are you with understanding and negotiating contracts? Extremely: I may as well be an attorney 15.19% Very: I get all the business elements and most of the legal ones 43.46% Somewhat: I’m hesitant to engage with much of the legal terms 22.79% Not very: I’ll only get involved if I have to 11.39% Not at all: I want my attorney! 7.17% Get to know the fine print. 41% of you report being either somewhat (or less than that) comfortable with understanding and negotiating contracts. The thing is, if it’s your name on the signature line, you’re accountable for the terms being agreed to whether or not you had an attorney involved. As the ultimate signatory of the agreement, you’re well-advised to get familiar with every term that’s included in the document. While some may seem confusing or arcane, a good attorney will be willing to walk you through every clause and explain it in easy-to-understand terms. You may find terms in there you don’t want to agree to from a business perspective that your attorney is willing to agree to because they don’t fully appreciate the business implications too. Negotiating an agreement carries on well beyond the initial handshake. If you don’t understand the final agreement, you might find some nasty surprises down the road when elements of that contract get pulled out. You don’t have to be an attorney but you should understand what they’re advising you to sign. – Mike Figliuolo at thoughtLEADERS, LLC Did you enjoy this post? If so, I highly encourage you to take about 30 seconds to become a regular subscriber to this blog. It’s free, fun, practical, and only a few emails a week (I promise!). SIGN UP HERE to get the thoughtLEADERS blog conveniently delivered right to your inbox!
One of the most exciting aspects of building a high-performing team is recruiting people to be members of that team. Follow these three tips to improve your recruiting process. One of the most exciting aspects of building a high-performing team is recruiting people to be members of that team. There’s nothing better than finding that really talented person who wants to come work with you. As you think about doing this recruiting and finding the right people, you need to understand how to create role descriptions based on the team’s skill needs. Experience-based role descriptions might sound like, well, “The individual must have five years of experience on a small business credit union underwriting team working at a small mid-Atlantic community bank with multiple branches.” That’s a really specific description and there are very few people who probably meet those requirements. So you’ve shrunk the recruiting base that you can find somebody in. Instead, write skill-based job descriptions. Think about the initiatives you’re pursuing and the skills this person has to have. For example, “The individual must have the ability to perform complex financial analysis and combine those results with judgment to make effective decisions.” Those skill-based job descriptions open the applicant pool. It’ll enable you to get those new people in faster. Next, in terms of hiring, once you have that skill-based job description, think differently in terms of where you go to find people because different perspectives and different experiences are going to bring new ideas into your organization. Additionally, by looking at nontraditional sources, you’ll probably have less competition for that great talent. So instead of recruiting from Harvard Business School where every organization in America is trying to hire those graduates, perhaps you look at different schools where you have less competition. Maybe try and pick […]