December 4

BEST BOSS EVER Newsletter December 2022

Discover how to benefit from the Great Reshuffle!

Employees continue to resign at a record pace but the quit rate as of June ’22 was 2.9%, somewhat lower than the Nov. ’21 peak of the Great Resignation. The quit rate and the swap rate have a correlation of nearly 100%.

The BEST BOSS EVER Newsletter exposes ideas, mindsets, and behaviors extraordinary leaders use to win hearts and minds. Lead yourself, others, and teams more effectively.

Last Month’s 3 Key Points

1.    Selfless Leaders are those who have self-awareness and can see when selfishness entices them to put themselves before others. Extreme selfishness is a leadership weakness and can be a fatal flaw if not constantly rooted out. “Big egos don’t think they need to change. Until you notice that you are thinking and acting selfishly, you cannot change your behavior. Step one in changing yourself to become an extraordinary leader is to NOTICE – over and over again.” We need some ego and pride but too much comes across as “arrogance”. To lead well, we need great relationships built on trust and respect which come from those leaders who are selfless.

2.    The Antidote for Too Much Ego & Pride is HUMILITY. When you are at your best, you promote your team more than yourself. It’s not about you! Great leaders give away all the credit and take all the blame. It’s not about you! When you push your ego & pride down and elevate others, you demonstrate another key aspect of “Level 5” leadership (from Good to Great)! If you are the great promoter of your team’s success and do everything you can to take care of them, people will notice and want to follow you and be on your team. Employees have choices and today more than ever, they choose to stay at companies and work for great leaders who put them and their careers first.

3.    The Missing Ingredient: LOVE. Love is not too soft for the office. Love is the game changer. We all know when someone is extending love to us. Extraordinary leaders make emotional connections and love enables a deep connection. There is no downside to loving your team –  you lead more effectively when you love them. Assess yourself: How deep are the emotional connections you have with your team? Do you work incessantly to help your team be the best version of themselves they can become? What could you do (start, stop & continue) to love your team members more? I strongly urge you to reduce your selfishness, ego, and pride by practicing humility and love!

Point # 1 – Another Year… What Did You Learn?

At the end of the year, a flurry of annual activities comes our way – finishing budgets, planning for organizational changes, establishing goals & objectives, performance appraisals, salary administration, etc. All this is necessary, but it can be a big-time drain. I have never experienced inspiration and motivation from corporate year-end planning; in fact, it was emotionally draining. Can you relate?

One thing that might help you find the missing ingredient is to reflect on something more personal – what you learned this year. I suggest looking for three things: first, what were your biggest successes this year? Second, what are your biggest challenges going into the new year? And third, what have you learned from your experience this year?

When reflecting on your biggest successes, consider the accomplishments that you and your team delivered. More importantly, think deeply about what you did to lead your team successfully – what worked? Look for patterns and themes that provide insights to your leadership impact. How can you connect more deeply, how can you inspire and motivate so that they drive for results to the next level?

Your challenges are the easiest to identify. I encourage you to think about what you are doing to solve those challenges and more importantly, what could you do that you haven’t tried yet. It’s this question that enables you to create a plan for the future. Use your journal to think on paper about what you have not done yet to solve the thorny problems and manage the most difficult polarities.

The most important question of the three is: what did I learn? What didn’t work this year? Look hard into the failures you experienced – they often have a lot to teach us about what life is calling us to learn about ourselves and how we can more effectively lead others.

“Excellence is never an accident. It is always the result of high intention, sincere effort, and intelligent execution…”


Point # 2 – Strengths vs. Weaknesses… What to Work On?

Armed with your insights from your reflection about what you learned in ’22, you want to think about what else you want to learn to be more effective in your role as a leader. The big question you need to answer is ‘how can I become more effective?’ – do you have critical weaknesses that need to be addressed or should you build an emerging strength into a superpower?

If a critical weakness has been lurking around and is not going away, then you need to take immediate action to remedy whatever you are doing. It could be a career derailer. The longer you let a critical weakness impact your effectiveness, the more people will lose trust in your leadership ability.

The Zenger Folkman company has tremendous research on “fatal flaws”, and they examined 360-degree assessments from 87,000 global leaders to determine the “six fatal flaws that kill a leader’s effectiveness”:

1.    Not inspiring and motivating others

2.    Not practicing self-development

3.    Not collaborating and being a team member

4.    Not developing others

5.    Not communicating powerfully and prolifically

6.    Not building relationships

Because a third of all leaders don’t accurately know how others perceive them, a good place to start your development journey is to take a 360-degree assessment. It helps tremendously to determine your biggest leadership strengths, emerging strengths, and weaknesses. If you have not done (or if it has been a few years) a 360-degree assessment, I highly encourage you to do so. If that seems daunting, then I encourage you to use the 8-minute strengths assessment in the last section of the newsletter.

“A fatal flaw is a significant weakness that goes beyond merely diminishing a leader’s effectiveness. Weaknesses can be overlooked.  Fatal flaws form such a strong negative impression, they cannot be ignored.” Jack Zenger & Joe Folkman

Point # 3 – What’s Possible? Practice Plans Matter!

I have seen people dramatically improve their leadership effectiveness in a 12-to-18-month period – several increased their number of strengths by tenfold. I can say confidently that It’s possible to improve a lot in a short period of time. To do what I call “rapid leadership development”, you need to have a plan and dedicate yourself to implementing that plan. Rapid growth is helpful to most of us because we lose focus and when you try to improve rapidly, you usually stay engaged.

The keys to rapid leadership development are: 1) a pre & post leadership assessment, 2) a practice plan for a leadership competency that has leverage, 3) a coach and/or an accountability partner, 4) a reflection & journaling process to document key learnings.

Planning is easier than doing. The best leaders I know who develop their leadership skills have a practice plan. Every week they determine where (which meetings) and when and what they will practice. Being intentional about when you are going to practice makes a huge difference.

At the end of the week, the best leaders, invest some time into a reflection process that enables them to notice what they learned from their practice. They sit with a cup of coffee reflecting on what worked and what didn’t work. They see themselves in action and as they review their ‘game film’, they learn how they can be a great leader.

Many of these leaders have a coach who asks them the tough questions to maximize their learning. Often a coach will lead the person to see something they didn’t see or to discover a reason why they do something or don’t do something. A coach can be a game changer and will help you grow as quickly as you can. And it’s a lot of fun sharing your journey with an expert in leadership.

If you want to learn how to create a plan, you can read about it in my book BEST BOSS EVER! – the five steps to developing yourself into the leader everyone wants to follow. The process works and the book is an easy read (65 pages). For my newsletter readers, I’m offering a holiday discount at only $5.95. Go to Amazon to get your copy.

“Leaders are made, they are not born. They are made by hard effort, which is the price all of us must pay to achieve any goal that is worthwhile.”

Vince Lombardi

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1.    What did I learn this year about leadership and my leadership ability?

2.    What leadership strengths do I want to develop in ’23? Is there any critical weakness that I need to address?

3.    What’s my practice plan for ’23 / how can I be intentional about practicing leadership and becoming a better leader?

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1.    Zenger Folkman 8-minute Strengths Assessment

2.    PEAK – Secrets from The New Science of Expertise by Anders Ericsson and Robert Pool

3.    This Coach Improved Every Tiny Thing by 1 Percent and Here’s What Happened by James Clear

4.    Forgot to mention this last month: LOVE WORKS. Seven Timeless Principles for Effective Leaders by Joel Manby

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