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. The real cost of bad bosses… Often, they can be the worst and most stressful part of the job. I personally noticed how my engagement plummeted and I started acting disengaged; low energy, negative, discouraged, etc. Before the pandemic, people had a higher tolerance for bad bosses (especially Baby boomers). Due to the pandemic stress, it forced people to see what they had been tolerating. Many people decided it wasn’t worth it to work in a culture that enable’s a bad boss, especially if the boss was not getting better. Bad boss + bad culture = “I QUIT!”
2. Good bosses improve engagement and reduce turnover. Gallup reports 36% of U.S. workers are engaged. What would happen to engagement if there were more good bosses? An extraordinary boss, inspires & motivates others and creates a high performing team that you never want to leave. In the era of ‘more jobs than people,’ recruiters entice your best people to leave. If your team is not highly engaged, they are susceptible. Good retention strategies start with improving leadership effectiveness and building winning teams. Employees who are learning and growing – being developed in a meaningful way, usually choose to stay.
3. What do you do if you have a bad boss? Options: tolerate it, confront them, report it, leave the company, and, last but not least – assess how you are contributing to the problem. Consider it as a ‘learning opportunity’ and learn how to deal with a bad boss. How could your behavior influence your boss to become better? Most of us don’t like to ‘manage up’ but it is our responsibility. A wonderful opportunity exists for us to learn more about what not to do from a bad boss. It doesn’t mean we should stay in an unpleasant situation forever but don’t hit the panic button too fast. Let the bad boss drive you to be extraordinary! How can you learn, grow, and change your leadership ability to become a BEST BOSS EVER?
“You can see a straight-line correlation between levels of employee engagement and our measure of the overall effectiveness of their supervisors.” Jack Zenger and Joe Folkman
This month I want to try something I have always hesitated to do. I get asked; what does a great leader do? There is no formula or model or set of steps to follow. There are some basic ways to treat others, but tips and tricks are not useful because great leadership is unique to the individual. Leadership is more of an art than a science. You must discover your authentic style of leadership and perfect the skills of leadership that are your strengths. To help you along your leadership development journey, I’ll draw your attention to three common leadership characteristics that are supported by notable research and analysis.
Point # 1 – Great Leaders Drive Results
This is the place where great leaders start. Business is the game of creating results. Productivity leads to growth that creates profit. A leader does everything possible to meet their goals. The leader is accountable and creates a culture of accountability. The key is that they drive for results through a high performing team and the individuals on the team are always growing because of the way the leader delegates meaningful work.
The team wants to ‘win’ and feels like they can achieve stretch goals. Collectively they will do all that they can to accomplish goals. Far too many teams fail because the leader doesn’t focus on creating a high performing team. It’s easy to say the team should self-manage but that doesn’t work well if they are not a high performing team. If the leader fails to galvanize the team and lead them to work through conflict and discover how to work together, the team will flounder.
Great leaders are often respected as people who know how to get it done – create breakthroughs and deliver on the results they have promised. Their energy & mindset of grit and determination permeates their team. People love to follow a leader who knows how to win and does it through their people. Great cultures are created and supported by leaders who drive for results through their team.
“Great teams are led by extraordinary leaders who develop the team’s ability to accomplish results.”
Point # 2 – Strategic Perspective Trumps Technical/Functional Expertise
There are more executives with technical/functional expertise than there are executives with great strategic perspective. Often the easiest way to get promoted is to be the person who delivers results and is smart. Often, I hear people describe a leader as ‘so smart.’ I understand what they mean, however, leaders today need to have just enough intelligence and be ‘super strategic.’ Because few people have strategic focus, this skill stands out. If you have it, you have a gift and/or have benefited from a boss who role-modeled it to you.
What is strategic perspective? Keeping focused on the short term and long term needs of the company at the same time. Having forward thinking about tomorrow’s issues. Leading others to clarify purpose, vision, and mission. Translating those things into meaningful goals. Ensuring teams are aligned with the company’s purpose, mission, and vision. Helping employees see how their job ties into the organizations mission and purpose. Continually communicating the highest priority strategic initiatives. Ensuring that systems and investments are aligned toward achieving strategic goals. Leading organizational efforts that exploit the most highly leveraged business opportunities, which should include some form of enhancing the customer and employee experience.
Who do you know who does this well? It’s a tall order and if you find someone that does this well, I highly recommend you ask them to teach and mentor you. Spend time getting to know what they do and how they do it. The best way to learn is ‘on the job’ and it will help you immensely if you apply what you observe.
“Strategy begins with your purpose – why do you exist. A strategy that enables the company to fulfill its purpose is powerful. Emerging opportunities to gain competitive advantages are less about the competition and more about how your purpose solves a big problem.”
Point # 3 – Employees Want to Be Inspired & Motivated
If a leader is overly results oriented and does not demonstrate they care about their people, they will sub-optimize the team’s ability. People want to know how much you care before they pursue stretch goals. The most powerful motivator today is a leader who makes emotional connections. This can be done in multiple ways. One way to do it well is to stay in touch with each teammate’s issues & concerns, demonstrate trust & respect, and walk your talk.
There are four major behavioral styles, and your team may represent each style. Your style may not inspire and motivate their style. Most managers expect their people to adapt to their style. This is a mistake. “Versatility” is the breakthrough skill that was identified by David Merrill and Roger Reid when they discovered social styles. It is a more powerfully predictor of leadership effectiveness than most behavioral dimensions. It is the ability to temporarily adapt your style to meet the needs and preferences of other styles. We all love people who ‘get’ us and make us feel comfortable in our style. Your ability to “connect” with others increases dramatically if you modify your style.
Last but not least, is the importance of helping your team experience the power of purpose. Today, more than ever, most employees want to know their job makes a difference. They want to do something meaningful and to make a difference in the world, but they are unclear of their purpose. Help them determine what their purpose is and how it can be aligned to your company’s purpose, and you will find a lifelong employee!
“A company on purpose is one thing. When an army of employees align their purpose to the company, incredible results can take place.”
Three Reflection Questions
1. How do I drive results through my team and what else can I do to empower them?
2. Who do I know who has outstanding strategic perspective and how can I learn what they do and how to do it?
3. How can I inspire and motivate my employees better?
Three Things to Read to Go Deeper
1. People And Profits: A Leader’s Guide to Balancing Results and Individual Needs by Joseph Folkman
2. The Power of Purpose in Corporate Strategy by Todd Sears
3. The Real Benefits of Inspiring and Motivating Your Employees but Nat Carmack