Leadership

Customer-Centric Cultures are Made of This

Annie on Customer Experience

Courtesy of www.AnnieLennox.com

You can travel the world and the seven seas, everybody’s looking for customer-centric cultures.

Some customers want to use you.  None of them want to get used by you.  Some of them want to abuse you.  None of them want to be abused.

Thanks to Annie Lennox, of the Eurythmics, for getting me to think about customer-centric cultures in a way that we all can relate to.  Over the past several years I am mind-blown at how many organizations are on the quest to create more customer-centric workplace cultures.

Everybody is looking for it

I spend a lot of my life working with customer experience and contact center leaders.  I participate in various events with different associations.  Two of my most active associations Continue reading

3 Keys to Employee Engagement from Coach K

3 Keys to employee engagementDo you ever find yourself looking to various sports for examples that you can use to improve employee engagement? Have you ever stopped to ask why there are coaches and teams that are consistently at the top? Have you wondered why these programs produce leaders that go to create other winning teams? I find myself looking to emulate great coaches (leaders) all of the time.

There surely is a long list of winners to study. Here in my home state of North Carolina we have college basketball programs like Duke University that have a tradition of winning that goes back several decades.

Coach K is More than a Winner

At Duke University, Mike Krzyzewski (Coach K) he has been the head men’s basketball coach since 1980. Coach K has led the Duke University Blue Devils to four NCAA Championships, 11 Final Fours, 12 Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) regular season titles, and 13 ACC Tournament championships. Coach K is also the coach of the United States men’s national basketball team that has won two gold medals. Coach K is the winningest coach in NCAA Division I men’s basketball history.

Not only has Coach K lead winning teams, he has also developed a long list of successful leaders as well. Continue reading

The Cure for Horrible Employees and Bosses

In a Harvard Business Review article, The Cure for Horrible Bosses by Rosabeth M. Kanter she talks about the dark comedy film Horrible Bosses and how you can neutralize a bad boss. She states as many as half of American workers feel low levels of employee engagement stem from poor management.

To explain how to overcome the affects of a bad boss she talks about a character Pierre that was placed into a low performing subsidiary as a COO. In the organization, the CEO was an imperialistic and antagonistic boss that immediately resented Pierre’s presence. After a bout of depression, Pierre then sets out to build relationships in the organization. The relationships that Pierre creates over the next several weeks eventually renders the toxic CEO powerless. Continue reading

Developing Leaders that Operate from their Souls, not Ego

Is anything right with leadership today? I am totally overwhelmed by the number of people talking about the leadership crisis that we are currently experiencing. This is a global conversation that’s going on in both the public and private sector. The long-term forecast is it’s going to get much worse before it gets better, because of the actions that have brought us to the economic and socially responsible upheavals that cover our daily headlines.

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Why MBAs are the Worst Leaders

MBAs Make for Bad LeadersThe following is from an interview Steve Coomer had with Professor Henry Mintzberg. The excerpt below was taken from the discussion regarding what it takes to be an effective manager and why an MBA is not necessarily part of that equation.

You suggest that the dominance of the MBA as an educational standard has corrupted managerial practice. Why is that?

Well, because you have people coming out thinking they are prepared to manage, and they are not. And what is even worse you get people coming out who don’t even go into management, they go into consulting or finance. They do an end run around management and end up leaping from consulting jobs, or financial jobs, into chief executive chairs. And I think the performance of many of them is just plain dreadful. There are exceptions, but a lot of them fail terribly.

But what is it about an MBA education which you believe often makes people ill equipped to be leaders in corporations?

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You’re Not Alone in This Leadership Confusion

Many myths about leadership abound. One of those myths, in particular, steers leaders in the wrong direction. Be careful how much you embrace it.

You’ve heard this myth often, expressed in different ways:

  • “It’s lonely at the top.”
  • “The buck stops here.”
  • “Never let them see you sweat.”

What’s wrong with these aphorisms? Nothing, as long as we consume them in small doses. But swallowed whole and as our only diet, they lead us to conclude the wrong things about the nature of leadership and create confusion.

The Views on Leadership are Distorted

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How others Measure and Manage Employee Morale

Most leadership pundits talk about morale in business the same way they’d describe cotton candy at a state fair. Everybody likes it; nobody’s against it. It’s fun to have. But in essence, it’s just a sugary substance spun with a lot of hot air.

I beg to differ.

Morale has substance. It has weight. And it matters. It’s not something a leader spins from hot air; it is something that a leader can grow only over time and with unremitting attention. If you think leadership is all about “hitting the numbers,” and that soft and squishy stuff like morale is no different than cotton candy, think again.

 The late Roger Milliken, former CEO of Milliken &Co., and winner of the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, once put it this way: Continue reading

Is Bad Leadership to Blame for Employees Poisoning Boss?

2 NC cafeteria workers accused of poison attempt March 02, 2011 

ALBEMARLE, N.C. (AP) — Authorities say two North Carolina high school cafeteria employees have been arrested and accused of trying to poison their boss’ tea. The Stanly County Sheriff’s Office says 38-year-old Angela Johnson and 64-year-old Eileen Hallamore were charged Tuesday with distributing food containing poison. Authorities say their investigation started last month after the county board of education reported a poisoning attempt at South Stanly High School in Norwood. No students were involved. Deputies have not said how the poisoning was discovered or what may have motivated the women. It was not clear if the women have attorneys. They are due in court April 25.

The Next Question You Ask Continue reading

Are your Employees Over-managed and Under-led?

Are your employees over-managed and under-led? That describes the state of leadership in most of the organizations with which I have consulted over the past 20 years. It’s too bad.

I am not sure how we got this way. I think it’s from two generations of leaders taking too-much-to-heart the old adage: “If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it.” I think we have lost sight of what the “it” in that sentence is supposed to refer to. As your high school English teacher used to say, the pronoun “it” in this case has a vague antecedent. Continue reading

12 Culture Traits from the Masters of Leadership

Leadership is often defined as a set of skills or attributes possessed by a person known as “the leader.” Accordingly, leadership development is treated as if it were a solo act. But it’s not. There can be no leadership without other people. There also can be no leaders created without leaders of leaders…these are Masters of Leadership.

Masters of Leadership know the secret to their leadership success is not written in this article, it is not in seminars, books or audio programs. It is locked away in their employees, in their minds and hearts. To access this information you need tools and tactics to help you get to understand their criteria and then connect with their minds, touch their hearts and do this with congruence to fully engage employees.  Continue reading

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