Thursday, October 27, 2011

Ten Ways To Make Your Employees Adore You (video)

Please do not confuse adoration with lovability or even likeability. Effective leaders have a mystique about them that sets them apart from other mortals. They have an ability to garner respect, admiration, reverence, and generally high regard wherever they go. Those are the elements of adoration that we will be dealing with in this video.
No two leaders are the same. They all have their own distinct style. Some exude kindness and warmth while others reek of authority and influence. Some lead by example while others lead through delegation.  Some do things on impulse and immediate action while others are methodical and unhurried. These are products of individual personalities and no one style is better than another. They can all create success when fused with the essential elements of leadership.
No matter what style you might have, you can earn the adoration of your employees.
1.       In order to be adored as a leader you must listen to the people who work with you. Listening is an indication of respect. It shows that you are interested in them and that what they have to say matters. Most importantly, it shows that they have so much value that you will give up your most precious leadership commodity for them...your time.
2.       If you want adoration, talk to your people. Tell them what you are thinking. Tell them about yourself. Let them know that you are human and that you have the same fears, feelings, problems and concerns that they do. If you make yourself human to them they will be compelled to support and protect you when the need arises.
3.       You must control your emotions if you expect true adoration from your followers. Angry, depressed, impatient, sad, giddy, or moody people cannot gain respect and will not be taken seriously by anyone.  A calm, even demeanour with moments of obvious excitement (at appropriate times) will show followers that you are in control of yourself and therefore more likely to be someone of good character and a strong mind.
4.       Adorable people have a sense of humour. A dour, humourless demeanour might seem appropriate in some situations, but a regular diet of it in a leadership position is a morale killer. When people say things to you that they think are funny...laugh! It is not a hard thing to do. Only laugh at appropriate things and when offering your own humour, make sure you do not cross the line of inappropriateness. Work should not be punishment and it follows that a joyful workplace is a productive workplace. If you are not exhibiting humour from time to time, you have not realized your full leadership potential.
5.       Make yourself available and adoration will follow. If you are truly leading, you are visible, available and transparent. Stop making excuses for not spending time with your followers. Get up from your desk and talk to them. When they want to speak with you in private, stop what you are doing (if possible) and talk to them. When they have a problem, listen to them with an open mind and do everything in your power to help them through it. Be their omnipresent symbol of strength.
6.       Trust your employees and they will adore you.  The greatest display of respect you can show an employee is to trust him or her to do the job properly, on time and on budget. Once the training phase is over and you know they are competent, leave them alone and do not meddle. Ask for progress reports and occasional performance evaluations but during the course of the workday, leave them alone and only attempt to help when they ask.  The only interference you should present is a pat on the back for a job well done or a celebration for a special success.  Your trust in them will be returned with respect and admiration for you.
7.       Communicate with your people and they will adore you. One of the most common complaints from employees is that they have little or no communication with management. What they want is more than idle chat. They want to know what is going on, what the vision of the company is, what your personal vision is, the financial strength and growth of the company, and where the company is going. They want to be an integral part of the organization and the more you tell them about where the company is taking them, the more they will admire you.
8.       To be adored you must always be cognizant of how you present yourself. Unlike some other human beings, leaders must always dress appropriately, clean and groom themselves appropriately, speak clearly and concisely and act in a politically correct fashion. Sloppy, slovenly, smelly people seldom make good leaders.  People who mumble, speak too softly, tell dirty jokes or use a lot of foul language have difficulty gaining respect from followers or superiors. If you are having trouble finding adoration at work, give yourself an honest personal evaluation and make the necessary changes.
9.       If you fight for your employees you can become the most adored leader of all. Followers want their leaders to be bold, courageous, loyal warriors who will support them, protect them and speak highly of them at all times.  Leaders who put their own success and safety second to that of their employees will be held in high regard. Leaders who get involved when employees get into conflicts or bravely put themselves into the middle of customer confrontations are the most revered of all. If you make it clear to your people that you will be the last person into the life raft if the ship starts to go down you will be adored beyond your wildest imagination.
10.   Honesty is an adorable trait. Dishonesty is not!  Big lies, small lies, promises not kept, and promises conveniently forgotten are all reasons for leadership catastrophe. No one wants to be lied to. If you always do unto others as you would have them do unto you and never tell an untruth you are on the path to adoration and leadership success.
Leadership is not easy, but by practising these few simple tenets you can enhance your leadership style and move to a higher level of success.
All the Best
Wayne Kehl

Friday, October 14, 2011

I Love My Levi's And I Will Not Change!

When I was a teenager, I became very attached to Levi’s jeans. Most of my friends wore Levi’s Red Tab jeans and we all thought we looked pretty darned cool! In those days Levi’s were made of heavy, dark blue denim that eventually faded to a very pleasant lighter indigo hue. The pungent odour of the blue dye was almost overwhelming until the first time they were washed. Those were tough jeans; unstoppable in almost any situation and resilient to every sort of soil or stains. We wore the boot-cut or regular-cut varieties because those were what all the hip young men of the day wanted to be seen in. I never stopped wearing my Levi’s jeans and they are still the jean-of-choice in my wardrobe today.

As a young man, I had not considered that my Levi’s might become a matter of contention in my family when I became a father.
My teenage children wanted “designer” jeans, created by a variety of high priced cloth-cutters with odd sounding names. Gone were Levi’s, GWG, and Lee jeans...In were Tommy Hilfiger, Armani and Tommy Bahama, all of whom made jeans that cost much more than my Levi’s. My kids made a point of letting me know that I was totally out of step and needed a complete denim makeover in order to move from fuddy-duddy to cool dad status. Sadly, I never made it to that lofty level of youthful social acceptance.
Much to the chagrin of my kids, I doggedly stuck with my Levi’s. I refused to change. I was determined to stay the course and wear my Levi’s in the face of humiliation and potential ridicule from every teenager and cool dad in the world. I was set in my ways and nothing short of a mugging at gun-point could force me into designer jeans.
Just as I failed as a cool dad, many managers and executives continue to fail as successful leaders today.
Too many leaders believe that the old ways are the right ways or the only ways. A lot of Boomer and Generation X leaders believe that we need to get back to basics; return to sanity, and bring back the good old days.
Guess what folks...The good old days are gone...They will never return!
Successful leaders in the twenty first century understand that in order to be successful they must drop many of the old ways and move to a new style of people-management. Change is difficult and the older we get, the more difficult it becomes for us to accept new things. That is human nature and it is not likely to change any time soon. However, if we stand in the way of the steam-roller of change, we will surely be flattened like the pavement of a highway leading to the oblivion of bankruptcy.
Young people eventually become old people and when that happens they take over the world.
Because we will have so many Boomers leaving the workforce during this decade, we will have a faster than usual transition to the new guard...As the holders of the purse-strings and the possessors of the thrones-of-power move to retirement, they will be replaced by younger people who will demand a new world order.
When the young power-brokers take over, gone will be command and control management and gone will be the hierarchical class structures that govern most North American businesses today. Gone will be the concept that the boss is always right and gone will be the idea that employees have to do what they are told unconditionally. The new-guard will wear tee shirts and designer jeans on Wall Street and because letter-writing will be a lost art, they will text their way to success. They will eliminate boring board meetings where a few grey-haired men decide the fate of thousands and they will distribute their company’s wealth in a more equitable, almost quasi-socialistic manner.
Ironically, the new-guard were trained as children by the same old-guard that is currently resisting the changes that are as inevitable as a morning sunrise.
We, the Boomers taught our children to be fair, to stand up for themselves, to take their rightful place in the world, to distrust corporations, to detest Governments, and to make the world a better place for everyone of every race, creed, colour, gender, religion, height, width, sexual bias, from any social circle and from either side of the tracks. We have changed our children’s perceptions of social order and they will soon run their corporations with the values that we so vehemently drummed into them.
If we want our businesses to be strong and live into the future, we need to start changing our management styles now. We need to adapt to the new world order and allow our future leaders the freedom to bring their new ways into our companies. Many companies have already started this new way of doing business and have been very successful with it. They understand that corporate hierarchy, executive superiority and grey pin-striped suits are no longer necessary for success.
Forward thinking leaders understand that in the very near future most of their customers and employees will be members of the much-dreaded Generation “Y” and that they must change their ways of thinking, managing and leading now if they want their brands to live on into the future.
I am a Boomer, very near the end of my career. I still wear my Levi’s and I am still a proud fuddy-duddy. As much as very little has changed about me, I understand that the designer-jeans-wearing leaders of the future will be every bit as successful as the Levi’s wearing crew that I grew up with. I also accept that with or without my help, they will create a new social order that will be completely appropriate for its time. The future is inevitable and in my eyes, it looks bright!
I have officially stopped standing in the way of progress but I will never change my jeans!
All the Best
Wayne Kehl