Being a great manager is a four-part process, Tweeted LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner, pictured. AP
With a 97 percent employee approval rating on Glassdoor, LinkedIn’s Jeff Weiner has developed a reputation as one of the most beloved CEOs in the world.
Weiner recently shared his advice on what it takes to reach employees on a deeper level:
“Inspire, empower, listen & appreciate. Practicing any one of these can improve employee engagement; mastering all four can change the game”
Of course, most would agree these four qualities would be beneficial to the leadership of any business. But how do you develop and exercise these qualities in the day-to-day?
Here are a few practical steps:
There are many ways to empower your employees, including providing them with:
the flexibility to work remotely, wherever and whenever they can produce
the tools they need to do their best work
the freedom and psychological safety required to explore new ideas, to experiment, and to express dissenting opinions
Of course, good leadership involves maintaining interest in your people’s work, and offering helpful advice when appropriate.
But if you really want to see what your people are capable of, don’t be afraid to get out of their way.
Effective leaders know that good listening is an art.
To do so, you must give complete attention to the other person. (That’s right, put the phone and other distractions away.) Resist the urge to interrupt. Also, avoid trying to solve the problem, or think in terms of right and wrong.
Instead, work to understand how the other person’s thinking is similar or different than your own, along with the reasons for this. Focus on learning from the other person’s perspective. Then, use those learnings to improve your understanding of others and their situations, deepen your relationships, and broaden your overall thinking.
Appreciating your people is about more than giving credit where it’s due, or telling someone: “Job well done.” Nor is it about flattery or praise for the sake of praising.
True appreciation is looking for the good in others, getting sincere and specific about what you appreciate, and why. It means seeing their potential.
It also means commending right away when you see something good. After all, if you saw an employee engage in a dangerous behavior, you wouldn’t wait too long to correct it, would you? Similarly, you should positively reinforce your employees’ good behavior when you see it — to encourage them to continue.
Each of your people is talented in different ways. By learning to identify, recognize, and praise those talents, you bring out the best in them.
Weiner actually names this quality first, but I’m naming it last — because the effort you put into the other three traits will help you provide inspiration.
If you truly want to inspire, forget about trying to impress others with what school you went to or what you’ve already accomplished. None of that matters to the people you’re leading right now.
Instead, be willing to:
take time out of your busy schedule to help them with a problem
remain open-minded, happy to try out new ideas
get down in the trenches and join in the dirty work
show your people you’ve got their backs by staying by them even when they make mistakes
do more than tell people where they should go — set the example and show them the way
Leaders who recognize the importance of humility and emotional intelligence are the ones who are able to inspire. These leaders concern themselves with action instead of position.
Perhaps leadership author Simon Sinek said it best:
“There are leaders and there are those who lead. Leaders hold a position of power or authority, but those who lead inspire us. Whether they’re individuals or organizations, we follow those who lead, not because we have to, but because we want to.”
When trying to come up with a new idea, we all have times when we get stuck. But according to research by behavioral and learning scientist Marily Oppezzo, getting up and going for a walk might be all it takes to get your creative juices flowing. In this fun, fast talk, she explains how walking could help you get the most out of your next brainstorm.
This talk was presented to a local audience at TEDxStanford, an independent event. TED’s editors chose to feature it for you.
People in every workplace talk about building the team, but few understand how to create the experience of teamwork or how to develop an effective team. Belonging to a team, in the broadest sense, is a result of feeling part of something larger than yourself. It has a lot to do with your understanding of the mission or objectives of your organization.
In a team-oriented environment, you contribute to the overall success of the organization. You work with fellow members of the organization to produce these results. Even though you have a specific job function and you belong to a specific department, you are unified with other staff members in order to accomplish the overall objectives. Your function exists to serve the bigger picture.
You need to differentiate this overall sense of teamwork from the task of developing an effective intact team that is formed to accomplish a specific goal. People confuse the two team building objectives.
This is why so many team building seminars, meetings, retreats, and activities are deemed failures. Leaders failed to define the team they wanted to build. Developing an overall sense of teamwork is different from building an effective, focused team.
The 12 Cs for Team Building
Executives, managers, and organization staff members universally explore ways to improve business results and profitability. Many view team-based, horizontal, organization structures as the best design for involving all employees in creating business success.
No matter what you call your team-based improvement effort (whether it’s continuous improvement, total quality, lean manufacturing, or a self-directed work team), you are striving to improve results for customers. However, few organizations are totally pleased with the results their team improvement efforts produce.
If your team improvement efforts are not living up to your expectations, this self-diagnosing checklist may tell you why. Successful team building—that creates effective, focused work teams—requires attention to each of the following.
1. Clear Expectations.
Has executive leadership clearly communicated its expectations for the team’s performance and expected outcomes? Do team members understand why the team was created?
Is the organization demonstrating constancy of purpose in supporting the team with resources of people, time and money? Does the work of the team receive sufficient emphasis as a priority in terms of the time, discussion, attention, and interest directed its way by executive leaders?
Do team members understand why they are participating on the team? Do they understand how the strategy of using teams will help the organization attain its communicated business goals?
Can team members define their team’s importance to the accomplishment of corporate goals? Does the team understand where its work fits into the total context of the organization’s goals, principles, vision, and values?
Do team members want to participate on the team? Do team members feel the team mission is important? Are members committed to accomplishing the team mission and expected outcomes?
Do team members perceive their service as valuable to the organization and to their own careers? Do team members anticipate recognition for their contributions? Do team members expect their skills to grow and develop on the team? Are team members excited and challenged by the team opportunity?
Does the team feel that it has the appropriate people participating? For example, in a process improvement, is each step of the process represented on the team? Does the team feel that its members have the knowledge, skill, and capability to address the issues for which the team was formed? If not, does the team have access to the help it needs? Does the team feel it has the resources, strategies, and support needed to accomplish its mission?
Has the team taken its assigned area of responsibility and designed its own mission, vision, and strategies to accomplish the mission. Has the team defined and communicated its goals; its anticipated outcomes and contributions; its timelines; and how it will measure both the outcomes of its work and the process the team followed to accomplish their task? Does the leadership team or other coordinating group support what the team has designed?
Does the team have enough freedom and empowerment to obtain the ownership necessary to accomplish its charter? At the same time, do team members clearly understand their boundaries? How far are members allowed to go in pursuit of solutions? Are limitations (e.g., monetary and time resources) defined at the beginning of the project before the team experiences barriers and rework?
Are the team’s reporting relationship and accountability understood by all members of the organization? Has the organization defined the team’s authority to make recommendations? To implement the plan? Is there a defined review process so both the team and the organization are consistently aligned with both direction and purpose?
Do team members hold each other accountable for project timelines, commitments, and results? Does the organization have a plan to increase opportunities for self-management among organization members?
Does the team understand the team and group process? Do members understand the stages of group development? Are team members working together effectively interpersonally? Do all team members understand the roles and responsibilities of team members, team leaders, and team recorders?
Can the team approach problem solving, process improvement, goal setting, and measurement jointly? Do team members cooperate to accomplish the team charter? Has the team established group norms or rules of conduct in areas such as conflict resolution, consensus decision making, and meeting management? Is the team using an appropriate strategy to accomplish its action plan?
Are team members clear about the priority of their tasks? Is there an established method for the teams to give feedback and receive honest performance feedback? Does the organization provide important business information regularly?
Do the teams understand the complete context of their existence? Do team members communicate clearly and honestly with each other? Do team members bring diverse opinions to the table? Are necessary conflicts raised and addressed?
9. Creative Innovation.
Is the organization really interested in change? Does it value creative thinking, unique solutions, and new ideas? Does it reward people who take reasonable risks to make improvements? Or does the company reward the people who fit in and maintain the status quo? Does it provide the training, education, access to books and films, and field trips necessary to stimulate new thinking?
Do team members feel responsible and accountable for team achievements? Are rewards and recognition supplied when teams are successful? Is reasonable risk respected and encouraged in the organization? Do team members fear reprisal? Do team members spend their time finger pointing rather than resolving problems?
Is the organization designing reward systems that recognize both team and individual performance? Is the organization planning to share gains and increased profitability with the team and individual contributors? Can contributors see their impact on increased organization success?
Are teams coordinated by a central leadership team that assists the groups to obtain what they need for success? Have priorities and resource allocation been planned across departments? Do teams understand the concept of the internal customer (i.e, anyone to whom they provide a product or a service?)
Are cross-functional and multi-department teams common and working together effectively? Is the organization developing a customer-focused process-focused orientation and moving away from traditional departmental thinking?
12. Culture Change.
Does the organization recognize that the team-based, collaborative, empowering, enabling the organizational culture of the future is different than the traditional, hierarchical organization it may currently be? Is the organization planning to, or in the process of, changing how it rewards, appraises, hires, develops, motivates, and manages the people it employs?
Does the organization plan to use failures for learning and support reasonable risk? Does the organization recognize that the more it can change its climate to support teams, the more it will receive in payback from the work of the teams?
The 12 Cs Work
If you spend time and attention on each of these recommendations you will ensure that your work teams contribute as effectively as possible to your overall business success. It’s a lot to do, but there’s a lot at stake.
The new Strategic approach to training must be organized and realized to satisfy two dominant parameters:
The multicultural environment in which all Companies operate.
The 4th Industrial Revolution
It is not as important to define whether work takes place in a national or multinational Company/Corporation but to understand that every business entity nowadays, operates in a multicultural environment.
Like every entity’s Business Model, so is its training. It must be strategically directed to enhance the capabilities of its employees to operate in a multicultural environment.
The business entity may have only one dominant ethnic/cultural employee identity, but it is certain that its customers, suppliers and associates have more than one ethnic/cultural identity.
In addition to that, all business entities must adapt to operate in a rapidly changing technical environment, in what is called the 4th industrial revolution, where Digitization, IoT, Blockchain, Fintech and AI are the principal emerging changes. These changes demand a new strategic approach to training that is focused on continuous adaptability.
The approach to training must be dual:
Training covering the direct needs of the Business entity.
Training covering the needs of Survival & Growth of a Business in a multicultural & operationally changing environment.
Training designed to cover only the present needs is not adequate, as by definition, the present needs were defined in the past.
In the ever-changing current business environment, training must be designed in such a way that it covers also the needs of the near future.
The first important aspect of the new Strategic Training approach is to bridge the gap between traditional businesses vs. the need to teach the employees to operate in a digital environment. This will enable them to capture key data fast, implementing digital systems and processes which will assist them in streamlining decisions based on rational algorithms and not guesswork.
The second important aspect is that, independent of whether training is aimed to cover the internal or the external needs of a Business, a search for the prevailing or dominant internal business culture comes first.
Culture can eat training for breakfast, if training is not adapted to the prevailing culture.
Culture is not only ethnic. Businesses have a centralized or decentralized culture, innovative or traditional culture; they are pipeline or platform type companies etc.
Training must first recognize that.
Strategic training decisions should not only acknowledge the training needs of today.
The Leadership must strategically decide where the Business must head to survive and prosper in the next 2-4 years. This will define holistically the training needs of the Company for the present and the near future.
The number of 2-4 years is not arbitrarily chosen. Very few can really see beyond the 4-year horizon in a useful, business wise, sense.
The next issue that training must address is the need for digital transformation. An assessment is required of the degree of digitization of the specific business, a Company operates. No Company can hope to survive if it is less digitized than its specific business environment demands.
Understand the digital literacy level, particularly of the higher and top Company echelons. Digital progress cannot be achieved without their full support. For this reason, a special session in which participation of all key decision-making executives of a company, is necessary.
Strategic Training aims to empower and support the continuous improvement of the digital capabilities of the employees. A continuous feedback loop of trainee progress must be established for training to have optimal results.
The training schedule should not be over ambitious. It should start small, allowing the Organization to digest and embed the process.
It must never overshoot the capabilities of a Company.
Training must not aim only to the development of specific skills of the employees.
As Hayssam Al Amine, the forward-thinking CEO of RPM Training Organization observed: “A modern Company should design a holistic training program, aiming at an Organizational Transformation rather than doing piecemeal parts of it.
Then, every training course, fits into the Transformation Strategy of the Company and creates added value.
It has to be accepted that, in our times, this is a continuous process, based on a feedback loop, to help the Company stay competitive.”
Companies are concerned about training costs and losing their employees, after training them, to another Company.
To this Hayssam Al Amine commented: “The real cost of training, is not the cost of the training program, but the cost of the man-hours that the employees spend in training. When this result in more man-hours saved by doing their tasks faster and better, this is the real added value obtained by training.
For the Company to retain its employees after training them, the Training Program must be designed for the specific Company’s needs.
An employee that is well trained to do his job inside the Company, feels comfortable and satisfied with it and will not likely change his position, for an unknown new position.
Good Training anchors more employees inside the Company than loses them to other Companies.”
The new Strategic approach to Training is here to stay.
The 4th Industrial Revolution and the Multiculturalism of modern Business make it imperative.
Meet Jamie Breese, Celebrity TV-Presenter and founder of the largest Business Event in Bristol, UK
“The Business Showcase South West”
Believe it or not “glossophobia” – “a fear of public speaking” tops the lists of phobias in various surveys conducted around the world. Research consistently suggests that as many as 75% – equally split between men and women – suffer from the condition, but few attempts to change it. Here are my top 7 tips to tackle speaking and presenting in public.
1. Get Into The Zone
When you are nervous your body releases cortisone, the “flight or fight” stress hormone. To counter this stress, do something physical to release any stored tension held in body; especially the jaw, facial muscles, shoulders, neck, hamstrings and lower back. Think about meditation, exercise or stretching.
2. Avoid Self-Monitoring
The moment you start thinking about how you are coming across, you tend to disengage from your message and your audience. By mentally holding a thought and focusing on the intention of your message you won’t have enough mental space to drop into self-conscious thinking. It will also bring the right energy to your face and eyes. Keep focused on what you want to communicate to the audience. If you aren’t feeling it your audience won’t be either.
3. First Impressions Are Vital
It takes 7 seconds for people to come to an opinion on you, so you need to make sure you don’t blow it. ‘Apple’ spend a huge amount of time on image. Make sure you put some effort into yours.
4. Make Eye Contact With Your Audience
Break the ice, make a joke, tell a personal story about getting to the office today which has relevance to your theme. Aim to get a connection within the first 60 seconds.
5. Know Your Audience
Do you know a lot about them, what will speak to them, how to engage them? If not you need to do some research!
6. Use One Theme Per Slide
If you’re using slides, don’t try to cram too much content—too many ideas—on one slide. That goes for statistics, too. Avoid reading from the screen. Bullets are the least effective way of transmitting information on a slide.
7. Stick To The 10-Minute Rule
The 10-minute rule is a technique I recommend to every presenter: no matter how engaging you are, your audience will begin to tune out of your conversation after about 10 minutes.
presentation: slides, demos, videos, introducing another member of the team, telling a story. It helps with rhythm and pace and the ebb and flow keeps people engaged.
An anecdote break in the middle of your presentation will really help make your presentation more effective and memorable.