The Bottom Line is Not the Bottom Line

Be Careful with Your Most important Asset

A new study led by Baylor University demonstrates a correlation between a manager’s focus on bottom line results and their employees’ lack of performance. According to the research led by Dr. Matthew Quade and published in the journal Human Relations, “Supervisors who focus only on profits to the exclusion of caring about other important outcomes, such as employee well-being or environmental or ethical concerns, turn out to be detrimental to employees.”

bottom line 

The article continues by saying that these employer-employee “relationships … are marked by distrust, dissatisfaction and lack of affection for the supervisor” which produces “employees who are less likely to complete tasks at a high level and less likely to go above and beyond the call of duty.” Managers must be careful about what they wish for. Because they might get it.

When managers focus too much on the bottom line, then employees consciously or unconsciously respond negatively. Here’s how you can rescue your company’s productivity and profitability by making your bottom line not the bottom line.

Innovation Requires a Safe Place to Fail

Your Team Won’t Risk Failure if They Feel They Must Succeed

Innovation is a big buzzword today. People are saying how important it is to innovate. But innovation doesn’t just happen. It has to be properly cultivated. Because innovation requires a safe place to fail.

Innovation Requires a Safe Place to Fail

Today employers demand innovation of their employees. But they aren’t providing what’s necessary to innovate. C.S. Lewis said in The Abolition of Man, “In a sort of ghastly simplicity, we remove the organ and demand the function.” People feel forced to innovate but they aren’t given what they need to be innovative. Your team won’t risk failure if they feel they must succeed.

If you want to create a truly innovative workplace, then you must make sure that you have built your culture on three successive layers. Only with these three layers in place can you produce a safe place capable of producing innovation.

You Can Improve Morale Even If You Are Not the Boss

You Have More Influence Than You May Realize

Many years ago, I worked at an organization that had horrible morale. To make matters worse, my boss was oblivious and even indifferent to the workplace culture. Despite his lack of interest in the culture, he was open to my starting a weekly prayer meeting at the office.

morale

I invited anyone and everyone on the staff to participate. I didn’t expect many people to join me, but Joe and Tom did. Sometimes only two of us showed up for prayer, but more often than not the three of us were there.

Long after we started praying together, Tom surprised me one day. He said, “I know the only reason that I have been able to make it through is because of our prayers.” He directly attributed that small prayer gathering to giving him the peace to survive the toxic work environment. Things at work didn’t seem to change that much. But Tom, Joe, and I were changed. And that helped to change the morale of the workplace—at least from our perspective.

Even if you are not the one in charge, you can make a difference—because you can choose to do something. If you are willing to put the needs of the team ahead of yourself, people will ultimately look to you as a leader—because you are already leading.

Here are three ways that you can improve morale even if you are not the boss.

Eternal Leadership PodcastIn my interview with John Ramstead and Sandra Crawford Willamson on the Eternal Leadership Podcast, I shared the principles I wrote about in my book, Dear Boss: What Your Employees Wish You Knew.

What you’ll learn in this interview:

  • How to mix faith into the workplace without being pushy
  • How to create a transformational impact on the people who work for us
  • The “lost skill” that one needs to develop in order to lead effectively
  • Why it’s important to “think about what we’re thinking about”
  • How to gain and earn your team’s trust
  • How to create your organization’s culture
Date: October 17, 2018
Appearance: How to Be the Best Boss on Eternal Leadership Podcast
Outlet: Eternal Leadership
Format: Podcast

Does Business Need a Heart Change?

An Interview with Bob Hasson, co-author of The Business of Honor

businessWhat words do you think of when you think of business? Do you think of words like money, performance, results, control, and fear? Or do you think of words like honor, team, relationship, connection, and fun? Most likely you associate business with the first list of words. But if Bob Hasson and Danny Silk have their way, you will link business with the second list of words.

Hasson and Silk have co-written a seminal work with The Business of Honor. As soon as I saw the promotional information his publicist sent me about the book, I knew that I had to read it. I had high expectations about this book, and I was not disappointed. Whether you are a business leader, a ministry leader, or a leader in your home, you will benefit from reading this book.

After reading The Business of Honor, I had the opportunity to interview Bob Hasson. Here are excerpts from the interview, complemented by my thoughts.

On June 14, ABC7 News Anchor Melanie Hastings and Molly Cochran interviewed me on “Let’s Talk LIVE” on News Channel 8, the D.C. metro area’s only 24-hour cable news channel, devoted to the latest in the District, Maryland and Virginia. They asked me questions about my book, Dear Boss: What Your Employees Wish You Knew, and about ways to improve the workplace.

The “Let’s Talk LIVE” interview lasts a quick six minutes (6:16). I hope you enjoy it. And I’d love to know your thoughts about it!

Date: June 14, 2018
Appearance: Boss Improvement Tips on WJLA-TV
Outlet: WJLA (ABC7)
Location: Washington, DC
Format: Television

Don’t Blame the Team If They Don’t Know the Rules

What do you assume and don’t say?

My family recently hosted a foreign exchange student at our house for about a month. When he arrived at our house, his first question to me was “What are the rules at your house?” Not wanting to sound like some kind of ogre, I said, “We don’t have too many rules at our house.” And I told him a couple of rules that we had in our house. And I thought that was that.

rules

Over time, I noticed that he did some things that annoyed me. And my thought was “That’s really rude. Why doesn’t he know any better?”

I told him that I was disappointed with what he was doing. Later he told me, “You didn’t tell me what all the rules were.” Then I realized I couldn’t hold him accountable for something I didn’t tell him. He had asked to know what the rules were, but I didn’t tell him what they all were.

This same thing applies to your employees at your workplace, but they won’t necessarily ask you what the rules of your culture are. That’s incumbent on you to tell them. They won’t know how to operate in your organizational culture if you don’t tell them.

Here are the things you need to tell your people so they know how to follow the rules of your culture.

Put Others First to Win Respect from Others

Be Respectful of Your Team to be Respected by Your Team

The best way to win respect from your team is to put them before yourself.  In order to be respected by your team, be respectful of your team.

win respect

When you are willing to respect your team for who they are—not for what they can do for you—they will appreciate you for who are.  People don’t care how much you know until they know much you care.

Here are three practical ways to show respect to your team—and win respect from your team in the process.

Five Ways to Use Vision in Creating Culture

How Vision Paints a Picture That Everyone Can See

Vision is a key ingredient for creating culture at any organization. Having vision is about seeing things that others don’t see and being able to paint the picture in a way that they can see.

Creating Culture

It is imperative for a leader to know where to lead the organization. And in the process of setting that direction, many other pieces come together as a result—because it is often the intangibles that make the difference in setting the tone.

Here are five ways that you can use vision to create culture.

Who Gets the Credit on Your Team?

How to Create a Team Culture by Creating a Team Environment

Harry Truman said, “It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.” If it’s all about you, then you won’t get much done. But if you are willing to share the credit with others, then you will end up getting a lot done.

credit

People want to be part of something larger than themselves. When they feel like they are contributing and seeing progress, then they are more likely to want to stay at it. But a leader who doesn’t see the team’s need to be recognized will lose their team very quickly.

Here are three things to implement a team culture by focusing on giving credit to others on the team.