A Leader Must Be Prepared to Say No

Leaders Should Not Say Yes Too Often

As a leader, you are tugged in different directions all the time. Some people want you to do one thing, and others want you to do something else. You are constantly being asked to do things that are outside the scope of your focus. And your default answer must be no.

no

It’s not easy saying no. But that’s why you’re the leader. It’s important for you to focus on where you know you need to go. You can’t do what others will suggest most of the time. That’s why you have to be prepared to say no most of the time.

There are three reasons why your default answer must be no.

How Much Do You Validate Your Team?

Don’t Just Reward After the Fact—Appreciate Your Team Before They Act

It’s important to take the time to congratulate your team on a job done well. When they perform well it’s imperative to tell them that they did a good job. But how do you keep your team motivated when they have had failure after failure despite their best efforts? At those times, your team needs you to reinforce their psychological safety. They need you to validate them.

Validate

While rewarding your team for their performance is good, appreciating your team for their person is better. As Mike Robbins says in Harvard Business Review, “recognition is about what people do; appreciation is about who they are.” The people on your team are humans before they are employees. They need you to validate them.

Here are three ways that you can validate your team members in the normal course of your everyday work.

How Should Diversity Factor into Hiring Your Team?

Three Things to Look for in Selecting the Right Team

Assembling the right team is essential to having a thriving workplace. It is important to know what you need when hiring your key positions. Unless you are extremely self-aware, you might not know what you need. That’s why diversity is a key component of any human resources strategy.

Diversity

Diversity doesn’t just have to be limited to what people look like on the outside. While that is helpful to assembling a strong team, it’s important to go deeper than that. It’s essential to know how to hire based on what your team looks like on the inside.

Here are three things to think through when applying diversity to hiring your key team members.

What Should Be the Purpose of Business?

What’s at the Core of Your Business?

On Sunday I played Monopoly with my kids. I hadn’t played that game in years. As we sat down to play, I looked at the rules. Since it had been so long since I played Monopoly, I wanted to familiarize myself with the purpose of the game.

Purpose

Under the section entitled, How to win, here’s the purpose of Monopoly.

Move around the board buying as many properties as you can. The more you own, the more rent you’ll be able to collect from other players. If you’re the last player with money when all other players have gone bankrupt, you win!

It seems American society believes that’s what business is all about: win by crushing your competition. The very foundations of capitalism have been crumbling, in no small measure because many companies have had a win-at-all-costs strategy. While your business may not be guilty of a Monopoly mentality, society at large thinks you are. Here’s what that means for you, and what you can do about it.

A Five-Step Process to Build Morale in Your Company

How You as a Leader Can Create a Team Culture

As a leader, one of your greatest assets is the morale of your team. How you wield your influence can profoundly affect the culture of your organization. The more intentional and consistent you are in building the culture, the greater the benefits you will see from your leadership. That’s why it is so important to create a build morale in your company.

Build Morale

Most of the time morale is noticed only because it’s lacking. No one typically thinks about morale if it’s good. You will do everyone on your team a favor if they don’t notice the (lack of) morale in your company.

Here are five ways you can build morale in your company—and create a Team Culture in the process.

A New Way to Look at Difficult Employees

What Do You Do With Your Problem Employees?

How do you look at the difficult employees on your team? Could it be that you are looking at them the wrong way?

difficult employees

I’m not saying that everyone is fixable. It may ultimately be better for everyone if the difficult employees wouldn’t work at your organization anymore. I think Abraham Lincoln got it right when he said that people are usually as happy as they make up their minds to be. Nonetheless, you may be the one to help those difficult employees change their minds.

Difficult people have been through difficult stuff. And hurt people hurt people. If you just pass them off as difficult employees then you may be missing a huge opportunity—for them and for you.

Here are three questions you can use to look at difficult employees differently.

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.

What the Future Workforce Is Looking for Now

How you can attract the next top talent today

The future workforce will be looking for something beyond a paycheck. Of course, they want to make money, but they don’t want to just make money. Today’s workforce is realizing that there is more to life than money, and you as a leader need to know what they are looking for if you will be successful in attracting and retaining top talent.

Future Workforce

The Millennial generation is doing the rest of the workforce a favor in bringing these concerns to light. But it’s not just the Millennials that have these concerns. Todd Rose and Ogi Ogas In their book, Dark Horse, explain that even successful and established people are looking at themselves and saying, “This is not who I truly am. There is more to me than this.”

In order for you to attract top talent to your company—and keep them engaged—it is important for you to know what the workforce is looking for. Here are three things the future workforce wants to find in a job or career they will pursue.

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.