Category Archives: Leadership

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workplace commitment

Workplace Commitment Results in Something

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The team doesn’t like the new announcement and psychologically they commit to finding ways to state that it won’t work. In contrast, they love the new announcement and push even harder for end-users to adapt to the new standard. Workplace commitment is often the difference between forward motion or being stuck.

Things are always changing. We’re in a world of constant change. If you are not changing, it is simple, you’re stuck.

Outside of values, ethics, and integrity, success for nearly every organization depends on forward motion.

In the early 1900’s people may have liked their ice box. Sticking with one today seems a little silly. In the 1950’s people in business offices were addicted to their typewriters. Around the turn of the century during the early 2000’s, many people only used cellular phones for shorter or on-the-road calls, not as a primary device.

Workplace Commitment

Outside of your box, outside of your frame, things are happening. Early adopters always have the benefit of the upside of the curve.

The upside of the curve carries risk. It carries a risk for how tall the curve will become, how flat it is on top, and how slowly it will start to down on the other side.

Everyone has a choice for which they will commit.

In most cases, they’ll either commit to some risk and forward motion, or they’ll commit to staying stalled. Stalled arguably, may also be seen by onlookers as decline.

It’s important to know your own strategy for tomorrow. What you commit to will impact not only your own fate but perhaps the fate of the origins of your paycheck.

New and improved may not always feel better, especially at first.

The refrigerator required electricity. I suspect this was thought of as a disadvantage by many.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


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process matters

Process Matters, You Can’t Afford To Skip It

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In a rush, I pulled my thumb drive from my tablet device and the data got scrambled. It doesn’t even look like the same device in file manager when I plug it now. This is evidence that sometimes, process matters.

Innovation matters too. New ways of doing things, exploring for the best results. Taking some risk, trying something new. All are important yet you can’t really escape process.

You can’t wear a jacket before it is sewn together. You can’t really eat a slice of cherry pie before it is baked.

Some things just don’t work or are otherwise not possible until the process is complete.

The challenge for many innovators and product creators is to understand what happens when it’s mandatory that step A, happens before step B.

In haste to transform from an idea to a product, people sometimes try to skip a step.

Often, you can’t.

Process Matters

It is a challenge for everyone in the workplace. Following the guidelines of the build, the assembly, or navigating the structure for packaging a service requirement.

It is hard to forecast the schedule beyond the scope of the current funnel.

Client requirements flex, shift, and are impacted by their own unforeseen events. Supply chain interruptions, severe weather, and a missed deadline all impact stops and starts.

Waiting always feels like a big time-waster. Fear of waiting may cause the overly anxious to attempt to skip a step. Patience is a competency that cannot be overlooked or underestimated.

Process matters for everything you do. It can change, but it usually doesn’t mean it can be skipped.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


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job objectives

Job Objectives and How You Measure

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Doing a great job matters to most workplace professionals. How is on-the-job performance really measured? What are the job objectives and is there subjectivity in the measurement?

Since the pandemic, metrics and measurements have become even more important. Many workplace leaders have been forced to lead in ways that they never imagined. Remote work teams, hybrid teams, and virtual methods of correspondence are at an all-time high.

Health and well-being set aside for a moment, it’s the perfect storm for tech savvy leaders who wanted this game for more than a decade.

For everyone else, it’s been a culture shift, a pivot, and a learning curve.

If you’re a workplace leader or in some form responsible for collective outcomes as a result of human interaction, how are you measuring performance?

It should start with good objectives.

Job Objectives

Objectives should be considered part of the tactics that pursue the strategy. They should be specific, measurable, and meaningful. They may be evaluated as good objectives by passing a S.M.A.R.T. test.

One problem that often arises is that many objectives are hard to evaluate by numbers alone. If the goal is ten, and the result is eleven, things seem pretty good, however, numbers alone don’t always tell the story.

Nearly every sector needs to recognize there is more. There is more when it comes to quality, customer service, and collaboration. Are those items being evaluated in your performance criteria?

How would you evaluate attitude, integrity, or innovation? Is it able to be proven with a number?

How You Measure

It may be assumed that a salesperson who achieves or surpasses a monthly sales goal has a good attitude. Yet, it is only an assumption, not necessarily a fact.

Metrics and measurements are an effective way to lead. They are effective even when you can’t be there in person to check things out for yourself. Keep in mind, however, they don’t tell the whole story.

Subjectivity is likely a part of most human performance measurement. If it is part of yours be cautious of how subjectivity impacts the work that gets done.

Is customer satisfaction a metric? Is it subjective?

Metrics are great a tool and provide part of the picture. Consideration for designing objectives that include subjectivity often helps individuals align with what really matters.

Do great work.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


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Professional value measured

Professional Value Measured, Yes, But How?

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You have the experience, are you right for the job? How is your professional value measured? Recognizing value is often a bit elusive.

People attend school, some go on to certificate programs, degree programs, and even complete advanced degrees. How do you know someone’s value?

Is it measured with a test?

Some people test very well. They study for the test, memorizing key phrases and the written solution. They have developed a keen eye for nonsense in multiple-choice and for spotting the correct answer. True or false is a breeze and short-answer aligns perfectly with their seemingly photographic memory.

They graduate with honors.

In most professional white-collar type employment there aren’t really tests for endurance, cooperation, or enthusiasm. It is similar for trade skill labor or trades professionals.

How do you test for sincerity, integrity, or generosity?

How do you measure professional value?

Professional Value Measured

Most hiring managers might suggest it is a combination of experience and education. Years of service, boxes checked, and cards punched.

The disconnect for the individual and for the hiring organization may be that it doesn’t matter how well you did on the tests in school, it matters how you’ll work with this team. Not any team, but this team.

The professional value you seek to get recognition for is often disconnected from the purpose and mission that the organization is pursuing. It’s measured in proof competence, not proof of execution.

As a result, how well you work with others, your ability to collaborate on assignments, and your leadership potential go unmeasured.

It seems that professional value needs to be demonstrated and discovered, not proven through a resume or transcript.

Tactfully illustrating what you should be measured against might be the best way to start.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


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team selection

Team Selection and Scarcity or Abundance

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It’s just you and your team. Sometimes it may feel like it is only you, and for some entrepreneurs, this is literally the case. For everyone else, team selection requires careful choices.

When there is a scarcity of talent or just warm bodies, it requires special choices. The opposite is also true, if there is abundance, while the selection is different it still requires choices.

There are hundreds of thousands, likely many million, podcasters, vloggers, and bloggers. Who pops up in the search engine? How are the top five or ten, or two-hundred and fifty selected?

Whether you’re searching for an answer to your technology problem, a recipe, or how-to put-on makeup, who arrives at the top of the list?

It is a mad race to create scarcity amongst abundance.

Team Selection

It may be happening for you in the workplace too.

It is likely happening with your company or team. Who is selected to join the team, who gets promoted, who serves as the engine to lead or propel outcomes to the top?

Your culture is made up of the people. Not only the people who completely agree with everything said and done, but those who disagree as well.

A group of programmers get together because of mutual interest in coding. A team of marketers, service experts, and accountants all do the same.

What do they build?

There is a really good chance that they build something that delights people who are just like them. However, the programmers may not do well with marketing. And the marketers may screw up their financials.

Diversity in the team always matters for long-term success. For people like you, and people not like you.

How will you pick who rises to the top? How will you sort out the best of the best from an abundance of choices?

The strategy you deploy will make the difference. Your philosophy for selecting team members and the culture you’ve created will impact future selection. It is also alive and ever-changing.

Creating scarcity amongst abundance is based on your system. It’s based on the algorithms of how you’ll search.

Be aware of how you get to your top five, or more importantly your number one.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


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workplace consistency

Does Workplace Consistency Build Trust?

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Trust is an important element of any organization. Those with physical buildings and walls, and those without. Is workplace consistency an element you need more of or less?

Consistency is important for trust. When people know what to expect and when they are a lot more willing to trust.

Organizations with high levels of trust are often regarded as having a competitive advantage over those with less.

What does trust cost?

When it comes to business models and organizational culture, being flexible and nimble seems to be a requirement for navigating our fast-paced World.

Is that detracting from the spirit of trust?

Workplace Consistency

Many would quickly agree that everything in the world around us is changing. Rapidly changing.

Considering business strategy, when everything is changing, staying exactly the same may carry the most risk.

Consistency likely matters for how decisions are made. It matters for policy and to some extent procedures. It matters for levels of service and customer satisfaction. Does it matter for organizational direction and culture?

When the pace is fast and the times are uncertain consistency in core values helps create a deeper and more meaningful culture.

At the same time, a business that lacks flexibility is a business that is coasting. A coasting business can only move in one direction, downhill.

Being consistent with the art of being flexible may be an element of trust that is often overlooked.

Consistency and flexibility are not synonymous.

When everything around you is changing, they may both create more trust.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


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rebel leaders

Rebel Leaders May Make a Positive Impact

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Are you a little bit rebellious? Are you one of the rebel leaders?

I’m not talking about law-breaking, unpeaceful protests, or insurrection. I’m talking about coloring outside the lines, bending a few rules, or going a slightly different direction because you believe it will result in a better outcome.

Many people believe that being a little bit of a rebel makes you a good leader.

Could it be true?

Innovation comes to mind. If you always follow the exact same guidelines or style, what changes?

Learning something new comes to mind. If you believe that there is more to discover, something new to try, and you’re willing to step a little beyond your comfort zone, are you leading while learning?

Making the project successful comes to mind. When you pull out all the stops, do the things naysayers caution against, and show up with a project completed, on-time, and with a happy customer, is that winning?

Rebel Leaders

There are many characteristics of leadership. Having high integrity and ethics certainly represent some of the characteristics. So are things like being persistent, working within the bounds of the rules and regulations, adhering to safety standards, and being respectful to everyone.

Remember though, that leaders lead. Leadership often comes with the cost of a little more risk. A different level of challenge and a mindset focused on completing the mission.

Leaders don’t ignore well-intended feedback, they welcome it. They are always striving to make things better and more efficient. They’re ready to improve profit margins, increase customer satisfaction and grow sales.

Not leading means you’re avoiding new ideas, shunning all feedback, and being so locked in that you never change. It is being stuck and cowering away because out of weakness and fear.

Just beyond the limits may be the next big thing.

Leaders lead.

They might also be just a little bit rebellious.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


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belief systems

Belief Systems Impact Workplace Culture

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What are your belief systems? Do you have more than one? Chances are good your business or organization has numerous belief systems.

Does that sound surprising? If so, it probably shouldn’t.

Leadership is often identified as the catalyst for workplace culture. It is true, largely leadership has this responsibility. However, depending on the size and the complexities of the employee teams there is still room for more.

Beliefs, Values, and Profit

What people believe is often closely connected to their values. Those values and beliefs are commonly espoused by families, friends, or communities.

The beliefs that you carry into the workplace are met with organizational beliefs.

Someone who believes that businesses shouldn’t have large profits is not only sharing their belief upon entry, they are acting upon that belief through their contributions each day. The same is true for the opposite. And, let’s not overlook the idea that the concept of large profits is subjective.

It is true for everything.

It is true for volunteer work in the community, it is true for gifts or donations to non-profit organizations, and of course, it is true for embracing or rejecting other’s beliefs, even when they are opposing views.

Belief Systems

You probably won’t have a healthy culture if the beliefs of the people are in contrast with the beliefs of the organization.

This isn’t to say that diversity shouldn’t exist, indeed, there is value to a diverse organization. At the same time, a business that sells guns probably isn’t a good fit for someone who protests against gun ownership on the weekends.

Fundamentally, the employee base should be able to be in acceptance of the culture.

The responsibility of organizational leadership is to create and build a culture that connects people with the values and beliefs of that organization.

More Learning

Are people taught to love or hate? Are people taught to earn a living or to be given a living?

If what people are taught conditions what they believe, then it may be time to learn.

When you wonder why there is so much gossip, so many rumors, or just a feeling of bad vibes, it may be time to check your belief systems.

Actions that oppose the beliefs, hypocritical behaviors, or if there is a do as I say, not as I do doctrine, it may be time to look closer at the culture being demonstrated by the leaders.

Leadership has responsibility for culture, but ultimately it is a product of the followers.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


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culture transformation

Culture Transformation Is Always Happening

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Is your workplace experiencing a culture transformation? It might be happening right before your eyes and yet, you don’t see it.

Every conscious action, those that are readily observable even by an untrained eye, has an expected outcome.

We plant a tree in the park. In five or ten years it will be much bigger, but its growth is not really observable from day-to-day.

A new car, and if possible, we park it in a shady spot or a garage. The paint and interior will last longer. Hard to notice across just a few months, or a single year.

Someone acquires a new pet, a dog, or a cat. At the moment it feels like the pet will be with them forever, yet eight, ten, or twelve years later the pet is in a geriatric state.

When you pause to think about it, things that seemingly go on and on with little to no change are still changing. When there is no conscious effort to illustrate or showcase the change you really don’t see it.

It is on display but no one notices.

Culture Transformation

In workplaces everywhere there is a similar change, there is cultural transformation and it is happening right before your eyes.

Leadership is responsible.

Leaders are working hard behind the scenes.

They are trying to convert the skeptics, create a stronger environment of listeners, not commanders, and most of all develop a harmonious experience of individual talents serving the greater good of the organization as a whole.

They strive for more “we” and “us” instead of “I” and “me.”

Budgets and money matter, a penny here or a nickel there. Across time the ideology is for a positive shift. A pattern of growth. A building of assets, revenue, and profit.

Perhaps most of all they are learning more about the customer. Exploring new things, discontinuing old, phasing in and phasing out.

Questions are asked and answers are sought. A solution is offered. Some are accepted while others are rejected.

The business of yesterday is not the business of tomorrow.

Transformation is happening, you can see it, or not.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


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Good habits

Good Habits Will Change Everything

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Do you have some good habits? There is always so much discussion about changing bad habits what should you consider as good or better?

Workplaces are filled with opportunity. The opportunity to make some positive motion or the opportunity to drag things down. Everyone wants better, but how do you get there?

Habits often develop skills. When you do something repetitively, across time, you may enhance your skill.

Inciting gossip and negative drama are probably good examples. People who routinely engage in this type of activity can actually develop more skill at getting other people negatively charged.

What should you consider instead?

Creating a list of possibilities isn’t that hard. It may start with some really simple areas. Things like fairness, kindness, and being considerate of others.

It can certainly go much further and deeper.

Good Habits

Here are three items to continuously build upon:

Optimism. Optimism adds to hopes and dreams. Hopes and dreams give people a goal, something to reach for. You may be surprised what people will create when they believe in something. It makes it all possible.

Connection. There is always plenty of talk about building the team. Having strong teams starts with building connections. Build connections around commonalities. Every workplace team has at least one thing in common, they are all in the endeavor together.

Responsibility. When people are responsible and accountable for their actions and behaviors there is much more possibility for understanding the value in teams. It promotes positive patterns for culture.

You have the opportunity to build the behaviors that support these actions. When you make it a choice, it becomes a habit. A repetitive habit builds the skills necessary to continue.

It’s a much better place to be.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


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