Tag Archives: ethics

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leadership work

Leadership Work And What Many Avoid

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Do you like the idea of leadership? Does it get you motivated and positively fired up when you think about leading others? Leadership work may not be as easy or pain free as you think.

Leadership seems really attractive on the surface. Being the boss, having people look up to you, getting the recognition for team accomplishments. Some will quickly jump to the idea of increased pay. These and other aspects attract many.

Certainly, leadership is for everyone. Things like money and fame are not a requirement. Neither is having formal authority, yet it is often assumed.

Work Avoided

Workplace professionals will often mention to me that they dislike dealing with people issues. This is a significant part of leadership. It is not just about a title or some fame and glory, no matter how big or how small.

Leadership is people work. If you have formal authority, such as having direct reports, it means dealing with job performance, hiring, and sometimes firing.

Many so-called leaders don’t like that part. They don’t like the responsibility of managing others. As a result, they tend to avoid the people issues.

Others just hand out commands with great expectations. Reality is often in question.

This is exactly how we get what people often label, “poor leadership.”

Leadership Work

Leadership work takes guts, determination, and a commitment to excellence. It means doing the things that many others don’t like doing. It means working with people, not a dictatorship or authoritarian approach.

If you think leadership means you’re the boss and you tell others what to do, you are mostly wrong.

The true work of great leaders is as much artful as it is pragmatic.

-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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working today

Are You Working Today?

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Life is about choices. Often so is the work that we do. If you are working today, what is your motivation?

In the United States sports are big business. One sport or another many people show up to cheer on a team or curse an opponent.

We see it in many places, American Football, Soccer, Baseball, and even various forms of Motorsports.

Have you stopped to think about, “What is the goal?”

Often it is the collective enthusiasm of beating the opponent, the competition, or winning the championship.

What is the talk in the locker room? Do you think anyone in professional sports is talking about how they will lose?

Are they talking about the controversy among the team? The mistake from two weeks ago? How a couple of seasons ago there was a bad decision?

Unlikely, unless they have a twist on those aspects to increase motivation.

Working Today?

Your job and the work that you contribute to may be similar to professional sports. Are you arriving with a plan to win?

Today I’m going to close the sale.

Let’s be sure to ship 150 packages today.

Let’s build today without any mistakes or errors. Total quality.

One aspect that is always true about sports and our work, winning today (short run) is important but winning the championship (long run) is a collection of on-going wins.

Employees cannot sacrifice integrity just to win the game.

Maintain Integrity

Closing the sale in the system in the final hours of the day with the hope that the customer will buy tomorrow doesn’t work.

Throwing a few extra packages on the truck that will ultimately be refused at the customer site isn’t winning.

Fudging a little on quality to say, “We finished it, ship it.” will come back to harm your future reputation.

Are you working today?

Go do work that matters, work you are proud of, and work that will win the championship.

-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 ethics

Workplace Ethics and the Perceptions of Employees

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Perceptions drive expectations, and expectations serve as the measuring stick of fulfillment. What is expected is both the frame and the goal. In matters of workplace ethics who decides the framework of expectations?

Ethical considerations are often quickly connected to the inappropriate shortcut, the sneaky cheaty perception of cutting corners, side deals, or even stealing. What are your ethical boundaries? What is tolerated or welcomed as acceptable in your workplace?

Decisions and Choices

The part-time assistant in the pizza shop may feel entitled to a slice at the end of his or her shift. Is that ethical?

A ream of paper from the office for your home computer so the kids can print stuff out. Is that ethical?

The company car, used for a family vacation. Is that ethical?

In many cases, your first response may be, “It depends.” If so, it depends on what? If others are doing it or if the circumstances surrounding the consumption or use seem to be permitted? Has it always been done this way?

Workplace Ethics

People are often willing to take shortcuts, or use or borrow something that does not belong to them. A popular mindset is that this ethical infringement is owed.

I worked hard during my shift so I get a free slice of pizza at the end.

Perfectly fine if this is a formal agreement as part of the compensation. Sneaking it while no one is looking may be a different story.

Boundaries exist, especially in ethics. A boundary broken may be viewed as a way to move ahead. A cheat, a steal, and against the law.

When someone is willing to cheat a little, will they cheat a lot? Is there a measurement for the allowable size of cheat? Is that the framework for ethics?

You may say, “It depends.”

The ethical question then becomes, “Does it?”

What is your perception?

-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 cooperation

Workplace Cooperation, Do You Have It?

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Getting along in the workplace is a job requirement. It may not appear on the job description, but it is still a requirement. Do you have workplace cooperation or is harmful conflict, agreeing to disagree, or passive aggressive domination more popular?

Is your business or organization feeling stuck? What are the employees saying?

Considering workplace success and organizational growth, it should be clear that cooperation is a better path.

What Is Different?

When there is a different idea, a different suggestion, or something that offers a different perspective, what is the cultural response? Often different is associated with opposition, not opportunity.

Certainly, revenue and profit matter. Certainly, a unified team is important, and certainly building a cultural experience that motivates and excites often produces great work.

Have you considered how internal cultural experiences shape results? Have you grown just big enough and are now stuck?

Big Enough

Grow big enough and a culture of dominate and destroy has an opportunity to infest the communication and cooperation of your internal workforce. Push hard enough and the insistence of win at all costs will test your ethical boundaries.

Preach about perfection, you may end up with a culture that absolutely resists and rejects change.

Preach about removing emotion, you may end up with a culture that is not appropriately motivated, misunderstands their purpose, and lacks loyalty.

Absolutely, quality matters, and yes sometimes we do need to set aside emotion in the interest of a good clear business decision. A word of caution though, be careful about the culture you are creating.

Workplace Cooperation

We live in a highly networked world. In a networked world connection is the most basic and fundamental principle for success.

If you don’t have workplace cooperation you may be lacking the ingredients required to get you to the next level.

Feeling stuck? Do you question why you have internal fighting and disconnection? Have you wondered why dominance and strikeouts occur between fellow employees?

It may not only be about the cultural aspects that you allow. It may exactly what you’ve built.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer. 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.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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want and need difference

Want and Need, What is the Difference?

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Is the difference between want and need just semantics? It could be, but if you are in consultative sales understanding the difference may be critical. If you are setting the bar for customer service excellence it has never been more important.

What is the difference?

I want it with four-wheel drive.

I want the biggest engine.

It is common for customers to present with what they want, but do they always know what they need? The basics of delivering exceptional customer service mean that the customer is highly satisfied and hopefully delighted with their transaction. The customer decides, not the vendor.

When the vendor gives the customer what they want, is it the same as what they need? The safe answer of course is, “sometimes.”

Transactional vs. Consultative

The sales exchange at the drive through window of a fast food restaurant most often is not consultative sales.

I want the #1 with a Diet Soda.

I’ll have the big box, hold the guacamole.

Give me the two for $5.

It is a transactional sale and while want and need may still be important, it isn’t nearly as critical. Sometimes it isn’t even our business to know. Suggesting the healthier choice (in your opinion) may seem valid, but it also may not be your business.

Consultative Sales

The other side of sometimes is that sometimes it isn’t. The highest level of customer satisfaction is long-term satisfaction. The customer should understand that what they want is appropriate for their needs.

A commercial grade tool may not be required for the average homeowner. Likewise, a seven-passenger vehicle with a DVD entertainment system may not be what an 80-year-old needs to pick up groceries, even though it is on the lot at a great price and they can pay with cash.

The sales process at a car dealership, with a realtor, or in many business-to-business transactions is often consultative sales. The size, the intended use, product life, and many other variables will condition long-term satisfaction.

Want and Need

Is this all a no-brainer? Perhaps, but the words we chose often have a psychological impact. Our mind-set is important to deliver exceptional levels of satisfaction. When we deliver what the customer wants, and it really isn’t what they need, we might have a problem.

Many people subconsciously search for effortless. They, by nature, like it easy. It might be easy to be an order taker. Closing the sale fast and without debate helps make the numbers, it could also result in a nice commission check, for now.

Businesses with high integrity and ethical standards who are watching lifetime value should know the difference between want and need.

You should too.

– DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a five-time author and some of his work includes, #CustServ The Customer Service Culture, and Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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customer service ethics appreciative strategies

What Are Your Customer Service Ethics?

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Ethics can be a controversial subject. What seems perfectly fine to one person might be extremely wrong to another. Do you think much about customer service ethics?

People sometimes believe it is okay if it is a small thing. It might be the little white lie or the dirt swept under the carpet. In other cases, it might be connected to the concept of a baker’s dozen or getting a take home container after having a full meal at the buffet.

What do you think, are people and businesses ethically challenged?

Observed Ethical Challenges

Make a cake and you might hide the imperfections with extra icing, seems sweet enough.

What about the chicken nuggets left over from the lunchtime rush? Did the cook notice or simply not care? Perhaps it is about profit, no nuggets wasted.

The same might be true for the aged lettuce tossed into your salad or cleverly hidden under your sandwich bun. A few pieces here and there, no one will notice.

Ethics exist in customer service. Sometimes they are cleverly disguised in the sale. Other times there is hope that it simply goes unnoticed. Besides, if discovered there is an apology to make things right.

Is this the food you want to eat? Is it the product you thought you were buying, or what you expect to find inside the brown box on your doorstep? No customer wants this surprise.

You Are What You Build

In life, you are the product of your habits repeated over and over again. The same is true for your business reputation. You are the product of what you deliver over and over again.

You might sweeten the cake sometimes and get away with it since icing seems like an extra. Few would probably find fault or feel short-changed.

Cold nuggets and brown lettuce are never a good idea. Some might complain, but many others will just go somewhere else the next time.

Customer Service Ethics

What you try to hide or pretend to not notice might get you through the day. After all, if no one says anything did it really happen?

The successful shop, the one that cares and is ethical, is not sweeping anything under the carpet.

They are not building it for today. They are building it for today and tomorrow.

Their customers come back and refer others.

– DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a four-time author and some of his work includes, Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce and Pivot and Accelerate, The Next Move Is Yours! Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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make tough decisions appreciative strategies

Leaders Make Tough Decisions

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Leadership can be glamorous, or so it would appear. Some leaders do well when an organization is thriving. Others are at their best to bring an organization out of trouble. Do all leaders make tough decisions?

Leadership isn’t just an office on the top floor, a bigger salary, and a few nice perks.

Leaders

True leadership requires hard work, extra effort, and the ability to make tough decisions. The supervisor, manager, director, or vice president, or the CEO, president, or the board of directors, they all apply, titles aren’t important.

Whether you’re making budget cuts, building a five year plan, or selecting the next vice president to join the team decisions need to be made. They aren’t always easy.

The most important decisions might be the ones that tug at your emotions. They’re often tugging because the easy choice, the option that you really want to choose, isn’t the right choice.

Make Tough Decisions

Tough decisions are tough because they require discipline. They need high levels of integrity and ethics.

Consider these simple examples:

  • Watching the telephone ring but not answering seems like fun, but the customer needs some help.
  • It’s a beautiful day and a long lunch with a walk through park seems like a good idea, but there is too much work to be done.
  • A vacation during crunch time sounds appealing, but we know the business needs our services during this critical time.

We probably all know somebody who would eat the ice cream, take the lunch and a walk, and vacation regardless of any work related concerns.

There is probably a good chance that same person will come up short during the toughest decisions.

Confusion

They’ll confuse the tough decisions with easy decisions either because they lack discipline or they never have to deal with the outcomes. Or at least they don’t have to deal with them right now.

Are you a leader who can make tough decisions? Will you let your emotions control the outcome?

If you’re not sure you might want to consider who is left holding the bag.

– DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a four-time author and some of his work includes, Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce and Pivot and Accelerate, The Next Move Is Yours! Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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Measuring Job Performance by the Numbers?

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In business we’re often taught to measure accomplishments or success with a number. The principle idea behind measurement is to trend towards a goal. Do you measure job performance or business success by the numbers?

job performance

Goals and the pressure associated with accomplishing them can stretch the boundaries of people’s ethics and integrity. Extreme pressure to achieve the numbers can also affect how people perceive and measure risk.

Performance Measurement

Years ago I worked in a mail order business. The company had reasonable success. They had a strong sales force and strict guidelines for performance.

If you were in sales, you occupied an expensive seat, a cubicle equipped with a telephone, a computer terminal (workstation or terminal as they were called in those days) and a calculator. There were only so many cubicles and they were required to be occupied with the highest performing sales representatives.

As a sales representative you were responsible to achieve monthly, quarterly, and annual goals. If you didn’t measure up you risked termination and the odds of long term success weren’t all that great.

I recall that one of the hiring strategies was to bring on fifteen new sales representatives with the hope that three to five might actually make it for at least three to six months.

Some did quite well, but the pressure to perform and acquire high volume repeat corporate customers was intense. As a commission sales representative your success was predominately measured by your dollars in sales, but did it really work?

Beating the System

Unfortunately several ethically challenged sales representatives found a way to make their numbers.

They discovered that they could send out product to random customers without their consent by using a shipping method known as C.O.D. (collect on delivery). Their sales were recorded (for measurement) in the computer system and their paycheck was calculated. If they achieved a high enough number a bonus was also applied.

The problem of course was that the customer never placed the order. The shipping company would attempt to deliver, the customer would refuse the shipment, and within about a week the product would end up back at the warehouse.

Not only was this entirely unethical but it cost the company time and money, the shipping company time and money, not to mention the terrible effect on the customer experience.

I think you get the idea. This was bad, really bad, but what caused this problem?

Challenges of Measurement

Certainly the persons who participated in this type of behavior had some ethical challenges, but then again did the company they worked for push things too far? Was the pressure to achieve the numbers and the witnessing of sales representatives getting hired and fired seemingly without care or concern for them as people a contributing factor?

Could it be that the culture adopted a feeling of, “I don’t care about the company because the company doesn’t care about me?”

Measuring success by the numbers is important but at what point does it cross the line? Do some exert too much pressure causing the employees to inappropriately assess risk and make very bad decisions for themselves and the company?

There are plenty of examples in business history. Companies such as Adelphia, Enron, and more recently Wells Fargo have all experienced ethical issues in part created by measuring by the numbers.

What to Measure

Using numbers as a measurement often brings with it the idea that more or higher numbers are better.

What if your automobile mechanic measured by the number and frequency of your visits, your dentist measured by cavities filled, or your doctor by knees replaced? Do they? They might.

Does the highest volume in ticket sales for the latest movie measure the best movie? Is a bestselling book the best book?

Are the highest sales numbers the most important or is the quality of the product, service, or customer experience a better measurement?

Measuring by the numbers probably works but the KPI’s (key performance indicators) need to be measuring the proper metric. What we measure and how, can have a significant impact on organizational health.

Companies who measure the right thing might be those with the best reputation. Those with the best reputation probably hire the best employees, they have the best training programs and they are most likely to have a low employee turnover ratio.

There is also a pretty good chance that they have the highest customer satisfaction ratings and will outlast their competition.

Are you measuring job performance by the numbers? Which ones?

– DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a four-time author and some of his work includes, Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce and Pivot and Accelerate, The Next Move Is Yours! Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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