Tag Archives: leadership

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workplace winning

Workplace Winning Costs, But How Much?

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A little friendly competition isn’t bad. It certainly can motivate and inspire. The spirit of competition is strong, it can create a lot of action. Workplace winning can cost a lot too. Have you assessed the price tag?

Friendly Competition

Set the goals. Feel the stretch. Size up the competition. Plan to win.

There are a few ways your workplace can become competitive.

The top salesperson.

Employee of the month.

The quest for recognition and illustrated appreciation.

Debates in meetings.

Pay by merit, not seniority or credentials.

Does your workplace support one or more of these motivational drivers? Internal competition is often friendly, yet it can also derail.

Mediocrity

Some people will defer instead of compete. They will take a lose-win approach. Their mindset is, “I’m not going to win so I’ll make an excuse and lose.”

She has all the good accounts.

Bob is a workplace version of the teacher’s pet.

No one ever really observes my work; they don’t understand my contribution.

I’m not a quick thinker. I refuse to debate issues.

Jack has been here longer he should have a higher pay rate.

These are most likely opinionated excuses, not facts. When we set ourselves up to lose there is not any reason to do more or be more. Couple that with limited accountability by a supervisor and at best you have mediocrity.

Workplace Winning

The workplace winning continuum is broad. Mediocrity may mean complacency. On the other end of the scale inappropriate competition and the quest to win can derail team trust and commitment.

Both represent costs no organization can afford to pay.

Properly structured, internal competition can be a great morale booster. Strong teams win the prize. It is a win-win. The organization wins and so do the employees. Customers often win too.

This means one simple truth. The win is counterintuitive and expensive. A win-win-win is what you should seek.

-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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Penn State Smeal

Management Essentials – Lewistown, PA

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Dennis is headed to Lewistown, PA with PennState Smeal College of Business and Penn State Executive Programs to deliver this valuable professional development program.

 

This five-module series is designed to help participants develop and sharpen skills that relate to managing in today’s workplace environment. Throughout the series, each module will provide specific learning objectives, experiential learning activities and exercises, and real-world examples.

This program is appropriate for new first-level supervisors, individual contributors, or team leads who are considering the transition into supervision, as well as experienced supervisors who would like to refresh their skills.

Sample job titles include manager, supervisor, coordinator, superintendent, and team lead.

Five Modules all (8:30 AM arrival) 9:00 AM – 12 Noon

May 23, 2019 – Supervisor Effectiveness

May 30, 2019 – Effective Communication for Managers

June 5, 2019 – Conflict Management for Managers

June 12, 2019 – Navigating a Multigenerational Workforce

June 19, 2019 – Being a Great Mentor or Coach

$495.00 (for the 5 module series)

Register Now!

Or Call: 800-311-6364

Penn State Smeal


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Dennis Gilbert Aspiring Leader Seminar

Aspiring Leader Seminar – Williamsport, PA

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Today’s leaders are more than just supervisors or management team members. They are the heart of inspiration, team work, and create the atmosphere required for the pursuit of common goals.

This seminar covers many of the foundation skills that build great leadership habits. Participants will explore what it means to be a leader, not just a supervisor or manager. We’ll be covering change, communication, and motivating the team. Tough topics that are sometimes taken for granted such as resiliency, understanding priorities, and the difference between facts and opinions. In addition, we’ll examine some tough questions such as, “Where are you most vulnerable?”and “What is most important right now?” 

More Info / Register


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trusted resource

Are You a Trusted Resource?

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Trust is critical everywhere. Workplace trust affects everything that will happen next. It is true with customers, vendors, and employees. Are you a trusted resource?

Have you wondered why…

employees don’t seem to care;

micromanagement is rampant;

managers are unavailable;

electronic communication is preferred;

turnover ratios are high;

customers nibble on marketing but seldom bite;

vendors won’t negotiate on terms?

All of this may have something to do with trust and reputation.

Trust Expectations

Being a trusted resource is critical for efficiency, process improvement, and customer confidence.

Have you considered your customer, marketing, or brand promise? Are you living up to that or would the other side suggest that is a lie?

Are you consistent with employees and decisions? Do people know what to expect and when?

Being a trusted resource comes with an obligation. The obligation to live up to promises and expectations.

Successful organizations seem to get more of this right instead of wrong. They work on trust, realize the sensitivity and costs of a breakdown, and insist on the actions and behaviors necessary to promote it.

Trusted Resource

Consider this, has your project been on track and within budget? Is there gossip, drama, absenteeism, turnover, and a relentless focus on pay?

Are sales where they should be? Do you know your best customers and treat them with respect instead of rules? Do you have great terms and support with vendors?

What is all this costing you?

What is holding you or your organization back?

Perhaps you are not a trusted resource.

-DEG

Do you need some help with trust? Call me.

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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cultural acceptance

Cultural Acceptance Is Just The Beginning

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Organizations are built through culture. What is being accepted in your culture? Does cultural acceptance guide what happens next?

Whether it is ethics, dress code, or diversity and inclusion, your culture plays a role in what happens next. Your culture creates the allowance or defiance that shapes its future.

Observed Guidelines

Most modern social guidelines suggest more freedom, more openness, more be who you are and do what you want. Are there limits? What defines those limits?

Of course, there are limits. What does the group allow?

That customer just bought the fifteen-year-old hunk of junk car we had out back and never asked about the transmission.

We sold them a hundred units at ten percent over our list price. They never said a word. 

I closed the deal and hung up before she could ask any more questions. (Fist bump!)

Our workplace is our community. What is the culture of your community and what do you allow, congratulate, or celebrate? What are the performance guidelines? How are customers treated?

Cultural Acceptance

You have a choice in your community. You can be part of the future or part of the problem. Often the problem is our quest for the short-term win. Grab the easy money or deliver with the sleight of hand to the unknowing.

What your organizational culture tolerates is what your workplace becomes.

The challenge is often connected to cultural acceptance. In matters of ethics, integrity, and moral values, nearly everyone knows better, yet fitting in is often why they were hired.

When employees weigh the risk of not fitting in with the perceived value of staying; they often choose to stay, regardless of the cost or potential value of the return on risk.

This is where things start but often not where they end.

-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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compelling ideas

Will Compelling Ideas Cause a Shift?

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There are lots of ideas floating around. Easily, more ideas than there is action. The hesitation, fear, and lack of action doesn’t help new ideas grow. Are you delivering compelling ideas? Ideas that are sticky and gain momentum?

Jump on The Box

For some people it is easy to get on the soap box. Hold up a cue card (metaphorically) and someone will jump on their box.

Once on the box, listeners sense the urgency, passion, and may be compelled to jump on board with the idea. They may also find disagreement and want to argue.

The challenge then for the soap box stander is to not only be compelling but also to be charismatic. It is similar to an election. Candidates get on the box. It is the stump speech.

How does this apply in the workplace?

It happens every day. Someone has a chance or the opportunity to get on the box. The messages that we exchange and engage with in the workplace are often followed by action and belief, or not.

Recently, at a speaking engagement someone asked me, “How do you teach up the ladder, get executives involved, and gain buy-in?” I thought the answer was easy, I responded with, “You have to be compelling.”

Compelling Ideas

I love the opportunity to get on the box. Sometimes I have to reel myself back in before I take things too far. Change is often about small doses of a good idea, spread across time. The big picture is just too much, too soon.

Like the closet that needs cleaning, it is easier to do in pieces. When we open the door and see so much clutter, we just don’t know where to start. So, we do nothing except close the door again.

The shift that you want to make may be a good idea. You’ll have to be compelling and maybe a little charismatic. Use the right speed and quantity.

Too much, too soon, and you may end up with the perception that it is a bad idea. Door closed.

-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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force respect

Can You Force Respect or Only Earn It?

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Respect is a commonality. Respect is something that nearly everyone wants yet often there is struggle to attain. Can you force respect?

People will do things for many different reasons. Fear is a big driver for action. We may fear future embarrassment if we don’t act, we may fear being removed from the team, or we may fear that we will be fired.

Short Game, Long Game

Motivation through fear is probably not a good idea for the long game. It works in the short game, but typically fails in effectively building relationships.

When the boss says, “We need to ship all of these orders today or corporate is going to close our facility.” that is a statement of fear. Certainly, it may spring people into action, but in the long game, it breaks down loyalty and commitment.

The feeling often becomes, “The Company doesn’t care about me, so I don’t care about the Company.”

Motivation and respect are often closely connected. You can insist someone must do something, and perhaps they will. What about respect, can you force respect?

Force Respect

I may not respect a hot stove, until I touch it. Telling me to respect it is valuable, but until I live it there may be some doubt.

Some people will give respect freely. Their values and beliefs direct them to respect first and obtain the supporting evidence later. In other cases, people may expect you to earn it, it is never just given.

How should you navigate this in the workplace?

You can try to force respect. However, it is likely an illusion. Respect works best when it is earned. It is part of the long game. It is a relationship built across time.

Forcing anything is a short run game.

-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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Training cost

Training Cost And Other Expenses

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Have you evaluated the training cost? Have you evaluated the cost of not training? What about the time commitment, is that stopping you?

There are plenty of excuses why organizations shy away from training. Some popular excuses relate to budget, time commitments, and occasionally someone will mention a lack of need.

Measure Costs

What are the true costs associated with a lost customer? What are the costs of poor decisions made by supervisors, managers, and other workplace leaders? Employee turnover, what does that cost?

I’ve been told, “When we have a choice to ship the product or sit in training. We’re always going to ship the product.”

It is a statement that is hard to work with, yet it is a mindset that is associated with higher costs of doing business.

Shipping the product today matters. Conceptually it matters more than training. I should say, “More than training today.” Shipping the product without training is a short run game. It works while it works, until it doesn’t.

Training Cost

Most organizations deepest interest is to grow. Increase revenue, share the mission objective, touch more people, change lives, impress investors, and build, grow, build, grow.

In most businesses or even the non-profit, the long game matters more. A three-person company can ship the product efficiently, a three-hundred-person company may be different.

The infrastructure costs could be a few million, or rent or lease, is multiple tens of thousands per month. Salary and benefits, they are likely the largest item on the income statement.

Marketing and advertising, they are often paid months in advance of the collection of the accounts receivable from a possible sale.

Will you do all of that without training? That is just on the surface, dig deeper and you’ll discover more. What will shape your culture?

Every dollar invested in training accounts for many more dollars you’ll save somewhere else.

-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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language matters

Language Matters Because It Builds Culture

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What is the language of your workplace? Is there optimism, excitement, and energy? Language matters because it sets the tone and shapes the environment for everything that happens next.

“Good Morning,” is different from, “Ugh, here we go again.”

“I’m ready, let’s go,” is different from, “I’m not awake yet.”

We never know exactly what each day will bring. Yet we have a choice to decide what we will bring to each day.

What are your contributions to culture?

Building Culture

Every workplace has a culture. Every organization, business, and group effort have language behind their energy.

What is the language of your workplace? It is energizing or creating fear? Does it inspire confidence or get hung up on doom and gloom?

We are people, people with personalities, emotions, and feelings. We leap forward with inspiration or make a choice about fighting or retreating during fear.

Today you will make a choice about what you see. You’ll look for the opportunity, or describe a problem that cannot be solved.

You will believe that what is unfolding is happening for you, or to you.

Most of that belief will develop from your language. Tell yourself either you can, or you can’t. You will be correct.

Language Matters

Belief is powerful. Our belief systems are often created from the language that surrounds us.

Your team and your organizational culture are built by this belief.

Suggest that there is nothing good about this day. Chances are you’ll have a hard time finding something. It is a self-fulfilled prophecy.

Think carefully about what you’ll say today. It will guide what happens next.

-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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