Leadership Practice is a Joke!

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Story: A priest, a minister, an imam and a rabbi walk into a bar. The bartender says, “What is this? A joke?”

Ok, I think that joke is funny for a number of reasons, and over the years I’ve learned how hard it is to effectively deliver one. I have so much respect for great stand up comedians because most work exceptionally hard on their acts. I was just listening to an NPR interview with comedian Ken Jeong (you probably recognize him from The Hangover movies). He commented that it “can take 10 years to really write 10 good minutes.” Even when he’s headlining in main rooms, Jeong sneaks off to casinos, open mics, and smaller stand up venues to hear the “up and comers” and fine tune his material. His comedy appears spontaneous but like other memorable performances, it’s totally planned and all about practice, practice, practice.

The Problem: Too many leaders are unconscious about the process of leading. It is separate from title or a job skill. Leadership is a craft, and doesn’t happen by accident for the great ones. So what if all leaders kept exercising and honing their abilities for their role, like the best entertainers or athletes do? There are some common processes every formal leader has to do, regardless of the organization size, market, business model, etc. For example, every leader has to set a course or direction. Everyone in this role needs to coach others. Teaching, recognizing, hiring and firing are all leadership processes that can be practiced.

The Solution: Consider leadership as a craft and give thought to the merit of practicing it. Like the very best at anything, never accept good enough or unpredictable variation of your leadership performance as acceptable.

If this information is helpful, here’s how you might apply it:

  1. Just start with one leadership practice (like coaching), outline the steps for doing it well, and practice. Go from there. 
  2. Just for fun, let’s check out Jeong’s Netflix special (Full disclosure: I haven’t seen it yet, but the trailer suggests it’s for mature audiences).

– Lorne

One Millennial View: Leaders should be aware that their employees are learning both positives and negatives from them as well, whether they’re trying to be mentors or not. If a leader is practicing, adjusting and and applying new processes, they’re simultaneously teaching these actions. If leaders operate with the “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it” mindset, then that gets passed along too. So, if coach doesn’t go to practice, neither do the players. 

– Garrett

Blog 967

Edited and published by Garrett Rubis

 

Culture Cast – Deliver High Impact ‘Town Hall’ Meetings in the Workplace

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In Season 3, Episode 2, Lorne and Lynette ask how might they deliver high impact, improve engagement, community and transparency during town hall meetings in organizations. Here are some ideas how to reinvent town halls to increase better facilitation and more meaningful participation from all leaders and employees.

Please feel free to subscribe to this YouTube channel, follow this podcast on Soundcloud, as well as iTunes, and Lorne and Lynette’s social media platforms for all the latest Culture Cast uploads and announcements.

Lorne Rubis is available @LorneRubis on Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook

Lynette Turner is available on Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn as well as through her site, LynetteTurner.com.

We look forward to sharing Season 3 of Culture Cast: Conversations on Culture and Leadership with you every Wednesday. 

How to Earn More Trust at Work

Abundance Accountability Personal leadership Respect

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Story: Throughout my career I’ve heard people blurt out, often in exasperation, “I just don’t trust ___!” TRUST is one of the most fleeting and challenging values amongst people at work. What can we practically do to address this? Respected leadership consultants Jack Zenger and Joseph Folkman recently published important work on trust based on substantial research. Three key elements emerged: Judgment, Relationships and Consistency. Of the three, which do you think had the biggest trust impact?

Key Point: Positive relationships have the biggest impact on trust, period. The authors note:  “Intuitively we thought that consistency would be the most important element. Saying one thing and doing another seems like it would hurt trust the most. While our analysis showed that inconsistency does have a negative impact (trust went down 17 points), it was relationships that had the most substantial impact. When relationships were low and both judgment and consistency were high, trust went down 33 points. This may be because many leaders are seen as occasionally inconsistent. We all intend to do things that don’t get done, but once a relationship is damaged or if it was never formed in the first place, it’s difficult for people to trust.”

My observation is that building and maintaining positive relationships requires our personal energy and intentional investment. Yet, people too often under invest in caring about the situation or concerns of people who work around them. We obviously know relationship building is important, still we seem to show up most when WE need something. That does little to inspire trust. Are you known as a builder and investor in positive relationships? Do people trust you?

Actions we can take:

Based on Zenger/Folkman’s findings, investing in and building positive relationships for increasing trust includes (but not limited to): Proactively staying in touch on the issues and concerns of others; balancing results with concern; generating cooperation; resolving conflicts; giving honest feedback in a helpful way.                              

  1. After reading this, take one small action to proactively invest in an underdeveloped relationship at work.

More investment in positive relationships,

Lorne

One Millennial View: We’ve talked a lot in these blogs about the value of giving people respect, in contradiction to the more popular take that someone should have to earn our respect. Trust, whether we like it or not, is still very much an “earned” value, and that’s completely understandable to me. How are we supposed to put trust in someone we don’t know, let alone don’t have any relationship with? We all put in the hours at work to earn a paycheck, but perhaps trust is another valuable currency that deserves a few hours of our time each week too.

– Garrett

Blog 966

Edited and published by Garrett Rubis

 

Lead in With Lorne – How Do You Manage Competitive Peers at Work?

Personal leadership Podcast

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We invite you to take a couple minutes to watch/listen to our new podcast, Lead In with Lorne: A Leadership Story to Start Off Your Week.

This week, Lorne discusses how to manage competitive peers and the approach you should take that is best for you, and the greater good of the organization.

Enjoy it on the YouTube video embedded below, or audio listeners can hear it on SoundCloud now too (iTunes coming in the near future). We hope it enriches your Monday

Kindly subscribe to the YouTube channel and SoundCloud to make sure you start your week with a leadership story. 

Lorne Rubis is available @LorneRubis on Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook

What if I Did Opposition Research on You?

Abundance Accountability Personal leadership Respect

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Story: Over the last few weeks, I’ve heard more vigorous commentary and support for the concept of opposition research. Most often it is in the context of the rough and tumble world of politics. For example, “if they would have done their opposition research, they would have found that out earlier and clobbered the person on the other side.” So I was thinking of starting up an opposition research firm specifically for the workplace. Maybe I could call it: “F YOU UP” Our mission statement: “We find out everything and crush who’s in your way.” If you contact my firm, let me know who you’re competing with for a position at work, and we will dig up the dirt including but not limited to old yearbooks, teen years, so-called expunged legal records, divorce filings, finance issues, medical records, anything we can find on the dark web, and of course all early social media. We then promise to have bots/trolls place our salacious findings everywhere your bosses and colleagues can see it. We promise to crush your opposition!! (Money back guarantee). But wait, there’s more. For no extra cost we will throw in opposition research on one long time friend. Wouldn’t it be cool over dinner to drop a little “turd in the punch bowl?” “Hey, tell me about when you _____,” then watch ‘em squirm!

Key Point: I’m obviously being totally facetious. I do get that politics is a win-lose game. I also recognize that one has to be “street wise.” However I am concerned that we could lose our balance on this matter. Most of us thankfully do no not break the law or overstep a reasonable moral code. If we do, the system, while imperfect, is there to address it. It also includes punishment and eventually forgiveness along the way. As human beings, we make stupid mistakes and hopefully learn and move beyond. Thankfully we get to wrestle with many of those privately. With the exception of the most egregious situations, we deserve to evolve so our life of contribution is measured by all we’ve done to make the world better. The idea of catching people doing things right versus researching to find what they’ve done wrong is of much more value to all. (Btw, if we knew about and publicized every stupid thing current CEOs did in their past, I believe we would have 100 percent turn over).

Actions you can take:

  1. Don’t be a gossip at work (or anywhere). Ask yourself who is being served by such talk.
  2. Think of competing against yourself to become a better contributing human being first. (Of course, protect yourself from someone who may hurt you).
  3. Let people see your strengths. Be abundant. DO NOT try to make yourself look better by making others look worse. It decays our collective soul.

For You in Leadership,

Lorne

One Millennial View: Character assassination by way of opposition research is in most cases, for lack of a better word, lame. Imagine hypothetically if instead of putting in the work to prepare for the Super Bowl, the Los Angeles Rams successfully protested to the NFL about the New England Patriots’ alleged former on-field indescretions. The NFL forces the Patriots to forfeit, and declares the Rams world champions by way of disqualification. Even though they did lose in real life, no competitive Rams player would want to win that way. In the workplace, if there are promotions by way of using opposition research to make others look worse, then where’s the personal satisfaction or morality in that? 

– Garrett

Edited and published by Garrett Rubis