5 Great Ways to Keep Your Superstars!

Posted by WABC

When giving feedback to your superstar performers, the key issue to recognize is that the “no news is good news” feedback approach is not an effective management technique for handling them.

Too often we assume that these individuals know how much we value their contributions and we take the lazy approach to providing feedback: “You know you’re doing a good job.” Or worse: “Write your own performance review and I’ll sign it.” Sound familiar?

Here are some quick tips to more effectively discuss performance — and motivate — your top talent:

  1. Approach the discussion with the same preparation and attention to detail that you focus on team members with problem or growth opportunities. If they truly are valued by you and the organization, give them the thoughtfulness, respect, and time that they deserve.
  2. Recognize that the quickest way to encourage a top performer to start looking for a job elsewhere is to tell them: “there is nothing that you need to work on.” Based on our database of over 4 million leaders, the highest ranked behavior of our top performers is a commitment to self-improvement. These people want — and need — to learn and grow. Help them identify opportunities.
  3. Specify the value that these performers bring to you and to the organization. Express the cause and effect of their contributions/role in the organization and the appreciation that you personally feel.
  4. Be as honest as possible about future opportunities within the organization. Don’t commit beyond your span of control. It is better to be candid and maintain trust than to have these individuals’ base decisions on deals that you cannot keep.
  5. Recognize that as their leader, you have the greatest ability to retain these human assets. The number one factor that influences people’s intent to stay or leave a job is their satisfaction or dissatisfaction with their leader – so keep them challenged; provide them with ongoing feedback; and recognize/express your appreciation for their contributions.

Most importantly, recognize that you will have the most impact on their continued growth and satisfaction.

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6 Things Positive People Say in Adversity!

Posted by WABC

Today, with all of the pressures of life and work, we’re busier and working harder than we ever have. Sometimes life can be difficult, things happen that we don’t like, and we get down. This is just a fact!

My wonderful friend Frances Hesselbein (former CEO of the Girl Scouts and recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom) has a saying that I love. She says, when asked what her blood type is, “Be Positive!” This is her philosophy and it helps her navigate through challenges in a positive way.

I love her outlook and I look for it in others as I travel around the world. How do people meet challenges and view change in a positive way? Here are some of the comments I’ve heard from friends, leaders, and students about how to view and manage difficulties in a positive and constructive way.

  1. “There is no use dwelling on the past. What is done is done. In hindsight, would I have done some things differently? Of course! I cannot change that now. I am focused on creating a great future.”
  2. “In a strange way, my recent ‘disasters’ have actually made me better. I now realize that what matters is my health, friends, and family. I am grateful for the fact that I now understand what really matters.”
  3. “I have a good job. I used to gripe about all kinds of minor annoyances at work. I recognize now that there are a lot of people out there who are much worse off than I am. All the little things that bothered me so much don’t matter anymore.”
  4. “I have time to invest in my future. I am using it to do what I always said I wanted going to do. I am glad that I have a chance to do this.”
  5. “I love my work. As an independent contractor, I have had to cut my fees. Who cares? I still love what I am doing and am grateful to be doing what I love.”
  6. “My family is closer than ever. Some of us aren’t doing so well. We are doing whatever we can to help each other. We love each other and support each other when times are tough.”

Personally, I’m very grateful to have the opportunity to communicate with you, my readers. Many of you have sent me wonderful comments and e-mails. I have learned so much from you, and I am very appreciative for your interest in what I write.

“Great is the need of the student to learn — far greater is the need of the teacher to teach.” As a teacher, trying to help you — even a little — adds value to my life. Thank you!

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The Most Unusual Investment System with Benefits a 1000-Fold!

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What’s the most unusual investment system that will reap you benefits of a thousand fold?

For me it’s been giving all of my material away on my website. You can copy, share, download, and duplicate it, it’s all free. I’ve been amazed at how many wonderful people I have met and wonderful experiences I have had because I do this. It’s more than I ever could have imagined!

I started doing this when I was young. I didn’t know what I was doing, it just came naturally. Where I grew up in Kentucky, there was a program called the March of Dimes Bread Drive. My high school was one of the poorer schools in the area, and I was put in charge of the bread drive for my area. We would have been predicted to come in near last place. Instead we can in first place!

We were instructed to knock on doors in our neighborhood. When someone answered the door, we were to ask them, “Would you make a donation?” If the person made a donation, then we were to give them a loaf of bread.

I told my team, “We’re going to do something different. We’re going to give them the bread. At the end of the day, the bread will be thrown away in any case. If they are too poor to make a donation – let’s just give them the bread.” Then we’ll tell them, “If you want or are able to make a donation that would be nice, if not that’s okay too. Either way, we’re going to give you the loaf of bread.”

You see, to me, it was demeaning to try to bribe someone with a loaf of bread. If they can give you something back for it, great. But, maybe they can’t right then, maybe they can’t afford it, maybe they aren’t capable of it. That’s okay too.

It was during that March of Dimes Bread Drive that I really started to live the philosophy of giving.

It’s been a good philosophy of life for me to just “give people the bread.” And, in Valley Station, Kentucky those many years ago, that is how my little March of Dimes Bread Drive team ended up raising more money than any other team in the county!

Today, I’m giving the bread away again with my legacy project 100 Coaches, which I initiated last year. I am teaching 100 people everything I know at no charge. In return, these 100 have committed to do the same thing for 100 others, for free. I was inspired to do this by the many great teachers and leaders who have so generously helped me – without ever asking for anything in return. It is my way of recognizing the amazing contributions they have made in my life.

Our first cohort of 25 coaches has already met twice and learned from some of the greatest leaders of our time, Alan Mulally (former CEO of Ford and CEO of the year in the United States), Frances Hesselbein (former CEO of the Girl Scouts and recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom), and Dr. Jim Kim (President of the World Bank). They are well on their way to sharing their new insights with the world!

And, now, I’ve just announced the second cohort! I am so excited to meet with this diverse group of coaches who will come from around the world to join me in Phoenix June 23-25!

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Is Your Boss a Chief Critic Officer?

Posted by WABC

One of the bad habits that I talk about in my best-selling book What Got You Here Won’t Get You There is “Passing judgment: the need to rate others and impose our standards on them.” Some of you may have a boss who does this, some of you may do this yourselves. Let’s analyze this bad habit.

While, there’s nothing wrong with offering an opinion in the normal give and take of business discussions, because you want people to agree or disagree freely, it’s not appropriate to pass judgment when we specifically ask people to voice their opinions about us. In those moments when other people have passed judgment on advice they have solicited from me, my first thought is, “Who died and made you Critic in Chief?”

This is true even if you ask a question and agree with the answer. Consciously or not, the other person will register your agreement, and he or she will remember it with great specificity when you don’t agree the next time. The contrast is telling. The person thinks, “What was wrong with what I said? Why did I bother?”

People don’t like to be critiqued, however obliquely. That’s why passing judgment is one of the more insidious ways we push people away and hold ourselves back from learning what we may need to know to achieve greater success. The only likely thing that comes out of passing judgment on people’s efforts to help us is that they probably won’t try to help us again.

How do we stop passing judgment, especially when people are honestly trying to help us?

Try this: For one week – every time you feel like making a judgment, treat the idea that comes your way from the person with complete neutrality. Think of yourself as a human Switzerland. Don’t take sides. Don’t express an opinion. Don’t judge the comment. If you find yourself constitutionally incapable of just saying “Thank you,” make it an innocuous, “Thanks, I hadn’t considered that.” Or, “Thanks. You’ve given me something to think about.”

After one week, I guarantee you will have significantly reduced the number of pointless arguments you engage in at work or at home. If you continue this for several weeks, at least three good things will happen.

First, you won’t have to think about this sort of neutral response; it will become automatic – as easy as saying “God bless you” when someone sneezes.

Second, you will have dramatically reduced the hours you devote to contentious interfacing. When you don’t judge an idea, no one can argue with you.

Third, people will gradually begin to see you as a much more open-minded person, even when you are not in fact agreeing with them. Do this consistently and people will eventually brand you as a welcoming person, someone whose door they can knock on when they have an idea, someone with whom they can spitball casual ideas and not end up spitting at each other.

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