People Join Companies But They Leave Bosses

This week I spoke for a Pharmaceutical company. In preparation for my speech I interviewed a couple of their sales reps over the phone and went on a ride along with another rep. I found it interesting that all of them at some point brought up their loyalty based off of the relationship they had with their manager. They said things like: “If you connect with the right manager it will make all the difference” “I left my last company because of my manager and I’m staying here because I have a great manager”   You’ve probably heard the saying that people join companies but they leave bosses.   The bureau of labor statistics reports that today’s average worker will have fifteen to twenty jobs before they retire and the #1 reason for changing jobs is bad management/bad culture.   Le Roy H. Kurtz of General Motors once poignantly observed:
Continue Reading

How Often Are You Having a Culture Conversation?

This week on my podcast I interviewed Tim Sanders, NY Times best selling author and leadership expert. One of the great points that Tim made was that leaders who want to build a strong culture need to have culture conversations often.   He used the example of Zappos and how often they discussed culture within their organization. From the call center employee up to CEO, Tony Hsieh, they had culture conversations on a very regular basis.   I was thinking about that idea yesterday as I was at a conference talking to Chris Tomasso, who is the CEO of First Watch Restaurants.  We were talking about our friend, Ken Pendery, who is now the Chairman of First Watch restaurants. I asked him what Ken’s role is and his response surprised me. He said Ken is the Chief Culture Officer, which means that his job is to go and have conversations
Continue Reading

Better Motives Lead to Better Collaboration

Yesterday we hosted our Leadership Inc Institute and the trainer was Neil Staker.   We spent the day talking about collaboration and communication – it was great.   One of the points that stood out to me was that when it comes to dealing with people, our motives are more important than our behavior.   Why? Because better motives lead to better collaboration.   Even when we behave correctly (do the right things) if our motives are off, it can impact how it’s received and therefore the outcome.   Here are some examples: Offering advice under the guise of being helpful when you’re really just annoyed. Doing a job for others because you don’t trust them or are tired of waiting. Acting polite or supportive in front of people, only to criticize them or their ideas later. Asking questions that have more to do with undermining than understanding.   Are
Continue Reading

Effort Is A Skill

On Nov 14 in the NBA the Jimmy Butler saga ended when the Minnesota Timberwolves trader Butler to the Philadelphia 76ers for Robert Covington and Dario Saric. If you aren’t a basketball fan, Butler was demanding a trade and it turned into an ugly ordeal. The interesting thing has been how much better the Timberwolves have been since the trade. A big reason for the uptick is the addition of Robert Covington. Covington is a skilled player but nobody would argue he’s more skilled than Jimmy Butler. What he brings to the table is an intangible that’s hard to measure. He brings energy. He is a guy on the court that plays hard on every play. Cheers on his teammates. Dives for loose balls and his energy is contagious – he raises the collective energy of the team. Here is my takeaway – Effort is a skill. And just like
Continue Reading

How Do You Respond To Crisis?

Last year after only a couple of weeks on the job, UBER CEO Dara Khosrowshahi was faced with a crisis. Government officials in London announced that they would not be renewing Uber’s license to operate in the city. Being shut down and in essence kicked out of one of the most popular cities in the world is a monumental crisis for a company like Uber. How would you respond? Crisis often brings out the worst in us. We react. Get emotional. Say things we regret. Lash out. It’s usually ugly. Instead, Uber’s Chief Executive sent an email to employees that showed composure, humility, emotional control and solution thinking. The part of the email that is most poignant is this: “While the impulse may be to say that this is unfair, one of the lessons I’ve learned over time is that change comes from self-reflection. So it’s worth examining how we got
Continue Reading

10 Benefits To Reading

This week my twelve year old daughter put together a neighborhood mini library. She got the approval of the Home Owners Association. Found the right spot for the library. Solicited book donations and had a launch party.   It was awesome watching all the neighborhood kids grabbing books and sitting and reading together.   I am a big fan of reading. I know that as an author that sounds trite, but reading has allowed me to continue to grow and learn.   There are some cliché sayings thrown around like: Leaders are Readers and Earners are Learners. But these clichés certainly have merit.   Here are some of the benefits of reading:   1.According to Bite Size Bio, reading for one hour a day about your profession for seven years makes you an international expert in your field.        Not only does this take a lot of discipline, but very few colleagues
Continue Reading

What Are You Willing To Sacrifice?

Sidney Howard said, “One half of knowing what you want is knowing what you have to give up to get it.”   Anything great requires sacrifice. The recognition of the need for sacrifice and the willingness to act on it is a quality of the successful.   I recently met a new friend that was looking to make a big change in his career. To get hime where he wanted to go, he felt he needed coaching and so he decided to sell his beloved mountain bike to invest in this coaching, a big sacrifice for him.  He knew that making a hard choice now would have dividends in his future.   What are you willing to sacrifice to achieve your goals?  More often than not, it’s not about what we are willing to do achieve our goals, but what we are willing to give up.   Most of the time, those big,
Continue Reading

What Make You Memorable

Last week I was out of town and my wife went to a play with our oldest daughter so she hired a babysitter for the younger three kids. This was a new babysitter for us and the kids loved her. She played with them, got to know them and cleaned the house before Sarah got home. She was great! But that wasn’t what makes her memorable. She did something that I’ve never seen before. She left our kids a present to open the next morning. It had some candy, toys and a teddy bear. Our kids were over the moon with this small gesture and now they won’t stop asking when she can babysit again. What an awesome example of doing an amazing job, as we all should, and then doing that extra, thoughtful, extraordinary thing that makes you memorable. I think it’s a lesson for all of us –
Continue Reading

Two Keys To Success

I was listening to a podcast where CJ McCollum (shooting guard for the Portland Trailblazers) was talking to Brian Koppelman (filmmaker who wrote and produced Rounders, Oceans 13 & his current show, Billions) Brian made a great point that two of the keys to success are: Being present Being comfortable in your own skin Being present is harder & harder in our busy, technology driven world & for that reason it is even more important. Being present with the people you are with is crucial to connection but being present in your work is also crucial to your effectiveness. Learning to eliminate distractions, turn down the noise & focus are skills of the highly successful. Being comfortable in your own skin is harder to teach. It eludes many people and their can be many reasons for that. I don’t know all the answers but a couple things that help are:
Continue Reading