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We have seen it happen: a frustrated facebook post goes awry. Screenshots are taken and shared widely across the medium. In mere minutes, someone makes the connection between the poster and their employer. Quickly, you are faced with a firestorm of public comments demanding you push a good employee out or risk the rising calls to “cancel” your business. What do you do? How do you avoid it? If it happens, how do you handle it?

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Many business leaders are understandably wary of approaching their staff about personal social media use. When the problem erupts, however, companies are often forced to publicly explain that “such comments are not in line with our values and mission.” Now, because the association has been dragged into the focus, the condemnation is not that you employ one reckless individual. The liability is that you have a culture problem.

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The Case of the Glory-Chasers

Glory ChaserI coached one of the nation’s elite schoolboy rugby programs for several years. It was my first big coaching job. I was so excited that I made a critical mistake: I did not take the temperature of the school administrators before accepting the job.

 

The admin had a singular focus. They wanted to win championships. The program had accrued second-place trophies in the State, Midwest, and National tournaments. The first ‘Ship had eluded them and they were desperate.

 

This fixation shaped the type of support the admin were willing to provide my program. They were convinced if our student-athletes just had enough will power, they could win any game. Meanwhile, they neglected or actively worked against the process that could produce on-field success.

 

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The Bureau of Labor Statistics tells us one in five American business ventures fail in the first year, 50% fail by year five, and 67% by year ten. The top causes of failure are overestimating revenue, lack of leadership capacity, ineffective business planning, and underestimating initial marketing needs: the four top reasons for failure are all Process Failure subcategories.

 

The data suggests a general deficiency in planning, seeing, and analyzing Process. These skill gaps exist, in large part, because traditional training methods tend not to be good at developing these skills.

 

Most leaders developed their professional skills through presentation-based workplace or classroom training, independent reading, and rote memorization. All rely on a presenter or writer to manufacture contrived scenarios for analysis. Every step of analyzing the scenario is preplanned and static.

 

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trustblocksHow often have you heard or even said the words unprecedented, essential, or pivot lately?

How rich would you be right now if you had a dollar for every time you said one of these words? No harm in dreaming, but let’s focus on the second word from the list…essential. Lots of factors are motivating businesses to figure out what is absolutely necessary.

There’s the saying that no one is an island. Sure, we have social distancing and physical distancing to help stop the spread of a virus, but successful businesses are not comprised of disconnected individuals working in silos. You might know the phrase: together everyone accomplishes more.

Teams are essential.

You can have a great business model and an excellent product, but if the team cannot work together to execute the business model to sell the product, the business will likely fail. Think about how much energy businesses invest in making sure their value proposition is just right, but the actual work environment itself hinders rather than helps a company’s growth.

Trust is essential for healthy teams.

Trust through Vulnerability

In the first section of her book, Dare to Lead, Brené Brown reminds us about research on psychological safety in relation to vulnerability. Take a moment to review the characteristics of two teams and think about which list best describes the kind of team you want to build your brand.

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messydeskWithout even having to say it, many leaders express being overwhelmed - especially with the upheaval of a pandemic! So leaders often ask us, "How do we get out of being overwhelmed?"

How do we get out of being overwhelmed?

 

There are a variety of ways to respond to being overwhelmed. The solutions vary on the situation. To help us understand how this works, here’s a story of someone we have been working with for a while now.

 

We encountered a leader recently who was overwhelmed, personally, with how their work as a leader is going. Their organization is growing rapidly. They were understaffed for that growth. The leader had a strong task orientation. They questioned their own time management and priorities – asking the question as to whether they were spending time on the most important things. This reached such a stress point that they decided it was time to get help to deal with the situation – so as not to continue to pile on the pressure.

 

What are the consequences of being overwhelmed?

 

Overwhelmed is a distressing place to be: anxiety is up, focus is down, complexity amplifies. Decisions become more difficult. Overwhelmed puts us on the defensive so everything coming at us feels like a threat, a duty, or a burden. Unsurprisingly, this puts us into a higher level of stress – that carries over into our family life, our recreation, our sleep, our health, our non-work relationships, and even the clarity of mind we have for other life decisions.

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Office
1.217.552.1207
[email protected]