It is 5:46 am, and you make the daily walk to the restroom. As you shake the morning cobwebs from your mind, you think about the conversation you are avoiding with your sales manager. You feel the guilt of knowing this discussion needs to happen ahead of today’s sales meeting and the truth that you are avoiding a crucial conversation. Cognitive dissonance rears its ugly head once again, and you look for ways to rationalize your way out of the confrontation you know is necessary. These are the things we don’t talk about.
I have always believed and often teach the virtues of hiring the best person for the job. My naivety has also made me think that most “right-minded” managers agree with this simple premise. Organizational talent is the best indicator of long-term success in the game of business. The team with the best players will win the most games. Blah, blah, blah!
Leslie leaves her job after 18 years for another that pays about the same amount of money. Raymond leaves his new job of six months for another job that pays 50 cents an hour more with a longer commute. Sarah is looking for a job in another field. She is tired of the negativity at her current firm. What do these three have in common? They all did not feel appreciated at work.
A lack of awareness is common when it comes to the perceptions of your followers. Do they see you as a leader? This insightful question determines your location on the scale between manager and leader. You can be the boss and not have followers. In other words, people can do what you expect and still not consider you as their leader. Having worked with thousands of supervisors, managers, and executives for over two decades, I have seen one thing move the needle the most when becoming the leader among followers. This one thing seems to be consistent yet elusive to many on the journey toward the leader.
At what point does it make sense to fire your entire leadership team and start over? I know this sounds harder than woodpecker lips, but stay with me for a moment. Can a team become so toxic that it is beyond repair? When should a business owner or CEO take such drastic action? Is there value in starting over with an organization?
The inherent problem with professional sales is the knowledge gap. Years ago, I heard someone say expertise requires the accumulation of 50,000 units of knowledge. The problem occurs when people reach 10,000 units of knowledge and believe they know the subject at a high level while being utterly unaware of the remaining 40,000 units of knowledge.
We have all hired that person that looked good on paper and interviewed well but did not turn out as expected. How do we undo this mistake? You went to the board and made the pitch, but alas, they do not perform. Or worse, they have changed into someone that is no longer the person you hired. What now?
Any seasoned leader can attest to times they thought about giving up. Giving up may seem like the best approach, but it is often the moment just before the breakthrough. You are tired of the emotional void of having your passion for change go unnoticed or, worse, unappreciated. You want to quit being a leader and go back to the comfort of the past. You are exhausted.
That phrase and its evil siblings, ‘that’s not how we do it here’ and ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ are, potentially, the seven most dangerous words you’ll ever hear or say in any organization when uttered in response to a suggestion for change.
I am confused about your frequent complaints regarding the availability of talented people for your organization. You complain that good workers are difficult to find. Help me to understand your position and perspective because I cannot understand your logic. Currently, certain people on your team do not perform, do not show up, and do not appreciate the job they get asked to complete. Yet, you cannot seem to find the desire or ability to remove them from your team. What gives?
Something is just off about her. You cannot put your finger on it, but you suspect she is different. She takes longer to get things done when she does not get her way. She makes things more complicated than necessary and avoids difficult conversations. It is subtle but noticeable. On the surface, she seems confident, yet you detect an underlying fragility.
Your inner critic is that voice inside your head. You are not good enough, smart enough, or thin enough. In some cases, it makes you think you are an imposter when you are successful. You feed the critic by allowing it to fester in your mind. The secret is to get these thoughts into your consciousness and be aware of what you are telling yourself. It is crucial to get this thinking into the light by exploring your darkest ideas about yourself.