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Leadership: 18 Characteristics Of A ‘Badass’ Employee..Take a few minutes & Forward this article to ‘each’ of your Team Members.

Some people believe that winning isn’t everything, that effort is more important than walking away with a “W.” To a degree, they’re right. Winning may not be everything, but the will to win definitely is.

manage-irrational-employees

The will to win exceeds all else because it is defining. Focus, drive, steadfastness and all those other nouns and adjectives that describe “awesomeness” are only as good as the belief behind them; the conviction that turns want into do, desire into action or a wish into a goal.

However, there’s a fine line between the will to win and winning at all costs. The former connotes purity of intent while the latter indicates the potential for subversion of character. Winning becomes everything because the journey defines you.

Of course, claiming a strong will to win and actually implementing it are two different things. The former is akin to a dream while the latter entails definable steps that turn that dream into reality. If you’re wondering if you’ve got what it takes (or just want to confirm that you already do), here are 18 defining characteristics of people with a badass will to win:

1. They rewrite their internal monologues. A badass will to win knows how to push out the negative voices bantering back and forth inside one’s head and instead create a voice that challenges such negativity. In so doing, they answer their newly formed questions and turn the self-limiting “Why can’t I do [task]?” question into the exploratory “How can I do [task]?”

First Sun Consulting, LLC- Outplacement/Executive Coaching Services,  is proud to provide one of our ‘FSC Career Blog’ article below.  Over 300 current articles like these are on our website in our FSC Career Blog section with new management trendsemployment updates along with career branding techniques  .   Also note,we are excited to announce thatFSC Career Blog was voted the ‘most viewed’ on  LinkedIn groups in 2013. 

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2. They have a healthy disregard for authority. Employees with a strong will to win consider the rulebook as more of a guide while still working within the confines of what’s “right.” In other words, badass employees know how to solve problems creatively while not breaking the rules.

3. They don’t wallow in regret. Badass employees feel good about their performance because they know they gave it their all. If a big fat “L” (for “Loser”) is the takeaway for the day, they will learn, adapt and move on.

4. They display grit. In my BUD/S (Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL Training) class we started with 174 students who wanted to be Navy SEALs, but only 32 of us truly desired it. Why? Because the latter group chose to enact the defining quality that bridges the gap between want and wish, purpose and passion. What I’m talking about is grit.

Grit was what separated the 32 volunteers who completed the rigorous six-month selection process. Sure, at the onset everybody wanted to be a SEAL, it was their passion to do so and their purpose for volunteering. But, they didn’t unlock the grit that connects purpose with passion and instead succumbed to the immediacy of security and stability rather than deal with the temporary discomfort of chaos. Grit is the interlock between passion and purpose keeps one’s desires aimed in the intended direction.

5. Badass employees redefine failure. They see failure as a temporary state, a means towards success because every lesson learned provides a clue as to how to achieve their goal.

6. They see opportunity in chaos. People with an unwavering will to win aren’t afraid to swim upstream, to go against the routine of social norms and ask, “Why not?” in order to disrupt the network and introduce a completely new product or idea.

7. They believe superior performance is systemic. There is no single part of human performance—physical, mental or emotional—more important than another. Each capacity is inextricably linked with one another. However, the aforementioned components of performance aren’t scared to rise up individually to fill the void(s) if another is lacking. If, for instance, motivation to read all those new company reports is on the lower end of the day (mental), badass employees know how to attune their physical or emotional interests back to the purpose at hand. They may go for a run to induce endorphins that promote cognition (physical solution), or redefine how they read so as to induce a stronger interest (emotional solution).

Badass employees don’t reach peak physical performance with a reactive (vs. proactive) mindset. They are ready to perform only after they put in the hours to hone their physical prowess—which comes from a disciplined mindset. Superior performance is systemic.

8. They capitalize on momentum. Winners recognize opportunity and they exploit it for the purpose it serves: to continue doing because doing entails learning.

9. They reflect upon past performance. In the SEAL Teams, we conducted after action reviews (AARs) after every mission for a number of reasons:

  • To improve team learning
  • To demonstrate that each operator is integral to the mission
  • To fine tune individual and team performance

If you don’t take the time to learn from history then chances are that you will repeat history—or even worse, be history.

10. They’re rational. Badass employees don’t base their performance on factors out of their control such as the weather, freakish accidents or other peoples’ opinions. If they can’t change or influence the situation then the only option left is to accept it.

11. They recognize the “Murphy Factor.” For lack of a better word, “stuff” happens. Get over it. Badass employees are experts at recognizing when to drill down into further details and when to let things be.

12. Reflect on how to improve. Perpetual learning is an integral part of the winner’s daily routine. Badass employees take responsibility for their actions because their actions are byproducts of their choices.

13. They learn, learn, learn! People with a strong will to win see learning as an opportunity to broaden their own potential for greatness. They don’t question whether or not social media, for example, is something they personally enjoy but rather seek to understand how they can adopt the best practices of social media and maximize its utility. In other words, they see learning as a lifelong journey rather than an end-state.

14. They’re not afraid to explore “newness.” A winning mindset sees new experiences as opportunities to not only learn but also prove that one’s efforts in training and preparation have been worthwhile. In other words, badass employees know that extra-ordinary is oftentimes a byproduct ofextra performance—and that it takes a willingness to try.

15. They’re humble. More than anything, winners display humility because humility, above all else, enables the aforementioned elements to occur. Humility affords the mental space to try new things. Badass employees knowthat there’s always more to learn because they don’t know everything; they seek others out to share and learn from their knowledge. Much like leadership, winning is contagious, and leaders recognize that people are the secret sauce towinning more.

16. They exercise restraint. Knowing how to direct one’s focus, when to do so, and where to aim it are proactive choices a badass employee accurately makes because she has a thorough understanding of the environment in which she works.

7. They value the system rather than the component parts. Badass employees know that gratification comes when there is shared success across the board, so they’re not out to promote themselves but instead work towards job completion as a byproduct of teamwork. In other words, they delay their emotional want and instead focus on the rational need.

18. They don’t believe in “have to’s.” Since many things in life are a product of choice, badass employees replace their “have to’s” with “want to’s” because they’re aware that want reflects personal choice, whereas have to indicates an external force coercing them into action—and badasses don’t believe in that.

At the end of the day, yes, effort is undoubtedly important. But don’t let it replace one’s will to win. If you show me someone who doesn’t want to win then I’ll show you someone who never has.

Forbes.com  |  August 11, 2014  |  Jeff Boss

http://www.forbes.com/sites/jeffboss/2014/08/11/18-characteristics-of-a-badass-employee/

 

5 Important Steps To Getting Your Business Case Approved…So you want to get things done, implement new ideas, hire a new resource, or get new equipment/systems?

So you want to get things done, implement new ideas, expand your department, develop a product, launch a campaign, hire a new resource, or get new equipment or systems?

Woman Happy

Approval for the costs or resources is the only thing standing in your way, but you are competing with other departments and other managers for the same resources, so your business case had better be strong or you will come up short.

Here are five steps you need to take to get your business case approved before you even write it:

1. Understand the Decision Drivers

Whenever you’re pitching a business case that somebody else will need to approve, you should learn who exactly does the approving and what they base their approval decisions on.

If the decision is made by an individual, it’s easier to establish their specific requirements for approval. If it’s a committee or a team making the decision, you will have to find a common ground and also balance the differences between each individual decision driver.

In the case of the CFO, their decision drivers will be largely financial with some risk analysis thrown in. But how exactly do they make their financial decisions? What calculations do they use and what analysis do they do in order to determine the financial viability of an initiative?

For a VP of operations, their decision drivers may be financial but they will also likely consider resources, risks, and impact on other responsibilities and activities they’re responsible for.

Your head of human resources will have different kinds of decision drivers, such as the impact on existing staff and the availability of resources, including timing and pay for staff who might be impacted.

Others, such as your IT, security, or risk management departments, will have their own specific issues and decision drivers that you should understand and address in your business case.

First Sun Consulting, LLC- Outplacement/Executive Coaching Services,  is proud to provide one of our ‘FSC Career Blog’ article below.  Over 300 current articles like these are on our website in our FSC Career Blog section with new management trendsemployment updates along with career branding techniques  .   Also note,we are excited to announce thatFSC Career Blog was voted the ‘most viewed’ on  LinkedIn groups in 2013. 

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2. Build Credibility

It’s not just enough to have a great business case; you have to be credible. The need for credibility includes not only your track record of performance and deliverables, but also the credibility of the information and analysis you do to justify your business case.

So your business case needs to include not only the rationale for why the initiative should be approved, but also how it will be successfully implemented. You should provide a concise and believable approach to implementation that will help ensure success. Nominate or request a senior management representative to be the sponsor and driver of the initiative.

For business case credibility, do a thorough job of any analysis, comparisons, and market research, and be sure to show both the source and the approach you’ve taken. Don’t whitewash assumptions or issues that you know exist; instead, bring them forward and identify clearly how you will mitigate them. It’s better to address them up front than to leave unanswered questions in the minds of senior management reading your business case.

3. Break Down the Objections

Before you even submit your business case, you should be testing it with the decision-makers. Sit down with them individually and go over the key rationale, findings, and proposed initiative.

Ask them to share their criticism and concerns so that you can address them. Depending on your relationship with these individuals, you could even ask them to provide some insight into their colleagues’ likely reactions.

Take their input into consideration, incorporate it where possible into your business case, and follow up with these individuals before your business case is submitted. This will both ensure the changes you made address their concerns as well as show them you’ve listened to their advice.

Finally, ask them directly if they will support the business case when it is presented. If yes, you have clearly broken down their objections and gained a supporter. If no, you can either address changes that will gain their support, or recognize that their objection is something to overcome through the support of other decision-makers.

4. Influence the Influencers

Sometimes, you are not able to get the attention of the actual decision-makers. In such a case, you must identify who influences those decision-makers. Sometimes it’s an employee who reports to them. Of course, even if you are able to deal with the actual decision-makers, it never hurts to also gain support from those who advise them.

For instance, if your CFO relies on a specific individual to do cost-benefit analysis, meet with that person to get their take on your business case. Ask for their insights and make changes in your analysis, or perhaps even the way it is presented, based on their input.

5. Orchestrate the Pitch

If you had discussions with influencers as mentioned above, speak with them individually to remind them of their participation in helping to develop the final document, and ask if they can voice their support to the decision-makers.

After the presentation and the submission of the business case to the decision-makers, follow up with each of them to gauge their reaction and support in this last and final step of approving the business case. If you sense a change in their support or any additional concerns, take immediate actions to address them.

Make the Business Case a Non-Event

Getting your business case approved is about much more than simply developing a solid business case and submitting it. If you followed the steps above, by the time your business case gets to the point where an approval signature is required, you will have already paved the way for that signature.

 

Forbes.com  |  August 9, 2014  |  AllBusiness

http://www.forbes.com/sites/allbusiness/2014/08/09/5-important-steps-to-getting-your-business-case-approved/

 

 

The ‘Inboarding’ Revolution: Do Employees Get More To Leave Their Job?…Smart companies have long understood the predecessor to inboarding—a familiar concept called “onboarding.”

An article recently posted in Forbes declared in its title “Employees Who Stay in Companies More than Two Years Get Paid 50% Less.”  This statement created an overnight social media frenzy, not only generating more than a million views of the article, but also instigating a comment frenzy by readers from all over the globe.

Man going  Down on Escalator

The article, written by Cameron Keng, summarizes how the average annual salary increase (approximately 3%) barely exceeds the pace of inflation (2.1%)—making “job-hopping” a seemingly more lucrative endeavor for an employee (who could see salary increases of 10% to 20% by marketing themselves to competitive companies).

So, what does this mean for leaders and organizations—whether in established corporate settings, small businesses or teams?  How do organizations keep their talent as the economy heats up and more opportunities become available to their people ?

It’s an interesting situation—one that smart companies are already trying to tackle. In a nutshell, they’re creating opportunities for their people. This new trend is called ‘”inboarding.”

Smart companies have long understood the predecessor to inboarding—a familiar concept called “onboarding.” Onboarding is defined as “organizational socialization, referring to the mechanism through which new employees acquire the necessary knowledge, skills, and behaviors to become effective organizational members and insiders.”

First Sun Consulting, LLC- Outplacement/Executive Coaching Services,  is proud to provide one of our ‘FSC Career Blog’ article below.  Over 300 current articles like these are on our website in our FSC Career Blog section with new management trendsemployment updates along with career branding techniques  .   Also note,we are excited to announce thatFSC Career Blog was voted the ‘most viewed’ on  LinkedIn groups in 2013. 

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Onboarding has earned a lot of attention among HR leaders lately as studies show significant turnover ratios within the first 90 days of employment. In fact, a study released by The Center for Creative Leadership suggested that nearly 40% of executives hired at the senior level are pushed out, fail, or quit within the first 90 days.

Onboarding was, and is, a smart response to a common problem. But, as Keng’s article points out, there’s definitely a new problem. And, inboarding is an effective response. It is the method through which organizations help their existing employees improve their necessary knowledge, skills, behaviors and attitude to grow within their own organization. It’s not simply replacing one body for another in set positions (a.k.a “hiring from within”), but instead it is empowering employees to discover new paths within their organization. It’s the process of re-socializing employees (some of which may have been there for a long time) to the current and emerging culture, and the emerging opportunities, of a company.

Has your company culture changed over the past decade as some of the boomers have retired and younger millennials have joined your team? Did it change as social media allows the world to get a glimpse inside the minds of your people? Are you noticing cultural changes as the cubicle walls come down and the workspace shifts toward more collaboration? Have you experienced changes when new technology reshapes the very nature of the way your people work and relate to their coworkers? Did the opportunities change as your products and processes evolve?  The answer is a resounding “Yes.”

With every one of these changes, new challenges and opportunities are born. Many leaders often think only of the need to onboard new employees so they are quickly oriented to the latest evolution of their culture. However, many fail to do the same for their existing base of employees who are often in the best position to capitalize on market opportunities if they were more aware of the changing issues and needs of the company. Inboarding helps employees at all levels become more committed as their path of opportunity widens.

So what are smart companies doing to inboard?

1. They think “inside first.” Consulting firm Booz Allen Hamilton actually named their internal recruitment system “Inside First.” Each business unit in the organization receives a recruiter who acts much like a career coach. Google GOOGL +1.05% has also received a lot of attention for encouraging employee mobility—allowing employees to tag themselves as “looking for new opps” in the their system.  And, it’s not just a few companies who are looking inside first. An article posted in TIME magazine by Dan Schawbel suggests that today’s companies are looking within more than ever before. “Enterprise Holdings made approximately 10,000 internal hires in their fiscal year ending in July 2012, up from 8,700 in 2011. Novelis, the world’s largest manufacturer of rolled aluminum products with 11,600 employees in 11 countries, has placed 41% of new hires through internal hiring.  Energy Future Holdings has increased its internal hiring from 56% in 2010 to 61% in 2011.”

2. They provide strategic project opportunities. Rigid job descriptions and walled-off departments don’t exist in organizations that are good at inboarding. Projects are created that aren’t departmentalized, and offer opportunities to team members who express interest. For example, an organization might undertake a growth initiative, a wellness project, a social responsibility cause, or a community-involvement project. Which employees might be the best to assign such tasks? Those who are most interested. Projects like these offer new avenues for personal growth, talent exploration, new connections, and the chance to gain visibility within the company.

3. They strengthen ties to the impact of work. Modern companies understand that when employees see the impact their efforts make on the recipient of their work, they become more committed to the cause. In fact, a study by the O.C. Tanner Institute, which analyzed 1.7 million cases of award-winning work, revealed that when employees see how their work impacts people, they are 17 times more likely to become passionate about their work.

4. They promote camaraderie. Zappos.com is famous for the company’s “after-hours” social events. In fact, last month, an article in the LasVegas Review Journal spotlighted the recent company gathering by titling the piece,At Zappos, happy hour is part of the company meeting. Other companies build camaraderie in other ways—family day at the water park, picnics, retreats, celebration parties, and the list goes on. Some of these may seem like simple perks, but high-growth companies realize that merging the boundaries of departments and titles allows employees to build relationships with coworkers, managers, and leaders that they might not otherwise explore inside the office—and those relationships lead to increased loyalty as well as other opportunities within the company.

5. They practice recognition. A study conducted by Healthstream of 100,000 managers and employees revealed that 79% of people who quit their jobs cited “A lack of appreciation is a key reason for leaving.”  We see a strong trend among companies of all sizes taking this issue on directly. They are measuring how often managers are recognizing their people, and providing company-wide social tools to increase the reach and frequency of employee recognition. Interestingly, recognition data reveals more about employees than is often assumed. Not only does it call people out for doing great work, but it reveals (if tracked) their interests, abilities and successes on projects.

Cameron Keng’s article struck a nerve—and as our economy continues to strengthen we’re placing bets that the nerve is going to get a lot more sensitive. More companies will be recruiting. More employees will consider bigger opportunities. And, smart companies will develop innovative inboarding strategies to grow their people, strengthen their cultures, and fuel their growth.

Forbes.com  |  August 8, 2014  |  David Sturt and Todd Nordstrom 

http://www.forbes.com/sites/davidsturt/2014/08/08/the-inboarding-revolution-do-employees-get-more-to-leave-their-job/

Strategy: 7 Management Strategies From Some Of History’s Greatest Generals…”The moral is to the physical as three is to one,” Napoleon once said.”He meant that his troops’ fighting spirit was crucial in the outcome of the battle.

Napoleon Bonaparte created an empire stretching across Europe from 1804 to 1814. Before his exile, return, and then ultimate defeat in 1815, Napoleon was a brilliant general who understood the dynamics of leading a large group to victory."Napoleon Crossing the Alps" is a highly idealized version of the general leading his troops in an 1800 campaign.

"Napoleon Crossing the Alps" is a highly idealized version of the general leading his troops in an 1800 campaign.

 "The moral is to the physical as three is to one," Napoleon once said."He meant that his troops' fighting spirit was crucial in the outcome of the battle. With motivated soldiers he could beat an army three times the size of his own," writes Robert Greene in his book "The 33 Strategies of War."

Greene highlights specific ways some of the world's greatest generals, from Napoleon to Alexander the Great, managed their troops. You can use these same tactics to boost the morale of your employees and maximize their productivity:

Unite people around a cause.

Give your team something to fight for. "The cause can be anything you wish, but you should represent it as progressive: It fits the times, it is on the side of the future, so it is destined to succeed," Greene writes. Remind your employees that they are part of a company competing with others in a marketplace, and inspire them to beat their competitors.

When Oliver Cromwell was made a Parliamentarian colonel in the English Civil War in 1643, he began recruiting soldiers who were inexperienced but shared his fervor for the Puritan religion. United around a holy cause, singing psalms as they entered battle, Cromwell's army of commoners outperformed his previous cavalry of trained soldiers by a wide margin. In 1645, they defeated the Royalist forces and brought an end to the first stage of the war.

First Sun Consulting, LLC- Outplacement/Executive Coaching Services,  is proud to provide one of our ‘FSC Career Blog’ article below.  Over 300 current articles like these are on our website in our FSC Career Blog section with new management trendsemployment updates along with career branding techniques  .   Also note,we are excited to announce thatFSC Career Blog was voted the ‘most viewed’ on  LinkedIn groups in 2013. 

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Keep them busy.

When soldiers are on the defensive, waiting to react to the next strike, their spirits are lower and they become complacent or anxious. A similar thing happens to a company that is not moving an initiative forward.

Napoleon was named commander of the French forces fighting the Austrians in Italy in April 1776, and he wasn't welcomed by his troops. They found him too short, too young, and too inexperienced to be a leader, and they were already losing hope in fighting for the ideals of the French Revolution. After a few weeks of being unable to motivate them, Napoleon decided to propel them into action. He brought them to a bridge he knew he could easily win, and rode to the front of his men. He gave them a rousing speech and then propelled them forward to a relatively effortless victory. After that day, Greene writes, Napoleon had his men's full attention.

Keep them satisfied.

You do not need to spoil your workers, but you need to meet their basic needs. Otherwise, says Greene, they'll react to feeling exploited by behaving selfishly and drifting away. You may lose your best employees to the competition if you focus solely on your company's goals and not on their happiness.

Napoleon knew that many of his troops were homesick and weary. It's why he made it a practice to get to know individual soldiers, sharing personal stories, writes Greene. He often saved his promotions of soldiers for moments of low morale, since they communicated to his troops that he cared and was paying attention to individual sacrifices.

Lead from the front.

The enthusiasm of even the most motivated workers will wane, and so you need to let them know that you're right there beside them.

"In moments of panic, fatigue, or disorganization, or when something out of the ordinary has to be demanded from them, the personal example of the commander works wonders," wrote German field marshal Eric Rommel, whose war tactics earned him the respect of his enemies U.S. Gen. George S. Patton and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill.

Appeal to their emotions.

The best generals have a sense of drama, Greene says. Lower your employees' defenses with a story or a joke, and then approach them more directly with their task.

The great general Hannibal of Carthage knew how to make a passionate speech that would ignite his men before a battle with the ancient Romans. But he also knew these speeches would hit that much harder if his men were relaxed in their downtime. Hannibal entertained his men with gladiator battles and his jokes could get all of his soldiers laughing, Greene writes.

Balance punishment and reward.

"Make your soldiers compete to please you. Make them struggle to see less harshness and more kindness," Greene writes. This doesn't mean that in the workplace you need to reprimand employees who don't meet your expectations, but excessive kindness regardless of performance will make your team take you for granted.

During the "Spring and Autumn" period of ancient China, the lord of Qi promoted Sima Rangju to general to defend his region from the armies of Jin and Yan. When two of the lord's men disrespected Rangju in the field, Rangju executed one and killed the attendants of the other. His men were terrified. The general, however, also proved to have a compassionate side, sharing food and supplies equally among his troops and caring for the injured and weak. His men saw that he would reward those who followed him and punish those who did not, and they went on to defeat Jin and Yan.

Build a group myth.

"Soldiers who have fought alongside one another through many campaigns forge a kind of group myth based on their past victories," Greene says. "Success alone will help bring the group together. Create symbols and slogans that fit the myth. Your soldiers will want to belong."

When General George Washington searched for a place to encamp his troops during the harsh winter of 1777-1778, he settled for Valley Forge, Pennsylvania. Washington and his men endured months of extreme cold, very little to eat, and the spread of disease. By the end of February 1778, 2,500 of his troops had died. Those that survived, however, felt that they proved to themselves that nothing would stop them from winning the war against the British. In May, the troops celebrated the announcement of the crucial alliance with the French and pushed forward, more determined than ever.


Businessinsider.com |  August 4, 2014  |  

    http://www.businessinsider.com/war-strategies-for-management-2014-8#ixzz39SMGlxkh

      Strategy: Leadership Is About Enabling The Full Potential In Others…A great leader doesn’t try to make you think like they do. They embrace the natural ways you think/build off of your own strengths

      The 21st century leader must have the ability to make the most out of every situation. They are courageous and not afraid to challenge the status quo and push the boundaries to make things better. Because of these qualities and many others, the best leaders know how to get the most out of people; they enable the full potential in others.

      EmployeesFirst

      An employee’s success, the lens they see through, the decisions they make and how they navigate their careers are all heavily influenced by the types of leaders they are able to observe and learn from. This is why you will find that many of today’s best leaders were mentored by great leaders themselves (see examples of successful technology leaders and their mentors). Success as a leader is a by-product of the leaders and mentors we associate with throughout our careers.

      Today’s leaders are not just looking for people to do their jobs better, but to recreate their jobs in their own image – discovering new standards along the way to increase productivity, sustainability and opportunities to impact the bottom line.

      When managing your career, always be mindful of the leaders, mentors and networks that shaped your leader’s style and approach. When you do, you will begin to understand at a much deeper level how they were influenced to think, act and innovate. For example, the mentors and networks that guided and enabled my full potential were a collection of potent pioneers — explorers of endless possibilities – that today are prominent leaders within the industries they serve. They each brought a unique perspective to my development and their wisdom pushed me to see things about my own leadership capabilities and aptitudes that I had never seen, fully appreciated or understood before.

      First Sun Consulting, LLC- Outplacement/Executive Coaching Services,  is proud to provide one of our ‘FSC Career Blog’ article below.  Over 300 current articles like these are on our website in our FSC Career Blog section with new management trendsemployment updates along with career branding techniques  .   Also note,we are excited to announce thatFSC Career Blog was voted the ‘most viewed’ on  LinkedIn groups in 2013. 

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      You know that you found the right leader for your career when they are eager to take an active interest in your growth and success. If your leader doesn’t show interest, this may be an early warning sign that they are the wrong leader for you. So ask yourself, does your leader push you to see the full potential in yourself?

      Every employee is different, with their own set of experiences, values, cultural backgrounds, influences and beliefs. The best leaders are those that can identify and appreciate the differences that one brings to the table and knows how to put them to full use. These leaders are emotionally intelligent enough to connect the dots and the opportunities within each dot to enable the full potential in each of their employees.

      They know how to take you out of your comfort zone to put your potential to the test. They observe your ability to stretch yourself and whether or not you accept the challenges. You know that you have found the right leader in your career when theynever allow you to grow complacent and are constantly testing and helping you develop your skill-sets and capabilities to prepare you for the next phase in your career.

      Here are just a few things that leaders do to enable an employee’s full potential:

       

      1.     Encourage  them to think and act in ways that come most naturally to them

      A great leader doesn’t try to make you think like they do. They embrace the natural ways you think and build off of your own strengths. They know your “default settings” by observing the things you naturally gravitate towards (and those that you don’t). The most effective leaders make sure they put you in situations that will leverage your strengths and make you shine.

      My organization knows this to be the case when training executives to develop their personal brands as leaders. Our methodology aims to discover and fully leverage the natural potential in a leader’s identity – those authentic skills and characteristics that allow them to unleash their distinction and executive presence to create the most impact and influence for their employees and the organization they serve.

      Our research continues to show that regardless of hierarchy or rank, 55% of leaders battle the gulf between assimilation and authenticity. However, when they learn to trust their most authentic identity (those things that make them strong), they realize that it represents the roadmap to their advancement and that of others. They become more self-aware and learn how to course correct when necessary to assure they are always playing to their strengths and maximizing their full potential.

      2.     Develop their decision-making abilities

      This is where a strong leader will begin to determine where an employee is most and least predictable in how they react to a problem.  As they guide them rightly to identify the consequences and probability patterns of each decision,  problem solving becomes a treasure hunt of unforeseen opportunities .

      3.      Expand their performance tolerance threshold

      A great leader keeps close tabs on how much each employee is able to handle. They measure their performance tolerance threshold by identifying how well they manage adversity, how they operate under pressure, their willingness to accept new challenges and their overall mental toughness. Enabling their full potential means working on the areas that require further attention and development – so that they will be able to rise to any occasion on their own.

      With the right guidance from leadership – encouraging employees to take risks, test their ideas and ideals, and challenge the status quo in an effort to make things better – potential is something that will develop organically over time.

      4.      Strengthen  potential by surrounding it with those even stronger

      This is what happens when you are part of a high-performance team. Everyone in the organization has the potential to become a top-notch performer. The key to success is strengthening a strong foundation of talent by surrounding it with more experienced and knowledgeable people. Potential leaders must understand how the game is played so that they can manage their agendas, develop maturity and project executive presence.

      No matter how much potential an employee has, it can remain dormant if not managed rightly and properly nourished with the right ingredients. A great leader will never allow an employee’s potential to go unnoticed or to lose its momentum .Realizing potential to its fullest often requires breaking through barriers and creating new paradigms. As such, the 21st century employee must see what others don’t, do what others won’t and keep pushing when prudence says quit. Today’s leaders are not just looking for people to do their jobs better, but to recreate their jobs in their own image – discovering new standards along the way to increase productivity, sustainability and opportunities to impact the bottom line.

      Follow-me on Twitter @GlennLlopis.   Join our LinkedIn Group.

      Forbes.com  |  July 29, 2014  |  Glenn Llopis 

      http://www.forbes.com/sites/glennllopis/2014/07/29/leadership-is-about-enabling-the-full-potential-in-others/

      Strategy: Here’s A Simple, Sneaky Way To Win Any Argument..if you want to convince anyone of anything, you need to make a point without starting a fight.

      Trying to "win" an argument rarely convinces anyone of anything, because when people feel like their beliefs are being threatened, they guard them even more. 

      argue-conflict-workplace

       If you're trying to change your spouse, colleague, or uncle's mind, ask them what the logical conclusion of their stance would be, and then ask them to explain how their theories could be put into practice. 

      Brain scans help us see why. In one study of political beliefs during the 2004 election year, participants were shown divisive video clips of George W. Bush or John Kerry.

      TIME Magazine reports:

      As soon as [study subjects] recognized the video clips as being in conflict with their worldview, the parts of the brain that handle reason and logic went dormant and the parts of the brain that handle hostile attacks — the fight-or-flight response — lit up. This is what happens when a discussion becomes an argument. It's no longer an exercise in logic and reasoning. It's just a fight.

      So if you want to convince anyone of anything, you need to make a point without starting a fight. 

      This is where the tactic of extreme agreement — or showing people the logical conclusion of their beliefs — comes in. It can help people loosen up in even the most charged of political arguments, like around the ongoing Israel-Palestine conflict.

      In a study published this month, Tel Aviv University scholars recruited over 150 Israelis to watch videos. As the LA Times reports, half of them watched clips "that related the conflict with Palestinians back to values that many Israelis hold dear," while the control group watched TV commercials.

      The study revealed that "showing people versions of ideas that confirmed — not contradicted — their opinions on a deeply divisive issue actually caused them to reconsider their stance and become more receptive to other points of view," the Times reports.  

      First Sun Consulting, LLC- Outplacement/Executive Coaching Services,  is proud to provide one of our ‘FSC Career Blog’ article below.  Over 300 current articles like these are on our website in our FSC Career Blog section with new management trendsemployment updates along with career branding techniques  .   Also note,we are excited to announce thatFSC Career Blog was voted the ‘most viewed’ on  LinkedIn groups in 2013. 

      linkedin

       

      Simply connect @  http://www.linkedin.com/in/frankfsc  , then click, ‘Add Frank Link’  to your Network.

      OR

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      Continue with article: 

      The key here: the videos took lots of commonly held beliefs to their logical conclusion.

      Again, the Times:

      "For example, the fact that they are the most moral society in the world is one of the most basic beliefs of Israeli society," [study author Eran] Halperin said. So when the researchers showed participants a video that claimed Israel should continue the conflict so that its citizens could continue to feel moral, people reacted angrily.

      "You take people's most basic beliefs and turn them into something that is absurd," Halperin said. "For an outsider, it can sound like a joke, but for them, you are playing with their most fundamental belief."

      The video viewing — which happened in the months before the 2013 Israeli election — left an impression. Participants self-reported that they were 30% more likely to reconsider their views than the control group. The change in perspective lasted more than a year afterward, and it carried into politics, too, as participants were more likely to vote for moderate candidates after viewing all those videos.

      How might this finding carry over to a real life argument? A recent University of Colorado study helps here: When political extremists were asked to explain how their favorite policy would create change — rather than rattle off the reasons for why the policy should be enacted — their views quickly softened.

      For example, let's say you have a family BBQ in the next few weeks and your ultra-conservative Uncle Ted shows up. Making arguments with Ted about immigration reform won't get either of you anywhere. But if you practice extreme agreement, you would ask Ted to tell you the full conclusions of his views and how those views can actually translate into policy.

      The takeaway from all this research: If you're trying to change your spouse, colleague, or uncle's mind, ask them what the logical conclusion of their stance would be, and then ask them to explain how their theories could be put into practice.  


      Businessinsider.com  |  July 28, 2014  |  

        http://www.businessinsider.com/how-to-win-an-argument-2014-7#ixzz38rGhDVUt

        Why Your Culture Problem Is About To Get Much Worse…Gallup report a full 70% of employees (mostly white collar) are “not engaged” or “seriously disengaged” from their job.

        Recently I talked to a family friend who I hadn’t spoken to in a few months. Three months ago she was the top salesperson at her company, contributing millions of dollars to the firm’s bottom line and bringing in a hefty paycheck to show for it.

        Lead

        She was also disillusioned with the corporate culture which she described as ‘toxic,’ meaning her boss was hard-driving, offering little to no praise and having a “what have you done for me today” approach to management. “I want to leave but nobody’s hiring,” she told me.

        Fast forward three months and nothing has changed—she’s still the top saleswoman, she still receives no recognition, and the culture is still toxic. Well, one thing has changed. She’s now sending out her resume because employers are hiring again.

        Last week the Bureau of Labor statistics reported that U.S. employers had added 288,000 jobs in June, marking the strongest jobs market since before the recession. That’s great news for employees and really, really bad news for employers who have ignored their corporate culture or allowed it to erode over the past few years. Losing top performers won’t help, either. Not only will the bottom line suffer, customers and employees will begin to question their commitment to your company.

        First Sun Consulting, LLC- Outplacement/Executive Coaching Services,  is proud to provide one of our ‘FSC Career Blog’ article below.  Over 300 current articles like these are on our website in our FSC Career Blog section with new management trendsemployment updates along with career branding techniques  .   Also note,we are excited to announce thatFSC Career Blog was voted the ‘most viewed’ on  LinkedIn groups in 2013. 

        linkedin

        Simply connect @  http://www.linkedin.com/in/frankfsc  , then click, ‘Add Frank Link’  to your Network.

        OR

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        That simple.

         

         

        Continue with article: 

        The evidence of culture erosion in the workplace is substantial. According to a Gallup report on The State of the American Workplace, a full 70% of employees (mostly white collar) are “not engaged” or “seriously disengaged” from their job. The results speak to culture—or the lack of one—because Gallup measures engagement based on participants who rate their boss and their workplace on the following types of statements:

        “I know what’s expected of me.”

        “In the last seven days I have received recognition or praise for doing good work.”

        “At work my opinions seem to count.”

        “The mission or purpose of my company makes me feel important.”

        “In the last six months someone at work has talked to me about my progress.”

        “There is someone at work who encourages my development.”

        “My supervisor seems to care about me as a person.”

        It doesn’t take a genius to realize that good communication can result in higher levels of engagement on each of these elements. Recall what my friend, the saleswoman, said about praise and recognition? She never receives it, let alone in the “last seven days.” Praise has the best ROI because the “investment” is free.

        Consider the fourth question, “Does the company’s mission or purpose make you feel important?” Many employees find it difficult to articulate the company’s mission and purpose because their leaders rarely reinforce the company’s core mission and values in their day to day communication. Consider the question, “Does your supervisor care about you as a person?” Again, this requires communication. Supervisors, bosses, and leaders must make time to have conversations with employees that demonstrate a genuine commitment to seeing employees grow in both their professional and personal lives.

        For example, I once interviewed the CEO of a hospital system in the Northeast that has landed on “best place to work” lists for many years. The CEO has created a culture where people feel empowered, engaged, and cared for. He writes handwritten notes and mails them to the homes of employees to celebrate life events such as births, marriages, and college graduations. How do you think those employees who received notes would respond to the Gallup question, “Does your supervisor care about you as a person?” A culture of engagement starts at the top.

        In one of my earlier books, Fire Them Up, I interviewed more than fifty CEOs and managers considered to be “inspiring” leaders and who had motivated, engaged workplaces to show for it. I discovered that inspiring leaders share seven traits that I outlined in this Forbes article. A winning culture starts with leaders who encourage the potential in others.

        For example, when I visited a company that is setting the gold standard for customer service and corporate culture—Zappos.com—I met a “goal coach.”The role of the goal coach was simply to help people achieve their career and, more importantly, personal goals such as learning to play a musical instrument. “What does playing guitar have to do with Zappos?” I asked. “It has everything to do with Zappos,” he responded.

        Top performers want to be fairly compensated for the value they bring to the company’s bottom line and all of them will tell you so. But when I talk to those who are sending out their resumes, they’re always looking for more than a paycheck. They’re searching for passion and purpose, meaning, creativity, flexibility, and recognition.

        It’s not easy to turn around a culture, but as I’ve written about in recent articles, remarkable transformations can happen in a relatively short time if leaders are committed to creating a culture of meaning and happiness. Building a winning culture begins with small steps. One simple strategy is to call individual meetings with your top performers and ask what they want in a culture. The conversation might go like this:

        Employee: Hi, boss. Do you want to talk about last quarter’s numbers?

        You: No, I want to talk about something more important. Your happiness.

        Employee: Uh, okay. What do you mean?

        You: What would give your life more purpose, more meaning, that we are not providing? Are you enthusiastic and passionate about the company and it’s culture? If not, why not?

        Once your employee picks their jaw up off the floor you’re likely to hear things that will make your corporate culture far more attractive to top performers. A winning culture starts with a simple step—ask for feedback.

        Carmine Gallo is a communication coach, keynote speaker, and author of several books including the Wall Street Journal hits The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs and his latest Talk Like TED: The 9 Public Speaking Secrets Of The World’s Top Minds.

         

        7 Reasons You Stink As A Leader…It may come as a shock to you, but just because you’re CEO/President/COO/CFO/VP/GM/Manager/Business Owner doesn’t mean you’re a great leader.

        It may come as a shock to you, but just because you’re CEO/President, COO, CFO, VP, GM, Manager, or Business Owner doesn’t mean you’re a great leader. If you’re the one your staff looks to for direction, this is something you’re going to have to address sooner rather than later.

        Man on Float

        Here are the top 7 reasons your staff might view you as a poor leader.

        1.    You Don’t Have Leadership Talent or Experience

        Most managers/entrepreneurs start a business because they love doing something, like baking cupcakes or designing websites; not because they love managing other people.

        However, as businesses grow, managers/entrepreneurs hire staff. And that’s a good thing, right? While it’s a natural course of action of any growing business, hiring staff also highlights glaring weaknesses in leadership talent within entrepreneurs.

        Successful managers/entrepreneurs often don’t know if they have leadership talent until they start hiring staff. Many others commonly demonstrate their desire and talent for leading, prior to becoming an entrepreneur. Whatever your scenario, seek leadership training if you haven’t had leadership experience before; it’ll save you from finding out you don’t have leadership talent the hard way.

        First Sun Consulting, LLC- Outplacement/Executive Coaching Services,  is proud to provide one of our ‘FSC Career Blog’ article below.  Over 300 current articles like these are on our website in our FSC Career Blog section with new management trendsemployment updates along with career branding techniques  .   Also note,we are excited to announce thatFSC Career Blog was voted the ‘most viewed’ on  LinkedIn groups in 2013. 

        linkedin

        Simply connect @  http://www.linkedin.com/in/frankfsc  , then click, ‘Add Frank Link’  to your Network.

        OR

        Connect with us on Twitter @   firstsunllc

         

         Continue with article: 

        2.    You Don’t Trust Your Staff

        Type-A personalities tend to run rampant among managers/entrepreneurs. And while that attention to detail and insistence on perfection will serve you well in most areas of your business, managing staff isn’t one of them. When you turn into acontrol freak, you tend to micromanage, which makes your employees feel like you don’t trust them to do their jobs. And maybe you don’t. Unfortunately, you have to, because you can’t do it all; this is one of the hardest lessons for an Manager to learn, as giving up control can be scary for entrepreneurs who strive for perfection.

        In order to maximize the value of their time, Managers should only do the things that only they can do. The rest should be outsourced.

        3.    You’re a Poor Communicator

        Clear communication is the key to a well-oiled machine. But nearly half of employees get confusing or unclear instructions from their superiors, which causes misunderstandings, missed deadlines, frustration, and ultimately employee turnover. If you want to hire applicants that are great communicators, you have to first teach yourself a few things about how to do it well yourself.

        Make sure your instructions are clear by asking your employee to repeat them to you. Read through your emails before sending them out to ensure they’re relaying what you want, minus any emotional undertones. Consider the channels you use and choose the best for communicating what you need to say.

        Sucking as a leader, fortunately, is reversible if you’re willing to invest some time and energy into improving your management tactics and learning better communication strategies. Just set your ego aside, be open to what your staff has to say, and trust them to do their jobs. It’s a challenge for many new managers/entrepreneurs, but a major stepping stone on the path to success.

         

        4.    You Have No Company Culture

        Remember: this is your business, and you’re here every day because you love it and want to nurture it. But let’s be honest; your staff is there, primarily, because they want to make money. Is that really the motivator you want for people you’re paying to help you run a successful business? Do you want them counting down the hours until they can leave the office? Or do you want them to feel invested in your company, and that they’re part of something bigger than themselves?

        If it’s the latter you want, you’ve got to establish a company culture. What makes working at your business a benefit to people? What ethos guides you? Are you a fun and quirky company with a foosball table in the break room? You don’t have to be to connect with your team, but you do have to have some sort of culture to serve as the glue that binds your team.

         

        5.    You Can’t Handle Criticism

        Without your employees, you’re a solopreneur. And if you’ve built up your business enough, at some point, you won’t be able to be one-man (or woman) show anymore. Reaping the benefits of entrepreneurship doesn’t include being glued to your computer or office 24/7 after all, right? Take a long, hard look at how you lead your staff, then be open to improving your strategy.

        6.    You Don’t Listen

        You talk more than you listen, and you think you have that privilege because you’re the head honcho. But you’d be surprised what you can learn from your staff if you only listened, and allowed them to be honest with you. Being a better listener will make them feel like you value what they have to say, and they’ll open up in a way they didn’t before.

        If you’re an interrupter, catch yourself before you start talking over other people. It belittles others, discourages honest communication, frustrates people, and shows you weren’t listening to begin with. Take a deep breath before talking, and don’t always feel like you have to fill silence with words.

        7.    You Have No Interest in Niceties

        Maybe your pet peeve is when everyone comes into the office and starts the early-morning chatter.

        Hey Bob! How was your weekend?

        I caught the last soccer match yesterday on TV. Can you believe they won?

        Beth! That’s an adorable skirt! Where’d you get it?

        Whether you subscribe to chit-chat or not, it’s got a place in the office, and you need to use it to your advantage. While you don’t need to make friends with your staff, you should be friendly and develop a positive relationship with each employee.

        It might not seem like much, but when you say hello to one of your staff as you walk by, ask about their kids, or just show interest in them as human beings rather than cogs in your machine. They’ll develop a bond with you, and will be more willing to go the extra mile for you and your business.

         

        Conclusion

        Sucking as a leader, fortunately, is reversible if you’re willing to invest some time and energy into improving your management tactics and learning better communication strategies. Just set your ego aside, be open to what your staff has to say, and trust them to do their jobs. It’s a challenge for many new managers/entrepreneurs, but a major stepping stone on the path to success.

         

        Businessinsider.com  |  July 7, 2014  |  Jayson DeMers 

        http://www.forbes.com/sites/jaysondemers/2014/07/07/7-reasons-you-stink-as-a-leader/

        12 Most Popular Free Online Courses For Professionals….Yale U: “Financial Markets”, Stanford U: “Startup Engineering”, Duke U: “Think Again: How to Reason/Argue”

        Want to gain an edge in your working life? Learning new skills online doesn't cost you anything but time.

        WorkatHome

         Based on data from online education platform Coursera, we compiled a list of the 12 most popular, free online classes for working professionals.

        Here they are, ranked by popularity:

        1. Wesleyan University's "Social Psychology"

        Coursera's most popular course offers an introduction to classic and contemporary social psychology, covering topics such as decision making, persuasion, group behavior, personal attraction, and factors that promote health and well-being.

        Starts July 14

        2. University of Maryland's "Programming Mobile Applications for Android Handheld Systems"

        This is an introduction to the design and implementation of applications for handheld systems, such as smartphones and tablets, running the Android platform. It is part of a larger sequence of specialization courses called Mobile Cloud Computing with Android.

        Starts September 26

        3. Duke University's "Think Again: How to Reason and Argue"

        This course will teach you how to reason well. You will learn how to understand and assess arguments by other people and how to construct persuasive arguments of your own.

        Starts August 25

        First Sun Consulting, LLC- Outplacement/Executive Coaching Services,  is proud to provide one of our ‘FSC Career Blog’ article below.  Over 300 current articles like these are on our website in our FSC Career Blog section with new management trendsemployment updates along with career branding techniques  .   Also note,we are excited to announce thatFSC Career Blog was voted the ‘most viewed’ on  LinkedIn groups in 2013. 

        linkedin

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        OR

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        4. Duke University's "A Beginner's Guide to Irrational Behavior"

        In this course, you will learn why we don't always behave rationally, and how we might overcome our shortcomings. You'll also learn about cases where our irrationalities work in our favor, and how we can harness these human tendencies to make better decisions.

        Start date TBD

        5. University of Toronto's "Learn to Program: The Fundamentals"

        This course introduces the fundamental building blocks of programming and teaches you how to write fun and useful programs using the Python language.

        Start date TBD

        6. Stanford University's "Startup Engineering"

        This course will help you bridge the gap between academic computer science and production software engineering. It's a fast-paced introduction to key tools and techniques, featuring guest appearances by senior engineers from successful startups and large-scale academic projects.

        Start date TBD

        7. Yale University's "Financial Markets"

        You'll gain an understanding of the theory of finance and its relation to the history, strengths, and imperfections of banking, insurance, securities, futures, and other derivatives markets, as well as the future of these institutions over the next century.

        Start date TBD

        8. The University of Pennsylvania Wharton School's "An Introduction to Financial Accounting"

        This course will improve your fluency in financial accounting. You will learn how to read, understand, and analyze most of the information provided by companies in their financial statements.

        Starts September 5

        9. University of Washington's "Introduction to Public Speaking"

        In this class, you will study the principles of public speaking and critically examine your own and others' speeches through interactive practice. By the end, you'll understand the process of writing, practicing, and presenting a clear and engaging speech.

        Start date TBD

        10. University of Michigan's "Introduction to Finance"

        This course primarily focuses on the fundamental principles of valuation and how to apply the concepts of the time value of money and risk to understand the major determinants of value creation.

        Starts October 6

        11. The University of Pennsylvania Wharton School's "An Introduction to Marketing"

        This course will teach the fundamentals of marketing by getting to the root of customer decision making. It will focus on branding strategies, customer centricity, and new market entry.

        Start date TBD

        12. Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health's "Data Analysis"

        Through this applied statistics course, you will learn about the most effective data analysis methods to solve problems and achieve insight. You will cover some of the most popular and widely used statistical methods like linear regression, principal components analysis, cross-validation, and p-values.

        Start date TBD

         

        Businessinsider.com  |  July 8, 2014  |  

           

             http://www.businessinsider.com/free-online-courses-for-professionals-2014-7#ixzz36ulEGddY

            9 HR Policies That Drive Good People Away…What kills a company? Incompetence & fear are the 2 culprits, and they always work hand/hand.

            There is a particular, awful feeling you get working in a company that is sinking. You can tell the minute you walk in the door that the energy is off.  If you pay attention to the vibe you get on a job interview, you’ll know when a company is broken. People don’t look you in the eye. No one wants to be there, but you might take the job regardless if you’re out of other options.

            man-on-staircase

            You can tell when an organization’s culture is busted. The signs are there, if you’re paying attention to the air quality in the room. Job interviews in broken companies vacillate between the message “You’d be lucky if we hired you” and “Please take this job,” because misery loves company. Sometimes interviewers apologize for the brokenness of the joint while encouraging you to work there anyway. Sometimes the salaries in sinking organizations are appalling. Sometimes they’re suspiciously high, because money is the only way the company can hang onto people.

            I don’t blame you if you take a job in a broken company, because we all have to live. I hope that if you do, you keep your job search going. You can take another job a week or a month later. You can leave the short-term stint off your resume entirely. Don’t settle into a broken culture, whatever you do. Keep your job search going at full steam when you know you’re planning to be a short-timer in a downward-spiraling place.

            What kills a company? Incompetence and fear are the two culprits, and they always work hand in hand. Sub-par leadership is afraid to hire people who could make a positive impact, for fear of being shown up or not being the smartest people in the room.

            The mediocrity cascades downhill until every supervisor and team lead position is filled by a rhesus monkey and good people start flying out the door. You can spot a dying company very quickly by reading its Employee Handbook, so if you’re on the interview trail, be sure and ask for a copy of the handbook before you get to the job offer stage.

            If they won’t hand over a copy, there’s your signal from the gods! Get out of Dodge at that moment and find a place where they get you, and therefore deserve you.

            First Sun Consulting, LLC- Outplacement/Executive Coaching Services,  is proud to provide one of our ‘FSC Career Blog’ article below.  Over 300 current articles like these are on our website in our FSC Career Blog section with new management trendsemployment updates along with career branding techniques  .   Also note,we are excited to announce thatFSC Career Blog was voted the ‘most viewed’ on  LinkedIn groups in 2013. 

            Simply connect @  http://www.linkedin.com/in/frankfsc  , then click, ‘Add Frank Link’  to your Network.

            OR

            Connect with us on Twitter @   firstsunllc

            That simple.

            Continue with article: 

            Here are nine HR policies rooted in fear and guaranteed to drive smart and capable people into the arms of competitors. Are any of these talent-repelling policies in place at your employer? If so, leave copies of this article lying around and pin one of them to the bulletin board nearest to HR! You won’t win the talent wars by treating people like children — but that should go without saying.

             9 HR Policies That Drive Good People Away

            ‘Chain Gang’ Time Off Policies

            Time-off policies for salaried employees are easy. I was an HR chief for decades, and saw the the direct correlation between time off policies that assume your employees are adults and 110% effort from the team. For your salaried folks, the best policy is “We will pay you on every payday, and you give your best and come to work unless you can’t.” You don’t need to track one- and two-hour absences and tote them up in columns called Personal Time and Sick Leave. You only need to track vacation (in the U.S.) because the company is liable for unpaid vacation time. You need to know when a person is using Family Medical Leave Act time off. That’s it.  Otherwise, you can keep paying your employees and expecting them to show up, and they will not let you down. After all, you hired them, right? Don’t you trust yourself to hire adults?

            You’ll need a more detailed attendance policy for hourly and non-exempt employees, but your creative HR team can figure out ways to treat those employees like the professionals they are, as well. Attendance policy development is not rocket science, unless fearful weenies get hold of the project and nickel-and-dime it to death.

            No Latitude Policies

            Talent-aware employers give their employees room to move, to make decisions and come up with great ideas. Fearful zombie companies quail in fear at the thought of an employee having an independent thought, much less acting on it. When my brother worked for a major chip maker, he got called on the carpet one time for assembling in a conference room with four other guys prior to traveling to a remote location to check on a testing center. Some blowhard manager walked into the conference room and said “Who called this meeting? I don’t see anybody here at a level to authorize a meeting!” That’s a broken company. Policies that require three signatures to make the smallest move will send your best employees packing.

            Stack Ranking

            Stack ranking, also called forced ranking, is a loathsome practice whereby managers are forced to list their employees in best-to-worst order, as though human beings could be boiled down to one dimension (awesomeness?) and measured against one another like pieces of lumber. This was a popular practice in the Chainsaw Dunlap days. Any organization still hanging on to this turkey HR practice is headed straight downhill. If you’re working for them, bail!  If you’re holding stock in a company like this, dump it!

            Stealing Miles

            It’s always a good idea to save money, but not at the expense of your own employees. When your sales reps and other staff members stand in airport lines, undergo TSA indignities and indulge in those delicious little bags of airline peanuts, they’re earning the frequent flyer miles they accrue. Stealing your employees’ airline miles is the mark of a penny-wise and pound-foolish organization. If you value your employees’ personal time so little that you consider their lost evenings, weekends and other travel hours worthless, you don’t deserve to have them on your team.

            Grandma Died? Prove It

            HR policies are like bedbugs — once they get a foothold, it’s hard to get rid of them. Sometime in the 1990s it became popular to require your employees to bring in a funeral notice in order to get a few days of paid bereavement leave when a family member passed on. That’s about as low as you can get. If you don’t trust yourself not to hire people who will invent relatives and kill them off for a few days’ pay, you can’t call yourself a leader. When you’ve got an employee in personal distress due to a family member’s death, don’t add insult to injury by requiring them to prove it. This is a shameful practice that will drive any self-respecting employee straight to your competitors, and you will have only yourself to blame.

            No References

            “So if I understand correctly, I can come and work here, do a great job for twenty years, and then leave — and no one here will give me a reference?” That’s right — lots of large organizations simply won’t allow their managers to vouch for former employees. Why is that? They don’t trust their managers to give ‘safe’ references that will avoid a third-party defamation claim. Can you imagine trusting your managers to run their departments and not trusting them to give out references on former employees? Run away from an organization like this, and if your vendors subscribe to the no-references philosophy, find another vendor who believes in human integrity. Don’t your customers deserve that much?

            Bell Curve Performance Reviews

            Bell curve performance reviews are programs that allot a fixed number of slots to managers when they review their employees once per year. Only twenty percent of the team can be Excellent, Twenty percent can be Very Good, and so on. Twenty percent of the team must be found to be bad employees, worthy of termination. Why on earth would a leadership team want twenty percent of its employees to do a bad job? Fear is in the mix again. They don’t trust their managers. They fear that managers will be ‘easy graders’ just because it’s hard to give constructive feedback. If you don’t trust yourself to hire great managers and set them free, why do you trust yourself to lead?

            Social Media Clampdown

            It is prudent and appropriate to teach employees how to use Facebook,LinkedIn LNKD +0.75% and other social media tools with grace and dignity. It is ridiculous to shut down the use of these tools altogether as many organizations have done. In effect, these weenie companies are saying “We can have an online presence, but you can’t.” Run away from employers like that. You need to work among people who can grow your flame, not snuff it out!

            Anti-Moonlighting Rule

            The last horrendous HR practice on our list is the one that prohibits team members from holding outside employment of any kind. It is reasonable to expect your employees not to compete against you on their off hours. But lots of employers forbid holding a second job of any kind, from spinning disks at weddings to bartending on Friday nights. You are your own person. Insist on employment that lets you put as many oars in the water as you like — after all, it’s not like your employer is guaranteeing your income for any period of time!

            This heavy-handed rule is a huge red flag that tells you an organization doesn’t trust the very people it relies on to delight customers and shareholders. Talk them into ditching the anti-moonlighting policy, or start looking for your next job. You deserve to work among people who treat you like the professional you are. They are out there — and the sooner you give a talent-repelling, undeserving organization the boot, the sooner you’ll find them!