leadership

The One Minute Manager—Do You Remember It? Do You Use It?

I was reminded of the classic book yesterday while Skyping with a young manager who trains employees for a multinational Fortune 100 consumer electronics firm in the Washington, D.C., area. She asked me if I’d ever read the book—well yes! We laughed. In 1982 when it was first published!

Hearing this young manager’s perspectives on the book led me to dust off my copy and peruse this forgotten gem. Since reading it nearly 30 years ago, I’ve worked for nine different managers. Which ones were most effective? Which ones elicited the best from their staff? Which ones ran productive, prosperous and happy shops? Yep, it’s the ones who employed the One Minute Management techniques: One Minute Goals, One Minute Praisings, and One Minute Reprimands. They weren’t the ones who spent their days sequestered in their closed offices not providing any feedback—good or bad.

“The best minute I spend is the one I invest in people.”

Written as a parable told through the eyes of a young manager’s search for the best leadership and management skills, one of the key elements of One Minute Management is MBWA (management by walking around), which was coined by Tom Peters around the same time in his best-selling In Search of Excellence.

“Goals begin behaviors; consequences maintain behaviors.”

Good performance begins with clear goals and expectations. These are set during a One Minute Goals meeting. Here, the manager and the employee agree on goals, write them down and then occasionally review them to ensure that they are being met. Consequences are reviewed too—for positive and negative outcomes. The meetings are longer than one minute, but are short and to the point.

MBWA is critical to techniques two and three. Walking around helps a manager catch someone doing something right and provides the opportunity to give One Minute Praisings. The manager praises the employee on the spot, telling him specifically what he did correctly and how that positively impacts the company’s business. Then, the manager lets the employee savor the moment, and finishes with a handshake.

“Feedback is the breakfast of champions.”

The third technique is the One Minute Reprimand. Being honest and accountable with those around you involves reprimanding when a wrong has occurred. The first step is to reprimand immediately and specifically. This is the same as the praise technique, and it holds an important aspect of the goals technique: it enables an understanding of goals and responsibilities and how to complete them correctly. It’s critical that following the reprimand, you shake hands and remind the person that it was simply their performance that you did not like—not them as a person. The handshake is important and reinforces that you believe in the person and their abilities.

“People who feel good about themselves, produce good results.”

The One Minute Manager is one of the best selling business books of all time. For nearly 30 years, millions of managers in companies small and large worldwide have benefitted from the simple techniques laid out by authors Kenneth Blanchard and Spencer Johnson.

It’s a quick read that lays out simple and easy-to-use basic management skills (that are used less often that you would think). You can differentiate yourself from most managers by actually using them!

If you’re not regularly using these simple techniques, I challenge you to try them out and see what changes with your team. Call or email me for a 30-minute leadership coaching session. Let’s put the One Minute Management techniques to work for you!

Saturday
16
June 2012
Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

What Does it Take for an Entrepreneur to Turn a Good Idea into Reality?


It takes grit for sure. You know, that combination of passion and perseverance. It also takes the ability to recognize change and see the opportunity that change brings. Think about the music industry. The Internet completely blew the doors off traditional distribution channels and made way for iTunes, emusic, and other music download services. That’s just one example.

Launching a business or product in a “lean” fashion saves time and money, and mitigates some risk. When it comes to the topic of “launching lean,” I like to refer people to Eric Ries’ lean methodologies. In a nutshell, it’s build, measure, learn—a continuous cycle that allows your business or product to evolve and become more and more relevant to your customers.

While we may think that entrepreneurs have to think completely differently than regular business folk, one message resonates loud and clear for anyone and everyone in business—it’s all about your target audiences. And you have more than one target audience. It’s not just your customers. You also have other audiences that are critical: perhaps you have investors, bankers, angels or venture capitalists. You may have distributors, others in your supply chain, strategic partners. Whatever the target audiences are, it’s critical that your communication be tailored to their needs and that you meet them where they are (i.e., tradeshows, social media, traditional media, professional and trade organizations).

While all this may seem daunting, there’s good news for entrepreneurs in Southern Oregon. Organizations around Oregon have banded together to help new businesses/entrepreneurs in Southern Oregon get going and find success—and I’m excited to be a part!

Tuesday night was another great learning experience at “Jefferson University,” where I’m a part of a team of mentors and coaches to a group of entrepreneurs. Jefferson U is a collaboration between the Small Business Development Center (SBDC), the Sustainable Valley Technology Group, the Oregon Entrepreneurs’ Network, The Oregon Community Foundation and the Jefferson Grapevine (Entrepreneurial & Angel Network)—led by Southern Oregon Regional Economic Development Inc. (SOREDI).

Jefferson University was kicked off by the executive director of Oregon Technology Business Center May 5. This week, we heard from an expert on developing financial projections, getting funding and designing exit strategies. During several sessions, I delivered the low down about marketing. Other experts talked about getting the right team together and creating a culture that supports success. A patent and trademark attorney spoke about intellectual property and creating a competitive advantage. We’ve also heard from successful business people about their experiences at the Motorcycle Superstore and Darex.

Our entrepreneurs are learning so much—as are the mentors. This Saturday, we have a pitch clinic where the entrepreneurs practice their pitch to investors. On June 8, the teams will present to investors, bankers, community leaders, and other business people. The feedback they receive will play an important part in their lean launch.

It’s a great process to be involved in and to help make a difference in the local economy as we help new start-ups become real, solid businesses.

If you have a business idea or are thinking about expanding your current business, please reach out to me. I can either provide direct advice or point you to a resource that’s appropriate to your need. My areas of knowledge are in marketing, leadership development and creating successful cultures. I look forward to talking with you! Reach me at 541-601-0114 or chris@capiche.us.

Thursday
31
May 2012
Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Spring—A Time to Reawaken!

Springtime. Are you ready to emerge from your wintertime way of life and welcome the new possibilities of spring? I say, “Yes, I am” and when I look at what I’m doing, it’s perfect! Last month I began the fast-track co-active coaches training program at The Coaches Training Institute in San Rafael, CA.

What do I love most about the program? I love that the co-active coaching model is built upon one very powerful belief: people are naturally creative, resourceful and whole. PEOPLE ARE NATURALLY CREATIVE, RESOURCEFUL AND WHOLE. How do you feel when you read this? Do you feel like this is a place where you are ready to embrace your future? YES!

So, for the next two months, I’ll be traveling back and forth to California for my seminars and doing a lot of practice coaching—I’m taking new clients at a reduced rate until I am certified this summer. I’m very excited about what I’m learning and how it will dovetail into my current happiness in the workplace consulting business. It will reinforce the trainings to develop high-performance teams. It also will give more depth and breadth to the executive leadership coaching I provide.

I promise to share as I go! You will meet some of my auspicious cohort—16 terrific people from far and wide: China, India, England, Norway, Seattle, LA, the San Francisco Bay Area, Colorado and Oregon. I will challenge you with powerful questions too.

Here’s one: How does your current career align with your personal values?

How would you answer? Does this make you feel good? Or do you feel like you are missing something important? Perhaps that’s where we start on your leadership coaching journey.

That’s all for now! May this spring awaken your natural states of creativity and resourcefulness. May you feel whole as you move forward with the things that can make your life feel meaningful and happier—even at work! Contact me for coaching at 541-601-0114 or chris@capiche.us.

Bonjour printemps!

Wednesday
11
April 2012
Tagged , , , , , , ,

Build Your Leadership Cache: The Wall Street Journal Picks the Best Books of 2011

With a steady stream of terrific leadership advice hitting bookstores and inboxes, how do you prioritize your reading? Do you wonder which leadership books will help you make the most difference in your organization? Check out the latest recommendations from The Wall Street Journal here. One recommendation is “The Progress Principal” by Teresa Amabile and Steven Kramer, published by Harvard Business Review Press. Read it and you’ll learn what enhances a worker’s “inner work life”—the stuff that inspires and motivates them to be more productive and creative, among other positive outcomes.

Let me give you a hint: let your workers make meaningful progress at work.

Sounds simple enough, but in the 15 years that Amabile and Kramer collected confidential data from 238 professionals at seven companies (totaling nearly 12,000 days), they gained a laser focus on what frustrates employees, de-motivates them, makes them hate their boss and prompts them to sabotage the success of their employer—and conversely, what motivates them toward better performance, loyalty and innovation.

So how do you facilitate your employees’ feeling of making meaningful progress at work?

Step 1: Allow pride of accomplishment. People want to make a valuable contribution, and feel great when they make progress toward doing so. Knowing this progress principle is the first step to knowing how to boost an employee’s work life. This must be harder than it sounds, as in the work diaries, on one-third of those 12,000 days, the person writing the diary was either unhappy at work, de-motivated by the work, or both. One of the most egregious examples was a head of product development, who routinely moved people on and off projects like chess pieces in a game for which only he had the rules.

Step 2: Set smaller goals to create a sense of movement toward achieving larger goals. This naturally follows the first step. By setting smaller, achievable goals and allowing workers the autonomy to meet them, workers feel a sense of accomplishment and progress. This goes a long way toward increasing motivation and performance.

Step 3: Give recognition for good work. One of the most common mistakes managers make is to assume their employees are doing just fine—or that “bad morale” was a result of poor work ethics or undesirable personality traits. A manager’s actions and words set the tone for the entire organization, and without their recognizing good work, there is little sense of accomplishment and motivation to perform.

Step 4: Encourage and reward transparency. When you hear about problems within the ranks, listen and take action. Don’t deny. Here’s a great example from Amabile and Kramer’s research. In an open Q&A with one company’s chief operating officer, an employee asked about the morale problem and got this answer: “There is no morale problem in this company. And, for anybody who thinks there is, we have a nice big bus waiting outside to take you wherever you want to look for work.” How’s that for a motivator? Makes me want to work for that manager—not!

While Amabile and Kramer’s research doesn’t provide any great new insights, it does drive home concepts that leadership gurus have been preaching for years. Provide meaningful work. Let your employees make progress toward achievable goals. And set the tone for success by recognizing and rewarding good work.

If your business could benefit by leveraging management practices that enhance employee work life, contact Capiche. We specialize in working with businesses and organizations to build high performing teams and to create a culture of productivity and innovation. Or tell us what is working for you! We hope to hear from you soon.

Photo: Image by Dan

 

 

 

 

 

Tuesday
13
March 2012
Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Something Seemingly Outrageous

That’s what today’s strategic plans need to be, according to strategist, speaker and author Randy Harrington. Our economy is changing, Harrington explained, and three things are driving that change: 1) We value experience over acquisition, 2) The emergence of integrative technology, and 3) We respond more favorably to dialogue than directives.

Harrington addressed a room of ~300 Rogue Valley business people last Friday at the 8th annual Southern Oregon Business Conference, organized by Southern Oregon Regional Economic Development, Inc. (SOREDI). He talked about how, as we move beyond the Great Recession, businesses will need leaders who are agile, adaptable, innovative and visionary. I’m not really sure how that is so different than before, but I hope to find out by reading his new book “Evolutionaries.”

Randy and Chris

To be sure, I agree with Harrington’s assessment of the three reasons our economy is changing. He talked about his twenty-something daughter not wanting a car. Not wanting a car? Well, that’s just plain un-American! That’s the main thing we all wanted at her age and younger. How can that be? Yet, she goes to India to work with severely handicapped youth. Hmmmmm. Guess that’s the new experience over acquisition paradigm. How have you experienced it?

Next, we look at integrative technology. It started out that we had these computers and we could do stuff on them, like solve an engineering problem, type a letter or manage a budget. Then, we could search the Internet and obtain information about everything. These days, our technology is doing even more—more than working on our command; they are working on our behalf. I’m so interested in seeing where this all goes . . . it’s called the semantic web and it will be ever present and ever helpful. (Click here to check out this Ted talk for some amazing info on the future of the web. Really incredible and so interesting.)

Finally, Harrington stressed the importance of relationships in the workplace. Dialogue over directives. Who hasn’t seen that emerge as the generations of workers move through and the work moves from task- to knowledge-based? And this is where my work with happiness in the workplace comes in (http://capiche.us/services/organizational-development).

In Harrington’s future vision, the most successful organizations will be led by “evolutionaries” and characterized by high energy and high speed, rockin’ and rollin’ with high levels of change—evolution. “All improvements are change, but not all changes are improvements,” he says. It takes an evolutionary to know one. Let’s all be on the lookout, and don’t forget your mirror. Thanks, Dr. Randy Harrington, for giving us plenty to think about.

Saturday
28
January 2012
Tagged , , , , , , , ,

Is Anyone Sick of Happiness at Work? I’m Not, and Here’s Why

Happiness at work is a big topic these days. I spoke to a packed room at the Medford Rotary about it just last week. Even with unemployment still looming large, most people are carrying 150% or more of the workload they were hired for. Companies are cutting their workforce without lowering the expected output. Someone needs to pick up the slack. How can employees stay positive and how can a company justify investing in workforce engagement programs?

How can they not? 

The billboard you see above is posted all over the San Francisco Bay area. There are many terrific books on happiness at work, and more and more articles continue to be published as the research continues. Just Google “happiness at work” and you will find articles in Forbes, the Wall Street Journal, the Harvard Business ReviewPsychology Today, etc. There is even a great LinkedIn group that I belong to called ‘Happy at Work.’ Check it out!

According to one of my favorite happiness gurus, Shawn Achor, “Nearly every company in the world gives lip service to the idea that ‘our people are our greatest asset’. Yet when the Conference Board Survey came out last year, employees were the unhappiest they have been in their 22 years of tracking job satisfaction rates. Around the same time, CNNMoney reported a survey that indicated 84% of Americans are unhappy with their current job. Mercer’s “What’s Working” survey found that one in three US employees are serious about leaving their current jobs.”

Why is this lack of happiness at work important? Job satisfaction is not only the key predictor of turnover rates. In The Happiness Advantage, former Harvard University professor Achor makes the research case for the fact that the single greatest advantage in the modern economy is a happy and engaged workforce. A decade of research proves that happiness raises nearly every business and educational outcome: raising sales by 37%, productivity by 31%, and accuracy on tasks by 19%, as well as a myriad of health and quality of life improvements. Yet even those companies that do take leadership training seriously still ignore the role that happiness plays in leadership effectiveness.

So the secret is out! Happiness, job satisfaction and fulfillment, and employee engagement are WIN-WIN situations for employees and employers. How does your company invest in yours?

(Photo credit to: Anne Espiritu – Google+ http://bit.ly/pElTPu.)

Sunday
22
January 2012
Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Holiday Festivities Showcase Inspiring Leadership

Last week, I was invited to take part in a local client’s holiday festivities (and I mean festivities)! I am so grateful that I could say yes because it gave me a better understanding of why this company is successful.

During this generous and genuine flutter of festivities (dinner theatre at the Oregon Cabaret Theatre, followed the next day by fun games, gift-giving and a brunch at the Ashland Springs Hotel), I got an even better picture of this company’s culture and leadership. The attendees included corporate office staff, regional theatre managers and several key advisors/vendors including the company attorney, accountant, Coke rep and me. What an honor for me!

This was a time of great happiness and celebration, with much praise and recognition for the years’ accomplishments along with a strategic vision for 2012. I was impressed with the loyalty and desire to perform that this leader has inspired in his team, with many of them being part of the company longer than 5 years, and some for 10, 15 and 20 years.

This leader inspires his team by leading with his own core values of integrity, loyalty, concern for others, accountability and fun. When he learned about my work with the Science of Happiness at Work and the Performance-Happiness Model, he engaged me to work with the corporate team to increase happiness and productivity. Since then, he’s told me that this work has paid off in various ways. In his words:

“Christine has helped me become a better executive. I’m a better listener and I’m handling stress better by realizing when to let things go that I can’t change. During this time of extraordinary challenges in the entertainment business, Christine has helped us come to a common vision, function as a team and communicate better using a shared language. This has made a difference in bringing organization back into the company,” according to John C. Schweiger, chairman and CEO, Coming Attractions Theatres, Inc.

This is the most gratifying thing I can hear. My mission is to spread the Science of Happiness at Work to the masses, helping businesses and organizations create a competitive advantage while doing the right thing for their workforce. Greater profits and doing the right thing DO go hand in hand. Email or call if you’d like a free consultation on what your organization has to gain in terms of happiness and profits.

Image

http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/view_photog.php?photogid=809

Thursday
15
December 2011
Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Chris Receives Accreditation from iOpener Institute for People and Performance and Can Now Offer a Free Team Report

 

Capiche is happy to announce that Chris Cook has received full accreditation from the iOpener Institute for People and Performance, based in Oxford, England. Chris is the only iOpener-accredited coach in the Pacific Northwest, and she has access to iOpener tools and solutions that no other coach in the region enjoys.

iOpener accreditation allows Chris to use the People and Performance Questionnaire (iPPQ) to perform an in-depth analysis of how employees feel about their work and how well they are performing in their work environment. The iPPQ assesses both individuals and teams, providing leaders with clearer insights into what works in their organization, and what could be better. The iPPQ provides practical next steps and encourages managers and leaders to share responsibility with their teams.

If you are interested in a complimentary team report, call Chris.

These reports are highly pragmatic and allow Chris to focus on how to make positive changes in your organization while protecting what works well. Best of all, the iPPQ is grounded in years of research, which can be found in academic journals and at presentations worldwide.

Call Chris at 541.601.0114 or email chris@capiche.us to learn how you may receive your complimentary team report.

Tuesday
06
September 2011
Tagged , , , , , , ,

Empower Your Team to Boost Performance

Do you stay out of your employees’ way and allow them to problem solve?  If not, consider that you are likely the sort of boss who is a top-down, micromanager. The command-and-control model works well in the military but results in tremendous dysfunction for work teams. Hierarchical control often results in a vicious cycle in which the work team is rendered ineffective and unvalued.

If you are a leader, remember that you have nothing to prove. Let your team be the problem solvers, and show them that you have ideas and advice when needed. Stay out of the way.

 The best leader is the one who listens more than talks. Watch your body language and maintain eye contact with the person speaking. Try to minimize distractions.

Welcome divergent viewpoints and disagreement. Problem-solve as a team, asking for input. Assure your team that all perspectives and solutions are valued, and be sure not to shoot down any thoughts that are shared. Remember that you are not the only one with the answers.

Successful leaders trust and rely on followers to maximize team effectiveness. Your behavior as the leader can either strengthen or destroy the work team. Engage and empower your team, and your organization will enjoy enhanced company performance while increasing team morale and commitment.

Sunday
28
August 2011
Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

Acid Bath or Nourishment?

Followers look to their leaders for helpful feedback so they can move toward achieving their potential. And as people are closer to achieving their potential, their organization benefits in greater sales, higher profits and a host of other positive outcomes.

Take care to not give your followers an acid bath—that’s what Maurer (1994) calls harsh feedback. Consider that the word feedback takes its root in the word “feed.” Feeding allows us to grow, and if we enjoy healthy food, our bodies are nourished. Consider healthy feedback as a tool for positive change, increased self-awareness, and (when delivered appropriately) allows us to grow and be nourished.

Leaders are made in two ways: assigned and emergent. A job as a director, manager, CEO, or other administrator is what makes one an assigned leader. More significant, though, is the emergent leader—a person who acquires leadership because others support and accept the individual’s behavior (Northouse, 2007). The latter happens through positive communication. As a person who nourishes others through healthy feedback, you become an emergent leader.

Consider that you are a leader in any situation in which you have influence with others. Your efficacy as a leader will be reflective of how you exert your influence, whether through negative criticisms or healthy feedback.

 

References

Harvard Business School Press (2006). Giving feedback: Expert solutions to everyday challenges. Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Press.

Maurer, R. (1994). Feedback toolkit: Sixteen tools for better communication in the workplace. Portland, OR: Productivity Press.

Northouse, P. (2007). Leadership theory and practice. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications Inc.

 

 

Tuesday
09
August 2011
Tagged , , , , ,