Good Boss Bad Boss: How to Become the One You want to be (Part 4)
Three Leadership Principles In Review
During the past several weeks I have focused on the Leadership Principles of Good Bosses, Leaders, and Companies which I have compiled during the past 15 years working with small and large companies, private and public companies. Additionally, each article included weekly work challenges which I hope you have found useful and purposeful as you navigate your Leadership journey. The three Principles that I have shared thus far include:
1) Good Bosses, Leaders & Companies always put people before process
2) Good Bosses, Leaders & Companies make it a priority to coach, mentor & develop people
3) Good Bosses, Leaders & Companies know the key to hiring the right people is having the right interview process
But wait, There is more!
The Fourth Principle of Leadership
4) Good Bosses, Leaders & Companies celebrate the achievement of goals attained by the team member, the overall team, the company and their customers
Every Good Boss, Leader, and Company know that the key to improving the buying experience of its customers is to improve the engagement of their own employees. In a study published in the Journal of Occupational & Organizational Psychology results indicated that organizational commitment had a more persistent influence on performance at the business unit level than vice versa. Consistent with prior research, this suggests that job attitudes may come first and that practitioners might be well advised to aim to improve job attitudes in order to boost performance. The study strongly correlated that employee engagement had a positive impact on both profit and growth as well as customer loyalty and productivity.
Four Cornerstones of Celebrating Achievements and Success
I once heard a VP of sales say that he didn’t believe in celebrating the accomplishments of individuals unless that accomplishment was extraordinary or record breaking. He equated the giving of compliments, encouragement or celebrating individual successes to everyone on his son’s soccer team receiving a trophy for participation. What the VP failed to realize is that when good bosses and leaders provide GENUINE encouragement to their team members and associates it is more about getting them to and ultimately over the goal line than it is about complimenting them for “making the team”. Leaders also spend time 1:1 with each team member requesting that in additional to the business objectives/goals they are expected to meet, to also provide a list of 3-5 personal goals they want to reach in the upcoming year. Goals such as running a marathon, adopting a child, buying a second home are some which the team members will provide. These goals can be discussed in private sessions with the associate and provide excellent opportunities for the manager to understand better who the associate is as a person and what truly motivates them.
At the beginning of every fiscal year a Sales Leader that I know, who is in charge of sales at a leading technology provider conducts a two-day long business and goal setting session. She provides her team with the standard quota, region/territory assignment, revenue goals and client retention goals provided by the Senior Executive Committee. Once these figures, budgets and expectations of corporate are issued she then separates each individual team and has the team Director lead discussions on what the team goals will be during the upcoming year. Goals such as specific dollars sold during a quarter, number of first call resolutions for support, timely CRM update documentation are a few examples. These are goals which the team celebrates when they have overachieved or are on track to achieving. These goals are NOT goals required by the company. Rather they are team objectives meant to enhance team unity and morale while rewarding behavior and disciplines that help them as a team to get the ball over the goal line. In instances where the manager has gained permission, they may also have the team members share with their teammates some of their personal goals. This, of course, forges a deeper bond with one another and provides an additional opportunity to celebrate their successes on a personal level when they’ve run that marathon, adopted the child or buy that second home.
Bad Bosses are most likely to comment that this category should be the only one to celebrate. They would argue "employees are getting paid to do a job. Those that do their jobs get rewarded with promotions, higher raises, and that is when they should be celebrated. Those employees that don’t get this should be terminated. At the end of the day, these employees should not ask what the company can do for them rather they should be asking what can they do for the company?" The error in this line of thinking is assuming an either/or, win/lose scenario. Good Bosses, Leaders, and Companies, however, realize the Corporate goals are highly important to sustainable growth to occur. These leaders also recognize the significance of shareholder value, market share and reputation, but the success of these values is the result of a people-centric mission (employees/clients), efficient processes, outstanding products/services and a culture built on care value and understanding (CVU, Growth Visions 2015)
Good Bosses, Leaders and Companies stay in tune to the successes of their customers. They acknowledge and celebrate when the customer is named as a finalist or winner of a business award. They celebrate the customer when the customer announces a roll out of a new charitable initiative, or employee work balance program. They do so internally within the organization, with their teams to highlight what is good and great about the companies who are their customers and partners. Good Bosses, Leaders, and Companies know that celebrating with a customer needs to take place beyond those moments in the business relationship where a transaction has taken place (i.e. a sale, a joint venture, etc.). They send flowers; they write notes signed by an entire department congratulating the customer on accomplishments that have little or nothing to do with their client/vendor/partnership.
Weekly Leadership Challenge
1) Think back to previous conversations where an employee may have shared a dream or goal they had. Ask them for an update. If necessary motivate them in unique ways. Fo example if their personal goal was to complete a marathon, get them a gift certificate to a specialty store for runners
2) If you haven’t already done so, meet with some key members of your team and ask them to lead an effort to develop three team goals for the balance of the fiscal year. These goals are not mandatory company objectives. Rather the goals are specific to the team. Remind the team that these custom team goals are achieved they team will each receive an award, incentive based on this team achievement.
3) Have the team google each of their top 3-5 accounts and provide you with some recent “newsworthy” successes these customers have achieved. Next, take a picture of the entire team together and forward a note, email, or video to these customers congratulating them on the successes
4) Remember that celebrating has to be real and genuine, not manipulative or tactical!
I look forward to hearing your ideas, thoughts and successes firstname.lastname@example.org