Establishing Value

We as people, we need to know or perhaps discover our value. Even more than this however, we need to feel as though we have some control over our value.

We all need and want specific skills that will make us stand out in the crowd. We need to show how we can be an asset to the job, the company, the corporation. The ways to do this have been often ignored, often sought after, but mostly taught in the poorest of ways. We need to empower people with the skills to give them options in their own job and in future prospects.

I have a passion to help people who have been forgotten; the same people who have only been trained to just do jobs rather than how to take control of their career. This middle class workplace market of people is a growing workforce and yet, we do nothing to empower them.

My passion is instilling -at all levels- the skills that are not only marketable, but also cause people to stand out in the crowd of applicants and employees. Let’s bring a new perspective to both the employer and employee arenas.

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Everyone has advice.

Have you ever been in that moment when while telling people about a new idea you have or new opportunity that has arisen they interrupt to tell you what they know or think about it? Maybe they even start giving you ideas on the best way to handle your new opportunity before even asking what your actual plan is.

Everyone has advice. There are so many brilliant ideas out there about leadership and management. Be open to the ideas, but discern between the cheap slogans and inspiring yet ultimately vapid advice.

Simon Sinek has one idea that is striking, unique, and ultimately all about drawing out the value in everyone. Have a listen:

What is your “why”

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You are not everything. You are you.

Leadership is quite the concept.
It has been defined, redefined, reconstructed, augmented and dissected. People are payed to give talks, conferences, and speeches about what it takes to be a strong leader. The attributes of a leader are detailed in such a way that sometimes it actually seems as though this concept of leadership can only be attained with superhero-like power. A leader has grand vision, but pays attention to the details; stays firmly focused on core goals, but knows when to drop goals that might not work; can lead the group to victory, but knows how to invest in and mold the individual. Not many people have all of those abilities. Granted, there are a few people out there who can; however, even many of them would not say that they did it all on their own. So while those attributes were needed for success, not all of those attributes came from just one person.
Here is the point:  We cannot all be incredible leaders. We cannot all be great leaders. But that should not stop anyone from leading. What we can do is surround ourselves with the people who have the attributes we are lacking; this in turn will form a group that as a whole manifests great leadership.
Be honest and self-aware. What attributes do you have? Which attributes are you lacking? Find the people who have the attributes to fill the void you see and either get them to work for you or with you.
As they say, it takes a village.
Don’t avoid a leadership role simply because you only see the attributes you don’t have. Take on the role and surround yourself with the people who will next to you lead boldly.
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If there are jobs to be done, but there is no boss to see if it got done…. will it ever get done?

If the answer is no then there is a problem.
What we have is a business culture that requires constant monitoring and micro managing. If someone is an egomaniac, then that is just fine, but for the rest of us who prefer a healthy work-life relationship and frankly a more successful business, then this is not the solution.
So the answer is: Create something self-sustaining.
Set up a business culture that runs itself. Even though the boss is there everyday, the business should run as if he would not have to be there. This concept can be difficult to get it into play initially if the business is already established in its inefficient culture, but with consistency and repetition it will become efficient and almost enjoyable.
One thing that helps to develop a self sustaining culture is: ensuring that no one is irreplaceable.
     In some ways, you almost want the staff to be constantly training someone else to “replace” them at any time; by doing this the business will be able to function no matter who is there.
Often times people think they make themselves more valuable when they ensure that they and they alone can do their job; however, the opposite is actually the most valuable. An employee who trains up others to do what he/she does and continues to learn themselves is practically indispensable.
This indispensable employee is also much more likely to be invested in and promoted more quickly.
     Train your staff to always be encouraging and training those around them so that everyone can be covered (within reason) when or if need be; and in this way everyone has become  indispensable.
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Do you know what is really going on?

How much money a year is spent on sending middle and even upper management to training or motivational seminars? These can be incredibly motivational, inspiring and invigorating.
——>The question is, how do we know that the inspiration is actually creating change? Better yet, how can we assure it?
Encouraging employees to be empowered, but only leaving the empowerment to a slogan or catch phrase with no example of what it means or how to implement it is just plain worthless. Rather, we need to look into who is influencing and driving our employees on a daily basis. What phrases do they use and better yet, what do their behaviors exemplify on that day to day basis?
—Think about this—
What or Who are your employees’ examples?
Lead employees
  • Are they trained to really train others or do they just do well and know their stuff better than others so they get thrust into management roles?
  • Are they supported by management consistently and equally?
  • Are they challenged and driven to improve themselves, the company, or their fellow employees?

Managers 

  • Who are they?
    Did they just move up or did they get trained up? What is their background? What are the checks and balances? How often do they get advice or critique?
  • What are they doing?
    • Do they follow through on the management meetings they are sent to? do they motivate sufficiently? what is their language like? How do they interact with customers and their staff? Are they set up for success?  Do they actively fix bad habits of staff and themselves?
  • Have they been shown how to truly invest in a person and employee?
    • Do they actually do it? They need to be followed around until the “keep it together while the boss is here” mentality wears off and they realize this is a culture . What does investing in the person truly look like? Were they invested in in a way so that they can turn around and with a ‘full cup’ fill up another’s ‘cup’?
  • Are they looking for friends?
    • This can be detrimental. A boss cannot be a friend. A boss can be kind, considerate, understanding, motivational, compassionate, but being a friend changes the dynamic especially with a younger staff. 
  • Do they lead by example?
    • Being able to do almost every job in the arena earns a respect that cannot be thwarted. Sometimes this isn’t possible, but a willingness to try, to always help out, to step up to show the standard tells the employees that management believes in the system. 
 
How can one possibly assure all of this? This isn’t the fun answer. If you are unaware or are not sure that who you have hired is getting across what you need, then it is going to take some leg work. Go see for yourself. Observe, evaluate and then interview your staff to find out what they are seeing, conveying and employing. Teach your management how to create the culture that your business is supposed to be fostering.
The best and most motivating rhetoric with no accountability is worthless.
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The rare commodity..

I could write about this for pages as many others have, however Mr. Bob Davids says it so incredibly well and with such quiet emphasis. Do enjoy- this was one of the inspiration factors that lead to my blogging.

Take a few moments to ponder his points.

The rarest commodity is leadership without ego

Bob-TEDx-0-300x198

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Why do we not wait for the right people?

Text book after business text book will tell managers to hire the right person, not just the first person. This happens often in customer service jobs and in my experience particularly in the restaurant industry. Why does this happen?

It typically happens because:
1- Management didn’t plan ahead
2- Management mishandled planning
3- Inconsistent busy season
4- Poor judgment
5- Surface level criteria
6- Nepotism
7- Few qualified applicants
—Just to name a few reasons—-
So what to do now?
Many consultants will reason that there just needs to be stricter hiring policies and practices. I think many would agree, as do I, without hesitation. Here is the deal though, sometimes in the restaurant world it isn’t possible. When the manager knows that the next day there will be a party of 200 people, but aren’t fully staffed for this solitary moment, the less-than-right-person will be hired to just be a warm body and fill water and soda glasses. So then what do you do with this not-quite-right-but-good-enough-for-the-job person?
I propose, let’s get more interactive, creative, and teaching focused with our management style. If you have people who aren’t the greatest at their job, but you don’t have the resources to replace them, then make them the employees you need. Train, guide, lead, inspire, and push them to become the team you need. Just that very process of raising the standard and holding everyone to it will weed out those who don’t want to improve and motivate those who didn’t know they could improve. While it will be hard work and take some commitment from the leadership, it will be well worth it in the long and short run.
At the end of the day, employees who are invested in, taken aside, trained, encouraged, and guided will not only blossom, but will also be incredibly loyal because they will believe and know that they matter and have value to their company. People will work harder for less money in the place where they are valued, respected, and invested in.
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Fake it to make it or become it?

Fake it until you become it – Amy Cuddy

We have all heard the phrase, “Fake it ’til you make it.” There is something somewhat inspiring about this concept and yet a little disconcerting at the same time.
The downside is that faking it until you make it gives the impression that while we made it we might still be faking it and therefore are still not it.
No one truly wants to be a fake, nor does anyone want to follow a fake. If you haven’t heard of Amy Cuddy, she did a TED Talk back in 2012 talking about how power posing affects testosterone and cortisol levels in the brain.
She talks about many things, but one thing that she spent some time caught my ear. It was this idea of “faking it until you become it” is actually what is occurring rather than “faking it until you make it.”
She explains that when we truly fake it, we begin to think, act, feel, perceive and believe that we really are it. That is the crucial point: we do not actually continue faking it because by truly embracing the illustrious it, we actually do take on all of the things that the it is comprised of. This is pretty incredible to think about and even better to implement. So don’t just wait to feel confident, driven, calm, or prepared; take on the confidence by behaving like a confident person, behave like a driven person, behave like a calm person. Little by little, chemically and mechanically our bodies and minds will take on the attributes we are faking, therefore we should fake it until we become it because we will actually become it.
 
This is an important concept to train staff members in who are seemingly stagnant or floundering. It is something tangible for them. It requires no extra education. They can literally control how they are perceived by others, by changing how they behave and what they believe about themselves while faking it to become it. Final bonus point- the employee will feel valued because you have shown specific interest in him/her as a person not just an employee.
Simple. Uncomplicated. Confidence building.
 
Check out Amy Cuddy on Youtube
 
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