In a 2016 Harvard Business Review article, Michael Beer, Magnus Finnström, and Derek Schrader shared the story of a leadership development program they studied. Initially, the program started off with a bang. Participants enjoyed the training sessions and post-assessments indicated it was successful.
Why is the middle is so often overlooked? We see this phenomenon with the middle child in a family. We pay attention to the first child with caution and our youngest child with gentle coddling, yet we often have to remind ourselves not to forget about that middle child. Much like in a family, middle performers in a company are often overlooked, and it could be holding your organization back.
Unless you live and work alone in a cave,it is almost certain that you have work relationships that involve some level of collaboration. Collaboration is vital not just for getting work done as efficiently as possible; it is also critical for optimum workplace satisfaction, because true collaboration increases an individual’s morale, sense of accomplishment, and identity within their team and company. As a leader or an aspiring one, you should be consistently reflecting on how you collaborate and seeking opportunities to raise your “collaboration game.” Not only will being a strong collaborator raise your productivity and job satisfaction, it will reinforce to others that you are a leader.
The benefits derived from executive coaching are many including - higher functioning leaders, higher performing companies, and better performing stock price. Whether you are just starting out learning to coach as a new manager or a seasoned coach, what you’ll find in the executive coaching world is a lack of consistency how coaching is deployed and how the success of the engagement is measured. To overcome this obstacle, I created the “4x4 Coaching Methodology.” This methodology ensures a coaching experience is consistent and hits the objectives you (both coachee and organization) have identified.
Even in today’s new job market realty where persistent high unemployment is becoming the norm, every company wants great employees and dreams of the perfect hire. Given the high unemployment rate and economic uncertainty, companies are more often holding out on hiring employees like a virgin bride waiting for Mr. or Miss right.
Picking a coach can be a difficult decision. How do you decide one person is going to be more helpful to your learning and growth over another one? I regularly find myself with potential clients explaining my approach and providing them with the best information to help them make the right choice. The bottom line is that it is a very personal decision and while I’d love to say there is no bad choice, I’ve actually seen leaders make the wrong choice. How do I know? They’ve come back to me later and said, “I want to work with you because it didn’t work out with the other person. I should’ve gone with my instincts.” What was their decision informed by? What were they paying attention to and distracted by?
When I’m talking to leaders, the conversation around how to motivate their team typically comes up whether it’s a top performer who needs to be motivated to stay within the organization (and not lost to the competition) to middle performers who would do even better if they would take things to the next level. So what actually motivates people?
Once you set your strategy and are clear about goals and objectives, everything else is about execution. Solid research shows that excellent execution of a mediocre strategy beats poor execution of the best strategy. Given that execution is key to success, we must look at where execution takes place...in the middle.
Even with a recovery in the economy, the job (and housing) market will take some time to catch up. That doesn't mean there aren't jobs out there. It just means they are for very specific talent. Those talent know exactly who they are. Since 2008, we've personally seen this talent pool still get calls from headhunters and move around from one company to the next with bigger titles, pay, and responsibility.
I recently had a conversation with a client about his desire to be more strategic about decision-making—particularly about decisions that would impact his career and his life.