Posts in Leadership
How to Prevent Bad Leadership from Hurting your Brand
How to prevent bad leadership from hurting your brand _ Connector Team Recruiting.png

We all know how hard it is to get customers in the door or to customers to buy into your product offerings or service if you are a provider.  Here is our quick infographic and “how to guide” to prevent bad leadership from hurting your brand. I believe that when someone steps outside the so called “circle of trust” they typically don’t have guard rails in place to keep them inside those lines.

Hire for success and consider the traits below.

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Servant, Leader or Boss?
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Have you ever worked for someone that made you ask yourself…just how in the world did this person get to that level? You know the kind of person that I’m talking about, the unapproachable, all about getting the results at any cost type of boss.  They sit behind their desk and try to manage by their authority and power and typically don’t have a pulse or clue as to what is happening on their floor, in their showroom or in the distribution center.

Typically, you’ll find this profile leader managing more by the Dashboard and they’ve forgotten that there is a team or a collective group responsible for attaining those all-important numbers.

As a recruiter another profile I hear about all the time is the MICRO-MANAGER. This manager means well but causes disruption and stifles creativity by being over involved.  They constantly worry about everything and have no clear vision or belief system. They don’t understand the value of collaboration and teamwork in the workplace and do not share connectivity resulting in having no true influence with their team.

Great Leadership defined:

Tony Robbins, the award winning motivational speaker is a subject matter expert in teaching about Leadership Traits.  Here is one of his definitions of Leadership from his writings.

 “Leadership isn’t a position — it’s a skill and a tool you can continually cultivate and use to create lasting change and provide certainty to others in times of uncertainty. And it’s founded on the idea of influence.

Can you influence yourself? Can you influence the thoughts, feelings and emotions of another human being? How about a group of human beings? That’s what leadership is. An idea is only an idea, one that will ultimately die, unless you can become a person of influence — a person who can influence and lead your team toward that idea’s fruition.  https://www.tonyrobbins.com/what-is-leadership/

Unfortunately, there are many bosses out there that do not inspire their teams and therefore they are vulnerable to talent drain and turnover. From my seat as an Executive Recruiter I’ve seen how great bosses can literally insulate their companies from turnover.  In fact, I’ve found that when I call into a company with a great inspirational leader there is virtually no presentation or pitch that I can use that will dislodge someone away from a great servant leader.

According to a recent survey by Glassdoor, one of the world’s largest job survey sites, “company culture matters more than pay as a driver of long-term employee satisfaction and engagement”.

At our firm we also like this quote from the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). “Dissatisfied workers don’t leave their jobs – they leave their bosses”.

Just for fun…here is a cartoon that really nails it:

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After seeing this cartoon, I just had to gain permission and include it since I recognized so many of the management styles that I’ve seen over the course of my own experiences and work lives. I have to say, for the most part I’ve had some amazing bosses and mentors especially early career. They really made the difference in my career tracks.  I really love the “The Seagull” and “Pitchfork” these two are my favorites. Over the years I’ve really seen them wreak havoc in the workplace.

So how can you determine whether your Company has Strong Leaders, Not Bosses?Here are some traits on how to determine if you have Leaders who inspire vs just being a boss from our Center for Recruiting Excellence at the MRINETWORK. Are leaders born or made? It’s an interesting question that produces a plethora of answers. But here’s something that isn’t up for debate: People are naturally attracted to leaders.

Leaders possess capabilities that can inspire others to become their best, something that business owners eagerly seek in the people they hire and the individuals they currently employ. When you recognize leadership qualities in your workforce, you can’t afford to let them get away. As a result, companies are always looking to identify leadership skills within potential hires to ensure they have a strong base of leaders that can drive the organization forward. These skills include the ability to motivate staff and drive innovation, while doing so with a sense of integrity, transparency and diplomacy.

A great way to gain insight on whether someone is more of a boss or a leader is to do your homework during the hiring process. For example, if you’re interviewing an applicant for a management opening, asking them a few questions about how they led various projects or initiatives will tell you a lot about their leadership style.

Additionally, calling one or two of the candidate’s references can give you an idea of whether the person was highly regarded for their leadership capabilities in their previous position. The length of their relationship can also provide insight.

How do you ensure you have leaders who inspire instead of bosses who discourage? Here are a few suggestions:

Leaders avoid micromanaging and consider others their equals

As discussed in The Muse, even though managers may be authority figures, they shouldn’t see themselves as “better than” the workers who are in their charge. The best managers view their relationship as more of a partnership, rather than a one-way street where the manager directs, and workers perform. Additionally, leaders give their staff autonomy, adopting a more “hands-off” approach to management. In the 2016 CareerBuilder survey, respondents who gave their managers a high letter grade were more likely to work for leaders who they didn’t consider to be a micro-manager.

Leaders take a genuine interest in their team members

Employees have lives beyond the office, spending their time with family members, friends, projects at home or activities within their community. Leaders aim to get to know their team on an individual basis, forming a more personal relationship while at the same time learning about qualities that can contribute to the growth of the business, like expertise that isn’t currently be utilized, or traits such as patience or perseverance that would lend themselves well on a special project. Knowing someone at an individual fosters trust and encourages people to give it their all.

Leaders prioritize relationships and results

Managers in leadership positions are responsible for ensuring work is completed effectively so growth never ceases. Overbearing bosses may still be able to achieve solid results, but it may produce diminishing returns if employees are at their wits’ end and ultimately decide to quit in search of greener pastures. Leaders recognize the value of relationships. They prioritize finding solutions to issues that may be troubling workers and ultimately impeding their work output. Leaders also put greater emphasis on results that are achieved through demanding yet, reasonable processes rather than processes that are tedious and unnecessarily taxing.

“Whether it comes naturally or develops over time, leadership is an indispensable asset that can help your business reach its goals, “Fostering strong leadership and leveraging it to drive the organization forward can be the difference between a run-of-the-mill operation and a truly extraordinary one.”

In today’s competitive workplace you can inoculate yourself from most turnover by influencing and leading others.  One of the questions I often ask executives when conducting a screening interview is this; tell me what your peers and direct reports say about you in the lunchroom or at the water cooler?  Their answer to this question tells me a lot about their style and whether or not they’ve ever given any thought to influencing others.

I believe we never can stop learning and growing. If you have a favorite type of manager you’ve encountered in the past please send me a note.  bill@connectorteamrecruiting.com

Blog Post by: Bill O’Malley, Chief Recruiting Officer at Connector Team Recruiting.  Connector Team is recognized by leaders and leading consultants as the premier search firm in the Furniture | Appliance and Sleep vertical space. Connector Team is an affiliate office of MRINETWORK recently ranked in the Top 10 in Recruitment Firms by Forbes Magazine.

How Managers Can Best Motivate Top-Performers
How Managers Can Best Motivate Top-Performers | Connector Team Recruiting.jpg

Before you read on about motivating top performers further in our blog this month, I wanted to share what we consistently hear as a recruiter from executives as to why they are willing to leave their existing company. Simply put…it’s a bad boss.  I have often heard the following…there are some bad jobs out there but their number is far outweighed by the many bad bosses in the workplace.  In our article this month we talk about micro-managing. We hear about Micro-managing all the time from great executives who just want to be given the ball and be some limited autonomy in their job duties. They want to come to work each day feeling like they are in the know, have some control and most of all have some input that is valued.

A bad boss will generally give this rationale if confronted about micromanaging as the reason they may be losing employees.  They will say…”I know what’s best for my company, I’ve built this business and I’ve been doing this for (fill in the blank) number of years. I just need someone to do the work. These type of “bosses” will constantly have a turnover issue and wonder how all the great talent got away?

Top-performing employees are a critical force at your company, capable of 400 percent greater productivity than the average worker, according to research published in Personnel Psychology. Beyond their personal output, top talent inspire and motivate other employees to do their best work. Despite their production and leadership capabilities, top performers need to be motivated too, and this is largely the responsibility of the manager. As the Harvard Business Review notes, top talent at an organization are often defined as such in part because they have the technical skills and interpersonal adeptness to do their managers’ jobs. This, in turn, makes them more sensitive to areas where management falls short. “High-performing employees are also motivated by different types of recognition, incentives and management styles than other workers,” said Anne Hayden, vice president of human resources for MRINetwork. “As a result, supervisors need to make a constant, conscious effort to engage top-performing employees in the specific ways that appeal to them most,” Hayden recommends four ways managers can increase motivation among top-performing talent:

Give regular feedback

Top performers are engaged in continuous learning, constantly looking for ways to sharpen their abilities, expand their skill sets and take on new responsibilities. If top talent have to wait around until their annual performance review to hear feedback, they’re going to feel that their professional development is being stymied. Conversely, regular communication helps top-performing employees feel that their managers are invested in helping them succeed. 

Practice career pathing

A major reason top performers leave their jobs is that they feel like there’s no room for them to grow. However, helping them develop, and then follow a road map to where they want to be in the company can quell this frustration and unleash their motivation level: This is career pathing in a nutshell. By working together to help a top-performer advance, employees feel greater ownership over their careers and managers can align the individual’s professional goals with the strategic goals of the company, thereby simultaneously boosting employee engagement levels and improving succession planning.

Encourage mentoring

Mentoring goes along with career pathing, as it is an effective way to develop top-performers for upper-level roles. A study by the American Society for Training & Development found that 71 percent of Fortune 500 companies use internal mentoring programs to train top performers with high potential. Mentors share valuable insights with mentees, not only on business knowledge but also on important soft skills like how to effectively communicate with a range of stakeholders or efficiently manage teams. These relationships help top performers develop a more robust understanding of their company, its workforce, and its industry. Mentorship motivates top-performers by demonstrating that the company is committed to their success.

Don’t micromanage

Most employees don’t want to be micromanaged, but top performers are especially sensitive to it as they consistently show that they not only excel in their job duties but also regularly go above and beyond what’s expected of them. Instead of interfering with top talent’s day-to-day work, take a step back and learn from them, advises Jeff Miller in a blog for HR services company Insperity. Top performers often have created novel workflows and unique processes that save time, increase output or improve performance. Smart managers are open to change and feel excited, not threatened by, ambitious employees with new ideas. They’re genuinely curious about how top performers work and are eager to have conversations with them about how to adapt their ideas on a larger scale. This recognition makes top performers feel appreciated and motivates them to continue innovating. “Top-performing employees are vital to your company’s success, and managers play a big role in influencing whether they’ll want to stick around,” concluded Hayden. “With these tips, supervisors can help top talent flourish, instead of holding them back.”