This is the third post in the series about training your team. This actually could be a stand alone post.
When it comes to training tell your team “Why” you are training.
Telling them “Why” is actually the training.
Instead of more rules, create guide rails. Let your team know where the goal posts are and let them decide how to score.
So much has been written and said about "Why" yet it is still one of the most ignored subjects within organizations.
"He who has a why can bear almost any how” Friedrich Nietzsche
In many organizations whenever there is an issue the solution is to add another rule. This seems to make sense right?
What if we did it different, what if we shared our “Why”?
Would sharing it allow our teams to perform better in more situations?…Would they feel better in situations if they could use our “Why” as a compass to navigate?
Think about that. Does your team perform their work under supervision ?
Do they perform their work offsite?
We live in a post industrial revolution world. The days of prescribing every little action to be taken by your team are over. We cannot possible legislate every situation they will run in to. The world is moving too fast.
How can you be sure that they will perform work in alignment with your desires if they run into a situation that they are not perfectly prepared for?
The only choice is to share the "Why". If they know your Mission, Vision and Values, you can be assured whatever action they choose will be directionally correct.
The customer will be taken care of and situations will be resolved sooner. Faster resolution performed correctly is usually more cost effective. Employees feel empowered and more engaged. Customers will feel taken care of.
“If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up the men to gather wood, divide the work and give the orders. Instead, teach them to yearn for the endless sea.” Antoine de Saint Expury.
This may be the challenge to execute on “Why”. You may have to evaluate the way YOU think. What do you believe about leadership or management?
Do you believe you have to do all the thinking and layout a tightly prescribed and narrow set of rules; or do you fundamentally believe that people will rise to the level of expectation you set?
How do you set expectation? What is your ability to communicate your “Why”?
Think about it. Who would you want to work for? Someone that doesn’t share the directive; Who doesn't tap into your deeper abilities? Or someone that treats you as the adult you are and holds you accountable for the opportunity and direction given?
“You can buy a person's hand, but you can't buy his heart. His heart is where his enthusiasm, his loyalty is. You can buy his back, but you can't buy his brain. That's where his creativity is, his ingenuity, his resourcefulness.” ― Stephen R. Covey, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
Create a training program built around helping your team understand and live your values, and the rest will take care of itself.
Today, what the world needs is more heart in the marketplace. Leaders have to start.
Employees need to know they are valued. That the places of work is a safe place to engage.
Your customers wants your teams heart to be in their work…
If you want your teams hearts…they need to know your “Why”.
In the last post we looked at what training should be.
In this post I will focus on Agenda and structure.
I saw a t-shirt once that said I survived another meeting that should have been an email. I am going to get it I think. But how can we avoid death by meeting.
It should go without saying, if you don’t have a compelling agenda cancel the meeting, people will love the free time that just opened up in the schedule. More will get done.
This is a good time to ask yourself “does this really need to be a meeting?”
Don’t just hold your meeting because its Thursday morning and that is what we do.
If you do think you need the meeting, how long should it be?
A lot of meetings are in half hour increments, ever wonder why.
Technology is great and we do need to be efficient so we go with our scheduling defaults form outlook etc, half hour or hour long increments.
This is fine except I see people “padding” agendas to “fill out the time”
Instead of this habit, take a look at what you want to get accomplished and determine the correct length. See previous link about ROI here.
Many people create an agenda but their main focus for the meeting is to cover everything on the Agenda.
This is incorrect thinking, we need to take each item one at a time, and not move on until
we are sure everyone in the room knows what we are looking for and why. This last part is so important.
If you have ten items to cover on an agenda, it is more beneficial and efficient if you only cover the first few items but you cover them thoroughly, than to cruise through and say “we covered all of it”.
You will end up having to bring everyone back in and you have not really saved the time you thought you had. It is preferable to over communicate the first time round and then “check in” with the team.
This is simple but profound. When you have covered an item and you think you are done say this sentence “OK what do you think we just discussed?”
When you get an answer, pick another attendee in the room and ask “Do you agree, is that what we are doing?”
This creates dialogue and drives home impact, covers repetition for learning and allows the group to hear peers repeating the message.
Next post we will share the power why…
So I get asked a lot about the Training and Development I do for companies.
I speak on the subject, truth is I have a passion for it.
I see so many people spending time and effort in training and the truth is it is not always
So what might be helpful is to lay out the basics from some of my Training Talks in a series of shorter posts.
The first thing we can discuss is a definition of training.
For me it’s fairly simple...if it’s training then something should be done differently.
As in – I now know something I did not, and I know how to put it into action.
If you are taking the time to pull everybody together to review things, then the return on that investment should be improvement.
If it is not training – then you are actually just in a meeting.
So where to start…when in doubt turn to Covey. “Start with the end in mind”.
Whenever I am asked to facilitate or hold training, the question I ask is…
“How will you judge if this training was successful”.
That's it. Simple, yet so often never asked.
This single question will help distill in all minds what we are trying to achieve.
Training can impact many things and I believe it should be measurable.
Many KPI’s can be created or measured to determine the efficacy of the time spent.
Time is a precious resource in both business and life, there should absolutely be an ROI.
This in turn leads to what should the structure of the class look like.
Many classes have all the “correct” information but fail to bring the desired change.
More on that in the next post next time.
A lot of people talk to me about wanting opportunity.
They seem to talk about wanting "more". Not only that but they also seem to want that opportunity to come around a lot more often.
Don't get me wrong, looking back I could easily be placed in that camp.
So what’s different...hard to say. Maybe it’s my willingness to embrace change.
I don’t love it, I just don’t fight it once I understand it.
Change is not fun, and most people do not willingly run into it unless they are in some pain.
The quote goes something like "not until the pain of same is greater than the pain of change, will we embrace change" - Dave Ramsey, I think.
The thing is change and opportunity are linked, perhaps its only in our rear view mirror that we recognized that time of painful change as the beginning of the road that leads to opportunity.
If there is an encouragement in all of this it is to look at the change differently next time it threatens to raise its ugly head.
Look through the chaos and uncertainty and think what if?
What if this time the change led to positive things?
What if this change led to the pivot that gave you the edge...?
Sure seek opportunity and push for more, but if you don't see it...go look for where the
Time is the most precious resource we will ever have...it is completely nonrenewable.
This thought tends to drive a lot of my behavior and thoughts.
So whenever I spend it, I really want to look at the value.
I am attending a conference and they can really be hit or miss from a time use stand point.
Here are the top 3 things I have seen that really seem to give the best ROI on our time.
It is counter intuitive but if you get that one thing done, you will have achieved more than most...Change.
This will give all kinds of feel good and energize you to go back to the list and pick another item
P.S. for one more great thing...connect with one like minded individual. You don't win prizes for collecting the most cards. Connect with one person that is doing something better than you...then follow up with a quick email after you return. Ask permission to have a call or start a dialogue after all the dust has settled. This can bring tremendous change.
Enjoy the time you have!
Maybe you have thought about it, maybe not.
The question may throw you for a bit, mostly due to the fact they are used interchangeably.
I have a theory that I have been reflecting on for the past few years.
They are not the same.
People would like to think they are; they may want them to be but they are not.
Here is what I have noticed.
There are people that are great managers...if I am honest I may not have always been a great manager.
These are the people that make sure everything is done on time...they are great at getting boxes checked and making sure all the paperwork is there. Did everybody do what we said we were going to do?
Companies, really good companies owe a ton to their managers. Fair to say they would fail without them.
Leadership on the other hand, have different skill set. Big picture thinking and goal setting...trying to think three moves down the board.
I heard a quote attributed to Wayne Gretzky..."A good hockey player plays where the puck is. A great hockey player plays where the puck is going to be"
Call it critical thinking, call it ADD whatever but they just seem to think different. They can see form in a void. They can develop programs; they may just not be the best to manage them moving forward. But that’s OK.
I typically have seen people default more to one than to one or the other, but you can do both,
Truth is, both can be developed. One is not better than the other. This needs to be understood.
Here is the thing, we as a culture at times seem to value these roles differently. This causes people to feel like they need to change based on the latest book or blogpost.
I would suggest they are both great things to be and aspire to. We need both. You just need to know which is which.
Which one are you? First step to improvement is always an honest diagnosis. If you know which role you prefer or excel at, you can always hire for the other.
If you are not hiring or don’t do the hiring, find the people to compliment your thinking. If you can’t find them at work, nothing says you can’t find a mentor outside of your workplace. Click here for more on mentors.
So which are you today. Which do you want to be. Which do you need to be to get to where you want to be. This is important part of achieving your goals. More on that here.
Whichever , is fine...set out today to grow your skill set...your dreams depend on it!
This is a short post and deserves longer discourse to do the ideas justice, maybe in the next post. It's sometimes a TLDR world.
There is a perception that if we can hang in then things will get better.
Not trying to be all Debbie Downer. Hear me out.
What if they don't?
Why should it...?
It is a predominately western philosophy to assume better things to come.
There is nothing inherently wrong with this philosophy except that it is not based in fact. If anything it is an assumption.
I cannot assume anything, I must not. It is a passive response.
What do you believe about destiny and future?
Do you believe it matters what efforts and plans you make?
If you don't, rock on...keep with the cruise control.
For the rest of us, my question is this, what are you doing to contribute to a brighter future?
Do you have plans? Are they written down? Are they Shared?
What are the stakes? What do you have to gain? What do you have to loose?
Do you have a timeline, with milestones? Which area do you want to grow?
If the answer to all or some of these questions is no or I don't know...that's OK, guess what, start today...now.
I saw a picture; it was an individual in a tiny dinghy in great swells of the great sea.
It made me think of life. We can't control the waves or storms, but we can place our hand on the tiller.
We can’t. We must not take our hand off the tiller, or worse allow others to put their hand on it.
Today in your boat...It’s your today...nobody else's.
Today, let’s not take things for granted.
Make the day count.
Many people send me notes on these posts, feel free to leave a comment here, one of my reasons for writing is to create dialogue, and build community with those I know and those I have yet to meet.
See my other posts here Click here.
Lots of things get said and promised in the early days of a new year.
I have talked to many people this week, most of whom don't bother with "New Year resolutions". They generally don't bother with written goals either.
I am reminded of the old saying from the cat and Lewis Caroll - "If you don't know where you are going...any road will get you there"
I have a goal this year.
I really want to be more creative.
Not in a cutesy Instagram my food sort of way. I want to be creatively authentic.
The world craves authenticity.
I even believe the market wants to reward it.
So what does this look like, well I have posted a bunch before about creativity and voice...Here is an example of not accepting the low bar in a business and how to use creativity to be better. Click here.
It's about not trying to be a person or company you are not...you be you.
Here is another fantastic example that really works well to illustrate and has been around for a while. Its the e-mail from Derek Siver CD baby company.
Here it is...
"Thanks for your order with CD Baby!
Your CD has been gently taken from our CD Baby shelves with sterilized contamination-free gloves and placed onto a satin pillow. A team of 50 employees inspected your CD and polished it to make sure it was in the best possible condition before mailing. Our world-renowned packing specialist lit a local artisan candle and a hush fell over the crowd as he put your CD into the finest gold-lined box that money can buy. We all had a wonderful celebration afterwards and the whole party marched down the street to the post office where the entire town of Portland waved “Bon Voyage!” to your package, on its way to you, in our private CD Baby jet on this day.
We hope you had a wonderful time shopping at CD Baby. In commemoration, we have placed your picture on our wall as “Customer of the Year.” We’re all exhausted but can’t wait for you to come back to CDBABY.COM!!
Thank you, thank you, thank you!
We miss you already. We’ll be right here at www.cdbaby.com patiently awaiting your return.
All your friends at CD Baby"
If you know anything about Derek, he is a master of keeping things simple and clarity of communication. Here is a link to a great podcast to learn more. Click here.
So what can you do with a little creativity and a whole year.
What can you be more authentic about…go ahead, the world needs to hear your authentic voice, after all you are the only one who has it.
P.S. Many people send me notes on these posts, feel free to leave a comment here, one of my reasons for writing is to create dialogue, and build community with those I know and those I have yet to meet.
See my other posts here Click here.
So I am reading a book right now and it is challenging me and filling me with questions...so I thought I would share.
On a personal note I would explain that whenever I hear a book referenced by more than 3 "successful" people I put it on my list to read and draw my own conclusions.
This book deals in Evolutionary terms. I would like to put any theological questions aside and deal with the questions that came up. Hope that's OK.
Yuval Noah Harari writes in his book Sapiens about the power of story. Here is a link.
Not a particular story, but story in general.
In an evolutionary perspective he notes that one of the major differences we humans have compared to other life on this planet, is imagination.
Imagination allows us to be able to hold ideas in our heads. Fiction. Things that don't exist in reality, but may only exist in the abstract.
The notion that we can share and hold ideas in common.
He asks, what is a nation or currency even, but an abstract idea.
This got me thinking.
What is a company but an idea?
Anthropologically, he states that outside of those capable of holding ideas in their head, the groups start to breakdown at around 100 to 150 members.
He talks about the role of stories in social order and history. The work that stories do in holding our groups together.
He contends we use stories to create the bonds, we use them to grow beyond our small bands or groups.
Seth Godin would call it our "Tribe"
Sounds a lot like the idea of our "brand" to me.
What are you trying to nurture and grow today?
Is it a product? A service?
The size of your company? Your brand?
What is it about what you do, that is different?
What is the story your own tribe carries about themselves?
Just because you did not put something out there, does not mean there is nothing out there.
Do you know what is out there about you?
What message are you sending out?
What stories are you using?
Spread your message today?
Put some time and effort, pick your words carefully, pick your message carriers carefully?
You never know, it may just allow your tribe to get the message.
It just might allow you to grow...
So it’s been a few weeks since I posted a blog, which is fine I guess but it is not what we are "meant" to do.
In today’s content driven world of relationships, there is so much noise out there that to stay relative we feel pressured to produce something. Anything.
That’s why we see simple math equations that I bet you can’t solve…or I bet you can’t name a town/movie/animal without the letter ___.
The danger with this is that the quality of our shared community can suffer, if we don’t really have something significant to say…should we bother to say anything…
Even this post is coming pretty close to irony… Am I producing this because I feel compelled to say it or because I feel compelled to stay in front of people?
I am not really sure to be honest.
When you have nothing to say in a world where everyone can publish with ease, maybe say nothing until ... you can add value.
I try and only write when I have something meaningful to share. I try to share when I feel I can add value to the space, the conversation or the movement.
If not I stay quite…mostly.
I am reminded about the quote from Debussy which talks about composing. How it is not just the notes he chooses to compose, rather it is the space between the notes…the silence that compounds the effect of the notes. The greats really do play fewer notes.
Like artists, it is about knowing when to stop fiddling, painting, editing…when something is done. It's the chef that eliminates that last redundant ingredient.
It's about when the conversation is balanced and complete as opposed to hackneyed and overdone…
So as I reflect and try to leave space between my notes I invite you to leave some space between the notes.
Seek the place where you can add the most value…there is only one of you and the world needs you exactly where you are, it needs your voice and your silence, the trick is knowing the timing for both.
these are just the thoughts of someone who used to know more but now knows less...
This website uses marketing and tracking technologies. Opting out of this will opt you out of all cookies, except for those needed to run the website. Note that some products may not work as well without tracking cookies.Opt Out of Cookies
I would love to hear from you on your thoughts and feedback...