What 10 Things Would You Take Into A Hard Recession? [29:07];
Final reflections from panelists [1:13:23]; and lastly,
Severin summarises the session [1:17:50] and ends with a few inspiring quotes to consider.
This is episode 1095 of the Arete Coach Podcast with Severin Sorensen and his executive coach guests Michele Barry, Ben Griffin, Barry Goldberg, Phil Holberton, and Conor Neill.
In this episode, Arete Coach podcast presents a panel discussion of senior executive coaches that explores how to prepare for a Recession, and specifically, 10 things to take with you into a hard recession.
The purpose of putting this episode together was to provide valuable counsel for CEOs, business owners and coaches who are coaching other business owners on how to prepare for a probable recession, and one that may indeed be a hard recession.
Share this episode with executive coaches, business coaches, leadership coaches, business owners, entrepreneurs, CEOs, Key Executive teams, and anyone wanting to have a head start in preparing for what looks like more than a portent of stormy weather ahead.
Management is always about tradeoffs. If you want quality, you have to sacrifice time or money. If you want fast, you have to sacrifice quality or money. If you want cheap, you have to sacrifice quality or time.
Leadership is about People
If you push people, you don’t know which way they will go. If you use your power to tell them how to act, you will create a push back.
If you can learn to pull people, they will follow.
Power comes when people freely give you their support.
If you take that power and reflect it all back to them, they give you more. If you use the power for yourself, they give you less power. If you give people back the power that they entrust to you, more and more comes to you. You get to use this power for a Just Cause, something bigger than yourself, a Vision of a better world for all of us.
“Leadership is the most valuable commodity on the planet and it is the rarest commodity we have”
Waldemar Schmidt, past-CEO of ISS, a 250,000 employee global facilities services business.
Currently on the Boards of 28 companies, London Business School Advisory Board, Professor at Copenhagen Business School, Executive in Residence at IMD.
Author of 4 books including “The Job of the CEO“. Note: all book Royalties are donated to the Waldemar Schmidt Scholarship for (Brazilian) students at the international MBA Programme at Copenhagen Business School.
Highlights from the Interview
1:49 What is the Job of the CEO?
3:18 Know Products, Numbers, Customers
4:30 Management and Leadership
5:35 Taking Good Decisions
12:40 The Calendar of the CEO
15:07 What do you do after being a CEO?
16:45 Why did Waldemar step back from the CEO role?
18:10 Advice to a 55 year old ex-CEO
19:55 Networking as a CEO
21:18 How to Build Relationships with top Head Hunters
23:20 130 dilemmas that CEOs will face in life and business
23:50 The worst enemy of great leadership: Arrogance
Here’s another smidgin of wisdom from Entrepreneurs’ Organisation Leadership Academy 2016. In this video, Rich Mulholland, an entrepreneur from South Africa shares his reflections on two key moments during the leadership academy: A re-enactment of the Martin Luther King “I Have a Dream” speech, and a session with Warren Rustand speaking about his time as Appointments Secretary to President Gerald Ford.
Rich’s message: Take control of your time.
I love Rich’s idea about protecting your time in the short term: If someone asks him for a meeting, he says “If you want to meet today or tomorrow, I can give you 15 minutes; if you want to meet next week, I can give you 30 minutes… if you can wait 2 weeks, I can give you an hour” – Most people say “I’ll take 15 minutes” and he can hold them to it when the clock ticks to 15 because they chose 15.
“Science: (from Latin scientia, meaning “knowledge”) is a systematic enterprise that builds and organises knowledge in the form of testable explanations and predictions about the universe. In an older and closely related meaning, “science” also refers to a body of knowledge itself, of the type that can be rationally explained and reliably applied. A practitioner of science is known as a scientist.” source wikipedia
Kung-Fu is Not a Science
(This post is not really about Kung Fu, it is about Management)
Before we dive into management lets look at Kung-Fu. Or boxing. Or WWF Wrestling. Or rugby.
There might be a man who is studying every book on kung-fu in the library. He is the most knowledgeable person in the world on the facts, the history, the movement theory, the differences between the specific schools of thought. Imagine he takes the floor in an international full-contact kung-fu tournament. I think he’d be smashed in the nose within 5 seconds and on his butt on the floor in less than 10.
He could tell you why he got smashed in the nose and why he was delivered to the floor. He could explain how one should respond. But he still got smashed in the face and is out of the tournament.
Back to Chemistry…
Chemistry is a science. Let’s look at it:
Chemistry is the study of how atoms and molecules react. Water is H2O. That means it has 2 hydrogen atoms and one Oxygen atom. All over the world, billions and billions and billions of H2O molecules fill our rivers, seas and oceans.
A hydrogen atom reacts pretty consistently. Chemists can repeat experiments and the hydrogen atom responds just as it did for Marie Curie in the 1890s, as it did for Antoine Lavoiser in the 1770s and repeated by innumerable kids in adolescent chemistry classroom.
Marie Curie dealt with atoms.
An atom doesn’t react differently when he has been going through a difficult divorce and has underlying issues with his father.
An atom doesn’t react differently when he has had a big loss on the horses over the weekend.
An atom doesn’t react differently because he is frustrated with his relationship and feels unloved.
Kung Fu deals with human beings…
A human being reacts differently when he has been out for a big night with his mates.
A human being reacts differently when worried that their relationship is falling apart.
A human being reacts very differently at midday than at nine pm after a stressful afternoon.
Why Does it Matter?
Why do I care? Why does it matter? I think that too many gurus make it sound like if you learnt enough tools and knowledge, you would be able to do a better job in any situation.
Too many gurus promote the kung-fu reader’s approach to management learning.
I think a lot of caring about others and caring about quality results mixed with a little bit of management knowledge is a more powerful mix than little caring, little focus on quality mixed with lots of management knowledge.
Calling it a science makes it sound like a domain of knowledge in the abstract. Maths is knowledge in the abstract. Science is knowledge in the abstract.
Kung-fu is practical wisdom. It is instinctive wisdom based upon hours and hours of stimulus-response, practice in the real.
Management of People is kung-fu type wisdom
Management is a domain of knowledge at the coal face. It is a domain of practical solutions to complex problems with diverse human beings. Libraries are full of nice theories, but businesses are full of complex problems that don’t fit into simple categories.
If you are doing your best in an honest and transparent way and balance your self-oriented questions with a few “what can I do to improve the situation for others?” type questions then you are probably doing a wonderful job.
It is like parenting. The real challenge is not know what the right path might look like, it is to take that enlightened path on the 18th time that your child pushes his sister off of the seat.
I hear that we are in the economy of the knowledge worker. Nope, we skipped that.
We were supposed to be shifting from the manufacturing worker to the knowledge worker. All the big gurus told us of this shift. They tell me that it has been going on for 20 years.
The only problem is that the very tools that prompted the shift from manufacturing to knowledge have allowed us to skip a level. We never actually needed knowledge workers. It wasn’t what they knew that was valuable.
Knowledge is easy, knowledge is everywhere
Knowledge is easy. It’s at our fingertips. My 7 year old daughter can find knowledge – in her case how to build different structures in Minecraft. I head over to Google, YouTube, Wikipedia and a few blogs and I am loaded up on knowledge.
How to reset an ADSL modem? I’ll check youtube. How many people live in Georgia? I’ll check wikipedia. What to do to renew my passport? I’ll google it, with a preference for .gov websites.
It is not knowledge that differentiates great employees.
It is not contacts.
It is not presence or communications or a nice suit.
It never was. It was what the best “knowledge” workers were able to do with the stuff that they knew – be resourceful in overcoming obstacles; be creative in facing setbacks; be open minded in dealing with uncertainty.
What matters now is resourcefulness, the ability to devise innovative solutions from knowledge. This is something technology still cannot emulate. There is not a lot of money or reward in “knowing”, there is a lot of reward in taking responsibility for a problem and creating a solution using the resources that are available.
Good strategy begins with a clear diagnosis (widely accepted) of the real current condition of the business. If there is nothing painful then this is strategy driven by internal politics, not strategy driven by a determination to be the best company, team that we can be.
Good strategy clearly articulates the challenges (big potholes on our path). If there are no scary challenges, then it is not good strategy. There are dangers out there that can kill your business. If you are not vigilant, the bugs and the weeds will take over the garden.
Good strategy covers “Ideology” – There is an answer to “who are we?” As people, as leaders? Michael O’Leary shows that “cheap” can win – but has to be lived by the full organisation. It is not enough to live values – to be a trusted organisation, a trusted leader, values must be both explicitly expressed and lived daily. Are these still lived? Aspirational values not being lived = loss of all trust and company becomes commodity. Image to the right comes from “Walking the Talk”: Under-promising is almost as dangerous as over-promising.
Good strategy articulates the set of coherent daily, weekly, monthly actions that must be inculcated, measured and made habitual? What systems – budget, motivation, talent, metrics?
Good strategy addresses the question: How do we concentrate our resources in areas where our opponents are weak? What are the real sources (that customers really care about) of our advantages? “Don’t attack walled cities”
Good strategy addresses innovation and change: How do we as an organisation cheaply explore ideas? How do we embrace “trying, failing & improving”? Is it career suicide to lead a failed product launch? If so, there will be no innovation.
Good strategy understands sales. Neil Rackham tells us that today’s customers are polarizing around extremes of transaction oriented (“give me your price for this”) and trusted relationship (“help me think and I’ll pay you well”) – you cannot target both groups with the same approach. Transactional – push towards self service. Trusted – over-resource with senior experts; only chase projects with very high win probability (coming second is worse than not bidding).
I came across a study reported in Mark Murphy’s book Hiring for Attitude. (Here is a summary of Hiring for Attitude [pdf]). The findings are based on 5,247 interviews. Mark and his team categorised the top five reasons why new hires failed (were fired, asked to leave, received disciplinary action or significantly negative performance reviews).
The 5 Biggest Reasons why New Hires Fail
The following are the top 5 areas of failure, matched with the percentage of respondents.
Coachability (26%): The ability to accept and implement feedback from bosses, colleagues, customers and others.
Emotional Intelligence (23%): The ability to understand and manage one’s own emotions, and accurately assess others’ emotions.
Motivation (17%): Sufficient drive to achieve one’s full potential and excel on the job.
Temperament (15%): Attitude and personality suited to the particular job and work environment.
Technical Competence (11%): Functional or technical skills required to do the job.
Technical competence is fairly easy to test. Don’t ask people how they would do something, Ask them about a time they have already done it. Don’t allow people to tell you hypothetical stories, make them share real experience.
Coachability, emotional intelligence, motivation and temperament are more predictive of a new hires’ success or failure than technical skills are. How can you begin to decide if potential new hires have what it takes to be coachable, emotionally intelligent, self-motivated and have a balanced temperament? Mark says this is more difficult, but you can watch how they are during the interview process.
Positive Attitudes of High Performers:
They take ownership of problems
They’re highly collaborative
They aren’t afraid to make mistakes
They meet commitments
They’re empathetic towards customers’ and colleagues’ needs
Negative Attitudes of Poor Performers:
They always find the negative
They respond to feedback with an argument
They only do the bare minimum expected of them
They get overwhelmed by multiple demands and priorities
They always find someone else to blame for their mistakes
They’re unwilling to leave their comfort zone
How’s Your Employee Engagement?
My friend Bart Huisken is founder of Celpax. They have a wonderfully simple business model. They install a “good day/bad day” detector in the exit of a building and are able to track how HR initiatives impact the attitude and engagement of employees in the companies. Have a look at this 35 second video to see how Celpax work: http://vimeo.com/67047557
I was teaching a seminar recently and a young film producer told me “I am not a good manager”. I asked him why he believed this. He described a recent series of disasters that he had overseen with his team.
I asked him “who are the people on your team?”.
He said his cousin helped out with finances and his uncle was helping out on sales.
I suggested that his problem had nothing to do with management or leadership skills. It was a HR challenge. This reminded me of this video I recorded on “The 5 Styles of Managing People”:
It’s important to adapt your leading style to each individual and actually it goes more detailed than that it is down to each major task that each individual has so that may be that one person in order to produce the weekly
status report they don’t need any supervision at all you can delegate it fully to them, but in creating a marketing plan for the department its something that they hadn’t done before and they’re going to need a lot more “hands-on” management.
As you think about managing people it comes down to individuals and the tasks assigned to them. With each
task that you assign to an individual: what is important to think about are two things:
the motivation to take on this challenge and,
the experience they have in doing this sort of thing
Motivation: 0, 1 or 2
What i would ask is that you think about for each individual motivation on a scale: zero, one or two
Zero: is they are not motivated. Someone with motivation zero: they really aren’t interested in doing this task perhaps with a particular employee they don’t want to be the one that creates the status report for the weekly team meeting, or you’ve asked them to do a planned visit and write up a report on how things are going and they are really not motivated by that they prefer some other aspect, perhaps the technology is something that turns them on.
So zero is that individual is not motivated by this task. One is there is some motivation there it’s not that they are jumping up and down its not that they are asking you “please please can I do this?” but, there is a desire to grow and two: is that you can see fire in their eyes. They really want to do this, perhaps it’s an area that they really want to develop for their future perhaps its a type of work they really love.
In my case i remember when I first started at Accenture, programming computers was something you didn’t need to manage me to do. I loved doing it. I would do it in my spare time, at the weekends. So, my manager looking at me while he hands me a programming task would see me light up and and be excited almost have to hold me in the room to explain the full project before I could go out and start playing with the computers. Because in my mind it was playing that i was doing when I was programming if that same manager had said “on friday, instead of programming i want you to spend the day with the accounts receivable team drawing a process map of how they conduct the process” – that fire would have gone out of my eyes because it was not something that really motivated me.
So with each task and each employee: it’s important to just think about what level of motivation they have to get this activity done and the same for experience and again we have a zero, one, two scale.
Experience: 0, 1 or 2
Someone who has done many years of this, perhaps someone on your team has been creating the minutes for the team meeting for a couple of years they do it well: their experience is two. They’ve got three or four years of experience doing it, they’ve got the template, they know what goes in there, they know what doesn’t go into there they don’t need to ask for help.
Maybe there’s someone has just started on the team, they’ve never created minutes and they don’t know what it quite looks like: their experience is zero.
Maybe there is someone on your team that for a programming task they really haven’t got a background in this, they don’t know the language or they have not programmed in this particular language before so their experience is zero or one or two. So you need to think through…
What’s what’s this skill level of this person how much experience are they bringing to get to this particular activity and you score for each activity and each person:
where they are on motivation: zero, 1 or 2
where they are on experience: zero, 1 or 2
This will give you some basis, so perhaps you have someone who is zero and zero…
The Leaders Window: Management Matrix
Lets move that onto our our management matrix: so you have taken a particular task and an employee… and and you have done the sums, and you have looked at how their motivation is to do this particular task, how their experience is to do this particular task and maybe the sum of motivation and experience is zero:
You decide this person is not motivated by this particular task. They have got no experience: zero plus zero leads to zero.
Motivation + Experience: Zero
When you are faced with an individual on your team that is not motivated and that does not have previous experience there’s nothing you can do as a manager to get them to do this well. So, a zero is a HR problem
A zero: there is no management that you can do to get good work out of this individual. It’s a waste of time giving this piece of the activity to that individual employee. So your best decision, if this is a very important piece of work for the team, is to give it to someone else and if you don’t have someone else to do it
you need to replace this individual on the team because there’s no short or long term solution under which
someone who is not motivated and doesn’t have a good level of experience is going to be able to contribute anything worthwhile to the team so if it zero for motivation and zero for experience you need to find someone else to do this work.
Motivation + Experience: One
Let’s say they’ve got a little bit of motivation but no previous experience; or the other case
they’re not really motivated but they’ve been doing it for long enough that they can do it fairly simply
the case of producing minutes from a team meeting the individual is not motivated but they know generally what it looks like which case you’ve got a one as the sum.
In the case of “1” we move to micro-management in the case of micromanagement you’re going to have to supervise quite closely you going to have to set the activity weekly set the timing and describe how you want it done and audit and look over it anyone who’s in this “1” level whether it’s because their experiences is zero or their motivation is zero it is going to be hard work.
Micro-Management is not something you have an enormous scope to be able to to do much of. So the only reason you will allow someone to be in this micro management level is because either some things is going to change or you can see a path for them either to be more motivated or to gain the experience to be able to do it unsupervised.
Your objective is to move people away from micro-management and move them to level “2”, so level “2” is perhaps there’s a little bit of motivation, a 1 score in motivation and a little bit of past experience: so
one and one gives you two maybe its someone who is young who hasn’t done this before, but is very, very motivated to learn so their motivation is 2 but their experience is zero or somebody who’s not very motivated but they’ve been doing this for a long time and have a great deal of experience and know how to get it done, in which case your score is 2 and that 2 an activity, and an individual with a score of 2: you can Manage.
Motivation + Experience: Two
In the case of Manage, you are delegating the “how” to them so the individual it’s up to them them to decide how they want to do it but you keep control of the when and the what. So its the status report: “I want it 10 minutes before the team meeting on friday”, “I want it to look more or less like what we have always had”, “It’s up to you when and how do you do it”.
Or marketing plan, you set the when: “its due in two weeks time” the what: its a market plan. I’d like it to look to looks somewhat like the template we did last time but you leave it up to them to come to you with the how. but you are available for helping with the how, but that is delegated to them.
In the case of management you’re still keeping control of what is being done, you’re still keeping control of the deadline but you’re passing over the day-to-day work on the project to the individual and again this with the accountability question needs to be reinforced each time they come to you you’re pushing back the problem to
“what else do we need to do?”
“what other things could be done?”
“what do you need to get it done?”
Anyone that you are managing: you really want to be looking at how you can move them to to level 3. Because level 3 is where you can lead. The key here at the management level, and at the micro-management level; this side of this quadrant you have a scarce amount of energy and time to dedicate here once you move your employees, the people reporting to you over into the style of leadership of “leading” or fully delegating; you can start to have many, many more people on your team because they’re not sucking a scarce resource that you have in terms of energy, in terms of time.
Motivation + Experience: Three
Leading: if you look at a task, and this task + person: they are highly motivated, they are really motivated to learn, and there’s a little bit of experience so you have given them 2 on the motivation, given them 1 in terms of experience: “3”, you’re leading.
In the case of leading, you are handing over even more responsibility, you are delegating the “what”, you are delegating the “when” you are delegating the “how” over to the individual and you are being there just to
to make sure that they are being supported to remove obstacles and help them be successful so, you’re role is no longer manager but moving more to coach and pushing the ownership of all of the task over to the individual
and if you’ve got an activity where someone is fully motivated: motivation level 2 and they’ve got plenty of experience: experience level 2 you start to get to 4.
With 4 you can delegate and ideally you want to move everyone into this phase: into delegation
Motivation + Experience: Four
You are now handing over full control, and you’re trusting, you’re trusting and doing some regular verification.
The important thing in delegation: the difference between an employee, a team member feeling that they’ve received something delegated to them, or the negative, they have received it dumped onto them it is a very different feeling as a team member to have something dumped on to you.
The big difference between dumping and delegation: in delegation you tell the individual:
“I have specifically chosen you”
“I trust you to do it”
“I am here if you need anything”
“I know you could do it better than I can do it”
You need to come back regularly with praise. Let them know you are aware they’re working on it. Let them know that you think they’re doing a good job. Dumping is a very horrible feeling. It feels like someone has just
passed, thrown the work over at them because you don’t want to do it yourself.
Having something dumped on you is a very un-healthy feeling. Having something delegated to you and someone look you in the eyes and say
“I have specifically chosen you”
“you can do this better that I can”
“I trust you to come to me if you hit an obstacle”
“if you need some support to think through the problems”
“I trust you to get it done”
“I am not going to follow up, I am not going to check up”
“This is yours to get done”
When you get your team into leading and delegating as the main styles that your working with them as the team lead you now are freeing up your time to really look ahead you are not stuck in the details of day to day
and you are going to be able to start to look ahead and create time really make those that work for you successful.
Freeing up time for the Future
The real job of a leader, a great leader, is someone that everyone underneath them is even more successful than they are without you as the leader that can only happen when you start to move most of the activity that is being done by your team into these modes of leading and and delegating, and giving you the time and the energy to look up to see the roadblocks, remove the obstacles, praise, and reward and really boost the team into a high performance team so these are some important things to think about as you are giving the work to each member of the team and each activity, and each individual team member will need a different style in terms of how you relate to them how you help them take responsibility for their work.
The objective is always to be moving people out of micro-management into management; out of management into a style of leading and as soon as possible moving them from leading to a style where you can delegate.
Delegation can only happen when the individual team member is motivated and they have enough experience to know more or less how to get the job done so your job as a leader is to make working on their motivation and on working on giving them the skills so that they can be a 2+2 person; giving them a “4”, keeping them in the delegate box
if you can achieve that: you’re going to be really successful as a team leader.
I love this little Dilbert storyline from Scott Adams:
Employee: “I find it rather demotivating that you never praise me for a job well done.”
Boss: “You’ve never done a job well.”
Employee: “That’s because I’m demotivated.”
Boss: “You have to go first.”
Employee: “Wouldn’t that make me the Leader?”
The 1-minute Leader
Ken Blanchard’s popular and accesible book The One Minute Manager suggests that a leader does 3 things, in the following order:
1-Minute Praising: Hunt for something the person does well, and publicly praise them – immediate and specific positive praising on actions. Praise the Person.
1-Minute Goal-Setting: Agree on goals (no more than 5) with staff. Make sure each goal is clearly written on a separate piece of paper and kept visible daily. Keep Goals limited and focussed.
1-Minute Reprimand: If the person has the skills to do something right, and it is not done right – in private let them know “I know you are a great person, but this behaviour/result is not up to your talent. Reprimand the Behaviour.
The 4 Most Important Traits of Leaders
Jim Kouzes has spent over 30 years asking millions of people “what do you admire in the leaders that inspire you?”. He has compiled the information over many years into his bestselling book: The Leadership Challenge.
The top 4 traits that followers seek in leaders are:
Work harder on honesty
Honesty is 3 times more important than the rest of the top 4 traits combined. There is no point in working on competence, inspiration or forward looking if people don’t now perceive you as honest, as trustworthy (Read: What is Trust?). People hate it when a leader doesn’t play it straight with them. People hate it when a leader doesn’t have the courage to speak the honest truth about their performance, about the state of the organization, about what is going on in the team.
Credibility is the Base
The traits honesty, competence and inspiring are really about perception more than any absolute. It is not enough to just be honest, you need to be perceived as honesty by the group. It is not enough to be competent, you need to be perceived as competent by the group. It is not enough to spray out messages that you think are inspiring, you really need to be perceived as inspiring by others.
Forward Looking is the Leadership Differentiator
Credibility gives you the permission, but that alone does not make the leader. You need to build an ability to create a shared vision of the future, a forward looking but real-feeling sense of direction for the group. How can you do this?
There are 3 aspects to being able to share a forward looking vision.
WIIFM: I show others how their long term interests can be realised
Connect: I appeal to others to share an exciting dream
Storytelling: I describe a compelling image of what our future could be like
The key here is not the ability to see the future, it is the ability to communicate it meaningfully and tangibly to the people around you. The crystal ball is not as valuable as the ability to communicate persuasively. (My free online course “Speak as A Leader” can help http://bit.ly/practicespeak )
"All the Great Speakers were Bad Speakers at first" Emerson || Join 1,262 participants free online speaking course http://t.co/wp87ry6SWU
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