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In today's fast-paced and competitive business landscape, professionals at every stage of their careers are constantly seeking ways to enhance their skills, overcome challenges, and achieve their full potential. One powerful resource that individuals can leverage on this journey is executive coaching. Whether you're a seasoned executive or a budding entrepreneur, partnering with an executive coach can offer invaluable insights, guidance, and support. Let's delve into three compelling reasons why you should consider engaging an executive coach and outline five key criteria to evaluate when selecting a coach. Why Should You Work With An Executive Coach? Personalized Development: One of the most significant benefits of executive coaching is the opportunity for personalized development. A skilled coach takes the time to understand your unique strengths, weaknesses, goals, and challenges. Through tailored coaching sessions, they provide targeted guidance to help you maximize your strengths, address areas for improvement, and navigate obstacles effectively. Whether you're aiming to enhance leadership skills, improve communication, or cultivate resilience, an executive coach can provide personalized strategies and actionable insights to support your growth. Accountability and Motivation: Another compelling reason to work with an executive coach is the accountability and motivation they offer. It's all too easy to become complacent or overwhelmed by the demands of...

As we wind down the year and look to 2024, I want to revisit one of the most powerful and under-utilized tools that organizations have at their disposal to create high-performing teams and deliver outstanding results. The annual performance management process has gotten a bad rap for several reasons that I discuss below. The greatest gift a leader can give their teammates is a concise set of clear objectives that are regularly discussed and updated. As an article by McKinsey & Company reminds us, “strong performance management rests on the simple principle that ‘what gets measured gets done.’” In an ideal system, a business creates a cascade of metrics and targets, from its top-level strategic objectives down to the daily activities of its frontline employees. Managers continually monitor those metrics and regularly engage with their teams to discuss progress in meeting the targets. Good performance is rewarded; underperformance triggers action to address the problem. So, what happens when you do not have a strong performance management process in place? Things go wrong quickly. Pitfalls and Shortcomings of a Weak Performance Management Process Poor Metrics - If you are not tracking and evaluating the right metrics (or worse, any metrics at all), you are setting yourself and...

If we think of the next generation of leaders as five to ten years into their career, they are likely in a Manager or Director level role managing a small team for the first time. They are potentially dealing with a complex set of people challenges including a multi-generational team, hybrid working conditions, and a job market that remains tight thus placing a premium on talent at all levels.  Consequently, it’s more imperative than ever that we invest in young leaders to equip them to succeed in today’s dynamic business environment where change is the only constant. As you begin planning for 2024, consider working with the young leaders in your organization to develop these three key competencies: 1. Emotional Intelligence: Definition: Emotional intelligence involves understanding and managing one's emotions and effectively navigating interpersonal relationships. Why it's on the list: Leaders with high emotional intelligence can build strong relationships, resolve conflicts, and create a positive work environment, leading to increased team collaboration and productivity. Ways to Develop: Complete this 4 module course from the UC Davis:  Emotional & Social Intelligence. Confidentially observe and discuss good and bad examples in your workplace. Participate in a cross-functional special project. 2. Managing Change Definition: Managing change is the capacity to adjust to new...

The 9-box talent review process is a strategic tool that organizations use to assess and manage talent at all levels. It involves evaluating employees based on their performance and potential and placing them in a grid with 9 boxes, each representing a different talent category.  The evaluation process is simple but powerful: Each manager places her/his direct reports on the grid based on past performance and their opinion about future potential growth. Ratings from each manager are consolidated into one grid. Managers meet together to calibrate the results and discuss development needs, future possible roles, and other strategic talent development activities. This calibration discussion serves to establish a consistent approach to setting standards for performance and potential.  Action items for all employees are documented and updated on a quarterly or semi-annual basis. Benefits To Using a 9-Box Process Enhanced Succession Planning:One of the primary advantages of the 9-box talent review process is its role in succession planning. By categorizing employees into different boxes based on their current performance and future potential, organizations can identify high-potential individuals who are ready to take on leadership roles in the future. This proactive approach ensures a smooth transition when key positions become vacant. Improved Performance Management:The process promotes effective performance management by providing...

The most important competency for success in today’s dynamic business environment.

Learning agility is the ability and willingness to quickly acquire new knowledge, adapt to novel situations, and apply insights from past experiences to solve unfamiliar challenges. In essence, learning agility is the key to staying relevant and thriving in an ever-evolving environment....

As the father of a neurodiverse young adult who has entered the workforce, I've spent the past 20 years looking at the world through a different lens, which has been a true blessing. During this time, I've been fortunate to assist numerous market-leading companies in hiring, developing, and retaining talent at all levels. With unemployment at historically low levels, it's crucial for companies to continue thinking creatively about identifying new sources of talent. Neurodiverse individuals represent an untapped pool of potential talent. According to the Harvard School of Medicine, neurodiversity refers to the idea that people experience and interact with the world in many ways. There isn't a single "correct" way of thinking, learning, and behaving, and differences should not be seen as deficiencies. Embracing neurodiversity in the workforce fosters a culture of acceptance and equality, and unleashes unique perspectives that drive innovation and success. KEY FOCUS AREAS - When targeting neurodiverse candidates for specific roles, companies should consider three significant areas: Recruitment - Inclusive hiring practices are vital for attracting neurodiverse talent. Job descriptions should focus on essential skills and qualifications, rather than specific traits. Alternative interview formats, such as skills-based assessments or practical exercises, accommodate different communication and interaction styles. Onboarding &...

Your Organization’s Greatest ‘Hidden’ Asset

Whether your organization has 1 or 100 frontline leaders, this critical role is where the rubber meets the road. ...

Huh?  I know – it took me a minute too. It’s one of many synonyms for ONBOARDING that pops up on Google. Why was I looking for another word?  Because I think that we’ve become somewhat tone deaf to the concept of what it really means to help a new employee integrate into the company, team, etc.. The phrase ‘ORGANIZATIONAL SOCIALIZATION’ is a mouthful, but I think it captures the concept and opportunity much better when you reflect on the scope of what is inferred. It’s a mouthful so let’s go with ‘OS’ going forward. Whether it’s an hourly front-line worker or C-Suite exec, there’s more to getting them started than paperwork and the 5-minute office tour. We continue to live in times of record-low unemployment and high turnover, yet the stats continue to show that organizations are underestimating the importance of a strong start. According to a recent Gallup poll only 12% of employees say their company does a good job of onboarding. Conversely, a great OS program is a competitive advantage in the talent marketplace and can significantly increase retention of new hires.   The best OS programs have the following 3 practices in common: Preparation or Preboarding – “Pre” - meaning...

Hiring is a topic of conversation on every leader’s mind these days. We are constantly bombarded with stories of labor shortages, absentee employees, quiet quitting, actual quitting, etc. So, what do you do to avoid the pitfalls of poor hires in a tight market? Maybe the first thing to do is look in the mirror.  Grinding through a revolving door of employees is costly in both time and money and making the right hire the first time is critical in this market. If you don’t have processes in place to find employees that are the right fit for your company, you are setting yourself up for failure. So, what can you do? Let’s get into it. The Cost of a Bad Hire While hiring is one of the most important decisions you can make for the success of your business, we are hearing many stories of bad hires. Let’s look at the potential impact of these decisions on your bottom line. A 2017 CareerBuilder Survey reported that 74% of employers say they have hired the wrong person for a position. What does it mean to your business when this happens? The U.S. Department of Labor estimates that the average cost of a bad...

The way we work has changed dramatically in the last three years. While most of the workforce was in the office before the pandemic and almost all of the workforce was remote during the pandemic, we are now seeing hybrid teams becoming more of the norm. Whether you are leading a team that is fully remote, hybrid, or fully in the office, now is a great time to reflect on the way operational processes, communication tools, and culture impact your team’s ability to collaborate effectively and deliver results. Hybrid Work by the Numbers First, let’s look at just how prevalent hybrid work arrangements have become since the pandemic. According to zippia.com*: 74% of U.S. companies are using or plan to implement a permanent hybrid work model. 63% of high-growth companies use a “productivity anywhere” hybrid work model. 55% of employees want to work remotely at least three days a week. 59% of employees are more likely to choose an employer that offers remote work opportunities over one that doesn’t. No matter where team members are physically located, leaders need to constantly re-evaluate a variety of factors to motivate staff and drive results. 3 Key Ingredients To Building a High-Performing Team First – have the team collaborate to identify a set of 3 to 5 shared...