One of the most important hiring decisions companies make is who to put into leadership roles. How well does your company do on this critical task?

The Gallup organization reports that organizations make bad leadership hiring decisions 82% of the time (!).

Gallup’s research indicates that managers account for 70% of the variance in employee engagement. That huge impact on employee engagement translates into good or not so good performance, customer service, quality, profitability, and discretionary energy being applied to daily tasks.

The problem is that most companies have not defined what a “great boss” looks, acts, or sounds like. Without a set of “great boss” standards, companies put people into leadership roles who do not have demonstrated leadership or “people” skills.

Past individual accomplishment and technical expertise does not mean that the candidate will effectively manage and inspire others.

Gallup has found that great bosses have the following talents (demonstrated skills):

  • They motivate every single employee to take action and engage them with a compelling mission and vision.
  • (read more…)

Bill Hoogterp book coverWhether in conference rooms or as conference keynotes, we all have something to say. But if you’re overly focused on yourself, are a churning ball of nerves or simply lacking the tools to connect, according to communication and training pro Bill Hoogterp, you’re missing an opportunity to convey your message.

Hoogterp kicks off his public-speaking book “Your Perfect Presentation” with this nugget of wisdom: it’s not about you. “When you stop thinking it’s about you, that is when your greatness emerges.”

Here’s how:

Lower your filter

If you dislike public speaking, chances are good you spend a lot of time worrying about how you are perceived by others. Hoogterp says those worries — that you are not perceived as you might like — can become a self-fulfilling prophecy, rendering a speaker almost entirely ineffective on the metric that really matters: conveying a message.

“When we focus on ourselves, we create a barrier — a filter — between ourselves and the audience. (read more…)

Most managers are rationale, logical, practical problem solvers when they first get promoted. Then, through organizational conditioning, they learn to play silly games. They are like the frog in a pan of boiling water. The change is so gradual, these silly games eventually begin to feel like “real world management.”

How many of these silly management games do you play? More importantly, do you have the courage to speak up and stop the insanity?

We’ll start with some silly budgeting games:

1. “Use it or lose it budgeting.” This is when you are getting close to the end of the year and your budget is running under your forecast. In previous years, when you underspent, your next year’s budget was set based on that year’s actual. So, in order not to have your budget cut again, you go on a shopping spree — buying stuff you really don’t need or stocking up just in case you might need it. (read more…)

Recently I had the pleasure of going on a fishing trip on Lake Michigan with three of my sons. This was our first such fishing charter, and it turned out to be a great experience all around.

Clearly, one of the most common words on a shipping boat is “catch,” as in the fish that is brought in during the trip. When used in the workplace, the term can be used to reference a great new resource, such as a new hire or tool that has the potential of adding value to the workforce and its efforts. Proactive managers and employers can also catch their workers doing something right and praise such conduct as a form of reinforcement.

On the negative side, the term “catch” can refer to the way in which employees are oftentimes evaluated, as in being caught off-guard with critiques (or worse) that stem from unstated or unclear expectations. (read more…)

Q. What is one bad management practice nearly all entrepreneurs are guilty of at one point?

The Young Entrepreneur Council is an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. YEC recently launched StartupCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses. Read previous SmartBlogs posts by YEC.

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yec_Brittany Hodak1. Looking for “clones” to hire

As entrepreneurs who were once solo-preneurs know, when you hire someone to take over the work you were once doing yourself, it can be difficult not to jump in and say, “I did it this way” on occasion. It’s important to hire people who know more than you and can look for new, innovative ways to solve problems that you may not think of instead of training new hires to think and act like a mini you. (read more…)