The show “Shark Tank,” like much of the media, perpetuates the myth that you have to be aggressive, assertive, even confrontational to advance your career and become a leader; that thoughtfulness, politeness, and the inability to summarize an important idea in less than a minute are crippling diseases; and that the business world is akin to a shark tank where you are likely to be devoured unless you adopt the characteristics of the sharks to survive. Amusing for sure, but as true reality? As Borat would say, “Not so much.”

Confrontation sounds exciting and climactic. Directly taking on your superiors over a perceived slight or a co-worker over credit stolen can be a strong temptation. The fantasy of doing so and pulling it off is powerful. Hollywood makes billions appealing to this urge, depicting hero after hero speaking big words and standing up to formidable powers. However, in the real world, the one that we work and live in, confrontation is usually a risky and dangerous thing. (read more…)

As an HR professional, I know the value of the performance appraisal. However, I also know that, if done poorly, they can have the opposite effect on an organization.

Performance appraisals have typically been driven by human resources. When performance appraisals are done poorly by management, it reflects on HR. Traditionally, management has sat their employees down one on one to go over the year in review, set the upcoming year’s goals and expectations. For years, the process has worked for few, but because of the time involved, it’s not done with any degree of success.

Why should we do performance appraisals?

The purpose of performance appraisals is to provide individual feedback relative to the organizational goals. They should measure an individual’s contributions in terms of quality, quantity, timeliness, and costliness.

recite-1qyhheqWhy have organizations and upper management lost interest in them? Why do experts and management agree the performance appraisal/performance management effort is broken and is a waste of time? (read more…)

There is nothing quite like the adrenaline rush of that moment when you’re first awarded an important leadership role.

Having “finally arrived” you imagine yourself as the rock star taking center stage at a roaring stadium of adoring fans. You can almost hear the ear shattering cheers of the crowd as they clamor to get closer, iPhones in hand, ready for the chance to take a cherished selfie and bask in your celebrity. The congratulatory comments and notes follow soon after, as do the handshakes, hugs and back slaps of colleagues, some of who may be actually be truly happy for your success.

But, after repeatedly playing this movie in your head, (in which your performance in the leading role is, of course, Oscar-worthy) at some point you come face to face with the enormity of your responsibility to others. Grand titles and big salary aside, the burning issue now is how you’ll show up as a leader and what legacy you’ll leave behind. (read more…)

Conciliators make the world go around. Or at least function more smoothly.

Conciliators have the ability to get people to get along with one another not merely as compromisers but as collaborators. Conciliation also works when things are broken. Then they become those who can reconcile aggrieved parties.

“The main object of conciliation,” said Confucius, “lies in reaching a solution to a case based upon morals and with a warm heart.” Morality underscores the principle to getting people to work together for the right reasons.

Warm-heartedness makes people feel good about coming together. A leader who can pull off such an endeavor is one that people want to follow, and remember.

 

John Baldoni is chair of leadership development at N2Growth, is an internationally recognized leadership educator and executive coach. In 2014, Trust Across America named him to its list of top 100 most trustworthy business experts. Also in 2014, Inc.com named Baldoni to its list of top 100 leadership experts, and Global Gurus ranked him No. (read more…)

What are the most important three words for any relationship between a manager and employee?

No, it’s not “I love you.” Now that would be inappropriate, although not everyone would agree with that opinion. Love their jobs, yes. Love their managers or employees? Eew!

No, the most important three little words are: “I trust you.”

Trust is the foundation that a positive manager-employee relationship is built on. The absence of trust leads to micromanagement, fear, risk-aversion, backstabbing, destructive rumors, a lack of innovation, mistakes, and a lack of engagement.

What does trust look like? It’s all in the eye of the beholder, but here’s a starter list from both the manager’s and employee’s perspective:

When an employee says “I trust you” to their manager, it means:

  1. When I share good news and accomplishments with you, you will let your boss and others know.
  2. You won’t claim credit for my accomplishments.
  3. When I admit a weakness, you will work with me to improve myself, not hold it against me on my performance review.
  4. (read more…)