January 2014 Round Table Discussion Notes

January 28, 2014

January’s Round Table Discussion topic was “The Responsibility of Leaders to Enable All Employees to Be the Best that They Can Be”. The topic was the same as our first Leadership Event of 2014 featuring Mike Jandernoa, former CEO of Perrigo Company and Founder of Jandernoa Entrepreneurial Mentoring.

Check out the discussion notes below from our 6 Michigan Round Table meeting locations/times.

Topic: “The Responsibility of Leaders to Enable All Employees to Be the Best that They Can Be”

Tuesday, January 14, 2014 Kalamazoo

1. Challenge:

  • Hardest thing, fairness, everyone is different. Hire them on who they are, train on skill. In small business your people are your family, may be harder.
  • If you train them and they leave, it is much better than if you didn’t and they stay.
  • You can lead a horse to water, but can’t make them drink. How do you meet them and help them grow? How can you inspire someone to be better?
  • Leaders can easily get caught up in the day-to-day, if no one is following, you’re not leading.
  • Meet with employees more than just on a “year end review” basis. Let them know their areas for improvement on a quarterly, monthly or weekly basis.
  • Motivation vs. Inspiration. Motivation is external, Inspiration is internal. Do they embrace you trying to lead them?
  • Can’t change the person, need people with a coachable teachable mentality.
  • Priority for impact. Invest energy into the right people. Sometimes this takes significant events but how many of those can you engineer.
  • Congruent with results. Employment is not a guarantee. The company is only able to do so much for you.
  • First, evaluate the person. You can’t promote them if they don’t have leadership qualities.
  • Accountability is a form of caring. How do we help those to feel value when they don’t have the leadership quality? Do you take them back to where they were doing good? No one wants to come to work everyday and suck at their job.
  • Are leaders born or bred?
  • Some of the most inspirational elements in my journey is when I was failing. Sometime you have to let people go.
  • How much energy do you have to spend on the low performers. You need to spend more time with the rock stars.
  • You also need to define “best” for each employee.
  • How do you work with your people in order to empower them to make and own their choices?
  • Servant profile:
  • What are your gifts, passions and what motivates you. “where were you made to be?”
  • Inspire your people to find a place that is more fitting for them. Don’t undervalue that as a solution. “Off the bus” may not be a bad thing. May be much better off somewhere else.
  • How do you use strategic compensation to motivate?
  • Develop a growth plan. Awareness, pro, master. Create a career path within the role. People can see their future within one area. Compensate according to their individual career path.
  • Compensate for doing something really well. Value people in what they do best.
  • Tie the bonus and compensation for profitability. A win-win.
  • Give your employees responsibility, don’t micromanage them and allow them to fail. Give them respect and resources. Give them what they need to succeed.
  • Make the employee feel like somebody. Show them you believe in them. Articulate what you mean.
  • Challenge of managing for results. How do you help someone “connect the dots?”
  • How do you teach people the critical talent for the role? That is the level of what they need to do the job. Are we expecting them to be something they are not?

2. Takeaway:

  • Testing for strengths, strengths based management.
  • Finding someone’s passion, skillset, motivation and tie that to the career ladder.
  • Career pathing. Inspiration & accountability.
  • Equip leaders to empower their staff, find the reason they are not excelling.
  • Don’t use the word manager, use coach or leader. Mission, vision, values of their person.
  • Learn the core competencies to make the right fit.
  • Thorough, extensive selection process. Disheartening even more when it doesn’t work out. People are not a problem to solve, they’re a mystery to embrace. Coachable and teachable. Pay attention to your top performers (this is often overlooked!). Not the low ones.
  • Should be a mutually beneficial relationship. Employees are supposed to benefit the organization.
  • Connect the means to the ends. How what they are doing connects the two.
  • Evaluate each other, operate as a team. Have mentors follow new people to know their fit.

Friday, January 10, 2014 Kalamazoo

1. Challenge:

  • Why enable employees to be the best that they can be?
  • Pay people for our expectations and hold them to it.
  • Show a vested interest in your people.
  • An employee is an investment, if we enable them to be the best they can, you’re going to get a good return.
  • Higher measure of self worth.
  • Our employees represent us.
  • It all comes back to attitude, if you can help an employee to have a good attitude, it will spread to everyone else.
  • A leader needs to be an example to your employees. Enable your people to have the attributes of positive leadership.
  • Be accountable, through the company vision what are you hoping your employees will pick up on?
  • The company is no better than the employees who work there.
  • We have to walk the talk and make a serious commitment to it.
  • Leaders have to leave evidence that they were a good leader. The dash between the dates of your employment represents all that you did during your time there. Is it for the better of the organization and the people who work there?
  • Even though people will leave us after we have invested in them, they continue to give back using the skills they learned while they worked for us.
  • You need to grow personally in order to influence others.

2. Solution:

  • Need to have high expectations of those who work for us.
  • Grow ourselves, set an example, let them know what the expectations are.
  • Often look at our employees through the lens of our own limitations, they don’t have the same weaknesses, what can they do for your organization that you can’t?
  • Everyone’s important, treat everyone like they are.
  • Build a culture of risk taking, an employee needs to take risks in order to grow.
  • Use a group/team compensation plans to encourage teamwork.
  • Hire people that are better than you.
  • Find out what motivates each employee. Get to know your people personally.
  • Servant leadership. Serve your people and they will seek out opportunities to serve each other.
  • Why are you ultimately in business? More than just money. You create jobs, provide for families, enable people to serve God and build stronger communities.

3. Takeaway:

  • Our employees are an investment not an responsibility.
  • Money is a short term motivator, know and care about your people as an individual.
  • Recognition. Babies cry for it, grown men die for it.
  • Ask what you can do to help employees. Connect with them on a personal level.

Monday, January 13 – Marshall

  • Concepts discussed:
  • Be certain to keep God first in all your business dealings
  • Question: What are your practices which encourage your employees to be their best?
  • Encourage employees to take business risks; let them know you will stand behind them
  • Various examples were given of ways we encourage employees to be their best
  • All present were invited to come to the CBRT breakfast of Fri., 1-17-14 in Kalamazoo

Detroit Region’s Notes from the CBRT Meeting 1/9/14

1. Challenge:

  • It starts with the leader being the best that they can be and it trickles through the organization.
  • Not all leaders are willing to change and grow themselves.  Some want to blame their team when things don’t go well.
  • Sometimes people need to go to another organization in order to be the best that they can be.
  • Leaders need to be servants: serve their team so the team can serve customers, etc.

2. Solution:

  • Bring in outside resources or coaching to help bring the leader and/or team up to speed to meet the organizational goals and performance goals.
  • Focus on the gifts God gave you and use them to the best of your ability.
  • Put people in the right positions in organizations to allow their skills to come through.
  • Be sensitive to other issues impacting the employee outside the office which may impact their performance. (Such as divorce, health issues, childcare issues, etc.)
  • Be in communication with God.

3. Takeaway:

  • Balance being hard-headed (goals/direction) and soft-hearted (in your approach with people/employees) to get the results.
  • Being a caring leader is best for the organization, its employees, and the leader.
  • Problem solve in a way that is respectful, honest, caring, and keeps the organization’s objectives in mind while caring for the person in the process.
  • Leaders need to demonstrate integrity, trust and follow through on what they say they will do.
  • If you’ve given employees a chance to improve and the tools to do so, and they still don’t perform, you have to let them go for the good of the organization.  Everyone else is watching and learning from what is “tolerated”.
  • There is a distinction between being and doing.  We are human beings and spiritual beings, not human doings. Who we are in Christ should impact what we do.
  • Focus on the relationships and improving them, and generally the good results/performance will follow.

Thursday, January 9 2014 – Grand Rapids

1. Challenges:

1)      The main difference between managing employees and enabling employees is that enabling goes deeper.  Therefore, it requires an additional to step to identify or inspire a desire in the employee to go deeper.  Sometimes, an employee just doesn’t have that desire.
2)      Friendship can get in the way, essentially trumping and inhibiting leadership.
3)      Identifying employee’s motivators can be challenging, because people are different and what works for one may not work for another.
4)      Some people do not see their own potential very clearly.
5)      Some people are at very different levels of awareness, motivation, purposefulness and faith.
6)      Enabling employees to be their best must be preceded by a set of clear, unified and aligned visions across the Sr. Leadership team.

2. The Solutions:

1)      Find the right people to invest more deeply into; don’t waste time on those who are not receptive.
2)      Find the right balance between identifying gaps that can and should be closed (i.e. training & development, skillset assessments, etc.) and the leveraging of competencies and strengths.
3)      Trust God, but verify what people say. Pray. Be honest. Practice tough love.
4)      Seek, recognize and institute opportunities for cross training and cross functioning.
5)      Align employees’ scope of responsibilities with the authority necessary to make appropriate changes, within reason.
6)      Re-examine your Annual Review Process. Wherever it is possible, shift the paradigm FROM emphasizing past performances TO emphasizing employees’ future capabilities and potential.
7)      Allow time for enabling growth to occur; it usually takes more than 1-year.

3. The Takeaways: Successfully enabling employees to be the best that they can be today will …

1)      Bring light upon your Sr. Leaders of tomorrow.
2)      Provide a good framework for deepening your relationships with key employees.
3)      Increase your retention rate for the employees with highest potential and upside.
4)      Increase your clarity for making decisions regarding releasing employees, when necessary.
5)      Help align your corporate culture, which in turn produces clearer goals, and better performance against the shared metrics of each department.
6)      Create more opportunities to see God at work in your employees’ lives and your own, which deepens our faith and strengthens our kingdom.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014 – Grand Rapids

  • Manage employee expectations
  • Communicate, Communicate, Communicate
  • Avoid “passive aggressive” approach – tell the truth in love
  • Provide one on one coaching
  • Provide the necessary tools such as SMART goals and regular review process
  • Share the vision
  • Sometimes you need to communicate 7 plus times the same message
  • Take leadership of your employees
  • Create fences where it makes sense (boundaries)
  • Courage to be honest and forthright