Leaders set the tone for an organization. They must be agile in their responses to the ever-changing marketplace and business climate. Leaders are charged with growing organizations and should never stop learning because learning is an essential part of the growth process.
Learning can take various shapes within an organization. It can be organic, formalized, personalized, or on-demand. Whatever the shape, learning needs to be part of a leader’s commitment to improve both personally and professionally.
There are two fundamental lessons for “learning leaders” who want to grow personally and help grow their organization: vulnerability and failure.
Comfortable being vulnerable
The first lesson in the commitment for leaders to be learners is becoming comfortable with vulnerability. Learning leaders do not have all the answers and admitting that with confidence makes the leader authentic. Leaders must go first!
According to Patrick Lencioni, in his book, The Advantage: Why Organizational Health Trumps Everything Else in Business:
“The only way for a leader of a team to create a safe environment for his team members to be vulnerable is by stepping up and doing something that feels unsafe and uncomfortable first.”
Being first means becoming comfortable with vulnerability.
Never stop learning from failure
The second lesson of learning – closely tied to vulnerability – is how to use failure. The old saying, “Failure is not an option”, is not realistic. Even though failure is not a strategic goal and we do not desire to fail, it is always a reality.
Leaders who value the impact of learning on growth and talent retention drive an organization where learning is part of the organizational DNA. Those who set the example in their commitment to learning create organizations that are serious about learning. How a leader uses failure to learn can set a good example for how to use these important lessons for improvement.
In the field of academic medicine M&M (Morbidity and Mortality) Conferences are used to examine failures and medical errors. These are powerful in learning what went wrong and finding answers to correct problems and improve medical care. The key objective of a well-run M&M Conference is to identify adverse outcomes associated with medical error, to modify behavior and judgment based on previous experiences, and to prevent repetition of errors leading to complications.
If Medicine finds value in learning from failures, should more organizations not do the same? Yes!Leaders who are learners set an example and establish the value of learning within an organization.
The power of executive coaching for learning leaders
Like learning from failure and vulnerability, listening is a fundamental part of success as a learning leader. In his bestselling book, What Got You Here Won’t Get You There, well-known Executive Coach, Marshall Goldsmith states:
“80 percent of our success in learning from other people is based on how well we listen.”
Are you hearing more than listening? Listening takes practice. It is a learned skill that successful leaders focus on to become better.
Leadership & executive coaching is part of sound leadership development.
It can be incorporated to help leaders become more self-aware and learn to be more approachable and authentic in their influence. Another great resource on how learning makes a better leader is a book titled: Learn Like Leader: Today’s Top Leaders Share Their Learning Journeys.
The value of investing in learning
Learning leaders never stop learning! It is an investment in time and money. Many leaders give excuses of why they cannot take time to learn.
Learning should be a priority and not an option.
It is an investment that successful learning leaders embrace. According to Dr. Brad Staats, Associate Professor of Operations at the University of North Carolina’s Kenan-Flagler School of Business:
“Today’s fast-paced, ever-changing, global economy requires us to never stop learning or we risk becoming irrelevant. Savvy leaders recognize this means investing in their own learning journey, so they can develop the processes and behaviors required for ongoing success.”
When executive coaching is used with other learning initiatives, it helps develop a deeper purpose for the leader. Developing the complete leader involves being committed, setting an example, and making an investment in self and others. Learning leaders focus on learning as a strategic resource in personal and professional development.
Thanks to Lucy Wyndham for a guest post with super CV writing tips! See her bio below.
The average job opening in the U.S. attracts around 250 applicants, according to EBI, yet recruiters spend only six seconds looking at each resume. Management level posts can be even more competitive, which is why obtaining professional help for your resume is key. Here are some resume and CV writing tips to help you rise above the competition.
Personalization is a table stake
A common mistake made by inexperienced applicants is writing a standard resume and sending it to a bevy of companies. By doing so, they are not addressing the specific requirements indicated by their target company in the job offer, and are therefore likely to be passed up in favor of candidates who have sent personalized, strategic resumes or CV. A professional career coach will give you CV writing tips to point out experiences and skills that matter and that should make it to the first few points of the Skills/Experience sections of your resume.
CV writing tips on… writing
Unless you are a professional writer or editor, you may not specialize in language. These days more than ever, simple, clear English rules, must be followed. That’s followed by writing concisely yet engagingly – it’s harder than it seems! As a manager you may have decades of experience, yet you need to be brief yet informative when it comes to listing down your skills and achievements. A professional coach or CV writer will help you achieve just that by using correct, effective language that will not confuse, bore, or distract your reader.
Highlight your credentials
CVs and resumes often leave educational achievements beneath more pertinent categories such as experience and achievements. There is a way to highlight your credentials, though, and this is by simply listing them beneath your name. Thus, if you have an LLB or an MBA, listing these credentials in a slightly smaller font than your name and surname is a good way to reveal your qualifications.
Target previous management-level achievements
One of the most important CV writing tips is to look closely at the skills stipulated in a job offer. If you know someone at the company you are applying to, try to elicit more information about the job so your resume can be specific and effective. Otherwise, try to match your description to what is required.
For instance, you may be applying to a managerial position in the company’s human resources department. If so, think of how you may have sharpened the recruitment process at your current or former company. Examples of achievements to include are:
the introduction of quicker (perhaps modern online tracking) systems to find talented recruits
decreasing costs of recruitment by appointing one instead of several service providers to fulfill permanent and temporary recruitment needs
increasing internal promotions via continued training of staff
When you list your achievements on your resume, try to be as specific as you can (e.g. “reduced service provider costs by 35%”).
Recent experience is most valuable
Because recruiters have to sift through so many resumes, you need to spend a significant amount of time editing your achievements to list the most relevant. Spend the most space talking about your current or most recent job, listing down specific roles. Once again, opt for specifics over generalities. For instance, instead of saying you “oversaw projects”, list a particularly important one you were in charge of, indicating any renowned partners or companies you collaborated with or oversaw. Try to keep your achievements to the past 10 years, unless there was a particularly impressive goal reached early on in your career.
A CV or resume should be taken seriously enough to rely on a seasoned professional, since the consequences of an excellent (or poorly written) resume are vast. Conciseness, specificity and even design are all key features of a resume that stands out. Recruiters have very little time to wade through reams of words so let every single one count on your CV.
Lucy Wyndham is a freelance writer and editor. After spending over a decade in career and business advisory services, she took a step back to spend more time with her family and to write about her passions.
Guest blog with some fantastic tips for mid-career professionals getting off a career plateau.
– Coach Wolfgang
Hitting a career plateau in your current job is normal. For most workers this situation can translate to boredom and the feeling of being stuck in a rut, or the fear that you have gone as far as you can go. Unfortunately, career fulfillment impacts overall happiness“. Plateauing can negatively impact your productivity and job performance. The good news is that the feeling of hitting a career plateau is not necessarily a bad thing, and can be the start of positive change.
Boredom is a Sign of Growth
Inc.com writes that being bored with your current work duties is but a symptom of growth. While you may feel stuck, anxious, and lazy all at the same time, remember that these feelings are temporary. Now that you can basically do your job with one hand tied behind your back, you may be more open to learning new skills and acquiring new experiences. If you are bored, use it as springboard to change your career path, rather than an excuse to perform poorly.
Work on Small Pilot Projects
The boredom that comes with a career plateau opens up opportunities to pursue worthwhile skills, passion projects, or experiments that can give your career some direction. Testing small pilot projects is a good way to find out which of your skills or dream projects are actually worth pursuing in the long run. This includes anything that you can get feedback on, but won’t drastically change your everyday life.
For instance, if you’re an in-house digital artist who wants to be an exhibiting artist full-time, you can start by finishing single artworks to join group exhibits. Accept commissions for artworks that will allow you more creative freedom and skill development. Spread your efforts wide to see which of these worthwhile pursuits are truly worth your time and effort.
Research Internal Advancement Options
If you have nowhere to go but up, then it’s time to talk to your manager or supervisor. Based on your own research, how are you qualified to take on more and/or higher responsibilities at the office? Make sure your immediate superior knows that you’re ready for growth and advancement. Also, find out what positions other departments are trying to fill. Going to your own office first instead of exploring outside options also shows loyalty to your company, which may be rewarded with appropriate advancement options.
Tap Your Professional Network
You wouldn’t have gotten to the peak of your job without at least establishing a small but trustworthy professional network. As you involve yourself in various small pilot projects, take this opportunity to tap into, as well as expand, your network. These are the people who can provide you with the tools, resources, and contacts relevant to your current projects and overall long-term plans. Don’t forget to give back and ask what you can do for the people in your network as well. Remember that mutual assistance is the backbone of professional networking.
Find a Mentor who Pushed through a Career Plateau
A mentor who you trust and respect can set you in the right direction. They can be your boss, a friend, your immediate superior, a former colleague with decades of experience, or anyone who knows what to do with your particular skill set or expertise. The right mentor can show you the many reasonable paths you can take towards achieving your long-term goals. Even better, ask your mentor about times when he or she hit a career plateau!
Consider Going Back to School
There’s no such thing as being too old for school. Maryville University reveals that more adults are choosing to pursue higher education by attending classes outside of regular business hours, pursuing online study, or a combination of both. Many academic and technical institutions now offer courses geared towards professionals looking to acquire more marketable skills. Some courses can even be finished entirely online, giving you the flexibility to finish the course without giving up your full-time job.
If you prefer pursuing your degree in actual, physical classrooms, set aside some days off to visit colleges that have courses that appeal to you. Getting your master’s degree or specialist certificate can open up new pathways that can take your career to greater heights.
These are just 6 ideas to get you unstuck in your career. In fact, view this as an opportunity to grow. Remember, a career plateau doesn’t mean you have to stay stuck!
Scholarly_RJ is a writer with over fifteen years experience working for multinational companies. She now works as a career consultant for all levels of business. Her philosophy is to keep a healthy balance between work and life.
Here’s some advice and inspiration from our amazing coaches along with a link to their bio. Read their stories and schedule an appointment, if you like.
“Spring is always a great time to revisit your purpose. Do you have a mission statement? If so, are you living it? If not, what actions could you take to bring your day to day activities in alignment with what will be most fulfilling to you.”
“I love spring. It’s the season of birth, growth, and renewal making it the perfect time for taking a look at what you want to create, change, or develop in your career going forward. Though we traditionally set goals in January with the start of the year, energetically, Spring is the best time of year to make a change or start something new. I also like to extend the concept of spring cleaning into all areas of life – career included. It’s about taking a look at what is working, what isn’t working, and then releasing the thoughts, judgements, conclusions, and behaviors that aren’t serving you. When you clear out all that mental gunk, you feel so much better. It’s like mental/career detox.”
“Spring is a time of growth and blossoming, when the natural world is coming to life. The days are getting longer, and energy is abundant. It’s a perfect opportunity to think about what new lifestyle choices, projects, and ventures you want to cultivate for the year. Coaching can help you get clear on your goals, plan your projects, and create an accountability partnership to help bring your ideas to fruition.”
“Spring reminds me of spring cleaning. You never really want to do the work but you know if you do, you’ll feel so much better and have a clearer perspective. Sweeping away the cobwebs, figuring out what works and getting rid of things outgrown. This is very similar to the job search. It’s typically work you put off, but know you shouldn’t (update that resume!). You feel much clearer on your perspective and confident for the future. It allows you to reflect on what works well and get rid of old thinking that keeps you from pursuing your dream. Schedule a session today to start clearing the way to a more fulfilling future!”
“Do something that refreshes you and your career will benefit. Sometimes it seems counter intuitive that taking time off of work will really help your career, but for most busy executives with demanding roles that require 24-7 responsive to work demands, some time off is a good thing. Maybe it’s an unthinkable two-week vacation, a long weekend retreat with a partner or friend, lunch out of the office with a former colleague or a 20-minute walk outside listening to your favorite tunes. Do something that revives your inner being and more than likely when you come back to your desk, re-engage your colleague, or interact with your direct reports that challenge you faced will seem less daunting and you feel a little stronger, passionate, and confident ready to take on the day.”
“My advice for a career refresh is to take inventory of the elements of your career that give you energy and those that drain your energy. Then choose 1 or 2 that are draining your energy and brainstorm solutions for minimizing or eliminating these and choose 1 or 2 that are giving you energy and identify ways to increase exposure to these. A happier, more fulfilling career is all about nourishing body with a healthy dose of positive energy.”
“I love the fresh spring air… after hibernating the the cold all winter, it feels so good to open the windows and envision all the possibilities the warm weather will bring. Spring is also a great time to open the windows on new possibilities for your career! Did you tuck away those dreams for a while? Bring them out into the fresh spring air…full of all the possibilities of a bright future!”
“To me Spring brings inspiration and the fresh feeling of being alive and rejuvenation. It’s a wonderful time to do a deep discovery session to gain a fresh perspective on where you want to go with your career and business.
“A refresh on your career options can be as simple as opening the window to new perspectives. If you are feeling stressed and pressed by your career, explore some new angles: What can I change? How would my hero respond? Who do I want to be?”
“Take a personal inventory and identify the attributes unique to you. This is where personal branding and designing your story begins. Your career is a journey. Understanding how to navigate the challenges along the journey helps in reaching the destination you desire.”
“Share your gifts! You know more than you may think you do. Who can benefit from your knowledge? Find someone to formally or informally mentor, write a blog post, volunteer to speak at a local professional organization event, participate in ‘career day’ at the local elementary school . . . find a way to pass on your knowledge and experience in a way that brings you fulfillment.”
“Spring is my favorite time of the year. Leaves are emerging, flowers are blooming and the grass is turning green. It’s also one of the best times for making a career change. Companies are hiring. Now’s the time to update your Linkedin profile. It’s the most important tool in your job search. Also consider cleaning up your resume because you cannot have a strong linkedin profile if your resume isn’t solid.”
“A career path is rarely a “straight path”. Think of it instead, as a network of pathways with several landing spaces. In traversing this maze, build a portfolio of diverse experiences and meaningful relationships. Ultimately, it will be the richness of your experiences that will determine your career success.”
Thanks to Abhyank Srinet for another great post, this time, focused on your LinkedIn Job Search.
– Coach Wolfgang
A LinkedIn profile is the gateway to professional success especially if you are just starting out. With opportunities like interacting with top experts in the industry and following their work and connecting with recruiters to increase your chances of getting hired, LinkedIn is a boon indeed! Utilizing all the features that LinkedIn has to offer would be the perfect way to optimize your profile as well as make good professional connections which ultimately help you to strengthen your network and pave the way for future collaborations.
Here are some quick tips that don’t take long to implement.
LinkedIn Job Search Tip #1 – Using Open Profile
Usually, you can send messages to your first connections and to people who are in the same group as you are a part of. But, the Open Profile is a feature of LinkedIn Premium where it lets other users get in touch with any other LinkedIn user. Hence, look for people who are a part of the Open Profile network as even a non premium LinkedIn user can send them messages. Use this feature to your advantage to make good professional collaborations.
LinkedIn Job Search Tip #2 – Power Of Status Updates
Status updates are crucial if you want your LinkedIn profile to outshine others. A status update in LinkedIn is accompanied by your name, your profile picture, your title, the status update itself and some engagement metrics. If you start updating your status regularly, then recruiters see that you are quite active and that is a big plus when in a LinkedIn job search. LinkedIn says that around 20 posts per month must be your target to reach at least 60% if your target audience.
Hence, keep your status updates coming!
Pro Tip: Remember to post only meaningful things related to your fields of interest which actually add value to the readers.
LinkedIn Job Search Tip #3 – LinkedIn Messenger Features
Having meaningful conversations strengthens your professional relations with people you are connected with on LinkedIn. That is why, LinkedIn has offered a messaging service where you can chat with your connections. The good thing is that you can use this messenger on your home screen itself, making it easier for you to reply to any messages quickly. Also, there is an option for you to get email and push notifications whenever somebody sends you a message so that you don’t miss out on anything.
Pro Tip: There is also a “People You May Know” section in the messenger. This is a great way to expand your professional network by connecting with people who have the same skills or interests.
LinkedIn Job Search Tip #4 – Automate Your Group Posts
Being active on LinkedIn groups that you are part of is imperative to make important new connections and maintain the old connections as well. Here, using some third party applications will really ease out the process by automating your group posts. Here are two such applications:
Hootsuite allows you to share your posts directly to Facebook, WordPress, Twitter etc. You can also schedule multiple posts and track who has shared your posts on which platform… all this on one dashboard. This simple user interface allows you to easily access information about your current posts statuses.
Buffer can be used to schedule posts on a daily basis on a particular time slot. For example, On weekdays, you can schedule your posts at 4PM and on the weekends, you can schedule your posts at 10AM. You can also find out at what times do your posts get the maximum views so you can update your posts at that particular time in future. There is also an option of using Google Analytics to see how much traffic you get via social media posts.
LinkedIn Job Search Tip #5 – Who Has Viewed Your Profile?
Did you know that LinkedIn allows you to view 100 profiles per day? There is a way to make the best use of this at the right time. If you have applied for a job, then check the recruiters’ LinkedIn profiles before your interview. Whenever you view another profile on LinkedIn, your name appears on that person’s “Who’s Viewed Your Profile” list. This way, your name is already in the recruiter’s mind and when they interview you, they already have a fair idea about your profile.
LinkedIn Job Search Tip #6 – Have A Common Name? Fret Not!
LinkedIn has around 467 million profiles and it is not an astonishing fact that there might be a lot of people with the same name as yours. So, how do you carve your own identity? You can stand out from a pool of “likes” by creating your own signature block which consists of your full name, your contact email and your current job title or the skills that you are proficient in.
Once you create a signature block, place this in the right locations. The first place you can put this signature block is at the end of your summary. Next, start putting up the signature blocks whenever you talk about your interests or whenever you post something related to your fields of interest. This way, people know who you are and can easily remember you as well as contact you if necessary.
LinkedIn Job Search Tip #7 – Use Multiple Photos
To break the monotony of text in your profile, use a couple of professional photos in LinkedIn to add some extra spark. These photos can be of you addressing a group of people as part of a seminar that you gave or even a picture of the prototype that you created for your upcoming project. According to LinkedIn, a post that accompanies with a picture has at least 94% more views that a post sans any photos.
Pro Tip: Take extra care to make sure that you use only professional photos and not any random picture. Also, ensure that the quality of the photo is high so that there aren’t any blurry images in your profile.
LinkedIn Job Search Tip #8 – Secure Your LinkedIn Browsing
With the advent of technology, the rise of viruses in your phones and tablets has also risen. Hence, it is crucial that you are digitally safe and secure especially when you are using a public WiFi or free hotspots. LinkedIn offers a feature which supports HTTPS (Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure) browsing which protects your device from dangerous viruses.
Here is how you can enable the secure browsing option:
Go to Settings. Click on “Account” tab.
Check the box which says “Manage Security Settings”.
PS: If you don’t see this option, don’t panic! LinkedIn would have automatically enabled this option for you.
Following the above tips will definitely help you boost your LinkedIn profile a few notches higher. If you need some more hacks to polish your profile further for your Linkedin job search, visit http://www.mim-essay.com/top-33-linkedin-profile-tips-job-seekers-2017/ to check out an in depth checklist, following which your LinkedIn profile would be ready to shine!
Organizations face many obstacles that affect – and sometimes derail – the leadership abilities of their teams. Things like human resource issues, limited budgets, lack of mission understanding or alignment, and much more lay the foundation of difficult leadership. However, there’s one area that often goes unnoticed. It’s called pace.
Effective leaders are aware of the importance of pace when it comes to leading others.
In this post, we’ll look at 3 specific ways in which pace affects an organization’s leadership ability.
Speed & Task
The most obvious way that pace affects organizations is within its definition, speed. Be the first to market, good things take time, learn to fail fast, patience is a virtue, and time is money. These are just a few of the quotes we use to talk about speed when it comes to an organization. It’s important to note that when we talk about speed, the majority of time it’s in the context of completing a task, not developing leaders or organizations.
Culture & Context
Every organization is different. That’s why the second way pace affects organizations is through culture and context. What we mean by culture and context is this: some organizations are built around action and some are built around methodicalness. For example, an iPhone manufacturer is built around action (creating iPhones) while a IT consultancy is built around methodically implementing iPhones into an organization’s ecosystem. While both of these businesses may value similar things, their cultures and context are two different things.
People & Development
Finally, pace is built around people, and this is the most important point. People are the reasons that organizations thrive, and for leaders who lose that perspective, it won’t matter which speed they are moving at. For people and development the key takeaway is this: leaders must understand the values of their current and future employees in relation to speed, and develop of their roles relevantly as they relate to both the organization and the individual.
Whether it’s speed & task, culture & context, or people & development, organizations must realize that pace affects the success of leading others. Although the above concepts are just icebreaker concepts into pace and leadership, they are a great beginning context for your organization to analyze. To take a deeper look at your organization’s speed, including a situational analysis regarding emotional agility and leadership development, let’s connect.
Guess what, we’re emotional beings who have emotional intelligence (in measurable capacities).
No matter how hard we strive – especially in our careers – to be only rational beings, we can’t. Our emotions are real, present, and play a tremendous part in our personal, professional, and even our organization’s development. In the professional context we use the terminology emotional intelligence to describe these elements.
Emotional intelligence (EQ), according to Psychology Today, is the ability to identify and manage your own emotions and the emotions of others.
This is typically broken into three specific skills:
Being aware of your emotions
Being able to harness them for your own advantage
Being able to control them situationally
So this begs the question: How emotionally aware, agile, and able are you?
We absolutely love the perspective that Susan David (Ph.D.) offers in her book Emotional Agility. In the book Dr. David looks at 4 specific key concepts in understanding our own emotional intelligence. These concepts include:
Emotional Intelligence: Showing Up
What it means: As Dr. David suggests, showing up is defined as not ignoring difficult thoughts or emotions. This is accomplished by willingly – and with curiosity – looking deeper into the emotions you experience.
Key takeaway: Ignorance is bliss, but it’s also ignorant. Businesses who show up, leaders and employees alike, uncover unique ways to accommodate emotional chasms.
Emotional Intelligence: Stepping Out
What it means: Essentially, stepping out is about perspective. It’s geared towards looking at yourself as a chess board, filled with possibilities, rather than as just any one piece on the board; giving yourself the twenty thousand foot view of what your emotions really are.
Key takeaway: Organizations that are willing to acknowledge that each and every person represents a link in a larger professional conversation also understand that a chain is only as strong as its weakest link.
Emotional Intelligence: Walking Your Why
What it means: Everyone has values, and these values define your ability to engage, battle, and accomplish your objectives. Walking your why empowers you to align your emotional core with your physical position.
Key takeaway: Empowerment comes from understanding and understanding comes from within. By embracing this, organizations – and the people within them – can align themselves with appropriate missions and visions.
Emotional Intelligence: Moving On
What it means: Moving on is about positioning. It’s about finding a balance between challenge and competence, so that you’re neither complacent nor overwhelmed. Essentially, it’s about changing – with intention – your perspective, what motivates you, and your habits.
Key takeaway: Building emotional intelligence takes effort. Organizations must commit to continuous education, understanding, and implementation of EQ advancement within their ever-changing dynamics.
So, how emotionally aware, agile, and able are you? If you’d like to learn more about how EQ can play a part in your organization’s employee engagement and retention, let’s connect!
The personality of your team, goals, and expectations are now different?
Is it frustrating?
Are you wondering what has happened to your company?
It might be the culture.
Culture is one of the most important, yet often times intangible pieces to an organization’s success.
Defined as the personality of a company, the culture includes many things such as work environment, team values, individual expectations, and in behaviors exhibited by team members. A common occurrence is an organization with incredible potential experiencing limitations due to a toxic culture.
The good thing is that there are few things that can positively impact culture, and it comes down to leadership and process.
Impacting Culture: Redesign the structure.
The first thing you can do is rebuild trust, and one of the quickest, and most effective ways to do that includes tearing down walls; walls dictated by title or department. When a culture is broken, it longs for some consistency (think abou the “back to the basics” terminology). When you break down the walls, literally and figuratively, you open the door for collaboration, coordinated efforts, and trust to be rebuilt (Note: this will require leaders to be humbled). This sounds simple enough, but rebuilding trust takes time, commitment, and a lot of intentionality from organization leaders on down.
Impacting Culture: Give your team a platform
When trust is broken, so is an employee’s motivation. As mentioned above, you’ll need to rebuild trust in order to effectively communicate and maneuver through the problem(s). Once trust is build back up, be sure to give your employees a platform to express concerns, ideas, or what they’re seeing from their perspective. This platform may come in the shape of 1:1 meetings, small coordinated conversations, or whole team collaborations (note: these are determined by the size of the organization the extent of the brokenness of the culture). By giving your team a platform you give them a voice, while also motivating them with their own verbiage; you also receive invaluable information / perspective regarding the culture.
Impacting Culture: Don’t hire just yourself
“A manager cannot be 100% objective when working with employees on their personal and professional development. On one hand they may truly want to help you with your development. On the other hand, they can’t “un-hear” something.” One of the most common mistakes made while trying to fix a culture is to try and do it completely from within. By trying to change culture internally, you actually may just be enabling the negatives of it. While that is a tough pill to swallow, it’s also necessary to accurately understand and determine the best responses for an organization’s culture that is wobbling.
Changing a culture is difficult work.
It’s sometimes ugly.
It takes time.
But, it can be done!
If you think that your company’s culture isn’t what you want it to be, our team would love to chat. We’re not here to tell you how to run your organization. We’re here to consult you in advancing the culture of the mission you’ve worked so hard to create.
Remember, culture is one of the most important, yet often times intangible pieces to an organization’s success.
In case you don’t already know, Lebron James is likely the best NBA basketball player – and leader – who’s currently playing (and some would argue the best ever to play the game, except for Amy Wolfgang who grew up watching Michael Jordan). So good in fact that he played a significant part in the Cleveland Cavaliers’ derailment after he left. Although it’s important to note that it wasn’t his fault, the importance of this situations documentation is worth us discussing. Look at these numbers:
In the 2009-10 season, the Cleveland Cavaliers had 61 wins and 21 losses (with Lebron)
In the 2010-11 season, the Cleveland Cavaliers had 19 wins and 63 losses (without Lebron)
The point is this, much like Lebron James leaving the Cavaliers, the leader(s) within your organizations can derail your company when then leave too. So, you must be prepared.
Maybe your team has its own Lebron James (a key leader). Maybe they:
They are the leading sales person (90% of the company’s business)
They know the ins and outs (Personally created multiple elements of the company)
They have influence (The entire team follows their command)
Each of these situations puts your company in an interesting, and even vulnerable position. So, how do you protect yourself if your very own Lebron James decides to leave?
Understand, before leader(s) do, why they would leave:
People leave organizations for a variety of reasons, some you can protect, and some you can’t. Thus, it’s crucial for you to make sure you understand why they would want to leave, and create appropriate roadblocks for your employee. Here are a few reasons people leave:
Their job becomes stagnant (not challenging / exciting)
Lack of recognition
They haven’t been invested in, just relied upon
They aren’t paid enough
Provide leader(s) with the right situation:
Putting your top employee (leader) in the right situation to keep them isn’t just about paying them well (or overly well). It’s about understanding who they are, and the specifics that will keep them engaged and encouraged in working for/with you. A few ways you may be able to provide them with the right situation include:
Give them more flexibility with hours
Ask them to lead / develop a team to transfer their skills to others
Engage them in leadership conversations regarding the business
Send them to conferences to learn more about themselves and how they impact teams
Prepare for the worst:
Guess what? You can do everything correctly and still lose your Lebron James (that has even happened with the real Lebron James, a few times). So, prepare for the worst. Don’t build your business solely around the anomaly of your best employee. Companies who put all of their eggs in one basket are destined to succeed and fail with that basket. However, it’s important to note that this is the third point, not the first. You shouldn’t be living in continuous worry of losing your top employees. Unless you are experiencing cultural issues, this should not be a common occurrence. Here are a few ways you can put the process in place to be ready if the worst were to happen:
Have your top employee transfer knowledge / experience to other team members
Stick to the mission of your organization, not your lead employee’s
Save your profits
Invest in the future of your people (current and future employees)
Sometimes Lebron James leaves, and yes, it hurts.
But, with the correct approach, you can be sure to keep your top employees within your walls, while also building your organization appropriately should they ever leave. Organizations are never built solely off of one individual.
You don’t have to worry about leaders derailing your company if you’ve planned, invested, and built your company appropriately.
Welcome back guest blogger Abhyank Srinet and his insight on the top LinkedIn profile tips to help you land your dream job.
– Coach Wolfgang
LinkedIn is unarguably the best professional networking site out there. With more and more recruiters looking at candidates’ profiles to get to know them better, it is imperative that you present a well crafted LinkedIn profile.
LinkedIn Profile Tips #1 – Use a Professional Photo
LinkedIn being a professional networking site means you to have a professional photo by default. So, what exactly is a professional photo? Here are some rules you can follow to perfect your profile picture:
The photo must not have any additional effects or filters.
Preferably, the photo must contain your face and a little bit of your neck and shoulder region.
Don’t forget to smile as almost 60% of the photo contains your face and it goes a long way to have a warm welcoming face.
LinkedIn Profile Tips #2 – Craft A Clever Headline
The headline is the first 4 to 5 lines which appear right below your name in LinkedIn. It is also one of the most viewed parts of your LinkedIn profile and, hence, it is essential to keep it creative or eye catching. Ensure that you state how you can add value to others by using your present skills.
For example, a headline may go this way if you are into marketing: “Direct Marketing guaranteed to get you more business”
LinkedIn Profile Tips #3 – Reorder your first 12 endorsements
For each of the skills you mention in your profile, LinkedIn allows others to endorse your skills as a proof that you are proficient in the same. Over time, you might have accumulated a lot of endorsements and as LinkedIn arranges these endorsements based on time. Thus, some important endorsements may not be visible as they probably came in first.
These important endorsements may be from your senior colleague or from your Head of Department. To reorder the endorsements, follow these steps:
Go to “Edit Skills”.
Select “Manage Endorsements”.
Now deselect the 12 endorsements for a particular skill and save.
Next, repeat the above three steps. This time, add the deselected 12 endorsements and save. These endorsements appear first now.
Getting recommendations from the right persons is the first step in creating a powerful set of recommendation. Always choose a person who has worked closely with you and knows your abilities as well as your soft skills like managing time, working well under pressure, communicating and leading too.
This is important as a powerful recommendation must not only state your technical abilities but must also depict your soft skills as these are the ones that often matter more. To write a powerful recommendation, ask the recommender to start out by stating the working relationship that you two shared. Next, they can mention all your skills and how you have contributed effectively in any project or research work.
Pro Tip: Ask the recommender to include specific examples as to how you have improved your skills or held your cool in a difficult situation. It will be more personalized that way.
LinkedIn Profile Tips #5 – Augment new sections to your profile
Everyone has sections like “Work Experience”, or “Education” in their LinkedIn profile. What many don’t know is that LinkedIn offers a feature where you get to add new personalised sections to your profile. For example, have you won a lot of competitions? You can add a separate section called “Competitions” and showcase all that you have won. Or, if you have invested a lot of your time in volunteering activities, then you have the liberty to create a new section called “Volunteer Work” and add all that you have done there.
Adding new sections gives a respite to those who are viewing your profile and it will surely make you stand out from the crowd.
LinkedIn Profile Tips #6 – Personalize your connection request
We are used to sending requests on Facebook by just clicking on one button. While the same works for LinkedIn, if you want to connect with someone, you should go one step further and personalize your connection request.
This serves as a great conversation starter too. For example, if it is someone that you look up to, you can state your admiration for their previous works and projects and let them know how you can improve your knowledge through them.
LinkedIn Profile Tips #7 – Open candidates
If you are looking for better job opportunities through LinkedIn and don’t want your current employer to know about it, then LinkedIn has got you covered. Through Open Candidates, you can signal to other recruiters that you are open to new opportunities and you can be assured that your current employer will never be able to see this. Here is how to enable this feature:
Click on the Jobs tab.
Turn sharing ON.
Now, you need to write out information as to what kind of job you are looking for.
Once you are done, other recruiters can now see your profile as “Open To New Opportunities”.
LinkedIn Profile Tips #8 – Personalise your LinkedIn URL
When you first create your LinkedIn profile, you get a default URL for your profile which usually contains your name followed by a lot of unwanted numbers and characters which look unprofessional. The good news is that LinkedIn has a feature where you can customise your profile’s URL just about however you wish to.
It is always advised that you maintain professionalism in every aspect in LinkedIn and hence your URL must either contain your full name or a combination of your name and your current job title. Here is how you can change your URL:
Click on Me > View Profile.
Select “Edit Your Public Profile”.
Now, click on “Edit Public Profile URL” to customize.
LinkedIn Profile Tips #9 – Don’t overuse these buzzwords
Quite a lot of people tend to write words like “Responsible team leader”, or “Solved the problem analytically”. Such statements look empty as it is crucial that you state how exactly you were responsible in leading a team or what analytical solution you came up with to solve a problem.
Stating these specifications will give a much better outlook as people now know what exactly you did. Here are some words that you must definitely treat with caution in your LinkedIn profile: “Responsible”, “Strategic”, “Analytical”, “Effective”, “Patient”, “Expert”, “Innovative”, “Strategic”, “Driven” and “Organisational”.
LinkedIn Profile Tips #10 – Have a Call to Action
Your summary section is where you describe all that you have done in your professional life. What is more important is that you add a call-to-action section at the end of your summary section. This shows that you are proactive and sends out positive signals.
A call-to-action is just a line or two where you state how others can contact you. Here is an example: “I am always up for a challenge. Contact me at email@example.com”. Keep it short and simple.
Optimizing your profile with the above mentioned LinkedIn profile tips will surely take your profile to newer heights. There are many features in LinkedIn which – when rightly used – can boost your profile and make it shine. Now go get more LinkedIn tips and hacks or see Abhyank’s previous post on how to use LinkedIn.
Abhyank Srinet holds a Masters in Management degree from ESCP Europe & has an engineering degree with a specialization in Instrumentation & Control. His interest in the digital landscape motivated him to create an online start up for Masters in Management application consulting (MiM-Essay.com), focused on spreading quality information about the MiM degree & performing application consulting services for clients. He is the chief consultant of the company and takes care of the Business Development and Digital Marketing side of the company. He is very passionate about writing and marketing.