I recently learned a new concept from a colleague Amy Tolbert at ECCO International. Actually, it wasn't a new concept but it was just framed in a way that really resonated with me. It is called Mattering or Marginalizing.
- Develop awareness of how you treat others. Our perceptions and biases are often so ingrained that we don't recognize how they impact our behaviors. Spend some time considering how you treat people who are different from you. Go beyond gender and ethnicity and consider how you treat others who are older, younger, with varying shapes and sizes, etc.
- Involve others in solving problems and making decisions. Don't try to solve a front line problem without asking asking/involving someone who works on the front line.
As I look at the business landscape today, I believe two types of companies are emerging – (1) those that choose to cut costs at all cost, and (2) those that recognize that people got us to where we are today and people will get us out of where we are today.
One of the most important characteristics of a People-First™ Leader is that they are self-aware.
Here’s what I mean. (1) They understand why they respond to others the way they do, and (2) they understand why others respond to them the way they do.
Why is this important?
A few weeks ago, we had a follow-up workshop to our annual Create Yourself goal setting seminar. I was so inspired with how much progress people have made since that first session in mid-January. Several people have created financial plans, others have made steps toward a career transition, and one person has stopped smoking.
Now that's what I call timely and meaningful change.
During our follow-up session together, we brainstormed about ideas to stay on track, focused, and accountable throughout the year. I thought I would share those with you today.
I had just returned to my hotel room after a beautiful sunrise run in Washington D.C. where I am attending an Inscape Publishing conference. While enjoying a cup of post-run coffee, I read an article about a former NASA official (he served as the NASA Chief of Staff and as its liaison to the White House) who was “charged with using his government position to serve his own financial interest.” If convicted, he could face 15 years in prison.
That’s not leadership!
Last weekend I returned home from a month in Ecuador. The focus of my trip was a climbing expedition to some of the most remote and beautiful volcanoes in the world towering between 16,000 - 20,000 feet above sea level. My time in Ecuador was marked with excitement, adventure, and challenge as our climbing team dealt with deteriorating weather and dangerous avalanche conditions. Through all of that, I enjoyed the serenity of being removed from everyday life and focused on climbing.
I had already gone down the path of following some of my dreams. I'd moved to Colorado in 2001 where my passion for climbing could thrive. I'd bought a house, and I started a business. But something was holding me back. I had an addiction to nicotine that was controlling my life. It started 11 years prior while in Ranger School during my time in the U.S. Army. Ranger School is one of the Army's most difficult combat leadership schools.
I work with clients every week to help improve engagement, collaboration, retention, and productivity. And I know that when the term "performance management" comes up everyone either starts laughing or running.
How can you help retain winning talent?
• Help your leaders understand that retaining people is not an "HR" problem, but a leadership problem. In most cases, people leave their managers, not their organizations.