Blog

Category: Leadership and Management

The Secret to Entrepreneurial Employee Performance Reviews

Filed under: Insights, Leadership and Management, Professional Development, Solomon Page, Strategy, Success, Thought Leadership

Entrepreneurs create opportunities for their companies and people to grow.

For a forward-thinking leader, facilitating the development of their most valuable assets, talented people, allows each individual to realize their potential. They ensure that boundaries are minimized and innovative thinking is rewarded – no matter what the nature of the outcome. The most sustainable growth is born from creativity and calculated risk-taking, in conjunction with analysis and contemplation.

The non-linear nature of such growth means that it is hard to fit in a one-size-fits-all box.

When a professional journey is so fluid, it doesn’t fit well within a formal framework. Big corporations have long championed the quarterly and annual review process as a tool for continuous assessment and appraisal, but as it has to be suitable for a wide range of employees, it is often the case that something that is “good” for all is rarely “excellent” for any.

An entrepreneurial mindset within such a large organization would find such a cookie-cutter review process incredibly limiting. A more individualized approach is desirable.

At Solomon Page, our divisions have long enjoyed a significant degree of autonomy. One of our core values is agility, and mandating that each practice leader develop their teams following the exact same framework is counterproductive. A shared set of core values, combined with a flexible approach, guides our organizational growth strategy.

We try our best to take a page out of the entrepreneurial playbook.

One of the most important things to consider in an entrepreneurial review is to approach the conversation from the point of view of the employee and employer rather than just the employer. It is empowering to have an employee participate in their career growth and goal-setting, rather than having goals dictated for them. People commit when the fire comes from within and they hold themselves accountable. When you provide an employee with an opportunity to participate while leading them in the right direction, it is incredibly powerful and productive.

The second consideration is to ensure that performance is rewarded and acknowledged.

When you have such an approach where excellence is rewarded, it is important to encourage people to aim high. With this comes the probability of failure. An entrepreneurial culture should factor in this possibility in every developmental conversation. When failure is normalized in the decision-making process, it fosters an environment of healthy risk-taking and engagement. The review process should encourage people to aim high to reach their potential. Setting ambitious goals, and plotting a path towards them, is one of the most rewarding aspects of a manager / employee relationship, and builds a shared commitment to a unified set of objectives.

The employee review process becomes a staging post towards excellence.

7 Skills Managers will Need in 2025

Filed under: Leadership, Leadership and Management, Professional Development, Relationships, Strategy

We all know that the work landscape is changing. The jobs that will be in demand are shifting as more are automated by artificial intelligence, machine learning, and robots. Teams are becoming more disparate and globalization has added new collaboration challenges. At the same time, more millennials are taking on management roles, and even our work spaces will undergo changes between now and 2025.

“Change will be happening so quickly that 50% of the occupations that exist today will not exist 10 years from now. So we’re going to be living in an environment that is extremely adaptable and changing all the time,” says Liz Bentley, the founder of Liz Bentley Associates, a leadership development consulting firm.

Amid all of this flux, managers are going to need new skills, too. The staid, hierarchical structures of the past aren’t going to work, she says. So as you plan your future managerial career, be sure to keep these skills at the forefront.

TECHNOLOGY MANAGEMENT SKILLS
Technology is going to “grow alongside of us,” says Bentley, and there will be no job that is immune from its effects. Of course, it won’t be a straight line from where we are now to machine learning and robots taking over the workplace, but technology will become an ever-present factor in the workplace. That will create new challenges, conflicts, and opportunities related to skill building, workplace roles, data management, privacy, and others. Managers will need to understand technology enough to keep abreast of and anticipate emerging issues.

Some technological developments will work, some won’t, and some will evolve, she says. But the constant is that managers will need to not only be comfortable with embracing new technology, but they’ll also have to be adept at managing the changing relationship between people and emerging tech.

Continue reading on Fast Company >>

Top 5 Reasons Employees Love Their Boss – and How to Be More Loved

Filed under: Behavior in the Workplace, Good Habits, Happiness, Leadership and Management, teams

According to a study from Gallup, fully half of all employees in the U.S. have left a job because of problems with their manager.

That means that being a great boss — a likeable, even loveable boss — isn’t just about being popular or being “nice.” Rather, it’s a retention issue.

Improving your skills as a manager should be as important a part of your job as helping your employees improve their skills. If you’re ready to become everybody’s favorite boss, try adding these skills to your repertoire:

  1. Consistent and meaningful communication.

The number 1 problem people cite with their bosses and managers is a lack of communication. If you can improve your communication skills and create a culture of open communication with your team, you will go a long way to improving your relationship with your employees. Most important, people want clear expectations and updates when it comes to what’s expected of them.

Click here to read the rest on LinkedIn >>

10 Tips for Leadership When You’re Not the Boss

Filed under: Focus, Goals, Insights, Leadership and Management

When founders and CEOs look to hire and promote managers, they want people who exhibit leadership. But how can you exhibit leadership if you’re stuck in individual contributor roles? No one reports to you, and you’re not even a project manager.

Good news is, leader isn’t a title, it’s a group of characteristics, and you can acquire them, even if you’re not the boss. Here are 10 ideas:

1. Communicate clearly. Leaders don’t grumble behind closed doors when things don’t go their way. They don’t say yes when they should have said no. They say what they mean, and do so in a way that people understand. This is not advocating rudeness, but it is advocating dropping passive-aggressive behavior.

Click here to read the rest on Inc. >>

7 Things Exceptional Leaders Know

Filed under: Insights, Leadership, Leadership and Management, Professional Development

1.Exceptional Leaders know that leadership is influence.

When you boil down everything a leader can do to succeed with a team, you end up with one word:influence. Exceptional leaders influence decisions, enthusiasm, actions, possibilities, confidence, beliefs, direction, and culture. Influence is what an exceptional leader does, and it shows up in myriad ways. The tactics can and will change; the definition will not.

2. Exceptional leaders know that leadership is not a talent.

Leadership is a skill and a craft. It can be learned only through a unique combination of study and experience. When people describe a “talented” leader or a “born leader”, they’re either mislabeling the leader’s hard work or they’re describing the leader’s charisma. Of course, charisma and leadership are mistaken for each other very often, but they’re not at all the same. Charisma is to leadership what a fresh paint job would be to a car. It can make for a more appealing presentation, but the actual performance will come from some deeper and more powerful place.

Click here to read the rest on LinkedIn >>

 

The “Fab 5” of Your Work Life

Filed under: Big Ideas & Innovation, Leadership and Management, Professional Development, Your Career

“You are the average of the five people that you spend the most time with. – Jim Rohn”

I’ve heard Jim Rohn’s incredibly insightful quote on a number of occasions. Each time I run across it, I have to pause — as the message is simply that powerful. Those we surround ourselves with can easily be viewed as a critical career choice; as we often absorb the outlook and passions of those around us.

Instinctively, we might apply this quote to our personal lives; quickly completing a review of our inner circle of friends and acquaintances. However, we should extend this notion to our work lives as well — as the same standard should hold there. Who do you interact with regularly? How do they influence your mood? Your level of motivation?

Those around us can affect our work lives tremendously — for the better — or for the worse.

We should all seek a group of individuals who spur us on, and help our best possible work life become a reality. Above all, the “Fab 5” should collectively have relevance to all facets of your work life. A group that would serve to serve as a powerful “career catalyst”, encouraging both exploration and excellence. The individuals may change over the course of your career. But, the roles should be remain represented.

Click here to read the rest on LinkedIn >>

To Beat the Chaos, Take a Thinking Day

Filed under: Best Advice, Career Advice, Efficiency, Leadership and Management

One of the most under-discussed elements of effective leadership is how fast a leader must learn to stay at peak performance. Most successful leaders never stop learning. In fact, they are voracious learners who are always trying to find ways to improve and enhance their own performance and that of those around them.

I have found that one of the simplest tools for learning and enhancing my performance is to regularly reflect on how to spend my time. Every six months I go through a process where I step back, contemplate what I have learned over the previous six months, and then adjust my focus to ensure I am spending my time and energy in ways where I can create the greatest impact.

Here are three concrete practices I recommend to help refocus and optimize your time for continuous inner learning:

Click here to read the rest on LinkedIn >>

9 Qualities Of Truly Confident People

Filed under: Confidence, Leadership and Management, Personality, Your Career

First things first: Confidence is not bravado, or swagger, or an overt pretense of bravery. Confidence is not some bold or brash air of self-belief directed at others.

Confidence is quiet: It’s a natural expression of ability, expertise, and self-regard.

I’m fortunate to know a number of truly confident people. Many work with me at HubSpot, others are fellow founders of their own startups some of whom I’ve met through my angel investment activity. But the majority are people I’ve met through my career and who work in a variety of industries and professions.

It comes as no surprise they all share a number of qualities:

Click here to read the rest on LinkedIn >>

To Understand Leadership, Study “Followership”

Filed under: Career Advice, Leadership and Management, Professional Development, Your Career

I was at a conference with 50 or so chief learning officers last week and we had a number of discussions about leadership.

Despite the fact that there are thousands of models, consultants, books, and assessments for leadership, this group hardly agreed on anything.

We did agree that leadership development is a critically important challenge, and we also agreed that most leadership development programs are too fragmented and not focused enough on the company’s specific, current business strategy.

That is, most leadership development and coaching focuses on “rounding out edges,” helping leaders identify their “towering strengths” and both leveraging them while identifying our derailers or blind spots.

I walked away with some interesting take-aways I wanted to share.

In order to study great leadership you have to study great “followership.” Great leaders naturally attract great followers. Who do we follow and why?

Click here to read the rest on LinkedIn >>

Leadership Is About Emotion

Filed under: Leadership and Management, Relationships, Social Impact, Success

Make a list of the 5 leaders you most admire. They can be from business, social media, politics, technology, the sciences, any field. Now ask yourself why you admire them. The chances are high that your admiration is based on more than their accomplishments, impressive as those may be. I’ll bet that everyone on your list reaches you on an emotional level.

This ability to reach people in a way that transcends the intellectual and rational is the mark of a great leader. They all have it. They inspire us. It’s a simple as that. And when we’re inspired we tap into our best selves and deliver amazing work.

So, can this ability to touch and inspire people be learned? No and yes. The truth is that not everyone can lead, and there is no substitute for natural talent. Honestly, I’m more convinced of this now – I’m in reality about the world of work and employee engagement. But for those who fall somewhat short of being a natural born star (which is pretty much MANY of us), leadership skills can be acquired, honed and perfected.

 Click here to read the rest on Forbes >>