leadership

Influencer? Leader? Pretender? I bet you think you are …

Influencer? Leader? Pretender? As part of my leadership training I ask, which of these are you? I have found that most people are pretenders yet they consider themselves Leaders.

What’s the difference?

An influencer is someone who has ideas, can move things around on occasion, help leaders lead by becoming part of the leaders’ movement. An influencer follows the lead of the leader and in so doing becomes a noticed part of the leadership team and therefore carries influence in the decision making by the group and considered by the leader to be an important part of the leadership team.

An influence may lead on occasion but is typically valued by the leader for the way they accomplish tasks, how they help the group accomplish tasks and how they are visible and supportive of the leader.

But influencers come and go simply because so many leaders do not understand the dynamics of their own group. Many times the strongest influencers will be the core of a leaders success. If that leader does not recognize the true influencer of a group and selects their own influencer, the leader may find themselves at odds with their team or they may find their team fluctuating in how quickly they accomplish a task because a selected influencer typically does not have the following of the true influencer. In this instance the team will struggle, talk and debate, areas that the leader wants to accomplish simply because the influencer is not a strong enough personality to convey the leaders’ message.

The true influencer foes not have to apply any pressure or convey any power but typically simply leads under the guise of accomplishment. Leading by example.

On the other hand is the pretender. The pretender is that person who wants to be a leader. Probably just wants to be the influencer and takes on the pseudo-guise of the influencer. Thinks that by being on the leader’s elbow or their go-to person for requests that they will be seen as a leader themselves.

The pretender is the one standing and talking with people while the influencer and the team do all of the work around them. The pretender doesn’t even recognize the team or the accomplishment because they value their own input, their own placement in any environment and place themselves to be seen.

The pretender seldom is involved in the actual accomplishment but almost always tries to take credit for the job well done and never notices the snide remarks or rolling eyes as they often get rewarded by poor leaders who only see the pretender as the pretender wants to be seen.

The problem with a leader recognizing the pretender as the influencer of their group or organization is that it undermines both the influencer and the team in a negative way. It creates demotivation within the group and eventually a result is lack of motivation by the team because the influencer will finally step back from their support role of the leader and in doing so, open the pretender to need to take over the role which is completely unsupported by their team.

When the true influencer steps back a leader will notice the change, not only in the group dynamics but also in the accomplishment style, speed or quality of the group work. The pretender does not have the support or vision of the influencer.

It is crucial, as a leader, that you become aware of these differences.

Examples of the influencer versus the pretender are that when a job needs to be done, the influencer leads the team in its accomplishment while the pretender will talk to other weaker and less accomplishing members of the team while the actual work is taking place all around them. Then, in the final stage of the work or development, the pretender will try to take responsibility for the accomplishment by going to the leader to announce how the project is or has been completed before the influencer is even done doing the job.

Here then, is the difference between a leader and a great leader. The great leader recognizes the real accomplishment and who accomplished it, while a weaker leader may not only reward the pretender but accommodate them through some manner of recognition and promoting the wrong members of their team.

Now the problem with this article is that the pretender does not even have enough leadership in them to recognize that this article has been about them, while the leader and the influencer are both nodding and smiling at the thought that the pretender missed it altogether.

I am Steve Sapato, Leadership and self-improvement expert.

Hoping you have an extraordinary day.

 

Advertisements

How to get GREAT employees

Why is it that some managers seem to always find good employees? Why are those few managers so blessed and why do so many others struggle to find those good employees.

That answer is in the answer to this question: when do you start hiring your next employee?

What was your immediate response? Was it, as soon as I know someone is leaving? Was it as soon as we get the permission from the boss or HR ?

The real answer is, you start hiring your next employee as soon as you hire this one.

Yes, most of you agree. But how does this process work for you?

Each member of your team is dependent upon each other member of your team as well as upon the supervisors and managers of those teams. Each member is given value and responsibility based upon how their team culture is developed. And based upon how you encourage and reward your team is how your team grows and how you will find your next great employee.

Many managers think they will find good employees and great employees from the talent pool that is either offered via their company or through agencies they utilize.

But the really great employees come from the recommendations of your current employees. It is their constant accolades and banter that tell others how good a place your department or organization is to work for. Great employees are always looking to work for great managers and companies that will promote and encourage their success.

It is how you treat all of your current employees that will bring you additional great employees. It is the words your current employees use to describe their organization and manager that have others waiting for an opening. The new employees coming to your department are because of the people that you make feel valued.

There are numerous methods and tactics that will help you become a great manager, because great managers are made not born, are gleaned from other Great Manager articles, additional books and further training.

Where you will find your next great employee will be from your own staff and the recommendations they make to other top quality potential employees.

Steve Sapato- the most famous unfamous speaker in America and trainer of Great Managers.  steve@mentalprosperityblog.com

logo  6 10 small pixel

 

Why are your people leaving? I quit!

Why are your people leaving? How can I stop attrition now?

So tell me, as the lead of your company, department, organization, team, are you having a problem with high turnover? Do you know why?

If you read the statistics there are dozens of reasons but if you listen to the workers there are usually only a couple and the most predominant one is, bad manager.

Does that mean there are a lot of bad managers out there? Of course! Tell me this, how did you learn to become a manager? Did you take a course that lasted several weeks? Months? Or did you receive any training at all?

Did your manager receive any real training? I am not talking about a three-hour seminar on being a good manager. I have taught those, I know how they work, I have gone into companies and tried to make my sales pitch to make their training months long with weekly feedback, hands-on experience with direct feedback. I have tried to set up reporting where the employees tell me the strengths and weaknesses of their boss. And the companies refuse.

But make that about sales and the companies go wild offering weeks of training teaching their sales staff how to close the sale. But what they miss is that just like reduced sales, turnover is a huge cost to companies. Probably of the greatest expenses a company can endure.

So then why don’t companies do something about their managers, train them, listen to their employees, find out what really is causing turnover.

I worked in a separate training unit in one organization and the employee training manager told me he was losing one-third of the staff every single year for the five years he had been at that organization. That’s crazy. And what was being done about it? Nothing. He knew it was because of poor management. He heard the stories. He went to his bosses and their bosses to ask that management training become mandatory to help reduce this terrible situation but to his chagrin the leadership always left it as voluntary training for their managers. When I left that organization he was still experiencing that same turnover two years later.

So tell me, why are your people leaving? Do you really know? If you are doing exit interviews and it’s their managers conducting it, you will never know the truth. And if it’s your HR staff that has not been properly trained to find answers by asking the right questions, listening and asking some more then you will still not find out the truth.

My course on Questioning and Listening helps everyone who attends, from sales people to management people to front desk people to receptionists and CEO’s to find real answers, keep the people who used to want to leave, and sell more products.

There is no secret to all of this but there is an intuition when you Question and Listen to your people.

I am Steve Sapato and I teach people how to be better so other people can feel and be better too.

steve@mentalprosperityblog.com

Is my manager worth a crap? How can I tell if my manager is any good?

Isn’t it strange that most people don’t know when their manager is a bad manager? When you look at all of the most recent information you have to be appalled that 82% of all managers are no good. That means that most workers, most employees, probably have never worked for a good much less a great manager.

This excerpt from Harvard Business Review shares what makes a great manager. If your manager has these talents then you know they are great managers.

Gallup finds that great managers have the following talents:

  • They motivate every single employee to take action and engage them with a compelling mission and vision.
  • They have the assertiveness to drive outcomes and the ability to overcome adversity and resistance.
  • They create a culture of clear accountability.
  • They build relationships that create trust, open dialogue, and full transparency.
  • They make decisions that are based on productivity, not politics.

Gallup’s research reveals that about one in ten people possess all these necessary traits. While many people are endowed with some of them, few have the unique combination of talent needed to help a team achieve excellence in a way that significantly improves a company’s performance. These 10%, when put in manager roles, naturally engage team members and customers, retain top performers, and sustain a culture of high productivity. Combined, they contribute about 48% higher profit to their companies than average managers.

It’s important to note that another two in 10 exhibit some characteristics of basic managerial talent and can function at a high level if their company invests in coaching and developmental plans for them.

What is most interesting in reading and learning what the studies reveal is that there is another 10% of the people who are the right kind of people. These people would make great managers and are already working in these departments. But they are not the managers. They are people who are working hard, struggling within their area and are trying to be recognized and discovered but are passed by.

Now you know that out of every ten people, most likely, one will be the stuff that great managers are made of. And that means you have a one in ten chance that your manager is any good.

And just like the Harvard Business Review found out, another one in ten has many of the basic managerial talents needed to function as a higher level. Is this you? How will you hone your managerial skills? What will make you a good manager if not a great manager? Are you developing your skills by what you are reading or listening to?

When was the last time you read a book on how to be a great manager? Read a blog about being a great manager? A CD? A podcast?

Is your boss doing any of this? Is your boss involved, connected, growing?

Now you know whether you have a good manager or not.

What should you give them for Christmas? How about a book on How to Be A Great Manager!

I am Steve Sapato, management trainer and professional trainer. http://www.mentalprosperityblog.com

What can you learn from the GM Firings? The culture of mediocrity~

Have you been keeping up on the “firings” of certain ‘key” personel by GM over design flaws and the deaths that happened because of this ‘negligence’?

If you read the materials coming out and all of the peripheral documentation it appears that GM and loads of employees knew about the flaws and potential outcomes for as long as eleven years. Yes, I said, eleven years. That makes the fifteen people fired merely pawns in the game of profit vs safety. It makes those fifteen the sacrificial lambs that are supposed to appease the government investigation and the quench the publics desire for results.

But what has really happened at GM? Why, if it takes eleven years to come to light, are we supposed to believe in anything GM again? Is GM really concerned with our safety? Should I risk my family on anything GM?

But let’s get past the issues of safety and products. Let’s get beyond brand loyalty and history.

What I really want to know is, will next years cars be any safer? Will I listen to the rhetoric of Cogressional hearings and ‘finding’ the culprits who are responsible for these aggregious errors that were ignored for almost eleven years? Will I eever really feel like GM has understood not only what happened but why it happened?

If you listen to GM leadership, they have instituted new committes, appointed new heads of new departments meant to address the issues that led to these errors and printed new posters to post all over the place to show the employees that there is a new atmosphere for addressing issues without repercussions.

And now I ask, will this fix their problem? Will this really address the issues that have kept people silent, babbling in frustration but secretive about the failure and potential catastrophic results these issues had on the familes who were killed?

And the answer is probably not. For what is troubling GM troubles a lot of companies both big and small and that is the culture we create in our companies. The culture we have created in our society. The  culture of look the other way, don’t get involved, don’t make waves, because all it will bring you is trouble and grief.

Look at your own organization and ask yourself, can people come to me with major issues about attitudes? Yes, peoples attitudes. For it is within your employees that your company exists. It is within the minds of your employees where your company culture resides. It is within the hearts and spirits of your employees where we find whether we can communicate with safety or fear. Can we bring up new ideas? Can we show criticism of existing things without fear or repercussions? Can your employees openly affect areas that are important?

And the important question is…  how do you know what they are feeling? When was the last time you openly solicited input from all employees and truly addressed these issues with the employees? Discussed them openly and responded to them.

I recently was involved with an organization where the CEO had an open blog where anyone could post a question. Everyone saw the question and everyone saw the response ny the CEO to each and every question. It was a great concept and it worked amazingly well. He sometimes even responded to the stupidly absurd questions that some people asked. And the results were amazing. Because everyone felt safe because it was so public.

Now I ask again, what can you learn from the GM firings?

 

Steve Sapato is a management trainer and coach and travels the country training up and coming managers and staff on how to be more effective in their dealings with people and employees. You can reach Steve at QLman49@gmail.com where the Q stands for Question and the L stands for Listen. Question everyone and everything and listen to the answers. If the answers make a lot of sense with no serious flaws maybe you should consider changing your opinion instead of trying to change theirs.

What are you teaching your people… great managers teach.

When you think of the great managers that you have ever worked for I will bet one of the things that made them great was how much you learned from them. Don’t misunderstand, learning what not to do because they were so terrible as a manager is not the same as really learning from a great manager.

But think back. what made each manager great?

I think one of the saddest things I have learned over the years of training people is that when I ask this question more than half of my students will say they have never had someone they considered a great manager. I look at them incredulously and ask again but they will insist that they have never had someone they considered a great manager with many saying they haven’t even had someone they considered good.

What a sad state of affairs when so many companies have not sufficiently trained their management staff to give their employees a great managerial experience, enhance productivity, increase profits and make peoples lives better.

Remember that Mental Prosperity is your key to success and how you teach your people in the methods of Mental Prosperity will determine how you are thought of and how you will be remembered.

When I train managers I invite them to exceed their own expectations. I invite them to read fifteen minutes each day on a book on managing. I invite them to listen to some great masters on how to treat people. I invite them to sign up for Quotes Of the Day so they can gain additional insights into many different areas of their lives. I invite them to share the best of the best with their staff, to use quotes at meetings and in memos. I invite them to be specifically open to what their staff says from the feedback about these quotes. I invite them to place a suggestion box and encourage their staff to anonymously submit their thoughts about how the quotes they use affect their staff and how the staff thinks they as the managers stand up to the scrutiny of those quotes they are proponents of.

I invite the managers to offer incentives to their people for reading books about managing people, treating people, communicating with people.

You as a great manager can have a huge affect upon your staff, how they treat their coworkers, their staff and even their families! You are set up to be their teacher and everyone knows how one great teacher can change a students life. And you have that power!

Will you step up to use it is the only question. I hope you will.

Blessings in your greatness.

steve@stevesapato.com

Great Managers are in control w/o being controling

Once again we are faced with our own shortcomings. Do you know them? Are you aware? and if you think you are how, who, or what makes you aware? Do you have a partner who can be open with you about these things? Do you have coworkers who you allow to be candid about your abilities? Do you listen to the comments, wisecracks, jabs and funny comments that are meant to be funny but are also based in truth?

One of the greatest things you can have as a manager is the ability to hear someone else when they talk about you. Yes, we are all defensive. We all want to justify why we did what we did or said what we said and we all want to show others why what we did was right in our eyes but the truth is, how others see us is truly how we are.

I have a saying, crass but true, if enough people think you are an ass then you probably are.

Again the question is, are you in control of your group or are you controlling your group? I listen to so many people discuss issues of control from their leadership. Often this is called micro-managing. Do you know what micro-managing is? Are you aware of how you do or don’t do this?

The greatest challenge for a manager is to know your people. Your job is to know your people well enough, to select a team strong enough, to lead a group that is smart enough to honor each and every member, including you, by being comfortably honest about each other.

What does comfortably honest mean? It means, we all have to have this great attitude that says, “I need help, input and growth.” and with that office mantra we share with one another, at the right times and with the right attitude and care how each of us can improve. Yes, a difficult task. One that takes a great team.

So that, when it’s your turn, they can look at you, and without worrying about repercussions, they can honestly assess your performance and help you to see and understand how the team feels about how you are working the group.

This means they will keep you on track, they will share with you your issues. They will tell you if you are ‘in control’ of the group or if you are being controlling. And there is huge difference between ‘in control’ and ‘controlling’. One being a successful leader of a team (great manager) and one that will tear the team apart eventually by ruining morale, destroying creativity and stopping communication.

Now can you answer this question comfortably? Are you  in control or are you controlling your department?

 

Steve Sapato is a management trainer and speaker and trains leaders and managers they can be GREAT at their jobs by using skills and tools that can be learned by everyone.

His website is Mentalprosperityblog.com and you can reach Steve at steve@stevesapato.com for information and ideas that will help your company grow.