Category Archives: Servant Leadership

A Bad Haircut – and Bad Listening Skills

I recently went in for a haircut and said, “just trim it so that it lays down nice.” When the BadHaircutyoung lady finished, she had cut it way short in a way that it was spiking up on top… if I had added blue sunglasses and an ear stud I could have gone to a costume ball as Bono!   I had told the stylist what I needed… but instead of truly listening she interpreted my needs through her 20 something lens of what she thought it should be.   The net result was that I came out looking like an insecure baby boomer trying to relive my 20’s.

As I was reflecting on the prospect of going out in public looking like Bono, it brought back memories of a similar experience I had with a city hall staff a few years ago.

I was considering the purchase of an atypical infill residential lot to build on that had some unique challenges. Whether the lot would work would be determined by the side yard setbacks. So I called the city’s development services department and asked “what are the side yard setbacks?” The secretary said she would have someone call me. I got a call back about 48 hours later from a development services representative and I asked again “what are the side yard setbacks?”

This time I was told “I am sorry but to answer any development questions, you need to come in for a development review meeting.” So within another about 48 hours, a secretary called me and scheduled me for the next available date for a development review meeting – which was approximately three weeks later.

I showed up at the conference room where the fire marshal, the building inspector, a zoning representative, a planner and the development services director were all in the room. I sat down and they asked what they could do for me. I said, “I need to know what the side yard setbacks are.” So the planner looked at their map and responded with a number that made it clear this lot was not able to be developed for me.

huffyIt had taken me a month and a meeting with five city officials to get a 30 second answer to a very simple and straightforward question.

Later, in a separate context I had a conversation with the development services director and she asked about my experience with the city. She was stunned (and even a little offended) to learn that I did not consider it a very positive experience. She said, “It was excellent customer service – we had a room full of people there to address any concerns you had and we were able to answer your question immediately and with clarity. How could you not consider that excellent customer service?”

The development services director had viewed the customer’s needs through her lens of providing a reliable process instead of through my lens as the customer. Yes, her city hall-centric process was reliable and accurate, but it took me a month and required me to schedule a live meeting at city hall to get a 30 second answer that should have been handled with a single phone call. A city hall-centric process can easily deceive staff into believing that just because it is reliable and accurate that the customer is being well served.

It is not accidental that one of the 12 core values of Servant Leadership is listening.   ListeningMystery shoppers, customer surveys, focus groups, social media and even just asking are all great strategies to improve your organization’s listening skills. Take advantage of them.

You may be surprised at what you discover – and how easy you could improve citizen relations just by making sure your organization is doing a better job of truly listening to customers.

Ron_H_new
Written by:
Ron Holifield
CEO, Strategic Government Resources
governmentresource.com

 

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Servant Leaders are Song Leaders

2016 will be my 40th high school reunion, and as I pondered it, 70’s icons began to flood my mind.

ROBIN WILLIAMS

Mork from Ork (Robin Williams for Millennials reading this!) made rainbow-colored suspenders and painter pants wildly popular (yes, I had both). Laugh-In tackled current issues with a cheerful cheekiness that made a silly phrase so popular that even Richard Nixon came on the show to say “Sock it to ME?” nixon

Utter the words “I’d like to teach the world to sing” and baby boomers immediately see people from every nation and every background holding hands in “perfect harmony.” The song immediately becomes an earworm of warm and fuzzy feelings.

smiley-face-1But “have a nice day” and its smiley face icon (the fore bearer of today’s emoji’s) is the most iconic symbol of the 70’s. It was everywhere, conveying a virtually universal desire to bless others with good wishes. This made me ponder what this year’s graduates will look back on in 2056 as the most iconic symbol from their high school years. I am afraid that the odds are way too high that it will be “grumpy cat.”83dad2ee2217ad59e3661e98aea8bb70

It is not just that grumpy cat memes are funny and dominate the Internet, but they really do capture our general grumpiness as a society right now. Hatefulness and obstructionism instead of optimism and solution seeking in national politics have infiltrated local government. Race baiting and name calling is becoming routine discourse. Disagreement has become justification for demonization.

It is not just that we are grumpy and acting out that grumpiness in how we treat other people as a society. We are increasingly accepting as normative ever-more ridiculous explanations by leaders trying to justify mean-spirited and anti-social behavior by themselves and their followers. Somewhere along the way we have equated treating people with dignity and respect with political correctness. The result is a stunning loss of civility.

Authentic servant leaders treat everyone with dignity and respect – especially those they disagree with. Authentic servant leaders nurture compromise more than collision. Authentic servant leaders think more about the next generation than the next election.

It is not just nostalgia that makes me yearn for more servant leaders who want “to teach the world to sing in perfect harmony.”

Ron_H_new
Written by:
Ron Holifield
CEO, Strategic Government Resources
governmentresource.com

 

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Presidential Politics and Servant Leadership

Republican Versus Democrat Concept

As Super Tuesday approaches I have been asked a number of times which presidential candidates I think are authentic servant leaders.

I try to never engage directly in political discussions on social media because mixing politics and social media results in little more than an echo chamber in which too many people are only interested in shouting at the other side rather than considering and understanding other perspectives.

However, my response in general is that the characteristics of a presidential candidate who is an authentic servant leader are the same characteristics as a city council member who is an authentic servant leader, which are the same characteristics as an authentic servant leader who is serving in any other role.

With that as a context… here is a pretty good list of characteristics to gauge whether a presidential candidate, a city council member or anyone else is authentically walking the talk of servant leadership… and is an even better way for me to constantly self-evaluate whether I am staying true to those same values:

  • Does the leader approach those with whom they disagree with the heart of a peacemaker?
  • Does the leader show mercy to others even when they are political opponents?
  • Does the leader have a meek and humble spirit that recognizes that their position could be wrong and the other perspective could be right?
  • Does the leader hunger to live righteously?
  • Does the leader constantly engage in honest self-reflection necessary to keep the motivations of their heart pure?
  • Does the leader know the pain of hurt and loss and understand the importance of being both comforting and being comforted?
  • Has the leader experienced being abused for doing the right thing and yet consistently reacts to being insulted and falsely accused with a joyful spirit despite it all?

How are you doing in your efforts to authentically walk the talk of authentic servant leadership?

Ron_H_new
Written by:
Ron Holifield
CEO, Strategic Government Resources
governmentresource.com

 

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Social Media for Servant Leaders

Authenticity as a servant leader means reflecting your genuine concern for others in the completeness of how you live every day. Being an authentic servant leader is not something you do, it is who you are. As a result, servant leaders should consider the following guidelines when posting on their various personal social media accounts:

  1. Never post any article that you have not actually read. Drama manipulators often post inflammatory and dramatic headlines on legitimate articles designed to inflame political passions knowing that unthoughtful people who agree with their broad sentiment will post and react to the dramatic headline without reading the article (which often even says the opposite of what the manufactured headline screams). If the content is not consistent with the headlines, posting it is contributing to drama without substance, not thoughtful discourse.
  2. Go to the source and make sure you want to be associated with it. There are a variety of web based “news sources” created by drama manipulators that produce stories with careless abandon regarding truth. When you see a hyper dramatic headline, go to the source and look at the overall tone and tenor of what they are posting. If they post a variety of dramatic stories that feel questionable, odds are that the story you are considering posting is questionable as well. And if you post questionable items from questionable sources, you yourself become known as someone who is a questionable source.
  3. Never abandon a passionate commitment to truth regardless of whether you agree with the sentiment. Drama manipulators regularly manufacture overtly false information designed for shallow thinkers to share, and in so doing advance their political agenda. Before posting anything, set aside your political beliefs and your emotional engagement on the issue, and ask yourself, do I REALLY believe this is true? The more dramatic a claim is, the more committed you should be to researching something on Snopes.com before posting it. In 2013, there was a spate of postings claiming the federal government had a secret network of underground tunnels connecting abandoned Walmarts from which the US Army was going to launch a takeover of Texas. When you post something false and irrational, you damage your influence and credibility and cause thoughtful friends to quietly question your judgment, your wisdom, and in some cases, your relationship with reality. Servant leaders know that credibility is precious and to be nurtured.
  4. Never post anything that is hateful in tone. Without regard to your political beliefs, if you post things that are dramatic and hateful in tone toward “the other side” you diminish your credibility as a servant leader with those who disagree with you. When you post hateful things about a particular leader, he or she may not ever read your post but it will build a wall between you and friends who support that leader. You can share your perspectives without being hateful in tone. Servant leaders are focused on building bridges not walls, even when disagreeing on substance.
  5. Have the emotional intelligence to recognize hateful comments. One of the tendencies of drama manipulators is to claim that what they posted is “not hateful, it is just telling the truth.” Just because you claim that something isn’t hateful doesn’t keep it from being hateful and mean spirited. Posting hateful comments about other people is always in conflict with a servant leader’s commitment to being a healer.
  6. Focus on your opportunity to influence others more than on your right to free speech. Yes you have the right to say dramatic, hateful, and demeaning things about political leaders (and others). A good thing about our constitution is that we have that freedom. However, just because you have the right to say something mean spirited does not mean it is constructive or beneficial to do so. Servant leaders recognize that the way we express ourselves affects the credibility of what we have to say.
  7. Avoid stereotyping. Social media is rampant with political, racial, gender, religious, and other stereotypical postings that demean and drive divisions between groups. Before posting anything that uses broad stereotypes about any group, think about someone you consider a personal friend who is a part of that group. Ask yourself if someone you disagreed with said the same things about your friend that you are posting about the group, whether that would be hurtful to your friend. If it would be hurtful if the exact same post called them by name, odds are it is hurtful when it stereotypes the group they are a part of. If you don’t have anyone who is a member of that group you would consider a personal friend, recognize that posting a broadside attack on that group using stereotypes is at best an act of ignorance that is spreading hateful attitudes.

The bottom line is that your mother was right – we are known by the company we keep. If our social media presence is marked by hateful, demeaning, and mean spirited articles, memes, and postings, then we will be known as someone who values hateful, demeaning, and mean spirited attitudes toward others — the antithesis of a Servant Leader’s heart.

Before posting anything on your personal social media, ask yourself 5 questions:

  • Am I sure it is factually true?
  • Is the content I am sharing coming from sources I want to be associated with?
  • Does it diminish anyone?
  • Is it hateful in tone?
  • Does it expand my influence – even with those who disagree with me?

Ron_H_new
Written by:
Ron Holifield
CEO, Strategic Government Resources
governmentresource.com

 

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New Year’s Resolutions for Elected Officials Who Want to Leave a Legacy That Matters

Worker carrying suitcase on the road with numbers 2016

In electing me to office, my fellow citizens have entrusted me with the sacred duty of shaping the future of our community. Because I am committed to creating a future that is brighter and healthier and more beneficial to all citizens than when I was called to lead, I will:

  1. Base my decisions on the next generation more than the next election, committed to the ideal that my loyalty must be to the entire community (both now and in the future) and not merely to those who got me elected.
  2. Focus on mission, vision and values as the benchmark for my decisions and recognize that my responsibility is the pursuit of the greatest good for the entire community and not the satisfaction of any particular group’s agenda.
  3. Make decisions based on fact based evidence and not allow myself to be manipulated into bad decisions for the future based on the decibel level of critics.
  4. Recognize that “it takes a smart man to know where he is stupid” and have the wisdom to be smart.   Accordingly, I will value those who have the courage to tell me what they really think and will listen sincerely to those who disagree with me to truly understand their perspective, recognizing that understanding other perspectives makes me a better leader.
  5. Embrace my responsibility to govern rather than to manage; recognizing that if I am doing staff’s job I am not doing my job, while also understanding and embracing the appropriately exercised governance role of holding staff accountable.
  6. Place a greater emphasis on solutions than on problems; while refusing to offer solutions before I understand the problem.
  7. Understand that mutual trust is the foundation for everything and that if I refuse to trust others they will be unable to trust me.
  8. Protect the integrity of the process more than the rightness of my position; I will fight hard for my issue but then unify behind the governing body when the decision is made because the decision was made with integrity of process, even if I disagree with the outcome.
  9. Understand that my deeply held beliefs, values and positions will be strengthened, not compromised by courteous, respectful and civil discourse. I will not treat someone as the enemy just because we disagree.
  10. Treat everyone with dignity and respect because of who I am as a leader… not because of how they treat me or what I think about them.
  11. Be a role model for civility. I will not treat my colleagues or staff in any way that I would be embarrassed if my five year old child treated someone the same way.

Ron_H_new.png

Written by:
Ron Holifield
CEO, Strategic Government Resources
governmentresource.com

 

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The Leadership Feeling

I have been fortunate to work for and with great city management leaders. My career was given a start by a city manager after I told him that I had no idea what he was talking about during the interview. Then, there was the city manager that challenged me professionally and gave me my first big promotion and the city manager who literally tiled my kitchen floor and comforted us during a concerning pregnancy.

There are numerous other examples from leaders from within our profession who have taken the time to invest in me, my family, and my career. Whether career advice or encouragement in passing from leaders and colleagues, or the gift of years of advice, encouragement, and challenges from my mentors, this profession has generally been very friendly and focused on the betterment of local government and the future leaders for local government.

Last week, May 28th marked the one-year anniversary of the passing of the legendary Maya Angelou, an American author, poet, and actress. Ms. Angelou’s career spanned more than fifty years. She was involved in the Civil Rights Movement and spent time with national and world leaders.

In honor of her passing, I read some of her more famous quotes from various works and speeches. One stuck with me:

People will forget what you said,

People will forget what you did,

But people will never forget

How you made them feel.

As leaders, we often get caught up building a persona that we think leaders should possess or finding the words that we think leaders should use. At the end of the day, it is not about what you say or what you do; it is about how you make others feel.

So, take time to mentor the future generation of local government. Take time to get to know your employees. Take time to show that you care about your citizens. Take time.

When your career is completed, you will have developed future leaders, impacted your organization, and bettered your city.

Katie

Written by:
Katie Corder
Executive Search Manager
governmentresource.com

After the Flood

I live and work out of south central Texas, in a city on two rivers, not far from the Blanco and San Marcos Rivers. The San Marcos and Guadalupe Rivers are my playground, as I participate in canoe races year-round held from the headwaters to the mouth, most notably, the Texas Water Safari. I teach canoe classes at Texas State University. If I ever had a “home away from home” designation to give, it would be for these rivers. I absolutely love being on the river, and those rivers specifically.

On Memorial Day weekend, those rivers raged. The Blanco River, which runs through the small town of Wimberley, then San Marcos (the fastest growing city in the nation), before it converges with the San Marcos River above Martindale, flowed at a reported 223,000 cubic feet per second. That’s 2.5 times the flow of Niagara Falls, I read in a report. As a frame of reference, “normal” flow for those rivers is 100-300 cfs on average. If you’ve seen the news reports, you’ve seen the devastation. As several folks have said, “we’ll never see the river look like it did before, in our lifetime.”

11377133_10205909019018140_5788856711673681803_n - CopyI’ve spent days volunteering primarily in Martindale, a tiny town with massive destruction. I’ve worked directly with a dozen of the homeowners affected. My heart is so heavy for Lupe, Mario, Annette, Raquel, Pete, Fernando, Clavio, Paula and Tom, and the list goes on. We gutted their homes. We threw away memories and ruined tools, clothes and food. I did not want to write about the power of nature or how we can manage things in the face of disaster. I could not bring myself to write about something so hurt-filled. While there are lessons to be learned there, I was personally not ready to write about it, while we’re still knee-deep in mud and devastation, and still, this past Saturday, additional flash flooding.

However, Sunday afternoon, I stopped in to check on my new friends in downtown Martindale. The sun was finally out after weeks of 10411134_10205909018818135_782072148897933495_nrain. Flooring was being put in Lupe and Mario’s home. Angelica, their 8 year-old, gave me a big hug. There were smiles on everyone’s faces.

I will never forget the smiles. It was a completely different world at that point. 36 hours prior, when we arrived at their home, it was hard to know where to begin. “Just throw it all out,” Lupe told my crew. “I have a few boxes to save, but that’s it.” I walked past her at one point just standing there with tears running down her cheeks. Flash forward to Sunday. Their home is drying out. Friends have arrived to help install their plywood flooring. Lupe is offering my work partner and me things to eat and drink, hugging and laughing with us. Her attitude has had a 180 degree change, and that makes all the difference.11196301_10205909019298147_227404499577822679_n - Copy

There is so much to be thankful for. There is much to be happy for. We are alive. We have community. And the happiness we can find gives us the advantage to succeed.

If you’d like to make a donation to help the people of this flood-devastated area, please visit http://www.unitedwayhaysco.org/give

Heather_H

 

Written by:
Heather Harrison
Development Manager
governmentresource.com

Get in the Driver’s Seat, pt. II

butwaittheresmoreThis week, we’ll continue our look into what commonly drives employee engagement – also known as the contribution and satisfaction of an employee.  The first three were: employee perception of job importance, clarity of job expectations and roles, and regular feedback from supervisors and managers. But wait! There’s more:

Providing opportunities for advancement within your organization is a great way to keep employees motivated to do more – and to not look outside the organization for advancement. Unfortunately, many local governments are unable to add new positions at any whim, so the opportunity for a less tenured person to advance depends on the turnover above him or her. The6233658re are a couple of other ways you can provide opportunities, though, without a “plus one.” One of the best ways to help promote an employee’s strengths and provide opportunities for enrichment and development when you’re limited by actual advancement is to assign them to a city-wide committee or to assign a project that benefits the local government as a whole, outside normal or typical job duties. You might find that your employee can serve the organization better in another capacity, position, or department, even! I’ve seen several circumstances where employees shone brightly once assigned to additional tasks beyond their regularly assigned work, and that led to a lateral “promotion” of sorts. Who do you have in your department who you KNOW can do more for the organization, possibly elsewhere?

The next driver is an obvious one: clear communication. Keeping your employees informed of what is going on and what expectations are is a critical way to keep them assured that they matter and that the work they do matters. A sure way to kill engagement? Keep your employees in the dark. But we’ll table that for now. Stay tuned next week for employee engagement killers…tumblr_mka7s4YdT21qdf6w8o1_500

Additionally, the perception of values in the organization is another common driver of engagement. At SGR, we believe that the alignment of employees’ work with the values of the organization is one of a manager’s/supervisor’s greatest tasks; in fact, aligned independence with the values and mission of your organization is the ultimate goal of coaching and managing employees’ performance. Do your employees know the core values of your city? Can they recite them? Do they – or you – understand what those look like in your city? Values are the common characteristics or guiding principles that an organization adopts to put in their budget document and hang on the wall in the City Manager’s office, right? Or, maybe they’re simply what we evaluate employees on once per year during the performance evaluation process, just to mark “meets” because we haven’t truly connected our employees – or ourselves – to them. Unfortunately, these are what we see values used for, when it could be so much more! Values are what we hired employees to be, to live—to use as a guide for their behavior. They are the common foundational principles that we must hire for, train for, evaluate for, and coach with. It should be a part of our daily conversations. This, to me, is the most important driver yet! There’s one last driver, however. And this one, you should take notice of, my friends.

The final common driver of employee engagement is the quality of relationships in the organization. Relationships matter, the most. Your employees have relationships with coworkers, management, and subordinates perhaps. Of these, the most important relationship, in terms of impact on employee engagement, is the employee’s relationship with you, his or her supervisor. Relational leadership is the foundation of all leadership – this is what you will see and hear in what we teach and how we lead, how we serve at Strategic Government Resources.snl-moments-33-5

My friends, life isn’t about work. It’s about relationships. It’s about the quality of the time we spend with others. It’s about serving others and putting others’ needs above our own. I hope you understand that much of what drives employee engagement comes easily, once you put your employees’ needs above yours. It’s a radical – yet simple – way to lead. I hope you’re game for joining the cutting edge of supervisors and managers in the driver’s seat!toonces

Heather_H

Written by:
Heather Harrison
Development Manager
governmentresource.com

Good Deeds, Pt. 2

Last week, I challenged you to join me in doing 15 good deeds. This past Sunday was Good Deeds Day, a worldwide movement of 900,000 volunteers in 58 countries who take part in a celebration of “doing good.” Several of you joined me, and I thank you!#SGRGoodDeeds

Together, we did small things and big things, all of which made a difference in someone else’s life. And for that, we are all better. A few things I know that happened out of #SGRGoodDeeds:

  • A meal was pre-paid at a burger joint for a future customer.
  • Fresh cookies were left at neighbors’ doors.
  • Many attempts at being kinder drivers occurred. A lot of patience and waving, and one more extra car being let in, in traffic took place!
  • A Pay-It-Forward chain was started and sustained (in case one car accepted the kind act but didn’t pay it forward) at a coffee shop drive-through known for kindness, called On The Grind Coffee, owned by Mark Parmerlee. Mark and his employees epitomize extraordinary customer service, and they have seen customers take it upon themselves to frequently and spontaneously participate in pay-it-forward chains. Kudos to you, Mark, for inspiring your customers to do good. You make New Braunfels a better place!
  • A tip and a sweet note for a hotel maid to have a “beautiful day!”
  • Shared a treat and watched a movie on a shared iPad with a seatmate on a flight.
  • Picked up a woman’s tab at a restaurant – she had the five most well-behaved children (ages 7 and under) on record, ever, in the history of dining – she deserved that and a medal.
  • Chocolate and banana bread delivered to office mates.
  • Surprised a friend with coffee.
  • Let a man with flowers and a card ahead of me in line to check out at a store. When he declined the offer, I said, “You look like you have somewhere to be.” He smiled and went ahead.
  • Promoted and donated to friends’ fundraising efforts for American Heart Association and Walk for Multiple Sclerosis.
  • Helped an older woman without her glasses operate the microwave at the hotel.

I hope that, as you do good deeds, you find them to not be cumbersome, expensive, or uncomfortable. I hope that you find them to be quietly gratifying, that they bring you a sense of peace, even. And that they become natural-feeling, part of who you are.

I was raised to act out in kindness to strangers and neighbors by my parents. They’re both educators in the public school system, so serving others is part of their core. Neither has a problem making friends with complete strangers, so I come by it honestly. Courtesy, respect, kindness, and generosity were standards in my family, and was in the family of a classmate of mine, Kliff Kingsbury, whose natural instinct for good deeds made the news recently. He usually makes the news about being the best thing since tortillas for Texas Tech football or looking like Ryan Gosling…

somedude

so, I’m happy that he was recognized for doing something more… human. This gentleman was also raised by educators, so I know that he had instilled in him the same things that I did. I knew his mom better than his dad, and she was an amazing woman; we have honored her every year since her death with the Sally M. Kingsbury Sarcoma Research Foundation fundraiser. When I read this article about the man I’ve known since sixth grade helping an elderly woman after a wreck, I said, “Of course he did. His momma raised him right.”

While you and your employees may not have had the benefit of being raised by public servants, you can begin instilling these traits and encouraging these acts now! You’ll make someone’s day, encourage better customer service, even help someone’s life. I challenge you to continue doing good deeds. If you want to encourage others to join you, please continue using the tag when you post #SGRGoodDeeds. Thanks again for joining me. It makes me happy!

Heather_H

 

Written by:
Heather Harrison
Development Manager
governmentresource.com

5 Needs for Recruitable Folks

As in ancient times, talent has become the coin of the realm. Companies that multiply their human talents will prosper. Companies that don’t will struggle.
Companies need to hunt for talent continuously so as to capture people when they are ready to make a move. You have to reach people who aren’t looking for a job.
Everyone in the company should be a talent scout.
Ed Michaels, Helen Handfield-Jones, Beth Axelrod Boston: The War for Talent

It’s a simple fact. Once you have the right product or service, then having people with talent makes a big difference.

This much we know for sure – the wrong people can send you plummeting in a hurry. It is the right people that set you up for the success you seek.

So, if you are going to win the war for talent, then you have to become ever-more intentional about getting the people with the best talent to come work with you.

So, imagine that you are one of those (possibly) ready to make a move. You are “recruitable.” What are you looking for in the company you move to? Here are five must-haves, five needs of recruitable folks…

#1 — I need the skills

If skill development, and continuing learning, is as critical as we think (and, it is!), then a company has to provide ongoing, perpetual skill development and learning opportunities.

The fact is that no one is equipped for the job they will be doing in the coming year(s). There are more things to learn, to keep up with. It is harder to “stay ahead” than ever before. Companies that understand this, and truly provide such ongoing skill development and learning opportunities, will be much more appealing to those who are “recruitable.”

#2 — I need the encouragement

Companies hire… people. These are real people, who need feedback – appropriate “negative feedback,” for improving their work; and much, much positive feedback. People like to be recognized for what they do well.

Every single leader/boss/supervisor/manager needs to become a master of encouragement. (The book Encouraging the Heart by Kouzes and Posner should be mandatory reading for everyone in a leading/managing position).

Put it this way: if people dread going to work because they are ignored, or constantly criticized, then they will go elsewhere if they have any talent at all. Your entire corporate culture has to become a culture of encouragement.

#3 — I need help with my pipeline

Though we talk about self-starters – and, self-starter skills and traits are truly wonderful – for those who are not the Super Bowl champion self-starters, they need help with their “pipeline.” When to contact others; who to contact; who to learn from; who to sell to; who to network with. Companies need to get really good at match-making assistance. Putting the right people in touch with the other right people.

In sales, this is obvious. Helping people in sales with their pipelines is an absolute must.

But, do not make the mistake of thinking that this is only about sales…

#4 — I need the rewards

First, the obvious. If a person is not paid enough (enough to take money worries off the table; enough to be genuinely competitive with other possible places to work) then you will not keep your best people.

But, after there is enough “money,” then it is the other kinds of rewards that matter. Go back to Kouzes and Posner’s recommendation to “personalize recognition.” Reward people for work well done, and give them tangible rewards that are unique to them (you “know” them as individuals, and reward them accordingly). Personalize their recognition.

#5 — I need to be happy when I show up at work

It really does boil down to this. If a person dreads going into the work place, they will be very “recruitable” by another company. If they love the people, the connections, the environment, the opportunities, the challenge, and they believe the work they are doing makes a difference for the better for people, they will be quite “unrecruitable.” A truly happy and productive person is really hard to steal away.

So, here they are.  “Recruitable” people think this way:

#1 — I need the skills
#2 — I need the encouragement
#3 — I need help with my pipeline
#4 — I need the rewards
#5 — I need to be happy when I show up at work

Provide all five of these, and you have a much better shot at recruiting those recruitable folks.

Randy Mayeux
Contributed by:
Randy Mayeux
Professional Speaker & Writer
Co-founder, First Friday Book Synopsis

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