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Archive for June, 2011

Leadership Amidst Chaos

By Bryant Nielson, Managing Director On June 24, 2011 NO COMMENTS

Today’s organizations are finding themselves in chaos more often. Layoffs, poor economic conditions, and structural changes are causing leaders to become caught up in confusion, too. But if you follow a few guidelines and make some changes to your style, you can lead the organization through the chaos.

One of the first things to remember in unclear situations is that you must continue to think proactively and be proactive. What do you do in normal times? You think about the organization, where it needs to go, what’s going to get it there, and what issues could be obstacles. Why think any differently during times of chaos? You still have to lead the organization according to its vision and goals, but the issues may be different. When conditions start to “head south”, keep your head and think about how the issues have changed. What are the new obstacles? How can the organization react in its new condition? Your attention will be pulled in a thousand different directions, but take some time each day or week to think about how to move forward.

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Micro Leadership: How to Lead When You’re Not the Leader

By Bryant Nielson, Managing Director On June 17, 2011 NO COMMENTS

Leadership is possible no matter where you are in an organization’s hierarchy. People in management and leadership positions had to start somewhere – and most of them got where they are by proving themselves as leaders before they were placed in a position to lead. But the difficult part is knowing what actions to take – and when. Here are five ideas that will help you create a leadership framework even if you aren’t the leader.

To begin with, learn to seek responsibility. This has two meanings. First, be on the lookout for responsibility higher than your own. In today’s environment, with shrinking staffs and budgets, many organizations need people who can take on further responsibility without looking for higher pay, more prestige, or even a higher position. This doesn’t mean that you should “sell out” or take on so much that your other duties will suffer. But it does mean that you should look for areas or subjects of interest and volunteer for projects or duties in those areas. Being on the lookout can also mean that you try to find ways to streamline processes or save money – and share those ways with management.

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When Training Is or Is Not the Answer

By Bryant Nielson, Managing Director On June 11, 2011 NO COMMENTS

Before scheduling training to correct performance gaps, ask yourself the following questions:

1. Does the gap exist because employees don’t know how to do the required work or because they don’t want to?

If the answer is the latter or partially the latter, training will not correct the performance gap.

2. Does the gap exist because there is no recognition for performing well and/or no consequence for not performing as desired?

If either of those conditions exist, training alone will not correct the performance gap.

3. Are the employees intellectually/physically capable of doing the work?

If not, you have a job misfit. Training will not correct the performance gap.

4. Do the employees already have the job knowledge and needed attitude to complete the work?

If the answer is yes and a gap still exists, training is probably not the answer. You may need to look at other factors. For instance, do employees have access to the appropriate equipment and resources?

5. Are employees positive about their work and intellectual/physical capable of doing the job, but lack training? Furthermore, is your organization ready to reinforce new behaviors?

If you can answer, “yes” to all of those questions, next you must choose a training provider.



Training Dangers

By Bryant Nielson, Managing Director On June 10, 2011 NO COMMENTS

If your primary purpose is to close a performance gap, think carefully before choosing participants. Some might not need the training and resent having to attend. For instance, if a group of employees needs help with writing, do not include those already working up to the desired standard in a basic writing course.

They will more than likely not want to be there. Furthermore, if only one person has a performance gap, think about whether you are using training instead of coaching or counseling. Addressing the problems of one employee as if they are the problems of a group is a recipe for disaster.


Choosing a Training Partner

By Bryant Nielson, Managing Director On June 3, 2011 NO COMMENTS

Spending time up front asking a few questions can help you to make the right choice when it comes to selecting a training provider. The right instructor, the right materials, and the right training partner can make all of the difference. Once you have determined that onsite training is the way to go, you owe it to yourself to ask the following questions of the training providers you have found.

Twelve Question You Need to Ask Your Training Partner

1. What results have other clients had from your programs?

2. What is your responsibility for getting those results?

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10 YouTube Videos Every Entrepreneur Should Watch

By Bryant Nielson, Managing Director On June 2, 2011 NO COMMENTS

I am a huge fan of Business Insider and their articles.  They posted  the

10 YouTube Videos Every Entrepreneur Should Watch

and I thought everyone who is in business for themselves should watch each and everyone of them.  Click on the image to be taken to the Business Insider page for all 10 videos.