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HR Matters // A Newsletter On: Creating exceptional workplaces and extraordinary results

Beginning with the End in Mind

The other day I was watching a video where the founder of Harpoon Brewery, a New England based brewing company, was being interviewed. He was asked if there were plans to take the company national. He responded, without hesitation, that doing so would require taking their eyes off a market that they had only just begun to penetrate — New England. The founder knew exactly what he had in mind, and therefore didn’t waste resources chasing a pipe dream.

Whenever prospects and clients tell me:

We need training.
We need to upgrade our talent.
We need to go into new markets.

I always respond with one simple question. Why? The why allows me to determine the best route to help them achieve their objectives. That’s why I recommend you always begin with the end in mind. As an organization, what is it that you are trying to achieve? Only then will you be able to determine the quickest and best route to your destination.

Here are some questions that business owners and senior leaders need to be asking:

  • Where do we want to take this company in five years?
  • Who in the company will be coming along on the journey, and who will we need to ask to step off the ship?
  • What do we need to put into place today to make our vision a reality?
  • What resources will we need to help us achieve our vision?
  • Who will be responsible for what aspects of our plan, and how can we best support those people?

You’ll never reach your intended destination without a plan. Taking the time to think through these questions is a great first step. However, this won’t mean a darn thing if you never take action.

Should You Care If Your Employees Love You?

I guess one of the great things about being a boss is all the admiration you receive from your team. If only this were true. You’re busting your butt trying to make everyone happy while your people are complaining about your lack of leadership skills.

Great leaders don’t look for admiration. They seek respect.

Some of the best bosses I’ve worked with weren’t necessarily people I would have chosen to hang out with after the work day was done. In many cases, I didn’t even like these people. However, I did respect them. Here’s why:

  • They were clear on where we were headed.
  • They communicated with the team on a regular basis.
  • They told us what they expected.
  • We received timely feedback, which allowed us to make course corrections.
  • They didn’t run their departments like a democracy.
  • They made decisions, even when they weren’t popular decisions.
  • They didn’t pretend to be our best friend. They were our boss.

How are you doing when it comes to managing your employees? Are you the type of boss that people respect? If not, we should talk. Acknowledging you have some room for improvement is the first step towards achieving the status of being a great leader. The rest I can help you with.

Manage Me… Please!

I was sitting on the beach today speaking with a gentleman who happened to mention that he was having a tough time with his IT team. He told me they complain a lot about the workload, yet they never take the necessary steps to get the resources they need. I told him he didn’t have a management problem. His people have a problem. They don’t know how to manage up.

He agreed and begged me to tell him more. I told him he needed to buy each member of his team a copy of my bestselling book, Suddenly in Charge: Managing Up, Managing Down, Succeeding All Around. He was heading home to do so that evening.

Managing up is a skill that can be learned, and the sooner his people master this skill, the happier their boss will be. And who knows, they may actually get the resources they need so that next summer they are the ones who are lounging on the beach instead of their boss.

Rules of Attraction: Your Monthly Tip on Attracting and Retaining Top Talent

The other day I went back-to-school shopping with my fourteen-year-old daughter at a store called Brandy Melville. I was a bit perplexed by the sizing, as everything appeared to be a size zero. That was before the store clerk told me that OS meant One Size Fits All. I looked around and I saw teenagers of all shapes and sizes trying on the same clothes, which didn’t fit anyone particularly well.

One-size-fits-all recruitment strategies may at first glance appear to be a great way to capture the attention of everyone. That may work fine if you are looking to hire anyone and everyone. But if you are looking for a specific type of employee who will be the exact fit for your organization, then I suggest you tailor your recruitment message. Doing so will help to avoid wasting precious time interviewing tons of candidates who clearly are not the right fit for your organization.

For more tips on attracting and retaining top talent, download a copy of Talent Magnetism. Call us today at 413-582-1840 if you’d like to discuss applying these concepts to your organization.

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Meet Roberta Matuson

For more than 25 years, Roberta Matuson has helped leaders in Fortune 500 companies, including Best Buy, New Balance, The Boston Beer Company, achieve dramatic growth and market leadership through the maximization of talent.

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