Tag Archives: Best Companies

Millennials…One Thing They Want More of in Their Culture

Manage Key Showing Leadership Management And SupervisionThere is a lot of talk about what Millennials want and don’t want in the workplace. While there might be a lot of aspects people don’t agree on, one that Harvard Business Review found most do agree on is the need for FEEDBACK and COACHING in the workplace.

In a recent article, “Millennials want to be Coached at Work,” Millennials shared what they appreciate and found valuable as part of the culture of the organization. They crave — and respond to — a good, positive coach, who can make all the difference in their success. They conducted a survey of 1400 Millennials and they told them they wanted more feedback…not less…from their managers. In fact, they want it 50% more of the time than other employees. However, only 46% thought they got enough feedback from their managers.

There was a great quote that summed up how most Millennials felt about feedback and coaching…

“I would like to move ahead in my career. And to do that, it’s very important to be in touch with my manager, constantly getting coaching and feedback from him so that I can be more efficient and proficient.”

There were 3 things that they told Harvard they wanted from a manager…

  1. Inspire me…Most Millennials like to work for causes and people rather than companies and institutions. As such, they want to have managers inspire them with their leadership and motivation. They clearly have demonstrated more of a need for praise than most other generations. In their analysis, there were four traits of inspiring leaders…
    1. Providing a Vision
    2. Enhancing Relationships
    3. Driving Results
    4. Serving as a principle role model
  2. Surround me with Great People…the audience of Millennials constantly told them, “Help me up my game by working with people who are talented and better than I am (now).” The job of a manager is to coach a new person while they are most fragile, rather than fostering a sink-or-swim environment. Putting them in groups and surrounding them with people that are better than themselves is a positive in their opinion. They see it as a way to grow rather than a super competitive environment.
  3. Be Authentic…they want to hear about both the successes and failures of their managers so they know they are real and authentic. The best coaches and managers are the ones that aren’t intimidated by their past defeats but can use them to help their team grow. Millennials love this approach and want managers who are willing to share this without intimidation or insecurity.

When managers and coaches use these techniques they find far more engagement and loyalty from their Millennial employees. Find a team of managers that can deliver these elements in their style and establish a culture of inspiration and motivation and you will win them over.

McKinsey’s Top 4 Leadership Traits

McKinsey-logoI shared last week 15 traits Leaders don’t want to exhibit or possess so I thought it only fair to list some of the Leadership traits top leaders should possess.

McKinsey came up with a list of 20 types of behavior leaders exhibit and use in their running of organizations in a report, Decoding leadership: What really matters. In this article, they focused on the Top 4 Behaviors that explained 89% of the difference between strong and weak organizations with regard to leadership effectiveness.

Here is a list of all 20 Behaviors and the Top 4 are in capitals and bold so you can see which ones stood out from the list of 20…

  1. BE SUPPORTIVE
  2. Champion desired change
  3. Clarify objectives, rewards, and consequences
  4. Communicate prolifically and enthusiastically
  5. Develop others
  6. Develop and share a collective mission
  7. Differentiate among followers
  8. Facilitate group collaboration
  9. Foster mutual respect
  10. Give praise
  11. Keep group organized and on task
  12. Make quality decisions
  13. Motivate and bring out best in others
  14. Offer a critical perspective
  15. OPERATE WITH STRONG RESULST ORIENTATION
  16. Recover positively from failures
  17. Remain composed and confident in uncertainty
  18. Role model organization values
  19. SEEK DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVES
  20. SOLVE PROBLEMS EFFECTIVELY

Regardless of whether these were the top 4, this is a great list to think about with regard to all of our focus on leadership, developing teams, developing future leaders, and making our organizations the best they can be.

Share the list with your team and see what they think. Grade your leaders, or better yet, have them grade themselves on how well they do in all these areas, not just the top 4 behaviors identified. This would make a great discussion topic as well. I will post it into our LinkedIn Group under CEOtoCEO Discussions so if you have some thoughts or ideas or other behaviors you feel should be on the list, feel free to comment and offer your input.

A Personal Story of How to Move from Success to Significance

Larry Corey - SliderWe had the privilege of having Dr. Larry Corey, President and Director Emeritus (former CEO) of Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center speak at our breakfast this past week. Not only was Dr. Corey entertaining, but his message reached everyone in the room…and got us all thinking as he shared his own personal journey.

The main message he had for us to absorb and think about was something everyone could relate to…how you move from the world of “success” to the world of “significance.” They aren’t the same usually. As the youngest full professor at the University of Washington, his career started out fast and furious. He was a researcher, someone who came up with great discoveries, and someone his fellow colleagues looked up to throughout his career.

Then something happened…he left research and went to the “dark side” as his colleagues would call it, the business side of running Fred Hutch. Leaving research for administration and management was the one thing researchers don’t understand very well. Research is the pinnacle of what they were trained for in life…and they love it. Larry gave us a great example where he told us if a researcher was given a $1M and told he could bank it, spend it, or invest it into their lab, virtually every one would invest it in their lab…that’s the level of passion and dedication these people have for what they do every day. As someone who has had family members die of cancer, I am really happy to hear that answer as they continue to work on ways to eliminate it.

Larry’s job changed from writing papers on Herpes and HIV to promoting “the Hutch” as their CEO. He had to find ways to “commercialize” it to get the funding they needed beyond the philanthropic donations they receive. He had to create awareness and building funding mechanisms to grow. He had to become a true CEO and manage, build, and promote a $400M operation. No easy task for someone spending his life in research.

He challenged all of us that lead businesses that we need to have “Self-reflection and Self-evaluation” as a CEO or leader. This is a critical component to not being just successful, but being significant. He needed to move from the success as a researcher to create significance for The Hutch. So he built a system and an operation that touched many people’s lives in ways that allowed them to continue to not only survive but grow.

As they worked to build tremendous IP (intellectual property) through their discoveries and spinning off companies other big organizations wanted to buy, they became a base for opportunities. He wishes they could keep more of these companies inside their own organization and allow them to grow and prosper as well, but that is another story. Today, he has successfully moved from the research ranks and into the leadership ranks to bring incredible significance to the work of everyone at The Hutch. He has created a brand and identity second to none in the field of cancer research and treatment. He has been a huge part in taking The Hutch to a whole new level of significance in just about everyone’s life.

Jack Welch got it Right…even for Customers

Jack WelchThere is a famous quote I always loved from Jack Welch, famous CEO from General Electric. He said, “If the rate of change on the outside exceeds the rate of change on the inside, then the end is near.”

Today the rate of change is eclipsing most organizations and they can’t keep up. Competition is coming in from everywhere around the world and there aren’t any solid plans on how to deal with it. Competition is coming from places we never expected…primarily because someone else sees the inefficiencies in this particular industry. Product/Service competition is accelerating faster than we have ever seen in history. Commoditization is moving full speed ahead.

Step back from thinking about your product or service for a moment…despite all these competitive pressures. Step back and think about your Customers. Are your customers changing? Absolutely. Are the experiences they expect changing? Absolutely. Are you changing the experience you give to your customers? Most are not.

The one area you have complete and absolute control over is the experience you deliver to your customer. Complete control. You can choose what the experience should look like, feel like, smell like, and be to your customer…every day. And if your customers love your experience, the majority will forgo the latest and greatest advancements in product/service just to enjoy the experience they have with your company. This is the antithesis to commoditization…it is what customers want.

I turned Jack Welch’s quote in a slightly different direction focused on the customer, “If your customers are expecting a better customer experience than you are delivering, then the end is near.”

You have no control over the rate of change on the outside…it is just going to happen and accelerate. You do have control over what you change on the inside. I have always believed in the phrase, “Change what you have control to change and let others focus on what they can’t change.” Your customers aren’t a bad place to start. They are also probably worth the investment of time and innovation to create a totally awesome experience. The end doesn’t have to be near…it’s in your control.

Seahawks Winning Culture…

Seahawks logoBack in September at our CEOtoCEO breakfast we had the great privilege of having John Schneider speak to our group about the culture of the Seattle Seahawks. We all know how that story ended…with a SuperBowl victory!! But being a business leader you know there are lots of moving parts behind this to make it truly come together the way it did. A big one is CULTURE…

Last month we had the opportunity to have Steve Gandara from Excellent Cultures and Brad Root from GM Nameplate talk to us about “HOW” you can build this type of culture in your company or organization. Well, they took it a step further and married the Seahawks culture with their discussion about how to create this type of culture in a tremendous Four Part Series. We wanted to share these with you so you can get even more depth about how to create an excellent culture in your own organization.

Excellent CulturesIn PART ONE of The Seahawks Superbowl Winning Culture, they talked about 4 key elements that help them differentiate themselves from their competition. Here is their list…

  1. The level of intensity with which they play
  2. The voracious competitive spirit that seems to drive them
  3. The youthful talent of the players
  4. And most of all how much fun they have playing the game

In PART TWO they talked about how confidence played such a key role in their achievement. Two key ingredients that helped make up this winning culture were…

  1. Humility
  2. Confidence vs. Arrogance

These two components were far bigger drivers of their successful culture than just being a “great place to work.” There is a great deal to culture and it starts with the leadership of the organization. Pete Carroll was a master at creating this culture and allowing the players to do what they do best.

In PART THREE of the series, they focused on the internal relationships that go on between the leadership of the team and organization and the players. Yes, there is a definite relationship that has to be established and creating one that allows everyone to do what they do best is critical if you are to achieve the ultimate prize of being Superbowl champions. Two areas they discussed were…

  1. Positive Competition
  2. Superior Teams are built on high quality relationships

All of our organizations are “teams” and as such these are very applicable to everyone.

In the FOURTH (and final) PART of their series, they focused the TEAM aspects of the culture. How do they build a winning “team” that works so well together and delivers the results they wanted. One of the key aspects to accomplishing this is “Proper Goal Orientation.” They talk about this and how the Seahawks used it masterfully in their efforts to be the most successful team in the NFL this year.

So we highly recommend you read all four parts and see how you might compare to a team that was obviously successful in the most watched Superbowl in history. This was not only an exciting day for all of Seattle and the Pacific Northwest, but it is a series of events we can all learn from as we lead our companies. Special thanks to Steve Gandara and Excellent Cultures for putting these blog posts together and allowing us to share them with you. And as usual…please share your comments and thoughts below.

 

Complimentary Culture Assessment

For those of you who were fortunate enough to attend our CEOtoCEO breakfast this past week, you heard an excellent presentation and discussion about Culture…the Art and the Science. We want to thank Steve Gandara from Excellent Cultures and Brad Root from GM Nameplate for giving us the real world look at what it’s like… Continue Reading

John Schneider’s Partnership with Pete Carroll

We had the opportunity back in the fall to have John Schneider, General Manager of the (SuperBowl bound) Seattle Seahawks speak to us at one of our CEOtoCEO breakfast meetings. What a treat…both from John being very entertaining with his dry sense of humor but the insights he shared with us about the Seahawks organization.… Continue Reading

Where does CULTURE come from…Top Down or Bottom Up?

We had a great group of panelists at our February 7th CEOtoCEO breakfast event and as we promised, we want to share some of the video highlights as well as some of the answers to certain questions. One question that came from the audience and got lots of attention was in regard to CULTURE –… Continue Reading

What does it take to be a great leader?…from local leaders

During our CEOtoCEO breakfast this past week we had the opportunity to have a larger than normal crowd – all focused on learning some insights and tidbits from some of the many well-known and respected leaders in the room. The event didn’t disappoint – we heard some great insights and thoughts. We will be sharing… Continue Reading

Innovation is “Hot Topic” for everyone

We had the privilege of having David Allen, Executive Vice President of McKinstry speak to our packed house of CEOs last week and as usual, it was both entertaining and insightful. There were many highlights, which we will continue to share in subsequent blog posts, that focused on real world examples of how McKinstry is… Continue Reading