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What is your style?
In a number of my consulting engagements it has been necessary to focus not only on the tangible deliverables that I provide but also on the conduct of the individuals involved. This conduct is called style! Is style important? Yes! Style is not what you do but how you do it. The sum total of what you do. The intangible behavior that we project to those we work with and or serve - customers (internal and external)!
Why do I or my company need style? To have a quality customer experience across your organization you and your employees will need to commit to a common set of behaviors that will create the quality impression your customer(s) will have of you. If you let the individual personalities of your employees run their course your customers will have a varied experience that will not always meet or exceed what you believe all customers should experience when they do business with your company.
Can you create the right style by just focusing on the "customer" interface of your company? Successful companies have a culture or "style" that is developed across all departments of the company. This reinforcement of core values, expectations and performance factors removes inconsistencies and serves to inoculate new employees and lift up those who are lagging due to peer accountability present in a team environment. Everyone knowing how to conduct themselves and seeing it reinforced day-to-day by employees, and upper level management too, raises the overall performance of the company to a high level.
What are the key success factors in developing a successful style? Common success factors of a successful company style are:
Step back and take a look at your company style. Is it consistent with what you expected it to be. If you have difficulty doing this then ask a third party to come in and do an audit of your company style to see where you have strengths and weaknesses. Establish a plan to promote your strengths and address your weaknesses to build a successful business style. Brice Consulting can perform such an audit and also offers a workshop to help the organization develop a style guide for success.
- Communication - Does your company communicate to all employees in a manner that builds trust and integrity.
- Leadership - Are you leading or commanding. Good leadership is about attitude and a sense of responsibility for making a difference.
- Transparency - How transparent are you on how decisions are made and/or full disclosure when dealing with a problem.
- Listening - How well do you listen to what the other person is saying.
- Emotions & Feelings - How well do you manage emotions and feelings with others, particularly under adverse or stressful conditions.
- Conflict - Are you conflict adverse or is conflict resolved in a positive and timely manner, misunderstandings resolved and issues settled without it becoming a personal issue.
Jack Welch and the GE way. This book by Jack Welch, GE CEO (Retired), is available on Google books. In 300 pages and 28 chapters (~10 pages per chapter) Jack Welch covers the management landscape on what worked for him at GE. Using great energy, Jack Welch re-energized others in his company to adopt his message of:
- Business is simple.
- Don't make it overly complicated.
- Face reality.
- Don't be afraid to change.
- Fight bureaucracy.
- Use the brains of your workers.
- Discover who has the best ideas, and put those ideas into practice.
This book is an easy read and filled with real life examples on how Jack was so successful at GE. Go to chapter 2 that handles the topic of Managing versus Leading. You can apply the lessons in this chapter to your own organization and convert those managers and supervisors who are focused on monitoring and controlling and direct them into a leadership mentality to inspire others in how things can be done better,
You can read it on Google books. Use the Contents drop down to go to the chapter that applies to what you are dealing with. Better yet get your own copy that you can mark up and dog ear!
Things are as bad at your company as you’ve ever seen them. You’re doing the work of three managers, yet you know your job could be eliminated tomorrow. What does your gut tell you to do?
How to Get the Most From a Leaner Team
Yet you know that blanket job cuts create their own set of problems. They wreck morale among those remaining on your team, and they are all but certain to leave you shorthanded when business finally cycles back up.
How to Cut Costs to Avoid Cutting Jobs
Jack Rooney used a different method to groom himself to lead: He observed his supervisors over the years, noted their poor leadership skills and vowed to do it better.
Turn A Supervisor's Flaws Into A Learning Experience
Create a System to Monitor Performance
The Company Dashboard
A case study in how to recover from bankruptcy.
How we survived bankruptcy
A brutal downturn in global trade has left shippers with idle capacity, billions in losses, and even facing potential bankruptcy
Shipping Industry Fights for Survival
How do you measure up in terms of your golf behavior and what can you learn about others?
The Business of Golf: What You Can Learn About Someone on the Course(3:17 min)
I read this book a number of years ago and found it to be of great value. It still has application to today's challenges improving operational performance. It is a good read and one that will provide those "Aha!" moments.
Click here to submit your comments and questions to Mike at Brice Consulting.