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    Business Is Behavior

    January 21, 2018 4683 Views 1 comment

    "Business Is Behavior"
    from Green Beans & Ice Cream
    by Bill Sims Jr.

    Business leaders today share a common dream: to improve business performance and increase profits. In short, great leaders are always in search of better results.

    To change our results, we have to change the behaviors of our people.

    In my “Green Beans & Ice Cream” sessions with managers, we talk a lot about what makes a great leader. The usual responses are integrity, honesty, dependability, courage, decisiveness, and the like. Every one of these qualities is important.

    But there is one leadership quality that everyone overlooks, and in my book, it is the most important.

    The way I discovered it was during a chat with Eric Schwartz, who worked, at the time, in city government in Fresno, California.

    “Bill, I was amazed at how my supervisors rejected the idea that employees needed R+,” he said. “They told me that all we needed to do was to give people a paycheck. I looked them dead in the eye and told them this: If all it takes is a paycheck to get great safety, quality and productivity, what do we need you supervisors for?”

    I couldn’t have said it better, Eric.

    What Eric alluded to was the number one trait of great leaders: the ability to change the behavior of others.

    Think about it: If people were going to give us their absolute best safety, quality, sales, production, and customer service automatically, then most managers would be out of a job.

    Your success as a leader depends on one thing more than any other: your ability to change the behavior and improve the performance of your followers.

    The true test of every leader is what their employees do “in the moment of choice, when nobody is watching.”

    Since performance improvement is every leader’s greatest challenge and opportunity, the art of R+ behavior change is something every one of us should master.

    “My supervisor is the CEO around here.”

    Unfair as it may be, most of what happens on a day-to-day basis for the average employee is dictated not by the CEO or the board of directors, but by the individual employee’s supervisor or manager. When you quit your job, you leave your manager, not your company. Of course, the CEO and senior leadership are involved in enterprise decisions about downsizing, mergers, and the like, but for the most part, it’s the frontline supervisor who sets the tone for the employee’s perception of the company. And often that perception isn’t very pretty.

    Remember the story about the lawyer who quit her job to become a waitress? Her boss was always pointing to her mistakes but never complimenting her extra efforts. It was the boss, not the company that caused her to walk away.

    Ken Blanchard coined the term, “Leave Alone/Zap” for this management style. This may help explain why Bob Nelson’s research showed that 68 percent of employees had never heard the words “Thank you” from their bosses, even though they consistently rank the need for positive feedback as #1 or #2 in job satisfaction.

    We all instinctively know that we feel good when we are given sincere, specific, positive feedback. Why then, are fewer than 30 percent of our leaders using it?

    Would your company be happy producing a product that worked properly only 30 percent of the time? Why are we willing to tolerate a management system that manages people properly only 30 percent of the time? The sad truth is that without even knowing it, the majority of leaders today are using Leave Alone/Zap management tactics.

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    Daisy Brewster January 22, 2018 at 10:40 PM
    Very valuable writing. Food for thought.

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