Tag: leadership

03 Jun 2019

Who run the world? by Debra Fraser

My, how things and times have changed. If you went into a coma about five or so years ago and just regained consciousness, you’d be surprised at the updates regarding the progress made on gender equality in particular. One needs to look no further than the #MeToo movement started in the US. In countries like Italy, where old customs still dictate and limit women’s involvement in economics and politics, they’re starting to feel the effects of nearly half their population being limited in their contribution to national development because, let’s be clear, it’s no longer just about gender; it’s about economics.

 

Right Person For The Job

Going are the days when phrases like ‘this is a man’s job’ are taken seriously. The past 50 years have proven that gender has very little to do with aptitude. It’s been tried, tested and proven that attitude is the key ingredient to achievement and upward mobility. That, and good old-fashioned smarts and hard work. So, in addition to expanding their views on workplace diversity at various levels, forward-thinking companies are now recognising the critical importance of finding the right person for the right job at the right time. This may be especially challenging to accomplish internally when the culture itself is in flux and may require external partnership from an HR service provider or even a workforce management company. As with Affirmative Action in the United States, legislating change and employment quotas can make a difference. However, since privately-owned companies in particular can self-determine who they want to hire without external oversight, many firms are turning to executive search partners to find the best and brightest yes, but also those whose core beliefs complement the organisation’s culture and strategic goals.

Girl Power

A word for our local super heroes. Our most decorated Olympian is also a woman — Merlene Ottey. Jamaica’s first Olympic gold medallist is also a woman — Deon Hemmings. Since then, Veronica Campbell-Brown, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and others have blazed a trail on the track. More recently, Alia Atkinson has been literally making waves with her consistently outstanding performances in the pool. And in a few days, Jamaica’s Reggae Girlz begin their maiden adventure at the Fifa World Cup, playing their opening game against none other than Brazil.

More and more, globally and locally, women have staked their claim to top leadership roles in sports, business, and politics. From Portia Simpson-Miller to Audrey Marks and countless other phenomenal women, companies, and governments are realising that you marginalise any group really, but especially half the population, at your own risk. The recently constituted South African parliament proves that some are getting it right; half the representatives are women. Canada gets that too in the composition of Justin Trudeau’s Government with strong representation by minorities and women. It’s full time we recognise that our organisational and national sustainability will ultimately depend on everybody pulling their own weight, regardless of gender, political affiliation or religious beliefs.

 

Until next time, leaders, keep lookin’ up!

 

Read more

http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/career-education/who-run-the-world-_166240?profile=1270

 

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18 Dec 2018

Trump: a lesson for leaders by Debra Fraser

Yes, leaders, let’s go there.

But before we do, remember this: We are all students of life, and as leaders, it is crucial for us to lead a learning lifestyle; that practice of learning from everything — the good, the bad, and the ugly. To have times of reflection when you evaluate the bigger picture — causes and effects — so that you can see what changes are required to ensure success. To create smart strategies to break cyclical errors and recognize, even prompt those ‘aha’ moments on how to standardize best practices for sustainable profitability. All of this is learning at the leadership level and forms the basis for continuous improvement in any sphere of life. Your ability or inability to learn impacts you, your teams, and all those within your scope of influence.

So, what then can we learn from The Donald?

Regardless of whether you are a Trump fan or not, one thing is undeniable: his actions and characteristics are nothing shy of incredibly bold! Here’s how Wikipedia defines this characteristic: it is “the quality of having a strong, vivid, or clear appearance”.

Boldness is about the energy and conviction you portray to those around you. It is what draws people’s attention to buy what you are selling. It is Usain Bolt’s jig at the build-up to a 100-metre race, and the swagger in Barack Obama’s walk.

It smells like confidence (though it can be a sign of its deficiency) and thus is prone to popularisation even if it is devoid of integrity, truth, or effectiveness. But even while it may be completely disconnected from values, boldness sill retains its powerful impact.

Let’s jump from one extreme (politics) to the other (religion). The book of Proverbs 28:1 states: “The righteous are as bold as a lion.”

A simple definition of righteous: rightness, or consistently doing what is right, yet another leadership discipline. Regardless of your religious persuasion, this verse is a challenge to leaders – especially middle managers.

Have I chosen the right job that suits my natural gifts, passion and purpose? Am I making the right decisions for my team and company; choosing the longer, tougher path in order to ensure success? Am I doing the ethical thing even when noone is watching? And finally, when I am practising ‘rightness’, am I doing so with boldness? Am I confidently representing what my team is all about; creating my own jig and swagger?

With our Government’s aggressive 2020 economic goals just ahead and in anticipation of the associated learning that will accompany this challenge, let us as leaders become bold about what we are in fact doing right.

Until next time, leaders keep lookin’ up!

Debra Fraser, MBA is CEO of Caribbean HR Solutions; board member of the Business Process Industry of Jamaica; member of the Human Resource Management Association of Jamaica; and member of the Society of Human Resources Management in the US. Please direct comments to dfraser@caribbeanhrsolutions.com

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04 Dec 2018

Business versus ‘busyness’ at Christmas Time by Debra Fraser

With Christmas fast approaching, everyone is feeling the happy, but hectic crunch of the holiday season. For business leaders, who are people too, this can mean unmanageable stress and even failure as yuletide stress is compounded by spikes in seasonal business — trying to reach end-of-year goals, activate Christmas sales campaigns, and execute last-minute strategies to close the year in the black and not the red (no offence, Rudolph).

Add to this already long list of extra to-dos, the festive responsibilities of house and home — planning social events, family get-togethers, and gift-giving — all of which come with additional costs of time, money, and attention. Hats off to those who have also committed to physical challenges of ‘getting in shape’ for the new year to fit into that dress or suit at the staff holiday party. So much extra pressure! It’s enough to make the ‘Happy Holidays’ feel not so happy.

As leaders, if your load is too heavy, or your mood too low, your entire team feels it, and so do their families. Bear that in mind.

There’s a reason why governments mandate holiday time off. It’s to ensure that “busYness” doesn’t keep people so busy that they don’t get to enjoy life. The responsibility for ensuring this work-life balance lies in the laps of all business leaders.

What’s the difference between business and “busyness”, you ask? Well we all know what business is. So here’s a definition of its first cousin, “busYness”, from the Urban Dictionary. “Busyness” is to have more to do than you can handle.

Leadership advice: just because you ‘see’ that it needs to be done, doesn’t mean it has to be done now. Wise leaders have used November to prioritise only what must be done in December. If you’ve not yet done so, here are examples of things you may be able to nix from December’s objectives:

• Meeting with prospects that are unlikely to purchase

• Internal projects and meetings that can be deferred

• “Helping out” in areas that are outside of your expertise.

 

But in your cutting back, there are key items that must be prioritised. For example:

• Key KPI’s ONLY IF they can reasonably be closed off

• Sales tasks ONLY IF they contribute to new clients or retention

• Reports and special projects ONLY IF they are for your boss(es)

• High-touch social events ONLY IF they serve to strengthen key relationships.

The lists above are not at all comprehensive, but are guidelines towards achieving balance for you and all those you impact. This Christmas, find ways to keep the “I” smack in the middle of Business.

Until next time, leaders keep lookin’ up!

 

Debra Fraser, MBA, is CEO of Caribbean HR Solutions, a board member of the BPIAJ, and a member of the Human Resource Management Association of Jamaica, and Society of Human Resources Management. Please direct comments to dfraser@caribbeanhrsolutions.com or www.caribbeanhrsolutions.com

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08 Nov 2018

The Foundations of a Leadership Succession Plan

It’s the circle of life, enterprise style.

Eventually, your managers, directors and even senior executives will have to hand the reigns over to the next wave of leaders.

It’s inevitable, much like death and taxes. However, the question is whether you should start recruiting externally or look in-house for talent that could step up to the plate. Although it’s not the answer in every situation, promoting internally has several advantages:

●      New leaders are already familiar with your organization’s culture, priorities and goals.

●      Subordinates may trust a familiar face more than an outsider.

●      You can save on the costs associated with external recruitment.

●      The transition process can begin earlier, facilitating a smooth transfer of knowledge.

●      Career progression opportunities may assist with retaining valued employees.

To prepare new leaders and create a talent pipeline, organizations can take a strategic approach that begins long before leaders make their exit. A strong succession plan leverages reliable information about workers’ strengths, career ambitions and potential to prepare the next generation of leaders in anticipation of workforce changes.

The value of strong succession planning 

Succession strategies serve as a linchpin in an organization’s ongoing success. According to the Institute of Executive Development (IED) and Stanford University’s Rock Center for Corporate Governance, a few tactical shifts could help many organizations more fully leverage the value of succession planning, turning it into a value-add process, instead of a reactive one.

The IED and Stanford University asked directors and executives at 20 enterprises about their organization’s leadership development strategies. Based on their discussions, they suggested enterprises take the following steps to bolster their plans:

●      Correlate the skill sets required to run their organizations and the individuals capable of acquiring those abilities.

●      Implement succession plans as ongoing and comprehensive leadership development initiatives, not just risk management measures.

●      Connect talent management with succession planning, providing valuable insight into what sort of capabilities potential leaders could bring to the table.

Stanford’s David Larcker noted that strong leadership is critical to the long-term success of each organization, emphasizing the value of taking a holistic, integrated and proactive approach.

“Research shows that companies with sound succession plans tend to do better,” he said.

The foundations of a successful succession plan

Succession plans are driven by information regarding an organization’s direction, operations and workforce. Developing leadership preparation programs can be broken down into a three-step process:

1. Assess objectives that will lead to the organization’s future success. Deloitte noted that understanding which elements support their organization’s continuity helps stakeholders identify the best way forward.

2. Determine how the organization can adjust operations, reposition investments and establish processes to achieve predefined goals. Executives should also observe how an organization’s culture influences day-to-day transactions, as attitudes and perspectives impact employee commitments.

3. Identify talent capable of nurturing endeavors that will lead to the organization’s success. This goes beyond measuring each worker’s performance, also pinpointing which prospects are capable of meeting future needs.

Once decision makers reach the last step, they can take calculated actions to mentor, train and develop the leaders they’re looking for. Organizations should take employees’ career goals into consideration, holding conversations from early stages and investing in their professional development. This kind of commitment and communication also increases employee engagement and retention.

Beyond leadership development

Although there are natural-born leaders in the professional landscape, some individuals may not have the background and experience of outside candidates, but do have the potential to learn and thrive. A talent analytics solution may identify these prospects, enabling the current leadership to take them under its wing.

Succession planning lays a firm foundation for a strong future. But its value can be felt both now and in the future. A robust, comprehensive approach that develops staff and recognizes strong performance also inspires confidence and job satisfaction, raising the potential of the workforce as a whole and retaining key talent. As such, the right data and tools can be incredibly powerful agents of meaningful, lasting change to invigorate the entire organization…while preparing for those leadership changes.

Read full article

https://blog.shrm.org/blog/the-foundations-of-a-leadership-succession-plan

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05 Nov 2018

Return of The Invisible Man by Debra Fraser

Anyone over age 50 may remember the television series from the 1960s, The Invisible Man. It’s the story of British scientist Peter Brady who, while working on an invisibility formula, suffers a tragic accident and inadvertently turns himself invisible. Eventually, Peter uses the tragic illness for good and becomes an unbeatable superhero — a fantastic ending for every show. Sadly, however, in the real world of work, being invisible is an all too common experience for many staff members. And the endings for them? Well, not so fantastic.

Take Mark, for example. He spent the last year formulating new marketing reports to measure the effectiveness of his company’s client retention efforts. His efforts jump-started a 35 per cent increase in retention figures in just one year. Walking by the coffee station at work, he overhears an executive speaking with his boss, “Ask the guy who does the reports to print a few copies for the office.” The “guy”? He winced. Despite his year-long efforts he still wasn’t seen as a person… just as another spoke in the corporate wheel.

People just want to be seen, zeen?

They need to be seen, acknowledged by their peers, and mostly by their bosses. Recognition is the simple discipline of seeing people — not just what they do or their results, but who they are. And this is personal. Most companies take the short cut approach in attempting to check this box by running employee of the month, tenure, and service awards programmes. They are called “programmes” because they are programmed into the regular schedule of company events. To go further, there are now recognition companies specialising in automating these programmes so that at the click of a button one manager (usually in-sourced to the HR manager) can pull names from a productivity report, load them into a recognition system and voila! Instant recognition programme! No genuine human connection required. It can be almost, well… inhumane.

Interesting stats: 50 per cent of satisfaction comes from an employee’s relations with his/her supervisor. Seventy nine per cent of staff who leave the organisation do so due to a lack of recognition or appreciation. And a whopping two-thirds of employees report receiving no recognition for good work in the past year. They are invisible.

Recognition coming directly from the direct supervisor is the most valued ingredient in motivating and retaining employees. As an HR outsourcer my company provides significant value to companies who outsource their non-core functions to us, such as payroll, HR programming, engagement surveys. But outsourcing — or in-sourcing — the personal side of any core business process is NEVER a good practice.

Effective leaders practise a daily habit of recognising the employees behind the work and express gratitude, continuously. They bring the so-called invisible people into full view.

Until next time, leaders, keep lookin’ up!

Debra Fraser, MBA is CEO of Caribbean HR Solutions, a board member of the BPIAJ, and a member of the Human Resource Management Association of Jamaica and Society of Human Resources Management. Please direct comments to dfraser@caribbeanhrsolutions.com or www.caribbeanhrsolutions.com

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22 Oct 2018

Managing the workplace zombie by Debra Fraser

“I see dead people”. At work. Duppies, zombies, ghosts, whichever term you prefer. People who are there but not really there…or are they? (Cue spooky music…).

Workplace zombies are those who are disengaged from their companies and their jobs, but still show up for work. They clock-in and clock-out. Present in body but not in spirit; listlessly satisfying the requirements or ‘letter’ of the job, but avoiding any spirited connection with the company’s purpose, mission and people. They were once ‘fully human’, bringing their energy, ideas, and genuine loyalty to their place of work and teams. So what happened to them? What force sapped the life out of these formerly productive souls?

Reasons

As a research project of interest, I had my team conduct a survey to find out what drives individuals to jump off the bridge into zombie-ism. Here are some of the common reasons:

• “The company doesn’t care about me”

This sentiment is voiced by workers who held the company in high esteem when they first joined the organisation. Over time, however, an event or series of events occurred in which the employee’s high expectations were not met. For example, a manager fails to respond fairly or compassionately to an employee’s legitimate personal crisis or need. The employee disengages, emotionally, but due to the monetary rewards, continues to show up to work.

 

• “I don’t like the type of job I’m in”

Here, the employee accepted the job, and after some time, discovered that it does not fit his/her natural abilities and expectations. Due to the unavailability of a ‘better’ job, the employee disengages, mentally, but continues to show up to work until a new opportunity, or funds to attend training for the new opportunity, presents itself.

• “I’m not rewarded fairly for my job”

Here, the individual believes that the pay received is not commensurate with the work performed, so in short, they are being ripped off. Disengagement occurs and ‘another one bites the dust’.

Why should companies care about zombie-ism or seek to combat it? Because it costs them, literally! Several studies have shown that disengaged workers, similar to sick workers (google “Presenteeism”), who still come in to work perform at a slower pace, make more errors, and negatively impact the productivity of their coworkers. The net result is that the company would be more profitable if both sick and disengaged workers stayed home until they were well, or resurrected!

The discussion on workplace zombies continues this week as the Jamaica Business Development Commission hosts its annual Employee Engagement Conference, an event where hundreds of Jamaica’s CEOs and decision-makers meet to discuss the causes, impact and responses of having an engaged workforce.

Debra Fraser MBA, is CEO of Caribbean HR Solutions, and is a board memberof the Business Process Industry Association of Jamaica, and a member ofthe Human Resource Management Association of Jamaica as well as theSociety of Human Resources Management. Please direct comments todfraser@caribbeanhrsolutions.com or www.caribbeanhrsolutions.com

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18 Oct 2018

5 Skills to adopt to effectively manage your staff

The essence of effective leadership is motivating your team to consistently perform while instilling a desire to improve, as well as cultivate employee loyalty to colleagues, yourself and, ideally, the company. It can seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be if you approach it with the right attitude and priorities.

Here are 5 skills to adopt to effectively manage your staff

  1. Communicate intelligently. Some managers mistakenly believe that barking orders and instilling fear in your staff are the hallmarks of managerial success. But if this is your strategy, you’re likely to only succeed in creating a unmotivated, antagonized staff.

Instead, take the time to learn how to effectively communicate with each of your employees. Indeed, some may require firm, though respectful, directives, while others will respond best to a soft tone and congenial attitude. Adjust your management style to each employee, and don’t expect them to conform to yours.

Regardless of how you communicate, the one thing that must remain consistent is that you are straightforward and honest. Don’t try to beat around the bush or avoid explaining exactly what the problem is. For example, is the cash flow of your business not being accurately recorded? Then explain the issue to those responsible and let them know you will hold them accountable for the areas that you pinpoint.

  1. Accept responsibility. Simply put, if you make a mistake, own up to it. Don’t be tempted to pass the blame onto employees if it’s your error, as this can cause you to lose credibility and trust with your staff.

However, if you accept responsibility for your own errors, your staff is more likely to respect and support you, and therefore will work harder for you. Once you’ve taken responsibility, proactively address your mistake to correct it and to ensure that it doesn’t happen again.

  1. Deal with confrontation. Whether it’s confronting lagging performance or inter-office disputes, it’s up to you to set limits and maintain a harmonious working environment. If you don’t have the wherewithal to address issues directly, consider hiring someone specifically trained in executive coaching to help you navigate.
  2. Praise—and reward—your staff. If your sales figures reached or exceeded expectations last month, don’t bask in the glory alone. Acknowledge all who had a hand in the success. Nothing motivates like praise and rewards, and there are multiple ways you can reward your staff without breaking the bank. For instance, you can take the top-performing employees out on an exclusive offsite at your weekend home, get tickets to a sporting event or concert, or even a night on the town. Building this kind of rapport can reap huge rewards for building momentum and loyalty.
  3. Know when to speak up. If you’re comfortable handling confrontation, you’re likely comfortable presenting an opinion contrary to the status quo. Show enthusiasm for your ideas and point to your track record as a leader and successful entrepreneur, and you should have your staff trusting in your abilities.Still, judging when it’s appropriate to speak up requires tact. The last thing you want to do is insult your staff or condescend. Also, be honest with yourself, and detach your ego from the ideas you present. If your suggestion is passed over, don’t take it personally. You employ a team of professionals in whom you trust, and if they advise against your ideas or initiatives, it may be in your best interests to heed their advice.

Maintaining an awareness of office politics can also help you know if it’s appropriate to interject your point of view, and when. One way to do this is to encourage an “open door policy” in which your employees feel empowered to speak up in meetings with you or send an e-mail when there are team issues.

Read more

https://www.americanexpress.com/us/small-business/openforum/articles/top-5-skills-for-effective-employee-management/

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24 Sep 2018

Big up, boss ladies! by Debra Fraser

On Friday, September 21 we celebrated Business Women’s Day… well, hopefully at least some of us did. It was an opportunity to celebrate the value female leaders bring to the world of work, especially considering the powerful legacy of lady leadership (the Triple L factor) woven into the fabric of Jamaica’s heritage.

But what’s the difference in lady leadership? And what makes it special? Though the impact is wide, let’s take a look at just a couple of ways boss ladies impact business from the HR and engagement perspective.

Women have a powerful influence on workplace cultures. A 2017 study indicates that companies with a higher number of women in leadership experience benefits in two key areas: employee engagement and employee wellness.

In the case of the former, it showed that employees in companies with a higher percentage of women gave higher satisfaction ratings on several items related to job satisfaction, organisational dedication, and employee engagement. In the case of the latter, the survey indicated that employees in companies with female bosses felt more supported and experienced less job-related burnout.

In recognition of Business Women’s Day, I’d like to practise self-awareness and reflect on a few of the special businesswomen who, over the years have figured out how to engage me. As it goes with women, it is likely that they may not be aware of the profound and practical impact they have had on someone else’s life, so let’s hope a little recognition will go a long way.

Big up, Lindsay Mohan, my college instructor whose individual attention, gentle prodding and hand-holding turned me around from being an underachieving student to a forever honour-roller. Now that’s engagement!

Big up, Emily Hodgkinson, my first manager who gave me a chance to practise HR in spite of the fact that I had only a few HR courses under my belt, and then created space for me to stretch my wings. I am your lady leadership legacy!

Big up, Betty Lawrence, whose consistent priority of service to God and community impact inspires her work and mine. Thanks for opening the YES youth centre and for the opportunity to volunteer with you!

Big up, Holly Lynch, HR executive in the US, who showed me what a combination of a high IQ plus business savvy compassion+ class looks like in a female executive.

And biggest-big-up to Gladys Fraser (my mom) who, as a working mother and first lady now turned ordained pastor and businesswoman, modelled the grace and rewards of “banding your belly” so that other bellies could be made full.

Is there a woman who has made an impact on your work life and career development? It’s not too late to call and big them up!

After all, that’s what Business Women’s Day is for.

Until next time, leaders, keep lookin’ up!

 

Debra Fraser MBA, is CEO of Caribbean HR Solutions, a board member of the Business Process Industry Association of Jamaica, and a member of the Human Resource Management Association of Jamaica, as well as the Society of Human Resources Management. Please direct comments to dfraser@caribbeanhrsolutions.com or www.caribbeanhrsolutions.com

 

Read more

http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/career-education/big-up-boss-ladies-_144915?profile=1270#disqus_thread

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27 Aug 2018

Launching Leaders: How to spot the leader-in-hiding by Debra Fraser

It is no mystery that one of our nation’s challenges is related to our ability to deploy a bench strength of leaders – leaders are in demand for public and private service, in social, business and even spiritual affairs. After all, if we are going somewhere (somewhere better), someone must lead us.

For those heading organizations, how does one go about discovering potential new leaders, anyways?  Do you look for personality, education, work ethic, passion, creativity? Or perhaps good looks? Years ago, a middle manager who reported to me commented on the humble car I was driving (a 1999 Honda Accord LX, which I still own and love!). This young aspiring leader said: “You know, you have to upgrade your car because it’s just not motivating me to aspire to move up the ladder!  You should be driving a bimma!” Needless to say, his expectation of what a leader should be initially took me by surprise. Perhaps we should add yet another characteristic of leaders: “Must Drive Fancy Cars!”  Ahhh, don’t we wish it was that simple…

Since before the rise of the Industrial Revolution, this matter of selecting leaders has been asked over and over.  Peter Drucker, known as the ‘founder’ of modern management point out that “productivity of work is not the responsibility of the worker but of the manager.”  So if you are a business owner, finding the next leader is crucial to the success and sustainability of your business.  Here are a few guidelines that can take the mystery out of your search for the next leader:

Potential leaders are marked by the following in their daily activity:

  1. They put Integrity first, and here’s what it looks like. Integrity is not an airy-fairy concept.  It means the candidate has a keen sense of what is right which is demonstrated in how he treats co-employees and the company’s customers.  H/she will naturally approach business decision making by weighing how to ‘do-right’ by the customer, the employee, the Company and the community. This habit by yield’s a consistent reliable approach and by it’s very nature engender TRUST, the very thing that keeps customers loyal, employees from leaving, and curries favor from stakeholders including those in the wider community.  That’s measurable value!
  2. They thrive on being the one held accountable; not necessarily the one in charge. I recently performed a stay interview with one of my own staff members, asking her to describe her ideal job and work environment. “Ideally, do you prefer to work behind the scenes, or as part of the team, or do you prefer to be the ‘front man’ who own the success or failures of projects and initiatives?” She shook her head vigorously at the notion of being the one in front, and I appreciated her honesty and candor (BTW, she is an excellent SME and a high-performer).  Her response is a reminder of the innate differences in passion and desire residing in each person.  Your next leader is the one who assumes responsibility whenever there’s a mess so that s/he can lead the clean up effort!
  3. They place a high value on Relationships. As the old adage says all “Business moves at the speed of trust” and if this is the case, relationships are both the fuel and the machine!  Let’s face it, Customer Relations, Employee Relations, Community and general communications are all based on managing relationships.  Looking for a Leader?  Look for the person who naturally keeps commitments to his peers, seeks for clarification and understanding when changes are rolling out, and who values the voice and experience of others, genuinely.

These are indicators that can be spotted in persons day-to-day routine.  They are internal characteristics that indicate who they are as a person in the NOW, so there is no guesswork in how they will act once they are given the title.  And less guesswork = less risk, which is always good for business.

 

Read more

http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/career-education/how-to-spot-the-leader-in-hiding_142421?profile=1270

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15 Jul 2018

Have what it takes to be a manager? Part II by Debra Fraser

Launching Leaders with Debra Fraser

 

Companies are completely right to spend a large amount of time and money when selecting supervisors and managers to run their businesses, for any employee who is “not a fit” for the job eventually costs the company in several ways, including lost productivity, reduced employee morale, and replacement costs. But when the miscast employee is in management it is especially damaging because of their broad scope of influence on so many other employees.

Research suggests that the majority of companies are doing a poor job in their selection process: The State of the American Manager: Analytics and Advice for Leaders by management consulting company Gallup indicates that 82 per cent of managers are in fact miscast in their roles, with 25 per cent of them being “dangerously lousy”.

It begs the question: Why are companies floundering in selecting good managers? One of the challenges is that sourcing and selecting leaders represents a significant effort and is NOT a core competency of most businesses. Headhunting and recruiting firms can help with this.

But what about the responsibility of the aspiring manager to pursue his/her own development? There are numerous testimonies of executives who have taken risks and made sacrifices to acquire new skills necessary to advance their career. I can testify to these risks, and rewards, having left Canada at 28 to pursue my own development in Jamaica.

To help those of you who are in this pursuit, and to guide you in choosing the right skills, review the first five (of 10) employer-sought management skills as printed in our last edition. This time ’round however, have a friend interview you and rate each response on a scale of 1 – 10. (See graphic below) In our next article we’ll take a closer look at the last five skills: team building & motivation, delegation, integrity, resource management, and subject matter expertise.

Until then, leaders keep lookin’ up!

Debra Fraser, MBA, is CEO of Caribbean HR Solutions, an HR outsourcing and recruiting firm; a member of the Business Process Industry Association of Jamica, Human Resource Management Association of Jamaica, and Society of Human Resources Management. Direct comments to dfraser@caribbeanhrsolutions.com

 

Read Observer article

 

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