Posts Tagged ‘human resources’

Leadership Tips

Inspired by Mistake No. 24 from The Termite Effect

In Chapter 24 of The Termite Effect, I outline three rules that I recognized all great leaders possess:

  1. They follow The Golden Rule.
  2. They hold themselves and those whom they lead accountable. 
  3. They have credibility.

I recently came across an article on by Kara Ohngren in which she listed several attributes of a leader. I would like to share with you.

  • Assemble a dedicated team
  • Believe in your team
  • Keep your team engaged
  • Create a “team charter”
  • Don’t assume
  • Over communicate
  • Dole out credit
  • Be authentic
  • Stay calm
  • Know your obstacles

How many of these attributes do you wish to improve upon? Pick one and try to improve it over the next 30 days. |


Slow to Hire, Quick to Fire

October 21, 2011 Leave a comment

Inspired by Mistake #14 from The Termite Effect:

As a business owner, one of your biggest challenges is building a great team around you. In his classic book, Good to Great, Jim Collins cautions the reader that it is not enough to just get the right people on the bus but you must take it a step further by getting the right people on the bus AND in the right seat.

In The Termite Effect, I make the argument that you must be slow to hire and quick to fire. Most business owners operate under the opposite scenario. They fill positions quickly in order to alleviate the stress on themselves or the rest of their staff and they allow underperforming employees to linger in their organization rather than letting them go.

Below are a few strategies to, not only get the right people on the bus, but to keep them there long-term.

    1. Set expectations upfront – Do your employees really know what is expected of them? One way to make sure is through the use of Position Contracts. These are more than your run-of-the-mill job descriptions. In these contracts, you lay out exactly what the expectations are for that particular position and, like any contract, both parties sign it and walk away with a copy.
    2. During the hiring process, do your best to discourage the prospective employee from taking the job by making it sound worse than it is. I am not advocating describing the job as working in a coal mine but let them know what challenges they can expect to encounter. See how they respond to each one. If they still want the job after hearing the worst, you probably have the right person.
    3. Be in constant communication with your employees. If you are a leader who is only seen or heard from once a week or once a month during a staff meeting, you probably are not leading anyone; consider yourself a figurehead.
    4. Explain the BIG picture to each individual and articulate how they fit into it. Each employee contributes something substantive to your company. In my mind, the bookkeeper or administrative assistant, who free up your time to pursue more profitable activities (and keeps you from pulling your hair out),  are two of the most valuable players in any organization. They need to know that.

Getting the right people on the bus and making sure they are in the right seat is an never ending job for business owners. Embrace the challenge and implement some of the action steps outlined above. Let me know how it goes.

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