Archive for Management

EnVision 2016

When You Fail To Envision the future…. can you really take the right actions to get you there?

summitVision + Action = Results

I have been a long time believer in vision.  Not so much in the law of attraction working on its own, but I do believe that without a clear vision, it makes it hard to create the right strategic plan to get you to that vision.

I found that when I biked across the country. It was the strong vision of biking across the country that gave me the direction for creating a bike route and a plan.  If I just set out to bike for 6 months I could have stayed home and ridden with the bike club in circles — round and round.

That clear vision allowed me to create a strategic plan that we focused on implementing.  The results — a route across the country, places to stay each night, 10 service project locations across the country and lots of places to visit and see.

I use this as a metaphor for business.  In business, your vision is what drives you.  Sharing that vision, expanding the vision all contribute to your ability to create strategies for success.

When the vision is unclear or non existent it is hard to really grow your business.  You can perhaps keep it going on a day to day — riding in circles fashion.  But to really grow you have to be aiming at something — clear and compelling.

That vision drives your actions.

Each year, I take some time to look at my vision, to review it and refine it and create that new strategic plan for the upcoming year!

It isn’t about New Year’s resolutions.  It is about — a clear and compelling vision for the future.

I offer a complimentary webinar each year for my contacts as well — called EnVision 2016.  It is usually fun…

Bring your colored markers, paper, pen and enthusiasm and take an hour to create your vision for 2o16.

Register HERE

Undercover Boss — What Could You Learn?

undercoverbossWhat Can You Learn From Your Staff?

The new season of Undercover Boss premiers this Sunday.  When the show first started I didn’t watch… seemed goofy.  Then I caught an episode and was impressed.

Granted it is TV.  But there are real lessons there.

Each time I am able to watch — I learn something.  I see what could be learned by business leaders IF they were connecting with their front line staff.  It really is about “walking the floor”, so to speak.  Being in touch and really communicating.

Frontline staff KNOW what is happening within your organization.  They know what works and they are frustrated by what doesn’t work.  Often they are more frustrated that their input is not asked for or taken seriously.

Frontline staff can most often save organizations thousands of dollars… and in big companies probably millions.

In one episode the boss learned that the online reservation software didn’t communicate with the front desk software.  Customers that had made their reservation online had to wait up to a half hour to checkin while desk staff worked on getting the online information and inputting into their front desk software.  Now, I know you can see some problems here — customers are frustrated; staff are frustrated and efficiency is totally undermined.  Fixing this problem — improves the flow of checkin, saves tremendous time, makes customers happier and front desk staff are smiling.  That is just good for business!

So, how can you get this information if you aren’t one of the chosen to be on Undercover Boss?

1. Create a safe environment for staff to give you input.  It is valuable information.  Creative, learning organizations should always be evaluating how they operate and do business to improve. If staff feel threatened if they give feedback then you will never hear it.

2. Get your head out of it: Some organizations have leaders that have so much EGO in the game that they cannot hear anything from staff. This is extremely detrimental the overall operation of the organization. Staffs have such valuable information.  They have great ideas on how to streamline operations.  They see what is coming down the pike and can be helpful in planning or project management.  And most often they are also very loyal — even when they are treated poorly — not appreciated — and not empowered.

How Would Your Organization Change?

If you empowered people? If you asked for input and took it?  If leaders weren’t control freaks?

3. Empower your staff to be leaders.  Many organizations are seeing incredible results when staff are empowered to take personal responsibility for their job.

4. Talk to people.  Walk the floor.  Let people know who you are.  Listen more than talk and hear what their ideas are and give them credit for them. DO NOT be so small that you take ideas and credit.  Your staff will continuously improve your operations when you value their input and opinions.

Being a leader is challenging, no doubt.  But being a leader that stands all alone and doesn’t include a team creates an environment that will not produce the results that he/she is truly going for!

Undercover Boss: Great Wolf Lodge

Micro-Managing vs. Employee Empowerment

Micro Managing Your Staff Creates Negative Results

What Would Change In Your Workplace If YOU Stopped Micro Managing?

The leader that micro-manages his or her team, might be sacrificing bottom line results and team performance for that control. Control is hard to give up when you are the leader or manager.  You just have that feeling that others won’t do it as well as you, or that if you don’t make every decision, mistakes will be made.  To some extent that is true.  When you think back to your own journey you can probably find a few mistakes that you made along the way.  They were lessons that have guided your ultimate success.  Empowering your staff gives them responsibility and opens up the possibilities of mistakes and new lessons.  Part of the leader’s responsibility is training staff to take on responsibility.  The other part is letting go of the micro level control and empowering staff to do things, perhaps differently than you would and perhaps better!

When leaders have to have control over each detail they slow operations down, they demoralize the staff and decrease performance.  Staff Have ideas, insights into the day to day operations of companies.  They can anticipate problems and see ways to overcome them.  They know the tasks that need to get done and can schedule those to fit into the team’s workload more effectively.  When leaders don’t empower their staff the results are poorer.  But the results are even direr than that.  Demoralized staff doesn’t stay forever.  They look for other options.  They seek positions where there are opportunities for growth and increased responsibility.

Self-Reflect To Overcome Micro Managing

The micro-manger needs to do some self-reflection to identify why they need control.  What is holding them back from letting their staff shine and take the lead?  Often it is their own confidence and the need to recognition.  Confident and self-assured leaders can give over the reins to their staff.

Micro managing undermines your goals and vision.  While be a control freak might feel like the right path, it will eventually undo you.

Schedule a strategy session with me to help you determine how you can shift from micro-manager to empowering leader.

Benefits of Empowering Employees

Group of diverse business colleagues enjoying successEmpowering employees can have multiple positive benefits to the workplace.  Employees can take the lead on projects and tasks and free up the manager or leader to do other things.  The leader often has the responsibility of growing the company. When they tie themselves up in the day to day operations they remove themselves from this important task.  Growing the company, getting out and acquiring new projects, new clients and visioning greater success are all part of being the CEO or leader.  Employees can take on the day to day operations of organizations.

Empowering employees is good for morale.

When managers have to control every aspect of an employee’s work it is demoralizing to the employee.  When staff make suggestions or put forth ideas and they are never accepted or considered, or have to be the idea of the manger or leader, then employees stop making suggestions.  Staff do not work for pay alone.  Work conditions play a major role in staff satisfaction and performance.  When staff are in a situation where they have little control, are not acknowledged for their work or ideas then their performance suffers.  The results for the team or the company are negative.  Turn-over increases and the costs to organization are impacted.

Empowering means giving up some control, but does not mean that the organization runs wild. Staff have great ideas.  It is gold.  They see ways to improve operations, get things done faster, easier for less cost.  The misconception of the micro manager is that only they care about the company.  When true leaders share their vision and passion for the company, employees can embrace that vision and passion as well. When that leader then empowers the employees to do great work, results can soar.

As the leader or CEO you can set up communication systems that empower employees and at the same time keep you informed and in the loop.  But you do need to follow through and let employees make decisions and not take back all control when you are informed of staff decisions.

Empowering instead of micro managing will result in better organizational results and free you, the leader up to further grow the organization.

Leadership Fails Students in Rutgers Basketball Coach Bullying Incident

Rutgers Basketball Coach Incident
Bullying Within Schools and Workplaces Is Just NOT Tolerable

Leadership Fails Rutgers Students

Leaders Fail to Take Strong Action At Rutgers University


Coaching Staff for Success Author takes position on Rutgers Basketball Coach bullying incident.

The video released by ESPN displaying the behavior of the Rutgers Basketball Coach demonstrate a total failure of the University Athletic Director and University Leadership to protect students from bullying on the part of staff.  Bullying goes beyond student to student interactions.  When students are bullied by teachers, coaches or leaders, action must be clear and strong.  The University leadership failed in several aspects.  Business leaders can learn valuable lessons from their failings that translate to the workplace as bullies continue to work in leadership positions throughout organizations worldwide.

One question is whether any student or assistant coach or other staff member ever raised concerns previously regarding the actions of this coach.  It would be surprising that the recent video was the first time this behavior was recognized as inappropriate and abusive, further exacerbating the situation.

Organizations should have strong policies for incident management and review.  Leadership needs to evaluate bullying situations quickly and swiftly and include their incident review system. Public relations can impact outcomes but should it dictate the outcome?  The organization policies need to address managing public relations but the organizations policies should be strong and values driven. The actions of the Rutgers Basketball Coach are not a demonstration of acceptable coaching practices, they are abusive, bullying actions that should not be tolerated in a University environment or work environment.

Bullying falls into harassment policy within an organization but need to go beyond employees to include clients or customers, vendors and others.  The Rutgers University Basketball Coach incident would be kin to clients or customers being bullied.  How would you, as the leader, handle an employee that was bullying your clients? Does your organization include bullying in your policies at all?  Is training provided within your harassment policy training?  Are you assuming because you are in a workplace that bullying does not happen that it is just a childhood phenomenon?

As a manager and leader you should be reacting strongly to this incident and reviewing your own policies.  Within my work experience, I worked with staff that worked directly with our clients; people with disabilities; this behavior would be viewed and handled as client abuse.  The person would be on immediate suspension pending an investigation.  The investigation would then become part of the incident report and the review committee would be involved in determining the disciplinary action.  There could also be legal action. Founded cases of client abuse would result in immediate termination.  It is not tolerable.  Why a University would continue to employ a coach that physically abused his players (students of the University) is unbelievable.

Leaders and staff within organizations need training on bullying and the policies of the organization for dealing with situations that involve bullying of clients (students), staff or others.  Bullying  of anyone connected to the organization should not be tolerated.

The Rutgers case is a public relations nightmare for the University but taking right action at the beginning would have prevented the severe backlash they are now experiencing including strong statements by NJ Governor Christie.  A strong incident management policy and review would have prevented this.  When decisions are left to individuals outside of policy it leaves organizations vulnerable.  Every incident management policy should include a category for sensitive situations.  These are defined any situation that has potential ramifications to the organization.

Take action for your company:

  • Review your incident management policy be sure that it includes a category for sensitive situations.
  • Review your harassment or bullying policies
  • Train your leaders and staff on your policies
  • Manage any incidents that arise quickly and ethically

 What Level of Bullying Does Your Organization Tolerate?

Bullying with organizations cannot be tolerated by leaders and especially cannot be the action on part of leaders.  When bullying occurs, the organization leadership must take strong action that is consistent whether or not the media is involved.  Media backlash should not be a result of inaction.  When you have a strong policy that deals effectively with incidents occur there is less room for a media reaction because you have gotten in front of the incident, dealt with it and your actions followed good policy.

In a state where bullying has been a public issue that has resulted in the strongest anti-bullying laws in the country, Rutgers failed to follow good management practice.

Great Radio Interview with Business Success Coach, Donna Price

Great Radio Interview — Special Guest Host

Dr. Christine Overton joined me on my Leadership Navigator Radio show to interview me!!  A real treat and turn of the tables.

Listen to internet radio with Compass Rose Leadership on Blog Talk Radio

Keynote Speaker, Trainer and Business Success Coach, Donna Price the host of Leadership Navigator is joined by Dr. Christine Overton  — a fun role reversal as Dr. Overton is interviewing Donna!!

Christine Overton is the former President and CEO of United International Chamber of Commerce and is a speaker, author and consultant.  Having years of experience as a radio show host, Dr. Overton is going to give YOU an incredible interview with Donna.

Donna Price is the founder of Compass Rose Consulting and co-founder of the Real World Leadership Institute.  She is the author of the recently released “Coaching Staff for Success” and contributing author to “Big Bold Business Advice”.

She has years and years of experience working with individuals, companies and teams to increase productivity, effectiveness and results!

Conflict Resolution Article Published!

Conflict Resolution Article Published in the Drake Business Review

A recent article that I wrote on Conflict Resolution in the workplace was picked up by the Drake Business Review and included in their recent issue.

It is always fun to be published and gain additional exposure and readership.  This was especially fun because it happened organically, through article marketing!  A strategy that I have used for years and seen pay off in different ways over the years.

If you aren’t familiar with article marketing, I highly recommend that you learn about it in our Bizology.Biz program.  It is one of the many valuable marketing lessons.

The article here was published online a while ago and outlines a process for conflict resolution for managers, business leaders and small business owners.  Conflict occurs everywhere.  The art is in dealing with the conflict in an effective and meaningful way.  This process is simple to use and can work with employees as well as sixth graders.

Leave your thoughts and ideas about conflict resolution here and we can all learn more about the challenges that workers, employers and people in general are facing regarding conflict.

Include your thoughts on process as well.  Click the cover to access the journal article!!

You can download a copy of the article here:


Screaming Employees

screaming employeesScreaming Employees? How to effectively resolve conflicts in the workplace

Are there conflicts in your workplace? Do you have employees that are out and out fighting with each other at work?  Are screaming employees effecting your workplace productivity? Yelling, screaming, not getting along or perhaps has difficult relationships with their supervisor?

Conflicts in the workplace happen frequently and the fallout can be costly to the employer and the employee.

Developing the skills to resolve conflicts that arise can save your company significant money.

First let’s look at the costs:

  1. Decreased productivity due to the emotions involved in interpersonal conflict.
  2. time lost from work by employees
  3. time lost from work by managers involved in the conflict
  4. recruitment and training of new employees
  5. decreased productivity by other staff due to tension/stress and the overall work environment

Communication:  At the Heart of Conflicts

The root of many conflicts is communication: either unclear communication, resulting in misunderstandings.  One strategy to address rising incidents of conflict is communication training.  Teaching people how to listen and how to talk clearly can prevent and decrease conflicts.  Communication is such a challenge.  So often, we feel we have been really clear, only to find out that the other person really misunderstood us.

Being a clear communicator takes commitment.  You need to be able to talk in a neutral sort of way, eliminating inflammatory emotions.  Speak from the heart and listen from the heart are good basic guidelines.  Beyond the basics, are to listen deeply to what the other person is saying and then to check-in with them.  Ask them: “is this what you are saying?”  It lets the person you are talking with know what you have understood and gives them the opportunity to clarify or correct misunderstandings.

A Bully in the Manager’s Office

Bullies Live In The Manager’s Office Too

Bully Leader

Bullies don’t just exist on the playground.  They also sit in the manager’s chair or the CEO’s office.  Bully leadership is sharp, authoritative, angry, and feels uncomfortable to those in contact with it. Bully leaders believe that they are rallying the troops, getting everyone on board.  But that is not what happens.  The bully leader barks out orders, threatens consequences and uses strong, harsh statements to “motivate” people to do what the leader wants.

The “motivation” that results is limited.  And that is what the “Bully Leader” doesn’t realize. Bully Leaders are scary for people so they do what they need to do but there is a sacrifice.  The sacrifice occurs in the work performed.  People do what needs to be done and that is all.  They don’t go above and beyond.  They don’t share their knowledge and ideas with the leader.  The Bully Leader wants and needs to be the one with the great ideas.  They don’t want to share the limelight.

The bully leader believes their approach is working because they see results.  They don’t see the limitation or the impact of their style.  What they see are results.  The results are what needed to occur.  The Bully Leadership style is reinforced and continues on.  What they fail to see is the results that could have happened with a more open, empowering leadership style.  They fail to see the impact of their leadership on their staff.  They fail to recognize the negative effects.  These negative impacts are costly to the company.  As a result:

People are not empowered.

Bully leaders miss out on the great ideas of their staff.

  • People respond with decreased motivation, interest and commitment or loyalty.  This can lead to decreased productivity and quality.
  • People may have physical responses that increase absenteeism.
  • People may have their emotional responses that mirror the leaders creating a bullying atmosphere that permeates the organization.

What motivates the Bully Leader?

Bully Leaders want control.  They lack trust in other people.  They believe that no one will or can do the job as well as them.  Out of their fear and lack of trust comes their assertion of aggressive behaviors.  They also have a history of using bullying techniques to control their world.  It has a history of working for them, feeling empowering to them and maintaining their own safety.

The results of the bully leader are far less than that of an empowering coaching leader.  This effective leader trusts that people can and will do their job.  Through their empowerment, staffs exceed expectations.  The leader has time to create new business opportunities, nurture existing client relationships and pursue greater results.

A bully leader can shift and become a empowering coaching leader through intentional focus and work.  There are several steps they need to take to make this shift:

  • Recognize that their bullying approach is not effective
  • Commit to the change
  • Work with a coach to learn: coaching skills, creating a coaching work environment and empowerment strategies
  • Work with the team to transition from being bullied to being coached.  This step is the hardest because it requires trust on both sides and trust has not existed for this team in the past.  The leader will have to build trust and be patient during this transitional time. Their commitment to change will have to extraordinary to demonstrate their trust of others and their willingness to risk their own vulnerability.
  • Recognize accomplishments of the team and each success.

Bullying behavior can be shifted to that of a collaborative leader with focused work on the part of the leaders. Organizations continue to recognize the negative impact a bully has their overall outcomes and work to shift the leader’s behavior or move bullies out of the organization. Take action today to shift your organization to one of empowerment and collaboration and see the results within the company change.  The benefits are astounding.  You will see increases in employee performance, loyalty, idea generation and sharing, team work, focus, and implementation of strategic goals.  These all contribute to improved overall success of the organization.

Take our Assessment:  Are You Leading or Are You Bullying?

Compass Rose Consulting provides leadership development resources through the Real World Leader’s Institute