Posts Tagged ‘Leadership’

They Just Quit!

November 19, 2009
I have long spoken about generational differences within America’s workforce and the challenges – as well as the opportunities – a multi-generational workforce presents.   In this month’s Inc. Magazine, Penelope Trunk answered this question, “How can you tell if a member of Gen Y hates his or her boss?”  This was her response:

“You can’t.  This is a non-confrontational generation. They change politics by voting, not screaming in the streets.  And they change the workplace by quitting, rather than complaining.”

WOW!  If you are familiar with the $cost$ of employee turnover, you likely read that response feeling like you were just issued a solid punch in the gut. Now more than ever, we can’t afford for this generation’s talent, expertise and out-of-the-box thinking to walk away when small changes can keep them happily contributing to our organizations.  Here’s a great way to start:

 

  • Take a “coaching” approach to leadership and assume the best about the employee you are leading.
  • When addressing performance issues, approach employees with an open mind and an open ear – rather than a previously constructed solution to a problem they may not even have acknowledged yet.
  • Recognize there may be concerns they have not addressed and are unwilling to address in a face-to-face meeting with you.  As a leader, construct additional ways to garner feedback from those you lead.

The RIGHT Strengths

November 3, 2009

j0432728Many management and leadership gurus are encouraging people to operate within their core strengths.  But, have you ever doubted whether your “sovereign foundation” included the RIGHT strengths to advance your career or your business?

Just the other day, a colleague was telling me about her highschool friend who grew up in a home with a very successful, military-minded father.  One of his brothers joined the Peace Corps before going to law school.  The other brother went to Virginia Military Institute and is an officer in the Navy.  This young man, though, didn’t seem to “fit” and, while he was very gifted in several areas, none of these more “artsy” or “soft” strengths seem to qualify.   To this day, he feels like he would have to be someone else entirely in order to gain his parent’s acceptance. I can relate.

So, what about you?  Do your strengths “not qualify” at work? At home?  At church?   While there may be NO existing outlet in your life for your strengths to be showcased, there is no law against creating one!!  What do others regularly say you are “a natural” at doing?  What are you doing when you “forget the time” because you enjoy it so much?  Why not ACTIVELY look for an opportunity to operate out of THIS strength?

Run To The Roar Award

December 31, 2008

A Sinking Ship

Many organizations experience highs and lows and transitions that cause considerable uncertainty among members and test the very fiber of what a true leader is made of.  Such transitions are occurring in the business world on a daily basis and whether internal or external they tend to expose the core of an organization and test the true unity of its members. 

In the late 1980s Freedom Automotive of Norfolk, VA, was facing this very sort of transition with little hope of recovery.  With economic woes, poor market location, very little strategic edge, and a leader who was swiftly growing weary of the business itself, Freedom Ford was headed toward what looked like commercial ruin.

The Arrival of a Leader

In 1991 Scott Rigell became the president and owner of Freedom Automotive.  Rigell knew that the only way to turn this company around and make it succeed was to unite his employees behind a common vision rooted in common values.  He would have to focus on exceptional customer service by investing in those who administered it, his own employees. Coming from a state of seemingly unfixable brokenness and failure the company grew into a modern success story of fortitude, vision, values, and unification.  

The Run to the Roar

In the face of the recent economic downturn Scott Rigell is once again demonstrating his courageous leadership by running toward the challenge. I was present last week at an all-company meeting where he re-affirmed his original vision for being a “Different Kind of Dealership.”  

He assured his employees that he would not waver in his commitment to investing in his company by providing innovative marketing.  Their customers would continue to experience the exceptional customer service they have come to expect. Employees would continue to receive world class training.  

He went further to say that he was increasing the company’s amount of contribution in the employees’ 401K plans.  But he didn’t stop there, he informed them that he would be reducing his salary by 66% and if necessary he would take no salary at all to ensure they continued to receive their benefits. Leadership like that takes courage and integrity, and that inspires all of us.

Way to go, Scott. Way to Run to the Roar!!

If you are in the market for a new car or truck be sure to check out Freedom Ford’s inventory.  You won’t be disappointed by their unyielding commitment to their customers.  

Tell us your stories by leaving a comment about how your organization and family are running to the roar during these tough times.

Author: Rolfe Carawan

Going above and beyond. It’s the Marriott Way.. and it truly is!

October 16, 2008

This day and age it seems to be that exceptional service gets overlooked.  We have become accustomed to connivence over quality and recordings over people.  As a whole people are more likely to acknowledge and voice a complaint but overlook an opportunity to share a sincere praise.  Well, I have stepped on a “diamond star” when it comes to customer service.. so much so that I can not allow it to go overlooked.  

Marriott Logo

For the past few weeks I have been organizing a speaking event at two Marriott hotels, one in Philadelphiaand one inTysons Corner.  This was my first time to ever act as an “event coordinator” from negotiating contracts, selecting menus, ordering AV equipment, establishing room set-up and booking sleeping rooms… it was details galore.. and lets not forget keeping ourselves within budget. My Event Managers at both hotels, Lisa Cirello and Trevell Williams were top notch!  They saved my tail in many instances, not allowing anything to go over-looked.. they made me look like a pro.  

So what did they do that was so exceptional?:

  1. Treated our event as if it was their own.
  2. Took care of every small detail.
  3. Went above and beyond from cradle to grave.
  4. Responded quickly with solutions and action.
  5. Provided a great nights rest in unbelievably comfortable beds.
  6. They valued us as their guest!

Lisa was working miracles the day before our event while Trevell was overcoming all obstacles to ensure our guests had a pleasant experience.  The entire event staff delivered exceptional service.  

Here are a few specific examples of exceptional service the Marriott way:

Tyson’s Corner:

  1. Gladis Martinez – Banquet Captain. She and her assistant Doris Diaz (Banquet Lead) were so helpful and accommodating. Example: “Tim HATES nuts!!!! I asked Doris if she could offer something chocolate without the nuts. She came back with a plate of chocolate truffles. She was so nice and helpful.” Dayna Taylor, Today’s Dentist Event Manager  
  2. Osama Marrero – AV Tech. He was great!! He went out of his way to make sure the speakers were good to go throughout the event. Very professional!!” – Dayna Taylor, Today’s Dentist Event 
  3. Lisa Cirello – Senior Events Manager “While our event was going on in Philadelphia, Lisa was on the phone with me making last minute changes to the menu, confirming our new AV needs  and ensuring me our event would be exceptional!”  Laurie Baggett, Event Coordinator
Renaissance Philadelphia:
  1.  Shaun Williams – AV Tech – “Even though, he had to overcome some obstacles, he never complained or blamed someone else for the mistake. He just worked with a smile and was very helpful in making sure that the AV person in Tyson corner  would have what they needed when we arrived. He made me a list of equipment that he used and explained it to me so I could understand. Great addition to their team!” Dayna Taylor – Today’s Dentist Event Manager
  2. Trevell Williams – Catering Manager – “During our event Trevell ran interference and did everything needed in order to ensure the seminar would run smoothly.  She overcame obstacles and was quick to respond to requests.” – Dayna Taylor – Today’s Dentist Events Manager

So… if you are ever looking to book an event and you just happen to be in search of  great hotel don’t overlook the Marriott.  I give them my highest level of recommendation and praise!  Thank you again Trevell Williams & Lisa Cirello, I hope to work with you in the near future!  As for our future engagements… well lets just say we are Marriott all the way!

Our Economic Times are Tough… Is Unifying Leadership Too Much To Ask For?

October 3, 2008

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The Lost Art of Building Unity

August 18, 2008

When did we turn the corner?  When did the emphasis on diversity and individualism overtake the commitment to unity?  How did we become a people unable to effectively build unity?

 

There is an art to building something that is aesthetically pleasing and structurally sound. If a building is not structurally sound it will crumble from within. If it is not pleasing to the eye, it will fall down from neglect. Unity is like that, it is a combination of a sound organizational structure, a compelling reason for being and appealing relationships. 

 

Today’s businesses, communities and families suffer because we have lost the art of building unity. One of the reasons is because we have lost our focus. More accurately we have been focusing on the wrong things! You empower what you focus on.  

 

In baseball, if the batter focuses on, “not striking out,” guess what happens? You got it, they strike out. In football, if a receiver focuses on the last pass he dropped he is more likely to do what? Drop the next one.

 

If you focus on your weaknesses, you remain weak; if you focus on your strengths you get stronger. If you focus on the behaviors of a friend or spouse, you empower those behaviors to annoy you and divide you. Conversely, if you focus on that person’s good qualities you empower those qualities to foster respect and even compassion for the areas of vulnerability.

 

For far too many years, we have been focusing on the wrong things when it comes to building the types of homes, communities and businesses that most of us long for. We desire homes where family members actually enjoy one another’s company and provide sanctuaries of rest and acceptance. We seek communities where neighbors support one another and rally round each other in times of crisis. We yearn to work in businesses that allow us to express our fullest potential in meaningful endeavors with people we actually enjoy being around.

 

But our focus has empowered a plague of discontent, dissent and discord. We focus on what we don’t have or our personal shortcomings, making us discontent with what we have or with who we are. Because we lose focus of our personal values, priorities and life mission, we commit to groups or organizations that operate contrary to our values and we end up chafing and stirring dissension.  We focus on our diversity and deify individualism rather than centering on the things that unite us, causing conflict to run rampant.

 

It does not have to be this way, we can build unity. We can choose to focus on finding agreement and common values. We can focus on becoming trustworthy and building strong, enduring relationships. We can choose to learn how to lead by valuing and respecting each unique person. When we do this we give people the opportunity to succeed, and we build unity, commitment and loyalty.

 

So…what’s your focus? 

Authored By: Rolfe Carawan