Thursday, July 28, 2011

Stop Being Selfish! Find Happiness and True Success...

Selfishness Prevents Success!

If you want to get along with more people start thinking about someone other than yourself. If you have problems with relationships it is probably largely to do with your own actions and the fact that you are thinking more about yourself than the people you don’t get along with.

I once applied for a job as a sales manager with a large, international insurance firm. Part of the application process was a multiple-choice exam to determine the mindsets of the various candidates. I can only recall one question on the exam: “What is the most important characteristic of a great sales manager?” There were ten possible answers and I had to rank them from one to ten in order of importance. The number one answer was this: “The desire to see others do well.”

Frankly, I did not expect it to top the list but I have never forgotten that one question and its wonderful answer. Just think about a world where everyone has a constant, daily desire to see others do well. I now know that if I put others before myself, I will quite unavoidably bring positive energy to everything I do.

Stop being selfish and put an end to negativity, stress, and sadness in your life.

I am Wayne Kehl from Dynamic Leadership

Thursday, July 21, 2011

How To Deal With Water Cooler Talk

Water cooler talks are those nasty, backstabbing, grumble sessions that employees like to have from time to time at work. During those discussions negativity takes the lead and gossip rules the day. Nothing good ever comes from it and yet it is a very popular pastime in a lot of workplaces.

“I like to refer to water cooler talk as “triangulation.”

I call it that because it usually starts with one person who brings in another person or a group of people, and then those two forces strike out against a third person or group. The triangulation leader usually has a gripe with the intended victim and their intention is to drag as many other people as possible into the silent war they are waging against him, her or them. After all, there is strength in numbers and misery loves company.

Despite the obvious toxicity of this behavior, a lot of well-balanced, otherwise normal people find triangulation irresistible. They rationalize it, justify it, and take no responsibility for it if they did not start it. Always remember that in any triangulation session, everyone involved is guilty of an offence.

“If left unchecked, this behaviour can totally destroy the morale of a workplace.

 It is a creeping cancer that most people find repugnant but feel powerless to escape. Those not involved in triangulation often start their own water cooler talks to bemoan the negativity they are sensing in their workplace. Those conversations often lead to discussions about job opportunities with other employers that have a reputation for good morale and a positive work environment.

In the worst cases, triangulation can destroy the reputation of the victims involved or even ruin their careers. Sadly, the people who start the triangulation or water cooler talks almost always accept no responsibility for it or the eventual negative results. However, if someone is harmed in some way, they feel that they won the war and if challenged, readily justify their larceny with continued protestations of the victim’s wrongdoings.

Unfortunately, the world is full of people who have the ability to find negativity wherever they go and the charisma to bend other people to their point of view.

If you are the leader in a negative workplace or are simply someone who is frustrated by the triangulation in your workplace, you need to take action the minute you are aware it is going on.  Confront the perpetrators and let them know that their behavior is unacceptable.

The only way to deal with triangulation is head-on! If you are a leader who is not able to catch employees having negative discussions about someone else, but you know it is happening, have a staff meeting and get it out on the table. Here are a few things you can do:

·         Advise your people that you are aware of gossip, personality assassination and triangulation going on in your workplace.

·         Let them know that in your workplace, all people are to be treated with respect and kindness regardless of any personal differences or unique circumstances.

·         Tell them that your organization has procedures to deal with human resource issues in an appropriate and formal manner. To avoid confusion, describe them in detail.

·         Convince them that even though the perpetrators have not spoken directly to their victims about the apparent issues, they know what is going on.

·          Do not make the mistake of making a joke of it or softening the seriousness of it by accepting or explaining the behavior away as something all human beings do.

·         Let them know that you find the behavior disappointing and make it clear that if you find direct evidence of it, you will have no choice but to take serious disciplinary action against the perpetrators.

Ideally, if you have the time and resources, it is best to have personal development training sessions for all employees on a regular basis. The idea is to drive home the need for a positive environment and to emphasize the value of good morale. With persistent, consistent effort, in time you will be able to build a sustainable culture of co-operation and great morale for your workplace.

If you are an employee in a non-leadership position and are simply sick of the negativity in your organization, here are some things you might do to remedy the situation:

·         If you become involved in a triangulation session, advise the individuals involved that you do not feel the discussion is fair or appropriate.

·         Remain calm and do not resort to angry rebuttals.

·         Ask the main perpetrator if he or she has approached the victim directly to discuss the problem.

·         Discuss the situation with your immediate supervisor, manager, or human resources department.

·         Approach the victim privately and tell them what you have heard. Get their side of the story. Often triangulation is based in fiction and clarification will end it quickly.

·         If you work with a chronic triangulation perpetrator, avoid them and do not fuel their fire by showing interest in their negative talk.

·         If nothing else works, walk away! Do not stoop to being part of it...

The only way to deal with problems between human beings is with open, honest and direct communication. Nothing is ever resolved with gossip or triangulation and nothing positive comes from negative words or actions.

Those who live to find fault with others are often talentless, miserable people who seek power by nefarious, underhanded methods.

 Triangulation is one of the tools they use. Fortunately, no one can triangulate alone so if everyone else refuses to buy into their larceny the perpetrators will be neutralized and with luck, they will eventually fade away.

The powers of positive thinking, open honest communication, and proactive, deliberate leadership can overcome almost any workplace challenge. Try it...I guarantee you will like it!

All The Best!
Wayne Kehl

Friday, July 15, 2011

Thursday, July 14, 2011

How to Lead Generation "Y"

The members of the demographic, commonly known as Generation “Y” were born between the years 1981 and 1994, which makes them ages 17 to 30 in year 2011. They are the young up-and-coming leaders of society. There are a lot of them, and since they will soon fill most of the jobs being given up by the aging Boomers, we need to modify our methodology in order to lead them.

Generation “Y” are a new breed of people with a new way of looking at the world. They have been influenced by their parents, the education system, the media and each other. They operate with an attitude of entitlement and they prefer communication via hand-held device over the spoken word.
~What follows are a few ideas that will help make your workplace the employer-of -choice for Generation “Y”...
The first Personal Computer was introduced to North America in 1981...the same year the first Generation “Y” baby was born. Hence, unlike the Boomers and Generation “X”, these kids have never seen a world without computers. They have seen rapid advances in computerization which eliminated the bulky, beige boxes of the PC and turned them into I-Phones, Blackberries and Androids. Facebook, Google, and Twitter rule the world of Generation “Y” and there is no sign of anything but more growth in that social phenomenon in the future.
~Generation “Y” needs computers, hand-held devices, email, texting and YouTube in their lives.
~They want media-rich information and communication in order to remain engaged.
~Adjust your thinking to allow for their different ways of working.
~Let them use the style of communication they prefer .
~Give them the most modern equipment and software you can afford.
When you hire a Generation “Y” person expect them to want a lot of time off.  All their lives, they were heavily doted on by their hovering, “helicopter”, parents and they take their family-time very seriously. They were taught that they are special and they believe that they are entitled to fair treatment. Their concept of fair treatment might be much more liberal than their older bosses, so without greater flexibility, conflicts are bound to arise.
~Structure your business to allow for flexible schedules and more innovative time commitments. 
~Generation “Y” values time off over money so come up with a cost-effective flex-time or job-sharing plan that is affordable for you and attractive to them.
Generation “Y” does not want to dress up in any formalized uniform or business attire. They want a relaxed, comfortable style of dress that makes them feel good. Forget about business suits, frilly blouses, neck ties, and dress shoes. Expect loose fitting, sloppy shirts and pants along with casual shoes, low-cut, revealing tops and tight, mid-riff-baring jeans.
~A decade or so ago, the business world adopted casual day which has given way to casual week and casual-all-the-time. It is a freight train that does not want to stop.
~Have a minimal number of restrictions on clothing styles if you want to keep your Generation “Y” people happy and productive.
When you hire a Generation “Y” person, you must appeal to their social values. Their parents taught them that good people give of their time and money for charities and philanthropy. They will expect their employer to support social causes and they will expect time off to involve themselves in the betterment of their communities.
~Ask your Generation “Y’s” what they expect your company to do for the community and for charities and then put them in charge . Let them take it over and run with it.
~They will rally to the cause if they feel a sense of ownership of the plan.
~Ultimately, they will become more loyal and you will become the employer-of-choice.
~The positive notoriety brought by their activities will improve your bottom line.
Thanks to the ubiquitous modern media, young people have been exposed to many tales of high level lying, cheating, larceny, bad business and crime that would not have been made available in prior decades. They watched the Enron scandal unfold, Tiger Woods fall from grace, The BP oil spill disaster, The United States bank collapse, the Arnold Schwarzenegger scandal, and the onset of global warming. They watch almost every day as the adults that run the world do every dirty, underhanded, nasty thing that only the worst human beings could conjure up. They think adults are lying to them all the time and they don’t trust them. Without trust, personal or business relationships of any kind cannot survive!
~A more open, informative management style will hold you in good stead with Generation “Y”.
~Give your young people all the statistical and strategic information you can about your business.
~Keep them informed and be honest about your fears, your failures and your successes.
~Never make promises you cannot or will not keep.
~Most importantly, never lie to them or withhold the truth.
~They want open, honest communication and if they don’t get it, they might resign or quit emotionally and stay around to make your life a living hell!
Because of the huge volume of information Generation “Y” is subjected to moment-by-moment on the internet and television, their minds are flooded with a myriad of ideas and opportunities. They believe they can do anything because their parents and teachers told them so. They do not want to be slotted into boring jobs with a minimal number of activities or little chance for advancement. They want variety and an opportunity to show the world what they can do.
~Try to match the natural talents of the individual to the job they do.
~Put the right people in the right jobs.
~Do skills and talent assessments in order to determine the best job for each individual.
~Throw out or amend job descriptions and allow more job-flexibility for each employee.
~Regularly ask each employee how they feel about their job.
~Give them a career path and follow it.
Remember that the majority of your customers will also be Generation “Y” very soon, so do not make the assumption that the people who buy your products or services will continue to expect the same type of service and decorum you have in place today.
~The world is changing so if you want to be the best in your field, try to change with it now.
~If you work with them and accept them as they are, Generation “Y” will carry you to a new level of success.
Generation “Y” is coming to a job near you soon. You can resist their new style of working or you can use their new ways to work for you and increase revenues. It is your choice! 
All the Best
Wayne Kehl 

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Leadership Styles

Learn about the the 3 styles of managers  from   
  Wayne Kehl of Dynamic Leadership Inc.

A Big Ego is a Terrible Thing to Waste!

Check out my new video here:

Human beings seem to want to fight all the time, don’t they? Why do so many people become angry or defensive when a joke is directed at them or someone suggests they might be wrong.

People fight with each other because of EGO. Ego is essentially a person’s idea of his or her own importance or value. A big ego will often become angry when integrity is questioned.

Ego is what made human beings the dominant species on earth and what caused them to put men on the moon. It is also what causes arguments and starts wars. People with big egos usually have strong ambition and a huge desire to succeed. They like a pat on the back. When working with someone who is talented but full of himself do not suppress his enthusiasm or hold him back. When a big ego is stifled negative behavior is the usual result.

When working with big egos, be a coach. Appeal to them by asking for help and then offering praise for positive results. When team performance improves, everyone’s egos will soar on a blanket of pride.

Take advantage of big egos by cultivating them into powerful forces. Don’t waste a big ego…put it to work for you!

I am Wayne Kehl from Dynamic Leadership

Dynamic Leadership Inc.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Take Your Business Back!

I often hear from managers that employees have more power than their bosses. Studies have shown that the majority of workers in North America do not want to move into a management role. The current trend toward servant leadership and participative management has created a lot of very good results, but in many cases it has also created chaos, poor morale and reduced performance.

In the nineteen-fifties and prior, we witnessed command and control management styles in most businesses and Government service sectors. That method of leadership allowed manipulation, oppression and in some cases, outright cruelty to employees in the workplace.

Workers were threatened and intimidated in the name of better performance standards. Although command and control worked in its own way, it led to dissension, distrust of management and employee rebellion. Ultimately, it gave greater power to unions and paved the way for the servant leadership style that most leaders either espouse or give lip-service to in the twenty-first century.

The trend toward what I call, soft-servant-leadership is beginning to erode the ability of North American business to perform effectively. It is at least partially responsible for the lack of discipline that led to the recent American banking industry collapse and it is usually the root of cause of poor performance in any industry or public sector. When there are no apparent consequences, chaos is allowed to rule.  Command and control management has been replaced by some new phenomena:


·         request followed by refusal

·         guidance followed by defiance

·         rules broken without consequence

·         leadership scorned or disregarded

·         poor performance rewarded or nurtured

·         bad attitudes ignored or avoided

·         management afraid of employees

·        insolence, tardiness, absenteeism, and laziness tolerated

(If you don’t see your favourite one on the list, please feel free to add it.)

Now is the time to take your business back! Now is the time to start a LEADERSHIP REVOLUTION and build organizations that will be able to withstand the onslaught of the financial recession and economic hardship that will continue well into the twenty-first century.

We cannot continue to be productive if we do not begin to hold our employees accountable for the work they do. I am not suggesting that we go back to the command and control management style of the fifties...I am suggesting that we temper servant leadership with effective accountability.

Leadership should not be about settling for less!

Leadership should be a combination of our currently understood principles of servant leadership tempered or fused with firmness, accountability and a respect for hierarchy.

We often compare the running of a business with coaching a team or commanding an army.

 When we make those comparisons however, we seem to forget that on a basketball team, if a player is insolent, disobedient or plays badly, he is benched or sent to the showers. The coach takes control and makes hard decisions for the betterment of his team. In the case of the military, if a soldier is insolent, disobedient or AWOL he is disciplined, court marshalled, or jailed.  In both cases, the performance of the entire team is placed in the paramount position and individual team members understand that they must do exactly as their leader instructs them or suffer the consequences. They know that their leader is in control and that his or her decisions are the best for the team.

You will probably never hear any suggestion that a tough but successful basketball coach is cruel or unfair, just as there is seldom any thought that a field commander is doing anything but the right thing when he brings a coward, a deserter or a mutineer up on charges. Hierarchy has worked amongst groups of human beings in mutual endeavours for eons and it will work in the twenty first century.

Please do not misunderstand me. I know that basketball teams and armies have different dynamics than industry, business or the public sector. With that in mind, we must accept that modern leaders cannot lead through intimidation, threats, unfair discipline, anger, rudeness or punishment.

If modern leaders want to be successful, they must retain control and generate maximum performance through strength and firmness while holding their employees accountable for their work. There must be measures in place that will allow leaders to exercise their control over their employees for the betterment and integrity of the team. Employees must understand that if they are not able to follow the fair and simple rules of their positions or are not able to show ordinary respect through things like consistently showing up on time, they will be held accountable and may be disciplined or terminated.  

Leaders need not set up an adversarial relationship with employee groups. If they simply outline fair and reasonable expectations to their people and gain their agreement, they will be able act responsibly in the future with little fear of criticism or discord. When employees understand the rules and those rules are monitored fairly and consistently, everyone benefits and everyone wins!

Communication and courage are the keys!

Let’s start a LEADERSHIP REVOLUTION! Let’s stop being afraid of our employees! Let’s stop settling for less! Let’s take our businesses back!

All the Best!

Wayne Kehl

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Ego and Success

Winners, losers and survivors exist all around us. The world is full of people who become famous through excellent results alongside those who gain notoriety because of poor performance. Interestingly, mediocrity is much more common than success or failure in most areas of human endeavour. Most people get by, but seldom excel despite the fact that almost everyone is good at something. The majority of people on the planet never have the opportunity to soar because they never have the opportunity to utilize the natural talents they are born with.
Many of us never even experience the joy of discovering the true
genius that lies dormant, deep within us all.
While many of us labour unrewardingly outside of our true calling, others are able to advance in areas where they have little or no natural talent at all. The most ineffective or even dangerous people on earth are those who have a strong belief that they excel at something where they have no particular talent and yet have managed to advance. We often see these people in senior positions. Sometimes they are arrogant, egotistical bullies who strut around the office or the factory floor barking out orders and bragging about their adventures. Some are quiet and reserved, but bristle with superiority at or just below the surface.  No matter how they present themselves, they usually make poor business decisions and specialize in poor hiring choices.  These are the people who talk down to others and are critical just for the sake of being right.
Often because a business is unique, has a strong customer following or a history of success, these people manage to advance and move up the ladder despite themselves and despite the harm they do to those they are able to impact along the way. Some are highly educated while others are only experts in bravado. They know how to manipulate the decision makers above them and they fly under the radar on their way to the top. Eventually, they will reach the level of their own incompetence...the place where they can no longer fool even the most detached executives...but at that point, the damage will have already been done and they will probably be rewarded for their poor performance with a gold watch and a healthy retirement package.
We have all known people like this!
As I ruminate on this phenomenon it occurs to me that the one talent these people have is the talent for exercising their own ego. While most of us conceal our ego and exercise our humility as our parents taught us, the egomaniacs of the world take on almost anything that comes their way with a resolute belief that they will succeed. Their success is based on an unyielding belief in themselves. They have such a well defined sense of self direction that they are incapable of acknowledging any suggestion that they might be on an incorrect path. They believe they are winners and they dismiss any thoughts of failure. A German propaganda minister in Adolf Hitler’s Nazi Government, Joseph Goebbels said this:
 “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it.”
Unfortunately, I have observed in business that many people have adopted the philosophy of Goebbels, perhaps without even knowing it. They lie to the people around them and they lie to themselves. For them, lying is not even wrong or immoral...it is instead, a matter of business survival. They tell themselves they are great and then make sure everyone in their sphere of influence knows it. Through deception, they manage to succeed. Ultimately the deception becomes truth as the intimidation of their bravado and growing success moves them closer to the top of the hierarchy. Ultimately, they leave behind a legacy of negativity despite any financial success their organizations might attain.
Despite the success that ego can bring, the true leaders in society
 are those who are honest, ethical, humble people with genuine
My preference is to follow leaders who lead with talent, empathy, skill, and humility. I will follow someone who has something valuable to say rather than someone who simply wants to say something. I will follow a leader who puts the needs of his team and his company first and second, with his own coming in a distant third. I will follow a leader whose ego is limited to ambition for, and belief in her team. I want to follow a leader who is primarily proud of her team and the fact that she is fortunate enough to lead them. I will follow a leader who always tells the truth.  I will follow a leader!
Leading is difficult but when done right, it creates a wonderful
 legacy. Here is a short list of things all great leaders take with
 them to the top:
·         Utilization of natural talents
·         Ego directed only at team results
·         Self-awareness and the courage to change
·         Humility
·         Honesty
With just those few elements a leader can put himself or herself on a level above the pack. Those leaders can create high-performing teams and leave a legacy of greatness that will live on long after they have departed.
Ego will invariably be an element of success, but it should not be
 the only factor!
All the Best
Wayne Kehl