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Category Archive: Culture

Dave Anderson

Building a High Performance Culture (Part 20)

This article is part of a multi-part series titled “Building a High Performance Culture” by Up To Speed Guest Expert, Dave Anderson, of LearnToLead®.

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Words that Work: Diligent

In this post on building a high performance culture I’m adding the word diligent to the words that work column, although diligence can hurt you if you’re investing it in the wrong habits or activities.

I’ll expand on diligent in a moment, but first do a quick review of the strong and weak cultural words so you can conceptualize the ideal culture to move towards, as well as what you must move away from culturally in order to maximize your organization’s potential.

Words that work and must be woven into culture:

Earn: to acquire through merit.

Deserve: to be worthy of; to qualify for.

Consistent: constantly adhering to the same principles.

Hope: grounds for believing something in the future will happen.

Catalyst: a person or thing that makes something happen.

Responsible: to be the primary cause of something.

Tough-minded: strong willed, vigorous, not easily swayed.

Loyal: faithfulness to one’s duties or obligations.

Passion: a strong feeling or enthusiasm about something, or about doing something.

Discipline: an activity, regimen, or exercise that develops or improves a habit or skill.

Commit: to pledge oneself to something.

Prune: to remove what is undesirable.

Wise: having or showing good judgement.

Words that hurt and must be weeded out of culture:

Fault: responsibility for failure.

Blame: to assign responsibility for failure.

Excuse: a plea offered to explain away a fault or failure.

Mediocre: average, ordinary, not outstanding.

Wish: to want something that cannot, or probably will not happen.

Entitle: a claim to something you feel you are owed.

Sloth: reluctance to work or exert effort; laziness.

Complacent: calmly content, smugly self-satisfied.

Maintain: to cause (something) to exist or continue without changing.

Apathy: a lack of enthusiasm, interest or concern.

Interest: to be curious about. (as opposed to being committed).

Foolish: lacking good sense or judgment.

The word diligent is defined as “giving constant effort to accomplish something.”

High performing cultures are those where the right things are done consistently, and where the team members diligently persist to see those right activities come to completion.

In order to maximize results, discipline must precede diligence. In other words, one must be disciplined enough to choose and execute the highest leverage tasks from the outset, and to say “no” to the distractions that arise in the process, before diligence is beneficial. Frankly, giving constant effort to stick with, or accomplish, the wrong something, or a low-return something, hurts an organization and stifles results.

The word “consistent” is a cousin of “diligent.” To be consistent means to “constantly adhere to the same principles”. Thus discipline chooses the right activity or principle; consistency ensures those same things are done repeatedly, and diligence ensures the actions are not only initiated but followed through to a successful completion.

Discipline, consistent and diligent are critical success traits demonstrated by highly successful people, and are a trait of highly performing cultures overall. Without discipline you’ll consistently put second things first, as you diligently move forward majoring in minor things.

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Permanent link to this article: http://blog.ncm20.com/2015/06/building-a-high-performance-culture-part-20/

Dave Anderson

Building a High Performance Culture (Part 18)

This article is part of a multi-part series titled “Building a High Performance Culture” by Up To Speed Guest Expert, Dave Anderson, of LearnToLead®.

Business king. Confident businessman in crown standing isolated

A word that works: “Prune”

In this eighteenth post on building a high performance culture I want to put in the “words that work” column a word normally associated with gardening, but whose applications for improving an organization’s culture abound: prune.

I’ll expand on how pruning benefits culture momentarily, but to review the portrait of high performing cultures this series has presented take a moment to review both what must be woven into, and weeded out of, a culture to create optimal performance:

Words that work and must be woven into culture:

Earn: to acquire through merit.

Deserve: to be worthy of; to qualify for.

Consistent: constantly adhering to the same principles.

Hope: grounds for believing something in the future will happen.

Catalyst: a person or thing that makes something happen.

Responsible: to be the primary cause of something.

Tough-minded: strong willed, vigorous, not easily swayed.

Loyal: faithfulness to one’s duties or obligations.

Passion: a strong feeling or enthusiasm about something, or about doing something.

Discipline: an activity, regimen, or exercise that develops or improves a habit or skill.

Commit: to pledge oneself to something.

Words that hurt and must be weeded out of culture:

Fault: responsibility for failure.

Blame: to assign responsibility for failure.

Excuse: a plea offered to explain away a fault or failure.

Mediocre: average, ordinary, not outstanding.

Wish: to want something that cannot, or probably will not happen.

Entitle: a claim to something you feel you are owed.

Sloth: reluctance to work or exert effort; laziness.

Complacent: calmly content, smugly self-satisfied.

Maintain: to cause (something) to exist or continue without changing.

Apathy: a lack of enthusiasm, interest or concern.

Interest: to be curious about (as opposed to being committed).

To prune is defined as: to remove what is undesirable.

When pruning a bush, less than optimal branches and buds are removed so they no longer zap vital resources from those with the potential to become great. If left on a bush, the dying or dead branches create a visual blight, and cause the healthy branches to go over, under, and around their interference in order to reach their peak form.

In business, a candidate for pruning—what is undesirable and needing to be removed somewhat, or altogether—may range from ineffective or underperforming:

  • Policies
  • Processes
  • Strategies
  • Vendors
  • People
  • Products
  • Services
  • Investment dollars
  • And more

Unlike a sick branch, you don’t automatically remove the listed underperforming entities in organizational culture. Rather, there are three categories of pruning each may fit into. Understanding these three options creates a useful decision-making filter that allows you to make the right choices to build a high performing culture.

Category one: the entities that are good, but have little chance of becoming great. These are normally areas where, regardless of what you put into someone or something, you reap a diminishing return. Since it is good you don’t remove it, but realign time or resources into the aspects of your culture that have a chance to become great. The key word here is: realign.

Example: A solid performer you want on the team; but regardless how much time or training you give them they still produce around the same amount. You’ll need to realign some of what you’re investing in this person into someone who has higher upward potential.

Category two: entities that are struggling and not getting better. These are policies, people, strategies and the like where business as usual is not an option; something must change. You’re not ready to remove it yet, but you need to revitalize it.

Example: A marketing strategy that used to bring results but seems to have run its course. You’re close to abandoning it, but will try one new angle, a new medium, a new something to attempt to revive it. It could also involve a poor performer whom you’re close to terminating, but will try one last time to revitalize through training, or by transferring to a position they’re better suited for.

Category three: entities for which there are no hope. On a bush, this would be the branch that has died and is taking up space. In business this is someone or something you’ve tried to realign and revitalize, but you’re still not getting the desired results. This aspect of pruning mandates that it’s time to remove it.

Example: The performer that, despite your efforts to coach, motivate, and train continues to miss your standards. It could also be a product or product line that has outlived its usefulness; no marketing campaign has been able to save it. It’s time for it to go.

By realigning, revitalizing or removing what isn’t desirable, you are able to efficiently execute the disciplines within your culture that increase your success. Pruning is a key ally to leaders who understand that mediocrity is a dangerously seductive cultural infection; and unless they act on it their culture will become a host and carrier of its disease.

 


Dave Anderson on NCM OnDemand:

Permanent link to this article: http://blog.ncm20.com/2015/03/building-a-high-performance-culture-part-18/

Dave Anderson

Building a High Performance Culture (Part 17)

This article is part of a multi-part series titled “Building a High Performance Culture” by Up To Speed Guest Expert, Dave Anderson, of LearnToLead®.

Young businessman adjusting his tie

Words that Work: Committed

Words that Hurt: Interested

In this seventeenth post on building a high performance culture, I want to put in each the “words that work” and the “words that hurt” column a word that separates the good from great in any conceivable endeavor; one who is committed versus one who is merely interested.

I’ll expand on committed vs. interested in a moment, but to bring you up-to-speed on this culture series, please review the following points and words from past posts:

  • Culture is never done. Thus, the “words that work” concepts must be consistently woven into your culture to strengthen it.
  • The “words that hurt,” and their ensuing mindsets, must be just as diligently weeded out of your culture.
  • These two categories are designed to build an evolving portrait of what a high performance culture looks like so you can evaluate your own culture and continuously strive towards the ideal.

Words that work:

Earn: to acquire through merit.

Deserve: to be worthy of; to qualify for.

Consistent: constantly adhering to the same principles.

Hope: grounds for believing something in the future will happen.

Catalyst: a person or thing that makes something happen.

Responsible: to be the primary cause of something.

Tough-minded: strong willed, vigorous, not easily swayed.

Loyal: faithfulness to one’s duties or obligations.

Passion: a strong feeling or enthusiasm about something, or about doing something.

Discipline: an activity, regimen, or exercise that develops or improves a habit or skill.

Words that hurt:

Fault: responsibility for failure.

Blame: to assign responsibility for failure.

Excuse: a plea offered to explain away a fault or failure.

Mediocre: average, ordinary, not outstanding.

Wish: to want something that cannot, or probably will not happen.

Entitle: a claim to something you feel you are owed.

Sloth: reluctance to work or exert effort; laziness.

Complacent: calmly content, smugly self-satisfied.

Maintain: to cause (something) to exist or continue without changing.

Apathy: a lack of enthusiasm, interest, or concern.

I’ve had leaders attend my workshops whose first reaction to my asking if they’re interested in, or committed to, becoming a great leader and building a great organization is: “What’s the difference?” Frankly, the difference is staggering. Take a look:

  • Interested: to be curious about.
  • Committed: to have pledged oneself to something.

Consider how weak, unconvincing, and uninspiring being interested sounds when compared to commitment:

  1. I’m curious about what it would be like to become a great leader.
  2. I’m curious about what it would be like to build a higher performing culture.
  3. I’m curious how it would feel to have our best year ever.

On the other hand, “pledging oneself to something” indicates you are willing to pay a price; and understanding that it’s not likely to be a one-time, lump sum payment; it will be an installment plan. But you’re willing to keep plodding on for the long haul because you understand that the prize of excellence, the payoff for operating at your fullest potential and achieving what you never dreamed possible, is worth the price.

Eventually, every parent, spouse, team member, business leader, coach, teacher, pastor, everyone, must decide which column they’re in: interested or committed. All must embrace the reality that high performing cultures are shaped by, strengthened by, and protected by, those who are committed to consistently excellent performance.

By the way, the column you choose doesn’t have to be announced. You never have to tell others, “I’m committed”, because when it’s true, they can tell by watching you. They see the price you pay, the disciplines you develop, the tough decisions you make, the sacrifices you endure and, ultimately, how your talk about becoming great and your daily walk align.

Permanent link to this article: http://blog.ncm20.com/2015/02/building-a-high-performance-culture-part-17/

Tony Albertson

Are Your Managers Being Followed or Just Tolerated?

business team in meeting on dark background

So there I was, the third newly-hired General Manager in two and a half years in a struggling automotive dealership and faced with the task of evaluating the competence of the existing department managers. These were the managers that would be required to support the renewed vision of the dealer and institute the processes that would hopefully get the store on its feet.  I needed leaders. Were they worth keeping? Should I just blow them all out and start fresh? How do you know?  I of course wanted to give them the opportunity to be successful, but do temporary results lead to long term progress?  At one time or another in my career I have read and studied every management book I could get my hands on but the question remained. Where to start?  It is often funny where our answers come from…

As a young man I had this old guy that lived next door.  I would see him from time to time out walking his fuzzy little dog and didn’t think much of him.  What I didn’t know at the time was that he was a highly decorated retired naval captain and, typical of many combat vets, he lived in total anonymity being mostly taken for granted by the casual observer. At seventeen years old I was just as self-obsessed as anyone my age, but one day this “old guy” got my attention. Initially it was a result of his slightly dark, self-deprecating sense of humor.  I noticed this first as it was being directed at me and my frustrated attempts to get a stubborn lawnmower started.  I thought to myself, “Wait a minute…the old dude that lives next door, that I don’t even know, is making fun of me.”  When I looked up to proffer an indignant teenager scowl and snappy retort, I was greeted by the ornery smile of a mischievous schoolboy pasted to the face of, well, an old guy. I liked him instantly.

Over time, the old captain shared many sea stories and descriptions of combat that would keep me enthralled for hours at a time. He shared both the horror and the glory with a deep sense of humility and grace. Fast forward many years to my current situation in taking over a new dealership, and one particular conversation stood out.

I had asked him what was more difficult, following orders or as his career progressed, assigning the people to carry out the orders? He thought about this for a moment and shared a about time he was required to pick two young lieutenants to lead men into harm’s way. The mission was important, dangerous and had to be accomplished, but who were the right officers to lead it? He had many young lieutenants under his command to choose from.  Some were all spit and polish, some were by the book and cautious, most were equally trained, and all wanted the opportunity to prove their worth as officers.  Every officer under his command understood the importance of planning, logistics and execution of a plan, and all, in theory, should be able to lead the mission.  But the question came down to this; if, in theory they can all lead…who would be followed?

We have all seen this at one time or another; an intelligent manager with all the knowledge given the responsibility of leading a group to an expected result and falling short. Ultimately because he or she was not being “followed” by their subordinates—they were just being “tolerated.”

These same managers have read all the books, attended the seminars and in the end were pronounced a “qualified leader.”  If you happen to work for one of these qualified leaders they frequently feel the need to remind you who the boss is because you are obviously not smart enough to remember.  If they happen to work for you they are the first to sing their own praises, point out the deficiency in others, and the validity of their own ideas. It is not unusual to see people roll their eyes as they pass and the so-called leader remains oblivious.  Would you follow this guy?

At the end of the day, what is a leader?

Simply put, a leader is someone that is being followed, not just tolerated.  Take a look at your managers.  Are they just being tolerated because your employees care enough about you and the store not to leave?  The net results of this situation are mediocre at best.  Or are they following the person that you appointed to carry out the company’s mission to its highest result?

A manager can have all the knowledge, bright ideas and understanding of your vision, but it is the ability to build conviction in others that makes the leader.


Permanent link to this article: http://blog.ncm20.com/2015/01/are-your-managers-being-followed-or-just-tolerated/

Dave Anderson

Building a High Performance Culture (Part 16)

This article is part of a multi-part series titled “Building a High Performance Culture” by Up To Speed Guest Expert, Dave Anderson, of LearnToLead®.

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Words that Work: Discipline

In this sixteenth post on building a high performance culture, I want to put in the “words that work” column a word that fuels the consistency that separates good performers and organizations from great ones: discipline.

I’ll expand on discipline momentarily, but to improve your perspective on this culture series, please review the following “words that work” from past posts.

  • These concepts must be consistently woven into your culture to strengthen it.
  • The “words that hurt” and their ensuing mindsets, must be just as diligently weeded out of your culture.
  • These two categories are designed to build an evolving portrait of what a high performance culture looks like so you can evaluate your own, and strive towards the ideal.

Words that work:

Earn: to acquire through merit.

Deserve: to be worthy of; to qualify for.

Consistent: constantly adhering to the same principles.

Hope: grounds for believing something in the future will happen.

Catalyst: a person or thing that makes something happen.

Responsible: to be the primary cause of something.

Tough-minded: strong willed, vigorous, not easily swayed.

Loyal: faithfulness to one’s duties or obligations.

Passion: a strong feeling or enthusiasm about something, or about doing something. 

Words that hurt:

Fault: responsibility for failure.

Blame: to assign responsibility for failure.

Excuse: a plea offered to explain away a fault or failure.

Mediocre: average, ordinary, not outstanding.

Wish: to want something that cannot, or probably will not happen.

Entitle: a claim to something you feel you are owed.

Sloth: reluctance to work or exert effort; laziness.

Complacent: calmly content, smugly self-satisfied.

Maintain: to cause (something) to exist or continue without changing.

Apathy: a lack of enthusiasm, interest or concern.

Discipline is defined as: an activity, regimen or exercise that develops or improves a habit or skill.

To help grasp the importance of disciplined people working within a disciplined culture, consider the following points on discipline:

  1. Discipline serves as fuel for consistency. It powers the development of healthy habits and routines instrumental for reducing the wide up and down swings of business performance.
  2. A narrower focus on who and what matters most stimulates discipline. The marriage of narrowed focus and more discipline makes decision making easier; it helps you know what to say “yes” or “no” to so you can stay on track and do more of what matters most.
  3. Discipline without direction is drudgery. Discipline simply for the sake of discipline does not inspire. But when discipline is developed because it leads you towards a compelling purpose it can help make you unstoppable.
  4. Discipline isn’t about doing a lot of things every day; it’s about executing the handful of daily activities most necessary to move towards your goals.
  5. Disciplined people have more, not fewer, options as they progress through business and life. Discipline isn’t a jailer, it is a liberator.
  6. Disciplined people, pulled forward by a compelling purpose, consistently do what is right day-in and day-out; not just when it’s easy, cheap, popular or convenient.
  7. Discipline isn’t “punishment,” it’s a morale builder. You always feel better about yourself when you do what is right, what you’ve committed to do; whether it’s saying “no” to the cheesecake when dieting, or making the ten calls you said you’d make before leaving for home.

As a final thought on discipline, I’d like to suggest that the alternative to discipline is disaster. Evidence of this principle abounds in the lives of businesses and individuals who waste time and resources chasing silver bullets, quick fixes, and implementing successions of failed flavors of the month, while their disciplined counterparts steadily plod along to new performance levels.

Permanent link to this article: http://blog.ncm20.com/2015/01/building-a-high-performance-culture-part-16/

Dave Anderson

Building a High Performance Culture (Part 15)

Complacent

This article is part of a multi-part series titled “Building a High Performance Culture” by Up To Speed Guest Expert, Dave Anderson, of LearnToLead®.

Words that Hurt: Apathy

In this fifteenth post on building a high performance culture, I want to put in the “words that hurt” column a word that creates barren cultures, performances and customer experiences: apathy.

More about apathy in a moment, but to bring yourself up to date with this series, please review the following words that work from past posts. These must consistently be woven into your culture to strengthen it. The words that hurt, and their ensuing mindsets, must be just as diligently weeded out of a culture. These two categories are designed to build an evolving portrait of what a high performance culture looks like so you can evaluate your own, and strive towards the ideal.

Words that work:

Earn: to acquire through merit.

Deserve: to be worthy of; to qualify for.

Consistent: constantly adhering to the same principles.

Hope: grounds for believing something in the future will happen.

Catalyst: a person or thing that makes something happen.

Responsible: to be the primary cause of something.

Tough-minded: strong willed, vigorous, not easily swayed.

Loyal: faithfulness to one’s duties or obligations.

Passion: a strong feeling or enthusiasm about something, or about doing something. 

Words that hurt:

Fault: responsibility for failure.

Blame: to assign responsibility for failure.

Excuse: a plea offered to explain away a fault or failure.

Mediocre: average, ordinary, not outstanding.

Wish: to want something that cannot, or probably will not happen.

Entitle: a claim to something you feel you are owed.

Sloth: reluctance to work or exert effort; laziness.

Complacent: calmly content, smugly self-satisfied.

Maintain: to cause (something) to exist or continue without changing.

Apathy is defined as: a lack of enthusiasm, interest or concern.

Apathetic followers are often the result of numerous leadership failures:

  1. The leaders fail to create a vision that inspires followers to higher performance.
  2. The leaders fail to create and live a mission that unites followers behind a common cause.
  3. The leaders pledge allegiance to the status quo, learning to live with what is average rather than improve or remove it.
  4. The leaders spend so much time with “stuff,” they have no time to build relationships with followers.
  5. The leaders spend so much time with “stuff,” they have no time to motivate, impact, train, coach or mentor followers.
  6. The leaders fail to engage followers by holding them accountable for their actions and results.
  7. The leaders fail to remove dead weight, lowering the morale of all who must work with the incompetent, corrupt, or inadequate.
  8. The leaders fail to live core values, or lead by example, disconnecting from followers and breaking trust in the process.
  9. The leaders stop learning, and so have nothing new to bring to the table to challenge or inspire followers, or to help them grow.
  10. The leaders routinely start and quit new programs, creating a credibility crisis as followers become drained by the latest management “flavor” (failure) of the month.
  11. The leaders fail to respect and take care of customers, fanning the flames of cultural apathy far and wide.

The list could go on, but this is a good start.

It is also entirely possible that the leader is doing everything right and still has an apathetic follower simply because he hired and is keeping the wrong person; but that in itself is another blatant leadership failure. As you can see, cultural and corporate apathy starts and stops with the leaders and their many potential failures. The good news is that leaders can also fix cultural apathy by caring enough to put their coffee down, get off their backsides, and do their jobs with consistent excellence.

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Permanent link to this article: http://blog.ncm20.com/2014/12/building-a-high-performance-culture-part-15/

Dave Anderson

Building a High Performance Culture (Part 14)

dictionary

This article is part of a multi-part series titled “Building a High Performance Culture” by Up To Speed Guest Expert, Dave Anderson, of LearnToLead®.

Words that Hurt: Maintain

In this fourteenth post on building a high performance culture I want to put in the “words that hurt” column a word that stifles the potential of both individuals and organizations: maintain.

More about maintain in a moment, but to bring yourself up to date with this series, please review the following words that work from past posts. These must be consistently woven into your culture to strengthen it. The words that hurt, and their ensuing mindsets, must be just as diligently weeded out of a culture. These two categories are designed to build an evolving portrait of what a high performance culture looks like so you can evaluate your own, and strive towards the ideal.

Words that work:

Earn: to acquire through merit.

Deserve: to be worthy of; to qualify for.

Consistent: constantly adhering to the same principles.

Hope: grounds for believing something in the future will happen.

Catalyst: a person or thing that makes something happen.

Responsible: to be the primary cause of something.

Tough-minded: strong willed, vigorous, not easily swayed.

Loyal: faithfulness to one’s duties or obligations.

Passion: a strong feeling or enthusiasm about something, or about doing something. 

Words that hurt:

Fault: responsibility for failure.

Blame: to assign responsibility for failure.

Excuse: a plea offered to explain away a fault or failure.

Mediocre: average, ordinary, not outstanding.

Wish: to want something that cannot, or probably will not happen.

Entitle: a claim to something you feel you are owed.

Sloth: reluctance to work or exert effort; laziness.

Complacent: calmly content, smugly self-satisfied.

Maintain is defined as: to cause (something) to exist or continue without changing.

Managers who maintain create a culture where:

  1. The goals set for the organization are incredibly safe.
  2. People are conditioned to think incrementally.
  3. The status quo is defended, rather than attacked.
  4. Those who question the status quo are seen as trouble makers, or as being negative.
  5. Nothing is changed until something bad happens.
  6. People aren’t held accountable.
  7. People aren’t stretched and don’t grow.
  8. Tenure becomes a substitute for performance.
  9. There is a play-not-to-lose mentality that pervades the culture.
  10. There is a strong aversion to risk or anything new.
  11. Meetings are held where much is debated, but little is decided.
  12. People expect to be rewarded or promoted more for showing up than for stepping up.
  13. There is a large mass of average or below average people, but very few, if any, superstars.
  14. People are prone to pace themselves, and very little urgency is seen until there’s a crisis, or time is running out on a month.
  15. Doing what’s in a job description is seen as acceptable; even heroic, rather than as baseline.

Frankly, in any industry, maintainers in leadership positions are common; they’re easy to find and cheap to keep. But leaders who can stretch others and their organization, but who understand the importance of stretching themselves first are worth their weight in gold.

collisioncenter

Permanent link to this article: http://blog.ncm20.com/2014/12/building-a-high-performance-culture-part-14/

NCM Associates

What Are You Thankful For?

thanks

In honor of the Thanksgiving holiday, a few of us would like to take a moment to share what we’re thankful for:

“I am thankful for becoming a grandma this year and having a sweet little baby to love. I am having the time of my life!”  Penny Correa,Sr. Executive Administrative Assistant

“I am thankful for my family, especially my precious baby girl. I’m thankful for my friends and coworkers. I’m thankful for my job at an employee-owned company. And I’m thankful for sleep…”  Ashley Halloran, Meeting Contract Coordinator

“I am thankful for the Lord giving me such a wonderful and healthy life. Bless those less fortunate.”  Kim Mishmash, Retail Operations Coordinator

“I am most thankful this year that my mom is no longer suffering and is finally at peace. I’m thankful that I have a job that I love with a wonderful company. I’m thankful that my daughter is happy and healthy.”  Susy Campbell, NCM Travel Solutions Manager

“I am grateful to be working in an environment where peers come to fulfill their commitment of being the resource our clients are looking for and need. I am grateful for a work environment where peers work to be better and work to make me better.”  Kevin Cunningham, Director of Corporate Growth & Development

“I am thankful to have both a wife and a workplace that I enjoy being around.”  Matt Wilson, Marketing Creative Specialist

“I am thankful for the health of my family this Thanksgiving.”  Paul Faletti, CEO

“I’m so thankful for family and friends who show unconditional love and support through all of life’s challenges. I’m thankful for God’s blessings and that I’m given an opportunity each day to try and make a small difference.”  Travis Coffey, Salesforce Administratior

“I am thankful for the places and experiences I’ve had in my past. Where I am today, having a wonderful family, newborn, and career. Along with excitement as to what the future holds knowing it will be wonderful.”  Jaime Servaes, Integrated Marketing Specialist

“I am most thankful for all the blessings that God has given to my family and myself, especially our health!  I’m also very thankful for my position here at NCM!”  Angie M. Harper,Executive Administrative Assistant

“I am thankful to be part of this country which enables the freedom to love, work, worship, and play as we desire.”  Steven Banks,axcessa Operations Manager

“I am so incredibly thankful for the many blessings in my life: the health and happiness of my family and friends, and of course, an exciting and fun career at NCM!” – Skye Nguyen, Marketing & Communications Director

What are you thankful for? Let us know in the comments below.

Permanent link to this article: http://blog.ncm20.com/2014/11/what-are-you-thankful-for-2/

Dave Anderson

Building a High Performance Culture (Part 13)

This article is part of a multi-part series titled “Building a High Performance Culture” by Up To Speed Guest Expert, Dave Anderson, of LearnToLead®. thumbs up

Words that Work: Passion

In this thirteenth post on building a high performance culture I want to put in the “words that work” column a word that is found within high achievers in any endeavor: passion.

More about passion in a moment, but to bring yourself up to date with this series, please review the following words that work from past posts; these must consistently be woven into your culture to strengthen it. The words that hurt, and their ensuing mindsets, must be just as diligently weeded out of a culture. These two categories are designed to build an evolving portrait of what a high performance culture looks like so you can evaluate your own, and strive towards the ideal.

Words that work:

Earn: to acquire through merit.

Deserve: to be worthy of; to qualify for.

Consistent: constantly adhering to the same principles.

Hope: grounds for believing something in the future will happen.

Catalyst: a person or thing that makes something happen.

Responsible: to be the primary cause of something.

Tough-minded: strong willed, vigorous, not easily swayed.

Loyal: faithfulness to one’s duties or obligations.

Words that hurt:

Fault: responsibility for failure.

Blame: to assign responsibility for failure.

Excuse: a plea offered to explain away a fault or failure.

Mediocre: average, ordinary, not outstanding.

Wish: to want something that cannot, or probably will not happen.

Entitle: a claim to something you feel you are owed.

Sloth: reluctance to work or exert effort; laziness.

Complacent: calmly content, smugly self-satisfied.

Passion is defined as: a strong feeling or enthusiasm about something, or about doing something.

The following are five thoughts on passion:

1. High performing cultures have passionate people, driven to excel by a meaningful mission, compelling vision and the desire to make a difference.

2. Passion is different than both drive and energy. One can have both these essential traits, but without an enthusiasm for the work at hand, see their drive and energy go largely wasted. The quality of the culture plays a big part in drawing passion out.

3. Passionate people aren’t necessarily loud or giddy; their enthusiasm is more likely to show up in their attitude, work ethic, team play and results.

4. Passionate people are normally lower maintenance employees as they don’t require the coddling or continual pep talks the indifferent demand just to get moving. This reduces distractions within your culture, and helps preserve morale.

5. Customers feel an employee’s passion, and it greatly elevates the customer’s experience and earns their loyalty.

6. A poor leader can temper or extinguish a passionate person’s zeal with micromanagement, by surrounding him or her with laggards, or by failing to give the recognition one has earned and deserves. This demonstrates again the importance of a leader taking his or her role as chief architect and primary influencer of the culture very seriously.

 


See Dave Anderson’s presentation at the Best Training Day Ever. Click here for details.

Permanent link to this article: http://blog.ncm20.com/2014/11/building-a-high-performance-culture-part-13/

Dave Anderson

Building a High Performance Culture (Part 12)

This article is part of a multi-part series titled “Building a High Performance Culture” by Up To Speed Guest Expert, Dave Anderson, of LearnToLead®.

Complacent

Words that Hurt: Complacent

In this twelfth post on building a high performance culture, I want to put in the “words that hurt” column a word that destroys not only organizations, but lives. The word is complacent.

More about complacent in a moment, but to bring yourself up to date with this series, please review the following words from past posts that work and consistently weave them, and their ensuing mindsets, into your culture to strengthen it. The words that hurt, and their ensuing mindsets, must be just as diligently weeded out of a culture. These two categories are designed to build an evolving portrait of what a high performance culture looks like, so you can evaluate your own,and strive towards the ideal.

Words that work:

Earn: to acquire through merit.

Deserve: to be worthy of; to qualify for.

Consistent: constantly adhering to the same principles.

Hope: grounds for believing something in the future will happen.

Catalyst: a person or thing that makes something happen.

Responsible: to be the primary cause of something.

Tough-minded: strong willed, vigorous, not easily swayed.

Loyal: faithfulness to one’s duties or obligations.

Words that hurt:

Fault: responsibility for failure.

Blame: to assign responsibility for failure.

Excuse: a plea offered to explain away a fault or failure.

Mediocre: average, ordinary, not outstanding.

Wish: to want something that cannot, or probably will not happen.

Entitle: a claim to something you feel you are owed.

Sloth: reluctance to work or exert effort; laziness.

Complacent is an often misunderstood word.

Many assume it means “lazy”, but that is not the case. Complacent is defined as calmly content, smugly self-satisfied; quite different than being lazy as you’ll see in point #2 below. Here are five thoughts concerning this word that hurts cultures and inhibits personal potential:

  1. No one ever thinks they’re complacent until they understand the true definition. However, they are often prone to point out perceived complacency in other people, departments, and competitors. In other words, they spot it in others but don’t recognize it in themselves.
  2. Once you grasp the true definition, it’s far easier to spot in yourself. For starters, you’ll realize that complacency isn’t so much about the hours you put in on the job, but about what you put into the hours while you’re on the job. You can work eighty hours per week, yet still be so calmly content with your results that you’ve stopped training, recruiting, holding people accountable and more.
  3. Successful people and organizations are the most vulnerable targets for complacency. After all, if a business is drowning and gasping for air, it’s safe to say they’re not smugly self-satisfied at the moment. On the other hand, when business is great, and all the seas appear calm, it’s easy to become calmly content and abandon many of the vital disciplines that made you successful in the first place.
  4. Complacency is a threat that never goes away, and as imperfect human beings we can expect to fall off track in various areas of our life from time to time and become complacent. However, as our awareness of complacency improves, we should aspire to get off track less often; and when we do become complacent, to recognize it faster, and make faster course corrections. These two actions will help us shape a culture that greatly outperforms the clueless souls who don’t even know what the word complacent means, and believe it is someone else’s problem.
  5. Since our biggest vulnerabilities are those we’re unaware of, by increasing your own and your team’s awareness of what complacency is, you can protect your culture and improve results both personally and as an organization.

See Dave Anderson’s presentation at the Best Training Day Ever. Click here for details.

Permanent link to this article: http://blog.ncm20.com/2014/11/building-a-high-performance-culture-part-12/

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