In response to this question, many will say the organization’s Board of Directors holds the vision. After all, they plot the course for where the company is headed. Others adamantly believe it is held by the senior executive team. They determine the day to day operations. Some may think it’s their branch manager, because she has the branch goals. All of these answers are right. And any of these answers are wrong.
If any of these mentioned hold the vision, it is often framed and hanging in the lobby or the employee break room. The idea is if you read it, you will get it. How many times do you pass the same billboard every day on the highway and have no idea what it advertises? How often do you pull into your driveway and wonder, what colors were the last three traffic lights? We often see without reading. And we often pass by without taking hold of the message.
It’s the same way when you want to list all of the benefits you offer to a new customer. After awhile, he stops listening. Or when you are on-boarding a new employee. Can she really understand all the terminology on day one? We think exposure equals hold.
- Explain the affect when a process isn’t followed.
- Describe the how and when of a product that will put the customer in a better situation,
- Point out the benefits of taking the medication exactly as prescribed to your patient.
You aren’t just listing the what, how and when. You are telling a story. What happens when? How does it work? Where is the benefit? Tell the story! People remember and respond to the story. You make it personal. You make it relevant. They get the message. And you get the vision!
“People get the vision because you share it, not because they read the framed poster hanging in the lobby.” ~ Becky McCrary, CSP
Are you contending with change in the workplace? Asked to do more with fewer hands and resources? If you’ve seen someone lose her job, you may be scared, wondering if you are next. Or perhaps you are seeing growth. New faces. New positions. Feeling like you are being overlooked? In the midst of this stress, how do you maintain a healthy sense of self-worth?
Make yourself more valuable.
Take an online course. Whether offered through your local technical college or the organization, you can learn new skills or refresh existing skills at your own pace. It is always in your best interest to learn.
Read the operating manuals on your shelf. Even if you’ve been doing this job for years, read the brochures. I know. They are 32 pages and 4 point font. But it is amazing the information you’ll find there!
Clean your work station. Get rid of the clutter that you’ve held on to related to past systems and operations. It is holding you back! A clean station allows you to be more productive. You are also perceived as more attentive to detail. And it makes you feel better!
Volunteer. Offer to cross-train in another area or on another task. I know. You are already busy. But this isn’t about being busy. It’s about being valuable. And it’s a new game. You can’t rest on what you have done. Customers and managers are now asking “What have you done for me lately?”
When others recognize the value you bring, your sense of self-worth increases. Be a resource to others. Professional improvement should be at the top of your list.
Make yourself more available.
Be prepared. For the task and the day, that is. Get at least seven hours of sleep EVERY night. Studies show that you can’t operate on a deficient all week and then “catch up” on the weekends.
Be quiet. Whether you call it meditation, prayer or quiet time, you need to periodically disconnect to rejuvenate yourself. When you are physically, emotionally and psychologically drained, you don’t have anything to give to others. Then requests for assistance just wear you down further. How does that make you feel?
Be positive. Take down those negative signs and posters. I know. They were cute. But negativity is contagious. When someone else begins to complain, stop them, change the subject, or walk away. Granny always said, “You don’t look good by trying to make someone else look bad.” A positive attitude toward the work, the customers, and your coworkers will add to your feelings of self-worth. Pay attention to what you listen to, what you read, what you watch, and who you hang out with. Let the conversations be uplifting, the books entertaining, the shows inspiring, and the people comedic. That’s right. Hang out with funny people. Don’t know any? Hang out with funny looking people. Same affect!
Make yourself more believable.
You have a new mantra. You have to believe it before others will. Stand in front of the mirror and say, out loud, “They are so lucky to have me.” Did you believe that? Say it, again. Again. Do you hear your confidence? Say it tomorrow. And the next day. And the next. As you begin to act out this mantra, it will positively impact your feelings of self-worth.
Yes. There is more to getting the job, keeping the job, and getting the promotion than just doing the work. How you feel about yourself has a tremendous impact on how others see you and treat you. Maintain that healthy sense of self-worth and watch doors of opportunity open.
In banking, healthcare and business, we measure everything. We establish goals and benchmarks. We know exactly where we are in the process. We work together as a team to help each other succeed. We know professionalism when we see it. And yet we sometimes stumble over the details of what it takes to achieve it. For a quick reference, just follow the ABC’s.
Top performers ASK. Be inquisitive. The more questions you verbalize, the more knowledgeable you will become. Understanding the how and the why makes you an asset to your customer, your team and your company. If a call has to be escalated for resolution, take the time to check back later in the day. Find out what happened and the reasoning process or policy used to make that determination. So, what do you want to know?
Top performers BEHAVE in a manner conducive to influencing others. Your dress, body language, tone of voice, clutter-free workstation, responses, even the expression on your face allows others to judge your professionalism. Make them feel welcome. You can’t treat everyone the same, because they are not the same. Match your behavior to the situation. Casual speech, as appropriate to an 18 year old customer, will not be as well received by a 50 year old. Behave well.
Top performers display COMPETENCE. Having the required skills, you never stop learning. Read everything – brochures, manuals, applications, booklets. And just because you knew it, doesn’t mean you still do. Change happens constantly. With technical courses, self-study, or group experiences, you can embrace the requirements of the job, the company and the industry. Your professionalism is up to you.
This is an excerpt from Becky’s upcoming e-book, The ABC’s of Top Performers. Watch this space for news of when and where you can find it.
Do you need to stay on top of what is going on and what is coming down in the industry?
Do you want your continuing education in short bursts you can absorb quickly and then dig deeper into as needed?
Would you benefit from access to NINE of the most sought-after banking consultants today without leaving the office for days?
Do you wish you could go to an event, but just pick the bits that are totally relevant to you? And skip the rest?
Join me and eight others as we present the Better Banking Summit.
Learn more and register now!
What is the Summit?
We will bring you updates and insights for what is now and what is next in banking. The Summit is online so no need to travel. It is audio so no complicated software that your IT security might block. Each presentation is separate so you can pick and choose what you need.
What does it cost?
There is no charge to listen in on this series of audio interviews and presentations designed to provide helpful information from a high-level strategic point of view right down to detailed help on specific credit analysis topics.
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When is it?
Presentations from each speaker on critical banking subjects will stream directly to your computer the week of October 15-18, 2013. Recordings will also be available for purchase, if your schedule conflicts or you want to share the information with others who cannot attend.
What will it cover? A sampling of topics including:
1. Regulatory compliance including how to support changes to your ALLL
2. Lending including what you should be getting from your independent loan review process and just what numbers to use for qualifying cash flow when your borrower is (or owns) a pass-thru entity
3. Bringing in the good loans including both strategies and tactics for prospecting as well as how to leverage your current customer base for solid referrals
4. Leadership and management including how to drive the strategic goals to the front-line and put the right people in the right jobs to drive
Check out the full schedule and register.
I am excited to be part of the faculty for the Better Banking Summit. I hope you will be able to join us. And tell your friends! I’m happy to extend the invitation to them.
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One little difference. You can outline your entire business plan with one little difference. You can predict the professional development of your entire staff with one little difference. You can identify the stress level of all involved with one little difference. You can identify staying power with one little difference…a preposition.
Remember third grade English? Parts of speech? A preposition is that smallest of words expressing a relationship between a noun, pronoun or noun phrase. In other words, the relationship between people.
What’s the relationship between you and your peers, you and your staff, you and your customers, you and your family? What is your preposition of choice? Do others work for you or with you?
Webster defines “for” as a representative of, on behalf of. Look at the characteristics of someone who works for you.
- prefers detailed, written instruction
- is great at repeating instructions (i.e. that’s our policy; Daddy said so)
- usually follows through on instruction; may need some prodding
- shows up
- knows job description and responsibilities
- job security is critical
- knows your way is the best way and seldom offers suggestions
“With” is used to indicate that two or more persons or things are together, near each other, in agreement, harmony, etc. Look at the characteristics of someone who works with you.
- sees the big picture
- shows up early
- takes ownership
- possesses a sound reasoning process (i.e. share an idea and let her run with it)
- excited about process and opportunities
- finds and researches ideas in articles, commercials and other marketing plans
- gets job done
- enjoys personal satisfaction with a good job
- identifies challenges
A manager’s preposition of choice is for. Managers need to control the process. After all, they’ve usually been around longer, attended more conferences, have heard the best practices, and know what works. Managers often supervise employees with little or no job training, make decisions and need others to implement them.
A leader’s preposition of choice is with. Leaders desire a team of thinkers. They speak in big picture concepts, expecting those on the team to have ideas on influence, impact and implementation. They are the least concerned with taking credit for new ideas or plans. Leaders want to share the vision and then get out of the way. They experience the workplace excitement as the vision takes form.
The skills that make a great manager will often inhibit one from being a great leader. Everyone doesn’t make that leap. And everyone shouldn’t. There are many occupations where a great manager is necessary for success.
With today’s emphasis on leadership, take a hard look at your preferred style. Look at your business plan, the professional development plan of your staff, the stress level that everyone works under, and your turnover.
What is your real preposition of choice?
Things have changed. With your promotion or new hire, you are no longer “doing” the task. Now your focus is on “leading” others to do the task. But you really enjoyed doing it! I know. Now you’ll turn loose of it and inspire your team to take responsibility for it. And with the proper training and encouragement, they will see this as a building block for their own professional development. Then you will be able to assume additional tasks.
Managers focus on things. Leaders focus on people. As a supervisor, your job is now to focus on both.
Set the Tone: The attitude of the team begins with you! As a supervisor, you don’t have the luxury of bad moods. If you don’t feel that you can deliver 100% to your team, step away: breathe deeply, take a walk, get a drink of water, shake it off, scream in the closet if you need to. That is exactly what you would expect from your team, as they deliver 100% to your members, customers, patients, guests, and clients.
Make the Tough Calls: Everyone can’t perform every task at the same level. The tough call may sometimes mean retraining, reassignment or termination. You will hire for diversity in strengths, experiences and interests. You will push them gently into unfamiliar territory and expand their job knowledge. And you will hold them accountable for their successes and their failures. It’s tough, but you can do this.
Communicate: You probably inherited your staff. Someone else chose them and trained them. You may have even been one of them. But now, they are not your buddies. They are not your confidants. They are your team! Give continuous, specific and timely feedback. Solicit continuous feedback. Ask how they are doing. Ask how you are doing. Don’t wait for a mid-year review to discover a misunderstanding. And don’t EVER take someone else’s word for what another teammate is thinking. Ask. Ask. Ask.
Be a Great Delegator: If you attempt to complete every assignment yourself, you will fail. Spreading yourself too thin will make you physically ill and will make your team resentful. Train them. Train them. Train them, again. As their comfort level increases and you become more aware of their abilities, release the reins. Allow them to take responsibility for the task and ownership of the results.
As you move from performing to coaching, you will have a learning curve, too. Seek out someone whose leadership style you respect. Ask her to meet with you for twenty minutes. Have three questions or scenarios concerning team dynamics ready to discuss. Stop talking at twenty minutes, close your notebook and thank her profusely. Ask if she’d be agreeable to meeting with you, again. You will have someone to coach you through the settling in period. She will be honored to have the opportunity to help lead the next generation in your organization.
And don’t forget that I’m here for you. Call me. Email me. Send up flares. Let me know how I can help.
Becky McCrary, CSP is called the Carol Burnett of Conventions. She is fun, funny and relevant. She is a highly sought-after keynote speaker, corporate trainer, and facilitator who energizes and inspires association and corporate audiences. Her consistent excellence and expertise make her a favorite from Maine to Florida to California and even to the Caribbean.
Using personal experiences, side-splitting humor, and unimaginable insight, she guides audiences to a profound belief in their own passions, power and purpose. Participants consistently rave that her riveting stories are an inspiration to them.