Posts Tagged Trust

Habits for a Successful Career – Habit #7

Develop Your People Skills

Develop Your People Skills

 

Habits For a Successful Career

Habit #7 – Develop Your People Skills

Is one of your top career goals to become an executive, owner or partner in a business venture, or a university president?  Then Habit #7 is a primary concern.  Is one of your near term career goals to become a team leader, project leader, supervisor or manager?  Then Habit #7 is a primary concern.  Whether your career goals shoot for the stars or are more modest, people with successful careers have people skills that are above expectations because 60%+ of their role and responsibility involves People, not human assets or resources, PEOPLE.  You lead people, and manage things.  Habit #7 has seven people skills to be developed, improved, and possibly mastered including:

Order of Importance

  1. Listening to Understand (Covey)This is the most important people skill because it sets up success for the other six skills.  Most people, like many politicians, listen to ‘respond’, not understand.  True listening means asking clarifying questions, restating what you heard and empathizing with others to really understand what they are communicating.
  2. Communicating: Speaking, Writing, Presenting – Once you have mastered listening, then improve your communication skills in conversations, writing for business and making small and large group      presentations.
  3. Selling – Many people do not think selling is an important people or career skill unless they are in ‘sales’,      but people sell ideas and actions every day with colleagues at work, and with family and friends outside of work.
  4. Negotiating – Negotiating skills are the flip side of selling skills, and are very important if you aspire to be in a leadership position in any capacity.  In addition, improving your selling and negotiation skills are prerequisites to the next skill – resolving conflicts.
  5. Resolving Conflicts – All organizations, i.e. people, have conflicts – some small and some large.  The worse thing a successful person or a person in a leadership position can do is ignore or hide from      conflicts.  Improving your skills in this area will help remediate larger conflicts and resolve other without  destroying relationships.  In fact, it can help build trust and credibility.
  6. Motivating/Energizing – As hard as some people try to improve their people skills, many of us cannot ‘master’ all seven skills.  But they cannot be ignored!  For example, as an executive, I never ‘mastered’ the art of motivating and energizing people via public speaking.  To compensate, I brought in speakers that had a great motivating and energizing presence and then I would reiterate their points and lead by example to energize people in my organization.
  7. Mentoring/Coaching – Mentoring is a skill and quality seen in the most successful people and careers.  It is not only valuable to the person being mentored, but in many ways is as valuable to the mentor.  Put some gratitude in your attitude and help others develop their skills by mentoring and coaching them.

How many people skills are you proficient or a ‘master’?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Habits for a Successful Career – Habit #3

Trust

Trust and Credibility

 

Habits for a Successful Career

Habit #3 – Build Trust and Credibility

“I don’t trust him/her as far as I can throw him/her”.  Everyone has heard or said that phrase.  So how important is TRUST and CREDIBILITY in a successful career?  Consider this. “With high trust, success comes faster, better and at a lower cost” says David Neeleman, founder of JetBlue Airlines.  What professional does not want to be successful – faster, better, and fairly compensated?

I have worked in all environments – low, moderate and high trust.  When I became an C-Level executive, I knew I needed to build and cultivate trust and credibility with my people, peers and other executives.  But how does one go about building trust and establishing it as a Habit? In the 90’s I was introduced to the writings and teachings of the late Stephen R. Covey and his son Stephen R.M. Covey.  Both have written, taught and consulted on the topic of trust.  I have used their concepts and adapted them to my Life Success and Career Success Values with much success.  Many of my thoughts below are elaborations and adaptations of their writings.

Trust is not just a touchy, feely concept.  Consider this definition of trust from the Covey’s:

TRUST = One’s Character + Ones’ Competency

Trust between people is a combination of a person’s:

Character – What you say/do, How you say/do, and  Why you say/do

Competency -  What you can do, What you do and What results you get

So why is competency required to build trust?  Don’t you just need to be a ‘good person’ – high character?  Let’s look at a doctor/patient relationship.  As a patient needing open heart surgery, would you trust a doctor that had good bed side manners and high personal integrity, but was in their first year as a cardiologist, and had never performed open heart surgery?  Wouldn’t you trust a doctor more experienced/accomplished to do the surgery?  Of course!

People build trust and credibility by building ‘wealth’ in what the Covey’s call an ‘Emotional Bank Account’, EBA.  As with any bank account one can add to the account with deposits and reduce the account with withdrawals.  Here are just a few examples of deposits and withdrawals people can make.

Character

Deposits – Thinks Straight, Talks Straight; Listens to Understand; Manages Expectations; Works to Right Wrongs; Puts Employees First, Then Customers, Then Stockholders; Promotes Win/Win Decisions

Withdrawals -  Shows Disrespect; Listens to Respond; Does Not Trust Others; Talks Behind People’s Backs; Avoids Conflict; Talks the Talk, Does Not Walk the Walk; Shows Intolerance/Inflexibility

Competency

Deposits – Is Experienced/Accomplished; Keeps Commitments; Delivers Results; Manages Risks; Solves Root Cause of Problems; Promotes Continuous Improvements; Admits When Wrong or Does Not Know; Demonstrates Leadership

Withdrawals – Does Not Hold People Accountable; Makes Excuses; Blames Others; Does Not Take Responsibility; Sells Poor Ideas; Does Not Understand the Business; Does Not Measure Success; Is Reactive versus Proactive; Does Not Align with Business

So how can you objectively measure your EBA with colleagues? I use the Trust Quotient, TQ:

TQ = EBA Deposits / (EBA Withdrawals * 2.75)

That’s right – withdrawals are more expensive than a single deposit.  So you need almost 3 deposits to make up for a single withdrawal.

 



Tags: , , , , , ,

Seven Habits of a Successful Career

Successful Career Moves

Successful Career Moves

 

Time is nearing for another group of bright, young people to graduate from college.  Many are interviewing for their first job that begins a career.  They are prepared having spent about four years taking over forty classes in a variety of areas of knowledge.  Thousands are eager and ready to go.

But wait.  After years of schooling and a degree(s) in their chosen area, most of the ‘habits’ these new graduates need for a successful career were not emphasized nor taught in their curriculum. They were taught ‘subjects’.  People’s ‘attitudes’ and ‘behaviors’ are the biggest differentiator in a successful career.  People need to embrace and develop these Habits sooner than later.

 

 

 

The Seven Habits for a Successful Career include:

1)   Define Success/Goals and Priorities

First and foremost define what success is for YOU – career, professional and personal.  Too many people have their definition of success defined or overly influenced by family, friends, etc.  Second, layout a path to achieve your success by setting 2, 5 and 7 year goals.  Lastly, prioritize these goals and events.  Repeat this exercise at least every 2 years and/or after a significant life event.

2)   Be Proactive and Adapt to Change

Proactive people learn to anticipate future events and take initiative in shaping the results.  They understand that change can create problems, but focus on opportunities change creates.  During difficult times, they look for the good in people and events, and know proactive people can be counted on.

3)   Build Trust and Credibility

Trust and credibility is like oil.  It’s the ‘stuff’ that makes relationships with people work.  Consider this. “With high trust, success comes faster, better and at a lower cost” says David Neeleman, Founder of JetBlue.  Trust is not just a touchy, feely concept.  It (interpersonal trust) is an attitude or state of mind that has been cultivated between people.  Consider this definition of trust from the Covey’s:

TRUST = One’s Character + One’s Competency

4)   Embrace a Passion for Learning

After enduring four or more years of college, most are ecstatic to get out in the ‘real world’ – and quit studying.  But if a successful career is one of your goals, then recognize that learning is a journey, not a destination.  Success requires continued knowledge and skills improvement in areas like current events, technology, selling, business, management, communication, leadership, etc.

5)   Put Some Gratitude in Your Attitude

Successful people are consistently enthusiastic and energetic, and their attitude is contagious.  Others want to work with people with this attitude. No matter how much success a person may attain: (1) never take yourself too seriously; (2) be a team player; (3) have fun; and (4) celebrate other’s successes.  Cultivate others that have put some gratitude in their attitude as team members, colleagues, mentors, coaches, etc.

6)   Understand the ‘Business’

Most people’s careers are associated with business ventures – small, medium, or large.  No matter what position/career a person holds, successful people have at least a good breadth and depth of knowledge about their business.  Learn and continue expanding knowledge in the business including: the industry, business model, products and customers, processes, technology, economics, financials, etc.

7)   Develop Your ‘People’ Skills’

People skills are very important regardless of where a person is in their career.  But later in a career if a goal is to be an executive/leader, accomplished people skills are mandatory.  Continually learn and improve an array of communication skills including: listening, listening, listening, writing, speaking, presenting and selling.   In addition, successful careers are usually associated with people that have built strong relationships and networks.  Lastly, cultivate people that will be your coach and mentor, and return this help by coaching and mentoring others.

 

If a person becomes accomplished in these Seven Habits, and masters some, their goals will be in reach, and can be successful in any career.  And remember  . . .

We are what we repeatedly do!

Excellence, therefore, is not an act, but a Habit!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Aristotle

Update:  See discussion on 4Q’s of Successful People which compliment these 7 Habits.   http://www.linkedin.com/today/post/article/20130621191454-73785410-the-four-qs-of-career-success?trk=tod-posts-art-

 

 



Tags: , , , , ,

Building Trust and Credibility

TrustTrust is like oil.  Its the stuff that makes relationships in and with IT work.  Without trust and credibility, IT goverance, project management, conflict resolution, career progression, etc. can happen, but are slower and have many issues.  Consider this. “With high trust, success comes faster, better and at a lower cost” says David Neeleman, Founder of JetBlue.  In IT organizations that are struggling, trust and credibility are the  most important habits for IT leaders (and staff) to build, improve and maintain.

Trust is difficult to build, remains fragile and can be lost.  Every struggling IT professional and/or organization has major problems in this area.  Some believe once trust is lost it can not be regained, but from my experience this is not true.  The best sources I used regarding trust and credibility are from Stephen R. Covey and his son Stephen M.R. Covey, and much of this blog is based on their work and my experiences using and mastering their concepts.

Trust is not just a touchy, feely concept.  It (interpersonal trust) is an attitude or state of mind that has been cultivated between people.  Consider this definition of trust from the Covey’s:

TRUST = One’s Character + One’s Competency

Trust between people is a combination of a person’s:

  •  Character – What you say/do, How you say/do, and  Why you say/do
  •  Competency -  What you can do, What you do, and What results you deliver

So why is competency required to build trust?  I thought you just needed to be a ‘good person’ – high character.  Let’s look at a doctor/patient relationship.  As a patient needing open heart surgery, would you trust a doctor that had good bed side manners and high personal integrity, but was in their first year as a cardiologist, and had never performed open heart surgery?  Partially, but if I was the patient, I want someone more accomplished (competent) to do the surgery.

People build trust by building ‘trust wealth’ in what the Covey’s call an ‘Emotional Bank Account’ (EBA).  As with any bank account, people can add to the account with deposits and reduce the account with withdrawals.  Here are just a few examples of deposits and withdrawals IT professionals make.

Character

  • Deposits – Think Straight, Talk Straight; Listens to Understand; Manages Expectations; Work to Right Wrongs; Put Employees First, Then Customers, Then Stockholders; Promote Win/Win Decisions; Accountable for Mistakes
  • Withdrawals -  Show Disrespect; Listen to Respond; Not Trusting; Talk Behind People’s Backs; Avoid Conflict; Talks the Talk, Does Not Walk the Walk; Being Intolerant/Inflexible; Blame Others

Competency

  • Deposits – Keep Commitments by Under Promising and Over Delivering; Manage Risks; Solve Root Cause of  Problems; Promote Continuous Improvements; Admits When Wrong/Do Not Know; Manages Things and Leads People
  • Withdrawals -  Sell Poor Ideas; Does Not Understand the Business; Does Not Measure Success; Is Reactive versus Proactive; Does Not Align with Business; Poor Track Record

So how can you, somewhat objectively, measure your EBA with colleagues? I use the Trust Quotient:

TQ = EBA Deposits / (EBA Withdrawals * 2.5)

That’s right – withdrawals are more expensive than a single deposit.  You need 2 to 2.5 deposits to make up for a single withdrawal.

 

Do you have stories/experiences with trust in IT??

 

PS Check out HBR blog on Trust – http://blogs.hbr.org/hill-lineback/2012/03/do-your-people-trust-you.html

 



Tags: , , , , , , ,

Resolve ‘IT’ Paradoxes

 

 

In my last blog, I introduced several  ‘IT Paradoxes’  from Martha Heller and from my experiences, and the Seven ‘IT’ Habits that can mitigate or resolve these paradoxes.  By developing and improving these Habits and using them to address paradoxes, barriers, and issues, IT organizations, and the business, will see these improvements:

 

  • Faster Throughput (projects and processes)
  • Less Costly (unit costs)
  • Better Quality (products, software, systems and processes)
  • More Agility (ability to change)
  • More Capacity (do more with less)
  • Better Risk Management
  • Better Place to Work (less stress, turnover, etc)
  • Improved Trust and Credibility (less conflicts)

 

Let’s take a couple of paradoxes/barriers mentioned before and see which Habits IT Leaders must develop/improve to mitigate or eliminate the paradox/barrier.

1. The Business wants IT to be strategic, but force them to spend most of their time on operational issues.

This paradox can be complex, but usually exists because IT has low credibility with the its business peers and/or inadequate IT leadership.  ‘Leaders’ in IT must resolve this paradox by: (1) Build  trust and credibility; (2) Understand  the business, model and industry; (3) Align goals and objectives; and (4) Lead  People.

2. ‘IT’ can make or break a company, but its leader(s) are infrequently members of C – level executive groups.

This paradox is a good measurement of the overall success of, or lack of, an IT organization, and is a direct measure of leadership in IT.  C-level leaders in other parts of the business tend to see opportunities, issues, etc. in ‘shades of gray’ where many IT leaders see the same in terms of ‘black and white’, which can cause a lack of trust and credibility, and thus conflicts.   ‘Leaders’ in IT need to improve these Habits to resolve this paradox: (1) Build  trust and credibility; (2) Understand  the business, model and industry; (3) Lead  People; and (4) Adapt to change.

Next blog, I will discuss what it means to build trust and credibility, and how to begin.



Tags: , , ,

IT Organization Success

Keys to IT Success

 

 

 Keys to IT Organization Success

No secret, for decades many IT organizations have struggled to be successful – probably more so than any other.  When is the last time you saw a dozen articles on the struggling accounting, marketing or human resources organizations?

Martha Heller in a 2010 CIO Magazine article discusses IT struggles and suggests a few ‘paradoxes’ in IT organizations that may be barriers to a successful IT organization.

  • The Business wants IT to be strategic, but force them to spend most of their time on operational issues.
  • IT needs to be stewards of risk mitigation and cost containment, yet expected to innovate.
  • IT is seen as that of an enabler, yet is also expected to be a business driver.
  • IT can make or break a company, but its leaders are infrequently members of C-level executive groups.
  • IT is one of the most pervasive, critical functions, yet must prove its value constantly.
  • Many IT successes are invisible, yet its few mistakes are highly visible.
  • IT project teams are accountable for project success, even if the Business has ownership.
  • IT staff loves new technology, but must embrace/understand the Business to be successful.
  • Many IT teams/people are uncomfortable dealing with people, but to succeed must build relationships, influence others, and resolve conflicts.
  • IT infrastructure is a consistent, long-term investment, but the Business thinks in quarters.

And here are a few more paradoxes I have experienced:

  • The Business wholly adopted  ‘BPI’, but IT has poor processes and rarely has budget for improvement.
  • C-level executives believe IT costs too much and fails to provide comparable value, but have limited knowledge of IT project or operational successes.
  • C-level executives expect IT to deliver new, strategic capabilities to their Business unit, yet most of the project identification, priorities and governance is driven by Business users and managers.
  • IT needs/must align its goals/objectives to the Business, yet the Business units goals/objectives are not always aligned with each other.

Any of these barriers hinder IT leaders and organizations from being valued and successful.  They can be mitigated and/or knocked down, but requires a relevant, achievable Strategy, competent People, and consistent, repeatable Processes.  In addition it also takes the IT leaders and staff to embrace/develop these 7 Habits of Excellence.

  • Build  Trust and Credibility
  • Develop  a Proactive Culture
  • Understand  the Company, Business Model, and Industry
  • Align  with Company’s Goals and Objectives
  • Lead  People  -  Manage Things
  • Adapt  to Change
  • Embrace  a Passion for Learning and Improvement

 

Developing these 7 Habits of Excellence will mitigate or eliminate barriers and result in these IT organization benefits:

  • Faster Throughput (projects and processes)
  • Less Costly (unit costs)
  • Better  Quality (products, software, systems and processes)
  • More Agility  (change)
  • More Capacity  (w/o more resources)
  • Better Risk Management
  • Better Place to Work

What IT paradoxes is your group facing??



Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

The Weakest Link

Weak Link

Weak Link

       The Weakest Link

Is your organization struggling and/or under-achieving?  You LEAD people  -  manage things.  Don’t buy in?  Ever tried to manage your spouse  -  or your children??  Me too!  Yet for many the two concepts are the same.  Don’t get me wrong – leaders have to to both, but leading and managing are different.

That leads me to the weakest link in most organizations  – leadership.  Organizations and  many professions have not done enough to develop leadership skills and leaders.  They mostly focus on developing people to manage things – projects, systems, budgets, finance, etc.  Therefore, most leaders are much better at managing things than leading people.  In my career in IT, most IT organizations do not have formal leadership training or mentoring.  Instead they promote good technical people and people that are good at managing things into leadership roles.  Then they see them struggle in their new roles.  A few colleagues in other parts of the business do a much better job of developing leadership skills and leaders, and have formal training and mentoring.

Check out my Web Site’s Favorites page for other’s input on leaders and leadership at:  http://www.palominoconsultinggroup.com/favorites.html



Tags: , , , , , , ,