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Contented Cow Partners, LLC -- Workplace Experts Contented Cow Partners, LLC -- Workplace Experts
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Dateline: Jacksonville , FL
Thursday, February 13, 2020

 
Contented Cow Partnershttps://contentedcows.comWe Develop LeadersSun, 09 Feb 2020 23:28:20 +0000en-UShourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.3.2https://contentedcows.com/partner/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/favicon-b-78x78.pngContented Cow Partnershttps://contentedcows.com3232I’d Do Anything For Love (of country) But I Won’t Do That!https://contentedcows.com/id-do-anything-for-love-of-country-but-i-wont-do-that/Sun, 09 Feb 2020 23:28:16 +0000https://contentedcows.com/?p=8992In announcing that he wouldn’t go along with the crowd of Republican partisans in his impeachment vote against the President, US Senator, Mitt Romney (R-UT) might have used words popularized by rock singer, Meatloaf, “I’d do anything for love, but I won’t do that“ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9X_ViIPA-Gc , but he didn’t. Still, pulling no punches, Romney, in …

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In announcing that he wouldn’t go along with the crowd of Republican partisans in his impeachment vote against the President, US Senator, Mitt Romney (R-UT) might have used words popularized by rock singer, Meatloaf, “I’d do anything for love, but I won’t do that“ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9X_ViIPA-Gc , but he didn’t.

Still,pulling no punches, Romney, in view of the facts, his beliefs, and as a matterof conscience, with a simple “aye” vote disavowed an otherwise unanimousRepublican position. It wasn’t quite the splash evoked by John McCain’s latenight, wordless thumbs down vote on legislation that would have killed the ACA,but it was close. Theatrical defiance doesn’t seem to be Romney’s style.

Forthose eager to draw a red on blue conclusion, don’t. Had the shoe been on theother foot, the result likely wouldn’t have been appreciably different. Sowhat, you might ask.

Here’swhat. Knowing all the while that his vote would have absolutely no impact onthe outcome of the matter, Romney still invited all manner of personal andprofessional grief in order to stay true to his own constitution, oath ofoffice, and perhaps set an example for about two dozen Romney grandchildren.Real leaders, as opposed to those who play one in government or elsewhere,don’t shirk from tough calls or knuckle under to pressure. To them, facing aconscience-based decision is no time to get strategic or cute by nibblingaround the edges with word games. As real golfers do, you play them as theylie, put an honest number on the score card, and move on to the next hole. Weneed more Mitt Romneys in business, government, and elsewhere.

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Employee Engagement: Two Reasons Why ‘Getting Sticky’ Mattershttps://contentedcows.com/employee-engagement-two-reasons-why-getting-sticky-matters/Tue, 14 Jan 2020 15:03:12 +0000https://contentedcows.com/?p=8827(This piece generally represents the text of a letter sent to some of our firm’s leadership coaching clients this week.) Too often I see HR professionals and the organizations they are apart of throwing around the expression, “employee engagement” like medical terms used by healthcare professionals, without first clarifying what the term means, and why …

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(This piece generally represents the text of a letter sent to some of our firm’s leadership coaching clients this week.)

Too often I see HR professionals and the organizations they are apart of throwing around the expression, “employee engagement” like medical terms used by healthcare professionals, without first clarifying what the term means, and why it might be relevant to their audience. Truth be known I’ve been guilty of the same at times… but not this time:-) Still, on the premise that most of us tend to do more of the things that are important to us, and as we get deeper into our coaching engagement, I wanted to take another pass at reminding you why this matters (or should matter) to you.

When you get past the jargon, employee engagement simply represents the degree of adhesion (stickiness if you will) between an individual and their work, their job, their boss, their employer. It is an amalgam of factors that causes them to want to stay, and (usually) to contribute more via the exercise of discretionary effort. And why does that matter?

Motivated People Move Faster

Former Continental Airlines CEO, Gordon Bethune, when speaking of his previous job as an aircraft mechanic, once said… “Do you know how much faster and better I can fix that plane when I want to than when I don’t?” Mr. Bethune’s suggestion applies to all of us. Well researched studies suggest that the lack of adhesion or engagement costs the U.S. about $550 billion annually in lost productivity, or 2.5% of a $22 trillion economy. When turned to advantage, the trickle-down effect at a unit level is equally significant, as your team accomplishes more, in less time, with less friction. Simply put, people accomplish more when they want to. Motivated people move faster.

They Call ‘Em Talent Magnets For a Reason

Word gets around faster than ever today about all kinds of things, certainly to include the reputation of organizations and individuals as a place or person to work for/with. For proof, just take a look at GlassDoor.com. Unprompted by me, I’ve had conversations with each of you about the criticality of filling vacant positions in your organization. While you do not control every aspect of the employment relationship, pay for example, your reputation as a leader precedes you, and it carries considerable weight in a person’s desire to be part of your team. I will submit that your efforts to get (and remain) fully staffed with top caliber people will be benefited considerably by the tailwind caused by your reputation as a leader.

So, as we progress (and we are making progress) toward building more solid relationships with our teammates thru things like better listening, “un-bossing”, having courageous conversations, and taking greater interest in their development, let’s keep our eyes on the prize(s). 

I greatly look forward to working with each of you in the New Year. Let’s get on with it!

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Leadership Can Be Hard…Are You Up For It?https://contentedcows.com/displaying-leadership-us-navy-secretary-richard-spencer-puts-it-all-on-the-line/https://contentedcows.com/displaying-leadership-us-navy-secretary-richard-spencer-puts-it-all-on-the-line/#respondMon, 25 Nov 2019 21:56:20 +0000https://justparadise.net/contentedcows/?p=7757Knowing exactly what would come of it, US Navy Secretary, Richard Spencer refused an order from his supervisor (issued at the direction of POTUS), to stand down on a disciplinary matter involving one of the country’s elite special forces. As a result, he was asked for his resignation. In reality, he was likely told that, …

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Knowing exactly what would come of it, US Navy Secretary, Richard Spencer refused an order from his supervisor (issued at the direction of POTUS), to stand down on a disciplinary matter involving one of the country’s elite special forces. As a result, he was asked for his resignation. In reality, he was likely told that, in exchange for having refused to carry out a lawful order, he could resign or be fired. Having been in a similar position in my career, I can vouch for the fact that it is a lonely position. In an instant you go from being liked and respected to radioactive road kill, admired from afar perhaps, but unemployed (aka “in transition”) nonetheless.

What Mr. Spencer did is what good leaders everywhere should be willing to do, consequences and all. Why, you ask? Why should a person take responsibility for exercising independent judgment on a matter of principle, in the face of an order from ‘above’, from someone senior to them? Why not just do what you’re told? In truth, more often than not we’re well advised to suppress our judgment, salute, and execute. But there are times when doing so is taking the unprincipled or chicken way out. This was just such a time.

As a leader, you’ve doubtless told (overtly or by your position) a team of people who answer to you that you’ve got their back, and that barring circumstances where it would be unlawful, unsafe, unethical, or flat out impossible to do so, in the absence of contravening policy, you’re going to do what you feel is right, for both the individual and the group, and the chips will have to fall where they may.

One of the essential unteachable requirements of leadership is courage… Having the courage to say “No, that’s not good enough; we’re not going to do that,” or in matters of significant consequence and debate, “I see it differently.” With opposing orders in hand, when you walk out on that plank, you pretty well know how the opera is going to end, but you’ve got to have the backbone to do it. If you’re unwilling or unable to do that, you have no business asking others to walk thru fire for you. So, in that case, do yourself and those around you a favor and find something else to do for a living. Conversely, if you’re okay with the prospect of someday having to take that walk, come on in. We need you.

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Four Words You’re Gonna Have to Stop Saying to Customershttps://contentedcows.com/four-words-youre-gonna-have-to-stop-saying-to-customers/https://contentedcows.com/four-words-youre-gonna-have-to-stop-saying-to-customers/#respondMon, 18 Nov 2019 21:03:15 +0000https://justparadise.net/contentedcows/?p=7738There’s one simple change that you and your team can make that’ll yield happier customers right away, and it means simply purging your language of one four-word phrase. Over the last few months, service providers who I’m sure didn’t mean to be rude, made each of the following pronouncements to me (and many more like …

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There’s one simple change that you and your team can make that’ll yield happier customers right away, and it means simply purging your language of one four-word phrase.

Over the last few months, service providers who I’m sure didn’t mean to be rude, made each of the following pronouncements to me (and many more like them) while doing their jobs:

You’re gonna have to fill this out for me.

You’re gonna have to call back later.

You’re gonna have to go online and authorize the change before we can accept it.

You’re gonna have to move your bag on its back so we can close the overhead bin. (After being told, “You’re gonna have to put that on its side so we can accommodate more bags.”)

You’re gonna have to wait a few minutes for that.

You’re gonna have to go inside to the counter for them to make that change.

You’re gonna have to call your health insurance company and tell them they’re gonna have to call us about that. (How’s that for a double example?)

What are the four words? Did I give you enough clues?


Think about it. With only a few exceptions (matters of health, safety, or the law), any communication to a customer that starts with “You’re gonna have to” is headed in the wrong direction.

Because, to be blunt, if I’m the customer, there’s just not that much that I HAVE to do, because for starters, I probably don’t HAVE to do business with you.

OK, I DO have to obey the law. And honor any agreements I’ve made. And, of course, I have to pay for what I’ve bought. I SHOULD be polite, respectful, and interact with you in a professional way. But I really don’t HAVE to fill out any form, call anyone back, or go anywhere you tell me to go.

Good leaders provide their followers with the means to do their best work. Sometimes, that means giving them the right perspective, and a useful mindset, and most will get it right.

Here’s a useful mindset: The fact is, the provider and the customer DO occupy different positions, by virtue of the customer’s paying for the product and/or service. That doesn’t give the customer the right to be rude, abusive, or disrespectful. And let’s remember, the customer is NOT always right. But, the customer IS always the customer. And as aggravating as they might be, try running a business without them.

It’s like the mindset shift that takes us from telling a customer what we CAN’T do, to saying what we CAN do.

“I can’t get one in that color until Tuesday” becomes “I can get that color for you by Tuesday, and every other color is available now. And the larger model IS available in the color you want.” Customers love options.

Telling them they HAVE to do something is anything but option-friendly.

So, a little tweak can take us… 

 
Managing Partner
Contented Cow Partners, LLC
Jacksonville, FL
904-720-0870