Hayes Group International -- February 2017
Confessions & Venting as a Leader  
"An honest confession is good for the soul, but bad for the reputation." - Thomas Dewar

"As a leader, be careful who you 'vent' to..."

Like many of us, early in my career I learned a very important lesson.  Recently out of graduate school and 24 years old, my first job was with Andersen Consulting on K Street in Washington, DC (at the time the largest consulting firm in the world).  I had been assigned to a long-time client on a one-year project and was temporarily doing reconciliations for a government new chart of accounts.  Although my degree was in economics and I had a newly-minted MBA, I was not an accountant and needless to say "reconciliation of accounts" was not my forte or interest.

After spending 14 straight days working 10 to 12 hours trying to reconcile charts of accounts, the folders (yes it was all paper-based then) were piling up to almost two feet on my desk.  I finally decided to take a break and go to lunch one day in the client cafeteria.  My supervisor's manager, Ira, asked if he could join me at the table and introduced me to a new Andersen employee who was joining us on her first day of work; freshly matriculated from her graduate studies at the nearby University of Maryland.

Ira made the unfortunate mistake of asking me on my 14th day of constant frustration how things were going for me work-wise (as any good manager should do).  Regrettably for me, I replied "Rotten.  Absolutely rotten - ever since the day since I started on this project."  Ira was wise enough to change the subject. Remember he was 26 years old and I was a mere 24.  However, the written comment of "Mike has a bad job attitude" showed up on my performance review about four months later - added by Ira.  Keep in mind it was only "one" comment on "one" bad day!
I learned an important lesson that day:  "Be careful who you vent to."

Click here to read the full article and learn more about venting as a leader or click here to download the article as a PDF.

Excerpt from Confessions and Venting as a Leader article b y Michael Comer, D.M., President of The Hayes Group.
Leadership Competencies You Will Need in 2017    
A Hayes Group International Perspective on your Personal Growth and Development 

The most effective organizations are planning now for tomorrow's leaders - specifically by interviewing for future leader skill sets and coaching/training those who are in the leadership pipeline on the key leadership competencies. Our coaching with leadership from multiple organizations in 2016 showed a great lack of leaders being "present in the moment" - leaders are tremendously pre-occupied with phones, laptops, and ipads in meetings and employees perceive they are not listening and not concerned about their issues. This perception requires an adjustment in "concentration" in 2017.  Here are the top competencies, from our opinion, that leaders should development and grow in 2017. 

CONCENTRATION AND IN-DEPTH THINKING - the ability to explore issues below the surface and probe for information. (Today's workforce suffers from attention deficit due to more work than time. [1] The Internet has caused broader rather than deeper thinking.) This includes behaviors such as:
  • Asking questions - vs. telling
  • Sound judgment - regarding decision-making (based on root cause thinking)
  • Removal of distractions through effective time management
  • Understanding and using stress as a positive and implementing work/life alignment
  • Becoming a thought leader - balancing expertise with broad business understanding
Click here to read the rest of the article and learn more about the other four leadership competencies.  
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Let's Make 2017 the year of starting with humility!
Here is what we found humility to really be (and NOT be) when writing our Start with Humility: Lessons from America's Quiet CEO's on How to Build Trust and Inspire Followers.

Great leaders lead with humility.  In Start with Humility we discuss six "humble" competencies. Click here to learn more about each of these competencies.

Set SMART Goals in 2017
Most successful companies set clear and SMART goals and objectives for 2017 early in the year. The Hayes Group can help your department/company get off to a great start by facilitating your goal-setting meeting.

Click here to learn more!