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Leadership has always been complex. You are trying to reach new and important outcomes and are doing it with human beings, who are all different and inherently amazing and messy. If you lead essential workers (in a hospital, factory, warehouse, or restaurant), your team has been and will continue to be working together in the same location. If you have been leading a remote team over the past year, it is likely your job is more difficult than ever. Regardless of the actual working arrangements, the world of work has changed forever, and the best leaders must realize these changes and adapt accordingly.
Whatever your future might hold, you will leave this session better prepared to help your organization and team succeed in the future of work.
In this interactive webinar, Kevin Eikenberry will help you navigate the future of leadership and highlight the foundational principles we must stay focused on. Whether you want to become a more effective leader or are thinking about preparing the leaders in your organization for a new future (or both!), this webinar will help you reach those objectives. Join us for this informative, insightful, and inspirational webinar!
Kevin Eikenberry is a recognized world expert on leadership development and learning and is the Chief Potential Officer of The Kevin Eikenberry Group (www.KevinEikenberry.com). He has spent over 30 years helping organizations across North America, and leaders from over 40 countries, on leadership, learning, teams and teamwork, communication and more. Twice he has been named by Inc.com as one of the top 100 Leadership and Management Experts in the World and has been included in many other similar lists. He is the author, co-author or a contributing author to nearly 20 books, including Remarkable Leadership and bestseller From Bud to Boss – Secrets of the Successful Transition to Remarkable Leadership (with Guy Harris), The Long-Distance Leader: Rules for Remarkable Remote Leadership and The Long-Distance Teammate (both with Wayne Turmel). His blog (blog.KevinEikenberry.com) is consistently ranked among the world’s best, most read and most shared on leadership. Connect with Kevin on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and at www.budtoboss.com, www.remarkableleadership.com, and www.remoteleadershipinstitute.com.
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Leading in a Post-Pandemic World: The Master Keys to Your Future Success
Hi, everyone, and welcome to today’s webinar, Leading in a Post Pandemic World, The Master Keys to Your Future Success, hosted by HRDQ-U and presented by Kevin Eikenberry.
My name is Sarah, and I will moderate today’s webinar. The webinar will last around one hour. If you have any questions, please type them into the question area on your GoToWebinar control panel, and we’ll answer as many as we can during today’s session.
Today’s sponsored by HRDQ-U, virtual seminars. HRDQ-U virtual seminars are engaging soft skills training classes with real-time interaction and expert trainers. Enroll your organization’s learners in HRDQ-U virtual seminars and let them develop the performance skills that they need from their home or office. And on any device from desktop to mobile. Learn more at www.hrdqu.com/virtualseminars.
Today’s presenter is Kevin Eikenberry, Kevin is a recognized world expert on leadership development and learning and is the chief financial officer of the Kevin Eikenberry Group.
He spent nearly 30 years helping organizations across North America and leaders from around the world, leadership, learning, teams and teamwork, communication, and more.
He’s the author, co-author, or contributing author, to nearly 20 books, including Remarkable Leadership, From Both Tabasco Secrets of the Successful Transition to Remarkable Leadership, and the Long-Distance Leader Roles for a Remarkable Remote Leadership.
His blog is consistently ranked among the world’s best and most read, and most shared on leadership.
Thank you for joining us today, Kevin. As always, it’s my pleasure, is it my turn to get started?
It is your time, let’s do it. Welcome everybody, I’m so glad to be here with you. You can probably tell that Sarah and I have worked together before and so I’m happy to be back working with HR DQ you to present this session for you all.
And so, here’s the thing, at this point, you know, when I first started doing webinars a long time ago, all these platforms were new to people. Everything was different. You all know how to use these platforms. Maybe you’re not specifically familiar with this one.
Here’s what I want you to do for the next 50 some minutes. I want you to engage in this. This will be more valuable and more interesting, and more practical and more relevant for you if you do that. So the first thing I’m going to ask you to do, as Sarah has already said, is open that question window.
And just leave it open.
Because if you have a question, ask it. Sarah is going to be watching that. I’m going to see it. So, I really want it to be as close to a conversation as we can make it. So, if you have a question, you have a comment. Doesn’t even have to be a question comment or question. Just share it, Participate along the way. There may be a time when I ask a question, I just want you all to sort of share your answers there quickly. So, just do that, right?
And the most important thing, other than engaging with me, really more important even than that is to engage with yourself.
And so, ask yourself, as we go along, here’s the important question, how can I use them?
How can I apply this? How can I use this? So, you know, we should begin with the end in mind, which is leaving this session.
With that plan for something we want to do different or better as a leader, moving forward.
So I hope that as we go through, this time, that you’re asking yourself, how can I use this, how can I apply this?
That will make this most valuable for you.
And I don’t know exactly who you are. I know there’s a lot of you here and I can tell you this. I’m glad that you’re here. And while I don’t know exactly who you are, I’m guessing you fit into one of these buckets. You’re either a leader trying to figure out this post pandemic world. What’s it gonna look like? How am I supposed to lead?
Or maybe you are in HR, LD, or training or even in line management and you’re thinking about this, not just for you, but for the organization.
And maybe you’re, I didn’t describe you yet, but whatever your role is, I’m guessing you’re here because you care about being a better leader and or you want to help the leaders in your organization be more effective.
I think I’m pretty safe in saying all that, right?
And you wouldn’t have been drawn to a session, they said leading in a post pandemic world if you didn’t know that the world is changing and that maybe your approaches need to change, or you need to adjust a little bit. And so if any, or all of that is true. You are absolutely in the right place.
All right, so, one of the things that Sarah said a lot about me, but one of the things that she didn’t say that’s especially applicable right now is that because of our work with books, like the Long-Distance leader, in the long-distance teammates. And because of our work for the last seven years as a co-founder of the Remote Leadership Institute that and maybe most importantly of all because I’ve been leading a hybrid team for over a decade, we’ve been spending a lot of time thinking about what post pandemic will look like helping leaders from around the world with that very thing. So where are we at? Those? I thank you for that. So here’s our focus. These are the things that brought you here.
You saw this list already probably to identify the key differences in a post pandemic workplace, to recognize four timeless leadership principles that will always drive your success and six skills that will help you lead more successfully in the future.
Then lastly, building that action plan now.
I want to say something else in the book to a long-distance leader. We identified a bunch of rules, Subtitles as rules for a remarkable wrote leadership. And here’s rule number one and I think it’s important for us to start right. there are rule one in that book written pre pandemic is think leadership first, location second. So we’re going to talk about these timeless leadership principles, they’ve always applied, but they apply in this new context in different and more important ways. And so we’re going to talk about that, and then we’re gonna talk about these new skills.
So leadership, first, location, second, principles, applied.
That’s really where we’re headed for our time together, OK. And so I’m guessing that you came, I’m gonna see if I can continue with the bull’s eye that fit that I got in terms of feedback. You came because you know that effective leadership is critical to the success of your organization and your team. You want to know what it will take to do that post pandemic and you’re hoping this will help. So I’m going to do everything I can to make the next 54 minutes, very valuable relevant for you. And ultimately, here’s what you want.
You want the right skills, apply it in the right ways.
You want teams that are successful in the future of work. Whatever that’s going to exactly look like. You want a thriving culture that yes, we can have a thriving culture in a hybrid workplace.
You want high retention. Maybe you’re having trouble finding enough folks right now. So you wanna make sure you keep the ones you’ve got.
And, lastly, what we always want, right, whenever improving results, really, isn’t that what we all want, is to keep getting better as we move along, and we’ll talk more about that in a few minutes. So that’s great. You feel like you’re in the right place. All that good, here’s the truth.
Leadership is hard.
It is one of the most complex things that we could do because, why? Because leadership is about human beings, right? Amazing.
And so while leadership has never been easy has always been hard.
It’s always been complex, it’s about to get harder, just Saying, Right, so think about it this way. We used to live in what I would call, a black and white world.
In terms of work, right? People either came to the office or they didn’t, most of most people did. Maybe a few didn’t.
Or you worked when you were at the office and then try not to work when you were black and white, not anymore.
It’s not even just shades of gray. It’s colors of the rainbow.
It’s colors of the rainbow.
In terms of when, and where, and how people might be working, its colors of the rainbow, in terms of what the expectations are, of our team members, as they’ve now lived in this world, for the last 18 to 20 months.
And, so, the expectations and needs of the organization are different of the leaders are different of the folks that are different.
We’ve all lived through this time together, where when and how we’re going to do the work is all different.
So, our work, our world, as a leader, has gotten more complex than ever.
It doesn’t mean it can’t be done, it just means that we need to prepare ourselves or prepare the leaders in our organizations for this next level of complexity. And the good news is that we’ve got a map to help us get there, right?
So, so what are the big differences?
Well, the big differences, as I’ve already said, it’s going to be more complex, and more complex, because here’s the thing.
As it turns out, several years ago, we started using the phrase hybrid team, And I certainly can’t take credit for that, being the choice of language that everyone’s using, but the reality is, when we say hybrid workplace, or a hybrid team, across to all of you that are here, it could look different for all of you.
Some of you were gonna say, everyone’s gonna come to the office, Monday, Wednesday, Friday.
Some are gonna say, some are going to come Monday and Wednesday. So we’re going to come Tuesday and Thursday, and no one’s gonna begin on Friday. Some of you are going to have some people that are always remote, and some people that are always there, all of those are hybrid.
And so, there isn’t necessarily a single right answer. In fact, your organization may still be figuring it out. In fact, I’d love, just go into that. Go into the question window, and just say, have, have your, this is yes, or no? Has your organization decided what hybrid means to you yet or not? Just yes, or no? Yes, we’ve got it, No.
So I’m getting a couple of no’s.
Getting some, getting sort of 50, 50, very similar to a session that I gave live, live, and virtual a couple of weeks ago, which was about that.
Right. Doing a pilot, deciding not sure. Some, yes, some no.
Many of you saying yes or no, either were involved or are involved in making those decisions.
The reality is that we’re all gonna make a decision eventually and then we’re probably going to tweak it.
Because we’re dealing with some new levels of complexity and some levels of unknown. That’s true, right? And so because this is a new situation there are plenty of unknowns.
We have to sort of get used to that conscious, constant changes, yes.
Someone said, all right, now, here’s the other one that I want to mention. I think this is really important. There’s been lots of conversation about organizations and leaders, senior leaders saying, we can’t we need to get everybody back? So we can maintain our culture.
Well, there are three cultures for you to be thinking about. Ready to be aware of right now. Number one, the culture, you used to have, number two, the culture you have now, number, call number three, the culture you want to have, or will have in the future.
And for anyone to say that we want to go back to what we had, that’s impossible.
And the reason why is all of us have lived through 24,021. So even if we bring everyone back to work, we’re not the same people with the same experiences that we were before that.
So even in a world that says, oh, my gosh, I just want it to be the way it used to be if we’re thinking that it’s First of all, it’s the good old days syndrome where we think the further, we get away from something the more idyllic we think about the way it was.
And yet, if, I was having a conversation with you, or your organization, or any of us, two years ago, say, six months, before, four months before we ever heard the word coven, right? Like, you would have given me plenty of things that you need to work on. Plenty. Things that were going on with your leaders in your teams and things you want to get better at.
So for us to say, We just want to go back the way it was, it is really not only a fallacy because we can’t go back.
I mean, even if we send everybody back to the office, it won’t ever be the same. I don’t think that has to be a bad thing. It’s just a fact.
And if we think that what we’re going back to was some idyllic thing, that’s probably not right.
There are a lot of things different, about not being in the same location. We could spend the whole rest of our time on stuff that you largely know about. There’s, there’s probably some things I could share about the psychology of what’s going on with what, based on where, whenever we work, and all those sorts of things.
But if we just keep these three things in mind, for our purposes today, that’s super important.
Now, again, about half of you said, yes, we’ve decided what our future looks like. And half of you have said, are saying, no, we haven’t. That’s not all that different from what we’re hearing in the world with our clients.
But, I just want you to think back. And I certainly don’t know how old, how old any of you are. You have a clue by looking at me, how old I am.
I can tell you that there’s only been two times in my lifetime.
There have been moments that had the chance to have as much impact on our work and our workplace as what we’re living in right now. And I don’t think either of them are quite the same.
But the two are, when we introduced PCs into the workplace, and when the Internet got introduced into the workplace, and it became broadly used in the world.
Those two things were huge changes, but they were changes that took place over a period of time.
We flipped a light switch last March and now we’re all trying to figure out when we’re going to go back based on whatever happens with the variance and all of that.
So here’s the point that I wanna make. We can talk about post pandemic, and I want us to think about that. We don’t know when that is. There was a big post on LinkedIn just yesterday. When will the pandemic be over?
Here’s what I want you to know.
I want you to realize this and I know where many of you are sitting.
This is a really important point to hear that this is a moment that matters.
If you’re a leader of leaders, if you’re a senior leader in an organization, if you’re an HR leader, if you’re in OD, work, L&D, whatever, this is a moment that matters.
There’s never been a time whereas much the decisions that we make now will have a longer-term impact.
On the future of our businesses, I don’t want you to think about that in a negative way. So I just think that this is an opportunity.
And if you’re someone that has the ear of senior leaders, they need to hear this. And if your organization is in that list that said no, we haven’t decided yet, then make sure that you’re thinking about this as big and broadly as you can.
And if you’ve already decided, maybe you haven’t brought it, but every people back at exactly you’ve decided what it is, but you don’t know where exactly how. we’ll win.
Then this is still a moment that matters even if you’ve made the decision about what it’s going to look like, how you implement. It will make it huge.
Difference in the future of your organization, in your retention, in your culture, and more. This is truly a moment that matters. So.
Enough preamble I promised you four principles and six skills. It’s time to get on with it, right? So, by the way, I love it that you all are interacting with me, using the question box. Continue to do that. If you’ve got comments or questions field as people are already doing, feel free to do that.
I hope that you will.
So, four foundational principles.
And this will be a lot of what we’re going to talk about. For the next few minutes.
The first of those foundational principles is this, the nature of the leader’s role. The nature of the leader’s role hasn’t really changed.
Context may have changed. The role, has it changed?
Being a leader, is still being a leader. What is Elite? What does it mean to be a leader? Here’s our model. We introduced today, and we’ve been using it for a long time. We introduced it in the long-distance leader.
Excuse me, we call it the three O model.
It simply says this as leaders.
We are responsible for reaching valuable outcomes with and through other people, and we are a part of that equation, like, who we are, how we do, it has an impact on both outcomes and others, but ultimately, leadership is about reaching valuable outcomes with them through others.
That’s, that hasn’t changed.
But what has changed is the context in which we’re reaching the outcomes.
And what has changed is where people are working, what they’re experiencing, and how they want to do the work.
And I think that most of the conversations about where are people going to work, What days of the week?
All of that stuff is largely a conversation about the tension.
I can get it. There we go. If between, about the tension between outcomes and others, think about this early in the pandemic.
Most organizations. Once your governor said, or your governments that you’re going to send people to work from home notes coming out of this office, except for certain sorts of situations.
So, we were forced to send people home, and many leaders, even sort of crusty traditional leaders, realize, man, we gotta take care of our folks. And so the pendulum swung for many of us to others, we gotta be flexible, We gotta let people make sure that they’re OK. Are people getting what they need? Like, are they, if they’re taking care of their kids to school and all that stuff? Like we’ve swung toward others.
And then the question became, well, OK, but we still gotta get the work done. And so, the pendulum started to swing back, and so now, I believe that fundamentally, the conversations we’re all having are about the tension between outcomes and others.
And so perhaps that’s useful for you and your organization as you think about this.
You know, there are, there are things in the business press saying we got, you know, yes, we’re gonna have to do work differently, but we still gotta get work done. And there’s lots of things saying the this is all about the, the worker.
Now, we gotta take care of the people and, you know, almost to the degree of forgetting what the work ends.
We can go too far, either way, the right answer is somewhere in the middle. It’s never at either the extremes.
And there and the right answer for us as an organization is to be balancing or dealing with the tension between those two things as we lead, and as we think about how we’re going to have things work in our organization, so, that foundational principle hasn’t changed.
Leadership is about reaching valuable outcomes within through others, right?
That’s still true, and, and now it’s just about how we make that work in this new world, in which we are, OK?
So, second principle, the second principle, is the importance of expectations.
Please, redefine leadership. Again. So, I will just say it one more time. Leadership is about reaching valuable outcomes with, and through others, if we could do it by ourselves. There didn’t have to be leader, right?
Like, and if we already had the outcome, the perfect outcome, we don’t need a leader, because we’re already there.
So, leadership is always about something better different than we have today. Reaching valuable.
Outcomes with and through others.
OK, so the second principle I want us to talk about is Expectations. And I can tell you this. Sarah said earlier on, she listed a bunch of books that I’ve written, and, and one of perhaps the books that I’m best known for was written in 2007. It’s called Remarkable Leadership, and in that book, I talk a little bit about the importance of setting clear expectations.
I can tell you that I know way more about that now than I did then I can tell you that I’ve worked with hundreds of liters since then, and I’ve led myself that many more years.
And I can tell you that one of the most important skills that we can and need to develop as a leader is the is the ability to set mutually clear expectations, right?
So that’s kind of a stateless simple statement. But why is that?
Well, because well, I’ll talk about that in general, but let me talk about why it’s even more important now. First, I’ll sort of AMP up the importance and then we’ll come back to why.
So expectations are more important now than ever because they’re less clear than ever, because if the work is changing and where the work is being done is changing, then it becomes less clear about what the expectations are.
What are the big challenges when we first everybody homeless like, what does this, how’s this going to work?
If people were wondering and foundering, in fact, here’s what really happened. For the first 2 or 3 weeks, you send everybody home.
Everything was fantastic. People were operating on adrenaline. Everyone was coming together, doing whatever it took, right? And then it started to fade.
As people said, well, I can only run-on adrenaline for a while.
And it’s not really clear about what’s expected now or what success really is now, right.
And so, when we don’t have clarity on the expectations, because we have clarity of where we’re gonna be doing our work and all those other things, then that creates all sorts of challenges. And not only are those things true, but when we’re not all in physical proximity to each other, there are more expectations needed than there used to be.
And I’ll talk about that a bit more in a minute.
But before I do that, I want to have you change Cats, what should you put on your personnel had?
For a second, I want you to think about when you’ve worked for someone, had a supervisor, leader, manager, person that had, you had clear expectations with, like, you knew exactly what was expected of you to be successful.
If you’ve had that experience, then there are some things that are true.
That, when we have clear expectations, we have greater confidence. We don’t mean that we automatically think we can achieve all those expectations right away, but we know what the mark is that we’re shooting for. And we have confidence that we can see that we’re making progress towards that, mark. So, when the expectations are clear, we have greater confidence.
And we certainly have greater trust with that other person, right? Like, if the expectations are clear, you pretty much know that they trust you enough to say, here’s what success is.
And so when we have greater trust with our leader, lots of good things happen, right?
And when there’s clear expectations across the team, like everybody knows what’s going on, then what else happens?
Well, there’s less conflict, because the single biggest cause source of workplace conflict is unclear.
Well, I thought that’s what you were going to do. I thought, that’s what Sarah was going to do. I thought, Angie. That isn’t that Angi Stone.
And it isn’t, doesn’t all that come down to what is expected of blue?
And who’s responsible for what?
And how about this? When expectations are clear, there’s less rework. We’ve all been here, oh, I didn’t know That’s what, can you give me a second. I’ll fix that for you. Oh, I didn’t know you needed that column in the spreadsheet. Let me go do that. I’ll get that right back to you, Rework.
But, if that was clear on the front end, then, there isn’t that rework. It’s already done.
So, when expectations are clear, there’s less rework across a team between you and a leader between you, as a leader with your team, less rework and the M word, there’s less micromanagement.
Now, here’s what I’ve learned about micromanagement. I’ve learned about three things about micromanagement. My Life number one is, I’ve never ever asked a group to tell me about what are the what are the things that make for great leaders? I’ve never had micromanagement show up on that list. No one thinks being a micromanager is a great leadership skills. No.
And yet everyone knows what it is.
Which means we’ve all experienced it.
Which means we may have all done it and let me tell you there was a lot of it that was happening early in. The pandemic probably still is in some cases.
But if expectations are clear like if I work for you and you’ve told me what’s expected and I know that and you’re you know that I know it.
You don’t need to micromanage me as much, because you know I’ve got I know what the bar is.
Micromanagement often happens because there’s less trust. Micromanagement often happens because, well, I wasn’t. I didn’t really make it clear to them. I gotta keep checking in to make sure they’re getting it the way I wanted it, because they can’t read my mind.
Clear expectations changed. He said, guess what?
We have clear expectations, and our organization would get better results.
See, all of this has always been true, always been true.
But look at the first, especially the first five of these.
And think, just think about this and your organization.
Did you want, or need more of those things while people have been working apart?
The answer is yes.
Has confidence taken a hit among team members for many? Has trust taken a hit, in many cases, Not maybe not all, but in many cases, as there been more conflict? Well, maybe it’s not. It’s veiled because we don’t see each other face-to-face. But does that mean it’s not there? What about rework?
Are your leaders micromanaging? Are you micromanaging?
By the way, you know that micromanagement ultimately is determined by the other person. right.
So let’s say, and I’m just gonna pick two people who have made comments in chat. Let’s say that both Sean and Danny worked for me.
Right. And I treat them exactly the same way.
I don’t do anything any differently. I want to be fair. I want to be equal. I treat them the same way. I lead them in the same way. And Danny says, Kevin is an awesome leader and Sean says he’s the biggest micromanager ever and it’s because now it’s not about what I’m doing.
It’s about how they view it or what they need.
And so, all of that means that that needs our approach, and our style needs to adjust.
And are we adjusting it based on individual folks?
And if we don’t have visual visuals of how people are doing, if we’re not interacting with them as often as we were before to even know what they want or need now to see expectations run, not just, what do I, as the leader expect of you, but what do you expect of me?
They run both ways.
And what we’re after here is mutually clear, agreed upon expectations.
Again, I said earlier, I’ve been a big believer in expectations for a long time.
The importance of them, hugely important, valuable state of that case for a long time.
And, and yet still, I find that there are many leaders that don’t do it as well as they could.
And even leaders that do it well, generally do it about one type of expectations. But I believe that, especially now, we need expectations in three areas, And I’m going to dive into what each of them mean in a second.
But the what of the work, the why of the work, and the how of the work.
And my experience says that even really skilled leaders may stop with the first of the three bullets.
And the second of the two bullets are more important now than ever and will continue to be post pandemic, especially if you’re in some sort of hybrid mode of some sort.
Super important. Let’s talk about, we, Let’s unpack each of the three. Right?
The first one is the one that you already have thought about the What of the work, that’s the quality of the work.
The timing, timing of the work, the specifics. Like this is the stuff.
This is the one that maybe you’re already doing pretty well, or this is the one you were thinking about, the type of expectations was thinking about as I was going through that last couple of slides.
What does success look like in terms of the delivery of the work, the nature of the work, the quality of the work, et cetera?
And maybe we got that one, pretty good. And, if so, awesome, I’m glad.
But, that’s not all we need.
one of the things that’s true, the longer that people work apart, is that their view becomes more individual.
There were, their world becomes more insular, their work, more likely, feels like my work equals my task list and our surroundings, influence our perspective. So, if I’m sitting at the north end of my dining room table, and that’s what I see, then that impacts how I view my world.
If I’m walking into a building with the company name on the door, if I’m seeing the people that I’m co-worker’s with, If I’m seeing company vehicles of the salespeople or whatever coming in and out of the parking lot, if I see monitors in the hallways with metrics on him, if I walk into conference rooms and see things on whiteboards, like all of that influences how I see the work rights.
And so, while this next type of expectation has always been important, some of it, it was sort of baked in before, it’s not anymore.
The second set of expectations is the why of the work. Who am I doing the work for? What is the purpose for it? What is the use of it?
How does this work fit into the bigger picture?
You ever had the experience of knowing what the work was, but she didn’t really know how it got used, who used it, or what was used for?
And so, you couldn’t really make any individual decisions about, about adjustments, because you didn’t really have that bigger context. The why of the work, or what I would call the Why. Expectations give us context.
So, as leaders when we provide that to people, it helps them do a better job. It helps them put it into context. It helps them see meaning and purpose in their work.
I’m not just doing this thing.
I’m doing it for Joe.
I know that I want to make I want to make Joe’s life easier.
Joe and I are on the same team.
Has some of that been lost.
In the last 18 months, probably.
And even if your own what I will call your nuclear team, you’re in your intact team has maintained their relationships and all that. Even if that’s maintained, what about that next circle, but about those internal suppliers, internal customers, those people that you used to have interactions with, but that you don’t have as many ways, because you’ve sort of circled the wagons around the intact team.
So, expectations around, what is the work around the why of the work, and about the how of the work.
All of this changed.
When we send people home, all of this will continue to change when we’re back in the Office Sundays and not in other days. Right?
Like, When and how are we going to communicate? What’s the frequency? What’s the tools? How are we going to collaborate? How do we make sure we include everybody? What are the work processes? What are they going to look like? Like, work processes changed, right? They’re going to change again.
When do we meet? How do we meet? Who needs to be invited to when we meet?
Do we have hybrid meetings where you only have means where people are in the building?
These are all things you’re gonna have to think about and decide on, and set expectations on, and even if you’re thinking about that as a leader, you need to be clear with your team about what your expectations are about that or not.
I would say that in somewhat regardless of what your version of hybrid will be, one of the biggest challenges, is this, the unintended exclusion.
So, Anna and I are having a meeting in the hallway, and we may come to some agreement, or come to some decision or make some, it takes some next step, but we forget that we didn’t include Rachel.
We didn’t mean to exclude Rachel.
If we were all in the building, we might walk down to Rachel’s office on the way or what was the how to reach all the way back, but now when I, we may not even think about Rachel. Rachel says, don’t exclude me, right? And that’s how everyone’s gonna feel. And guess what, even if people aren’t being excluded on the days that they’re home, they’re worried if they are, or they’re wondering if they are.
And it’s not intentional, it’s just gonna happen unless we’re careful, unless we have work processes, unless we have some agreements, as we have some expectations.
So, hopefully, as leaders, we are, the leaders in our organizations have gotten to have some skill around setting clear, what expectations, but, also, we also need why and how expectations, And, hopefully, this helps you think about that a little bit more.
All right. So, there’s two of our foundational principles.
one of them being the nature of the leader’s role. The second being the importance of expectations, the third is the power of engagement.
Engagement is one of those consulting words, right? It’s one of those words that has gotten a lot of play in the last 10, or 15 years, and with good reason, that, that it’s been documented and studied, to say, that, when team members are engaged, good things happen, and most of that conversation around what leaders can do, to create greater engagement.
And I want to share with you some thoughts about engagement, because I think some of all of that conversation is, well, not misguided, misunderstood, and incomplete.
But, before we get to that, let’s talk about what I think engagement is, and isn’t, because, again, once it becomes a buzz word, it starts to lose, meaning, what does it even mean, other than, oh, engagement is good?
Here’s what, here’s what. First of all, what it doesn’t mean. It doesn’t mean satisfaction.
Job satisfaction is not engagement.
It’s not being OK or drawing a paycheck.
So, yes, or no in the question?
campaign real quick, alright?
If any of you are married or have a significant other, and your spouse or partner says to you, you ask them something. They say, It’s fine.
Is that good?
What does fine mean? But it’s fine, I’ve got one, no.
And now I have laughter which it probably not good, right? It’s not good. Tony said Tori says, it’s not like, it’s the other person says, It’s fine. Like, oh, it really isn’t.
Like if we’re being a little toned down, we say, OK, good We can move on. It’s not. absolutely not good.
Fine explains nothing, it’s a lack of communication, here’s the thing, OK, like, my jobs, OK, my job is fine. That’s not engagement.
I’d rather have someone to say, It’s OK To say, I hate my job, like, I get that.
But that’s a low bar, fine is fine, Fine, it’s fine. But maybe Danny, just be careful, pay attention to the body language that goes with it when they say, fine, OK, now.
I would guess all of you would agree with me if they quit. If your employer quit writing you paychecks at some point you’ve quit coming to work.
I think that’s fair statement, but that does not mean that the only reason we come to work is for a paycheck if you have someone that’s coming to work only for a paycheck.
They are clearly not engaged, all right, maybe they will comply, but they are not committed, see, engagement is about something different than OK, fine, and satisfied and engage with us about something different than a paycheck.
Here’s what engagement is, ultimately.
Ultimately, is Eyecare.
I care about what I care about? the people I work with, the work that I deliver. The purpose of the work, The meaning of our work. I care about the team as a whole.
If I care, I’m engaged.
If I’m willing to provide discretionary effort willey to provide discretionary effort, by definition, means, I’m choosing to raise my hand for a project, too.
Take a little longer to make sure that all the applications get reviewed, whatever it is, Discretionary effort.
That’s what engagement is.
Engagement is an emotional connection to and a choice about the work.
Now, let me ask you this.
Since so much of the work, and discussion, and consultation, and advice about engagement is all about what leaders can do to make people engage or to create employee engagement. Let me ask you this question. Can you make someone care?
No, you cannot.
And can you make them provide discretionary effort?
Well, by definition, you cannot, discretionary means they’re deciding.
So, ultimately, employee engagement is a choice that belongs to the other person.
As leaders, now, does this, does this lead us as leaders off the hook? This letter says organizations. I’ve thought, it does not. Of course, not.
Because, while we, as leaders, I’ll just speak in first person, while I, as a leader can’t make anyone on my team care, I can’t force them to be engaged.
There are certainly things I can do that will improve the chances that that’s what they choose, and there are certainly things I can do that would improve the chances that they will choose not to or to leave.
I leave jobs because of the boss or environment.
That was in the, in the, in the questions. I will just, I won’t mention who, because it’s anonymous tweet to each other there, right?
So, people, people don’t leave jobs, they leave bosses.
Right. So, is there a role for leaders to play an employee engagement, 100%, but ultimately doesn’t belong, doesn’t belong to them? And I think that message is important for us as leaders, and I think that message is important for team members.
Don’t be only waiting around for this. This is your choice.
You can choose this, and I think often in the world, the grass is clearly greener. I don’t like it here. I’m gonna go someplace else. There’s, there’s a choice that we can make even where we are.
That maybe is the right one to make now. So now, as leaders, what can we do to help people make this choice?
Aye, I’ll get there in a second.
But I just want to sell you on the value of this, because a cynical person would say, OK, Kevin, Whoopie, do, like, sure, you’re the leader, and you want people to put out discretionary effort. You want to get more work for them, out of them, right? So why, why would any of us choose to be engaged? when we’re engaged? We enjoy our work more.
For sure, when we are engaged, we see a bigger picture. We see how we fit into something bigger than ourselves than we have more purpose and meaning in our work, by definition. And the more meaning and purpose we have, in our work, the more engaged we become. It’s like an upward spiral.
And the comment that just came in, Whitney, I’m going to echo that in just a minute. Agree with you 100%.
When we choose to be engaged, we build stronger relationships because we care about the people, we work with that matters to us. It’s important. We see more opportunities for ourselves to make a difference to, to have an impact, probably improves our careers. It increases our productivity, and yes, it gets us noticed. And so, even in a time when I might be working apart from my boss, and I’m wondering about, ever be noticed, trust me, if you’re engaged, if you’ve made that choice, people are gonna notice you for the right reasons.
Now, take the take the title off of the slide. I probably should have made a version of it without the title.
Who doesn’t want this stuff on this list?
At least, some of it, if not all of it?
We all do.
So, when people are engaged, it’s in their best interest, That’s important. This isn’t something we are doing to people because we want to get discretionary effort out of it. This is something that, when it happens, everybody wins.
The individual, the team, the leader, the organization, like everybody wins when we choose to engage.
So, now, to Whitney’s point that came in and the question, how can we support people getting there?
How can we support we as leaders? Organizations support it. Well, here’s how we do that.
We can share these ideas. You can take that last slot. And you can say to your folks, Madam, when you do, when you make a new choice, these good things happen for you.
You can make sure people see the big picture.
Because when people see the big picture about where we’re headed, and what we’re doing, and how our work and our organization makes a difference in the world, when we share that, and people see that, it’s far easier to get excited and engaged about the work I’m doing, because it helps people create meaning in their work, 100%.
Let them in on a picture of the future.
We can certainly set the bar at something higher than satisfaction. We can set the bar something higher than, well, people aren’t leaving. So it must be OK. We can expect engagement. We can’t force it, but we can say, this is what, ultimately, what success looks like, Making these choices.
Right. We can support it. Recognize it, reward it. We can coach to it. And as Whitney said, in her question to me, leaders can model engagement to behaviors that show we are engaged. She is 100% right. You can’t expect it’s very unlikely that your team members are going to choose to be engaged if they’re not seeing you engaged.
And by the way, that leads to my next point, the fourth of the foundational principles, which is the influence of role modeling.
Some people are like, like, how can we, uh, how are we being a role model, they can’t actually see us.
Well, they can.
They can see how we work. How we react in meetings, what we say, what we don’t say, they can follow our feet.
They can follow our fingers, but we’re typing.
And so, we’re still being a role model, even if we don’t see everybody every day.
In fact, let’s just move into the future, if you’re in some sort of a hybrid model.
Let’s just say it this way.
Let’s say that you see, as a leader, you see your folks a couple of days a week.
That means, when you see them, all of your actions, when you see them, carry even greater weight.
So, the influence of role modeling hasn’t gone away, more important than ever.
The need for us to be due to be, that is so, very important.
So, a question came in. It’s really a comment you can encourage engagement at.
And I’m reading this aloud to you, and I haven’t read ahead, and you can encourage engagement.
By changing up the approach, recently, we turned the tables to the team and asked them to voluntary voluntarily partner to lead a meeting and bring the topics. This was our first week, but the results were amazing. Yeah.
If we will allow people the chance to take ownership, you might be amazed at what you will find.
And you model engagement virtually by being on camera and being attentive and not checking your phone or doing whatever.
Fact, by the way, if you, if you’re on, if you’re on camera, and you’re taking notes, do something like this, like, Hey, I’m taking it, so they know that you’re not do it. Because otherwise. if this is all I’m doing, and I’m taking notes, how do you see the difference between that, and this, you don’t.
So, I’m not saying that you get all flashy and say, well, let me get out my journal.
But what you can do is make sure people know exactly what you’re doing.
Not with that will look at me, but, like, this is what we do here.
That’s all culture, is everybody.
Our culture is, is the way we do things around here.
What does success look like around here?
What are the stories we say to each other about what our work is?
So, others of you agree with showing the piece of paper showing the journal, showing your pen.
Right? I hold onto a pen quite a bit when I do this, in part, because part because I’m holding it.
in part because I’m taking notes, I’m not at this moment as a campus on, but you don’t want to.
I’m saying, by doing this, it’s like sending a message Just like I send a message by, here’s another example of robotics real quick, I ask a group a question, smaller group than this, different than this meeting, ask a group a question.
And I want them to respond, right? So, what do I need to wait? So, here’s what I do, ask the question.
So what does that do, Number one is I cannot talk well. I’m sipping mighty.
Not possible. Second of all, so that forces me to wait to give them a chance to get in. But what else does it say, psychologically to them?
Oh, he’s not Kochan.
He’s waiting on us.
Little things that can make a difference for us and disregard. So, four foundational principles, the nature of leadership of the leader’s role, … of expectations, power of engagement.
The influence of role modeling, the question would be, how firm is your foundation?
Fair question, Right, so whether you’re here for yourself or whether you’re here, excuse me, thinking about this organizationally, you can use that last slide as sort of a how are we doing.
So, so I also promised you six skills, and you’re saying, Kevin, you don’t have a lot of time to go over six skills. I’m gonna put these up here.
I’m going to talk about these, briefly and it, because I know that when I bring them up to you and talk to you about why you’ll be, you’ll be able to translate what those mean. If you’ve got questions, you can certainly ask me. And if you have a question that you don’t get the chance to ask, or I don’t get the chance to answer, I’ll give you at the end that you can ask me in another way.
So, here’s the first skill we need, we need to great one on ones.
So, while we’re remote or at a distance, hopefully, you’re leading more of these than you did before, and they need to be better than ever. And they need to focus, not only on the work, but on the future of people’s work and their work progress.
So it’s not just about current work, but about coaching and development, and it’s also about how they’re doing.
Let me tell you how you need to structure one thing you can do to structure your one-on-one’s, and this is true now.
During pandemic, I suppose.
It will be true later, especially if you’re hybrid in any way, because the reality is that you might be having some of your one-on-ones with people when they’re not physically there.
Try to make sure that, if possible, they’re not always the same way, like I always do them in person with these three people, but never with those two people.
Here’s, here’s a model for your one on ones. Start with, how are you doing?
Start with the empathy piece. Start with the non-work stuff.
Then have them talk about the stuff on their list.
Everyone on my team that reports directly to me keeps what they call it.
I call it away there Kevin List, put that on a Kevin list. Obviously, there are things during the course of a day, But we need to talk about. We don’t need to wait. We need to get them taken care of. Great, but otherwise, everyone’s got to Kevin list, and I’ve got a list for everybody.
And so when we get together, I’ve got a list of things I want to talk, I wanted to talk to Marlene about this morning.
I started with So how’s it going? What’s going on?
Some things have going on her life I was asking about those things, and then So what’s on your list? what you’re on your Kevin list talking about here are some of her things. The same as mine, yep, taken care of. Then we go two miles.
What does that do that proves to her through my actions that not only am I empathetic at it, but I care about her.
It’s also a way to build relationship because I know what’s going on.
Building relationships are about two big things, at least in the workplace. It’s about amount of depth of interaction and amount of connection. And so if I lead one-on-one in the way I just described, I have the chance to build my connection with and have real interaction with people at my one on ones are only the work in the weather.
It’s not enough to build relationships. It’s not enough to help people grow. It might be enough to get the wash out.
And if that’s all they are, not enough.
I believe that we will look back at some point on this time of the pandemic and say, Man, there were some things we started to do better as leaders.
And I hope that we remember those.
And I believe that empathy is one of those.
And I believe that for many people, leaders, and team members, who never really sort of pooh poohed the importance of the relationships that, you know, that’s kinda nice to have that need to have. I think a lot of people figured out now, though, that is needed.
And we’re feeling the gaps in that, in that second circle of people.
And so, hopefully, we need these skills now.
We’ve always needed, and we need them more now, and hopefully, what this pull situation has done is reminded us of that made it clear to us.
This is a two-hour session.
This bullet points me to say three things about productivity number one, I’ve asked thousands of people in the last 18 months, what are you doing with the time you used to spend commuting in the United States? That’s an on average, 27 minutes each way.
More than 50% of people have told me I’ve spent that extra hour, my commute time working.
And when they say that to me, I say: So are you getting more accomplished?
and they give me a blank stare that being more productive means more accomplishments per unit time, not throwing more time at it to make sure we get it all done.
And now, the scale we’re going to need is not only our own productivity as a leader, but how do we help coach that and support that and others and how do we create work processes that allow for that productivity? Some of that’s been challenged by more and more meetings that maybe we didn’t necessarily always need during the pandemic. And guess what else? If you’ve got people who are going to work at home some days and in the office some days, there are two routines and we ought to be thinking about, how do we be most productive with the types of work we do on the days were in, versus the days were out? These are all the things need to be thinking about skills. We need to be building things that you’d be working on.
And as leaders, we are absolutely in, in the change business.
And so we’ve gotta get better at our ability to lead change, for sure.
And then, I’ll put this one on there, almost self-evident.
Do we know how to build teams? But do we know how to build a hybrid team? Do we know how to create the commitment and the goal agreement and alignment and build the relationships, and create the skills and behaviors? All that stuff that we have all of that package do you do? We know how to do that with our hybrid team. Do we know how we’re going to use the time when we are all together?
Whenever that is, and 100 other things. That’s a skill set we’re going to need to work on.
So there’s six skills, very practical, In many cases, more practical, than the last list of the foundational principles.
So, when you look, excuse me, when you look at these six things, the question would be, how are you doing?
How strong are these skills? How strong are these skills for you as an individual? How strong are these skills for the leaders in your organization?
This may be the template for what it means to create post pandemic leaders. Maybe, these are the areas in your L&D, in your training. These are the things you look for from HR DQ. you. These are the things you reach out to us for help on whatever it might be.
Maybe these are the things that you move to the top of your Needs Assessment list, or at least start to assess these things in your organization.
Again, how strong are these skills?
So, we’ve got a few minutes left, and I have loved the fact that you’ve been interacting with me in the question box, and I appreciate that, but you really haven’t asked me questions. You’ve been just engaging with me, which is fantastic.
But now we have a couple of minutes before I have to finish up and then hand it off to Sarah to close us out to answer any questions that you have.
And the questions there are long, so I’m Sarah I’m gonna let you synthesize that and tell me, OK, so that I can keep chatting, and you can tell me what we got.
So putting a question, or an idea, anything that you want to share with me, or with the group, or your question, you want to ask?
And, uh, and now I’m going to Sarah to work. And let her tell me what I need to. what an answer.
So if you have any questions, please type those in the questions area so that we can answer a few of those before we end today’s session.
Let’s see. We had a comment coming through from Whitney.
Whitney said Being a role model comes through setting clear expectations, being engaged with staff, listening to staff, allowing the staff to be a part of setting expectations.
Taking the time to ensure staff are clear, on what, the how, and why is, and being mindful of tone, and tone of voice, and body language, and facial expressions.
When you’re on calls at war, you know, video calls, so let me just say this to all of you, and I should’ve said this earlier, actually.
As a leader, you are already a role model.
The only question is are you modeling what you want them to repeat, because they’re already watching. The only question is are they are your role modeling the right stuff?
The kinds of stuff that Sarah just said that Whitney type that.
Those are the right behaviors, but you’re a role model whether the right ones or the wrongs, right?
What else she got for us here?
Yeah, I’d like to know how do leaders deal with introverted employees in the remote environment?
Yeah, So, that’s a great question. Here’s the thing, just because people are introverted, does it mean that they don’t like people? Or don’t want to be around people, that just, they interact differently.
Here’s one of the things I would do, I would make sure that just because they’re not saying anything doesn’t mean that they’re OK. So you want to practice your empathy with them. Make sure that they’re getting their needs met, because they may not be Another thing is to give them some coaching about meetings, right? So I want everyone to participate in meetings but you don’t have to really ask extroverts to do that. They probably will, the introverts might not say anything because they may not feel they need to. You wouldn’t need to make it OK for the extra. excuse me, for the introverts and say, hey, you know, I don’t, I agree with everything we’re saying. I don’t have anything to add.
And then maybe what they’re thinking, and they don’t feel the need to say it. But if they never say anything in the meetings, people start to wonder if they’re there, if they care or they are multitasking. So, there’s just one very simple thing that we can do.
In terms of coaching them to be a more, a little more visible and, and, and secondly, we need to really make sure.
like if you went into the pandemic, hey, knowing that you’ve got some people that are, that are introverted, that doesn’t mean they don’t need interaction.
It doesn’t mean that they that they don’t want relationships. It just means it’s different.
So we make sure we’re for sure. They were checking in with them.
Along the way to answer one more question today, and that’s coming from Whitney. And Whitney would like to know how can leaders rebuild trust within staff who have not met deadlines maybe through the leader’s lack of clear expectations?
So we gotta own that.
So we gotta start from a state and say, you know what, let’s, let’s set the clear expectation now, and work forward, We can’t change the past, anyway, let’s work to move forward.
So I would leave it at that and another comment, just give me about people using emoji responses in your, depending on which tools you’re using.
You have the ability that during meetings, and that’s certainly something you can do, as well for sure, but what I would say about rebuilding trust, there’s more that we don’t have time to unpack all that. Sarah, you could have you back. We can talk about trust if you want. But I would say that like, let’s, let’s focus on moving forward. Let’s focus on where we are. Set clear expectations now, what do you need from me now to meet those, to meet that expectation?
What questions do you have for me, and let’s work moving forward? Because here’s the thing about trust. we can, we can, we need to let go of the fact they haven’t gotten it and give them an X, an actual chance to be successful by having clear expectations now.
I’ve got a couple more things, I’m gonna hand it off to Sarah.
I said, at the beginning, think about what you’re going to do, and so that’s the question, now what?
What will you do first?
As a result of this, I hope you will take some action as a result of this, and I said to you earlier, that there’d be ways that you could connect with me. So, you can follow up with me on LinkedIn. Ask me a question there, Connect with me there. There’s my e-mail address there.
There’s a YouTube channel. There’s a Twitter, there’s you name it. There’s all that stuff. I just wanted. one more thing before I hand it off.
Down there in the bottom left corner, Virtual Leader Kahn, you’ve obviously enjoyed learning in a virtual setting Like this has been next week.
We’re doing an entire week, 40 speakers joining me over the course of the five days. All for free, virtual leader con dot com. Go do that, Again, is already registered. That’s awesome. But, man, do that. Invite the other leaders in your organization to come. join us. It’s all free.
Just do it.
Sarah, I’m done. Thank you, everybody. It’s all yours, sir.
Thank you, Kevin. Today’s webinar was sponsored by HRDQ-U Virtual Seminars. Be sure to check out our curriculum more than virtual instructor led online seminars. Go to www.hrdqu.com/virtualseminars for more information, and make sure to join HRDQ-U on your favorite social media site for quick access to all of our latest webinar events and blog posts. You can find us at HRDQ-U. That is all the time that we have for today. Thank you again, Kevin, for joining us.
It was my pleasure.
Thank you so much for having me, and thank you all for participating in today’s webinar, Happy Training.
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