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How to Create a Leadership Development Framework in 3 Steps

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Answering this straightforward question may change your business forever: What does it mean to be a leader in your organization?

As a leadership coach and trainer, I am often asked, “What is the best leadership training for my organization?” My response is always, “What change do you want to make, and what makes that change important for your organization?” I ask those questions because most organizations use leadership training to react to an adverse behavioral or systemic trend in their operations. That simple question almost always leads to discovering a simple truth: Leaders in the organization don’t know what it means to lead effectively. Effective leaders lead in a way that encourages their people and promotes business sustainability.

Rather than doing reactionary training, I encourage my clients to develop a leadership framework. Developing a framework for leadership includes training but also helps define your leadership culture. A clear picture of your leadership culture allows leaders to operate effectively as they lead your organization through change, significantly increasing overall resiliency. To begin building your framework, there are three broad categories in which you can start to add structure to the competencies you expect your leaders to exhibit.

1. People leading themselves

Let’s face it; micromanagement is dead. Leaders can’t always be everywhere looking over the shoulders of their employees, and why would you want that anyway? Instead of micromanagement, here are four things you can do:

a. Ensure you and all your direct reports understand their role.

b. Understand and respect the role of others.

c. Know and understand the importance of organizational behavior norms, performance standards and expectations.

d. Provide a safe employee input and feedback process that is understood by the employees and actioned by leaders.

Related: Great Leaders Do More Than Manage Expectations, They Align Them

2. People leading people

a. Create opportunities to connect with people. Intentionality is important. People want to be heard and acknowledged and know that you care about what they say. When leaders connect with their employees, they should actively listen for opportunities to understand better what their employees are telling them and why.

b. Create a culture where people feel safe when expressing their thoughts and opinions. There should never be a situation where a person using appropriate professional behaviors should feel their professional or social reputation is in jeopardy for offering input.

c. Create opportunities to break the silos. It is common practice to include only direct stakeholders when we build project teams or discuss setbacks. Often it is the same experts time and time again. Use projects and change management opportunities to hear new and different thoughts. Not only will you generate fresh ideas, but you will also build trust between your teams and the individual employees themselves.

Related: Is Employee Feedback Missing at Your Company? Here’s Why and How to Fix It.

3. People are leading organizations

These macro actions will take you toward your vision of the future.

a. Build team capacity through individual and team knowledge growth. Create opportunities for people to pursue their learning journey and learn as teams. Today, team learning is one of the most significant opportunities for organizations. Discussing setbacks and lessons learned across an entire organization will lead to solutions. Employees each bring tacit knowledge learned through years of experience. Why not make this a strategic advantage?

b. Develop knowledge networks. Knowledge is how we grow organizations in a meaningful and measured way. There are generically two types of knowledge networks. First is your internal network, where professionals inside your organization share and discuss lessons learned and emerging knowledge. The second and rarely used knowledge network is the external network. External knowledge networks accelerate your learning, save money by short-circuiting the iterative learning process and help you attract new talent.

c. Build a mental model change process. We build businesses based on operating assumptions. Ideally, you gather as much information as possible and then make decisions that drive your business. We rarely test those assumptions once a decision has been made. Often, we develop key performance indicators that measure the outcomes of our findings and take corrective actions when things go in the wrong direction. Because we don’t challenge our original assumptions, we end up with adjustments that never entirely solve our problems and may even cause new issues. Developing single and double-loop mental models will give you a framework to work through challenges.

Related: 3 Ways Change Leaders Prevent, Minimize and Manage (or Create) Resistance to Change

Leadership training is essential to build a resilient and sustainable business. A leadership framework supported by targeted and intentional training is imperative. So, before signing up for that leadership training program, please ensure it supports your leadership development framework.

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Entrepreneurship

5 Ways to Become a Better Public Speaker This Year

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The ability to speak publicly is a skill that everyone can use. From coaches to entrepreneurs and writers, anyone who wants to get out into the world to market what they do needs to be an effective speaker.

This article will discuss five ways to become a better public speaker — five methods for sharpening your raw talents to morph into a more effective communicator overall.

Related: This Is the One Thing You Need If You Want to Get Paid Speaking Gigs

1. Practice in different environments

This tip comes from an exercise that musicians sometimes use while practicing.

The idea is to see if you can replicate your performance no matter where you are. As a speaker, you will encounter all kinds of scenarios and audiences. You have surely had distractions around you, being in front of people with different interests, being under different lighting and noise conditions and more.

Practicing speaking in different environments will force you to get comfortable performing under all circumstances. Without the crutch of your favorite environment, you have to remember your lines and recall cues completely on your own.

Related: 4 Expert-Backed Strategies for Improving Your Communication Skills

2. Produce different kinds of ‘speaking’ content

Another tip for becoming a more well-rounded speaker is to produce a variety of speaking content. Speakers don’t always have to stand on a stage and talk to live audiences.

I create speaking content across many channels — from my website and blog to YouTube and my podcast series. I distribute audio and video recordings of my speeches to my clients and promote them on my social channels. I go live on Facebook and other platforms to speak directly to my audiences that way. You can do the same.

This variety isn’t by accident. Producing these different types of content in the digital space allows individuals to sharpen their speaking skills and reach larger audiences than they could in person.

3. Get active on audio platforms

Here’s a speaking tip that doesn’t involve performing as much as learning from what others are already doing: Get active on professional audio platforms such as Clubhouse and Twitter Spaces to meet with like-minded individuals and discuss relevant topics.

Doing this lets you compare notes with industry counterparts while working on your speaking skills. You will endeavor to communicate with other business leaders and coaches from around the world and all different walks of life.

Related: The Role of Effective Communication in Entrepreneurial Success

4. Take every opportunity to speak

Speak to a group at every available opportunity. I used to wonder how I could speak to an audience when the professional invitations dried up for a bit, and the answer was local service groups.

Toastmasters International, Rotary International, Lions Clubs International and the Freemasons are all great examples of the types of organizations that not only perform good works for their local communities but also welcome speakers and presenters to deliver valuable information to their members.

I find chapters of these groups in many cities and towns that I visit. Having these groups near me allows me to cut down on my travel time and simply makes it more convenient to continue practicing speaking skills while also putting my abilities to good use for my community.

Not only will this help you with your skills at public speaking, but it’s a rewarding experience as well.

5. Work with a speaking coach

Finally, every speaker-in-training could benefit from working with a speaking coach or mentor. These professionals provide their clients with professional tips and feedback on everything from the words they’re using to how they’re delivering them to audiences.

Some speakers wonder why they can’t just rely on their friends and families to provide them with honest feedback, and there are some good reasons for not doing that. Family and friends are kind, but that’s exactly the problem. Speakers need the unrelenting honesty of professional coaches if they truly want to leave their bad habits behind and become stronger.

I hired a professional speaking coach to improve my skills, and I can attest that it pays dividends every single day in my career.

Related: Leading Speaking Coach Shares His Strategies To Get A Flood Of Clients From Webinars And Virtual Presentations

Communication is everything to professionals

Whether it’s in the world of business, non-profits or coaching, speaking effectively is vital to success. Communication means everything to professionals, and those who can’t tell others what they do and what they’re about can’t expect to get their visions too far off the ground.

I followed these five actionable tips for becoming a better speaker, and I came out on the other side as a communicator that I never even thought possible. You will do the same.

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26% of U.S. Workers Would Rather Undergo a Root Canal Than Follow This Workplace Policy

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According to a recent survey conducted by job site Monster, more than one in four (26%) U.S. workers would rather undergo a root canal procedure than work in their offices five days a week. Additionally, nearly two in five (38%) workers said they would quit a job that required just one day onsite. These staggering statistics reveal a clear shift in workers’ attitudes towards the traditional office environment, and companies that fail to adapt to this change risk losing their most valuable asset: their employees.

As a highly experienced expert in the field of hybrid work, I talk with 5 to 10 leaders every week about how to make hybrid work serve their needs well. I ask them what their top concern is, and most say it’s hiring and retaining talented staff.

External surveys say the same thing, such as this recent survey by Vistage of the leaders of small and medium-sized businesses. It found that 60% of SME CEOs are planning to increase headcount in the year ahead, with only 7% planning on reducing headcount. According to Vistage Chief Research Officer Joe Galvin, this is a significant shift from the trend of big companies making headlines with layoffs, as small and medium business CEOs are reluctant to lay off their hard-won new employees. One key reason for this shift is the recognition that hiring challenges are impacting the ability of these businesses to operate at full capacity. With 61% of CEOs saying that hiring challenges are a major concern for their ability to operate effectively at full capacity.

Given this information, I confidently tell the leaders whom I advise that the future of work is in a flexible hybrid work model that allows for some full-time remote work. This model not only keeps workers happy and engaged, but it also has a positive impact on a company’s bottom line.

Related: You Should Let Your Team Decide Their Approach to Hybrid Work. A Behavioral Economist Explains Why and How You Should Do It.

Increased productivity and employee engagement

One of the most significant benefits of a flexible hybrid work model is increased productivity and employee engagement. Studies have shown that remote workers tend to work more efficiently and are less likely to experience burnout. A mid-size IT services company that I consulted for implemented a flexible working policy, and they saw a 20% increase in productivity among their remote workers.

Remote workers have the ability to create their own personalized work environment, which leads to an increase in productivity. They can work from a location that is most comfortable for them, whether that be their home, a coffee shop or a coworking space. This leads to a decrease in distractions and an increase in focus, resulting in a higher level of productivity.

Flexible working also has a positive impact on employee engagement. When employees have the ability to work in a way that suits them best, they are more likely to be engaged and motivated. This leads to a decrease in turnover, and an increase in employee loyalty and job satisfaction.

Access to a wider talent pool

A flexible hybrid work model also allows companies to tap into a wider talent pool. When companies are not limited by geographical location, they can attract and retain the best talent from all over the world. A large financial services company that I worked with had difficulty finding qualified candidates in their local area, but by implementing a flexible working policy, they were able to hire top talent from other parts of the country.

A flexible working policy also allows for a more diverse workforce, as it can attract candidates who may have previously been excluded due to geographical constraints. This diversity leads to new perspectives, ideas and innovation.

Cost savings on talent

Flexible working can also lead to significant cost savings for companies. A flexible hybrid work model reduces the need for office space, and it can also lead to a reduction in absenteeism and turnover. A retail company that I consulted for implemented a flexible working policy, and they saw a 30% reduction in absenteeism due to less workers taking sick days and a 20% reduction in turnover.

When employees have the ability to work from home, it leads to a reduction in absenteeism as they are less likely to be affected by things such as traffic, weather, or public transportation issues. This can also lead to a decrease in sick leave, and an increase in overall productivity.

Flexible working can also lead to a reduction in turnover, as employees are more likely to be satisfied and engaged in their work. This leads to a decrease in the cost of recruiting and training new employees.

Addressing cognitive biases

Cognitive biases can play a significant role in decision-making when it comes to flexible working. The status quo bias, for example, leads managers to resist change and stick to the traditional office environment. The sunk cost fallacy can also come into play, where managers may be reluctant to change the way things have always been done because they have invested so much time and resources into the current system. By being aware of these cognitive biases and actively working to overcome them, companies can make more informed and effective decisions about their working policies.

One way to overcome these biases is to gather data and conduct studies on the impact of flexible working on employee productivity, engagement, and turnover. This can provide concrete evidence to support the implementation of a flexible hybrid work model. Additionally, it is important for managers to actively seek out feedback from employees on their preferences for working arrangements and to consider their needs and concerns.

Implementing a flexible hybrid work model

Implementing a flexible hybrid work model can seem daunting, but with proper planning and communication, it can be done successfully. It is important to set clear guidelines and expectations for remote work, such as setting specific hours of availability and ensuring regular communication with team members.

It is also important to provide the necessary tools and resources for remote work, such as a reliable internet connection and a secure virtual communication platform. Providing training on hybrid work best practices and technology can also help to ensure a smooth transition, as can hiring a hybrid work consultant to guide your transition.

Related: Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff Is Right. New Employees Are Less Productive in a Hybrid Work Setting — But Why?

Conclusion

The shift in workers’ attitudes toward the traditional office environment is undeniable. Companies that fail to adapt to this change risk losing their most valuable asset: their employees. A flexible hybrid work model that allows for some full-time remote work is the future for anyone who cares about worker retention, increased productivity, access to a wider talent pool, cost savings, and overcoming cognitive biases. The time for companies to implement this model is now. As a leader of a company, it’s important to recognize that the traditional office model may no longer be the best option for your employees or your business. By embracing a flexible hybrid work model, you can retain top talent, increase productivity and save costs. The future of work is here, and companies that adapt will be well-positioned for success.

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Google Worker Laid Off While On Leave Caring For Sick Mom

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One person who was laid off from Google in the company’s wave of staff cuts last week says he was on a leave from work taking care of his mother who is terminally ill with cancer.


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Google offices in New York City.

Paul Baker was on leave for about a month when he received an email letting him know the company was laying him off, along with around 12,000 others, he told Insider.

“While on carer’s leave for my immediate family member’s terminal cancer, I too was laid off. After the initial shock, it morphed into sadness because I miss the people,” he also wrote on LinkedIn.

Related: More Than 1,600 Tech Workers Are Being Laid Off A Day On Average In 2023, According to a New Report

On Jan. 20, Google’s CEO Sundar Pichai sent a note to employees taking responsibility for hiring “for a different economic reality than the one we face today.”

Baker told Insider that he was on leave and was told by a friend about the layoffs, then found his work laptop had been “cut off,” the outlet wrote.

He was a video producer at Google, according to his LinkedIn, and had been at the company since 2018. Baker told Insider he was feeling “shock and sadness.” The outlet said it verified the leave period as well as his severance email and prior employment with Google.

Related: In a Viral TikTok, An Ex-YouTube Employee Talks About Getting Laid Off During a Business Trip

“I’ll truly miss it,” he said.

Baker also told the outlet he has not received information about how his severance package would be affected by the fact that he was on career leave to care for his mom.

Pichai said in the memo the company will provide “six months of healthcare, job placement services and immigration support for those affected.”

Still, he told Insider he would love to go back to the company.

“If there’s ever a Google position open for another video producer position, I would take it in a heartbeat,” he said.

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