How the Best Leaders Find Success With Limited Time

Organizations today seem to be on a mission to get more out of less. The best example of this is fewer employees with more responsibility. Often this ends up with a role I call the “two-way” leader. Not only do they have to perform their own job function but they are also responsible for managing a team of people.

If you find yourself in the role of a “two-way” leader the best advice I have for you is to stop striving to be balanced. It is impossible to split your time 50/50 between your two jobs. Instead, make the leadership of other people a priority. Learn more from my LinkedIn video.

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About the Author John Eades is the CEO of LearnLoft, a leadership development company which exists to turn managers into leaders and create healthier places to work. John was named one of LinkedIn’s 2017 Top Voices in Management & Workplace and was awarded the 2017 Readership Award by Training Industry.com. John is also the author the upcoming book Building the Best: 8 Proven Leadership Principles to Elevate Others to Successand host of the “Follow My Lead” Podcast, a show that transfers stories and best practices from today’s leaders to the leaders of tomorrow. You follow him on instagram @johngeades.

5 Brilliant Lessons from the Top Companies to Work For in 2018

Everybody loves a top 50 list. It could be dog breeds, the best cities to live in, highest rated CEO’s or in this case the Top Companies to work for in 2018. I love LinkedIn’s annual list of the Top Companies in the US  to Work For in 2018 because it’s based on actual actions of over 146 million US Professionals.

The actions are looked at in four main pillars; interest in the company, engagement with the company’s employees, job demand and employee retention.

Regardless if your company made the list or not there are brilliant lessons to learn from those who did.  Here are five lessons that rise above the rest and how you should think about them in your own company.

1. Culture Matters

Netflix CEO Reed Hastings doesn’t take culture lightly. The company produced a new corporate culture manifesto to document and provide clarity about the high level of standards and expectations at Netflix. “Our version of the great workplace is a dream team in pursuit of ambitious common goals, for which we spend heavily.”

Netflix is on an obvious rocketship as it relates to growth, but the main reason for this is their focus on culture. While most start-ups focus on the fluffy and soft culture, Netflix has done the opposite.  They know how important culture is to the success of their organization and their executives don’t leave it up to chance.

Every company should be measuring culture and have a mechanism to communicate and reinforce it across the organization.

2. Invest in the Root, Not the Fruit

JP Morgan Chase, the biggest bank in the U.S., has delivered record results the last eight years and their CEO Jamie Dimon attributes the company’s success to key investments in “people, systems, and products.”

Most companies focus on the products but Dimon knows it’s people and the systems those people plug into, are what helps JPMorgan Chase create, innovate, and evolve products that best fit their clients.

By investing in people and infrastructure you invest in the root (people and systems) of the business which ultimately produces the fruit (results.)

3. Be in Alignment with Employee Pains

Live Nation matches employees’ student loan contributions up to $1,200 a year, maxing out at $6,000. Live Nation’s head of HR Nadia Rawlingson told USA Today that perks like this matter more than “cool stuff” like free food: “We want to make sure we’re doing things that are substantive.

Student debt isn’t just a buzz word in our political system, it’s a real challenge facing many young professionals. Being in alignment with the pains and concerns of employees is one of the best ways to retain great talent and to attract new talent.

Regardless if your organization has the financial means to do what Live Nation is doing, the takeaway is to be in alignment with your employee’s pains and create ways to help alleviate them.

4. Forget the Diploma

It’s no surprise the 32-year-old CEO of Box, Aaron Levie, has emerged as one of the first major corporations to stop looking at four-year degrees. The company is focusing more on skills instead of diplomas. Box updated its job descriptions to only include qualifications that are necessary to be successful in the role. Having relevant skills is a “must-have;” graduating from a university is not.

While this one is somewhat controversial, it’s the future.  If someone has the technical and the “hard” skills (leadership, teamwork, etc.) to do the job, a piece of paper shouldn’t hold any company back from making them a part of the team.

5. Develop People

Ev Williams the original founder of Twitter spoke recently on the Masters of Scale podcast about the challenges he faced early on at the company and most of them revolved around the skills he lacked in leading people. Fast forward 10+ years and it’s no surprise to see the current CEO Jack Dorsey and his team have a serious commitment to the development of people.

A senior engineering manager who recently joined the company wrote that “Twitter’s invested over 60 hours in my development.”

Investing in people is no longer a nice to have, it’s a requirement to winning in today’s marketplace.

 

Elite Culture Survey The survey enables an organization to better understand its team members and establish a direction for cultural change in order to move towards creating an elite culture take the free survey here.

Want to run the culture survey for your organization or team?  Find out more here.

About the AuthorJohn Eades is the CEO of LearnLoft, a full-service organizational health company focused on improving culture and developing modern leaders. John was named one of LinkedIn’s 2017 Top Voices in Management & Workplace and was awarded the 2017 Readership Award by Training Industry.com. John is also the host of the “Follow My Lead” Podcast, a show that transfers stories and best practices from today’s leaders to the leaders of tomorrow and a new video-based show called “Today I Begin.” He is also the author of FML: Standing Out and Being a Leader and the upcoming book “The Welder Leader.”

Why You MUST Stop Following Your Bad Boss

At some point in our careers, we’re all guilty of settling for a bad boss. Deep down, we knew we weren’t growing or moving forward because of this person, but why did we stay? Or rather, why didn’t we leave sooner?

There are at least two reason I can attribute:

The “Golden Handcuffs” Predicament

There is no denying most of us adapt our lifestyle to the amount of money we make.  So when I ask the question, “what do you want to do next” and the answer is “make more money” I know no matter what they do “more” will never be enough.

The “I Can’t Do Anything Else” Lie

Otherwise known as fear. “I just don’t know what else I can do, I don’t have this degree/experience. I am stuck.” These excuses are utterly blasphemous.  Some of the most successful people of all time switched careers or jobs at later stages in their lives.

  • Reid Hoffman, the Founder of LinkedIn, didn’t start the company until he was 35.
  • Abraham Lincoln didn’t win his first election until he was 51 and it was for the Presidency of the United States.
  • Colonel Sanders, the Founder of KFC, didn’t start the business until he was 65.

Clearly, age and experience don’t always dictate future success. This is precisely why you must stop following a bad boss. Change starts when you believe that you are good enough and capable of adding value in other ways than working for a bad boss.

Life is too short to work for a bad boss. I don’t care what company you work for or how much money you make, ask yourself, “Am I becoming a better version of myself working under this person?”  If the answer is “no,” it’s time for you to scrap the bad boss. Here are a couple things to you can do to move forward:

Be Willing to Take Risk

Just this week, on the Follow My Lead Podcast, Peter Browning furthered his definition of leadership to be: “the capacity to elicit the wIlling collaboration of others over a sustainable period of time towards a worthwhile goal.”

But he didn’t stop there. He said the biggest breaks in his professional career came from being willing to take risk when opportunity came along. We have a tendency to couple risk with entrepreneurship, but you can be a risk-taker within any organization. Be open and seek opportunities that have risk associated with them. Perhaps there’s a new position being created or new division?

Seek Mentors Outside Your Current Field

Finding mentors that aren’t in your field can be a powerful way network, learn, and seek guidance from when making big life decisions.  In my experience, people are more than willing to help someone that is sincere and respectful of their time.

Align Yourself Internally with Other Leaders

Aligning with leaders internally who will pull you up and look out for your best interest. I call this managing up. It’s something emerging leaders do well.  Sometimes this means finding leaders in other departments and going out of your way to help or add value to them to create a relationship.

Begin a Side Project this Weekend

John Grisham began writing on the weekend and at night to scratch an itch. He never really planned on making his living being an author, but one thing led to another and now he has written over 25 best-selling books. Often, when we start doing things we are passionate about. we end up meeting others that share the same passion and opportunities present themselves.

If you’re working for a less-than stellar boss, it’s time for a change. Keep in mind a quote I saw from Bob Goff this week: “Don’t do things that work, do things that last.” Do something today that will move you towards doing things that last.

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John Eades is the CEO of LearnLoft and Host of the Follow My Lead Podcast. He is passionate about the development of people. He writes, and speaks about modern leadership and learning techniques. You can find him on instagram @johngeades.