Are You a Good Manager?

There are generally so many working parts to an organization that it can be difficult to pinpoint what exactly is going wrong when morale is down, employees jump ship or business suffers. When these things happen, one of the first places to look toward should be management.

Management, unlike leadership, has a rigor associated with it. While leadership, on the other hand has a more amorphous quality. Perhaps one of the most important aspects of management is accountabilities—being accountable for the outputs of those who work directly for them. And being a good manager means taking such accountabilities very seriously.

Of course different managers have different management styles. That we can all agree on. But we may not agree on what it is that makes a manager good or bad at managing.

Whether it is a Fortune 500 company or a small start up, bad management is bad management. And, bad management impacts everyone and everything in an organization. It is entirely possible for a large, multi-tiered company to experience dissatisfaction and turnover among its ranks or a financial slowdown, while that start up is cruising happily toward success—and with a happy staff. But it can certainly be the reverse as well.

All types of organizations, big and small, have their share of both good and bad managers. Where do you fit in?

A demanding job—which many of us have—can be both frustrating and fulfilling. The frustrating part might come into play when you have less control over your own actions, how you do your work and what you do to fulfill your responsibilities. Inevitably this causes stress; and stress can lead to exhaustion, anxiety, and even depression.

This is where a good manager comes in offering perhaps a different perspective, support and/or autonomy. A good manager is one who understands what helps vs. what hurts employees. Meanwhile a bad manager is what stands between happy and productive employees, lower turnover and business success.

What other accountabilities do you think managers have? What quality to do you find important in a good manager?

Stand Up & Lead

Martin Luther King was the epitome of true leader, a great leader. A driving force behind (and in front of) the civil rights movement, Dr. King’s legacy extends far beyond the fight for racial equality and human rights. Dr. King showed the world that you can indeed stand up in peaceful protest with tremendous impact. The effects of his leadership will continue to be felt for generations to come.

This weekend, people are gathering throughout the United States for the second Women’s March. Women everywhere galvanized since the election of our current president; the many accusations of sexual harassment and violence led to the #metoo movement; and the actions of singer R Kelly has caused advoceds to rise with #MuteRKelly and such movements.

Leaders emerged. Leaders have and continue to emerge in response to so many important issues. The young survivors of the Parkland High School shooting are now outspoken advocates on gun control; new leaders have come out in response to the immigration injustices; new environmental leaders are stepping up to help our planet. I can go on and on. People today are really energized by what they believe in. Strong new leaders are emerging to step into their own leadership.

If asked, I am sure we could all name leaders we greatly admire—civil rights leaders like Dr. King, activists, former presidents, community leaders, business leaders, spiritual leaders, and so on—all of whom have different passions, leadership styles, priorities, etc. It seems during this tumultuous period of American life that we are in, new leaders emerge in all sorts of capacities, for a myriad of reasons and from communities all across our great country.

Just as life and social changing movements require great leaders, so too does business. Without strong managerial leadership, a business will certainly struggle.

What leader has impacted you? What are you doing to stand up and be a great leader?

Indeed we all have a lot to think about and reflect upon this long weekend.

Do Ritual!

We are 11 days into the New Year and I like many of you I just finished the first full work week. Last week I shared with you a challenge I was given and also talked about some new behaviors I am incorporating into my life. I am consciously designing my daily experience. This got me thinking about ritual.

Late last spring, I was meeting with someone in Chelsea. In an effort to waste some time I went into a store called Ritual. At first I wasn’t sure what type of store it was, but what had caught my eye were some clothes. I walked into a store that was calm, beautiful and comfortable--an oasis from the hustle and bustle moving outside on the street. After making a small purchase I left. The experience lingered with me and when asked what I wanted for Christmas, I mentioned Ritual.

I received a beautiful “deluxe” box of their products. Products of Ritual.

The concept of ritual got me thinking. More often than not we all are extremely busy. Each of having many demands on us simultaneously. We get caught up in doing. We lose a sense of being grounded, often feeling untethered to ourselves. In fact, I've just had a day like that myself--energetically disconnected with my body, mind and spirit.

What if we spent a few minutes throughout the day tuning into ourselves? Checking in to see if we are grounded in that moment. By grounded I mean are we actually in touch with all of ourselves, our bodies in particular. Each of us has the ability to create a simple ritual which can make all the difference in our lives.

Those of you who have read my white paper, know that self-care is one of the four elements essential to transforming a person’s effectiveness, experience and happiness at work. I have come to appreciate more deeply the fact that creating little rituals throughout the day is a wonderful way to keep oneself in the present. It can be as simple as having an aroma candle lit while you do deep some pondering on an issue, or setting an alarm every few hours to remind yourself to take 5 deep breaths or get up from your chair and gaze out the window. I know it sounds a bit corny but it does work. If you are interested in learning more about the four elements mentioned above, reach out to me on my Contact Us page to receive you own copy.

Remembering

Today is the anniversary of the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Prior to September 11th, 2001, this was the day of the most deaths of Americans on our own soil. An official day of remembering, we honor lives lost and families who lost loved ones. This week the country also mourns the death of our 41st president, George H.W. Bush. The news of his death was broadcast late last Friday evening, and the entire weekend and past week was subsequently characterized by reflection, looking back on his life and legacy. Not a political “junkie,” this past week I learned a lot about “41” as I heard all about his life of service, his accomplishments and the values that shaped his legacy and our country.

While we all may not agree with many of President Bush’s policies, we can look back on a leader who cared deeply about his country, and understood the importance of compromise, coalition-building and respect. Some of the words and phrases that stand out for me during this week’s coverage, include: Youngest pilot in the Navy; Flew 58 combat missions; Shot down and rescued by a submarine; Married 73 years; Lost a daughter, Robin at age 3 to leukemia. President Bush experienced many losses--runs for Senate, the presidential nomination in 1980, and a second term as President in 1992. A class act, his niceness was interpreted by many as weakness.Yet he was a man of toughness, fiber, courage, prudence, character and faith. He simply was not afraid to show tears or tenderness. The last of the “greatest generation,” he served the country with ideals, and he strove for a kinder, gentler nation.

It’s the holiday season. For Catholics, it is Advent, a time of darkness and anticipation of the coming of our Saviour’s birth. A new year on the liturgical calendar. It is a time of watching, waiting and preparation; quite different from the frenzy of shopping, gift giving and partying. It is a time to prepare for what is to come.

I may be going out on a limb here, but I’ve decided to use remembering as the backdrop, to ask you to reflect on your own new year, your values and behavior. How do you live each day? How do you go about managing your employees? Are you teaching your children values in your actions as well as your words? How will you be remembered? Please ponder and reflect on these questions and If you feel comfortable enough, please share with me.

The Key to Conflict-Free...

Thanksgiving is upon us—a time for giving thanks and a time for family gatherings. As we get ready to gather ‘round the table, lets pause and see that we can indeed have a nice, relaxing and conflict-free holiday.

Think of it like this… Do you realize how your actions impact those around you? Or perhaps how it is that you are impacted by the actions of others?

We’re all guilty at least sometimes—of just sort of doing our own thing and not realizing the impact we may be having on our colleagues, our friends and even on our family. But what if we did realize it…

Realizing it, being aware of ourselves and our behavior, and our impact on others—that’s all a part of your emotional intelligence. And this is just the tip of the EI iceberg.

Not only can emotional intelligence help you enjoy a conflict-free holiday but it will also help you be more successful in meeting your goals, bringing in more revenue and improving your standing in business overall.

Being vs. Doing

It sure seems as though many Americans heeded the call to exercise their right to vote this week. As election results continue to roll in, we see that as a people we are indeed getting in touch with ourselves, who we are and what it is we stand for. So many brave individuals around our country have stood up, put themselves on the line and their name on the ballot, at every level of government. I don’t know about you, but it makes me feel very proud to be a part of this deep-rooted foundational process of American life. I also feel a strong inner sense of having just taken control of my life and my place in our collective American life. How about you?

It is easy to fall into a regular state of doing-ness rather than being-ness. In other words, going about your daily work and social/family responsibilities without giving much thought to what you are doing and what those around you are doing and feeling. For many, the elections gave us pause. We were forced to consider the interplay of issues, change, demographics, people, money, health care, etc. Much to ponder and so much to consider. Forced to reflect, we found ourselves in a state of BEing.

I have a suggestion... Why not take this concept of BEing-ness, and taking pause and carry it into your daily routines. Today’s corporations and workplaces really could use more managers and workers who can marry the two—doing and being as a continuum. Give it a try. See if you can get yourself out of a constant state of doing and infuse a state of being. You’ll be glad you did in the end, and so will your business.

By the way, Bova Enterprises can help you with this.

Take some time this weekend to think about how much you are making conscious choices and being in the present vs. being in that state of doing. Let me know how you make out.

VOTE

It’s time. The mid-term elections are firmly upon us now, and early voting has begun in many states. In last week’s blog, I talked about how it is we come to making our decisions, and now here we all are—faced with some very big decision-making.

Voting.

I hope you are planning to vote. The fate of our democracy depends on it. It depends on your vote, on my vote, on everyone’s vote. As citizens of this great country, it is our civic obligation to figure out who we are, what we believe in and what we stand for. Then it is our more important obligation to cast our votes accordingly. To creatively paraphrase Winston Churchill, a country's greatest asset is an informed citizenry.

Sadly there are millions of people around the world who would die for the right to vote, yet we here in the United States seem to almost take the opportunity for granted. Year in and year out, our elections result in low voter turnout.

Just like in a strong business, democracy thrives with greater participation. When your business’ staff is actively engaged they share ideas, they solve problems, they succeed. Then, what are you left with? A thriving business. Simillarly, when citizens thoughtfully and actively participate and let their voices be known, what have we got? A true and flourishing democracy.

So please, whatever it is you stand for and wherever you may fall on the political spectrum, I sincerely hope you take some time out of your busy schedule to make your big decisions and cast your vote.

What’s Stifling Your Innovation?

I think we can all agree that innovation is vitally important to the success of most any business, especially now with so many disruptions in business.

Keeping up with changing times, a changing market and keeping fresh ideas flowing—all are necessary, and all are not always so easy. Yet if a business is not doing these things, it can’t really succeed.

First and foremost, what exactly is innovation? Innovation is the actual process of bringing those fresh, new ideas to fruition. This simple sentence almost makes it seem easy. So what could it be that is stifling you and your business?

Perhaps you have what has been a successful business over the years. Or, maybe you manage one. What do you need to be sure your company remains innovative? Sure, you need ideas, but you also need a solid team to come up with those ideas, to work through those ideas, to execute those ideas. You get the… Idea.

The truth is there can be many reasons why your innovation seems to be stifled. However, one of the first places to look for your answer should be with your team. Start by asking yourself some questions…

  • Are you empowering your team?

  • Do you trust your team?

  • Do you consent for your team to delve into new ideas and be creative?

  • Are you inspiring your team?

  • Are you open and transparent with your team?

Do you allow for change—with your market, with your product, most importantly with your team? Let me know what you come up with. Bova Enterprises can help.

Have any of my comments evoked something in you? What is your thinking on this topic? Sharing your reflections helps all of us to grow and expand our thinking. Comments can be left here or on the Contact Rosemary page.

Is There Ever a Wrong Time?

There’s this one question I am asked quite often—When is the right time to hire a consultant or a coach to help me in getting my company from point A to point B?

I hear this from executives of large, well-established firms, small business owners and even from those just getting started. My very short answer is, while the answer may be a bit different for different sized organizations, there’s really never a wrong time. But obviously there’s a lot more detail behind all this.

Whether you’re working within a large, multifaceted organization or a small business, you have the same bottom line goals in mind—success and profit. However, getting from point A to point B differs greatly. Therefore the help and expertise an organization needs differs greatly as well.

Large companies tend to be complex and with lots of working parts. Often, large companies have expertise in-house but often appreciate augmenting such with a very different point of view, with someone not steeped in the particular workplace. Sometimes, in-house experts and staff are too closely embroiled in the issues at stake and the only true solution is hiring an outside, unbiased expert who’ll bring fresh innovation to the table.

Smaller organizations generally don’t have in-house expertise on hand and are more likely to require outside guidance to help fuel and/or sustain progress. Often during periods of growth, such companies need significant work done around workplace culture, group and individual mindsets, vision, etc. All of this is necessary when trying to achieve alignment across your organization. And of course, alignment is necessary when trying to achieve growth and success.

Even smaller companies—the one or two man/woman show or the start-up—often seek us out as a coach and sounding board to help be effective in their endeavors, to set a solid foundation for growth and to avoid pitfalls down the road.

At Bova Enterprises, we customize our approach to meet the specific needs of our clients. One size certainly does not, nor should not fit all. We work both long- and short-term depending on the issues at hand. And many times, we become a regular advisor (akin to legal or financial advisors) and really get to dig in deep in an on-going fashion. Of course depending on the type of client or service needed, we also bring a richness and depth of expertise via a wide cadre of senior associates to solve problems, identify solutions and much more.

Reach out and see how Bova Enterprises can bring you from point A to point B, and then some.

Unearthing Trust

Deadly workplace shootings, natural disasters with massive human suffering, food contamination scares making people gravely ill, shark attacks—once rare and nearly unheard, all of these events are now pretty commonplace for most of us. All the while we also find ourselves wondering which public leaders are truly fit to serve us, and who can we trust to lead our country and our communities.

I don’t know about you, but I find this to be a lot to think about. I also find that all of this leads me to think about the concept of trust, and how very fundamentally important it is to individual wellbeing.

We, both as individuals and as communities and as a nation are suffering the effects living with a general lack of trust, and more so with a more global loss of trust in our business relationships, our governing bodies, our financial, religious and other global institutions and even our personal relationships. Of course some of my previous blogs have addressed the diminishing lack of trust workers have for their employers. Workplace trust has long been an issue in need of addressing.

The issues confronting the world are monumental. Meanwhile the chasm between words/actions and deeds is widening.

So what is the answer to all of this?

The answer has to lie within each one of us. Perhaps if we each take responsibility for trust, we can get to the important task of identifying some much needed solutions.

We need to spend time unearthing who we are. All too often I've noticed that a disconnect exists between who people believe they are, and how they actually behave. People are running as fast as they can to keep up with life, and they don't realize they are losing their soul in the process. Can they truly trust who they are? Taking the time to slow down and reflect on our own behavior is essential. We need to account for our own actions and begin to develop a trusting outlook for ourselves. We need to then bring this attitude and associated behaviors into our relationships and into our workplace.

Individually, we need to do our part in addressing the issues before us. If we all do our own little (or big!) part, perhaps we can once again trust in ourselves, trust in others, trust in our institutions and governing bodies and finally ignite the spirit of the American Dream.

Holding On & Letting Go

Out of the roughly 326 million people in US, 128 million are now under 18 years. This means that they were not born when the terror attacks occurred. While there is no question we must continue to remember and honor that tragic day, it is also important that we do not get weighed down and stuck in morbidity about it. The new memorial park in Shanksville, PA where Flight 93 went down honors the spot as sacred ground with a tower and wind chimes, sending beautiful sound vibrations across the meadows and hills. Indeed it is important and vastly meaningful to feel and acknowledge. Yet, no matter how difficult, it is also critical that we don't get stuck in those feelings.

Fear is a powerful feeling.

Many people live in fear on a daily basis. And I don't necessarily mean fear related to September 11th or such horrific events. Rather, people far too regularly fear such matters as conflict at work, losing their job, being passed over for that big promotion, not saving enough for retirement, the list could go on and on.

How can you work around these fears? More so, how can you overcome them? Give me a call--I can help.