The Future of Work With Jacob Morgan

Leaders need to become lighthouses.

Why?

A lighthouse is something that shines light into a sea of uncertainty. It guides other people so they don’t hit rocks and can find their way back home.

But as a lighthouse, you need to remember that without ships in the water, you're not very valuable.

It means you should always guide other people. You have to take other people along on this journey with you.

If you only focus on yourself and become a wonderful lighthouse but don't have any ships in the water, then what’s the point?

This episode is brought to you by my friends at ServiceNow, a software company that makes the world of work, work better for people by delivering digital workflows that create great employee experiences, and unlock productivity. If you or your company is looking to transform old, manual ways of working into digital workflows, then you need ServiceNow. They are trusted by over 6,200 enterprises customers, Check them out here.

Direct download: 4._Leaders_Are_Lighthouses.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 12:17am PDT

Laurent Therivel is the CEO of UScellular, the fourth largest wireless carrier in the United States with 5,000 employees across 23 states. Previously he spent 12 years at AT&T where he most recently served as CEO of AT&T Mexico leading 18,000 people.

Becoming the CEO of a company during a pandemic comes with a unique set of problems. A role that usually requires a lot of face to face interaction with employees, customers, and vendors has been mostly limited to phone calls and online meetings.

Laurent joined UScellular as their CEO in July of 2020. He says he’s had to heavily rely on data and analytics to see how their services are working for customers across the country, and that’s been difficult. Usually he would prefer to interact more to get a better feel for how things are going.

This past year there has been a fundamental shift in the way we live and work and Laurent believes that this shift has allowed us to take trends that would have taken 10 years or so and accelerated them to be accomplished in a couple of months. Laurent shares that he feels he has been able to be more efficient in his role due to technology. Now instead of having to travel across the country to visit with his team he can do it all from his computer at home. He has also been able to meet with smaller groups inside the company for Q&As and discussions, which is much easier than meeting with a huge group every time he shows up at a location.

So while this move was challenging for Laurent, he also has seen the silver linings and the positive impacts as well.

What to do if you aren’t happy with your job or your company

Most of us have had a time in our careers where we just aren’t sure if the role we have or the company we work for is the right fit. A time when you just don’t know what you really want to do in life.

For people going through this right now Laurent gives two pieces of advice. First of all, he says, you have to do your homework. It is important to carefully distinguish the difference between a company and a role. What about your current situation do you not like? Do you and your boss not have a good working relationship? Does your skill set not match up with the work you are doing? What is it that is making you feel unhappy?

Figuring this out can help you decide what to do. If it is a problem with your boss, maybe you can sit down and have a discussion with them to fix that relationship. If you don’t like the actual work you are doing or it doesn’t match up to your skillset, maybe there is another role for you inside the organization that could be better.

Laurent believes people are too quick to say the company itself is not a good fit, but usually it is their role or a relationship with a boss or coworker. Really look deep at why you are feeling unhappy.

He also says that people need to figure out what their worth is externally. There are two problems that come along with not accurately evaluating your external worth.

A lot of times people feel stuck in a role because they limit themselves. Laurent says, “They remain stuck, when they could be doing something much more exciting and much more interesting and a much better fit with their skills. But because they don't believe in themselves and because they haven't taken the time to find their worth externally, they don't take the leap.”

Other people over value their external worth. They may think they are doing exceptional work, and that they are really making an impact, but that may not be the case. So they come into work and complain, and they feel underpaid and undervalued, but really they are the ones not rising to their full potential. You really have to do your homework and be honest with yourself to figure out your external work and what your performance really looks like.

Laurent’s advice for leaders who feel they are not progressing in a company

For mid-level leaders who feel that there aren’t any opportunities inside of their organization to progress or rise up through the ranks Laurent shares his advice. He says this is a common scenario, there are a lot of leaders going through this. For this situation he says leaders have to be willing to develop their skill set laterally.

He says, “Too often people say I feel stuck, I feel stagnant. And then you say, Okay, well, are you willing to move geographically? No, no, no, my family's here, you know, I can't move. Okay. Do you want to try a different role? Do you want to move laterally in the organization and try and build your skill set somewhere else? Well, no, I don't really want to do that. I think I'm good at accounting, or I'm good at logistics, or whatever it is, they're good at sales. Okay, so if that's the case, really what you're doing is you're waiting for your boss to retire or die, right? If that doesn't happen, then you don't know where to go.”

You have to be open to lateral moves if moving up the rank isn’t a possibility at the moment. Don’t be the one to limit yourself. Laurent also stresses the importance of having open and honest conversations with your loved ones so you know the right decisions to make in your career. Don’t assume the reaction your spouse, significant other, or kids will have to a career choice. You never know until you talk with them.

Advice for senior leaders who are burned out or bored

People at any level of leadership tend to place limits on themselves. It is fairly common to hear senior leaders talk about how they feel burned out or bored with their role, but Laurent says a lot of times this is because they have limited themselves for one reason or another.

Feeling bored or burned out may signal that it is time to try something else, but it can be hard to leave a role for various reasons. Sometimes senior leaders may have become used to living a certain way financially, so they stop themselves from pursuing their passions because it may not provide the same level of financial security.

As Laurent says, “I find that that a lot of times, senior leaders in their career aren't willing to really make the difficult move, because they've convinced themselves that they have a lot less flexibility, a lot less optionality than they really do. Which is sad, because if you think about all of the hard work that you've put in, it should be to go create optionality later in your life, right? You should have the ability to go teach classes or be a mezcal importer, by the way, is what I want to do when I retire. So I think some of it has to do with, again, going back and having those conversations to make sure you know how much optionality that you really do have.”

Figure out how much risk you are willing to take as well as what you truly value in life to decide where to go when you feel this way.

How Laurent makes difficult decisions

When it comes to making tough decisions Laurent says he uses a combination of analytics and advice. He doesn’t just go with a gut feeling. It’s all about taking a step back and looking at the issue impartially. Emotions do play a part in making decisions, but in this first step Laurent tries to separate emotions.

It is also important, Laurent shares, to have a healthy dose of humility. “Everybody thinks that the problem that they're facing is unique and has never before occurred in this universe. And chances are, it's occurred hundreds of times. And so if you can develop a trusted set of friends, a trusted set of advisors, trusted set of mentors, that helps. And if nothing else, you know, there's one thing that people like talking more about than anything, which is themselves. And so we find people that have faced a problem like this and just reach out to them and say, hey, how did you think through this, and I think having the humility to do that, is, is critical to making an informed decision.”

Leaders also need to be able to admit when they may not be the best person to make the decision. Laurent says there are times when he is not the best person to make decisions. He only wants to be involved in decisions if, and only if, he can add value.

“Most people, I think, would have an image that a CEO is making 10 decisions a day. And I think if that's the case, you're probably a little bit out of whack, and probably your team doesn't feel very empowered, either.”

This episode is brought to you by my friends at ServiceNow, a software company that makes the world of work, work better for people by delivering digital workflows that create great employee experiences, and unlock productivity. If you or your company is looking to transform old, manual ways of working into digital workflows, then you need ServiceNow. They are trusted by over 6,200 enterprises customers, Check them out here.

Direct download: Audio_-_Laurent_Therivel_-_Ready.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 12:50am PDT

Whether you are a leader or an employee, self-awareness is extremely important.

One of the best ways to be externally self-aware is to be open to feedback.

There are 3 ways you can get better feedback:

  • Ask for it. Have a conversation with your leader or manager about what the feedback process looks like. Have open communication and set up the parameters around what the feedback will look like.
  • Internalize the feedback you get. A lot of times when we get feedback, we take it personally and get defensive. Instead, internalize the feedback, absorb the information, and use it as an opportunity to learn and grow and apply the things you’re given.
  • Focus on the effort, not just the end result. Don't discard the journey. Reward yourself for what it took to become self-aware instead of focusing only on the end result.

 

This episode is brought to you by my friends at ServiceNow, a software company that makes the world of work, work better for people by delivering digital workflows that create great employee experiences, and unlock productivity. If you or your company is looking to transform old, manual ways of working into digital workflows, then you need ServiceNow. They are trusted by over 6,200 enterprises customers, Check them out here.

 

Direct download: 3._What_You_Can_Do_to_Get_Better_Feedback.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 12:44am PDT

Mark Lashier is the CEO of CPChem, a company that produces petrochemicals and plastics with 5,000 employees around the world. 50% of the company is owned by Chevron and 50% is owned by Phillips Petroleum. Mark has served in leadership roles at Chevron Phillips Chemical and Phillips Petroleum for three decades.

With the challenges that we have all had to face over this past year, we have seen organizations and leaders make changes to adapt to our new way of work and life. Mark Lashier, CEO of CPChem, says that all of the events of 2020 reinforced some of the basic principles he has always believed in.

Ever since Mark first became CEO in 2017 he has focused on trust, transparency, and simplicity. And while those values are important at any point in time, they were even more crucial throughout 2020.

In order to carry on with business Mark knew that his employees and his customers had to trust him and each other, he knew he had to be open and transparent with everyone to keep them up to date, and he had to remove red tape and bureaucracy so people could do their jobs.

Bringing trust, transparency, and simplicity to life 

Any company can have great values or mission statements in place, but if they aren’t brought to life inside of the company the words don’t matter. Mark shares how trust, transparency, and simplicity live and breath inside of CPChem.

He says that first of all it is important that all leaders inside of CPChem demonstrate these behaviors. So these become guidelines for hiring and promoting people to leadership positions.

The other crucial component of bringing these values to life is giving employees permission to hold the leaders accountable for these behaviors.

Mark says, “When you've got employees that maybe in the past were afraid to speak up for whatever reason, now they're not afraid to hold top leadership accountable for the things that we're saying. And I think that's an incredibly beautiful thing. And that is just self reinforcing. It makes us so much more effective in getting out messaging, we're trying to continue to move our culture to a better and better place.”

The most important lesson Mark has learned from others

Over the years Mark has received a lot of advice from leaders around him. Some of the key advice he has been given has been around leading with integrity and doing what you say you’re going to do. Also it has been around humility and leading in a way that puts the interests of others above your own.

Mark shares that the most important lesson he has learned from others is “The more you advance in your career, the less it's about what you do. And it's more about what other people do, what you can help them do and the barriers you can remove to help them be successful and engaged.”

The shift we are seeing in the CEO role

In the past the way we viewed CEOs was almost as a celebrity--someone who is unapproachable, who sits up in an ivory tower and makes decisions. They usually spent most of their time traveling or in their office, so most employees didn’t see their CEO face to face even after working for the company for years.

Now we are seeing a move away from this type of CEO and we are seeing CEOs spending a lot more time in front of employees, they are more approachable, some have open door policies, they are open and transparent about their lives and struggles. So why is this change happening?

Mark believes it is largely due to technology and communication. He says there is so much more opportunity these days for CEOs to be visible than in the past. It is now possible for CEOs to create short videos to share with employees or to write monthly newsletters or to do virtual town hall meetings. That wasn’t possible in the past.

As Mark shares, “there just was a lot more bureaucracy around in leadership in those days. And so it could behave more like a cult of personality, than anything else. And it just created an atmosphere where I think CEOs were more revered than respected. And they just didn't have the ability to reach out through all of that all those layers of protection to connect with people. And I don't think I would have thrived as a CEO, or perhaps even had the opportunity to be a CEO in that environment. But I certainly enjoy this environment much more.”

The importance of leaders thinking beyond dollars and cents

There used to be a mentality that the main purpose of a business and all of the leaders in it was to make as much money as possible. But now there is a realization that it’s not just about making a profit, it’s about positively impacting employees, customers, and communities.

Mark says, “We like to think about ourselves as being sustainably profitable and sustainably growing. And there's a lot of dimensions to that you can't be sustainably profitable, or sustainably grow if you're in a community and you're abusing that community, either environmentally or through bad employment practices. Or if you're not taking care of employees providing a great work environment or career opportunities, they're going to go elsewhere, which will impair your ability to be sustainably profitable over time.”

Yes, as an organization you have to be profitable, that is important. But if you want to be sustainably profitable, as Mark talks about, you have to make sure that you are not only taking care of your employees and customers, but also the community around you, the environment, and the world as a whole. Organizations have a huge responsibility and they can change the world, if they want to.

“If we're not providing solutions for humanity, we're not going to be sustainably profitable, or grow sustainably over a long period of time.”

This episode is brought to you by my friends at ServiceNow, a software company that makes the world of work, work better for people by delivering digital workflows that create great employee experiences, and unlock productivity. If you or your company is looking to transform old, manual ways of working into digital workflows, then you need ServiceNow. They are trusted by over 6,200 enterprises customers, Check them out here.

Direct download: Audio_-_Mark_Lashier_-_Ready.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 12:09am PDT

I love the way my wife Blake Morgan talks about customer experience.

She says that we need to figure out how we can make our customers’ lives easier, even if that means our lives get a little bit harder.

But what happens in most organizations is the exact opposite.

We are willing to make the lives of our customers harder so that we can make our lives a little bit easier.

We need to flip that around.

The fact is that customers are willing to pay more for a great experience.

Psychologist Thomas Gilovich looked at how our satisfaction changes depending on if we invest in physical goods or in an experience.

What he found is that over time, if we buy a physical good, our satisfaction levels go down, but if we invest in an experience, over time our satisfaction levels go up.

Clearly, this idea of creating experiences and serving customers has a significant impact, not just for our customers, but for the bottom line for our organizations.

This episode is brought to you by my friends at ServiceNow, a software company that makes the world of work, work better for people by delivering digital workflows that create great employee experiences, and unlock productivity. If you or your company is looking to transform old, manual ways of working into digital workflows, then you need ServiceNow. They are trusted by over 6,200 enterprises customers, Check them out here.

Direct download: 2._Implementing_a_Customer_First_Mentality.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 12:28am PDT

If there is one thing that’s true about being an entrepreneur, it’s that you have to get used to rejection and failure. These things are a part of the game when you have your own business.

Entrepreneurship is all about innovation and curiosity and you can’t have those things without failure. The important thing is knowing how to deal with this reality and not letting it stop you from moving forward.

We have both encountered failure over the course of our careers. The reason we have successful businesses now is because we learned to deal with that failure and we’ve used it to propel us forward instead of letting it hold us back.

Here are some of the lessons we have learned over the years on how to deal with failure and rejection as entrepreneurs.

Let yourself process the failure

When you experience failure in your business, whether it’s a small error or a huge mistake, it is important to deal with the feelings and emotions that come with it. Don’t go into denial or try to cover your feelings with food, drinks, or anything else. You may feel a range of emotions from anger to depression or even embarrassment. That is completely normal, but you have to let those out.

Talk to a friend or a loved one. Write out your feelings in a journal. Seek professional help if you need to. Don’t let these emotions eat away at your or cause you to lash out at people around you. Take the time and space you need to process the failure and how it made you feel. Failure will get easier the more you experience it. Just know that you will overcome it and you can use it to help you succeed in the future.

Focus on what you learn, not so much on the failure itself

It is easy to get obsessed with failure. Most likely your mind will start to analyze everything about the failure--why it happened, what you could have done differently, how stupid the mistake was. But you need to focus on the lessons you can take from what happened. What can you take from that experience to help in the future? Use this as a learning experience and a way to propel you forward. Don’t let it hold you back.

Have somebody to talk to

When the two of us fail, we talk to each other and it really helps. It is so important to have someone you can talk to when you fail. This can be a friend, a spouse, a family member--any one you trust. Talking about things out loud with an objective third party may even shed some light on the situation that will make you realize it wasn’t as big of a mistake as you thought. They will probably have a different perspective on the situation that can help you learn from what happened.

Sweat it out

It can definitely help to get out and exercise. You can go for a walk or a run. You can go to the gym. You can do yoga. Do whatever you can to get moving and refocus your mind. It can also help with chemical imbalances that may also play a role in negative thoughts. This goes along with eating healthy and taking care of your body. If you aren’t taking good care of your body and you don’t feel good physically or mentally, rejection and failure will be a lot harder to work through.

Put failure in context

Sometimes we are harder on ourselves than we need to be. So you failed, is it something you are new at? Is it something that is out of your comfort zone? Is it something that is extremely challenging that you are still trying to master? Realize that you are doing your best and that failure is natural. Don’t be too hard on yourself or make a failure out to be worse than it actually is. 

Be resilient, but take a break if you need to

You can’t let failure keep you down. It is important as an entrepreneur to learn to live with failure and not get to you too much. Get back up on your feet and do better, work harder, and take what you’ve learned moving forward.

With that being said, you can also take a break if you need to before getting back up. It doesn’t have to be an instant jump up. As mentioned previously, find ways to process the failure and your feelings, but once you’ve done that it’s time to move on. If you need to take a day, two days or a week off, do it. Find ways to laugh, be with family and friends, enjoy nature, etc.. But don’t let yourself stay down too long.

Fail fast and fail smart

Failure is going to happen, but you have to fail smart. For example, if you have three kids and a house with a mortgage, it’s probably not the best time to put every penny of your kids’ college fund into one idea. If you have an idea you want to explore, give yourself a budget and a timeframe to test it out and if it fails, let it go.

Use failure as fuel

As an entrepreneur it is crucial that you take your failures and use them as motivation to do better and be more prepared. Don’t think of it as something that ends your path as an entrepreneur, think of it as a launching pad to your next opportunity.

Be aware of self-talk

After a failure it is easy to default to negative self-talk such as, I’m never going to be able to do this, I’m so stupid, or I’ll never succeed. But everytime you recognize negative thoughts, you need to shift your mind to positive self-talk. You have to be your own cheerleader. Focus on what you’ve done well and the good things you have in your life.

Stay optimistic

No matter what you fail at or how bad you think things are, it is important as an entrepreneur to stay optimistic and to have hope. Talk out loud about the future  you want for yourself. Be proud of your failure and what it has taught you. Don’t let it be a roadblock. Stay positive. It is okay to feel negative at times, but don’t let that become your default mindset. Don’t let your life become mostly about the negative. If you feel sad or down after failure, that’s fine to feel that for a time. But be careful, negativity can spiral out of control if you stay there too long.

Remember and accept that failure is going to be a part of entrepreneurship. There is no running or hiding from it. There is nothing wrong with failure, think of it as something that is pointing you in the direction that you’re supposed to be in. Acknowledge it, talk about it, take a break if you need to, and then jump up and get back to work.

This episode is brought to you by my friends at ServiceNow, a software company that makes the world of work, work better for people by delivering digital workflows that create great employee experiences, and unlock productivity. If you or your company is looking to transform old, manual ways of working into digital workflows, then you need ServiceNow. They are trusted by over 6,200 enterprises customers, Check them out here.

Direct download: Audio_-_How_To_Use_Failure_To_Propel_You_Forward_-_Ready.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 12:26am PDT

Today, leaders need to be servants.

We used to have this traditional idea of the pyramid where the leader sits at the very top and tells everybody else what to do.

But we're starting to see this kind of inversion of the pyramid where the leader is at the bottom propping everybody else up.

This is called servant leadership.

When you show up to work every day, your job is to help make other people more successful than you.

Here are some tips on how you can practice servant leadership:

  • Remove stressors from the lives of your employees.
  • Show appreciation and recognition to your employees.
  • Understand your employees as individuals, not just as workers.
  • Understand the moments that matter in the lives of your employees.
  • Remove obstacles from the paths of your employees.

Thanks to my friends at ServiceNow for sponsoring this episode. Make sure to check them out at http://bit.ly/servicenow21

Direct download: 1._How_to_Practice_Servant_Leadership.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 2:20am PDT

I’ve had the privilege of speaking with around 500 leaders over the years on The Future of Work Podcast and I have really learned a lot from each one. On the show, they share tips, advice, lessons they’ve learned, as well as an inside look at what it’s like to lead their organization. 

This past year really brought a lot of challenges for every single leader around the world. We had to learn how to adjust to a pandemic, how to address social injustices, how to lead virtually and much more. My guests really shared a lot of inspiration, motivation, as well as realistic advice for listeners. 

Even though all of the interviews were great and informative, I have a few favorites that I really enjoyed. And from those episodes I have compiled 15 leadership lessons that are crucial for leaders to learn in order to succeed in the future. 

Leading by example: Arthur Blank, co-founder The Home Depot

Arthur Blank is the co-founder of the Home Depot, which today has a market cap of over $300 billion and they have over 400,000 employees. 

Arthur is a leader that lives out the value of leading by example. He understands the importance of showing employees that what they do day to day is not beneath you as the leader. When you lead by example and let people know that you are not just sitting up in your office looking down on the employees who allow the business to succeed it makes people actually want to show up and work hard. 

Creating your own luck: Shellye Archambeau, former CEO of MetricStream

Shellye Archambeaur is the former CEO of MetricStream, a Silicon Valley based governance risk and compliance software company and the author of a new book called Unapologetically Ambitious. She's also on the board of Verizon and Nordstrom. 

In this world you have to create your own luck, especially when it comes to your career. Shellye explains that creating luck means positioning yourself so that when an opportunity shows up you actually have the ability to take advantage of it. 

What culture is and what it isn’t: Marc Randolph, co-founder and first CEO of Netflix

Marc Randolph is the co-founder and founding CEO of Netflix, he also served on the board of Netflix up until 2003. 

As Marc shares, culture is not just what you say, it’s not something that you put up on posters around the office, or some catch phrases that you come up with in a meeting. He says, “Culture is how you act. It's how you are, it's the things you do. And even more importantly, culture springs from how the founders and the early employees act with each other, with their employees, with their customers. And so, huge amounts of the Netflix culture arised organically, from the way that Reed (Hastings) and I behaved, the way that I treat people, the way I worked with people before.”

It doesn’t have to be crazy at work: Jason Fried, co-founder and CEO of Basecamp

Jason Fried is the co-founder and CEO of Basecamp, and best selling author of Rework, It Doesn't Have To Be Crazy at Work. 

With the blurring of work in life, it can be quite challenging to make sure that work just doesn't take everything over. Jason is a big believer in capping a workweek at 40 hours, he says, “We don’t want people working more than 40 hours. You don’t need to. And if we’re doing that, then we’re doing something wrong, actually. I know a lot of companies, long hours is seen as doing something right, like, “Let’s stay late, and let’s work on the weekends and let’s pull all-nighters.” I think that’s completely wrong. And so, we’re very careful about not encouraging our employees to work that way.”

What to do if you feel stuck at work: David Cote, former Chairman and CEO of Honeywell

David Cote is the former chairman and CEO of Honeywell, and author of the best selling book, Winning Now Winning Later: How Companies Can Succeed In The Short Term While Investing For The Long Term. During his time at Honeywell, David fixed a toxic work culture and grew the company's market capitalization from around $20 billion to $120 billion, delivering returns of 800%. 

If you have a boss who doesn’t feel that you are performing as well as you think you are, this is where you have to be self aware and figure out is there something you can fix or do you just have a bad boss, which David says happens less often than people think. So learn to be self aware and realize when there is something you need to fix. We all have issues, and it’s important to know what they are. 

How to lead with empathy and courage: Kate Johnson, President of Microsoft US

Kate Johnson is the president of Microsoft US, a $45 billion division. She is currently very involved in Microsoft's culture journey led by CEO Satya Nadella. 

Kate is a huge believer and practitioner of leading with courage and empathy. But what does that mean and how does it come to life? Here is what Kate had to say. 

She says, “One of the things that we've been learning is the connection between courage and vulnerability. So everybody thinks if you're courageous, that you have no weakness. You are strong, they picture warriors, you know, with lots of armor and heading off. That's not what courageous leadership is. Courageous leadership is the willingness to activate the troops and own the outcome, but also to do so bringing all of your strengths and weaknesses to the table with total transparency and clarity, and kind of owning work with that and figuring out how to assemble the team to bolster wherever there are weaknesses. And that's a different kind of leadership that I think is essential today.”

How Covid-19 has changed leadership forever: Tiger Tyagarajan, CEO of Genpact

Tiger Tyagarajan is the CEO of Genpact, a global professional services firm with 100,000 employees that drives digital led innovation in digitally-enabled intelligent operations for organizations around the world. Prior to Genpact. Tiger worked for several well-known companies such as Unilever, Citibank, and GE. 

One thing that a lot of people are speculating about is that the office will be a thing of the past and that everyone will be working from home. Tiger doesn’t agree. While he does agree that some things will never go back to what it was before, he believes that offices will come back, at least in some form. 

How leaders can serve their employees: Carrie Birkhofer, President & CEO of Bay Federal Credit Union

Carrie Birkhofer is president and CEO of Bay Federal Credit Union, a non profit financial cooperative with 225 employees. She's been the CEO there for 25 years and under her leadership, the Credit Union has grown from $70 million to $1.4 billion in assets. 

What does it look like to serve your employees? Carrie makes sure she meets new employees on their first day at work. 

In good times, pre-COVID that meant four or five current employees and Carrie getting together in person with the new employees. The current employees would share who they are, what their path has been at Bay Federal, and something interesting that they want to share. Then they would have the new employees do the same thing, except they would share their paths getting to Bay Federal. 

Creating a mission that resonates with employees: Steve Bilt, CEO of Smile Brands

Steve Bilt is the CEO of Smile Brands, a company with 5000 employees that provides business support services to Over 425 dental offices. Smile Brands has been on Glassdoor’s Best Places to Work list three times and Steve is one of the top CEOs on Glassdoor. 

Anyone can come up with a mission statement or a company purpose that sounds good. But it can’t be something that just lives on a wall or in the company handbook. It has to be something that is infused into every aspect of the business. 

Steve believes it needs to be something short and catchy that people can remember. It needs to be something that you can evaluate and check in on to see how well the company is living up to it. It has to be something that is living and breathing inside your company.

People are the solution, not the problem: Hubert Joly, former Chairman and CEO of Best Buy

Hubert Joly is the former Chairman and CEO of Best Buy. Currently, He is a professor at Harvard Business School, and he's on the board of two companies, Johnson and Johnson and Ralph Lauren. 

 

A lot of leaders first starting at a struggling organization probably would have thought about cutting back on the headcount first to save money. But Hubert not only didn’t take that route, he actually put more money into training, incentives, wellness, etc…

Hubert truly believes that leaders should treat humans as a solution to the problem, not as a source of the problem. And we should use headcount reduction only as a last resort.

Why leaders need a short attention span: Jim Heppelmann, CEO of PTC

Jim Heppelmann is the CEO of PTC, a technology software company with 6500 employees in 30 countries. 

There's always been this traditional mentality that leaders need to have a long term plan and stick to it. But Jim's lesson is that leaders actually need to have short attention spans if they want to thrive in today's rapidly changing world. 

Jim is always looking for the next round of changes that make PTC better, or that protect them from a new threat headed their way. This is a quality that he believes all CEOs should have. Always looking to the next thing, don’t just ride current success. 

The best leadership lessons can come from those around you: Chris McCann, CEO of 1-800-Flowers

Chris McCann is the CEO of 1-800-Flowers, a floral and gourmet food gift retailer and distribution company with over 3000 employees. 

Chris didn't learn leadership skills by attending a top tier University, he learned how to lead by those he surrounded himself with. Sometimes the best leadership lessons can come from those around you. 

Why everyone should think like an entrepreneur: Jim McKelvey, co-founder of Square

Jim McKelvey is the co-founder of Square and the author of a new book called Innovation Stack: Building an Unbeatable Business One Crazy Idea at a Time. 

Lots of people are going through a time of reinvention. And having the mindset of an entrepreneur can be an invaluable asset. 

Jim says true entrepreneurs solve problems that haven’t been solved before, they don’t just start a business, they do something that has never been done before. And that is what he and Jack Dorsey did, they solved a problem in a way that no one else had ever thought of before. They even were able to beat out Amazon when the company tried to copy the setup Square had.

Putting people ahead of profits: Pehr Gyllenhammar, former CEO of Volvo

Pehr Gyllenhammar is the former CEO of Volvo, and has been voted Sweden's most admired man nine times. Pehr had to lead his company through lots of tough times, like recessions, and an oil crisis. While all the other companies were sacrificing their people to save their profits Pehr didn't let go of a single employee. 

In fact, he told me he would rather let go of a white-collar worker in a management role than a blue-collar worker working on the manufacturing floor. Pehr’s lesson is really all about appreciating all of the people who work with him for you. And remembering that it's oftentimes the people on the front lines who make your business successful. 

Creating and scaling amazing culture for a remote workforce: Robert Glazer, CEO of Acceleration Partners

Robert Glazer is the best selling author of Elevate: Push Beyond Your Limits and Unlock Success in Yourself and Others. He's also the CEO of Acceleration Partners, a 13-year-old company that manages affiliate and partner marketing programs for a lot of well-known brands like Adidas, LinkedIn, Target, and others. He leads a team of hundreds of employees but they are all remote.

The lesson from Robert is how he manages to create and scale an amazing culture for a workforce that actually doesn't work together in person.

Robert shares that the key to having a successful remote team is by starting with the core values of the organization. Once you know your core values you can intentionally attract and hire the right people. Contrary to what happens in most organizations, Robert and his team understand that not every person will feel like the company is right for them.  

This episode is brought to you by my friends at ServiceNow, a software company that makes the world of work, work better for people by delivering digital workflows that create great employee experiences, and unlock productivity. If you or your company is looking to transform old, manual ways of working into digital workflows, then you need ServiceNow. They are trusted by over 6,200 enterprises customers, Check them out here.

Direct download: Audio_-_15_Leadership_Lessons_From_2020_-_Ready.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 9:52pm PDT

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