Best Things in the Workplace Are Free – Connection

“Best Things in Life Are Free.” That’s the classic song in MadMen when Burt Cooper dies. It’s signifies the #1 asset and “secret sauce” that leaders typically overlook. 

People value and are starving for true connection, complete trust, & teamwork with people who deeply care. 

It’s that emotional bond that enables us to accomplish and create the seemingly impossible. 

It’s also what brings the very best out of us individually and collectively. 

People after the fact point to success as the stock price, profit, sales, etc. But that completely misses the mark. That’s the effect, not the cause. 

The gold is in first creating the unbreakable foundation for “the together team.” It’s not to get distracted by process, strategy, etc. Because then leaders make lack of time excuses why they built the foundation on sand. We know what happens over time when they do (and the huge financial cost and emotional turmoil for poor teamwork).

Coco Chanel said, “The best things in life are free. The second-best things are very, very expensive.”

When leaders and managers behaviors and actions prioritize the business over the team, it requires them to pay a very expensive price. 

Here’s the video from MadMen that’s worth a watch: https://lnkd.in/e8gD2HF

Dilemma of Choosing Profits over Principles

One of the most difficult decisions leaders and managers have to make is choosing principles (and values) over profits. 

It’s rarely an easy choice nor is it black/white. 

Lately, I’ve encountered several client situations where this choice had to be made over the past two weeks

1) The top salesperson didn’t feel like they had to follow the same rules as others. They were putting the company at risk with their actions. The challenge was the individual was bringing in a significant amount of revenue and had excellent relationships with clients. It came down to the company making a decision on money versus behavior. 

2) Leader in the company treated a large team pretty poorly. But they were getting excellent KPIs and results. The leader didn’t want to change so the company was at a crossroads on what to do.

It may seem clear cut on what to do, but consider this. First, companies have duties to pay employees (who have families), serve their customers and other obligations. Second, principles are not always valued/shared unanimously. The definitions, understandings, and lines aren’t always clear. 

But prioritizing profits can lead a company, executives, and managers to forget, push aside or change their principles. Those choices lead to negative and very expensive consequences.

Social Wealth was Named as a Top Business Relationship Book


It’s always exciting when someone recognizes your work. Writing a book was one of the most difficult and time consuming things I’ve ever done. Here is what they wrote about Social Wealth (Sold more than 60,000 copies and 130+ five star reviews):

Background on the list:

Relationships can be tricky things. One minute they can be going great, and the next minute everything seems to be going wrong.

The relationship books listed below are amongst the most popular, best rated and best reviewed books on relationships available.

https://www.developgoodhabits.com/best-relationship-books/
This book explores the habits and secrets of people who are successful in all areas of their lives, including relationships. When one is able to have social wealth, they are more likely to be successful. Everything we do in our lives incorporates different people in some way. No one gets to where they want to be alone, with no help.

As you are developing your relationships throughout life, you need to nurture them so they can work for you. Try to get connected to people who can help you achieve your goals.

Social Wealth provides a blueprint of the tips that people need to become successful in their fields. No one is born knowing how to do their job. Learned skills can only be gained while one is on the job and learning how a company really works.

This is a great book for people who want to be social in their business endeavors, but need some direction. This guide provides readers with a high-quality strategy that is built on skills and confidence about learning new things.

This book is written clearly and is easy to understand. The concepts are easy to grasp, and the reasoning behind them is clear. Readers have also found the step-by-step instructions to be helpful

Generosity in the Workplace Should NOT Have to Hurt You

‪Here’s a good article to spur a discussion on the difference between giving, taking and matching. It’s focused on parenting, but it can be equally applied in the workplace.

Adam Grant has an excellent book on this topic, Give and Take, I read it many years ago when it first came out. I’ve also have the privilege to speak to Adam several times over the years.

The key with giving is to have boundaries and priorities. Then you can give freely without the burden of a certain set of expectations. ‬

Why does this matter? Building great relationships is like a bank account. You have to make deposits before you can make withdrawals. So when you lead with giving you can speed up the relationship building process.

The challenge can be not everyone will reciprocate. But there is no way to know that before you do an act of giving.

‪Self-sacrifice by harming yourself or allowing yourself to be taken advantage isn’t generosity. It’s actually selfish & self-inflicting pain. ‬

Selflessness isn’t the issue. That obviously can be good. It’s the application of selflessness.

How to Have Stellar 1:1 Check-ins With Employees

There is a TON of research that shows if a manager checks-in once a week with their employees their performance typically will significantly improve over bi-weekly or less. It makes complete sense when you think about it.

Why? Here are seven reasons why weekly check-ins with employees matter.

  1. Show you care
  2. Help them stay on track and prioritize what’s most important
  3. Help them remove obstacles and roadblocks
  4. Provide feedback and support
  5. Challenge their thought processes and help them see better strategies, solutions, and tactics.
  6. Results from performance reviews won’t be a surprise
  7. Increase employee retention because 75% of employee quit because of poor managers and 90% of employees state their relationship is a top factor to stay at their company (and with their performance).

But this it depends on how the manager engages with their employees and the questions they ask. Weekly check-ins alone don’t ensure success.

So the next question that naturally arises is: What should a manager ask?

Here are four questions that you can go through in 10 minutes or less. It will ensure priority alignment and maximizes the chances for success that week.

  1. What are your top three priorities for the week (and why)?
  2. What’s going well with them?
  3. What are your challenges? Where are you stuck?
  4. What specifically can I do to help you?

Here are six additional questions managers can also use incorporate with their employees.

1) “What’s the best use of our time today?”

Or “What’s top of mind for you right now?”

2) “What does your ideal outcome(s) look like for the week?”

3) “What do you think is the best course of action for each priority?”

4) “Are you unclear about anything?”

5) “Do you have enough/right resources?”

6) “What was the most useful part of our conversation today?”

Can I Pick Your Brain? NOOO! Don’t Ask it. Here’s Why.

Can I pick your brain is one the worst questions ever. Why? It’s vague. It doesn’t tell the other person what you want. They can’t prepare. They don’t know if it’s worth their time to do it.

So chances are the person won’t reply or will decline to meet.

Have an agenda, questions and goals. State clearly what you want, time commitment, location, etc. To significantly increase your chances, I’d ask for 10-15 minutes. If the conversation is going well, no one will stop it. But you give the other person a clear, quick and easy out. And respect their time too and honor the 10-15 minutes. You’d be amazed what you can do in a short period of time.

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