A Clearly Defined Career Path

by Brad Worthley

Many times in our roles as leaders we encounter what I would call the “rebels”. You know who I am talking about; they are the employees that want to do it their way, or don’t always conform to the conventional wisdom that we have embraced over the years. I am going to ask you to take a deep breath, and instead of getting anxiety over these folks (mostly because we are exhausted trying to “control” them,) try to find a way to utilize their energy. Now to some of you that may feel like giving up control, letting them win, or acknowledging that some of their ideas may have validity. Get over it!

Consider this: Maybe instead of battling the rebels, we encourage them and their creativity by making them part of the process so that they do not feel like victims of the process. I think having a devil’s advocate is important if you are truly sincere about innovation in new policies, procedures or systems within your company. Being surrounded by “Yes” people may feel great, but I guarantee it does not present the best results for your organization.

In This Article
* A Clearly Defined Career Path
* Do You Have “Passion”?
* People Don’t Fail As Much As Systems Do
* Clearly Defined Boundaries
* Words of Wisdom

Do You Have “Passion”?

Have you ever been to a seminar where the speaker just seemed so much better than all the rest? When you look back at that seminar and that speaker, is there a single word that defines what made that person stand out from the rest? Chances are, the word “passion” will come to mind. Please remember the word passion anytime you are going to address your employees with an important message.

They are going to be measuring the passion in your voice and body language when trying to measure the importance of your message.

Some of you are naturally gifted speakers and can bring passion to the table upon request, but for others, it may not be as easy. If you are one of those that has to work to give a passionate speech, then practice before you deliver. The time you take to properly prepare could make the difference between your employee’s success and failure. They may not believe the message, if they do not believe the messenger.

People Don’t Fail As Much As Systems Do

I have been teaching and preaching for over 20 years that people don’t fail as much as system do, and I believe it more today than I did back then. Anytime one of our employees fails in one of their duties, then we must assume that other employees put into that same situation, could fail as well. Anytime there is failure in your organization, there should be immediate action taken to put systems or procedures in place that will never allow that to occur again (or at the least reduce the occurrences.) In my last 10 years as a business owner, I rarely asked my employees “who did it?” when we had failure, because that was never my concern. But I always followed up to make sure that someone simply did not just give it lip service and hoped it would never happen again. It is much easier to blame it on “the person” than take the time to create systems to prevent failure.

If you run your business like that, I will almost guarantee you are running a reactive company. You put fires out each and every day as they occur and you never think ahead on how you could prevent the fires from ever happening. If you are proactive, you will be working all the time to put systems in place to prevent the fires from occurring. Proactive managers have much more time to do the really important things they need to get done.

Clearly Defined Boundaries

Make sure that each employee position within your organization has clearly defined boundaries and they know exactly what is expected of them. Regardless of the size of your company, you should always have job duties and non-negotiable standards in writing. In my last company, I had each employee write their own, then I would tweak it a bit. It saved me a lot of time from having to do each myself and I made them part of the process (so they do not feel like victims of the process.)

It is actually very frustrating for employees to work in an environment where they are not sure of their duties and limitations. Boundaries that are not clearly defined are painful, so do yourself and your employees a favor and make sure that even the “assumed” duties are clearly in writing.

Words of Wisdom

“Hire the smile and train the skill, because you cannot train people to smile”

Brad Worthley, an accomplished business consultant and professional speaker with over 27 years of business management experience, is also an internationally acclaimed customer service, leadership and motivational expert.

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