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    Leadership & Team Advisor

    Improving Leadership ROI through daily leadership and team development practices. Mark McCatty, Inc - Leadership & Team Advisor

    To Lead Well, Be Human

    To Lead Well, Be Human
    by Mark McCatty, Mark McCatty, Inc. Leadership Results Through People

    Harvard Business Review recently published an article on leadership. The title is Why Do So Many Managers Forget They're Human. It's a good read.

    The point of the article is that there's unrest in many workplaces. One particularly interesting statistic published by Forbes found that 65% of employees would forego a pay raise if it meant

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    The 4 Life-Stages of Successful Teams

    By Mark McCatty, Leadership & Team Advisor

    A team is a collection of people who gather together and combine their talents to accomplish a shared goal. We’ve all seen teams that have tremendous individual talent, yet fail to get it across the goal line. There is a difference between effective and ineffective teams. The difference between successful and ineffective teams is their ability to go through the stages that teams go through quickly. And it’s easier to get things moving when some momentum has been generated [ https://www.leadershipteamadvisor.com/our-blog/getting-teams-moving.html ]. Successful teams have a deep understanding of personal and collective strengths, and each team member cooperates with the other members to reach their shared objectives and honor their shared values.

    A Team is a group pf people who work toward a common goal, while demonstrating respect for each other. Respect is a key characteristic of uncommon teams. Respect is observable.  Team behaviors are present and easy to see, and easy to assess. It is also possible to assess the quality of the leadership behaviors that are demonstrated by the team’s membership.

    The 4 stages of a team…    

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    5 Tips to be a Better Cycling [Team] Leader

    By Mark McCatty, Leadership & Team Advisor

    I used to dislike cyclists. That said, you should know where this impression came from. I was a runner who was recruited to become a marathoner. As such, I would spend a lot of time running the streets of whatever town I was in. As a runner, I would prefer not to run on the sidewalk so I would run in the road. I found the concrete hard on my body and sometimes there are cracks in the sidewalk that can trip a runner. So, a runner is supposed to run against traffic when running in the road. Cyclists ride in the road, and they ride with the traffic. Do you see it? We are both in the road…in the same space. This can create conflict.

    Additionally, cyclists seemed very unfriendly to me. There typically is a bond between people who share a common goal. So, I would wave to the cyclists passing me but they would not wave back. I remember thinking they were an unfriendly lot. It was not until I became a cyclist that I begin to understand that they were not being rude. A group of riders operate in a cluster called a peloton. When riding in a line in this peloton, there must be an intense attention on what’s going on in front of you. Any loss of focus, like a friendly wave at the wrong time, can create an accident with disastrous results. As a cyclist, I’ve seen these situations and the consequences these crashes bring.

    In my work with business teams, I see some similarity between a working team and a cycling peloton. Ultimately, there is a right-way and a wrong-way for the peloton to operate. And ultimately, the accountability for the safe and successful operation of the team, or the peloton, lies with the leader. So, here are 5 tips that will lead to being a better cycling [team] leader.

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    Zumba Like a Leader

    By Mark McCatty, Leadership & Team Advisor

    My wife is always doing things for me. She’s good that way. And since my wife is so willing to do things for me I decided to return the favor by doing something for her. She likes Zumba and has frequently invited me to do Zumba with her. So, when I offered to go with her to a Zumba class she was pleased. We were on vacation together and I thought it would be a wonderful thing for us to do together.

    I don’t know if you have ever been to Zumba before. It was interesting to me. This Zumba event took place in a small workout room; mirrors at the front where the instructor stood and it seemed to me that there was not enough space for the other 15 of us. The music was a salsa-rhythmic type and the instructor was moving…a lot. He would model the moves he wanted us to follow. Without any warning, he would switch up the moves and we were expected to move with him. I was one of the few inexperienced people in this group. And since I was positioned in the back of the room

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    Quickest Rate of Change - Part 2

    By Mark McCatty, Leadership & Team Advisor

    In a previous blog, we discussed the first 2 maxims of change. The first maxim [people do not resist change; they resist being changed] helps us understand the second axiom [in every change some people will be unhappy with some facet of the change]. The key for change acceptance then is to recognize that successful change must not be focused on changing people, but rather on helping people to be part of the change. Let’s focus this blog on generating more constructive emergent change that will encourage people to actually lead positive constructive efforts.

    There are two types of change that organizations deal with. The two types of change are planned change and emergent change. Planned change is top-down and mainly driven by management. While emergent change is bottom-up and comes mostly from employee levels.   

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    Wow! Where Did the Time Go?

    By Mark McCatty, Leadership & Team Advisor

    When I was a kid, my only concern was with being able to play a little bit longer. Was it the same for you? Then, as we grew older our focus was to extend our curfew a little while longer. Later, we begin thinking about our future, career, our family and life goals. Suddenly, you say to yourself, “Another year already! Where did the time go?” And you find yourself beginning to pay more attention to commercials when they talk about relieving pain and living longer.

    There are many reasons why people look back over their long – or short – life and feel like they have lost time. Time is easy to waste and there are a lot of reasons why this wastefulness happens. My favorite “reason” for lost time goes back to the story of the two farmers talking together. One farmer says to the other, “Hey, can I borrow your axe? I need to chop some trees.” The second farmer responds with a no because he’s making soup. Puzzled, the first farmer wonders out loud what making soup has to do with loaning out the axe. “Nothing,” the second farmer explains, “One excuse is as good as another.” Bottom line, it doesn’t matter how time passed so quickly without positive results. Any reason [excuse] will suffice.

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    Men Can Do Laundry; Dealing with Poor Performance

    By Mark McCatty, Leadership & Team Advisor

    How many times have you heard a complaint about what somebody did wrong? The expected performance was poor. Frequently, that’s an issue that has been brought to me. The situations are various but the bottom line is the same; they did me wrong. I came across this interesting statistic that illustrates the point well.

    Per recent survey results; * Men do 29% of laundry each week. Only 7% of women trust their husbands to do it correctly.

    There is an obvious distrust from the clear majority of the wives who took part in this survey about their husband’s ability to safely handle the laundry tasks. I believe the tasks for maintaining the household should be a shared responsibility. I think that most women would agree that all household tasks should be shared. I would assume that they would not want to take on the laundry tasks alone. I further imagine that more than the small minority of men identified in the survey would, in fact, want to assist their partner by helping with the laundry more.

    Think of the traditional approach of pointing out, very clearly, what a sorry job was done when the the laundry was prepared.

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    Getting Teams Moving

    I was called in to work with an existing team. This team was a highly-motivated team working in a manufacturing environment. The management structure wanted teams. Well, they wanted people to take accountability and manage the process. So, management supported the team effort. And the hourly employees were hired on with the expectation that they would be working in teams to manage their daily production [and related] activities. The problem was that…well, there was little observable productivity coming from these teams.

    John Maxwell, in his book on the laws of leadership, talks about the law of The Big Mo – Momentum is a leader’s best friend. All leaders will face a challenge when they try to start [or change] a process. No matter how much everyone wants to change, there are natural drivers against change. We are plagued with inertia.

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    Who is Affected by Today's Technologies

    By Mark McCatty, Leadership & Team Advisor

    I recently promoted last year's Live2Lead leader event in my home town. The Live2Lead event was viewed by thousands around the globe. Along with John C. Maxwell, Simon Sinek was one of the key presenters and he was highly appreciated for his presentation. Simon Sinek has been viewed by thousands talking about the challenge of technology for our younger generations. He talks about the addictive effect that using technology provides and how it destroys the ability to develop positive relationships.

    There is a lot of talk about the challenge that younger people face because of dealing with technology. Along with the talk of the problem younger folks have with their addition to technology is the [sometimes] disgust that is expressed with the impact this dependence on technology has on those who live and work with this younger generation.

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    But let's be real about the issue with technology.

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    The Sound of Silence in a Culture

    by Mark McCatty, Mark McCatty, Inc. Leadership Results Through People

    Company culture represents the values that are elevated within the organization. It’s how things are done. A healthy culture is robust and full of ideas and exchanges. A healthy culture is a noisy place; Full of positive activity. This does not mean that everyone is always in agreement. It does mean that everyone knows full well where everyone else stands and that they respect the positions that others have taken even if that position differs from their own.

     

    The “happiest companies” [What Happy Companies Know] have warm corporate cultures, modest, sincere leaders and flexible, engaged employees. Positive companies have an invigorated company culture where there is an expectation and appreciation for true honesty. As Bill Gates says, “Bad news must travel fast.” Microsoft employees are encouraged to speak their minds even if they must deliver bad news.

     

     

     

    Culture Trumps Strategy

    The sound of silence can mean discord and disconnection. You know what it’s like when you walk into a room that immediately goes quiet. It is not a good sign when the breakroom buzz goes still when the manager enters. Therefore, many managers tend to shy away from employee meeting areas. They may say that they “want to give the employees their space.” This is the same management who believe that they cannot be friends with the staff; no fraternization.  They do not understand the leadership power of their ability to connect with other people.

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    SCRUM Team Leaders Learn from Failure

    by Mark McCatty, Leadership & Team Advisor
    “To err is human.” The reality is that humans err. We all make mistakes. Some errors go by hardly noticed while other errors people make cause catastrophic consequences. So, the issue is not whether errors will occur; they will. The issue is what do we do with the tendency to make mistakes, and how do we benefit when they occur. There are some pretty interesting results from research about why we make these annoying errors. Some of the more commonly known causes of errors are:

    ·         Stress. Mental stress increases as familiarity the decreases. When under stress we tend to operate emotionally and not cognitively.

    ·         Fatigue. Fatigue is affected by on-the-job demands, and off-the-job life style. Trying to do complex tasks while recovering from a late night out can create errors.

    ·         Difficulty seeing one’s own error. We all think that what we do is good. People may fail to detect abnormalities when working closely to a task, especially when preoccupied. How many times has someone pointed out a needed edit [to a document] that you failed to see?

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    As a leadership and team advisor, I have helped numerous organizations, through speaker presentations, group training, and individual coaching, to meet the challenge of creating engaging and purposeful work environments. 

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