For most people Monday is the most dreaded day of the week.

This is unfortunate as Mondays occupy 15% of your week and another 10-15% of Sunday (assuming you start dreading returning to work the day before). Now perhaps you as a leader, are immune to this way of thinking. Fair enough. However what about the team you lead? More than likely they are NOT immune to the dread of Monday. A recent LinkedIn survey indicated that 66% of professionals start thinking about and dreading going to work on Sunday. So let’s spend a little time looking at how to address this dis-ease.

Why do we dread Monday’s so much?

Part of this is perfectly normal. The weekend is filled with fun and/or relaxation and we don’t want it to end. We look forward to ‘long’ weekends and relish the time we have with our loved ones. But even a ‘long’ weekend doesn’t end the dread of the first workday – it just moves it back one day. The start of the week is filled with problems and gremlins that appear to have been beefing up all weekend – just waiting to unleash themselves on us. It is also the day that weekly meetings tend to be scheduled, further eroding the amount of time we have to spend those troublesome gremlins. Oh yes – and email – that scourge of the 21st century business professional. Even if you took the weekend off there always seems to be a lot of people that decided to spend their weekend hours getting ahead start on cluttering your inbox with urgent requests. It’s no wonder that Monday is the least favorite day of the week for most people!

If 66% of your team is feeling this way it makes sense to try to see if we can address the parts of the Monday dis-ease that are at least within our control and/or influence.

Here is a short list of simple actions you can take that will help your team make this week different:

  1. Ask your team NOT to open email first thing in the morning. For many professionals this is the first thing they do when they wake up. The psychological damage this does to your creativity and ability to be proactive cannot be overestimated. You are immediately mentally doing battle with your gremlins even before your week has started. But you ask: What if there is a crisis in there? What if I do not see it right away? What if indeed? If your clients or coworkers expect you open email immediately in the morning they may send you an email to alert you to the crisis. In most cases however, they would have texted or called you. Now be honest with yourself: The reason we open email first thing in the morning is because it is a habit. We want to know what awaits us. You don’t have to. You WANT to. It’s like watching an accident – you just can’t look away. When should you open your email – after you complete the second item on this list – and NOT before.
  2. Identify your Weekly TOP 3. Those of you that have followed me for some time know that I am big on lists of three. Jack Johnson immortalized the number three in his hit The 3 R’s where he convinced us that 3 was the magic number. Why do I mention this? Well, some of you followed that hyperlink and listened to a bit of that song. That is what we refer to as a rabbit hole :). Did you fall for it? Even if you didn’t – you know you do at different times of the day, usually when we are at a low energy level. And your mind will always be attracted to what you focus on. If you focus on just ‘surviving the day’ that is exactly what you will get. Part of the way we address this in our flagship coaching process LeaderShift One2One is to have leaders identify three most important items that they want to make progress on in a given week, before they start engaging in the tactical work and the crises of the moment. What are the three most important items you want to make progress on this week? These should be the kind of things that you will feel good about at the end of the week – knowing that you made progress and did not just settle for survival.
  3. Lead with The Positive Focus: Make sure you recognize that your team is a collection of individuals that have lives and interests outside of work. One of the best ways to do this is to have each team member share one positive thing that happened over the weekend at the start of the weekly team meeting. This frames the meeting in everyone’s mind in a positive manner. The benefits to this simple exercise are too numerous to mention here (I’ll write about them in another blog). However – the more unimportant this exercise seems to you the more critical it is that you engage in it. Task oriented leaders are notorious more thinking this is ‘fluff’ and margialzing the importance of connecting with the team. Don’t fall victim to this thinking!

So that’s it. Three simple actions that will help you and your team dread Monday less.

Oh and did you notice there were 3 action items – 3 truly is the magic number.

March 6, 2023 / By

You may or may not have heard of the term ‘The Great Resignation’, but if you are a leader, you are without question experiencing the symptoms and after shocks of it. Have you visited a restaurant, dry cleaner or almost any retail environment and asked: Where did all the employees go?
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A recent Willis Towers Watson’s 2022 Global Benefits Attitudes Survey indicated “a majority of U.S. employees (53%) are open to leaving their employers. In fact, 44% of employees said they actively looked for a new job during the fourth quarter of 2021 or were planning to seek new employment during the first quarter of 2022.”

Assume half your employees are looking for a new job.
Based on this research you should assume that 1/2 of your team is currently either actively seeking another role or at least entertaining offers as they come along. That research mirrors conversations that we are having with clients as they seek to retain their employees in an environment of low unemployment and rising wages. That is not to say that half your team will leave. It just means that a much larger proportion of your team is ‘at risk’ than we have normally seen.

Why are employees considering a new job?

When considering how to retain your team members you can never overlook pay – especially in a tight labor market and when employees are experiencing high inflation.

Having said that, wages are usually not the reason why employees start looking for a new job – they are however the first reason that employees will give for leaving your employment and moving to a new job.

To uncover the reasons why employees may start considering a move we need to delve a little deeper into the seismic shifts that the pandemic has caused (or at least accelerated) in the employee population.

To understand how much the pandemic changed our attitudes toward work we need to consider exactly what happened in the last two years:

  1. Many employees were sent home to work for the first time.
  2. Employees feel they are just as productive (or more so) at home.
  3. People were forced to evaluate their priorities around what they want from work and life.
  4. Employees got used to less commuting time and more time with family.

Many people for the first time started to ask: What do I want from work? What am I willing to do/give up?

Even if your team did not go home for an extended period of time, they will still be considering these questions as they have become part of the ‘conversation’ that we are exposed to daily.

The great news is that there is a massive opportunity here if you are able to create an environment that addresses the challenges that employees are experiencing – rather than telling them that they should not be experiencing those challenges in the first place.

The Solution: Create work that matters in a culture that is magnetic.

More than ever employees want to part of something that matters. While employees will often point to wages as the reason they are leaving a company, our experience has been that even a significant wage gap can be overcome if the employee has fallen in love with the culture. That’s weird to say isn’t it? And even if it is true, how can you do that within a larger company? Isn’t that the top leader’s job? The simple answer is: NO. While it is ideal for the the top leadership in a company to spearhead this initiative, it is not necessary for you to be able to do this with your team.

Here is a simple three step process that will help you identify a vision and culture that would be magnetic to your team:

  1. THINK in terms of a three year time period. This is long enough to set some aggressive goals but not so long that you have time to waste.
  2. ASK: What is true in your industry or department that people wish was not so? (Note: make sure that the items you consider are within your influence to change, even if you are not sure exactly how to do it.)
  3. ASK: Would movement toward this vision make everyone’s life more enjoyable?

While it may seem that the issues you face cannot be addressed by a process as simple as this, I can assure you that they are not. In today’s world people are searching for meaning. This can often come across as them being self-centered, and in a way they certainly are. However, as long as your people feel that they are not important beyond the productivity they provide, they will see their job as primarily an exchange of time for money. So when another employer offers more money for the same time – they will jump at that opportunity.

The only insurance against your team leaving for more money is to create a culture that they cannot replace. And that is totally within your power.

For more information on how to create a culture that is magnetic to the type of employees you wish to attract and retain, join us on Tuesday, May 17th at 2 PM for our complimentary webinar The 7 Deadly Sins of Leadership (& How to Avoid Them). Click here to register now…

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May 11, 2022 / By

What do you do with an employee who is getting great results, but you know they are not the cause of those results or perhaps they are getting those results the wrong way?

Some years ago an executive coaching client ‘George’ (not his real name) related to me a particularly difficult challenge he was facing. George was struggling because Sam (also not his real name – but you knew that didn’t you?) was failing in his role as a senior leader. When I asked George what the results were like in Sam’s group, he replied that they were exceeding plan. When I asked how that was possible, he replied that the role was so critical that he had been doing Sam’s job for him for some time.

George was faced with a problem: How do you deal with an underperforming leader when their objective results are strong – even if you know that they are not the reason those results are strong. In other words, your feedback is Subjective rather than Objective, and could be viewed as your opinion.

Even Objective Feedback has a Subjective Component

In some cases, you can show an employee that objective performance metrics are not where they need to be. That is not to say that they will always agree on their performance being the cause of the metric being less than desirable – but at least you have a solid starting point for the conversation.

Note: For more information on handling these type of conversations see How to Avoid Defensiveness When Providing Feedback and Can You Really Get Someone to Change.

Even in the case of incontrovertible objective evidence, leaders are sometimes unable, or unwilling, to see the connection between their operational results and their own leadership skills and/or behavior.

However, it is a much more difficult situation when the results are actually positive, but in your opinion they are either not getting those results the correct way, or perhaps you feel they are not contributing to those results at all. In both of these cases, the feedback you need to give is ‘subjective’ not ‘objective’. This can be the hardest type of feedback to give without creating a defensive reaction from your employee.

What you need is a skill to help you do this that will help focus the employee on what they need to learn and minimize any tendency to be defensive.

The Solution: You Have to Make Your Subjective Feedback Objective

Since so many of our coaching conversations revolve around subjective feedback, we created a process called Making the Subjective Objective™.

Let’s use an example to show how it works:

One of your supervisors is having difficulty driving operational results. You can see that he is not engaging in effective coaching behaviors. Instead, he seems to take great pride in solving operational issues himself. This is lowering overall morale and engagement level in the team. Since he can only be in one place at a time, response times have extended, and problems seem to pile up. This has caused him to complain about not being able to find skilled and hard working employees. You have tried to broach the subject of improving his coaching skills but he feels that he is already a pretty good coach.

Sound familiar?

In this case there is a mismatch between his perception of his skill level and what you believe his skill level to be. In other words – your feedback is subjective in nature.

Try Making the Subjective Objective™

Ask the supervisor to rate their coaching skill from zero to ten. Note: We use zero because no one can confuse that with a good score.

If the supervisor gives himself a rating anywhere from zero to eight, they are indicating that there is a possibility that they could improve. The challenge we fall into here is that we get hung up on the rating being correct – at least in our opinion. This desire for a correct score misses the point.

What we want is for them to acknowledge there is a GAP between where they are and where they could be. So if they think they are a 7, and you think they are a 2; who cares? They have admitted that there is an opportunity for growth. So don’t get hung up on the actual score.

Once they have admitted there is a GAP and therefore there is an opportunity for growth – ask “What would a 10 look like?”

This question will elicit an answer from them that will tell one of two things:

1. They understand that there’s some growth possible, and they also have some ideas of what to do to improve. In this case you can have a discussion with them about how to make these changes. Or,

2. They understand that there’s some growth possible, however they do not know what they can do to improve. In this case, you can ask if they are open to some ideas from you, and then coach them on how to make those changes.

Once again, do not fall into the trap of thinking you have to agree on the actual rating, all you want is an acknowledgement of a gap between their current skill level and where they could be.

But what if they rate themselves a 9 or a 10?

This is the tougher scenario. Even a 9 is a 10 in disguise – they just did not want to seem arrogant. In this case, you have to have a candid conversation with them that you do not believe that their evaluation is correct.

This is usually due to either a lack of awareness or a lack of humility.

It is possible the supervisor has never have worked for someone that has been willing to give them candid feedback and they lack the awareness that growth is possible and necessary. While painful, your feedback could be a critical step in their career development.

In other cases it may be case of a lack of humility. And humility is one of the hardest traits to coach. (We will be addressing this challenge in a future post.)

Try Making the Subjective Objective™ today so that you can accelerate the progress of your team.


May 2, 2022 / By

One of the hardest skills to self assess is our own leadership effectiveness. The challenge we face is that when our team misses their goals, it is hard to uncover the real reasons WHY.

How much of this miss was based on my leadership, coaching and communication? Or are members of the team disengaged and disinterested? Was the goal realistic? Or did the circumstances make the goal impossible to achieve? What exactly was the reason for the miss?

In our upcoming complimentary webinar “The 7 Deadly Sins of Leadership (& How to Avoid Them)” we will uncover and show you how to avoid the traps leaders often fall into. You can register for the webinar by clicking here…

Leadership in Times of Uncertainty

You have probably found your leadership role incredibly difficult for the last 18 months. At least that is what I hear on a daily basis from the leaders that we coach. Not only is it hard to attract, retain and motivate team members in the current environment – we also are dealing with constant uncertainty.

Times of crisis and uncertainty test our ability to lead unlike any other. And I cannot remember a time when the future (both immediate and short term) is more uncertain. Let’s be honest: it’s pretty hard to communicate with confidence when it feels like everything around you is constantly in a state of change.

Leadership could be compared to going on a journey. As with any journey, in order to be successful you need to know where you are, you need to know your destination, and you need to have a plan. Even in the best of times we may need to adjust our plan. In times of crisis and uncertainty it may feel like our plans are constantly changing. And if it feels like that for us, it probably feels even more confusing for those we are seeking to lead.

Do you feel like your team is walking along with you on this journey? Or do you feel pretty much alone?

I believe John Maxwell said it best, “He that thinketh he leadeth, and hath no one following, is just out taking a walk.”

Can your team clearly communicate what they are trying to achieve?

For many leaders, asking their team what they are trying to achieve sounds silly. Since I often have the opportunity to interview team members in their organizations, I know that quite often their team members either do not know what their goals are, or they do not see their goals as realistic based on their current circumstances.

How is that possible you might ask? You have told them what their goals are. You even asked if anyone had any questions about how to achieve the goals that you have outlined.

Did they just repeat what you wanted to hear?

Well, in a word – yes. That is exactly what they did. Now, before you are too quick to place the blame on ‘them’, let’s make sure that at least part of the blame should not rest squarely with you as the leader.

Why Can’t I Just Ask My People How I am Doing?

It would be nice if we could just ask the team: Am I am effective leader? Do I communicate well? Do you feel comfortable giving me candid feedback?

You see the challenge here don’t you? It would be a rare employee that would be willing to answer candidly. How will you know if they are being candid?

I wish it was that simple. The good news is that there is a simple process you can follow to determine how effective you are being as a leader. Not as simple as just asking – but a ton more reliable. 

Step 1: Create a space for your people to share their feedback.

There is a simple maxim that I often repeat: ‘Be efficient with things – be effective with people.

I don’t know about you, but in my rush to achieve important goals I often find myself trying to be ‘efficient’ in my dealings with others.

To get the kind of feedback you want, you are going to need to sit down individually with your people, whether it be face to face or over some sort of video conference call. This has to be a two way dialogue, so make sure you are not feeling rushed to finish the call in just a few minutes.

Here are the questions that you want to ask each member:

  • From your perspective, tell me a little about what is happening?
  • What are your goals? What are you trying to accomplish?
  • Where are you currently on those goals?
  • How confident are you in the progress you are making?

Step 2: Listen carefully to how they respond.

Take a step back and really tune in and listen to how your people respond. In order to assess this you cannot be multi tasking. That would be the essence of being ‘efficient’ rather than ‘effective’.

What is their perspective? Does it align with what you have been communicating? Are they sharing information with you in an engaged manner? Or are they just repeating what you have previously told them?

To be truly ‘effective’ you need to assess engagement on three levels:

  • Words: Do they use words indicating they are engaged? This is the easiest step, but can be overlooked if you are not focused on it properly. The words they choose to use can indicate a lot about their engagement. For example, there is a difference between someone saying that “the company wants me to” or “you want me to” versus someone saying “I want to” or “here’s what we should do.” Nobody says “I have to go to the beach”, they say “I want to go” or “I get to go”. Make sure that the words indicate a desire to engage, not just a repetition of a directive.
  • Tone: Their tone of voice will also indicate how important this is to them. They will answer with some sort of emotion or lack thereof depending, again, on their feelings of involvement. Tone, cadence and inflection typically change when someone is talking about something that is important to them.
  • Body Language: Our bodies respond differently when we are engaged versus when we are not. Whether you are having this conversation via video conference or face to face, be sure to pay attention to your colleagues’ eyebrows and eyes as an indicator of their engagement and emotion. When a person is engaged their eyebrows lift and their eyes may even sparkle. When they are in doubt, their eyebrows may furrow and their face may show concern.

This simple test will help you to determine if your people understand what you are trying to accomplish and if they are fully engaged in the process of making it happen.

But if the answers you get to these questions leave you concerned, then perhaps it is time to examine how you could be contributing to the engagement level of your team. This is not to say that the lack of engagement is your fault, but as a leader, it is your job to fix it.

At The Oxley Group, we are experienced leadership coaches who help leaders achieve the meaningful results it takes to build and grow a successful organization.

Click here to register for our upcoming complimentary webinar “The 7 Deadly Sins of Leadership (& How to Avoid Them).”

Or click here to learn more about how we assist leaders in accelerating their progress.

April 27, 2022 / By

Can you really get employees to change?

For those of us in leadership, the answer to that question had better be a resounding ‘yes’! However, the degree to which we are successful in getting other people to change is certainly a different question altogether!

Research shows that your success in getting employees to change hinges on how you answer one critical question – and the strategies that flow from your answer.

The challenge for many leaders is that (unknowingly) the strategies they employ encourage employees to resist change – rather than embrace it!

Do you celebrate failure?

Often when we conduct our signature LeaderShift Process participants are confused when we ask them if they ‘Celebrate failure to the extent that ongoing learning takes place.’ Their confusion stems from the fact that most high achieving leaders would never consider celebrating failure. Failure is to be avoided at all costs! And yet we know that almost every success we have experienced in life involves learning, and in many cases, mistakes.

While we ultimately do not want to fail, we know there will be small failures along the way in any undertaking. While it may sound strange to you, in order to get another person to change you need to create the expectation of failure – not of the entire change process – but that there will be failure along the way.

This leads us to a fundamental question: How do we (as leaders) approach the change/failure dynamic – and what might we need to do differently to encourage the team we seek to lead to change more consistently and positively? Carol Dweck, professor of psychology at Stanford, has researched this question and finds that there are essentially there two ways that people approach change:

A Fixed Mindset.

This way of looking at the world says that people (ourselves included) don’t really change that much at all.

People who have a ‘fixed mindset’ believe that their abilities – and those of others – are essentially static. In other words, we are good at some things and not as talented in other areas. In this mindset your behavior is a good indication of your natural abilities. This leads to an avoidance of challenges because failure would reflect badly on your true ability level. In this case, negative feedback is seen as a threat – and you definitely don’t want to be seen as trying too hard – just in case you fail. That way if you fail – well – you always have the defense that you didn’t try that hard.

A Growth Mindset.

This way of looking at the world says that people (ourselves included) can and do change all the time.

The ‘growth mindset’ believes that abilities are like ‘muscles’. It’s not that some people are not more talented than others – there is not question that Michael Jordan is a truly talented individual. However, we can and do develop our abilities (and talents) through practice. With a growth mindset you will accept more challenging assignments. You are more likely to accept negative feedback, in fact you may seek it out, because you know that it will eventually make you better.

Can you give me some practical examples?

Once you understand this critical difference in mindset you can start to recognize the ways that we inadvertently reinforce a fixed mindset with others. Here are just a few examples:

Telling our kids ‘You’re so smart!’ or ‘You’re so good at_______’.

Telling employees that they are so good at speaking, communication, or project management etc.

So what can we do differently?

As leaders, we need to start praising the effort rather than the natural skill.

While many leaders will object to this insight – it seems a little too touchy feely to many. Now, I am not saying that we should ignore results. Nor am I saying that we should not hold people accountable to results. To the contrary, what I am suggesting is that while you recognize the results (or lack thereof) you attribute the results to the effort rather than talent.

Let’s use an example to reinforce this point. Consider the performance in a given week of the following two employees:

Employee A: Does all the right things/the right way but gets crappy results. You know this is because the circumstances that particular week just did not line up correctly.

Employee B: Does not do the right things/the right way but gets great results. You know this is because the circumstances that particular week lined up in a way that promoted positive results.

If you answered Employee ‘A’, then you need to consider how you provide feedback and direction to your employees.

In other words – can you celebrate failure to the extent that ongoing learning occurs? Because if you can’t – then you will surround yourself with fixed mindset team members that have already reached the extent of their potential.

And that is not a future that I would wish for you!

Want to learn more about how help leaders just like you accelerate their progress? Click here to learn more.



LeaderShift is a complete leadership development system that has everything you need to hire, develop, and retain a highly effective team. All for the fraction of the cost of other development tools.

April 13, 2021 / By

Getting Team Members to Engage in Constructive Conflict is Critical to Getting the Best Ideas.

It’s no secret that your team will come up with the best ideas when they engage in spirited debate.  The challenge is that too often teams play ‘nice’ and do not always speak up when they have divergent views. Or perhaps they do speak up, just not in a constructive way, and this can lead to even less participation from other team members in the future.

Working in a remote environment only makes this predicament worse as team members cannot ‘see’ the verbal clues from their peers – clues that might encourage them to speak up. To make matters worse, it is easier for more outspoken team members to dominate the conversation.

How to encourage conflict

What we need is a simple way to break this pattern of interaction with the team. A way to encourage conflict in a constructive way. One that can even work in a remote environment.

Want better ideas from your team? Follow this simple process:

In order to encourage dialogue in an honest and constructive way we suggest taking a lesson from history. In the early 16th century the Catholic Church began appointing a ‘devil’s advocate’ to argue against the canonization of a candidate for sainthood. It was this person’s job to take a skeptical view in order to promote debate. It is important to note that their actual views were irrelevant to the role they were asked to play.

Since many team members may be reluctant to voice their concerns or viewpoints, appointing a devil’s advocate provides two important benefits:

  1. It immediately causes at least one member of the team to have to argue against a particular course of action.
  2. Since at least one member of the team is thinking both critically and skeptically – it opens the door for other team members to add opinions that may have been difficult to voice otherwise.

Our recommendation is that you rotate the role of devil’s advocate rather than allowing one person to assume to the role permanently. This will ensure that each team member is forced to develop their critical thinking skills and presentation skills. It also ensures a diversity of opinion and insight is promoted within the team.

Here is the process we recommend that you follow:

  1. Identify an issue or a project that there are – or there should be – different viewpoints on.
  2. Identify an individual that has either an interest or knowledge in the subject matter to be discussed, or perhaps you just want to get them involved.
  3. Reach out to the team member you have identified and let them know that you would like them to play the role of devil’s advocate. Giving this individual enough advance notice of their role should improve the quality and clarity of their arguments.
  4. Brief the team ahead of time on your plan to encourage critical thinking by utilizing a devil’s advocate. Introduce who will be playing the devil’s advocate role. Encourage team members to forward any ideas that would help their team member playing the devil’s advocate prepare for the discussion.
  5. When the day of the meeting (whether remote or not) arrives, make sure you remind the entire team of the process you are using. Introduce the devil’s advocate to the team and make sure everyone understands their role. While the devil’s advocate’s role is to be skeptical, other team members are always welcome to chime in on any side of the discussion.
  6. After the discussion is over, be sure to conduct an After Action Review. Ask team members for feedback on what worked well and what could be done better next time. In fact, the team could provide feedback to the devil’s advocate on their performance afterward. This would serve as insight to all team members on how to prepare for future assignments when they are asked to be the devil’s advocate.

That’s it. Oh, except for one thing. What about the naturally argumentative team member? We do not recommend allowing them to take a point of view that they agree with. Make sure that you assign them a role where they have to defend against their actual view point. This will cause them to be a little less passionate and perhaps more thoughtful in the way that they engage with the team.

This post is an adaptation of a insight that I first gained from “To Foster Innovation, Cultivate a Culture of Intellectual Bravery,” by Timothy R. Clark.

October 21, 2020 / By

Let’s Be Honest: The Planning Process Is Broken!

You know it is true. We set annual goals – all too often at the urging of our company or our manager. We know it is a fruitless exercise. A waste of time.

But we have to have goals don’t we? How would we measure our progress? How would we know if we were winning? How would we know who the top performers are? How would we set budgets?

In all honesty it is not the goals that are the issue. It’s when and how we set them.

Download the Quarterly Objectives Planning Guide and Template Now!

Frustrated Manager

Why Are We Preoccupied With The Year as a Planning Time Frame?

For as long as anyone can remember we have set annual goals. I suppose there used to be many good reasons for this, not the least of which was that the system that we operated in was pretty stable. Not much really changed over the course of a year. However, I am sure you would agree that is not the case today!

I don’t just mean in this COVID-19 Pandemic Adjusted Reality we find ourselves in. I mean: Has it been true for the last few years? I don’t think it has. Most people realize that change is accelerating – and we can only assume that it will continue to do so from this point forward.

The critical weakness of annual goals is that they are measured over – you guessed it – a year. There are too many problems with this to list them all here, but let’s just spin through the top 3:

  1. It is almost impossible to foresee the circumstances that will exist over the next 12 months. 2020 is perhaps a exaggerated example of this fact, however even in a ‘normal’ year annual goals are set and largely ignored until the following year’s planning process begins.
  2. Annual goals may inspire some people, however they lull many of us into a false sense of security that there is time to waste. That we have time to work on goals ‘later’ – after all we have a year.
  3. Annual goals are too often connected to compensation. You rolled your eyes didn’t you? Of course they have to be connected to compensation – don’t they? Well, no they don’t. Not if you even remotely believe that problems #1 and #2 are true. In addition, too often managers review an employee’s goals for the first time in a year when they are conducting their annual performance review. No wonder the annual performance review is reviled by managers and employees alike.

Great. Annual Goals Stink. So What Do We Do Now?

Many organizations have already moved away from annual budgets to 18 month rolling forecasts. They have recognized that locking employees and organizations into arbitrary 12 month financial budgets makes no sense at all. Instead they have a rolling 18 month forecast they they revisit for accuracy and adjustment every quarter.

It’s time to do the same thing for employee goals. Why can’t we set goals for the next quarter? In fact this is likely the best year EVER to try this! Does anyone anywhere really think that goals set at the end of 2019 have any relevance to what is happening now? And here’s the great thing: You don’t have to ask for permission. You don’t have to change the structure (yet) of your company’s goal setting or compensation structure. You don’t have to sell it to your employees as ‘how your bonus will be calculated’. You can just tell your employees that a lot has changed, and you want them to not only have as good as possible next quarter – you want to help them position themselves for success in 2021.

Stop Setting Annual Goals: Set Quarterly Objectives Quarterly Objectives Planning Guide & Template

Before you even think about doing this with an employee, make sure you do this exercise yourself. In that way you will understand the process better and will be able to explain it to your people – perhaps even give examples of what your objectives are.

We have provided you with a planning template here. Here are some thought starters to get you thinking about what some ‘good’ objectives would be for the next quarter:

  • Based on what we know today, what is a reasonable objective in terms of performance for the next quarter?
  • How should we measure performance? Based on the current operating reality, is it more reasonable to measure behaviors or output?
  • What skills, behaviors and/or attitudes could you develop or reinforce over the next quarter?
  • What team goals are critical to the success of the business? How could we measure the team’s progress?
  • What significant learning(s) would accelerate progress in the next quarter?

We have provided you with a planning template here.

In our next post we will share with you some additional ideas on how to break Quarterly Objectives into manageable chunks.

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Don’t Compromise and Stagnate For the Rest of 2020.

Don’t let this the last quarter of the year be a waiting game for next year. Let’s not waste this quarter. Let’s invest it in making the quarters that follow all they can be – and more!

September 28, 2020 / By

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Is charisma necessary to be a truly effective leader? We would argue it is critical if you wish to reach your full leadership potential.

And yet many leaders feel that they are not charismatic. Too often we confuse manipulative charisma with true charisma. Some people may have a sort of natural charisma – however they have never worked at developing the character of their leadership – and so there is nothing there to maintain the attention of anyone once they get close. These individuals come across as manipulative once you get to know them.

The good news is that true charisma can be developed. In this Insight we show you four steps you can take to attract others to yourself and your cause.
Leadershift Online

Leaders tell us that what frustrates them the most is having the same problems day after day

The LeaderShift Framework helps leaders move past those problems so they can experience the success they truly desire.

Click here to learn more about LeaderShift Online and accelerate your team’s progress.

May 20, 2020 / By

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If you have ever hired an employee and a different person showed up than the one you interviewed, then this Insight is for you. I mean – not really a different person. They looked like the same person, however they did not ACT the way they said they would while being interviewed.

While it is easy to blame a lack of honesty in the interview process – there may be a deeper challenge at play here.

Leadershift Online

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If you want to Transform your Leadership, Transform Your Team and Transform Your Results –

Click here to learn more about this powerful online resource to accelerate your team’s progress.! 

May 13, 2020 / By

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When emotions run high your team may approach you to discuss their frustrations with other team members. What you do next will either reinforce your position of leadership or undermine it.

Too often leaders commit one of the cardinal sins of leadership in this situation. In this Insight we will share this error – and how to avoid it while ensuring you help your whole team deal with the negative emotions that are being surfaced.

If you get this wrong you will alienate one part of your team – or in the worse case scenario – both parts of your team.

Leadershift Online

If you have found this LeaderShift Insight helpful click on the LeaderShift icon above and we can show you how to go further faster.

If you want to Transform your Leadership, Transform Your Team and Transform Your Results –

Click here to learn more about this powerful online resource to accelerate your team’s progress.! 

May 5, 2020 / By


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* The Balanced ScoreCard (Kaplan/Norton)