Leadership Through Change

The modern workplace has significant levels of stress. It can also be immersed with conflict related to change-management and downsizing. Technological change can cause conflict, as can changing work methodologies. Sometimes change would come in the form of a new boss. Someone coming in with new ideas and new methodologies. Just reorganization alone, which is some workplaces tends to be almost chronic, leads to tremendous amounts of stress and conflict.

While leadership is about change, change causes anxiety to many. In some instances, nothing is worse to productivity that extreme and disturbing anxiety in the workplace. This is when people constantly focus on their sources of anxiety (job loss, loss of power, loss of advantages) rather than on their own productivity and the success of the company overall.

Change interferes with autonomy and can make people feel that they’ve lost control over their territory and power. It also creates excess uncertainty. If change feels extremely uncertain, then people will reject it. People will often prefer to remain in misery than to head toward an unknown. In life in general, as much as in the workplace, we all need a sense of safety. Oftentimes with change, much unknown creates much irritability.

Leadership Definition – How it Connects to Change

Leadership is defined as the act of leading a group or organization. But sometimes leadership is faced with challenges in the face of change. Any decisions that imposed on people suddenly will cause anxiety and distress.

Everything seems different. Routine, as much as complained upon, brings certainty and confidence to many. Sudden decisions will create much bitterness and talk in the hallways.

In departing from the past and moving towards newer regulations, many will worry about loss of respect, face and status. Perhaps there are things that they do not really know. Maybe there are things they are not really good at. Things that were sort of protected by the older regulations. The concern would be that the newer regulations may expose inadequacies or incompatibilities.

Change also brings up concerns of being able to adapt to the newer requirements. Especially with technology, those that are not as technologically savvy may take longer to learn and feel extremely intimidated and agitated.

Many will worry that more will be required of them and are not sure how.

Leadership & Change – Getting Past Resentments

Resentments will come in two major forms: past resentments and present resentments.

Past resentments are sometimes staying put and quiet as long as everything is steady. But once anxiety is up, and things are steady no longer, these old resentments may surface again. The older they are, they may be harder to resolve. New resentments may arise stemming from the newly created circumstances.

Oftentimes, when older generation employees feel threatened by newer generation, and feel that their knowledge and experienced are not valued or may not be valued in the newly created circumstances.

The threat of change and the anxiety it causes are more than understandable. Change is promising to some, vital to the organization, dangerous to others. Because of that, change requires proactive conflict management practices. This is done in order to prevent escalation of conflict through change.

How to Lead Through Change

Here are some effective tips for leaders on successfully working through organizational change, without unnecessary drama:

1. Engage and Involve:

People tend to comply much more readily and easily if they feel a sense of ownership. This is rather than them feeling that things are imposed on them. While clearly change IS imposed on the employees, it would be a god idea to engage them in the process. And, to provide them with as much information and rationale as possible. This is in order to give them a sense of ownership rather than risk a sense of resentment.

2. Communicate, and Be Available to be Communicated With:

To keep your employees engaged, motivated and focused in a change-saturated environment, you will need to make yourself more available. This is good for you. As a leader you want to be able to monitor first-hand how things are managed under the organizational changes so that you can react quickly and effectively, and nip disasters in the bud. It is also good for your employees. They will have questions, and they will need clarity. The worst possible situation for an employee in a change saturated environment is to feel that there is no one to talk to other than water cooler talk with other employees.

3. Clarify Roles and Rules:

There is no difference between bigger and smaller corporations when it comes to low levels of clarity in terms of the scope of employees’ work or company policies. Regardless of the size of your organization, a lack of clarity will always lead to conflict.

The rule of thumb when it comes to employees’ scope of work and to company policies is “detail, detail, detail.” Detail aids clarity. In every situation where things are defined in a vague or partially vague manner there are problems. Messages are open not only to interpretation, but also to negotiation and power struggles. This isn’t because employees are necessarily trying to allocate more power to themselves. This may very well be the case, but it’s not always. But, because employees may truly make different assumptions as far as the scope of their work goes, what the policies are, and what is expected of them.

When their perceptions of expectations, scope, and policies clash, they will interpret that clash in a personal manner. Then conflict becomes inevitable. After all, when employees are unsure of what is expected of them, how can they be expected to perform in the best possible way? They can’t. That is why detail and clarity are so important.

4. Be Clear to Battle Fear

In departing from the past and moving toward newer regulations, many will worry about loss of respect, face, and status. One example of this could be a lack of skill or knowledge. This lack may perhaps be protected or hidden by older regulations. An employee may fear that these inadequacies or incompatibilities are about to be exposed.

Similarly, change also brings concerns of being able to adapt to the new requirements. This is especially true with technology. Those that are not as technologically savvy may take longer to learn new systems. They may feel extremely intimidated and agitated. Many will also worry that more will be required of them once the new changes are in place, and they are not sure how to meet those requirements.

The threat of change and the anxiety it causes are more than understandable. Change is promising to some, and perhaps vital to the organization. But, it’s dangerous to others. Because of that, change requires proactive conflict-management practices. In other words, management need to prevent conflict before it escalates. The Red-Shift Blue-Shift model, which we will talk about in greater detail later on, aims to do exactly that.

This model assists organizations in creating a language of effective conflict management. It does this throughout the organization during times of change or turmoil. It’s done in order to proactively address conflicts when they are still small, to increase engagement, and to create a company culture of true teamwork.

5. Promote a Company Culture of Adaptability- and Demonstrate It Yourself

To do well as a leader within your company and to build an adaptable team, you need to be able to accomplish five things. For the most part, what that means is that you need to create a corporate culture that recognizes the opportunity in every challenge.

As you accompany and support your employees through organizational change, remember that change related challenges are opportunities for growth. Highlight that in every conversation, meeting and communication. And furthermore, don’t forget to believe in it yourself, truly and whole-heartedly.

Dr. Michelle Rozen, International Keynote Speaker, Change Expert and Author, is a highly influential Social Media Expert, and featured on NBC, ABC, CNN, FOX News and many other media outlets discussing change, motivation and how the human mind works to become exceptional in every area of our lives, professionally and personally. Dr. Michelle Rozen is one of the most sought after International and National Keynote Speakers!  Book Dr. Michelle today: https://bit.ly/34QbHPv

Branding and the World Series!

It’s a great Friday in Washington, D.C.!!! 

If you are a sports fan, you know the Washington Nationals are in the World Series and playing at home tonight. This will be my first ever World Series Game and I’m SO excited!!!

My son is even coming home from college to go with us so I get an extra bonus. 

Since it’s Friday, that means it’s time for this week’s Get Famous Friday PR Tip. I’ve started incorporating case studies in these so you can see the impact and why you want to get started TODAY! 

This week is an incredible story of how branding and positioning led to something amazing. Watch the video and see. Like this tip? You can still get my new book, The DIY Guide to FREE Publicity for only $0.99 and lots of extra goodies with it. Go to www.TheDIYGuidetoPR.com to learn more.  

Imagine what just one media hit will do for your business. It’s a game changer! It’s another PR Success Story – Congrats to our very own Visibility VIP rockstar, Connie, who got yet another great article. This time it’s in Thrive Global.  

https://thriveglobal.com/stories/second-act-entrepreneur-thoughts-from-a-grandmapreneur/If you want to learn how PR can change YOUR business, let’s set up a call at www.ChatwithChristina.com.   Book Christina for your next event: https://bit.ly/2Wf0khh

Burned Out by Your Job?

Are you burned out at work?

Hear and see Courtney Clark, Speaker and Accelerated Resilience Expert, share how to make a career change at any age or stage………….

Thinking it’s time for a career change?

But worried you’re too old to change careers?

Here are 3 steps to follow to make a career change at any age…

In fact, if you’re feeling burned out, a lack of motivation, and disconnected in your current career path, it’s NEVER too late to change careers!

Are You a Missionary or Mercenary Leader?

It’s been proven time and time again – a positive customer experience has a direct correlation with financial success. A recent customer satisfaction study showed that two-thirds of customers would be willing to spend more following an excellent customer experience.

When your customers like the experience you deliver they’re more likely to consider you for another purchase and recommend you to others. They’re also less likely to switch their business away to a competitor.

Customer experience has become the new battleground for competitive advantage. The successful organizations of the future will be the ones that create memorable experiences for their customers as opposed to simply completing transactions.

People don’t talk about transactions, they talk about experiences.

How do ICONIC brands like Zappos, Chick-fil-A, Amazon and Disney continue to rise above the rest? According to Amazon CEO, Jeff Bezos, the secret sauce is in having an “obsessive compulsive focus” on customer over competitor.

Bezos separates CEOs and entrepreneurs leaders into two categories – missionaries and mercenaries of the business world.

The missionary is building the product and building the service because they love the customer, because they love the product, because they love the service.

The mercenary is building the product or service so that they can flip the company and make money. “It’s usually the missionaries who make the most money.” he says.

The only way to win in today’s competitive environment is by:

  • delivering a seamless customer experience
  • making an emotional connection with your customers

Without passionate employees committed to wowing the customer, your brand becomes just another business in a sea of sameness – a commodity. Or you soar above and beyond the competition and become a category of one.

Jeff Bezos is a missionary leader famously obsessed with customers. “Obsessing over customer experience is the only long-term defensible competitive advantage,” Bezos has said.

It’d be hard to argue that Amazon’s compulsive obsession with customers hasn’t proven to be the best pathway to success and creating customer loyalty beyond measure. The iconic brand’s deliberate focus on pleasing its customers, rather than focusing on the bottom line has proved profitable for the company.

Take Amazon Prime for example. Currently, there are more than 100 million Prime members globally. Prime customers spend an average of $1,300 per year, nearly twice that of non-members.

Bezos’ customer obsession even transcends beyond the boardroom into every business decision and corporate meeting. Whether its three people, five people, or 15 people, every Amazon meeting has one extra seat reserved for the customer.

As I’ve always said, the experience your customers receive is a direct result of the work environment you create.

Are you a missionary or mercenary leader? What do your employees see in your daily behavior when you’re interacting with customers?

As a leader, it’s essential that your actions clearly demonstrate to your team that customer (and employee) experience is a priority. It may not require you leaving an empty seat in every meeting but believe me, people mirror and emulate what they see – not what you say.

Calvin Stovall, Keynote Speaker, specializes in delivering high-energy, customized keynote presentations for organizations that desire to reach or maintain ICONIC status. He focuses on delivering the perfect blend of business concepts, story-telling and music themes to bring home an impactful message that touches both the heads and hearts of his audiences. To Book Calvin for your next event click here: https://bit.ly/2lmOOSS

Your Worst Employee is Your Website’s Contact Form- Fire It!

When was the last time you left a voice mail message for a company you were considering doing business with? For example, if you had a leaky faucet and called a plumber, but got their voicemail, would you leave a message? For the vast majority of us, the answer is “No.” We just move on and contact the next vendor on the list. The bigger question is “Why don’t we — or won’t we- leave a message?”

The Three Reasons are:
1. We simply don’t want to wait. We have become accustomed to getting the answers we want when we want them. Whether it is being able to order items online 24-7, or simply asking Alexa or Google Home for the answer to a question. Today we don’t wait for a response. The information is at our fingertips and purchases are available with just one click.

2. There is an almost endless selection of other options available to us. Virtually everyone is good these days because if they weren’t, the marketplace would “out” them in short order. Face it, quality choices abound.

3. We don’t know when, or if, someone will get back to us. The same dynamic exists with your website contact form. The “contact form” is the answering machine of the internet. Nobody wants to fill it out. They want direct contact information to a real person. Get rid of it!

Here is the uncomfortable truth: If the only way for your customers (or prospective customers) to reach a real person at your business is through your website’s contact form, then you need to know that your form is driving away more prospects than your worst employee. It’s costing you a fortune in lost business.

To be clear, I understand why you have a contact form. You want to funnel all your messages to one person or department. You want to capture their contact information. You want to get a sense of what the question or problem is before you return their call. You want to avoid scaring people away with your unpublished price so you have them fill out the form so you can ascertain their needs and have a sales rep call them back to have a real conversation and tailor your solutions to their individual needs. Blah, blah blah.  The reasons go on and on.

The problem is that they are YOUR reasons. News Flash: Your customers don’t care about your reasons and they certainly don’t want to contact you the way you want them to. Your customers want to contact you the way THEY want to. And if you restrict their access or their communication options, you are driving them away — in droves.

The solution: Give them options! Sure, you can have a contact form, but also post a key staff directory with contact options. Give them phone numbers, email addresses and after hours options. I know you are reluctant, but your customers don’t care! Your customers want to connect with a real person. If you won’t let them, then they will contact your competitors. Trust me, it happens millions of times every day. Look! There goes another one!

David Avrin, CSP is a sought-after international speaker on Customer Experience and Marketing. He is the author of the best-selling book: Why Customers Leave (and How to Win Them Back) named by Forbes as:
“One of the 7 Business Books Entrepreneurs Need to Read!” Book David Today:
https://bit.ly/2m1WutK

100 DEADLIEST DAYS OF SUMMER

Another summer is upon us and as we make plans for vacations and summer fun, we would like to remind you that we are entering the “100 Deadliest Days of Summer.” This may be the time to relax and plan for summer fun but IT IS NOT the time to relax while driving, especially for your teens. Just look at some of the facts:

  • Motor Vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for teens.
  • Teens have the highest crash rate of any age group.
  • An average 260 teens are killed in car crashes each month during the summer, an increase of 26 % compared with the other months of the year.
  • 60 percent of teen crashes today are caused by distracted driving.
  • Surprisingly, the top distraction for teens is other passengers, accounting for 15 % of teen driver crashes, compared to 12 % caused by texting or talking on a cell phone.
  • For every 100,000 Americans under the age of 21, 1.2 people were killed in drunk driving fatalities in 2015.
  • “Not only are teens themselves more likely to die in car crashes, they also have the highest rates of crash involvement resulting in the deaths of others, including passengers, pedestrians or occupants of other vehicles.” Newsday
Candace Lightner Blog

What does this mean for us as we watch our young people load up the car and drive off to the beach? It means we must remain vigilant and ensure that we have provided our teens with every safety tip known to man, woman and then some. Sometimes, it takes “a little extra courage” to remind our teen that too many passengers is dangerous, the cell phone should go in the trunk of the car while they are driving or at least be put in Drive Mode, that other distractions can be just as deadly and that impaired driving is not only dangerous; it is a crime.

Getting arrested for driving drugged or drunk can ruin the potential for a college education, a good job, an increase in insurance, not to mention the fine, lawyer’s fees, etc. These are some practical things to consider here that we often forget in our hurry to see our young people have fun.

Parents: It also means that we should not be serving alcohol or other drugs at parties, and we, too must eliminate distractions behind the wheel and always drive sober.

Give them permission and encourage them to call you if they are in a potentially dangerous driving situation such as their friend, who is driving, is drunk. Let them know you will pick them up without recriminations.

Empower them to show courage and decline a ride from a friend who has been drinking or taking drugs, and that driving in a car with a driver who can’t take their finger off the cell phone is not only hazardous to their friend’s health but their own. Saying “no thanks” may make the difference between life and death.

If they use Ride Share, they should travel in pairs, make sure their driver is sober, does not drive distracted, and take a picture of the license and ensure that it is their driver before they get in. I am not a fan of either Uber or Lyft for a number of reasons and prefer taxis.

Encourage them to sign the Courage to Intervene promise, https://wesavelives.org/education/courage-to-intervene/

Also, we can’t forget about speed limits, basic highway safety laws and tips on what to do if a tire goes flat, etc. Unfortunately, our young drivers are more likely to underestimate dangerous situations or not recognize potentially hazardous situations than we older drivers. Life is too precious to waste it on a cell phone conversation or a drink before driving. These tips can help your family have a safer summer.

Because I care . . . . .

Candace Lightner, Founder of MADD, and called by People Magazine as
“The Conscience of a Nation” is returning to the forefront. Candace has founded We Save Lives as a representative voice on highway safety issues. Focusing on the 3 D’sdrugged, drunk and distracted drivingWe Save Lives works with more than 60 partners at the local, state, national and international levels, to reduce deaths and injuries on the highways. She found her life’s purpose and continues today to move forward in her fight to save lives!  Book Candace to speak: https://bit.ly/2XCcC28

Why Nonprofit Board Prospects Say No!

Do your nonprofit board prospects say No, when they are approached? When someone declines an invitation to join a nonprofit board, it could be for more reasons than the organization might assume.

Board members participating in my “Why Don’t Board Members Do What They’re Supposed to Do?” survey were asked the reasons why they would not accept a board position. Their answers revealed “No” could actually have meaning that goes much deeper than “not enough time” or “not having a connection with the cause.”

Survey responses indicate a board turn down may be symptomatic of significant organizational issues.

According to survey participants, here are five specific red flag concerns having a negative influence on board prospect decisions:

  • The board isn’t organized, and its goals aren’t clear.
  • The current leadership is a turnoff.
  • The current staff or board members are a turnoff.
  • There’s a personal giving requirement, or there’s too much fundraising.
  • It’s a board in name only, and not enough would be accomplished.

Here are three action steps to take when too many board prospects say No:

Consider the possibility that your nonprofit’s efforts are being compromised by a less than positive reputation or a damaging perception, and address it.

Create a dialogue in your recruitment process that allows honest feedback when a board prospect isn’t responding positively.

Conduct a self-evaluation to determine possible causes when negative responses seem to be a trend.

When someone doesn’t accept an opportunity to serve on your board, be willing to get a candid assessment. Accept those comments as constructive criticism and a first step toward taking corrective action.

Understanding why prospects say Yes helps ensure successful board recruiting. However, understanding why they say No can be equally important to the overall success of achieving your nonprofit’s mission.

What are some of the reasons you’ve encountered as to why board-member prospects say No? Comment here on this blog as Hardy is interested to hear your thoughts!

Speaker and Author, Hardy Smith works with nonprofits and associations who want an ongoing culture of performance. A master storyteller, organizations across America have benefitted from Hardy’s extensive career in the world of Nascar racing. His involvment with nonprofits, volunteer and community based groups nationwide has earned him the title of: “The Guru of Nonprofits!” Hardy offers: Keynotes, Seminars, Workshops, Leadership Retreats, and Strategic Planning Sessions! Book Hardy today: https://bit.ly/2ZFALqb

Do You Delegate Well?

Most of us are aware of the positives from delegating—we’ve heard them before.  In theory, it’s a great concept: “Get other people to do your work for you…Awesome!” 

We also know we can get more done in less time if we delegate properly.  The results of not delegating include burnout, stress, and getting overwhelmed with mundane tasks that distract us from our most important responsibilities.

Yet, why is delegation one of the most underutilized skills in organizations today?  Why don’t we delegate more?  Delegation is actually a learned and applied skill.  It takes an understanding of how to do it correctly, and conscious focus to create a habit.

Let me ask you: How many times in your life have you said this to yourself? “If it’s going to get done right, and if it’s going to get done on time—I might as well do it myself!”

Here are the Top 4 reasons we rationalize not delegating:
1.I don’t have anyone to delegate to.”

We often believe we don’t have anyone to delegate to.  Certainly, if you don’t have employees or a personal assistant, you may have stopped reading already.  However—don’t fret.  Delegation, at its’ most basic level, is simply having someone help you.  Help can also come from peers, other departments, friends, interns, or even your children (please consult the child labor laws in your state first!)  There are even examples of those who have mastered the art of delegation enough that they can delegate…to their boss

2. I’ve tried to delegate and it doesn’t work. I’ve been burned before.”

You’re right.  Something didn’t get done right or on time because you gave it to someone else.  You trusted someone, and they didn’t come through.  Someone let you down.  Someone made you look bad.  Got it.  It’s happened to all of us.  But, here’s the key:  Don’t make that an excuse to STOP DELEGATING FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE. 

3. “By the time I explained it to someone, I could have done it myself.”

Quite possibly, there are things that could take just a bit more time to explain to someone else—the first time However, if we think that way all the time, we WILL be the only person that knows how to do everything—and we will stay in the trap of having to do everything ourselves.  But if we invest the time to delegate the first time, and that same or related item arises again…wallah!  It’s now a time saver from that point on. 

4. “I don’t want to ‘bother’ someone else…they already have enough on their plate.”

I liken this “bothering someone” mentality to asking someone to buy something if you are in sales, or even asking someone out on a date.  Psychologically, there is a certain uncomfortable side to delegating.  We don’t want to seem as if we are pawning work off on others.  We don’t like giving people more work, especially if they, too, seem busy.  However, if we are truly overwhelmed, who do we really have to blame if we never even ask for help in the first place?  Who do we have to blame that we don’t have time for the important projects that we should be focusing our time on? Delegation often has to do with pushing ourselves outside our comfort zone, rather than not feeling like askingfor help and continuing the pattern of taking it all on ourselves.

The key to delegating is the word “habit.” Using the above excuses rationalizes and enhances the habit of doing everything yourself.  Avoiding this excuse creates the habit of delegating. Establish the pattern of delegating, especially on smaller or quicker tasks, to create a habit.

A leader isn’t the person running around doing everything themselves.  A leader is someone who inspires others to achieve the goals of the organization as a team.”

Like anything else, delegation takes focus, and a concerted conscious effort everyday—or we revert to our old habits.  You have to WORK on being an excellent “delegator.”  Place a one-word post-it note on your PC to help create this habit everyday.  Bring someone along on that next big project.  Look at your “To-Do List” and delegate 3, 4, or 5 items before you do anything else.  Then devote your time to your big picture goals–and achieve MORE, in less time, with higher quality, and less stress.  

You deserve vacation days without your cell phone going off, and you will be amazed at what your organization can accomplish.


About the Author:  Andy Masters, MA, CSP has written 5 books, earned 4 degrees, and has earned the prestigious CSP award of the National Speakers Association (NSA).  Andy presents entertaining and impactful programs on leadership, sales/service, and personal development topics. Book Andy today: https://bit.ly/2WWOZRn h

Are You Newsjacking?

One of the easiest ways to get media exposure for your business is by taking what is already in the news and bringing it home and/or establishing yourself as the expert on that topic. This is known as “newsjacking.”  

A media cycle starts with the breaking news. After that, the media is looking to add to the story. What is your expertise on the matter? What is your “spin”? What information can you provide to keep the story going and position you as the industry expert?

There are many sources providing studies, statistics, and information on your industry that provide good data that you can use to create a news story. If it’s a national study, what does it mean for your local market or specifically for your aspect of your industry.

Another thing to look at is what is happening in the news that is trending. Look at trends.google.com and Twitter trends to see what people are talking about. It doesn’t matter if it’s not happening right in your own backyard. What would it mean if it was happening in your area or in your industry? What would the ramifications be if it were where you are?

If you disagree what someone in your industry is doing and that makes news, provide your opinion on the subject and why you think what they are doing is wrong. The media loves to hear the other side of the story so if you can provide information on that aspect of it, you will be more likely to get media coverage.

What can you “newsjack” to position yourself as the expert and provide expert information to the media on a trending news story?

Christina Daves is a do-it-yourself Publicity Strategist. She is the best-selling author of, PR for Anyone™ – 100+ Affordable Ways to Easily Create Buzz for Your Business, that shares her journey of getting exposure for a product she invented. As a sought-after Keynote Speaker, she brings all the information to help you and/or your company “Get Visible!” Christina taught herself everything she could about generating her own publicity. She has appeared in over 1,000 local and national media outlets including: The Steve Harvey Show, Dr. Oz, The TODAY Show, local affiliates of NBC, ABC, CBS, and FOX, magazines such as, Forbes, Success and Entrepreneur, Sirius XM Radio, The Washington Post, and many more. She also has a regular segment on Good Morning Washington. Last year alone, Christina, together with her clients, reached over 873 million views and generated over 8 figures in sales from free publicity. To book Christina for your next event contact us at 888-766-3155 today!