Management Principle: Behavior

Back to the basics would be a good way to look at today’s principle. In the end, it’s not what we say but what we do that speaks most clearly about our personal and corporate integrity. Simply proclaiming that “we value people” without the underlying behaviors, will produce disdain to the listening ear. Public declaration and private practice must match to inspire others to do great things…

Behaviors. In a day and age when companies allocate large quantities of time and money to codify core beliefs into published value statements, one would think that corporate cultures would be the best working environments in history. Defining the culture is easy–what’s most difficult is to convert cultural beliefs into actual, congruent behaviors. This is where most companies lack efficacy to create transformational environments. Corporate officers who understand this dynamic take the time to cultivate good behaviors first in themselves and then in those under their care.

History proves that the most attractional leaders are those who are humble and understand human nature. They know how to apply proper human incentive systems that create motivated, sacrificial employees who “volunteer” their time and talents rather than simply showing up for a paycheck. They apply a proven process to create awareness, develop conscious competence through repetition and reinforcement, and finally unconscious competence (second-nature reactions) in those they lead. The result-well developed people, a thriving culture, and ultimately, managerial leverage to do great things.

Coaching questions: What steps are you taking to develop congruence in your behavior? How will you then cascade this learning to your staff?
Read more coaching principles from Dean Harbry on the Internal Innovations website.

The Big Question

Last week I participated in a learning program for fast growth businesses conducted by Verne Harnish (founder of Gazelles, Inc) who is world renowned as “The Growth Guy”. Verne has run training workshops for and coached many great entrepreneurs all over the world. He has a very straightforward approach to helping an entrepreneur stay focused.

After listening to Verne for a while, and I have been in his workshops before, it became very clear to me that the Big Question we need to ask ourselves is: What is your success impediment? That is, what is getting in the way of your success? I believe we can continuously ask ourselves this question in every area of our life, at whatever stage we are at. In many instances, it is “you”. So, the question becomes what are you going to do to get out of your own way? Are you self-aware of what is in the way? A lot of this is about your DNA. A lot of the time, we are not aware of what our natural blind spots are which are a core part of our behavior. Ultimately, people succeed or fail because of their behavior. Taking this further into a business or a family, the behaviors of the team or family member will also be important.

This is why coaching is very important. If you are an entrepreneur, Verne will certainly endorse that a coach is critical to your success in business. The same is true in life generally – a good life coach can really help your quality of life. If the coach starts by asking the big question every time then your feet will truly be held to the fire and the right focus will come.

Uncovering Human Behavior Risks

Generally in business, and particularly in financial services, people associate risk with the markets or economy. What we fail to drill down into are the risks caused by human behavior. Another way of looking at this is to consider how people handle the market risks. What decisions do they make? What solutions do they come up with? How do they manage their emotions? How do they communicate?

In essence, the market risks can be managed or exacerbated by human behavior. So, what needs to be better understood is how your people are going to handle market and economic risks that may be impacting your business. This will be particularly important when they are under pressure. What are their blind spots? What are your blind spots? Then, how will you manage your people so the risks are better managed?

Through our Financial DNA profiles we are able to reliably predict how people will behave and therefore the risks they may cause. Will they take too many chances? Will they be too impatient? Are they too independent and not accountable? We have found that the profiles are able to provide great insights into the true behavior of people when they are under pressure. Having this information can help you put in place the right management controls and also to provide the individuals with more self-awareness of how they will make decisions which could cause or exacerbate market risks. There is no doubt a large part of the success or failure of businesses in the long term comes down to being aware of and managing human behavior. You only have to look at some of the major corporate and banking disasters to see this.

So how aware are you of the risks that your people could be causing to the future of your business?