What a great week in Los Cabos! I had such a great experience spending time with everyone, and the sunshine was certainly a nice reprieve from our winter weather here in Louisville, KY. We saw some excellent speakers and I was able to take away a lot from each of them. Here are my thoughts on two of the speakers at the 2018 BSCAI CEO Seminar:
Stephen M.R. Covey
Covey’s talk was fantastic. His book, The Speed of Trust, has been the cornerstone of his consulting business for many years. He delivered a condensed version of this and spoke for 3 hours on what is normally a 4-day session.
He started by posing a question: What is it like having a conversation with a person you trust? Then, What is it like having a conversation with a person you don’t trust?
The importance of trust is obvious, but so often we can get tunnel vision and only see what is directly in front of us. We can easily forget how our actions directly impact the level of trust from those around us and how that affects our entire organizations.
He discussed 13 behaviors of high trust leaders. You can review each behavior on his handout at this link.
I started listening to his discussion of these behaviors through the prism of an interview. There were five behaviors that really resonated with me in terms of how the hiring process can quickly head south:
- Confront reality - Oftentimes, BSCs will have centralized hiring that doesn’t take place in the field. The hiring manager’s goal is to fill the position. They can easily turn to a focus of persuading the candidate to accept the position rather than communicating the fine details of the job. . Centralized hiring often leads to candidates accepting a position without meeting the manager.
- Clarify expectations - Are you being forthright about the role? The locations? The procedures? How often is the hire going to be interacting with people? How flexible is the hire going to need to be for a particular job? Every little detail of the job needs to be clearly explained in the interview process.
- Talk straight - This is really a combination of the first two and I’ve included it to hammer home the point - be transparent with your interviewees!
- Listen First - Listen with the intent to understand, and not simply respond. Empathy is a rare trait, and it’s easy to lose in the sometimes mundane, repetitive hiring process. Your employees will feel a greater sense of commitment to you if you show commitment to them. Listening with an empathetic ear is one way to show that commitment.
- Keep Commitments - How many times have you heard this one - “I don’t know what they told you in the interview, but…” Again, this goes back to the first three behaviors here. Honesty is critical!
Does this resonate with you? Can you think of examples where you may have opportunities to improve? This may explain why 30-40% of people who accept your job offers never end up becoming an employee.
Nelson is a former submariner in the Navy. He spent six years in a submarine in six month sprints. I could not imagine!
He spoke primarily about goal planning and emphasized breaking up your to-do list into three categories: Must Do, Should Do, Could Do.
Many people see everything as equally important on their to-do list. If you take this approach, even if you do everything on the list the right way, you’re missing out on a giant opportunity.
The real winners are companies who do the right things the right way. By prioritizing your to-do list into Must-Should-Could, you can focus on what truly needs to be done.
My second big takeaway from Nelson was this question: “If you hired your replacement, what three things would they do in the next 12 months that you know you should do, but you’re not doing?”
I was able to think of several things right away and I spoke with my team this week about taking action on these items (which, by the way, are going to make the Kwantek product much better!). I encourage you all to do the same!
All in all, the conference was terrific. I look forward to seeing you at the next event!