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6 Steps to Build Team Spirit

By Bigg Success Staff
08-06-08

Leadership Skills

We’re all familiar with the old saying, “There is no ‘I’ in team.” This works counter to our behavior as humans since we normally respond best to “What’s in it for me?”

As a leader, you must bridge the gap between working as a team and satisfying individual wants and needs. It begins with how you act since you must lead by example. Here are six ways you can build team spirit:

916 Show respect to earn respect]

It’s not uncommon to see a person’s demeanor change when they get promoted to their first position. They mistakenly think that people should show them respect because of their title. It’s an ineffective strategy. People respect people who show respect.

Listen actively before talking

One way to demonstrate respect is to listen actively to your people. Keep the conversation productive, but listen even when it stings. When your people feel like you genuinely care about their problems, they’ll rally behind you and their team mates.

Equal consideration of interests

If it appears that you’re putting your interests above (or below) your troops’ interests, you’ll fail to win crucial support. Demonstrate that you place all interests on an even plane. You’re looking for solutions that satisfy the needs and wants of all.

Know the purpose of every communication

Before you speak (or write), know why you’re speaking (or writing). Move along logically in your communication toward that purpose. Don’t react emotionally – sometimes it’s better to let something sit for an hour or a day, rather than harming a relationship.

Choose your words carefully

How you say it is as important as what you say. If you’re correcting an employee, don’t frame the conversation in “you”. Report what happened and explain why it’s not acceptable. And keep it between you and the relevant subordinate.

Think mutual self-interest

As you begin exploring solutions, find ways for everyone to win. By knowing the wants and needs of the individuals on your team, you will find answers that get everyone excited about working together. It’s not as easy as barking out orders, but it’s a lot more fulfilling and also more effective in the long run. 

3 Hear today’s lesson and laugh on The Bigg Success Show. ]

 

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3 Steps to Solve an Ethical Dilemma

By Bigg Success Staff
08-05-08

Leadership Skills

dilemma

One of the most important leadership skills you can possess is a high moral intelligence.
It may appear that bad behavior is rewarded in the corporate world, but it is usually a very short-term phenomenon. In the long-term, good behavior tends to pay off.

What makes ethical dilemmas particularly difficult is that they often involve conflicts between two or more deeply held beliefs. Consider this admittedly simple example …

A friend of yours just had a baby. He’s the most homely baby you’ve ever seen. While holding her new baby boy in her arms, your friend asks, “Isn’t he the best looking baby you’ve ever seen?”

Now you value honesty. But you also believe you shouldn’t needlessly hurt someone’s feelings. You have an ethical dilemma!

Ethical dilemmas flow upward
All of us are leaders, even if it’s just personal leadership. However, when you start managing others, it’s crucial to have a framework in place to deal with ethical dilemmas. Leaders must learn to apply their values, aligned with the values of their organization, to these situations. Ethical decisions are often trade-offs between:

  • Utility – the value delivered to the stakeholders in your organization
  • Rights – entitlement to something
  • Justice – equitable sharing of pain and pleasure

Because of these trade-offs, leaders must be prepared to deal with ethical dilemmas because these decisions tend to flow upward. So leaders must develop a framework to handle these inevitable challenges.

The benefits of an established framework

There are at least four benefits to putting a framework in place for making ethical decisions:

  • Efficiency – decisions can be made more quickly
  • Consistency – results in more systematic outputs
  • Payback – builds emotional goodwill with your constituents
  • Self-respect – you feel good about yourself when you look in the mirror

3 steps to solving ethical dilemmas

#1 – Know your values
There are certain values about which society agrees. For example, we tend to value honesty. Our discussion here isn’t designed to change your values – instead, it’s about applying them. Before you can apply them, you have to know what they are.

If you haven’t formally contemplated your values, or even if you haven’t thought about it for awhile, check out our article on core values.

Application: Create your list of core values.

#2 – Select a model
According to the book, Moral Issues in Business, ethical theories can be divided into two classifications: consequential theories (the formal term for these is teleological theories) and non-consequential theories (formal name is deontological theories).

The following is not a complete list of ethical theories, but it certainly covers the most significant ones for business people.

Consequential theories
With consequential theories, actions are judged by outcomes. If an action results in a positive result, it is morally right. If not, it is wrong.
Egoism – An act is moral if it promotes your best long-term interest.

Strengths Weaknesses
– Useful for decision-making – Ignores wrongs
– Flexible – Ignores interest of others
– Doesn’t build relationships
– Inconsistent (i.e. right for me, wrong for you)
– Can’t resolve conflicts of interest

Utilitarianism – An act is moral if it produces the great ratio of good to evil for everyone.

Strengths Weaknesses
– Useful for decision-making – May ignore wrongs
– Flexible – May conflict with justice
– Recognizes interests of all – Difficult to design rules
– Resolves conflict of interest

Situational – An act is moral if it creates the greatest amount of love.

Strengths Weaknesses
– Humanizes decisions – Lacks definite criteria for decision-making
– Rejects moral legalism

Non-consequential theories
According to non-consequential theories, a factor (single rule non-consequential theories) or factors (multiple rule non-consequential theories) other than the outcome should be considered when faced with an ethical dilemma.

Single rule

Golden Rule – An act is moral if you treat others the way you would wish to be treated.

Strengths Weaknesses
– Personalizes decisions – Needs modification to fit commerce
– Brings fairness into play – We can’t know how others feel and think
– Carries childhood teachings into business

Categorical Imperative (Kant) – An act is moral if you would wish that everyone behaved in the same manner.

Strengths Weaknesses
– Useful for decisions (i.e. do your duty) – Doesn’t resolve conflicts of duties
– Recognizes responsibilities – Subject to misinterpretation of duty
– Provides humanistic dimension – Results of acting on duty can be disastrous
– Respects rights of others

Multiple rules

Prima Facie Duties (Ross) – An act is moral if you fulfill your duties; if there is conflict, fulfill the duty to which you are most obligated. Prima facie duties include, but are not limited to: fidelity, gratitude, justice, beneficence, self-improvement, and non-injury.

Strengths Weaknesses
– List of duties is educational in itself – Difficult to determine weight of duties
– Sensitive to consequences – No basic agreement on moral principles

Maximin Principle of Justice (Rawls) – An act is moral if it provides an equal amount of liberty for you and others, except when social or economic inequalities exist. In that case, the worst-off in society should benefit more from the act.

Strengths Weaknesses
– Shows inherent respect for individuals – Concerned only with justice
– Encourages social responsibility by all – Assumes a high level of rationality
– Shows concern for less fortunate – Assumes acting without self-interest

Proportionality (Garrett) – An act is moral if, in engaging in it, you don’t will a major evil to you or anyone else and if you don’t will, risk or permit a minor evil to yourself or anyone else without a proportionate reason.

Strengths Weaknesses
– Synthesizes most useful theories – Definitions are vague
– Provides flexibility without immorality – Highly subjective

You probably noticed that all of these theories have weaknesses. So you may think that selecting an ethical theory is an exercise in futility. However, once you select the ethical theory that you feel is most closely aligned with your core values, you’ll find solving ethical dilemmas much easier. You can recognize the weakness of your method, while feeling confident in your process.

Application: Choose the ethical theory which most closely aligns with your values.

#3 – Use a problem-solving process

Now you know your values and you have a model with which to apply them. The remaining piece is to follow an orderly process to solve the problem, because not all ethical dilemmas are as simple as your friend and her baby that we discussed earlier.

We recommend that you SOLVE IT! That’s our acronym for the timeless problem-solving process. When you follow a process such as this to solve an ethical dilemma, or any problem for that matter, you feel good about your ultimate decision. You know you’ve considered all of the alternatives and chosen the best alternative under the circumstances.

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Achieving the Impossible Starts with a Dream

By Bigg Success Staff
07-29-08

Leadership Skills

goal

Setting really good, achievable-yet-stretching goals for ourselves isn’t easy. It’s even harder to set goals for your team.

Here’s an idea that would also apply to your individual goals as well. Set goals based on your “most likely” scenario. But don’t stop there. Now set goals for your “best-case” outlook.

Look at your two sets of goals. Now direct all the resources at your disposal for the best-case. You might fall short in the end. However, in all likelihood, you’ll achieve more than you would by just having one set of goals.

When we start to focus our minds on how to achieve any goal, we start finding ways to make it happen. If we set small goals, we achieve small things. If we set bigg goals, we achieve bigg things.

Don’t believe it? Think about Jack Kennedy and the man on the moon, Neil Armstrong. He took a giant leap for all of us when he walked on the moon. Jack Kennedy didn’t have to set a goal of walking on the moon. It was risky – many people thought it was impossible. But he did it anyway – he knew it was important for his country to show the world and, even more importantly, its own people what was possible.

By focusing on a bigger dream, his team got excited about his vision and made it happen. If he had set smaller goals, there wouldn’t have been the same level of enthusiasm. So share a bigg vision with your team, get their buy-in, and go for it! 

3 Hear today’s lesson and laugh on The Bigg Success Show. ]

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Are You a Born Leader or a Born Boss?

By Bigg Sucess Staff
06-26-08

Leadership Skills

leader 

Some people seem born to lead; others appear born to boss. It’s not necessarily innate; it is also shaped by attitudes, perceptions, and experiences.

Some people think that they are leaders because of their position. However, by definition, you can’t be a leader if no one willingly follows.

That’s what bosses don’t get. Barking out orders doesn’t accomplish much in the long run. Especially in a tough labor market.

Leaders make requests because they can. They don’t demand because they don’t have to. Their people willingly follow them because of a clearly communicated vision coupled with mutual respect. And you can’t expect others to show you respect if you don’t show respect to others.

Remember the old saying, “People join companies; they leave bosses.” You may have heard that quote with the word “managers” substituted for “bosses”. But note that you’ve never heard “leaders” instead of “bosses”.

Do you suppose there’s a reason for that?

Hear today's lesson and laugh on The Bigg Success Show. 

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The Respect Reward: Letting Your People Know They Matter Matters

By Bigg Success Staff
06-19-08

Leadership Skills

people

Judy Bardwick wrote an interesting book called One Foot Out the Door: How to Combat the Psychological Recession That is Hurting American Business. In her book, she claimed that as many as two-thirds of America’s workforce feel insecure about their future.

Ineffective leaders reinforce this feeling by scolding employees publicly while being stingy with praise. This results in their troops feeling unappreciated.

Effective leadership calls for the opposite approach.
Let your people know what you expect from them. Set high, yet achievable, goals. Let them know that you realize you’re asking a lot, but you have confidence in their ability to do it.

Then let them do it. Praise them publicly when they do well. Offer constructive criticism privately when they don’t.

The reward for respect
Bardwick says that there’s a direct relationship between leaders who treat their employees like this and positive outcomes. People who are respected and trusted work more efficiently and effectively. They feel like they are part of something bigger. That they matter.

As a leader, letting your people know they matter matters a lot.

Hear today's lesson and laugh on The Bigg Success Show. 



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