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Entries in attitude (2)

Thursday
Feb122015

The 4 Most Powerful Words a CEO can Say

It's strange being a CEO. It can actually be lonely. People think you have all the answers and often have little to say around you. They anxiously wait for your words. And that's why for too many employees, the CEO is little more than a stranger behind the corner office door. Meaningful words are never spoken.

It's a shame actually when the CEO is a mystery. Who wants to work for a company where the most important leader is little more than a title?

I have always done my best to be me first and the CEO second. While I might not always be a CEO, I will always be me and we all benefit when I share who I am and what I believe in.

I know this is easier said than done. Whether you're CEO of a startup or a large multi-national, you feel vulnerable at times and it's easy to stay veiled. But as CEO of Aha! which is product roadmap software for product managers, employee performance and happiness is always on my mind. It's my job to ensure that everyone is as productive as possible. To make that happen, I need to help each person be better than they ever thought was possible.

As the CEO, my job is to be omni-present to serve employees.

This goes beyond ensuring that they have all the tools they need. On a deeper level, they need to know that they can approach me without personal judgement. They need to know that I believe in their potential for greatness and that I am committed to them being better tomorrow than they are today.

So, do you know what I say to make that clear?

The four most powerful words a CEO can use are, "How can I help?"

This sends a strong message to your team, whether someone's new or has been with you since day one. When you ask this question, they know you're:

Committed 
We've all been thrown into the deep end at work. Whether you drowned or self-taught yourself to swim, it isn't fun -- and can kill morale. Asking how you can help has two positive impacts: it demonstrates strong commitment and ignites a sense of teamwork. I am all in.

Responsive
Employees will not always ask for help. They've been conditioned to try to do it all themselves and not to make more demands on the CEO's time. Many CEOs don't care enough to ask. The ones who do are rare -- and make a strong impression. They are there to serve employees and be responsive to their needs.

Caring
If you're asking how you can help, the question exposes your humanity. It says that you care about the person and the work they are doing. Caring is good for every leader as it allows you to stay in control, remain humble, and maintain perspective. It puts the other person first and throws out any sense of company hierarchy. It deepens relationships and the effort people put in.

CEOs often forget that their employees are the ultimate shareholders. They control the destiny of the organization.

Employees have bet their livelihoods and working happiness on the company and the CEO who is leading it. So, CEOs must internalize this and put employees and their potential for achievement first.

My job is to set a vision, give the team purpose, and ensure that every single employee can better themselves and the world. How can I help?

What has your CEO done to help you?

Tuesday
Dec172013

3 TIPS FOR WORKING WITH A YOUNGER BOSS

Tips_For_Working_With_Younger_Boss_Dec2013As more baby boomers are delaying their retirement and working later in life, it’s likely they’ll eventually find themselves working for someone that is younger than them. Working in an environment full of people of different age groups can make it difficult to connect and relate. Here are three tips to keep in mind when working for a younger boss.

Confidence
Having confidence in yourself will not only help you advance in your company and career, but it can also make work more enjoyable and fulfilling. Walk with caution, as there is a difference between confidence and arrogance. Confidence is important when working for a boss that is younger than you, so believe in your abilities.

Communication
Communication is a key to getting to know your boss no matter their age. Ask how he or she likes to stay in touch, whether by text, phone calls, email, or face-to-face meetings. As you learn how to communicate with each other, you’ll figure out how to get along with them as well.

Understanding
Although you may have more experience in the company than your young boss, understand that what he or she brings to the business is new and that they have unique insight to offer. Change is needed to grow and further businesses, even if it means you may be learning new areas you’ve never thought about.

Keep in mind the relationship between you and your boss is probably the most influential and important relationship at your workplace. Do you work for someone younger than you? If so, share with us in the comments section what you’ve done to bridge a positive relationship across generations.