How We Help

Express works with you to help you find that next career. We offer access to our extensive client network, third-party salary negotiation, complete confidentiality, one-on-one consultations, résumé review and assistance, as well as interview enhancement tips.

Learn more. 

Entries in Management (13)

Friday
Dec122014

Back to Basics: Be a More Effective Leader in 2015

Improvement is crucial in staying competitive in an ever-changing business environment. However, sometimes improving is easier said than done. To become a more effective leader in 2015, it may be time you go back to basics.

Focus on Yourself

Before you can be an effective leader, you must first be able to lead yourself. Take a self-assessment to determine what kind of leader you are—and be honest about your strengths and weaknesses. No one is perfect, and even the greatest leaders in history had weaknesses. You may not be able to change your weaknesses into strengths, but you can see them as learning opportunities. Lessen your weaknesses and build your strengths by focusing on what you’re good at and surrounding yourself with colleagues who complement you. One personal characteristic that can be a morale killer is being too hard on yourself. Your team will notice your negativity and it may spread throughout the office. Focus on being better to yourself and then turn to your team to lead them to do the same.

Read Up on History

Staying well-read is a valuable tool when leading an organization. And although it is wise to read up on leadership books and listen to business podcasts, it can be just as helpful to “read up” on your competition. Pick your five closest competitors and learn their history. What are some of their greatest triumphs? How did they overcome certain obstacles? What are the biggest mistakes they’ve made? By learning from similar organizations, you can borrow methods or avoid their pitfalls. And while the age-old saying, “know your enemy,” is still applicable, the flipside is just as valuable—know yourself. Take the new year as an opportunity to read up on your company’s history, including what/who built it into the organization it is today. Before you know where you’re going, it is important to know where you’ve been.

Expect the Worst

The most difficult aspect of trials and hardships is the unpredictable. When a project fails or an issue arises, it often occurs when you were expecting the opposite. That’s why problems carry such a heavy burden for the parties involved. When you expected a win, a loss can be devastating to a team—and sometimes hard to recover from. Though it is good to have high expectations for your organization, it is also great to operate under Murphy’s Law: anything that can go wrong, will go wrong. No one can predict the future, but you can plan for the worst. When developing your yearly plan or employee development techniques, try and picture every outcome, including personal shortcomings, project holdups, and employee turnover, as well as simple solutions for each problem. Should these issues arise, you and your team will be able to push past them and get back on track.

Empower Your Team

U.S. General George S. Patton once said, “Never tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do, and they will surprise you with their ingenuity.” One of the most effective leadership techniques is empowering your team with self-worth and self-esteem. Giving your team the tools and freedom to overcome obstacles the way they see fit is one of the surest ways to build a team that will follow you anywhere. Moreover, according to a Gallup survey, only 45% of men and 50% of women are satisfied with the recognition they receive at work for their accomplishments. The 50-55% of workers who aren’t satisfied with recognition may not be engaged in meeting goals in 2015. Scare tactics and fear may work in the short term, but leading by developing your team through motivation and encouragement is the best way to get them to buy into your organization’s vision.

Regardless of your achievements and shortcomings this year, 2015 is a fresh opportunity to take the reins of your team and be a more effective leader. By mastering these four techniques, you will be on your way to a successful business year. What do you do to ensure you are being an effective leader? Let us know in the comments section below!

Friday
Nov212014

Self-Sabotage: 3 Ways We Get in Our Own Way

There are plenty of things that make your role as leader difficult – troublesome employees, small budgets, technology problems, demanding customers. But, if you’re having problems within your company and you’re having trouble pin-pointing the cause, there might be one other place you should look. Try taking a good look in the mirror, because sometimes the problem is actually you.

Nothing is more damaging, or frustrating, than when you get in your own way. So check out these three forms of self-sabotage and make sure you aren’t behind your workplace woes.

Avoiding Taking Responsibility
Admitting you were wrong, taking responsibility, and apologizing is hard for anyone to do, and it can be especially difficult for leaders because there often people who look to them for guidance. Your reputation is a valuable asset.  Not taking responsibility for your own actions is one of the biggest forms of self-sabotage and could have a significant impact on how you are viewed as a leader.

In an article in Forbes, contributing author Erika Anderson explains, “Apologizing freely requires a good deal of courage. It’s not comfortable for any of us to admit an error, or to acknowledge that something we’ve done has caused others harm or inconvenience.” However the consequences of being courageous and honest are actually usually positive. “When someone truly apologizes, we know he or she is putting honesty and honor above personal comfort or self-protection.  It’s inspiring, and it feels brave.” And generally employees, customers, and the public respond quite well to brave, inspirational leaders.

Not Standing Up
Similarly, leaders who fail to stand up for what’s right, best for their team, or in the best interests of the business are severely damaging their reputation and influence. Most leaders have others, who are higher up, that they have to answer to, from top executives to share holders. And that can often place you in uncomfortable positions.

But, the reality is that, as another Forbes article reveals, Leaders that don’t stand up for what they believe in are difficult to respect and trust. Too many leaders today battle the gulf between assimilation and authenticity.” That, in turn, causes more problems as “it becomes a challenge (for others) to trust their judgment, self-confidence, self-awareness and overall capabilities.”

Giving Advice Too Quickly
Another type of self-sabotage that is easy to slip into is spoon-feeding your employees. In an article forInc. magazine, Jay Steinfeld, founder and CEO of Blinds.com and advocate for amazing (and profitable) company culture, explains “many bosses do more harm than good by not encouraging a culture where employees self-evaluate and think for themselves. When employees need help, rather than just give them the answer, it’s better to ask them to propose solutions. Then try to understand how they came up with those proposals.”

Whether giving advice too quickly stems from a sincere desire to help others or a need to control, it’s doing more harm than good. You’re not only sabotaging your own efforts and leadership position, you’re also sabotaging your employees’ and company’s future growth and performance. Successful businesses need workers who can think for themselves, and employees can’t gain that ability until they’re allowed the opportunity to do their own thinking.

You’ve worked hard to get where you’re at today, so don’t let your own actions sabotage your career. Take an honest look at yourself and see if you are getting in your way. All that might be needed to get you back on track is some slight attitude and behavior changes.

How have you self-sabotaged your career? What behaviors from leaders often seem to be counter-productive? Share your experiences with us below.

Friday
Nov212014

This Week on Peak Performer’s Life with Walter Bond: I Have a Dream

This week on Peak Performer’s Life, Walter Bond discusses the famous “I have a dream” Martin Luther King Jr. speech and the importance of being committed to your dream. Dr. King’s actions lined up with his dreams, so in order to achieve success, your daily actions must also line up with your dream.

According to Walter:
“Before you get committed to your dream, it’s going to be impossible to stay focused over time to make the dream come true.”

How do your actions show your commitment to your dream? How do you get other people to buy into your goal? Let us know in the comments section below.

New messages each week!
Walter Bond and Peak Performer’s Life is brought to you by Express Employment Professionals. Don’t forget to check back each Wednesday for a new message from Walter Bond! If you missed an episode of Peak Performer’s Life, visit the archive to catch up.

About Walter Bond
A former American professional basketball player, Walter Bond’s NBA career included 153 games with the Dallas Mavericks, Utah Jazz, and Detroit Pistons. Now, Walter takes what he learned from his life on the court and translates it into motivational and educational messages for thriving businesses and careers. For more information, visit WalterBond.com.

Thursday
Nov132014

Peak Performer’s Life: Master Your Day

This week on Peak Performer’s Life, Walter Bond reveals three simple things you can start doing today to help you get on your way to becoming  a peak performer. Simply put, before you can be an effective leader, you must first be able to “govern yourself.”

According to Walter:
“Be disciplined with your mind and what you think, because if you’re not thinking the right things, you’re not going to say the right things … you aren’t going to do the right things.”

How do you take your thoughts captive? What do you do to ensure you are first managing yourself before you lead others? Let us know in the comments section below.

New messages each week!
Walter Bond and Peak Performer’s Life is brought to you by Express Employment Professionals. Don’t forget to check back each Wednesday for a new message from Walter Bond! If you missed an episode of Peak Performer’s Life, visit the archive to catch up.

About Walter Bond
A former American professional basketball player, Walter Bond’s NBA career included 153 games with the Dallas Mavericks, Utah Jazz, and Detroit Pistons. Now, Walter takes what he learned from his life on the court and translates it into motivational and educational messages for thriving businesses and careers. For more information, visit WalterBond.com.

Friday
May162014

Respect Goes Both Ways: Why Your Employees Have to Like You

In case you haven’t heard, there’s a skills gap happening out there. And, chances are, you have already felt, or soon will feel, its effects. According to education site noGRE.com, the American Society for Training & Development (ASTD) defines a skills gap as “a significant gap between an organization’s current capabilities and the skills it needs to achieve its goals.” For employers across the country, that means the majority of available workers just don’t have the skills required for future growth.

Even more troubling than not being able to find skilled workers, though, is the reality that employers are having difficulty keeping the skilled employees they already have. The Wall Street Journal’s Market Watch highlighted several prime examples that were revealed by a recent New York Fed survey. Approximately 30% of manufacturers and services firms surveyed report “it’s become harder to retain skilled workers in recent months.” And, roughly 37% of manufacturing firms and over 45% of service providers “expect it to become even more difficult to retain skilled workers over the next year.” Holding on to top talent is now even more of a crisis than finding the talent to begin with.

There’s Too Much at Stake
According to Forbes, last year the Department of Labor reported the average tenure of a U.S. employee was only one and a half years. Because of this rate of turnover, and the overall difficulty in finding skilled workers, employers need to be prepared for the negative impact unfilled positions could have on their businesses. One study found that, of the companies surveyed, a third experienced a decrease in employee morale, almost 25% saw a loss in revenue, and nearly two out of 10 saw additional turnover as a result of open positions. With everything else businesses are dealing with right now, employers really can’t afford those types of setbacks. So, the bottom line is in order to remain successful, you have to retain your employees, and that means you’d better make sure your employees like you.

It’s Personal
Being liked by your employees might sound petty, but it takes on a whole new light of importance when their feelings toward you become the deciding factor in whether they stay or go. According to The Business Times, a recent Gallup poll of more than a million employed Americans confirmed the number one reason employees leave is poor management. Of workers who told CareerBuilder they had no intention of leaving their current employers, more than half cited liking the people they work with, and more than 30% indicated having a good boss as factoring into their decision. Now, there are certainly several key reasons that can cause employees to leave, but leadership is one you can control.

Check Your Likeability
Ironically, being a business leader can at times blind you to the fact that everything really does boil down to relationships – and not just between you and your customers. Your employees are who you ultimately need to like you. And, really, being likable isn’t that difficult. A recent Inc. article about the top habits of likeable bosses highlighted their characteristics of being friendly, available, flexible, positive, dependable, grateful, and compassionate.

It’s really pretty basic. Treat employees how you want to be treated. Or, better yet, treat your workers how you want them to treat your customers. If your employees like you, then you’re going to have less turnover. A lower turnover rate means fewer empty positions and maintaining the number of skilled workers you already employ. And with less effort and time being required to replace employees, you can refocus those resources on developing the workers you have to grow your business.