Hosted by Chris Dyer, the CEO of PeopleG2 – TalentTalk Radio features engaging conversation with CEOs, thought leaders and HR executives. TalentTalk connects professionals who care about talent-related issues, and who recognize the distinct difference between leadership and management. Today’s guests are David Shaffer, Business Advisor/Management Consultant; and Conallee Moss, a seasoned Human Resources executive. To hear the entire show, click here.
Today’s guests offer deep insights and specific examples of the difference between leadership and management, and share insights on how great leaders navigate their organizations toward success.
Shaffer is a business advisor and management consultant who launched his career at Northern Telecom and later went to work for Air Canada as well as IBM. After earning his MBA, he worked overseas before returning to the U.S. and starting his own company.
Shaffer shares that the most fulfilling part of his work is seeing a company grow and seeing its people fulfill their goals. His most rewarding experiences as a consultant have been working with two particular firms, both in healthcare. The first is a $60 million dollar firm looking to grow, while also retaining its culture and values. When the company was sold, Shaffer was thrilled to see the partners take the earnings and reinvest it back into the community.
The second is a not-for-profit organization that provides care-giving services, particularly critical for baby-boomers too. “Everybody is faced with the challenges of caring for their parents and for their own kids,” explains Shaffer. He worked with community colleges to recruit single moms who were receiving welfare, provide them training and boost their self-esteem, and then place over 100 new employees in caregiver positions – all with a retention rate of 80 percent.
Management vs. Leadership
You need to know the difference between leading and managing people. “Understanding there is a difference between management versus leadership… management is stepping back and providing day-to-day direction; leadership is truly having a vision and strategic thinking,” says Shaffer.
Shaffer believes struggling leaders should consider “5-star leadership” of which the elements are:
- Effective Communication,
- Vision and Strategic Thinking,
- Putting Time in Place to Coach and Develop your People,
- Displaying Initiative, and
- Demonstrating Unwavering Integrity.
He asserts that the most important of the five is integrity. A significant factor in a strong leader is that he or she must be authentic and communicate effectively. “As a consultant, you’re constantly being viewed and measured… are you walking the walk?” says Shaffer. He suggests that a company provides questionnaires so leaders can evaluate themselves against these five areas and have their employees rate them as well.
Broadening to company challenges, Shaffer see many companies that start from scratch where a few people did everything and soon find that as they grow they struggle with how to delegate. “The biggest challenge I see in the mid-range company is the inability of leaders to delegate effectively.”
Shaffer consults using a method that focuses on strategic planning. He first examines a company’s mission and values. “Culture is really the foundation of what defines you,” says Shaffer. “The people represent you and your company. If they don’t have a comparable culture, the same values, then how they represent you is going to be a negative reflection on you and your business.”
Shaffer adds, “Organizations that are really trying to build a foundation and culture will turn their strategic plan from a 50-pound document to a 1 or 2-page executable document.”
To that end, he has clients make a short list of approximately five initiatives and then identify two or three in particular that will carry them forward into the future. Then, he advises, “Turn these into plans, goals and objectives for your people and make sure to hold your people accountable.”
What are you Reading?
Shaffer is reading “4-3-2-1 Leadership” by Vincent E. Boles, a book which focuses on trust.
How Can People Connect with You? Via LinkedIn.
Moss has been working in HR for approximately two decades, having fallen into the profession while working in accounting for a small business based on her people skills when the need for HR arose. While Moss first worked without a college degree, she later earned both her degree and a certification in HR management.
The primary reason Moss enjoys HR is that she likes being involved with and helping the people with whom she works. Above all, she professes a genuine concern for employees.
Culture is Simply People
For Moss, a great culture begins with the people. She believes candidates should be asked questions about what makes them happy and what they bring to a position. She feels companies often say on-boarding is important but in reality, they don’t follow through — and that’s where a lot of great talent is lost.
“It sounds very simple. People want to be thought of. They want to be paid attention to. They want to be cared about,” says Moss. She explains how the on-boarding process is really about “keeping employees engaged and giving them opportunity.” She believes on-boarding is also critical in building the brand.
Great leaders need to be involved with their people, Moss insists. She says employee wants to see “…genuine concern that you have others’ interests at heart.” She believes companies often miss this leadership quality when they promote people who have subject matter expertise into management roles, but lack people skills.
When it comes to hiring, the candidate is just one part of the process. Moss says she “must have a belief in the company and in what they’re trying to do.” Her ability to perform her role effectively means she must also believe in the leadership of the organization.
Moss relies on behavioral interviewing as a great tool for selecting talent. Specifically, she looks for a positive attitude and great customer service skills. Knowledge of products and processes is not as important in a true talent as a love for internal and external customer service. Moss thinks behavior is a more effective way to determine a candidate’s success. “You’re going to find the right people that way,” she says.
As for locating great talent, Moss has a strong network of contacts from her years in HR. “There isn’t a shortage of talent — people who want to work and do the right thing,” she says. Moss has also been fortunate to have great team members follow her from former organizations to new opportunities.
What are You Reading?
Moss is reading “Turn the Ship Around!” by L. David Marquet. It conveys the importance of letting people take control and the idea of empowerment.
How Can People Connect with You? Via LinkedIn.
Tune into the show next week, and remember, do what you love….and show the world how talented you can be, today.
Date: October 14, 2014