Triangle Performance
APRIL 2009
In this issue
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FROM THE TOP
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STRATEGY & LEADERSHIP
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Hey, you're lucky to have a job!
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MUSINGS
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Boss, it's not about the money...
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Printable Version
PRINTABLE VERSION
Click here to download an easily printable, PDF version of this newsletter.
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LINKS FOR THE MONTH
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2009 Survey of Senior Executives
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Performance Management or Training
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Incentive Compensation During Challenging Times
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Recession Proof Leadership
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Berchelmann Blog
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Request Additional Information
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From the Top

Well, we made it to the end of Q1, 2009.

That's right. Despite the doom and gloom talk, the stimulus, bailouts, and rescues, we made it through March. The sun kept coming up in the morning, and setting in the afternoon.

You kept plugging away, doing those things you knew to be of value, and they worked. Concerned? Sure we are. And we should be. Leadership can be lonely, and sometimes it feels like we're the mythical Atlas, holding the world or heavens on our shoulder.

Now's a good time to take a hard look at your plans for the year, measure against current progress, and adjust where necessary. Don't easily dismiss those things that were originally planned for a Q1 completion, that may not be successfully completed.

Many have used the "There's plenty of year left" rationale, and been bitterly disappointed.

Also... "It's the bad economy" only works as the baseline reason for unsatisfactory performance in select industries, and then only when no one else in that space is succeeding either. In other words, if some are succeeding -- even thriving -- in your industry or market space, then "it's not the economy, stupid," to paraphrase a better known mention.

Make sure you've got the right talent on board, pointed in the right direction. Further, make sure that talent has the real skills they require to get the job done.

A crime is to have an otherwise capable manager, sitting in a role for which s/he is unprepared, and doing nothing to improve the situation. Leadership and management are learned skills; let's ensure our managers are given that opportunity to succeed.

I know you know this, since developing leaders and managers was a close second to profitability and margin control in our recent Survey of Senior Executives. Feel free to download and review; I would welcome your comments.

Further, feel free to download and read a few articles that may be relevant today:

Performance Management or Training -- Just push the damn button!,

Incentive Compensation During Challenging Times -- Bonuses: boom or bust?, and one more time...

Recession Proof Leadership -- 5 keys to managing through challenging times.

...and don't forget to check out my blog; please comment, complain, or scream at me if you agree, disagree, or just want your opinion read, seen, and heard. Some interesting posts as always..

Berchelmann's Blog

Beware -- Shameless Self Promotion follows... I don't do this often, as these "At C-Level" newsletters are not designed to be marketing tools -- I send them to you as a resource.

If, however, you'd like to know how I can assist you, your organization, or a colleague of yours, please fill out this form and I'll send you some specific information, articles, engagement results, and so forth.

And not via email; they'll be good ol' fashioned hard copies!

As always, I hope this finds you well, personally and professionally; please give me a call if I can ever help in any way, and feel free to forward this to anyone you feel may be interested. (Really!)

Warm Regards,

D. Kevin Berchelmann

D. Kevin Berchelmann
President
Triangle Performance, LLC
www.triangleperformance.com
kevinb@triangleperformance.com
281.257.4442

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Strategy & Leadership
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return to top
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Hey, you're lucky to have a job!
-- Maybe so... But motivating? Uhm, No.

There's lots of change going on in our world today. Sometimes, things seem to move even faster than we can keep up.

Every day, we read of another round of layoffs, downsizing, reorganizing and other well-spun words for "firing" someone. Sometimes, we make these decisions because we must, literally, to survive. Other times, the moves are preemptory, to avoid tenuous situations at some later date.

Regardless of reason, it's always an emotional struggle. Never easy, terminating decent employees when their job market prospects are a bit dim is even harder than usual. So, you would think that those keeping their jobs would be grateful; at a minimum, they should be appreciative, right?

Well, maybe so. But I must say, telling them "...you're lucky you even have a job" is not nearly as motivating as you may think. Believe it or not, many employees actually feel like they contribute fairly, even substantially, to your organization's success.

They actually believe -- if you can fathom the audacity -- that the whole employment relationship is fairly well-balanced: they work hard (if they don't, who's performance issue is that?), you pay fairly, and everyone's happy.

That you are exerting Herculean efforts to keep everyone employed is, from their perspective, well, your job. So, good on ya. You keep doing your job, I'll keep doing mine, and everyone comes out a winner.

And in many ways, they're correct. You aren't going to motivate me (usually) by playing on my fears (of losing my job).

Better, motivate me by reminding me what we have done to succeed where others may not be doing so well, and what we can do to continue that success through these challenging times.

Let your employees find their motivation in your leadership, not their gratitude.

And remember, as leaders, we really do need each other (and all others) to make this work.

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Musings
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Boss, it's not about the money...
-- and other bold-faced lies employees tell us...

First, let me be clear: the vast majority of non-sales employees, from receptionist to Senior Vice President, don't necessarily work for the money alone.

That's not to say that money's not important -- Zig Ziglar is fond of saying that "Anyone that tells you 'money doesn't matter,' well, they'll lie about other things as well."

Money always matters, it's just not always the most significant motivator.

So, now I'm going to mess with your head a bit, with a play on words: Money only matters, when it matters. No, I'm not talking out of both sides of my mouth here. Consider that, when hired, an employee is generally satisfied with their compensation. Not to say they wouldn't accept more (see above), but generally, it seems "ok."

Further, it was still ok last year. Or last month. Or yesterday. But, all of a sudden, it's not ok. It matters now. What happened?

Three things can cause money to matter:

  1. Thinking under the influence. No, not driving under the influence, but thinking about money under the influence of an outside instigator. Could be a spouse, a friend, or prior boss trying to lure him/her away.

    Something externally, though, is influencing them to make money matter right now.

  2. It ain't fair. Somehow, some way, the employee discovered that someone equal to or below them in their perceived food chain makes as much or more than them. And they don't like it. My pay was fine, until I compared it to another's. Now, it isn't.

    We sometimes do this to ourselves, because sometimes we're just stupid. We believe -- some of us really do -- that special deals and higher-than-normal compensation arrangements can be "kept secret." And, in fact, they can.

    For about a nano-second.

    Always make "deals" with the understanding that others -- particularly the one(s) you're most concerned with -- will discover the arrangements.

    Because they will.

  3. Finally, you owe me. Maybe you just got promoted, and I want my "cut." Maybe you were just rewarded because you single-handedly saved some portion of our corporate planet. Only you used my "single-hands." Maybe the last three people that had this job were promoted at about this time.

    Or maybe, I just feel the give/take equation has become out-of-balance.

    Regardless of the reason, I'm convinced that you personally, boss, now owe me. I'm not talking a 3.5% cost-of-living increase (which you shouldn't be doing anyway, but that's another article), I'm talking about a debt that you personally must pay in the way of earned, extra compensation.

So remember two things: (1) Money is, generally, not a huge motivator for non-sales employees. This must be tempered, however, with (2) Money doesn't matter, until it matters.

And when it does matter, find out first what's driving the issue. Strangely enough, it's usually not just the money.

But that's just me...

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© 2009 Triangle Performance, LLC
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