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How To Do Succession Planning - Chapter 1 – Ready Now, Ready Next

Questions This Guidance Answers: 
  • How do I do succession planning?
  • How do I document succession planning?
  • How do I I tell my directs who is in my succession plan?

This guidance recommends the "Ready Now/Ready Next" Approach to Succession Planning.

Every really effective executive spends a great deal of time on the people in their organization. Who's good, who's struggling, who's doing what we need them to do, who's taking up too many resources, who's creating conflict where they oughtn't. This is because the core responsibility of an executive is to ensure the future profitability of the organization.

That means you've got to know who's going to fill what roles in the near term. Further, based on what the market is going to do in the next 5 years, where is the organization strong or weak relative to that in human capacity, and therefore what hiring/development needs to happen to create the future we want or meet the future we think is going to happen to us.

Here's how to do Succession Planning now for you and your team.


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Managing Through a Personal Crisis (Part 2 of 2)

Questions This Guidance Answers: 
  • What do I do when one of my directs has a personal problem?
  • What should I expect when a direct has a personal problem?
  • What should I say to someone who is having a personal problem?

This week, we conclude our discussion on managing through a personal crisis. Last week, we discussed the preparation; this week, we discuss ACTIONS.


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Managing Through a Personal Crisis (Part 1 of 2)

Questions This Guidance Answers: 
  • What do I do when one of my directs has a personal problem?
  • What should I expect when a direct has a personal problem?
  • What should I say to someone who is having a personal problem?

This cast gives managers specific steps to take when dealing with a personal crisis of a direct report.

Mark once heard a manager say that when one of his directs started crying, he simply "gave them some tissue and walked out." Even though he prided himself on being a tough-minded, results oriented, very successful manager, at some level he knew that his response was too callous, too cold. When Mark looked at him, mouth agape, he immediately backpedaled and said something to the effect of, "well, I'm giving them space...I don't want them to be embarrassed . . . I appreciate their need for privacy . . . I didn't want them thinking I was evaluating them right then."

All delivered with that delicate edge of panic that comes from defending the indefensible. Your directs have lives outside of work, and as often as you will ask them to stay late, to do more, to answer emails on the weekend . . . every once in a while, THEIR lives are going to herniate into YOUR work.

What do you do as a manager when one of your team has a crisis? When their spouse is hurt or hospitalized? When their house burns down? When someone's parent passes away?

We'll tell you in this cast.


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How to Handle Body Odor (Part 2 of 2)

Questions This Guidance Answers: 
  • How do I tell someone they smell?
  • What should I say to someone who has body odor problems?
  • What should I say to the team when someone has body odor?

Today, we complete our discussion on Body Odor.

One of our more controversial topics, to be sure ... but folks, we don't make this stuff up! The issue arises in offices all across the world every day. And since it doesn't seem like anyone else wants to talk about it, we will!


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How to Handle, Yes, Body Odor - Part 1

Questions This Guidance Answers: 
  • How do I tell someone they smell?
  • What should I say to someone who has body odor problems?
  • What should I say to the team when someone has body odor?

This cast describes how to have a discussion with a direct whose personal odor is affecting their teammates.

We get asked "the body odor question" a lot, and everyone seems stunned that we actually have an answer. Usually, a manager just mentions it in passing. "Well, thanks for this other help...but even YOU can't help with THIS problem." In keeping with their tone, I say, "what's that?" Their reply of "I got a guy who is creating problems on the team. It's ...uhhhh... it's like... he uhhhh..."

"Body Odor?"

"How did you know?"

The fact is, we ALL smell. If you don't think you do, you're mistaken, and that deodorant or antiperspirant in your bathroom closet, to say nothing of the eau de toilette, cologne, perfume, and scented toothpaste and body lotion you likely have there as well.

And so, it's going to happen that you will have to have a conversation with one of your directs about their personal scent. Here's how.


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Employee Retention

Questions This Guidance Answers: 
  • How do I keep people in my team?
  • How do I prevent turnover?
  • Do I have to pay more to get people to stay?

The best managers we know do a great job of retention. As a matter of fact, because it goes to the future potential of the organization, retention is one of Mark's favorite delineators of management talent. Strategy gets done more effectively in places where retention is good.

In this cast, we're going to talk about bare bones basics. This is the stuff that any manager can do... really, that any manager wanting to think of themselves as a professional MUST do. If you're not taking these simple steps, you need to start, so you can build a base to some of the more powerful techniques we'll share in future casts.


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Late Stage Coaching Model Review - Part 2

Questions This Guidance Answers: 
  • How do I make a poor performer better?
  • How do I prepare to fire someone?
  • How do I discuss my team member's poor performance?

Last week, in our detailed review of the Late Stage Coaching Model, we covered steps 1 and 2 (Feedback and Systemic Feedback) of the six steps. In this cast we review the last 4 steps.


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The Late (and Early) Stage Coaching Model Revisited

Questions This Guidance Answers: 
  • How do I make a poor performer better?
  • How do I prepare to fire someone?
  • How do I discuss my team member's poor performance?

Last week, we covered at a high-level the Late Stage Coaching model, or the process you go through when having to fire someone. As we noted then, and we'll say again now, this process isn't really a "how to fire someone", but rather, how to develop someone. In most cases, if you follow this model, you NEVER get to the step where you have to fire someone. Now, isn't that an experience we'd all like to avoid?

Warning: For some of you, this show may sound repetitive. To some degree, it is. If you fully understand the model AND have implemented it, we beg your forgiveness. If you haven't, however, listen on ...


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How to Fire Someone (Well, Almost)

Questions This Guidance Answers: 
  • How do I make a poor performer better?
  • How do I prepare to fire someone?
  • How do I discuss my team member's poor performance?

Ok, let's get this out of the way ... this is not *really* a show about how to fire people. Rather, today we discuss how to take a poor performer and turn them into a good performer. And when, despite your best efforts, you are not successful in helping the person turn around, how to be in a position where you can fire the person.

You may not feel good about it (that's ok, you shouldn't!), but you will be confident in your decision and be able to put your head down on your pillow and sleep at night.


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The Human Equation