Insights & Advice

This is your opportunity to get answers to your most vexing leadership challenges. Each week we will answer one question posed by our subscribers.

Personalized content you will only find at Genesa Leadership.

Email us at Advice@genesaleads with your questions.

JANE TANNER, M.A. 

Author - Speaker- Coach

August 29, 2016

Seeking out Mentorship in a Small Business Environment: The Value of Mentorship and The Value of Coaching

ALLISON, tax accountant in a small family firm

I am a tax accountant working for my father, a CPA. It’s a sole proprietorship with me being the only employee. Because I do not interact with management or other coworkers, it is challenging to gather experience to successfully navigate “office politics” and career advancement by means of seeking promotions.

 

I have joined professional associations, but I am always much younger than the members and find it hard to relate. I would love to find a mentor to discuss issues I have as a young woman in an industry of typically older men.

 

Do you have any advice to seeking a mentor?

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August 08, 2016

How do you keep employees engaged and limit attrition once announcements have been made to cut headcount?

LOGAN, Product Marketing Manager - Fortune 500 Software Company

Ah. The dreaded down-sizing announcement. I would venture a guess that most of us have lived through such a notice.  And if you haven’t, you will. So thank you for surfacing a very important question. It provides us with an excellent example of a critical component of effective leadership: Managing Change. Managing change effectively requires us to use all of the skills and behaviors we have developed in Managing Conversations and Managing Relationships. And a few new ones thrown in for good measure.

Keeping a team focused in the face of change and uncertainty is a daily struggle in many companies. As the pace of change in our world increases exponentially, we all must learn to adapt and embrace it as the new normal. Research shows that humans don’t like change. There is both a neurological and a visceral response to something out of the ordinary and the threat of change to one’s normal at work can be a huge roadblock to performance.  The announcement of mergers, reorganizations and consolidations, can strike both fear and excitement into a workforce. Helping to keep your team focused is Job One.

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July 25, 2016

The Challenges of Working in a Start-up Environment: How do you guide your new manager who is less experienced than you are, in an appropriate manner?

JANET, VP – US Marketing & Operations, Technology Start-up Company

Dear Justine, 

Founders of new companies typically begin with a great idea, highlighting their strengths as innovators. If they are smart, inexperienced entrepreneurs hire experienced professionals like yourself, who possess the track record to help them fill in those missing pieces of expertise.

 

First, we would like to acknowledge that investing your time, talent and career in a start-up company is no small thing! Start-up companies demand that you take on a variety of roles, while requiring total dedication, resiliency, mental toughness, creativity, excellent networking skills and rapid problem solving abilities. Having established your current role in this new endeavor, your position indicates that you most likely possess the necessary skills to guide your new manager in a way that is effective and respectful at the same time....

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July 15, 2016

How do I have a conversation with a direct report who is clearly underperforming, but I have limited metrics?

LOGAN, Product Marketing Manager - Fortune 500 Software Company

Dear Logan,

This is a great question and a critical one, as it is an example of one the three components of great leadership: Managing Conversations.

 

We categorize a performance discussion as a Pivotal Conversation, a term coined by Joiner and Josephs in their book Leadership Agility. A conversation is considered pivotal when there are important outcomes resting on how the conversation proceeds. Many things have to happen for this conversation to be successful, so let’s start with the basics.

You actually do have metrics besides the ones you mention in your question: Your observations and the feedback you solicit from others.

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