Kim Vogel

About Kim Vogel

Kim is an established leader of business strategy and corporate culture development. ...

Posts by Kim Vogel:

Why Is It OK When You Say It?

I recently asked a group of senior leaders how comfortable they thought people are telling their boss that they don’t know how to do something. The response was unanimously “not very”. The next question to this same group of leaders was “As a boss, what is your reaction when someone comes to you and says “I don’t know how to do this?”” The immediate response was, “How can I help?”

So why is it OK to be on the receiving end of the request for help and yet so difficult to be the person asking for help? Why is it that being vulnerable is still so hard to do?

Being vulnerable takes a great deal of business maturity and an environment of trust where it is safe to be exposed. And why would companies want to create such an environment?

Consider the business efficiency and effectiveness of an environment where people are encouraged to openly say “I don’t know”. It short-circuits the process of wondering, guessing and hoping that things will get done properly. Think of the time saved. Imagine what could be accomplished. Picture the engagement level of your employees and satisfaction levels of your customers.

Now consider how you make it OK to say “I don’t know” in your business.

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A Leadership Revolution

There are many theories on what makes a leader great and even more models on how to become one. Regardless of the method or methodology, there is one element common throughout great leadership.

Great leadership is the power to ignite the spark of inspiration within others. It is about creating the opportunity for someone to feel compelled to take a step outside their comfort zone to be or do something that they haven’t previously been able to. Leaders have the ability to trigger in others the wonder of transformation. To redefine one’s belief in what is possible.

A leader with a high degree of emotional intelligence wants to get things done by igniting and inspiring people from within.  Such leaders are able to engage the interest and motives of others to create conditions that enable them to succeed.

Now imagine the revolution if everyone could inspire in others a transformational moment in time; one in which they unleashed someone else’s inner super power to conquer what they once deemed the impossible — to tackle a new issue with confidence and passion with the feeling that they have conquered the world. Transforming “what if” into “what is”. Moving from “I can” to “I have”. Now imagine that is not just people in formal leadership positions.

Consider this a calling to all people to engage, encourage and inspire in others the opportunity to become more. That would prove an incredible achievement for individual, team and organization.

What do you hope to ignite with your leadership revolution?

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‘Tis the Season of Falling Leaves and Growing Budgets

It’s that time of year again. With the turning of the leaves it is officially budget season!

Yes, planning for a new budget begins with everyone eagerly compiling their want list. Like kids creating a birthday wish list, there is wide-eyed excitement and hope that this will be “the” year. And, yes again, as the budget process unfolds inevitably there are a few disheartening adjustments to the wish list.

But, as the chorus of “ughs” begin, I offer some advice.

Rather than being the person who laments over what could have been, try this. Focus on leveraging one of the largest resources you have – your people.

Focusing on your people means focusing on your engaging your team with a view to driving your bottom line. Why?

  • Engaged people are more productive.
  • Engaging your people will increase productivity.
  • Engaging the hearts and minds of your people will help your company to recoup some of the $450 billion in lost productivity annually due to disengagement.
  • Engaged employees contribute to customer retention.
  • Engaged employees deliver revenue growth.

We all know it is easier to have existing customers buy more than it is to attract new customers. Research indicates the cost of customer acquisition is on average between four to ten times more expensive than customer retention. Investing in engaging your employees can be beneficial for your customer retention strategy.

The Disney Institute and McKinsey Company recently reported companies whose people consistently offered an exceptional customer experience realized a 2-percentage point advantage over their peers in revenue growth along with an increased employee satisfaction and engagement of 30 percent. Imagine what customer experience could do to your bottom line.

Through increased productivity, customer retention and revenue, you will be creating your own budget increases … freeing up more time to go outside and rake!

Are your people fully engaged? Here are a few tips to get started.

Ten Tips for Increasing Engagement:

  1. Develop inspirational leaders
  2. Hire motivated people
  3. Ask for input
  4. Do change well
  5. Provide learning opportunities
  6. Encourage calculated risk taking
  7. Get to know your people as individuals
  8. Deal with non performers
  9. Be true to your company values
  10. Celebrate success

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