Newsletter by Barbara Mintzer

Barbara Mintzer's Newsletter
The Power of a Vision... a Leader's Journey

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October 2003
Making the 15-Minute Vision Meeting Work

In last month's Newsletter we discussed the resistance that might come up the first week you begin the 15-minute Vision Meeting  with your staff.  I am delighted at the responses I received from a number of subscribers who shared with me how they handled this obstacle.  One Manager reiterated the Vision Statement again, while answering the non-verbalized question her employees were asking themselves "What's in it for me?"  She not only told them why the Vision Statement was in the best interest of the company; she told them why working towards that Vision would be in their best interest as well.

She told them they would all be working towards common and shared goals.  She told them they would be working from a set of shared values.  She told them the achievement of this Vision would lead to better customer service, higher morale for the team, a healthier bottom line for the company which, in turn, could mean a larger raise for them when Performance Reviews came up again.  She also shared with them the joy they could experience working together as a cohesive team where each of the members could go to another member for support and feedback.  This manager set the stage for a wonderful experience for them.

She planted a positive perception for them to work from.  Remember, you are the mirror that reflects the corporate climate for your staff.  They will take their cues from you.  Come from an excited, something-to-reach-for perception, and they will follow in your footsteps.  Not necessarily right away, but they will follow.   Results don't happen overnight, but if you are persistent and give it the 90 days, you will see results.  I am reminded of the following wonderful saying:

"It takes nine months to have a baby, no matter how may people you put on the job."

Author Unknown

Another Manager shared that when he had the first 15-minute Vision Meeting with his staff, he told them what  he was going to do that week to bring the company closer to the Vision.  He told his staff that he wanted to be accountable each week for his participation in the Vision, just as everyone else was.  Brilliant strategy!  All good managers know you never ask your staff to do anything you wouldn't do yourself.  By making himself accountable to his staff, he became one of the team.  By being accountable for what he brings to each meeting, he sets the example for his staff to follow. That Manager leads from influence.

What other qualities are essential to be able to lead from influence?  Let's look at the top 10:

  • Honest, trustworthy
  • Good role model
  • Caring
  • Committed
  • Good listener
  • Holds people accountable
  • Treats people with respect
  • Gives people encouragement
  • Positive, enthusiastic attitude
  • Appreciates people

As you look at these qualities, how would you assess yourself?  Do you exhibit enough of these qualities to lead from influence?  In an increasingly impersonal workplace, your communication and people skills will be the ones that will help you influence your staff to be the best they can be.  I believe the 10 essential qualities break down into two categories:  the personal integrity of the manager, and how the manager treats his/her staff.

A thought:  If you have a good, honest relationship with your staff and you really want "honest" feedback, you can ask your staff to rate you on the above qualities.  As long as they do not feel they will be punished or penalized for their feedback, it would be an excellent opportunity for you to see yourself as your staff sees you.  You may be very pleasantly surprised. A number of managers have told me that their staffs rated them higher than they would have rated themselves!

Think about it, and have a positive and productive month.  Again, I welcome your questions, feedback and ideas.  E-mail me your thoughts and I would be happy to respond to you and share your thoughts, with your permission. For those of you who have e-mailed me in the past and have not received a response, we had a glitch in the system, and I may not have received your e-mail.  However, we are up and running with my new address and I would love to hear from you.

About the Author

Barbara Mintzer is an expert who speaks professionally.  With over 30 years in business and health care, she speaks from experience!  Her how-to programs provide participants with immediately applicable skills and strategies for getting buy-in and commitment from staff and staying on top of their professions in today's competitive and constantly changing workplace. Barbara presents keynote talks and breakout sessions for conferences and conventions, management retreats and in-house seminars.  She also facilitates panel discussions and roundtables.  To explore the possibility of having Barbara work with your leadership team or speak at your next event, please contact her office.

Phone: (805) 964-7546
FAX: (805) 964-9636

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