Leading from afar!

Here is a particularly pragmatic and helpful post on how to work with your isolated team during this time of battling back the novel coronavirus to contain COVID-19.  This advice must be good, as it is from my wife!

From Danielle Herrerias, Vice President Human Resources, the BUCK Institute for Research on Aging. (Her organization was on network news today for their work fighting COVID-19.)

Dear Faculty and Department Leaders,

I hope everyone is adjusting to working remotely (for the most part) and many thanks to those of you who continue to come to Buck to provide essential services to your labs, departments and our organization. As you continue to lead your labs and departments from afar, I wanted to share some tips to help foster employee engagement during these uncertain times. Here goes!

1) Refrain from “being on” 24/7. For example, don’t send emails to your staff at night, as this only adds stress. If possible, wait until morning to send the email or at least schedule it to go out during typical work hours.

2) Acknowledge uncertainty. None of us knows when and how the shelter-in-place will end. It’s OK to admit that you don’t know what will happen next and when it will happen.

3) Meet often with your team – as a group, individually or both. Feel free to mix it up and meet via online video, email or phone. Staying connected is critical to keeping everyone engaged.

4) Be honest – When someone asks you a question, give them an honest answer. If you are asked something you don’t have the authority to discuss, then candidly tell them that.

5) Be consistent with your message, goals, meeting times, etc. Consistency helps create some sort of order.

6) Be flexible – everyone is balancing work, home and children’s schedules. This is the time to bend the rules.

7) If you have staff on personal leave, check-in with them to see how they are doing.

8) Ask your team what they need. For example, do they need any supplies to work at home?

9) Listen to what your staff is saying. Evaluate their mindset. Respond to any concerns.

10) Demonstrate leadership. Act decisively. And most importantly show compassion.

Individually, we are one drop. Together, we are an ocean.” (Ryunosuke Satoro)

Danielle Herrerias

Vice President Human Resources

The Buck Institute
8001 Redwood Blvd
Novato, CA 94945
buckinstitute.orgBUCK logo

How Leaders find Happiness…

Another formula for finding happiness in this lifetime…especially for leaders:

Don’t think less of yourself…think of yourself less!”

Whether at work, at home, or thinking of relatives, loved ones, neighbors, or even your pet…focusing on the needs of others takes our minds off ourselves.  Then, through action, happiness finds us.

Action can be in the form of a prayer, note, call, favor, or kind gesture.

So, today, think of someone else…and an action you can take.  Keep it up.  Happiness will find you.

Career Momentum – 7 Themes for Success

Change the way you find your next job…by letting it find you. Instead of becoming an expert in seeking out and landing jobs, the most successful executives I’ve met create career momentum. This way, your current and past employers will seek you out and offer you jobs before you must look for one.

I interview executives daily, and here are seven key themes I’ve learned from those successful executives who are sought out by their prior employers and teammates.  You may recognize yourself in many or all of these traits and behaviors.

Here they areDevelop a high level of competency for your role. Know what you should know. Master your craft and prepare yourself for the next level up as well.  “ABLE”- Always Be Learning and Evolving.
Be loyal to the mission, your boss, your fellow leadership teammates, and your team. Let your words and actions convey they can count on you.
Can-do and positive attitudes are attractive. Be a problem solver and solution finder, not the blamer.  Attitudes are contagious. Is yours worth catching?
Be the person willing to go the extra mile. The highest ROI is in that last push, the extra effort that helps you achieve your task and serve the mission or help a teammate. You will be pleased with the results, and the recognition.  As Dale Carnegie said, “There is plenty of room on the Extra Mile!”Have a voice at the table. Come prepared.  Have an opinion and be sure to be heard. Communicate objectively at all times, without unwanted emotion. Provide information and understanding to support effective and timely team decision making.  Others will learn to rely on your input and judgment.
Be an Executive Team member. Be on your boss’ team. Lead your own team. It’s not all about you…be a servant leader up and down the organization.  The team will then take care of you.
Keep the organization and leadership team on track by providing timely, accurate, and relevant feedback. Focus on the mission and culture of the organization.  Let them know where they are on/off track and provide the necessary data for course corrections.  “Share the good news and bad news, but don’t surprise us.” Help process what is working, not working, and yet to be started.  Hold everyone accountable to the Strategic Plan, Budget, and Values of the organization.

I hope you see yourself in these seven success traits…and that you never have to seek out a job!  Wishing you much continued success and satisfaction from your career.