Entries by Matt Thomas

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HOW TO NAVIGATE THE WHISPERS

by Matt Thomas

Every leader with a modicum of self-awareness has been there. The wheels aren’t coming off, yet, but things are not going nearly as smooth as you’d like. You walk into the office and there is a nervous energy, eye contact is fleeting, and in your one-on-ones with your managers you can hear it in their voice. Is everything going to be okay?

When revenue goals are getting shattered and customer satisfaction is through the roof they call you a hero, and rightly, it feels pretty good. There’s nothing quite like an idea getting legs and transforming into a living, breathing, profitable organism. It’s the rush that every entrepreneur I know lives for. But what about the 90% of organizations out there struggling to make payroll and staring down another pivot or die scenario? Most organizations have to consistently reinvent themselves in order to keep up with a new influx of competition, market constraints, and more.

Even the healthiest organizations experience this scenario at one point or another. Call it a dip, a stall, a bump in the road, whatever–it’s coming. And when it comes, there will be people in your organization who question your leadership. So begin the whispers.

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THE FEELING YOUR PEOPLE HATE THE MOST

by Matt Thomas

I have yet to meet a successful entrepreneur, executive, or business owner who has a ton of free time on their hands. Most leaders I know are moving quickly from one thing to the next. Even those with recent, fruitful, exits are usually on to the next project. It’s true that less than 1% can move at the clip necessary to build and grow and a successful organization, but there are unintended consequences we should be aware of while we’re running around with our hair on fire trying to take over the world.

A frenetic pace is usually the primary contributor to falling out of touch with our people. One on ones get canceled or continually re-scheduled, all-team meetings seem to never fall at the right time, and the leader’s laser focus on growing and improving the organization wins out over the day to day management of the team. Feedback loops close, turnover starts to affect the bottom line, and one day we look up and realize that we don’t really have a pulse on how our people are doing. When it comes to performance, most healthy organizations have clear metrics, but when it comes to how people are feeling about their work and experience under your leadership the metrics often aren’t so clear.