Designating Authority to employees that are willing to take on more.

How an employee reacts when they’re in the hot seat can reveal a lot about their potential for leadership, as well as their frame of mind. Are excuses for performance being made? Are fingers being pointed towards other employees with blame? Do they step up to the plate, with ownership, and exceed expectations? Performance reviews and promotions can often be two sides of the same coin, and the only difference lies in one’s choices (with regards to how to approach life and work). Designating authority to employees that are willing to take on more helps to set an example for others to follow.

At SudsiesJason Loeb empowers his leadership team to not only hold performance reviews, coaching sessions, and trainings but to also dig deeper, while asking “why?” (with the aim of discovering the root cause behind any mystery). It is this “analysis first” approach and asking the right questions that can turn a performance review into a potential promotional opportunity (for the right candidates that showcase leadership traits, accountability, responsibility, and initiative). Recognize who the people showing leadership qualities in each department are. Observe the traits of work ethic, honesty, charisma, and efficiency they exhibit. Do they embody the values and principles that you want your company culture to represent? If they do, and this is consistently true, then consider designating authority to them (with a formal leadership role).

This can further allow for buy-in among teammates (that may not have been previously sold into the positive behavioral adjustments needed just because their co-worker was on the same playing field as they were i.e., not in a leadership role). Sometimes respect is only given to the job title, so be a step ahead and respect the person that’s doing the job before ever formally having the title. Make them a figure head and mouthpiece for your company values, and not only will they spread your gospel, but they’ll also serve as a shining example.

Honesty goes a long way, with oneself and with others.

As Jiddu Krishnamurti once said, “Truth cannot be brought down; rather, the individual must make the effort to ascend to it. You cannot bring the mountaintop to the valley. If you would attain to the mountain top, you must pass through the valley, climb the steeps, unafraid of the dangerous precipices.” Telling the truth can be made easier by knowing that it is the right thing to do, at the end of the day. It is only once everything is honestly out there in the open, that true adjustments and progress can be made. Not jumping to conclusions, asking “why,” digging deeper into any open-ended questions or curious mysteries is the only real way to get to the bottom of things. This is a habit that allows for tough conversations to be had in an open and friendly way.

At Sudsies, a performance review is anything but run of the mill and can often in fact lead to revelations, informative education, insights, and invaluable adjustments that could lead to a promotional opportunity. With the company culture that Jason has built at Sudsies, honesty, hard work, unity, and accountable responsibility are not only encouraged but rewarded as well. Sudsies leadership is always on the lookout for leadership traits and flashes of potential in their people. It is a culture that actively builds leaders, and this is modeled after Jason’s own growth mindset and business strategy.

Conversations between employees and leadership are had as open ended, back and forth discussions between two human beings. More-so than just a generic open-door policy, the vibe isn’t of a manager talking to an employee but more-so one of two people working together to get to the bottom of something, improve on a process, or solve for a key performance metric or mutually desired outcome. This work ethic and approach sets a bright example that harkens back to what Carolina Herrera once said, in that: “When you work in fashion, you need to work as a team. You cannot do anything on your own.” This approach is what lends so well to the aim of effortless sophistication and a brand that lasts while making an impact.

Seek out the positive as well as the negative; fix what needs to be changed but also, exalt praises for what’s great.

You’ll find a lot of articles out there on how to solve problems, fix what’s broken, avoid common pitfalls, or foresee obstacles on the horizon but sometimes what’s under our own noses is of the most importance. Are you aware of “what” and “who” is great in your organization? Are you celebrating moments of brilliance and exalting praise for those that champion your company values? Living up to one’s principles is something that happens in real time and, as human beings, they’ll be worse days and better days but never let a positive go un-praised. Recognizing the leadership quality in people and rewarding them for when they show up with accountability, creativity, responsibility, resourcefulness, hard-work, patience, and dedication ensures that your company culture is fostered at the same time that individuals grow.

5 ways that designating authority to those exhibiting leadership potential can help to spread your company’s culture:

  1. Sometimes leaders will try to motivate others to higher performance standards but without a formal title, buy-in from team members can be difficult. Formalizing the leaders in your organization can be vital in helping them to ensure your company culture, performance standards, and principles are being maintained.
  2. Do you reward high performance and have the difficult conversations when performance needs to be improved? Anytime people are in a group or a team environment, what’s rewarded and what’s de-incentivized is noticed. Culture and principles are always in a tug of war like battle. If there is someone that wants to go faster (for example) and someone that wants to go slower, well then which will you encourage, and which will you discourage? The answer is that it depends on what is right for your organization or a particular given situation, but you do have to make the decision known, through action, and by setting the example. Knight your champions so others know, when it comes to your companty ideals, “who” and “what” are to be followed.
  3. Make high performance an onramp to the leadership track. The good thing about business endeavors is that there is no “one and done”. Growth is exponential and “a rising tide raises all boats.” Make it know that if an adjustment to performance is necessary that the conversation will not just be disciplinary and rather, it will be an open-ended conversation to nudge one towards growth for mutual benefit. As employees, knowing when something is being done wrong and how to get it to “great” makes all the difference.
  4. Employees who go the extra mile to represent your company values, even when they don’t have a formal leadership title, are hardwired to embody exponentially more after they receive a promotion to a leadership role. Being rewarded for a job well done is a great feeling. Being promoted to help motivate teammates is a great responsibility. Doubling down on the culture and the traits that you want to foster within your organization is one of the fastest ways to go from good to great.
  5. If your employees listen to you then there’s a high chance that they’ll also follow those that you pay attention to. What are the building blocks of “buy-in?” Often, it starts with paying attention to who is being payed attention to. Not all company cultures are for everyone, and you want to ensure that your company culture is retaining the employees that embody the values that you want and alienating those that would be counterproductive. There is a whole host of companies and ways to do business in the world, but one thing is always true and that is that like-minded individuals will always find each other (from various backgrounds and cultures, from all over the world). What determines the employees that make up the fabric of your company culture and the family that is your business home isn’t who walks through the door but what is championed, what is frowned upon, what is rewarded, who is promoted, and what’s going out the front door. Amplify clear indications loudly of what you do and don’t want to see, so that the expectations are clearly set towards a strong ideal.
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