Imposter Syndrome: When's the Last Time You Questioned Your Ability?

Uh...Yesterday?

Imposter syndrome is real my friends, especially when you're in the middle of a Pandemic. That's why I took the time via BEST HIRE EVER to talk to John Whitaker, EVP and CHRO at National Partners in Healthcare about onboarding executives.

We discuss what new leaders get right, where it goes wrong and what new leaders need to think about as they enter a new organization. We discuss the condition called "Imposter's Syndrome" and provide our hot takes on the best way out of the funk. John shares his experiences onboarding into companies as a new leader and tells me what he's learned.

If you want to hear more from John, go subscribe at HRHardball.com, read Whit’s back catalog on FOT, and look for the HRHardball podcast debuting October 1st!”

Please subscribe, rate and review (Apple) and follow (Spotify) to get the latest delivered to you.  Click here if you don't see the player below!

SHOW HIGHLIGHTS

2:10 - John and KD start by talking about Texas A&M (John) and Auburn (KD) football, the pandemic, et al. John shares that his road trip to Auburn was better than the one he took to Tuscaloosa (Alabama).

4:20 - John talks about his recent move from Sage to National Partners in Healthcare as an HR Leader, how the pandemic encouraged the move.

6:05 - KD and John talk about not knowing the language in a new industry, and John shares the fact he had his own slang he was throwing around to new teammates. 

8:25 - Topic is being an incoming new leader at an organization – what do coming leaders generally mess up related to this?  John and KD talk about where they feel like they've failed before?  Announcing presence with authority is discussed.

13:00 - What the heck is “Imposter Syndrome” when it comes to new leaders?  We talk about how it impacts women, men, etc.

19:50 - John and KD talk about what type of new leader doesn't feel imposter syndrome. 

24:00 - KD and John discuss Imposter Syndrome at lower levels in the organization, good movement in companies on asking individuals to Lean In and learned roles in gender and beyond.

26:55 - What are the coping mechanisms for imposter syndrome? John tells the story of challenges he's faced from direct reports early in new roles, etc. John and KD discuss the agendas of people who come to you first, share their opinions about others, etc.

30:00 - John and KD discuss two profile new leaders meet in new roles - the "The Quiet One" and the "Apple Polisher."  

38:00 - John and KD discuss whether onboarding for a new leader is necessary, or whether it's better for a new leader to figure it out on their own. "That's what the money is for" is discussed.


The Unintended Consequences of Federal Unemployment in a COVID World...(Best Boss Ever Podcast)

As I write this, the Federal Unemployment Benefit of $600 per week as part of the COVID stimulus package expired on 7/31, and with the Democrats and GOP deadlocked related to a new stimulus package, President Trump stepped in with an executive order to serve as a bridge until congress could negotiate a deal in the same area.

This post isn't political. But any and all compensation issues in a pandemic are interesting to me, which is why I had one of my Robotsfavorite compensation experts - Ann Bares - join me on my BEST BOSS EVER podcast to talk about managing compensation strategy in a pandemic world.

One of the the things that came up (I asked Ann!) was the fact that a lot of companies felt that the $600 per week federal unemployment benefit was preventing capable people from re-entering the workforce. As a leader in a recruiting company, I would tell you that our clients believe this to be true.  Ann had a great response, telling me that beyond the reality of whether people with access to federal unemployment were slow to return to work, she's more concerned and focused strategically on the 2nd and 3rd order consequences/impact of any comp program (including expanded unemployment as an example of that).

That was a "mind blown" moment for me, and I ended up wondering aloud whether difficulty finding needed labor may encourage companies to invest and go "all in" in areas like automation at this point.  Which ultimately harms employment for the sector of jobs in question.

That's the thing about unintended consequences - you never see them coming.

Check out my podcast with Ann Bares below!

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Welcome to Best Boss Ever, the podcast dedicated to helping you develop managers who build great teams. In this episode, Kris Dunn talks about the issues with Managing Compensation Strategy in a Pandemic World with Ann Bares, his favorite industry compensation expert at Altura Consulting Group and writer at Compensation Force.

Don't forget to subscribe to this podcast on Apple PodcastsSpotify or Google Play. Rate and Review if you like what you hear!

On to the show (email subscribers, click here if you don't see the podcast player)...

Show Highlights:

2:00 - Ann talks about her transition from an undergraduate in social work to the world of compensation, where she found an affinity for quantitative methods.

5:30 - Ann and KD discuss what the transition looks like for companies on compensation strategy as we move from a 10-year expansion to the recession we’re already in.

8:00 - Ann talks about unevenness of the pandemic flavor of the recession - some companies are struggling, but some are expanding and thriving.

12:00 - Ann and KD discuss the most likely changes to come for companies that are in pain from a compensation perspective - think prioritized skill set investments for reinvention, etc. Ann and KD also talk about how adjustments are being made to common components like annual increases, etc.

16:00 - Ann and KD talk about when across the board salary cuts might be reinstated in the marketplace.

17:41  - Ann and KD discuss how WFH changes the landscape of competing for talent from a compensation perspective - what's your pay market when a large % of your workforce is remote? Fluidity is a new reality.  Kris also focuses on the fact that flexibility for personal wants and needs related to WFH preferences creates a new standard for HR pros.

24:10 - Ann talks about whether companies become less aggressive in benchmarking compensation vs the market in recessions. 

27:00 - Kris and Ann talk about whether there Is a brand of company out there that thinks of recessions as a great opportunity to pick up talent. How does their strategy differ from a defensive position on comp?

34:00 - Ann and KD talk about the federal unemployment benefit as part of the stimulus plan, and whether it discourages some people from returning to work. The conversation goes beyond that surface-level topic, as Ann and Kris discuss the 2nd and 3rd order consequences/impact of any comp program. KD notes that any difficulty finding needed labor may encourage companies that are slow to invest in areas like automation to go "all in" at this point.

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Ann Bares on LinkedIn

Compensation Force

Altura Consulting Group

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Boss Leadership Training Series

Kinetix

The HR Capitalist

Fistful of Talent

Kris Dunn on LinkedIn

KD's Book - The 9 Faces of HR


Choosing Members of your Leadership Team as an Executive To Drive Culture (Best Boss Ever Podcast)..

Congrats my friend - you made it. You're an executive, and whether than means you're a C-level, SVP, VP, whatever - you're now expected to be strategic.

There's a lot of areas to think about strategy when you're a leader. Here's one you don't think about a lot - how you build your leadership team of direct reports (all who manage others) related to the type of manager of people they are.

In a past episode of Best Boss Ever, I reached out to my good friend and BOSS Leadership facilitator Dawn Burke and we identified and talked about "6 Manager of People Brands" including the Doer & Individual Contributor, The Friend/Pushover, The Control Freak/Authoritarian, Trend Spotter/Reader of the Best Seller, Performance Based Driver, and The Career Agent.

Which begs a question - if you're an executive building out your team of direct reports - all who manage others - which one of these "6 Manager of People Brands" do you want on your team?  That's why I had Dawn back on to discuss, with a podcast on this topic below!

Whether you're a new executive or someone with 20 years in the seat, there's something in this podcast for you - check out the rundown below and think proactively about what you need more of on your leadership team. Spoiler alert - you probably need a mix related to the types of leaders you have on your leadership team.

The choices you make in this area direct impacts the culture you're building!  Enjoy the pod and be sure to subscribe!

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Welcome to Best Boss Ever, the podcast dedicated to helping you develop managers who build great teams. In this episode, Kris Dunn talks about the power of Choosing Members of Your Leadership Team To Drive Culture with Dawn Burke, master facilitator at the BOSS Leadership Training Series.

Don't forget to subscribe to this podcast on Apple PodcastsSpotify or Google Play. Rate and Review if you like what you hear!

On to the show (email subscribers, click here if you don't see the podcast player)...

 

Show Highlights:

4:40 - KD provides a quick rundown of the concept of manager brand and the 6 manager brands we covered in the episode 2 of Best Boss Ever

11:55 - Dawn and KD take the types of early career people managers – Doer & Individual Contributor, The Friend/Pushover, The Control Freak/Authoritarian - and rank which ones they would prioritize as a part of their team as an executive.

25:00 - Dawn and KD discuss the types of more established managers – Trend Spotter/Reader of the Best Seller, Performance Based Driver, and The Career Agent - including dialog on whether habits can change once they’ve been established in experienced managers.  Dawn and KD rank which types of senior managers they would prioritize as a part of their team as an executive.

31:35 - KD and Dawn discuss their ideal manager portfolios across a team of 5 managers of people managing 60 people. What's the right mix of the different types of people managers for a department of that size?

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Dawn Burke on LinkedIn

Dawn Burke HR

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Boss Leadership Training Series

Kinetix

The HR Capitalist

Fistful of Talent

Kris Dunn on LinkedIn

KD's Book - The 9 Faces of HR


Talking Politics As A Manager in 2020: The Advice Hasn't Changed...

It's 2020, which means it's an election year.

Of course, there's more going on in 2020 than just an election - pandemic, resulting economic Dudestruggles, social movements and unrest, etc.

Since all of these things in an election year have been politicized, it seems like a good time to remind you of how to communicate your political views to your team and the rest of the company as a manager of people.

It's simple for best results as a manager of people. You don't routinely share your political views or hot takes on things that could be considered to be political with direct reports.

The reasons are pretty simple. As a manager of people, you're responsible for shepherding a group of direct reports through a given week, quarter or year.

If you've done a good job of hiring, you're leading a diverse team - which broadly defined, means your people don't all look, sound or think like you. You're in a position of power, so the more you broadcast polarizing information like political views, the more you risk alienating good people who aren't a carbon copy of you.

That's true any year, but especially in an election year. Since the events of 2020 have become polarized politically, you also need to be aware of polarizing your team on current events as well.

I'm not saying you can't be you. And note I'm 100% saying you should be clear that you're against racism and for safety related to COVID. You can and should share those views, and it's an important part of leading on issues.

I'm saying that the stronger/hotter you are on a polarizing take - whether you come from the hard left or hard right - the more you risk shutting someone down on your team from talking to you, which almost always results in lower engagement and one foot out the door.

Managers from both the hard right and the hard left struggle with this. For best results, remember that in competitive election years, the country is split pretty much evenly between two political parties.

Some of you will email me and say, "But Kris, how do I find the line?" Well, if you're manager of people, that's what the money is for.

Your job is to keep all the good people on the bus. The team that successfully navigates 2020, 2021 and arrives at 2022 at a different place with the highest percentage of talented employees retained and rowing in the right direction wins.

Leadership is art. I'm sorry I'm saying you shouldn't share that op/ed you loved from The New York Times or Fox News with the team. 

Listen more than you talk. Connect with everyone on your team on a 1/1 level. Show empathy to all.

Play to win in 2020.


BOSS Tip: Send an Agenda/Info For Your Meeting, Control the Narrative...

Capitalist Note: Quick hit today from the BOSS Leadership Series, the 7-module series of manager training designed to make your managers better leaders of people!

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I see you and I sense it. You've got an escalating situation - either inside your own team that you manage, via cross-departmental relationships or interacting Agendaswith clients. Things are spiraling and it seems like you can't get ahead.

I'm not embedded with you, so the reasons for the spiral can be many, right? But let's assume for the sake of this post that you're on top of your game, the path you're pursuing is valid and correct, you've got the talent to deliver, etc. You're just getting chopped up repeatedly as you deal with your team, other departments, and/or clients. You just can't seem to get ahead of it.

I'm going to give you one small thing to experiment with to regain control:

Start sending out Agendas for the meetings you're holding. As a senior level course, send some reports with favorable data/info with the agenda for best results.

Meetings suck. They suck more when you're the host and you lose control of them.

Agendas let everyone know what you're going to go through in the meeting. They allow you to be in control, and they allow you to bring wayward conversations back to what you - the organizer - wanted to accomplish.

Data/Info sent with agendas that's favorable to your cause/goals help you establish credibility. To the extent you have enemies in the mix or people who don't agree with your approach, data and info sent with agendas can help you frame the narrative.

It's easy to hijack a meeting away from someone who's not prepared. It's harder when they sent the agenda.

It's even harder when they share an agenda with some reports and info that suggests their path is valid.

Control the narrative and prevent meeting hijacking by sending an agenda. Start with no more than 5 items, each described in 4 words or less.

The floor is now yours. You're welcome.


BEST BOSS EVER Podcast: e3 - Pat Lynch and the State of Outplacement During COVID-19

Welcome to Best Boss Ever, the podcast dedicated to helping you develop managers who build great teams. In this episode, Kris Dunn talks with Patrick Lynch, President of CMP’s Southeast Region, to talk about the current state of outplacement during COVID-19.

Don't forget to subscribe to this podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or Google Play. Rate and Review if you like what you hear!

On to the show (email subscribers, click here if you don't see the player below)...

Show Highlights:

1:15: KD intros with the topic of Outplacement and introduces guest, Patrick Lynch (Who insists we call him Pat) who will be our tour guide related to what’s going on in the world of Outplacement.

3:05: Pat tells us about what he does and what CMP does. CMP helps companies and individuals with outplacement and career transitions.  They also do about executive search needs, assessments for selection, hire and development as well as executive coaching.

4:34: KD asks Pat: What’s changed in Outplacement in the last few months with COVID? Pat says pre-COVID, outplacement levels were down overall, but despite a skyrocket in unemployment, they haven’t seen the same uptick in outplacement. There are a few reasons for this, being on furlough is a big one and they delve into the details.

8:15: Pat says things are different from 2008/2009 because employee brand is so important. Companies are trying their hardest to avoid layoffs. KD comes in and they talk about the message of hope – are we springing back or entering a recession?

10:45: KD asks Pat about levels of Outplacement Packages. Pat says the programs are based on time periods, level of service and seniority, and helping those in outplacement with access to resources. He says CMP works with people until they’re re-employed.

17:30: Pat gives some career advice during outplacement: Don’t waste your time applying for everything. Instead, ask what are your highest levels of opportunity and focus on those. Pat continues to give tips on the most important steps to take when job hunting.

25:45: Pat and KD go into the details of how some companies are handling COVID outplacement, and how Airbnb’s leaders handled the outplacement with empathy and sincerity.

33:00: KD says, even if you can’t afford Outplacement, call Pat. Pat compares Bryd to Airbnb with their Glassdoor reviews, how you handle the outplacement will matter for your company’s recovery.

37:45: They close it out talking about what’s to come, and what resources are available for the future.

Resources:

Boss Leadership Training Series

Patrick Lynch on LinkedIn

CMP Website

Kinetix

The HR Capitalist

Fistful of Talent

Kris Dunn on LinkedIn

KD's Book - The 9 Faces of HR


 

There Are Six "Manager of People" Brands - Which One Are You?

Any manager of people has a lot on their plate. After all, a general pre-requisite to getting your first manager job is being a great individual contributor. Then, at some point in your first month in your new manager role, you realize the reality – you still have a bunch to do on your own as well as managing your new team.

Just because you're a manager doesn’t mean you stop cranking out individual contributor Proposalgreatness. You’re expected to that PLUS lead a group of people to team greatness, individual success and career fulfillment.

Inside all of us there’s a preset – a type of manager we’re most likely to be based on our behavioral DNA, the folks who have managed us in the past, etc.  Who you are and how you were raised in corporate America has a lot to do with how you manage.

What type of manager are you?  What’s your brand as a manager?

To dig into this topic, I reached out to my good friend and BOSS Leadership facilitator Dawn Burke to record an episode of my new podcast - BEST BOSS EVER - and talk about the "6 Manager of People Brands" I have identified - Doer & Individual Contributor, The Friend/Pushover, The Control Freak/Authoritarian, Trend Spotter/Reader of the Best Seller, Performance Based Driver, and The Career Agent.

Take a listen and be sure to subscribe via the links below as well!

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Welcome to Best Boss Ever, the podcast dedicated to helping you develop managers who build great teams. In this episode Kris Dunn talks with colleague and friend Dawn Burke, facilitator for BOSS Leadership and senior consultant at Recruiting Toolbox, about managing people and the six types of manager brands.

Don't forget to subscribe, rate and review wherever you get your podcasts - Apple Podcasts, Spotify and Google Play.

Show Highlights:

4:00: KD brings in the topic, what is your manager brand? Dawn claims a lot of managers don’t know what their brand is, it even took her some time to figure out her brand.

6:22: A Manager’s brand is based on their behavioral DNA and how they were raised. Dawn says that’s a classic case of nature vs. nurture. Both play a part into a manager’s brand, and a lot of times we fall back on our nature but it’s important to focus on the qualities of leaders we admire and seek training and guidance to form a brand.

8:45: KD and Dawn run down the list of the 6 manager brands: The Doer & Individual Contributor, The Friend/Pushover, The Control Freak/Authoritarian, Trend Spotter/Reader of the Best Seller, Performance Based Driver, and The Career Agent.

11:09: “The Doer.” The first-time manager brand. Dawn talks about her personal retail experience with her first manager roles and the struggles first time manager. KD says: don’t change too much – it’s okay if this is your brand to an extent. Be a doer – but you need to grow your people, too. You can’t do it all yourself. Find training and learn to delegate and lead.

15:38: “The Friend/Pushover”. KD talks about how this brand showing up in a lot of former teammates that become managers. It’s also in folks who have high levels of empathy in their DNA. Dawn says you can make the best of the past team relationships by keeping the trust throughout your working relationship. She also asks “How much are you complaining about working together?” It might effect your credibility.

18:50: Dawn says “The Friend” also applies to managers who come in, and is a manager who tries to be friends, which isn’t inherently bad, but if you’re relying too much on the friendship, you’re heading in the wrong direction. KD says past friends especially have trouble as new managers if they are low on the assertive scale, Dawn says you can mitigate this with a 1:1 reset with those friends, acknowledging the new structure in the team and what it means. KD says you’ll have to be assertive to do that, which is why training from other managers is good to have!

21:22: “The Control Freak” introduction. KD talks about a recent WWII watch that was riddled with authoritative manager brands. Dawn says she’s seen this in new managers, too. When they become a manager they are thinking about their past managers and maybe more old school managers. She claims this brand doesn’t work anymore, even though it still exists in certain work places.

26:52: “The Trend Spotter” KD says reading and growing is good, but you can’t change up your brand every time you read a new book. Dawn says this has good intention but it’s gone off the rails. You can be a life long learner, that’s a sign of a good leader, but you take the best of what you’ve learned or read and build your own style/brand – you can’t copy and paste.

29:59: “The Performance Driver.” This brand is all about the performance, they aren’t hesitant to ask their team to reach those organizational goals. Dawn says every manager’s brand should include a little bit of the Performance Driver. KD says sometimes you can be a little detached with your humanity here – just driving for results is okay, but it’s not growing your employees and as a result, over time it can fall flat.

32:22: “The Career Agent” KD claims this is the fully-evolved manager. The Career Agent is approaching their team to get the results through the lens of the employee. It benefits the company and the employee. Overall, Dawn agrees this is the fully-evolved manager. KD says part of being a career agent is investing, developing, and helping people grow and approaching every conversation from the view of the employee – what’s in it for them?.

37:50: KD runs us down the six brands again and the team closes it out.

Resources:

Boss Leadership Training Series

Kinetix

The HR Capitalist

Fistful of Talent

Dawn Burke on LinkedIn

Recruiting Toolbox

Kris Dunn on LinkedIn

KD's Book - The 9 Faces of HR