Wednesday, December 10, 2014

The Voice: Lessons for Business Leaders

" Winners embrace hard work. They love the discipline of it, the trade-off they're making to win. Losers, on the other hand, see it as punishment. And that's the difference."  --- Lou Holtz
Viewed by millions since its debut in April, 2011, The Voice provides opportunities for contestants to show their talents to be judged by successful music artists.  These judges have their backs turned to the contestants and buzz in if they want have that person on their team.  Though an interesting entertainment concept, the show also offers some good, applicable leadership takeaways. Here are four we can all use as reminders when it comes to dealing with employees:

1.) We learn more from listening to our team members.  The judges on The Voice are seated with their backs turned toward the contestant and are forced to listen without biases or making judgements based on appearances.  In the same way, leaders need to listen to what the issues are before making any rash decisions.  Those folks in the trenches may be able to provide helpful information that can save the company money or offer a better way of performing certain tasks. Give your employees the spotlight and the microphone and really listen.

2.) There will be some duds we will have to let go of.  Regardless of how some in government want to create schools where everyone is a winner, and nobody loses, we all know how it works in the real world. There are some that are talented, smarter, faster, and better than others. We want those on our teams.  We will have to send the others home or let our competitor have them.  It is wonderful to be helpful and charitable, but not at the risk of your business.  By building a strong, healthy business, you are able to give back more to your community, but you first need the right people in place.

3.) Be on the lookout for talent, even if they are already with another company.  Eyeing the competition for talented folks with a winning attitude is simply smart business.  Keep a watchful eye on who your competitors are hiring and snatch them as soon as they become available.

4.) Constant coaching develops successful team members.  The Voice judges or coaches work with their selected candidates and prepare them for doing battle on the stage against other candidates.  We can do the same with our employees.  Providing coaching on a regular basis not only increases the likelihood of a better performing team member, but also instills a sense of loyalty from the employee because of the realized effort we as leaders are putting toward their career success.
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