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Cascading Leadership Series – Short and Sweet

Posted by Kevin Nolan on March 14, 2024

I don’t over-talk things. Simple and direct is the best way—but always remember to communicate in a friendly manner. Ken Blanchard’s One Minute Manager is a must-read. I have incorporated his simple concept into our leadership competency program: 

Plan what you will say to an individual, whether it be praise, reprimand, goal-setting, or redirection.

For me, that means writing it down. If I’m going to have an important conversation with an employee (or anyone!), it helps to write it down first. I write down the details I want to cover and practice by myself. Then, I go into the conversation to achieve the desired outcome. I do not deviate from my script!

A one-minute praise sounds like this: “John. You’re here bright and early. Thank you for being on time today. Keep it up.” 

A one-minute redirect sounds like this: “Hey, John. Can I talk to you over here for a moment? You showed up late today. When you do that, it makes me think you really don’t care about working here. You’re a good guy, but I need this behavior corrected. Can you do that?”

A one-minute firing or termination may sound like: “Hey, John. We’ve talked a lot about you being late; in fact, this is the third time this week. I’m afraid this is not working out. I’m going to have to let you go.” Say no more.

I always write down two or three key points I am trying to make. Practicing them a few times is essential, especially in a difficult conversation or termination. Keep in mind:

Tonality is important

Stick to the script and say no more.  

Using this method, we have taught our team leaders to be secure and able to do uncomfortable things.

This has taken years to develop, but I know it works from experience! Job skills and leadership competencies, done in a proprietary way, can be taught. However, it must cascade down from the company’s leader. Getting everyone on board takes a tremendous and intentional effort, but it pays off!

Keep it short, simple, and friendly. Build muscle.

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