Frequently Asked Questions
Q1. How do I get my employees to meet my evolving needs when most people are naturally resistant to change?
Contrary to popular belief, most people do want to learn and develop and adapt and we change in ways that we want to change on a regular basis. The key is to get to the heart of what goals inspire your employees to want to learn, develop, adapt, and change in a direction that helps meet the needs of the organization. The most dynamic and effective leaders foster an environment where employees establish personal growth goals that align with organizational growth goals.
Q2. How do I get my team to accept the change that is coming?
The same way you get your significant other to be more supportive of the plans you made for the two of you without checking in before making the plans. You don’t.
Organizations rely on healthy processes and healthy relationships. The further along you go before bringing your team up to date on new initiatives, the more resistant the team will be when the plans are announced. When you feel your team resisting change, it is likely an indicator of unhealthy relationships due to poor planning and implementation processes.
Q3. Why can’t I find people who are capable of creating my vision?
Q4. How am I supposed to manage the younger generations?
Q5. How can I find/create more loyal employees?
6. How can I develop key contributors into effective leaders?
Q7. Why is culture important?
Peter Ferdinand Drucker is known as the “founder of modern management.” He studied and advised Mid-20th Century powerhouses such as GM, GE, and IBM. Through the course of his work, he authored this powerful comment that disrupted the business world: “Culture eats strategy for breakfast.”
We agree with Mr. Drucker and so do many studies that show culture-focused organizations statistically obliterate the average growth rates of the 500 companies represented in the S&P 500. While we place high importance on strategy with our clients, we always find that it’s the cultural enhancements that lead to unparalleled growth.
Q8. How can I prevent high turnover?
Q9. How do I let my employer know that people are miserable and we are going to leave if the culture does not improve?
Q10: I have done everything I can and I still cannot get through to some of the key players. So now what?
Q11. What is leadership development?
This is a great question and there are a lot of definitions out there. At Zebra, we feel that becoming a great leader is like becoming a great musician (or anything else that requires hours and years of intentional practice). The desire and discipline must come from within and daily practice is a requirement of mastery. Many leadership development programs are beautiful roads to nowhere because the participants are not ready for the leadership journey. These individuals are usually great at and dedicated to something, but it is not leading others. There is an art to step one…identifying your future leaders.
When we develop leaders at Zebra Leadership, we help individuals learn how to think about intentionally leading in all settings of life. Then we provide open lines of support for those who are dedicated to the practice. A musician can record, playback, critique, and improve her music. At Zebra, we work closely with individuals, playback leadership opportunities, critique their leadership effectiveness, and explore methods for enhancing future leadership performance.
Q12. How do I financially justify retaining a service like Zebra Leadership when the name of the game is making money?
Interestingly, this is one of our most popular questions…so it must be a very real concern. In sports, there are moments that players/teams provide from time to time…the slam-dunk, the touchdown dance, the grand slam homerun, etc., but it’s the fundamentals that win championships. At Zebra, we focus on the organizational fundamentals that lead to sustainable results that exceed expectations.
When the fundamentals are practiced daily, people become more attracted to the organization. This typically starts within and then evangelically spreads throughout all stakeholders (clients included). The bottom line is this: people begin to believe, employees see a future and feel tied to outcomes, unhealthy turnover expenses begin to vanish, happy employees work harder, productivity increases, innovation and forward-looking strategy planning becomes the focus rather than problem resolution, and revenues reach new heights. Before you know it, you will wonder why we don’t charge more.
Q13. Who is the right candidate for an external consultant/outside advisor?
This is a great question. Very generally, we break it down into three types of leaders who may benefit from an external consulting firm/outside advisor:
1. The Generally Concerned: ”I believe our leadership team has a vision, but employees are not making the vision come true…what is wrong here? Can anyone help figure this out?”
2. The Self-Reflective: “The leadership team has a vision, but the employees are not making the vision a reality …maybe I am (or the leadership team is) the problem. We need help!”
3. The Proactive Owner/Leader: “This is important to me/us…I/we want to be proactive and bring in an expert/firm that helps bridge the gap between the executive vision and all employees so that all decisions are pointing to the same desired outcomes. I/we have seen/participated in dysfunctional organizations where the culture was not marching to the same beat and it is not something I/we want to see happen here.”