The Recruiting Strategies Of The Voice Coaches

The Voice is viewed by millions of fans every season with the blinds being, undeniably, the most exciting part of each season. What do the coaches listen for? What do those tune-perfect ears hear that mine don’t?  But more than that is the vulnerability each coach shows in deciding to be on the show. What if nobody picks your team? What if only three people want to be coached by you? In steps the recruitment strategy of The Voice, where each coach has to win people over in their own individual way. Should you be pushy? Should you let people come to you? Should you get Dolly Parton to appear in video for you? Here are the recruitment processes we’ve witnessed from each coach: Adam Developer. Cultivator. Focus. He’s got the skinnies, the falsetto, the tattoos. He’s got the swagger and he’s got the strategy. Team Adam is team focus: he’s looking for x,y,z and he will make it very known when and if you fit into the overall vision of his team. He zeroes in on exactly what he wants and he doesn’t hit his button just because someone else has (cough, Miley, cough). He thinks potential-first and begins the coaching phase right from the blinds. He’s a natural teacher, a developer, and he knows you have sh*t to learn (especially from him). [WPGP gif_id=”6078″ width=”600″] Miley Relator. Individualizer. #YouGotThis. This comes as a surprise to no one –the coach wearing pasted pink flowers to her denim jacket is most certainly team express yourself. Her recruitment on The Voice involves making everyone feel individual, special, and mining out the “what makes you you?” emotion. (Dare we say she’s Dr. Seuss re-incarnate?) She attracts those who want to appear to be different (hello mustard yellow...

The Top Ranked Competencies That Employees Look For In A Leader

Being a leader comes with its challenges.  You’re pulled in one hundred different directions in one day (#nosweat) and you’re trying to understand each employee on a personal level so your mutual work can benefit. But it’s not always easy to tell. Susie in Sales does well with direct, blunt communication, while Ross the Developer prefers to communicate quite simply only over email. Jane from Department X is going through a divorce and Jim from Department Y just welcomed his first child into the world. Professional environments are strung together by complex emotions, experiences, and perspectives. As a leader, it can be difficult to cut through all of that noise and understand what people need on a base level. Benefits? Culture? To be pushed and challenged? To be encouraged and supported? Here are the top areas where leaders need to excel in for employees (and the entire organization) to be healthy (as studied by Harvard Business Review):   1. Being ethical and sticking to it 67% of individuals stated this as the number one factor for solid leadership. Clearly conveying a strong moral compass helps to create a safe environment, garrisoned with trust and fairness. If you practice what you preach and are consistent, your employees will know that you’ll play by the rules, won’t throw anyone under the bus, and will give credit where credit is due. Communicate your values and stick to them and you’ll create an environment of safety and trust.    2. Being organization and goal-focused Employees need direction, but not too much of it. When the leader has the blueprint of the entire plan, but allows employees to take their specific parts and run with it, everyone benefits. You’ve often heard that nobody likes a micro-manager, and it’s true. 59% of employees want a leader...

3 Ways To Unlock Your Employees’ Potential

One of the greatest resources in corporate Canada is openly and unnecessarily going to waste. It’s not money, it’s not hydro-electricity and no, it’s not printer ink. It’s potential. These dynamic and multifaceted humans that work on your team may very well be, wait-for-it, good at more than just one thing. They’re not just sales-people. They could be a painting-golfing-analytical-with-a-side-of-novelist sales person. And marketers aren’t just marketers. They could be a behind-the-scenes mathematician or the founder of the next Snapchat. People are ripe with possibilities and potential. And as a leader, it’s your job to maximize on each team member’s individual potential. Here’s 3 simple ways to do that from the top:   1. Say “I Don’t Know” Leaders are often expected to have it all, know it all, and be walking encyclopedias of constant wisdom about their industry/market/product. But the reality is even leaders like Mark Zuckerberg don’t know everything. Saying “I don’t know” or “I’m not sure” at meetings should not be a stamp of failure but should instead be an encouraged part of your regimen. It opens up the floor for those thoughts and ideas that your team have been mentally wrestling with (or mentally rehearsing) to go public. It pulls them out of their “I’m listening to good ideas” mode into an “I’m collaborating with good ideas” mentality. When you pass the conch, it puts the onus on your employees to get creative with solutions and ideas, and it encourages potential to be discovered. You never know what hides in the silence of a boardroom — but it could be the next best idea (or even the next Facebook).   2. Ask About Spare Time That colleague that’s in sales but writes in his spare time? That graphic designer that does coding classes on her weekends? These are entire skill sets going...

The One Skill Every Leader Needs To Master

What are you like to work with? Have you ever wondered? Are you moody? Inconsistent? Intense? Approachable? Do you think you know? Have you ever asked someone? I was recently re-reading a favourite article (if it were a paper copy, it would be heavily earmarked) on the six habits of highly empathetic people. And it occurred to me that a lot of the ways we talk about “leadership” (developing it, being it, honing it) presumes a one-size-fits-all view of ‘who’ a leader is… Sure, the best leaders generally share a number of traits: Good communicators Trustworthiness Experience Knowledge Visionary …But with every team being made up of a number of personalities, I wonder: Am I a different leader for each of my staff? Am I a tailored coworker for every teammate? The article, which I highly suggest you read, defines empathy as “the ability to step into the shoes of another person, aiming to understand their feelings and perspectives, and to use that understanding to guide our actions.” That’s where empathy takes its leap from kindness or pity  (i.e. making small talk with the new marketing coordinator is friendly, not empathetic). Bill Drayton, founder of social entrepreneurship and the Ashoka Foundation, believes that “in an era of rapid technological change, mastering empathy is the key business survival skill because it underpins successful teamwork and leadership.” No doubt, the word empathy is buzzing for a reason – people are figuring out what works in the modern, team-oriented, open-space office – and interpersonal relationships are key. Here are some of the top empathetic traits laid out in the article and how you can apply them to work: 1. Be Curious About Others You’ve spent a lot of time strategizing the best roles for your department. You’ve made some bang-on hires and now...

6 Upcoming Marketing + Leadership Events in Vancouver

Looking to get your “networking” on? Can’t wait to use an event hashtag and boost your Twitter follower count? Vancouver’s agenda of events for June boasts a number of leadership, marketing, and association events that you’ll definitely want to pencil into your schedule. Whether it’s winning awards, gearing yourself up for creativity (#selfpromo), or being in the midst of Vancouver’s techiest (#newword), June is busy with excitement. Keep your weeknights free for the following:   1. Unbounce Call To Action Conference Queen Elizabeth Theatre, June 19-21 Join hundreds of digital marketers at the #CTAconf as they take over the Queen Elizabeth to learn from some of the best leaders on the marketing scene. Key topics covered: conversion, growth hacking, copywriting, and social media marketing. Tickets include networking sessions, roundtables, meals, swag bags, and afterparties. Sound like something you want in on? Then use their handy email template to ask your boss.     2. Minerva “The Face Of Leadership” Conference Fairmont Waterfront Hotel – June 22 The Minerva Foundation is a non-profit that works to equips women with the right tools and values for leadership. Their “The Face Of Leadership” Conference has an inclusivity focus this year and will be covering how leaders can create (and lead) more diverse workplaces. To go along with their theme, the speakers at this conference are a diverse group themselves — coming from notable organizations such as MEC, Vancity, and ICBC.      3. Traction Conference Sheraton Wall Centre – June 22-23 The Traction Conference brings together entrepreneurs and business founders of many colours in order to teach how to accelerate business growth and revenue. The aim is to walk away from the event feeling equipped to build a brand consumers will love, by choosing the best distribution channels, leading a sales team, and converting users into loyal customers. ...

e-LeaderLounge: SCRUM

Last night we kicked off another full house LeaderLounge, taking over Salt Tasting Room with our Leaders are Readers book study that focused on mastering the SCRUM methodology. Presenter Peter Reek unpacked the 256 pages of Jeff Sutherland’s Scrum: The Art of Doing Twice the Work in Half the Time while Joseph Thompson (VP, Marketing & Communications @ BuildDirect) gave annotated examples of how to apply SCRUM both at work and at home. (His example? Why, he even used SCRUM with his construction team while renovating his house).  Scrum is a weird word — we’re convinced it’s an onomatopoeia — but if you’re a rugby fan you’ll be very familiar with this word. It’s a play that happens during rugby (see right) to gain possession of the ball. As Jeff Sutherland writes in the book, “The term comes from the game of rugby, and it refers to the way a team works together to move the ball down the field. Careful alignment, unity of purpose, and clarity of goal come together. It’s the perfect metaphor for what teams should do.” SCRUM Methodology, then, is a particular form of project/product management that involves close team collaboration and daily or weekly ‘huddles’ to check in. SCRUM essentially aims to create a structure around the learning process and allow the team to inspect, adapt, and improve throughout it.  1. The Agile Manifesto The backbone of SCRUM is the Agile Manifesto, defined by four principles: People over process Products that actually work, over documenting what the product is supposed to do Collaborating with customers over negotiating with them Responding to change over following a plan   2. Daily Scrum Just like in rugby, SCRUM is pieced together by players who play important roles: the product owner, the SCRUM master, and the surrounding team who support the vision of the product owner. As Joseph...

What’s Your Leadership Style?

Truly effective leaders should be able to describe how they will behave as leaders. Why? Team members like to know what to expect. A good interviewer will come prepared with his/her understanding of what the current team needs to perform and what kind of leader can effectively usher them there. Your leadership style, as communicated in an interview, should acknowledge the flexibility and adaptability required of all leaders, but also come clean with your own tried-and-true style. As Karen Hood, HR Director of Virgin Atlantic says, “I’m looking for what their preferred or natural style is. What’s the style that you tend to feel comfortable with and you tend to use most of the time, under most circumstances?” Sometimes people mistakenly answer this question as if the interviewers themselves had asked: Will I like you? In this case, we advise you stay authentic to yourself, trust your experiences and celebrate your unique leadership style. If the HR Manager thinks they need a hard-nosed authoritarian and you are more emotionally driven, the fit might not be there – for either side. The best answers will be concise (3 words that describe your leadership style) and illustrative (that time you made a tough decision, that time you had to get your team on board with X). Here are some examples:   Avoid These Answers When Describing Your Leadership Style :   I guess I’m just a natural leader (AKA I don’t know) If you don’t know your leadership style, you have work to do. There are a number of insightful tools (Myers-Briggs, DiSC, StrengthsFinder) and even career coaching programs (we have one you can read about here) that can help you make sense of what leadership means to you. In essence, it’s all about knowing who you...

Recap Of Our “Leaders Eat Last” LeaderLounge

n Sept 30, our LeaderLounge took to Simon Sinek’s “Leader’s Eat Last,” to delve in and digest just exactly what the word “leadership” entails. We had a fantastic showing of some Vancouver’s greatest marketers in the audience, as well as one on stage whom walked us through a case study of leadership during transitory and difficult times (thanks Angela Scardillo). If you attended our event and want a little recap, OR if you’re suffering from FOMO and simply must know what took place, here’s some highlights from our LeaderLounge event.   1. Managing vs. Leading Simon Sinek pushes the idea that the true cost of leadership privilege comes at the expense of self-interest. In order to succeed in the long run, organizations must build environments in which people truly matter and train people to be great LEADERS, not just “effective managers.”  Sacrifice the numbers to take care of the people. #LeaderLounge — Wisam Abdulla (@RealWisam) October 1, 2015 Best   2. Treat Employees Like People If leaders treat employees with trust, it creates a sense of obligation and a sense of pride. Work becomes a place to feel valued and employees will work together to achieve goals and hit targets. A leader that serves others wins in the long term #LeadersEatLast #LeaderLounge — Christine Nathaniel (@stinesupreme) October 1, 2015 "Firing is the easy option. Tough love, coaching all require more time and attention" #LeaderLounge — Smart Savvy (@smartsavvy) October 1, 2015 3. Look Past The Numbers When our relationships with our customers or employees become abstract, we naturally pursue the most tangible thing we can see — the metrics. If you place value on numbers more than lives, you’re more than likely separated from the people you’ve been called to serve. The further away, the less...

Upcoming LeaderLounge: Simon Sinek’s Book ‘Leaders Eat Last’

Why do only a few people get to say, “I love my job?” Finding fulfillment at work can feel akin to winning the lottery; with only a few ‘lucky ones’ feeling valued by their leaders (and organizations). Leaders play a significant role in job satisfaction and career fulfillment. Imagine a workplace where almost everyone wakes up inspired to go to work, feels trusted and valued during the day, then returns home feeling fulfilled. This is not a crazy, idealized notion. Today, in many successful companies, great leaders are creating environments in which people work together to do remarkable things. To further explore the essence of trust and leadership, join us for our next Leaders Are Readers LeaderLounge workshop. We will do a deep dive into Simon Sinek’s book Leaders Eat Last and cut to the chase on what makes a leader trustworthy. Our guest speaker, Angela Scardillo, VP of Marketing at Best Buy Canada, will share a real-world case study illustrating the principles at work.   When: Wednesday, September 30, 2015, 6:30PM – 8:30PM Where: Shebeen Whiskey House, 210 Carrall St, Vancouver, BC V6B 2J2 Price: $39.95 per session (the equivalent of 8.35 lattes) Limited seating....

Highlights of Our Conversation-Centered LeaderLounge

Think back to the last time you were on a flight beside a fellow human being. You choose to engage. You make small talk, cover the who’s who, and then the topics slowly become more challenging. What to say next? Can a conversation end if you’re sitting side-by-side someone for 4 hours? Is silence okay? And, dare say, do you tap the other person on the shoulder if they’re knee-deep in a book or have their headphones in to continue said conversation? (Yeah, never.) Conversation is a human novelty with very specific, yet unwritten rules. Humour is funny until a certain un-said but universally known point. Confidence is always an attractive quality in a converser, until it very slowly begins to edge over the line to arrogance. Listening is a great conversational skill, except when it becomes overactive listening and a “let-me-finish-your-sentence” annoyance. All of these, as well as the anatomy of a conversation and the 6 laws of great dialogue, were covered last night at our third #LeaderLounge event. Our own Peter Reek teamed up with Catherine Ducharme of OutsideIn Communications to help guide leaders in generating excellent conversational and storytelling skills. If you weren’t there last night, here’s what you missed. Getting started at the @smartsavvy #LeaderLounge pic.twitter.com/vLpHcNr8HN — Ryan Hanawalt (@ryanhanawalt) July 30, 2015 For starters: The basic building blocks of a conversation. It’s a fine balance between give and take, push and pull, back and forth, and is akin to a volleyball game or sandwich-making. (One person slathers on the butter, another piles on slices of cheese, and then out of left field someone adds a spicy jalapeno.) And yes, it all begins with a healthy dose of small talk and an understanding that every conversation is an opportunity of some kind.   ...