Ductus Exemplo: Leading by Example (Part 4)

 

Empowering Your Employees

From performance-based leadership to diversity recruiting, lessons from the United States Marines can tell us volumes about corporate culture. This week’s lesson is about Commander’s Intent– a device designed to help subordinates understand the larger context of their actions. Though corporate America can feel like a battlefield,jn0-643 dumps we have a lot to learn from our men and women in uniform – especially when it comes to initiative and team unity.

As America’s premier expeditionary force, Marines are called into chaotic situations around the globe at a moment’s notice and have to make rapid decisions to accomplish their missions. Armed with their Commander’s intent, Marines know what needs to be done, and are able to adjust their strategy and tactics to account for real-time changes on the ground. This is an important lesson for companies in every sector. No one likes a boss looking over his or her shoulder all day. Employees everywhere are happier when they have the trust and confidence of their leaders to complete a job. But without the “vigorous” onboarding of the Marines, companies are understandably weary of trusting new hires.

Corporate culture has moved a light speed away from the lifetime employee to the millennial job-hoppers of Silicon Valley. With the potential for proprietary secrets going to a competitor, the love may be there for new employees – but the trust is gone. Unfortunately, this trend may have given birth to another. Behold, the rise of the Micromanager.

A Google Trends search for “micromanager” shows that regional interest of that search term is centered on two places – New York and San Francisco. Surprising given that these business sectors have dense clusters of talent, an international appeal, and some of the highest standards of living in the world. So, why do their employees feel micromanaged?

A Slate article “How Did Silicon Valley Happen? And Could It Happen Again?” makes an excellent point about the need to insulate an environment from micromanagement. “The paradox of trying to engineer another Silicon Valley is that the micromanagement done in trying to create the “right” environment is almost certainly sure to kill the chaotic and freewheeling enthusiasm and aimless entrepreneurship that was required for the real thing.”

While author David Auerbach is speaking on the macro-level, there is an important point here. Developing the right environment attracts a certain type of employee, both in their competencies and talents. An environment needs to be developed wherein every employee feels invested in the mission and values of the company.

Commander’s Intent removes the mystery in the mission, and gives individuals the agency and trust to succeed. Making quick, decisive choices in a chaotic environment is what the Marines do best. Relying on their training and their teamwork, Marines can launch missions in the span of just a few hours. Bringing this attitude into the workplace allows younger employees to earn valuable skills, while communicating trust to more experienced team members.

To wrap up this series, “Leading by Example” means more than reciting your company’s values. It means developing a culture that benefits every one. A positive corporate culture starts with developing a hiring strategy and messaging, continuing through everything from explaining staff changes and benefits.642-737 dumps A well-hired employee will encourage the free flow of ideas capable of solving complex problems, while freeing up management to focus on larger systemic issues.

Good employees aren’t hard to come by, but companies have to know what they’re looking for in a person. That starts with some real soul searching at the executive level. Is your company one that will hire anyone to fill a seat? Or one who will lead by example?

The Marines lead the way on the battlefield and in the recruiting space. America’s “911-force” consistently shows courage in their marketing tactics, as they do with their culture. Their will to push beyond conventional thinking to achieve their objectives, reminds us all that people join cultures, not companies.

What do you think? Has micromanagement invaded your office? How do you see it affecting productivity? Send us a message at conversations@jwtinside.com or visit us on Twitter @JWTINSIDE.

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Ductus Exemplo: Leading by Example (Part 3)

 

The Most Diverse Generation

Last week, we tackled performance-driven leadership, and now we’re going to show you how the United States Marines Corps continuously stays relevant to one key audience – Millennials (50 million strong and a generation more diverse than ever before). Raised with computers in-hand and deeply engrossed in social media, 17 to 29-year-olds have been the U.S. Marines recruitment demographic since their inception. The Marines’ ability to adapt in an increasingly complex recruiting marketplace is not a miracle – it’s strategy. Attracting talented recruits with a message that is still aligned with the Marines’ values and mission.MarineCorpsFightingWithaPurposeThough the Marines have no explicit minority recruiting targets, promoting a diverse force is a principle that the Marines believe builds strength. According to a study by Pew Research cited by PBS, “Millennials are the most diverse generation in U.S. history. Only 61 percent are white, 19 percent Hispanic, 14 percent black, and 5 percent Asian. That contrasts with those 30 and older, a group that is 70 percent white.” As with any other company out there, the shifting demographic is causing everyone to evaluate how we’re talking to the many different groups that comprise America.

In 2013, the Marine Corps Times reports that “nearly a quarter of the new officer candidates were minorities, up almost 9 percentage points from fiscal 2010.” This success can be attributed in part to ads created by JWT and its diversity marketing partner, Uniworld Group, and powered by the Marines’ culture. A tactical example, the ad titled “Fighting with a Purpose” released in 2012 features an African-American infantryman. As a recruitment piece, it showcases the purpose-based cause of the Marines – defending America. But, this message’s relevance extends beyond the traditional feature + benefit formula.

 

Though “defending America” is an intrinsic value that every potential candidate ultimately finds, each person’s motivation for joining the Corps is different. This is where the Marines’ ads begin to appeal to a different audience with a different life philosophy. In both “Fighting with a Purpose” and “Toward the Sounds of Chaos”, the emphasis is on the Marines’ broader range of missions, including humanitarian assistance and disaster relief efforts. Delivering aid, protecting citizens, and running peacekeeping missions is not always what people jump to when they hear Marines. Working again with JWT, the advertising team segmented their audience in a way that transcends race by developing cultural archetypes – a “Rambo vs. Bono” dichotomy, if you will. The “Bono” group – a group who might identify more with the Peace Corps than the Marine Corps – might never have previously considered service. But, studies show Millennials increasingly identify with cause-driven work. These ads are reaching a new audience in a totally different way.

Appealing to diverse audiences takes a varied approach. No person within any group thinks exactly alike, bringing our attitudes and experiences to every decision. But, speaking to each audience differently helps each of us find a common cause that will bind us to a purpose.

Next week, we’ll be taking on the topic of micromanaging – empowering employees to take control of their career. The Marines once again lead the way with their take on the importance of trust and its effect on performance.

What was the reason you joined your company? How does your company celebrate diversity? What tactics is your company employing to gain traction with different communities? Send us a message at conversations@jwtinside.com or visit us on Twitter @JWTINSIDE.

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Ductus Exemplo: Leading by Example (Part 2)

 

Surviving in a Performance-Based Culture

Kicking off our series, our first lesson from the U.S. Marine Corps focuses on their unique performance-based culture. Corporate culture is an easy thing to say, but harder to do. Most companies have gone through the exercise of thinking up a series of values and statements – giving those to Human Resources to disseminate. A culture may start this way, but people need ideas they can believe in – ethically sound and morally solid. Guided by their Leadership Principles and Values, the Marines have been perfecting their culture of performance-based leadership since their inception in 1775.

Reinforced on the training grounds and battlefields every day, the metrics of success are clear to every Marine. Their culture pushes everyone to be at their best, while supporting each Marines development and encouraging success.

Be the Example
Culture affects everyone, from the intern answering the phones all the way to the CEO. Instilling passion in employees can be difficult, particularly if leaders are not willing to set standards in the office. One of several Leadership Principles of the Marines is Set the Example: “If your personal standards are high, then you can rightfully demand the same of your Marines.” Everything from project start to project execution should be demonstrated by leadership, bringing mere value-based words to life. A culture should be a dependable, consistent element. Like the rule of law, it should apply to everyone.

Responsibility First
A culture that only appeals to a company’s bottom line may work in the short-term. But, appealing to the human side of employees with a culture that celebrates them for their unique abilities and teaches them to work together will be more beneficial in the long-run. The Marines exemplify this idea in their Leadership Principle to Seek Responsibility and Take Responsibility for Your Actions: “You are responsible for all your unit does or fails to do. Stick by your convictions and be willing to accept justified and constructive criticism.” The book Corporate Culture and Performance analyzed the cultures of 200 companies. Comparing their long-term economic performance of companies with, and without, “performance-enhancing cultures”. The results were surprising, in terms of sheer scale.

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Facilitating and adapting to change is one of the most powerful results of a robust culture. Taking responsibility for growth within a company’s culture empowers employees to really feel ownership over their career and professional development.

Totally Transparent
Is it a challenge to get everyone’s buy-in on what a culture should be? Sure. But, a big step in the right direction is transparency. When sweeping decisions are made, letting the rumor mill run can be more damaging than whatever problem you were trying to fix – internal communications is key to a successful workplace environment. A critical premise to the Marines’ Leadership Principles is Keep Your Marines Informed. “Informed Marines perform better and, if knowledgeable of the situation, can carry on without your personal supervision. Providing information can inspire initiative.”

A lack of knowledge can lead people to make uninformed decisions that can have a domino effect throughout a company. Keeping everyone informed creates an atmosphere where problems can be openly shared and addressed. In a study published in The Leadership Quarterly, leader transparency and positivity was tested in a control group. The results were incredible. The group with low transparency had nearly 4x the amount of negative responses – even when their leader was equally positive. Meaning that even if you have a positive culture, not sharing with your staff will still leave them with a negative impression.

The Marines cultivated a leadership ethos that has weathered the most challenging situations. By bringing their hard-won lessons to light in corporate America, we can all become better leaders, regardless of our position on the corporate ladder.

Next week, we’re going to take on diversity and recruitment – in culture and creed. Marines light the way with their nuanced messaging strategy that makes some courageous decisions.

How has transparency affected your work satisfaction? Does your company set a good example? Stay tuned for next week’s installment of our Ductos Exemplo series. Send us a message at conversations@jwtinside.com or visit us on Twitter @JWTINSIDE.

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Ductus Exemplo: Leading by Example (Part 1)

 

Recruitment Lessons from the US Marines

Ductos ExemploOne of the most successful recruiting efforts of all time doesn’t belong to a Fortune 500 company, but rather the United States Marine Corps. Despite ongoing conflicts and being arguably the most demanding service in the armed forces, the Marines consistently meet their quantity and quality metrics for recruitment. That’s why we wanted to see what lessons we could learn from our nation’s expeditionary force and how one of the Marines’ values “Ductos Exemplo”  (to lead by example) rings true in the recruitment space.

Introducing the first of a series of blogs focusing on performance-based leadership, diversity in recruiting, and empowering employees. Their principles have made the Marines consistently successful at reaching their audience. Working with J. Walter Thompson (JWT) for more than 67 years, Marines have developed nuanced messaging strategies to appeal to recruits for decades.

With a yearly marketing and advertising budget of $70 to $100 million, Marines spend only about $2,500 per successful accession (a recruit who successfully completes basic training). Compare that with the $2.4 billion Nike spent last year just to market shoes. This is truly an incredible feat considering the difficult and potentially life-threatening nature of being a Marine.

Emphasizing a performance-based culture, the first post in the series will show how the Marines’ Principles of Leadership can improve employees’ attitudes. More than a corporate feel-good exercise, a culture based on transparency and accountability can really translate to better financial performance.

Our next post will focus on improving the diversity of the Corps – in both culture and creed. In 2013, the Marines saw their most diverse group of officer candidates ever – representing 24.3 percent of the officer accessions.

Finishing the series, our last post draws inspiration from the idea that regardless of a Marine’s specialization, he or she is a rifleman first – individually empowered to complete the mission. Metrics are everything when gauging success, and the Marines have got them – in terms of candidates’ diversity, skill level, and commitment to the Marines’ core values.

“This is the most diverse group of officers we’ve brought in. It’s part of an upward trend. We’ve nearly doubled the diversity of officer accessions over the past five years,” Lt. Col. Chester McMillon, head of officer programs, Marine Corps Recruiting Command, was quoted on the Marines official website. “Academically they are outstanding. On average they carry a 3.5 grade point average and 1200 SAT. They are also proven leaders in their schools, communities or churches.”

Those are the qualifications recruiters everywhere would like to see in their candidates. The courage of the Marines’ tactics and messaging helped them to consistently achieve their goals, without sacrificing their culture.

What are some ways your company has taken recruiting risks? Did it work? What kind of messaging did you use? Get ready for next week’s installment of our Ductos Exemplo series focused on Marines’ performance-based leadership culture.

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JWT INSIDE Responds to ‘PayPal Chief Reams Employees: Use Our App or Quit’

A recently published article“PayPal Chief Reams Employees: Use Our App or Quit,” really caught our eye here at JWT INSIDE. Just from the title, we could tell there was going to be an interesting story of passion for an employer and a potential internal challenge with employee engagement. Our first thought was: It sounds like PayPal’s CEO, David Marcus, could ask himself two big questions.

First, why aren’t our employees using the app? And second, are we hiring purpose-driven employees?

Answering these two questions could not only help improve the product in ways that may further encourage the use of the app internally and externally, but it would also support the discussion around hiring the right people to better the business overall.

Although, some may feel Marcus was a bit harsh. Expressing disappointment about employees’ participation with a major product launch shows his commitment and passion for the company, and really gives employees an insight into the human side of being a leader. Ultimately, using the app wasn’t the point, Marcus’s note to his employees was about joining the PayPal culture. An idea that we at JWT INSIDE whole-heartedly believe in – people join cultures, not companies.

A tough-love motivational speech to overcome lack of enthusiasm might have played well at a town hall, but missed the mark in the written word. It was fair of Marcus to acknowledge a growth opportunity and set expectations for his employees. The bigger issue is ensuring his company is hiring people who are passionate enough to be brand ambassadors. Ultimately, Marcus really squandered a chance to focus on their employer brand and use the EVP as a way to attract the type of people who want to download PayPal’s app – not made to feel guilty enough to do it.

In the words of Marcus, “We have much work to do to reach greatness. We’re not perfect by any stretch of imagination. But passion, and purpose will help us get there faster… A life devoid of purpose, and passion in what you do everyday is a waste of the precious time you have on this earth to make it better. Onward with passion, purpose, and gusto!”

We couldn’t agree more. After discussing with a number of INSIDErs, the consensus was unanimous – it’s key to have a defined EVP and a company culture that understands and believes in the business mission, no matter what the brand. We’d love to hear your thoughts, do you agree? As an employee, how would you react to a communication from your CEO like the one sent at PayPal?

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