Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:
- Adam Mirabella talks about being an executive coach and the importance of off-site meetings in building team chemistry
- How business owners can determine if it’s time to bring in an executive coach to help manage their organization
- Tools that can be used by leaders to understand how well emotional intelligence is being adopted in their organization
- Tips on responding to employee feedback and how executive coaching can prompt changes in the organization
- Steps business owners should take to hire a hands-on employee
- Adam explains what he means by “building connective tissue in organizations and the need for emotional intelligence”
- How leaders can address mistakes at work and key indicators for a poorly-managed team
- Determining attributes of an employee who is ready for a leadership position
- How to create a system that supports employee growth in their organizations and the value of skills assessment when filling leadership roles
- The importance of embedding a coaching culture within the company
In this episode…
Many large companies including Google, Apple, Microsoft, and Facebook use executive coaches to work with their top leaders to help build and improve their leadership skills. Similarly, startups and growing brands looking to grow their businesses have come to see the importance of zeroing in on the right people to hold leadership roles within their company if they want to move their business forward.
So how do you determine if it’s the right time to bring in an executive coach to help bring your team together? And how exactly can this executive coach help not just bring the team together but help determine which individuals are ready to take on that leadership role?
Join Eric Stopper as he interviews Adam Mirabella of Mirabella Leadership Advisors about business coaching, the characteristics of a winning leader, what “building a connective tissue” within the organization means, and how getting the right people promoted can mean greater heights reached for your business. Stay tuned.
Resources Mentioned in this episode
- Buy Box Experts
- Mirabella Leadership Advisors
- Right Person, Wrong Job by Adam Mirabella and Mark Nevins
- Adam Mirabella’s email: [email protected]
- Adam Mirabella on LinkedIn
Sponsor for this episode
Buy Box Experts applies decades of e-commerce experience to successfully manage their clients’ marketplace accounts. The Buy Box account managers specialize in combining an understanding of their clients’ business fundamentals and their in-depth expertise in the Amazon Marketplace.
The team works with marketplace technicians using a system of processes, proprietary software, and extensive channel experience to ensure your Amazon presence captures the opportunity in the marketplace–not only producing greater revenue and profits but also reducing or eliminating your business’ workload.
Buy Box prides itself on being one of the few agencies with an SMB (small to medium-sized business) division and an Enterprise division. Buy Box does not commingle clients among divisions as each has unique needs and requirements for proper account management.
Learn more about Buy Box Experts at BuyBoxExperts.com
Intro Speaker 0:09
Welcome to the Buy Box Experts podcast we bring to light the unique opportunities brands face in today’s e-commerce world.
Eric Stopper 0:18
Hello and welcome to the Buy Box Experts podcast This is Eric stopper. This episode is brought to you by Buy Box Experts who take ambitious brands and make them unbeatable. They have a team of consultants that will identify key low hanging fruit for some of your best-selling cases on Amazon and I have to say our advertising audit that we are launching this week is incredible. If you think that there are holes in your advertising and you want to make more money on Amazon or even if you just want to know your market size, a lot of people don’t know your market size. Go to BuyBoxExperts.com click on a free analysis button. We will be charging for it. I believe we’re starting that next week and so Go and do it while it’s free. It’s free. No strings attached right now you’ll be connected with me or a member of our consulting team. But go and check it out. We really want to help you out. Now today, I am joined by Adam Mirabella of Mirabella leadership advisors. Adam is an 18-year music industry veteran, having led the digital revolution from inside formidable companies like Warner Music, Sony Music, Omnicom and Nokia. He’s an experienced leader and he’s a certified executive coach and trainer. He specializes in helping executives leaders, galvanize their teams into focused consumer-minded, winning organizations that build the fan artists relationship and grow market share revenue and profit. I brought Adam on the show. Because of you, our listeners, you are growing your businesses, hopefully you’re making millions of dollars and you’re becoming these amazing business people. But I want you to do it right Okay, we talked about tools on this podcast, we talked about keywords, we talked about how to how to pose your listing for sale against other people how to do better, better photography and graphic work. But today I’m talking to you as a business owner. You’ve got to do this, right? Because you probably were great as a two-man shop. But do you know how to hire? Do you really know how to hire? That’s why I brought Adam on the show. And Adam, welcome.
Adam Mirabella 2:26
Thank you very much. Appreciate you having me on.
Eric Stopper 2:28
So a lot to cover. I’m sure everybody is interested in hearing kind of what your business coaching approach is. I have lots of specific questions for you. But I kind of want to understand just in addition to the intro that I gave, why, why are you an executive coach?
Adam Mirabella 2:49
Yeah. Listen, I’ve run teams now for 18 years and all of those teams have been businesses that started from either nothing or very small and then we’re in Built into multi-million dollar organizations. And so, one great example is, you know, the first digital business I started was me with no assistant. And I built that team into a team of about 12 people. And we had partners like Apple and Walmart.com, and Amazon etc. And so we really started to get some expertise around us and that organization built out over the years, you know, my style, I would say, as a manager, as a leader, has been one with a sort of a coaching style or development team, you know, excuse me, my style as a leader has been one that’s been really focused on developing the team and developing the people on the team. And at some point, I was getting a lot of feedback from people that worked for me about my style. And that led me to this idea that I should probably move into executive coaching and use that that passion I have around developing people for helping leaders develop their teams themselves, you know, and it’s been very, very rewarding.
Eric Stopper 4:00
Now, give us a flavor. What is your this management style that’s, that’s so compelling that your employees asked you, or prompted you to move into the executive coaching arena?
Adam Mirabella 4:13
Well, The main thing is there are two different contributors in any organization, individual contributors, which are experts in, you know, some function of the business, right. And then there are people who manage others. And what happens in a lot of businesses is just, if you’re really good at being an individual contributor, sometimes you get promoted to managing people. But that’s not really what you’re interested in. That’s not really what you’re passionate about, right? And so you can’t you’re kind of put in a place to manage teams and inspire results, you know, through other people, but you don’t really have the skill sets to do it. For me, this is an area that I was very passionate about. So I not only love to contribute individually, but I actually love more the process and the extension of getting results through others. And that’s what leadership is all about. It’s making sure that you know, it’s not about focusing on yourself, it’s about focusing on the team, and making sure that they have the tools, the development opportunities, the right communication, everything that they need to succeed. And so, you know, that’s, that’s what I did as a manager. And as an executive coach, I actually focus on a couple of different things. One is leadership development, which helps leaders who need to kind of on who need to bring something more to their teams as a leader than what they’re doing today, right and help them to bolster their, their leadership skillset, so that they can so they can get results through other people. And the other area I focus on is transition. Eric, is it okay if I redo that part again? Or is this just live? How do you do this?
Eric Stopper 5:57
Um, yeah, no, I can make a note to two To restart, but But typically, what I’ll do is something really easy on me and the editor, and I’ll just do something like this so they can see it. Okay?
Adam Mirabella 6:11
So ask that question again, and I’ll do it better.
Eric Stopper 6:15
So, if you were prompted by your employees at this at these companies that you were building, to get into executive coaching, they prompted you to move into this arena because they saw that your managerial methods were, in a way superior, or at least they really responded very well to them. Give us a flavor give us a taste of what that managerial process is. Sure.
Adam Mirabella 6:43
As a manager, as a leader, I learned very early on in my career, I was working for the Coca Cola company, and they put a lot of time and effort into developing people who wanted to manage others. And so I really took those learnings and I applied them as I move into the entertainment field. And I started to run my own departments, I started to use those skills that I learned and really appreciate how they helped me bring about results through other people. And that’s really, that’s really what leadership is all about. It’s moving yourself aside and saying, Okay, I’m not the person who’s going to get the results anymore. It’s going to be the people on my team, how do I inspire them? How do I motivate them? How do I support them so that they can get the job done because I have to count on them to do it. Now. That’s my role. And so some of the things I would do is spend time and effort developing people one on one, developing the team dynamic by having off sites and working together in group exercises to build the continuity and the connection between team members. And what I was seeing time and time again, is these types of approaches, really led to the team you know, superseding all of our goals and just knocking things out of the park. And, and so The feedback was coming back from some of these people that work for me that this is really something that I have a knack for. And at that point, I thought, well, this is probably a great opportunity now to move from managing teams within a company to then helping leaders inside of other companies to sharpen their leadership skills and get help them get results for other people.
Eric Stopper 8:20
So how important is it to have these off-sites these group kind of specialty meetings to bond the team together?
Adam Mirabella 8:29
Well, I think team chemistry is one component of it. And I think it’s very important. Every each one of those opportunities is unique to the team, unique to the members of the team. And you know, the leader has to really think about what’s the right you know, what’s the right forum or opportunity to bring people together sometimes it’s something that’s as simple as doing things on a regular basis in the office. Sometimes it’s more grand and you know, it’s off-site at you know, a bedroom Breakfast and you guys are, you know, making food together? And there’s some, you know, exercises like that, you know, but there are all different things that you can do to build the chemistry within a team.
Eric Stopper 9:09
Yeah. You’ve said specifically that, well, what I really want to understand is, right I’m a business owner, right? And how do I know that I have my problem? How do I know that I need to do something different that I need to have an off-site that I need to bring somebody in and talk to my team that I need to change something right, like, what’s the clearest indicator that there is some underlying thing that I’m missing as a business owner?
Adam Mirabella 9:37
Well, that’s the perfect opportunity right there for executive coaches to come in and really help a leader and some of the signs that you will see if things are not right, our heavy turnover, which is one of the most expensive costs to a business, you’ll see in you know, fighting between teammates Or team members are not able to work through issues, you’ll see lost opportunities. These are some of the signs to a leader. If you see opportunities out there and your team is working on it, and for some reason, you don’t bring it home, you know, you’ve got it, you’ve got to wonder what’s going on there. So this might, these might be some of the telltale signs. But the tools that can be used, there are actually quite a number of tools that can be used for a leader to help understand those things. Of course, there are things like employee surveys, etc. But you can go much deeper than that. And you can, for instance, one of the areas that is very hot right now is emotional intelligence. And people want to work in an organization that responds to them not only as business people, but as human beings. And if you’re not doing that, as a leader, as an owner of a business, then your people are going to feel it. And you’ll see some of those things that we just talked about high turnover, whatever it is. Well, there are tools out there that help a leader to understand how well emotional abuse elegance is being adopted inside of their organization. And that could be for them as the CEO or an entrepreneur, or it could be for their senior leadership. And the way that would work is, you know, you would actually have a questionnaire around emotional intelligence and it asks the people who work there, these are the different components of emotional intelligence, which ones are important to you. So first, you understand which ones are
Eric Stopper 11:22
two sided assessment then, okay, yeah,
Adam Mirabella 11:24
exactly. Because not every area of emotional intelligence is important to every team. So you might find if there are 42, and, you know, different categories, you might find that out of those 42. There are really 20 that make a difference to this team. Then it asks the leader, okay, well, these are the things you’re saying are important. How is the leadership doing against these important emotional intelligence attributes, you know, that that you have identified that are important to you as a team, and then it helps the owner understand where they’re doing Well, and where they’re not doing well. And so they can start to adjust, you know, their approach to make the culture stronger.
Eric Stopper 12:09
Are the business owners that get the feedback from their employees typically surprised by the responses that they get?
Adam Mirabella 12:16
I will tell you, I’ve seen a leader who had a very strong connectivity with his team. And he was getting some of this feedback. And there were a couple of areas that he didn’t do well in. And he was noticeably shaken by it. He was upset by it because generally, he got great marks. But there were a few areas that he was falling short. And so during the session, you could see that he was getting somewhat emotional about it. Not angry that he wasn’t being angry about it was he was responding. Yeah, he was responding that he was falling short of what his team needed. And so that led to adjustments in this in this exact style. You know, I continued working with them and what I saw was an improvement in some of the ways that they would offer feedback some of the ways that they would listen and give a little bit more time for people you know, to contribute, etc. And it made a huge difference.
Eric Stopper 13:14
So that’s excellent. I would wonder how many I would wonder how often the leaders in an organization are kind of missing the indicators right? They were they’re just blatantly unaware of the fact that their team is not jiving is not it doesn’t really care about them almost sees them as I don’t want to say replaceable but as not a critical functioning arm of what they do in their daily business, right I because I felt that you know, in past businesses how, how often does this kind of executive coaching prompt, major change, right, like significant organism Just sweeping reform for a business? And often is it just like, yeah, you need to hang a poster of a picture of you and your team or you need to have like, a weekly check-in or a monthly, you know, I don’t know audit of, of the company,
Adam Mirabella 14:14
right? It definitely spans all of those different realms that you just outlined. One of the things we say in coaching is that you know, you can’t coach somebody that doesn’t want to be coached, right? So the first step for a leader is to be thinking about do I want an outside person who’s not tied to this organization politically right, and doesn’t have any, any skin in the game other than my success as a leader? You know, do I want someone like that an outside person as a sounding board and outside person, as somebody, I can brainstorm with right? Who’s not necessarily going to, you know, say everything I want to hear because I’m the CEO of a company. Well, That brings a lot of value to a leader. And as I said, the first step is that they want to be coached, you know, if they want to be coached, then the things that you just highlighted the different areas that have improvement, they start to actually emerge very quickly. And the reason that is, is because a coach will usually go in and bring some tools to the party that will help the leader understand where they sit, and where the organization sets and how the organization is moving and breathing. So one of those things is just assessing a leader style in their thinking style and their behavioral traits. Well, if you think about leadership and building the ultimate team, right, you’re trying to build this business. Well, if you have certain traits and certain qualities, and you understand what those are, then when you’re hiring around you, you can actually hire for different traits that support and that complement who you are as a leader, and therefore you can build up a nice, very diversified skill set within your leadership ranks. And when you said earlier Well, sometimes a leader they might not be aware of what’s going on. Well, that might be one of their attributes is that they move very quickly, right. And they’re moving through business very quickly. So maybe they hire people around them that have a little bit more eyes and ears, right and, and touchpoints that can communicate to them about what the, the greater team is feeling. So these are some of the things that you can do as a leader, you know when you have somebody that’s really supporting you to drive the organization to its best possible. So
Eric Stopper 16:29
now, specifically, and this is for a lot of our listeners, just in practice, right? So you run a product business and you hire somebody to run your marketing. Now, these are the people that I engage with the most frequently is these marketing folks, right? They, you know, they do Walmart, they do Amazon, they do eBay, maybe they manage the website if I want someone who is going to To execute it better than I would, right? And I care about it the most because I’m the business owner, if I’m going to bring somebody on that is going to own it right? Who’s going to go out and look for more product opportunities that we can bring into the business? Who’s really going to magnify that? That role that they have in the company? What is my first step, right, as a business owner to fill that role to replace me and become a better me in that specific
Adam Mirabella 17:30
role? Well, I would say, first of all, as a leader, if you’re the person doing it, which is very necessary for most businesses that are starting off, right, you have to be the one rolling up your sleeves and getting it done. But there comes a point and if you’re going to grow your business, you have to realize that as a leader, the people underneath you are going to want two things. They’re going to want vision, and they’re going to want clarity from you. It’s your job as the owner of that business, the CEO you know the person who started a business, it’s your job to be able to pull yourself up. So you can look at the longer strategic touchpoints of the business. And then when you’re hiring that other person underneath you, that’s where you want to look for skills that compliment you. But also at this point, now, if you’re moving into more of a strategic realm and more of a long term growth of the organization, etc, etc, and the business, then, you know, you would look at what are the needs of that particular role? And what did you do really well, the way I would look at that is I’d say, Well, what did I do? Well, when I was doing it, rolling up my sleeves, right and hands-on, one of the things that I wish I would have done better, and be a little bit more truthful with myself in the areas that I could have done better. And I would build that into the job description and into the role so that I was getting the best of what I contributed as the person who was hands-on, and then also adding to that the things that I felt were missing because this business now needs to grow and move forward.
Eric Stopper 18:58
I think that makes a lot A lot of sense, I want to go back to the discussion we’re having around emotional intelligence. In an article he wrote back in June of 2018, I’ve quote here, he said, if you can gauge and then improve the emotional intelligence in your team company, it leads to much higher engagement from the people on the team. And that stronger engagement delivers focus, productivity, connective tissue, between the departments and organizations that is nimble in a marketplace. I want to understand what you mean by connective tissue, right? We’ve got five teams here by box experts, five exclusive teams, and most people running product businesses typically have like five to six units that they manage. And so what does connective tissue look like in these organizations?
Adam Mirabella 19:54
Yeah, so no, as I mentioned, this is a hot area right now emotional intelligence and the reason it’s so it’s Such a hot area is that if a leader can create an organization that really, that is really able to communicate well, that’s really able to be transparent, that’s really able to hear people’s issues, then people in that place, they want to go the extra mile, they want to support each other, they want to, they just tend to excel as a team greater than other organizations that do not have strong emotional intelligence. And that emotional intelligence really needs to start from the top. And that includes things like listening and understanding to you know, what the needs are of the people in the organization. So if the CEO of the company is doing that, right, let’s say they have four direct reports, and they’re providing that kind of high minded leadership for their senior leaders, then usually it does trickle down, right and you know, Then those senior leaders wind up embodying that same temperament because they’ve been treated well to their people and so on. And we call it almost like the chocolate fountain when you’re at a wedding if you start at the top right, and it’s really great chocolate, then it kind of cascades down to the larger levels of the organization. Well, if it starts at the top, it usually does cascade down. And the expectations are set right from the top about how we communicate how we manage through issues, how we call out a problem or an issue. These are the kinds of things that help build connective tissue.
Eric Stopper 21:34
So you would sit down with one of these business owners, and you would evaluate the way that they call out issues inside of their, their teams, right. So like, I’m a business owner, and when I see an issue, someone didn’t perform very well the manner in which I talk to that team and the words that I use and the tone that I use Those are some of the things that you would actually walk through in these executive coaching sessions.
Adam Mirabella 22:05
Yeah, so what you’re talking about right now is what’s called one on one coaching. And it is coaching with an executive to help them really, really bring their leadership skills to a different place. But all of us have had situations where we’ve had great managers we’ve worked for, and really lousy managers that we’ve worked for. And if you try to personalize it for yourself, if you’re let’s say, you made a mistake at work, right? And the person who’s managing you, makes you feel small, makes you feel stupid, makes you feel unworthy of the role that you’re in, even though it was just one mistake. Let’s say you do 95% of everything great. And you’ve had this issue this one year and something’s going wrong. Right? That that changes the whole dynamic about how you feel about working at that place, not just about what you did in that situation. And it makes people think, you know, I don’t want to be here. If I’m going to be treated like this, now you take that another direction. And I had a manager who managed me I thought this approach was great. Whenever there was an issue, when there was a problem, he never blamed me, he would always say, So Adam, tell me, tell me what’s going on here. Just an open-ended question like that, right? I had my chance to express what was happening. And in those cases, when a leader does that, and is able to work through the issue, and then re kind of recalibrate that employee to head in a different direction that’s going to be beneficial for the company. Right? It has long term effects because that person then wants to come back and make sure that not only they don’t make that mistake again, but they’ll actually help themselves course correct in the future, because of the way the leader approach that that issue instead of making them feel small minded and silly and stupid.
Eric Stopper 23:52
Now is that one of the larger indicators of a lack of connective tissue or what would you? What would you be able to walk into an organization and point at and just say that’s a problem, like immediately without even really understanding the relationship dynamics between people? Or how communication is done? Are there any artifacts of a poorly managed team that you can point to very quickly?
Adam Mirabella 24:18
Sure. I mean, I walked into an organization where the sales and marketing department literally were sniping at each other right taking shots at each other when you think about almost any business in the world. This was a distribution company, almost any business in the world sales and marketing has to work in concert right for ya for the custom for that businesses customer to get the best experience. And so you had big national chains that were on the receiving end of this, this backbiting between sales and marketing. That’s a telltale sign that the leader of that business was not was did not have his hand on the tail, right and was not managing directly You know, the subordinates of that organization and letting that kind of, you know, left them to their own devices which did not serve this organization’s customers very well.
Eric Stopper 25:12
Fascinating. So there was an article that looks to be co-authored by you and Mark Nevins titled, right person, wrong job, how to avoid hiring the wrong person for the right job, right. So you have a list of, of attributes in that article. If you’re going to promote somebody into a role, and this is and this is kind of the conversation that people need to have behind Do you want the Steve Jobs or the Steve wasn’t x running your company? Well, Steve Wozniak is certainly more technically competent than Steve Jobs. He’s this programmer. He’s, he’s built all these hardware is like, I, I look to him, and I think wow, this guy would be able to make the best product decisions. But it was actually it was Steve Jobs thing like he was the one that was steering that ship. So you wouldn’t necessarily want was but if you’re going to promote somebody inside of your organization, you’re going to hire somebody inside of your organization you talk about, there were four things specifically, the first one was having open career planning conversations with your top talent. Well, before you consider promoting them, can you talk to me about what that looks like?
Adam Mirabella 26:28
Yeah, I mean, really, if you look at any organization, there are two spheres of people. There are two groups of people. One is the individual contributors. They are the people that get the stuff done. And then there are the managers who are the leaders, the people that have to get results through others. And what usually happens in an organization in most organizations, believe it or not, if you’re a great individual contributor, so I am the salesperson, I’m the best sales if
Eric Stopper 26:56
you become a manager, you’re the sales manager. Yeah, just
Adam Mirabella 26:59
it just happens. happens automatically. But it shouldn’t be that way. Because what if the best sales manager is the person that you need to drive the business? And what if, perhaps, that person has no interest in managing others, right? So all of a sudden, you take someone who has no passion around leadership, no passion around managing others, and no passion around getting results through others. And you put them in a position where their whole job is to get results through others, right? Well,
Eric Stopper 27:25
well, I’ve got so I’ve got kind of a bone to pick with that idea and because I agree, but at the same time, especially in sales, if an inferior salesman becomes the manager, how do you avoid kind of like the disrespect where it’s like, oh, you are not as good as me. I don’t know that I should listen to you. You know,
Adam Mirabella 27:47
well, that goes to that goes to the conversations you you ought to be having with your team. So of course, you know, you’re going to need someone who’s competent in that function. Of course, if they’re going to lose But the question is if you have two competent people, and one of them has a passion around leading and getting results through others, and the other person really is not that interested in, in managing and dealing with when you’re a manager, you’re dealing with a lot of personal issues, you’re dealing with a lot of gripes you’re dealing with a lot of, you know, sometimes, you know, business issues that people bring to you day in, day out, some people don’t want to do that in their business day, they want to just focus on getting done, right. And so let’s assume for a minute that you have two people, and they’re both competent in sales, but one has a passion for getting results for others. That’s the discussion you want to have around, you know, well, maybe this is, you know, what, what is your career path look like? Do you want to manage people you want to become a district manager? Then you want to become a regional manager? Do you want to then become I don’t know National Sales Manager in 10 years, what are your goals right? And you start to you should be checking in with your employees on a regular basis or your or their manager should be to see where people want To go, if you get somebody who says, to be honest with you, I’m not really that interested in managing, right? Or you see that they don’t necessarily have the skill set to lead other people and to get results for other people, then what you want to do for that person is you want to create a career path for them around individual contribution, meaning that you are right now you’re a salesperson, and you’re contributing this and the other, you know, you’re not going to necessarily move into management because that’s not what you want to do. And it’s not where you’re going to bring a lot of value. But we are going to continue to develop you as an individual contributor because we want you to know you’re important to this organization. And we’re going to develop you just like will develop someone to be a manager. But What you don’t want is somebody who says, You know what? My family’s growing, I have more responsibility, I need more money. So even though I don’t want to manage people the heck with it, I’ll go ahead and put my head and name and a hat for to manage the team because I know that’s my only way to grow my influence and to grow my income inside this organization. That’s what you don’t want to happen, which happens every day of the week. And that’s and that’s the responsibility of the business to be able to set up some sort of system that incentivizes growth in, in a way other than becoming a manager. So, so how do you do that? Then I’m, you know, I’m this guy, I just had a new baby, I want to make more money. I’ve been here for a while I kill it at my job, and I don’t want to be a manager.
Eric Stopper 30:21
Right? What do I do? How do you as a business owner support my growth in the organization?
Adam Mirabella 30:26
You know what? That’s a great question. And there’s There you go. There’s the opportunity for someone who’s leading business to have an outside sounding board, right, that’s not politically aligned to anyone inside the organization. And you would brainstorm those things. Just it really would be unique to what that person is, what their role is. However, if I’m just shooting off the hip and brainstorming a bit, it could be things like, well, we had thoughts about maybe expanding in you know, outside of the United States. Maybe you continue your responsibilities here for the major accounts. You you’re managing today. And you’re the person that’s on leading our team to explore things outside the United States. Right? You’re not managing people. There’s one I one idea right there. And so what you would do is you would key into that person, what are some of the interests? What are some of the things that you could bring to the party to this organization that is outside of management, that could really be a value and you start to explore that it might be a new product line, it could be, there’s a lot of different ways it could go.
Eric Stopper 31:24
That makes a lot of sense. So so that was number one. That was career planning conversations with your top talent. There’s three more The next one is when discussing promotions into management, let your top performers know that you will work hard with them to develop alternative career paths based on their skills and capabilities. Is that what you just described? Is that the alternative career path? Or am I as a business owner saying, you know, kind of that old adage, you know what, what happens if we train our people and they leave and then the response should be, well, what happens if we don’t train them and they stay? Is that kind of the idea there that we’re we’re prepping them for Their next transition like they’re gonna leave, because maybe the next step up for them is not within my organization. What are your thoughts there?
Adam Mirabella 32:07
Well, the truth of the matter is in, you know, if you are focused in on how to develop a person, even if they don’t want to be a manager, right, and you’re giving them opportunities, the truth of the matter is they are most likely to stay with your organization because you are hearing what their needs are, you are going out of your way to create the path for them. And you’re giving them direct feedback, that they’re valuable to the organization and that you want to work with them. All of those things tend to make people feel more committed to the organization.
Eric Stopper 32:44
And those are indicators of emotional intelligence, I would say being able to have those conversations and identify those things with a person.
Adam Mirabella 32:51
Eric Stopper 32:52
Okay, that that makes a lot of sense. The third is if one of your top performers claims that she is passionate about managing people, how Skills Assessment conversation.
Adam Mirabella 33:02
What does that look like? Well, I mean, as I mentioned, there are a lot of tools that coaches can use. And there are tools that can help a leader or a CEO of a company, understand if there’s a match between what’s needed in that role, and how this person ticks, what are their thinking styles? What are their behavioral styles, right? The behavioral traits, and do those things line up with the best in class person that you need for that role. So that could and so that’s one of the tools that a coach would bring to the party to help somebody understand that let’s say you did the assessment. You might, you know, nobody’s perfect in any realm, right of what they do, everyone, we’re all human, we all make mistakes, etc. And we all have different sides of us. However, you might look at somebody and do the assessment and say, You know what, you’re really great with you know, communication, your patient is perfect for what we need, etc, etc. But there are some areas, you know that we need to bolster for you, you know, and things that we want to develop in you. And that that’s a great conversation to have. Because now you’re saying to that person, we see a match here, we see an opportunity for you. So you’re, you’re putting your hand up saying you want to be a manager, we’re definitely seeing that. But we want to put you through negotiation skills, because you’re going to be managing a team of, you know, business development people, and you need to be a little bit sharper in negotiation, or whatever it might be, right. And so you’re giving them the tools that they need and what as they go through that process. There’s going to naturally be a point where they come back and say, hey, I’ve done this, I’ve done that. These are the things you guys asked me. Where do we stand now? And that leads to you know, hey, I think we’re Yeah, I think we’re headed to the right place. This is a good we’re in a good spot now to give you this responsibility and hand it off to you in a way that you can manage it, not just let you go into the deep end of the pool. Right and sink or swim.
Eric Stopper 34:58
Yeah, and I think you’re certainly Speaking to the final point, which is if you make a decision to promote a strong individual contributor, ensure that together, right you create a detailed plan and blueprint for the transition. And it sounds like if if you have this first conversation with top performers who want to get into management that there’s some homework that they have to do there, you should, you should almost make them qualify themselves and help them feel that they are a good fit for the role. And then once you’ve determined that they are a good fit, you then sit down and you make a plan for the transition. So that you don’t have and by the way, it’s it’s a great article by Mark Nevins, and, and Adam here. And I’ll put a link so that people can find that as well. But you talk specifically about bill in and that’s a fake person, but he represents a real client that you had where maybe this blueprint and these skills assessments and alternative career paths weren’t considered when When he was, was promoted because he was a strong individual contributor, right, and then Tell, tell me what happened.
Adam Mirabella 36:07
Yeah, I mean, it was a classic example where you had this incredibly strong individual contributor, they had been promoted by the, you know, senior management into a managerial role. But because there were, you know, there were habits of, you know, having to control everything, and only controlling my own destiny as an individual contributor, this person found it extremely difficult to then open themselves up to allowing others to get the work done. And so they were stifling the team below them. And so at some point, the dialogue turned to Well listen, we need you to move more into a managerial role, not into the execution role. We know you’re used to execution, but you need to Now you need to be looking after your team and you need to be developing them so that they can do that. And after a number of trials, it was very clear that this person was not going to move into that realm. So it was kind of an unfortunate, it was a bad decision to have promoted that person because they had no interest. And when they were when it was brought to their attention, that they needed to kind of change and they were given tools and opportunities to change. They didn’t want to change. And so that turns into the worst possible scenario, right? So exactly what you said if there was a dialogue ahead of time, we could have saved that opportunity and said, well, either you’re not the right person, let’s figure out another path for you. Or if this is something you’re really passionate about, you’ve got to prove that this is something you’re willing to expand your you know, expand your horizons on. Before you take on that responsibility. You have to show a little bit of, development before you you take on that responsibility.
Eric Stopper 37:58
But that makes a lot of sense to me. Now, The last thing that I want to touch on you is kind of this idea behind who is the right candidate to be talking with an executive coach. There’s this long-winded kind of fun conversation around whether building an organization is something where you make the strongest link stronger, or you make the weakest link weaker. I think and you’ve spoken to me about this in the past, but typically people who are already doing really well are some of the ones that need this executive coaching to get to the next stage of their, of the business acumen of their managerial ability. Can you kind of talk to me about that, like we’re making the stronger people stronger? What about kind of the weak links? Are those just the ones that we help them make a transition to another company because they’re not the right fit for us or kind of walk me through this?
Adam Mirabella 38:54
Yeah, well, there’s a lot there. What you’re saying and let’s use sports matters. for, you know, a sports metaphor in baseball, for instance, you know, Mariano Rivera was one of the greatest relief pitchers of all time. Right? He had a coach. Yeah, he’s the talent. He’s the talent. And there’s a coach working with him to make sure that his talent is being brought out in the best possible way. Right? So you take that same idea and apply it to business. 25 years ago, the way executive coaching was used was in a punitive way, which is, you know, John’s not doing a good job. We give him a warning, john still not doing a good job, we give them a warning. the third shot is john, we’re going to give you an executive coach for three months. And if you don’t, if you don’t change, right, you’re out. And it was really like, sort of a last result. It’s 180 degrees. Now. You have companies like Google, Apple, Microsoft, Facebook, they’re all using coaching as an as a benefit as a perk for their leaders and companies like that. are doing that for a reason. Because if you can build the leadership skill set of the people that manage your organization, you start to get what’s called a, you know, coaching, a coaching style, and a coaching culture. And so what that means is that everybody’s sort of supporting each other.
Eric Stopper 40:24
Yeah, by failing and learning very much in the in a sports scenario, I go to the gym, everybody there is failing. And that’s the objective. And so, you’re talking about building that into the culture into the DNA of your company.
Adam Mirabella 40:38
Exactly, exactly. And so if you offer that as a benefit, some of the people that I’m coaching they’re looking at this and saying, Wow, my company is spending money for me to become a better leader for me to become a better executive for me to become a better business participant, you know, in the organization, right. And that’s, that resonates. with them because the company is number one is spending resources on them. Number two, they’re developing skills that they wouldn’t have developed without this resource. They can apply it directly to the business that they’re managing for the company. Right. And they feel good about themselves because they’re, you know, they’re taking their role seriously. And, and, and putting themselves through the rigors of becoming better at what they do.
Eric Stopper 41:27
makes total sense to me. I wonder how many people are going to hear this podcast, and are actually going to seek out improving themselves? I think oftentimes, we get stuck on the most recent email or the most recent PEO and we just forget about the fact that there are other people who are counting on us to develop them. Adam, people who want to get in touch with you, how do they find you?
Adam Mirabella 41:53
Yeah, it’s, you know, Adam [email protected] there. Welcome to email me there. Or Mirabella leadership advisors calm is my website. And you can connect with me there. And of course, I’m on LinkedIn under Adam Mirabella. And, you know, you’re welcome to reach me there as well.
Eric Stopper 42:13
Awesome. Reach out to Adam, get your business coach and build a great organization. Thanks so much for coming on.
Adam Mirabella 42:19
Eric Stopper 42:21
Thanks for listening to the Buy Box Experts podcast, be sure to click subscribe, check us out on the web, and we’ll see you next time.