Episode 178.5 – Green Apple Slice


5 Sure Signs You Work for a Great Company Comes Down to These Top-Notch Leadership Behaviors



The Green Apple Podcast does weekly “Green Apple Slices”, where John Garrett and Rachel Fisch discuss a recent business article related to the Green Apple Message. These shorter segments are released each Monday, so don’t miss an episode by subscribing on iTunes or an Android app.

This week, John and Rachel discuss an Inc article, “5 Sure Signs You Work for a Great Company Comes Down to These Top-Notch Leadership Behaviors” by Marcel Schwantes.

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    Good morning. It’s John Garrett coming to you with another episode of Green Apple Slices where every Monday, we all hold our breath as I call my partner in crime, Accountants and Alliances for Sage Canada, Rachel Fisch.

    Rachel: Hey, John. How are you?

    John: Whoo, yes. All right. Yes. How are you?

    Rachel: I’m doing really great, actually. I’m answering the phone from Phoenix, Arizona where we’re on spring break right now and just chilling out, so yeah.

    John: Wow. That is the opposite of Canada. You guys are literally on fire.

    Rachel: Yeah. A couple of rainy days, but hopefully, it’ll get warmer later on in the weekend.

    John: Yeah. Very cool, very cool. Awesome. Well, yeah. Well, we always get together and chat through an article even when you’re on your family vacation, so thanks for taking time away from that.

    Rachel: Yeah, no problem.

    John: But I found this article on Inc. by our buddy, Marcel Schwantes. He’s written several articles that we’ve talked about.

    Rachel: Yeah. I don’t think he knows that he’s our buddy.

    John: No, he doesn’t.

    Rachel: Yeah. We have covered a few of his articles. I really like them because he bolds and numbers his steps. So he’s like hero in my book right now.

    John: Exactly. But this one is “5 Sure Signs You Work for a Great Company Comes Down to These Top-Notch Leadership Behaviors.” He says that this is what drives employee engagement — the leadership behaviors.

    Rachel: He said, “The correlation is simple: Trusted, human-centered leaders,” which means they lead without fear, “equals happy and engaged employees.” So if you have an organization that encourages trusted and human centered leaders, then it will actually start rippling through the entire organization.

    John: Yeah, absolutely. Trust isn’t developed by knowing everything and being the smartest person in the room. It’s, yeah, just taking some time to develop relationships. Be a little bit vulnerable. Show a little bit of the human side of you. And the dividends are huge. Everyone I’ve talked to on the podcast, so many managing partner is even talking about how if you just trust your people, the dividends you get back are tenfold. It’s amazing.

    Rachel: Yeah, absolutely. There are a couple of things in here that I’d like to mention. First is actually the very first sentence which is, “Find me a company where people love their work, and I’ll show you the same people willingly and enthusiastically following their leaders to achieve excellence.” Before, we’ve talked about where people are more apt to actually follow a good manager, right? Like if you connect really well to a strong manager, then you want to continue working with them. Basically, no matter where they go, you want to continue to do that.

    So what you don’t want is you don’t want that at the expense of the organization, right? So for organizations that are able to and willing to find these great leaders and then continue to support them — because often people leave because there is a feeling of not being supported. So if they can find them, hire them, continue to support them, then those great managers and the people who do trust them and would follow them anywhere will also stay, so kind of the reverse picture, right?

    John: Yeah. Absolutely. It’s taking care of the thing that keeps people there, which is the leaders. That’s exactly right because you’re not just saving one person from leaving. You’re saving a whole group of people that are also following right behind. That’s an excellent point.

    Rachel: Thank you so much.

    John: No, absolutely.

    Rachel: So the next point was in item number one in the Five Sure Signs. The first sign talks about, “Don’t be a lone ranger.” So to me, again, as you read through it a little bit, if you were building a team and those teams were many use, then it’s actually going to be probably the least successful, the least productive team. So you need to find and connect with people whose strengths are your weaknesses and vice versa, right? Because that’s where you can really build that strong team, that strong leadership and then ultimately, a really strong organization.

    John: Yeah. I think the hardest part of that is admitting that you have weaknesses, for people to just be open and admit that and then go find it. It’s hiring smart people and let them go do smart things. It just get out of the way. You don’t have to babysit them. That’s the thing that I was always amazed at. I mean you go and work really hard, get good grades. You work into a big firm or whatever. Then you get there. Then half the time, they treat you like you’re five. It’s like, “I’m not a toddler. I didn’t get this job on accident. This actually was hard to do. Give me some credit here.”

    Rachel: “But no, no, no. Here’s the mold. You fit in it.”

    John: Yeah, pretty much because it’s easier to manage that, but it’s not best for everyone. Then two was, “Be radically transparent.” We’ve talked about before the three, “Practice active listening so you can solve problems.” I thought this was huge. It’s the quote of “people don’t care how much you know until they see how much you care.” And that’s so true. It’s so true. Yet we skip over that almost immediately when we walk into the office, whether it’s a client or a colleague or whatever. I thought that that was really important to point out for sure.

    Rachel: Yeah. Then number four is, “Make the workplace feel inclusive for all.” Of course, we just wrapped up this past Friday with International Women’s Day, so it was great to have those efforts, be celebrating women in the workplace. Of course, you want to make sure that those continue all day long. Then not just gender differences, but of course, racial and sexual differences as well. Then number five, which seems right in line with the green apple message, “Connecting the employee to the customer on a deeper, personal level.” Do you know anything about that, John?

    John: I think Marcel has been listening to the Green Apple Podcast. I think that’s why he threw it in.

    Rachel: Maybe. He is our buddy after all.

    John: Then he listened. He’s like, “Oh, crap, I better throw in a number five.” Yeah. But I mean it’s so great. I mean it’s just so huge to just create that relationship on a little bit of a deeper level. You don’t have to be creepy and hanging out all the time, but you create that relationship on a human level. Then it’s sticky and you’re not going to lose that client so easily. It’s pretty amazing.

    Actually, here’s something that will blow your mind. I just read an article recently. But there was a study by a guy who won the Nobel Prize, so he must be pretty smart. He actually found the whole thing with “people do business with people they know, like and trust” thing, which we’ve heard, but he actually found that people do business with people they like and trust even if they know that the price is higher and the quality is lower. Even if they know it’s an inferior product, they will still go to you because they like and trust you. Yet in the accounting space, CPE is 100% technical skills and not likable skills. So that just makes you better at it but no one cares. I mean be good clearly, but you don’t have to be the best. Add it. You’ll still get more business. That was pretty mind blowing to me, but yeah.

    But everyone can check out the article. If you’d like to read the full thing and get all five, you can go to greenapplepodcast.com. Click the link there. Follow us on Twitter. Rachel’s at @FischBooks so you can see all of her in-the-sun-gallivanting around this week. She slowly turns more red as the week goes on. I’m at @RecoveringCPA. Then the show’s at @GreenApplePod. So check us out. Hit subscribe. sI look forward to talking to you next week. Have a good vacation, Rachel.

    Rachel: Thanks, John. Talk to you later.

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