Gary Winters

Coach  Workshop Facilitator Author

Memo to Leadership Development professionals

Remember, business is what happens when you’re busy planning leadership development.

The best development strategies are those is that leverage what’s already going on in the organization. Find out what gets reinforced in the workplace and work with that energy. Have a bias for action and creativity. Think outside the classroom.

Consider yourself a marketing person — not a “training” manager.

Developing leaders in the organization is often understood to be important, but is also frequently seen as a “non-essential” expense in tough economic times. Your job is to help key decision-makers and thought leaders to see the benefits of on-going, conscious leadership development. You need to do some selling. If you can’t demonstrate a return-on-investment, then what you do is non-essential.

Balance what the organization wants with what it needs — but start with what it wants.

As a professional, you’ll face a dilemma from time to time – there’s a request for service, but you know that what they think they want is not what they need. Often, you’ll get more buy-in and commitment to the intervention you think is most appropriate if you start by delivering at least some of what was requested first. You can use that intervention to demonstrate why they also need this or that.

On the other hand, seek alignment with strategic plans and senior leaders — but don’t be afraid of guerilla tactics.

I once served as an internal OD professional in a large, toxic system. The General Manager called me to his office one day to review the various offerings in our Leadership Academy. He saw that we had a Stress Management program – and immediately forbade me to keep it on the menu. “We don’t have enough stress around here,” he said. “Stress produces competition and creativity. Remove this class from the schedule.”

Realizing that reminding him that three people had been taken out on stretchers that year alone (heart attacks) would have fallen on deaf ears.

I knew our employees wanted to learn how to deal with stress. I knew they wanted this program, and I decided I’d have to be willing to “bet my job” to make sure it was available. But, rather than force a confrontation with the GM, my team and I came up with a guerilla tactic: we changed the name of the seminar to “Wellness at Work.” Same program, same content. I was willing to take the heat if it came, but it never did. And the program was a huge success, with waiting lists a mile long.

Finally, remember that most the “development” in your organization may not occur in nor be a result of any classroom activity.

That doesn’t mean eliminate classroom activity.

“What ELSE Your Boss Never Told You” is the sequel to the very popular “What Your Boss Never Told You.” Packed inside are more tips, techniques, and insights about the challenging, but rewarding leadership position.

“What ELSE Your Boss Never Told You” is written in a conversational tone, as though you and the author were enjoying a cup of coffee and talking about the issues that emerge for new leaders. It stands alone, and/or could be read before or after the first volume, “What Your Boss Never Told You.” You can start with any chapter and read in any order you like.

if you search for a book on management, you’ll find a staggering 600,000+ books currently available. How can you narrow that down? “What Your Boss Never Told You” is the best place to start.

No textbook here – this book is short and sweet. It’s designed to help you “unpack” your new job and be effective from the first day with your new team. It contains twenty-one chapters filled with the wisdom Winters has gathered from real managers – effective, successful leaders in organizations much like yours.

Leaders make decisions every day – big and small. Most know that if they include others in the decision-making process, the quality of those decisions – and the commitment to them – will likely improve. That said, they also know it’s impractical, if not impossible, to include others in every decision they confront.

“To Do or Not To Do” tackles the question of when to make decisions on your own, and when to involve your team. It gives you a deceptively simple but proven method to determine, when you are facing a difficult decision, how to decide how to decide.

Far too many meetings are dreadful, mind-numbing, energy-draining, productivity-sapping, colossal wastes of time. As someone once said, “To kill time, a meeting is the perfect weapon.”

Here’s the deal: if you’re willing to learn and apply the techniques in “So, How Was Your Meeting?”, you’ll call fewer meetings, while vastly improving the ones you do lead. They’ll take less time, have more balanced participation, produce better decisions, and result in concrete action items for follow-up afterwards.

While there are thousands of books written for people about to retire, this may be the only book for people who manage soon-to-retire employees. Written in a casual, conversational style, “Managing the Soon To Retire Employee” will give you everything you need to know to move forward with confidence and grace.

You can be successful with Sooners. It won’t happen by chance, and it’s not a matter of pulling some management “trick” out of your hat. But you can learn how to do it, and you can apply what you’ve learned right away.

Managing friends or former peers can be awkward. When you become the boss, everything about these relationships can suddenly be uncomfortable. There’s a new set of ground rules to establish – as manager, you are going be accountable for the work performance of friends or former co-workers on the team, and they are going to have to adjust to the fact that they now report to you. Everyone involved can feel awkward and hesitant about the future. 

Have you been approached by management with an offer to promote you to supervision? Or, are you mulling over the possibility for the future? Find yourself not sure whether to accept the promotion?

If so, you’ve come to the right place. Help! They Want to Make ME a Supervisor will help you sort out a very big question: Should you accept the offer to become a supervisor? Once you’ve read this book, you’ll be confident that you’ve made the best decision for you and for your organization.