Good Works Show Leadership Tip: Find the Right People

 

EM-Foster-QuoteAtlanta-based Amplify 4 Good creates social and organizational change by using rapid problem-solving techniques and by coming up with innovative solutions to challenges. Amplify’s co-founder and Executive Director Joey Womack joined The Good Works Show to talk about the organization and offer some leadership advice to listeners.
“Build a solid team. Hire slowly, fire quickly. Definitely take time to find the right people—people that have the values that you see in your organization, people that are committed to the cause.”

An organization that thrives on efficiency and high-paced work would surely depend on an effective team, but a quality staff is critical for any organization. Here are some steps to creating a strong group.

1. Define your organization’s needs and goals. By identifying the mission of your work, you will be better able to fill it with people who can get the task at hand done.

2. When hiring for a position, meet multiple people. Even if you think you’ve found “the one” in the first interview, sit down with at least a couple more. This will broaden your selection pool and enable you to pick the best person for the job.

3. Throw a curveball. Move the interview mid-conversation. Have another employee come into the room to ask a question. This will allow you to see how the job candidate responds to different situations.

4. Get the opinion of the current team. Have the job candidate talk with a few different members of the staff. Let them get a feel for the potential new employee to evaluate whether or not they would be a good fit.

5. Consider all sides. This person may have the technical experience, but do they come with the passion and the drive? Try to fill your team with people who have a combination of tangible and intangible skills.

Hear more from Womack on the episode podcast.

Leadership Tip from Mandy Williams of Northern Star Independent Transitional Living

Good Works Show guest Mandy Williams, founder and executive director of Northern Star Independent Transitional Living, offers listeners a leadership tip for finding a job they love. “Follow your dreams,” she says. “If you are passionate about something, stick with it. Ask for help. Learn all you can.”

What if you know what you like, but aren’t sure of your passion? Here are some tips to pinpoint your dream job:

  1. NorthStarLdrspThink  about who you admire. Professionals, family members, community leaders. What are they doing? Maybe you admire them because they are doing what you want to do. And, if their path doesn’t exactly align with your wants, you can at least look to them for advice on how they got to where they are.
  2. Evaluate what you spend your time on outside of work. What you do after the 9-5 is often the most important to you. Can you turn that into a job or career?
  3. Forget the money. Sure, paying the bills is important. Passion work, though, is about what you would do if money was no object. Try to leave the money part out of the initial search for the right path.
  4. Make a list of deal breakers. What don’t you want to do? What is a work environment that you couldn’t handle? Sometimes gauging what you don’t like will lead you to something you do.
  5. Do your research. Read biographies of established leaders and learn how they got to their position. Check out professional development books like What Color is Your Parachute? Peruse career and lifestyle websites like Levo League (www.levo.com) and Clarity on Fire (www.clarityonfire.com).

Catch this episode’s podcast to hear more from Mandy Williams.

Leadership Tip from Cassius Butts of the Small Business Administration

Go outside and do something you will remember

Cassius Butts, Regional Administrator for the Southeastern Region of the Small Business Association joined this week’s episode of The Good Works Show, and offered listeners his best leadership advice.

“It starts with volunteerism,” he said. “You have to ask what ways can I help to be a part of someone else’s dream and help to bring those to fruition.”

“What I learned through leadership development was that it is important to say that service is important and affects every community and every walk of life,” he added. “Having that type of involvement helps to build leadership and helps to build stamina that to say that we can sustain any type of challenge we may face and we also are huge in network.”

So how does volunteering and serving your community help you professionally?

  1. It shows a dedication to a cause bigger than you. Volunteering means taking time out of your busy schedule to give back to the community around you. Employers recognize this added effort and hard work, and it looks great on a resume.
  2. It gets you out into the community. By lending a hand where it is needed most, you’ll better understand the needs of the community and the people who live there. If your full-time employer happens be in the same community, it’s a great way to increase your familiarity with the neighborhood in which you work.
  3. It broadens your network. Volunteering in the community brings you together with professionals from other organizations and career paths. This will open up your connections in ways you wouldn’t have found within just your company.
  4. It makes you more well-rounded. Volunteering is usually an all-hands-on-deck situation. This means that you will likely do multiple jobs, expanding your experience as you do.
  5. It’s a great way to bond with your team or coworkers. Many nonprofits in need of volunteers coordinate opportunities for large groups. You can complete a project with other employees from your work, further building these professional relationships in a setting outside of the normal office.

Goodwill Spotlight: Local Leadership

Leadership-QuoteA leader can be made in many ways—on the field, in the office, or even in the community. Through hard work and dedication to their team they gain confidence and the respect of their peers. Leaders show grit and determination, and a passion for whatever the task at hand.

This Goodwill spotlight is all about these leaders—cultivating them, and giving them the opportunity to shine and succeed.

“BlazeSports America is the legacy nonprofit organization of the 1996 Paralympic Games that were held here in Atlanta,” says Cynthia Frisina, Executive Director of BlazeSports. “We are a nonprofit organization that serves children, teenagers, and veterans in adaptive and Paralympic sports. We also do international work in several different countries, as well as training and education nationally. We are the only organization nationally that is certified in adaptive sports and recreation training.”

From children to veterans, Frisina talks about how everyone can find a place in sports. “We believe that everyone can participate in sports,” she says. “We have seen how sports have changed people’s lives. It becomes the highlight of what they do.”

One example Frisina offers is the story of a wounded veteran who came back from war paralyzed from the waist down, depressed, with PTSD, and attempting multiple times to commit suicide. He is now participating in track and field with BlazeSports, and is on the road to making it to the Paralympics.

She also shares the story of an eleven-year-old athlete with a severe spinal cord injury. He participates in four different sports, and his family gotten involved with the organization. This year they were awarded “Volunteer Family of the Year.”


Another local organization championing leadership is Portara Consulting. “I’m a consultant psychologist, and I’ve been in this business for about 18 years,” says Karen Foster of Portara Consulting. “I’m really a single-practitioner, but I have others in my network. I consider myself to be a trusted leadership adviser.”

Foster offers her services to individuals and organizations around the topics of leadership and leadership development. She meets with the individual seeking leadership development, in an interview of sorts, and they both determine if the other is a good fit. “It’s the fit that really makes a difference,” she says.

Once hired, Foster starts with a 360 degree evaluation to gather data around the individual. She talks to the individual, but also their peers and coworkers. This feedback paints a fuller picture of the individual’s leadership style.

They then discuss an action plan and how to address the feedback. Most work lasts about a year, as the individual is constantly growing and developing in their leadership. The two meet at least once a month, sometimes twice a month, for 1.5 hours.

Foster encounters a lot of lopsided leaders, or those who are very analytical and less in tune with how they have an impact with people around them. She also works with reluctant leaders, or those with great technical skill, but who are a bit ambivalent about leadership and managing people.

“I try to adapt how I’m talking and my values based on the values of the individuals I am working with and the organization they are in,” she added.

To contact Foster, interested individuals can go to www.potaraconsulting.com or email at kfoster@portaraconsulting.com.