How to Harness the Power of Your Team with Harmony Coach, Jeff Eschliman
In this week’s episode of The Leadership Habit Podcast, Jenn sits down with Jeff Eschliman to discuss how to harness the power of your team!
Jeff is an executive coach with thirty years of experience— from combat in Iraq to leading in the corporate boardroom. He is a sought-after expert in building and scaling results-driven teams. His leadership style embodies personal development, consistency and a tenacious work ethic.
In addition to his military and management experience, Jeff is an alum of Crestcom’s leadership program! As the episode opens, they discuss how Crestcom helped him develop leadership skills early in his career.
Jeff explains that “It was fantastic. And what I loved about that experience for me is it was a bunch of new leaders gathered together. So it was, you know, it was not like I was just there on my own and trying to figure it out. What I really loved about the program specifically, Jenn, I mean, it’s this old school wisdom, you know, as John Hersey and Lisa Ford and Nido Qubein.
And they would show videos that we would, you know, take the content and then we would get back together, like at our tables and talk about the principles. And then the most specific thing that I love is they always give you actionable things that you could take out, you know, that day and use with, with the team. And it was just such a powerful resource for me at a very, very early time in my leadership career.”
Jeff’s Guiding Principles for Leadership
Then, Jenn and Jeff discuss his guiding principles for life and leadership. Jeff explains that he has two main principles he likes to keep in mind:
- Great leaders demonstrate the behaviors they want to see in others.
- To inspire a team, give them a reputation to aspire to.
He explains these are his tenants for his leadership style, which he calls “expectations leadership”.
There’s No Easy Button — Leadership is Hard!
Next, Jenn and Jeff discuss the challenges of leadership. People never tell you that leadership is not just a set of tasks but also about being genuinely interested in others. Jeff explains that highly effective leaders really get to know their team to harness the power of their talents.
Jenn agrees that team leadership requires connecting with intention, explaining that there is no easy button! Leaders must commit because you can’t get the desired results without putting in the effort.
Harnessing the Power of People Starts with Intentional Recruiting
Then Jeff explains his method for harnessing the power of his team. He explains that some people overlook the importance of having an intentional recruiting process. He believes that if there are tough expectations for the role, people should know that before applying for the job. A great job description should weed out anyone who isn’t a great fit for the role or organization.
He uses the example of Irish explorer Ernest Shackleton, who is said to have placed a very honest ad to recruit men to join an expedition to the south pole, reading:
“Men wanted for hazardous journey. Low wages, bitter cold, long hours of complete darkness. Safe return doubtful. Honour and recognition in event of success.”
Anyone applying for that position would most likely be ready and willing for an intense journey. Jeff makes the point that you have to think about the type of person you want to attract with your recruitment efforts and let that shape the job description.
Better Onboarding Makes Better Teams
Then, Jeff explains the importance of creating a great onboarding experience. Jenn points out that most people will decide whether or not to stay at a job within the first 30 days, so the onboarding experience is crucial to employee retention. Then, Jeff lays out steps to a better onboarding experience.
- Make the employee feel welcome. For example, giving them a handwritten note from the boss, etc.
- Assign them an Onboarding Buddy. Assign an experienced employee to show the new person around, answer questions and introduce them to other departments.
- For the best results, have a formal onboarding agenda. A written plan outlining what they will do each day for the first few weeks will ensure a better onboarding experience.
Check-in with New Employees at 90 Days
Jeff then recommends that leaders have a check-in meeting with new employees when they’ve completed their first 90 days. He says there are three main questions to ask:
- Do you feel welcome?
- Do you have the resources you need?
- Have you met and interacted with everyone you work with?
He explains this meeting’s purpose is to ensure their onboarding is going well. If there is anything less than an enthusiastic yes to these questions, then there is more work to be done!
Frequent and Structured Communication
Then, Jenn asks Jeff what leaders should do to harness the power of their teams after recruitment and onboarding. He explains that he is a big believer in frequent and structured communication. He recommends using a strategic plan as a north star throughout the year and breaking it down into goals every quarter.
He reminds the audience that it is essential for leaders to sell the organization’s vision from the top to the front line. One method for doing this is to have a daily 15-minute stand-up huddle meeting. Each person should go around the room and quickly report three things:
- What’s up? (Details of what they are up to that day)
- “Stucks”. (Any issues that they are stuck on or problems to be solved)
- Delights. (Something that has delighted that person today.)
He explains that this quick tool encourages communication. He recommends that you don’t try to solve the “stucks” during the meeting but that people who can help address the issue afterward. He also notes that sharing everyone’s delights for the day is a great way to get to know each other and bring positivity into the room.
Give People Purpose to Harness Their Power
Next, Jenn and Jeff discuss the importance of knowing your core values as a leader and having a clear vision for yourself and your organization. He notes that people perish where there is no vision or greater purpose. But when employees know how their hard work connects to the vision and mission of the organization, they are more engaged.
Do Something Different
Jeff’s final advice to leaders is when something is not working the way you had hoped— do something different! He recommends thinking about solutions you haven’t tried or things you haven’t done in the past. He notes that spending 30 minutes or so each day intentionally thinking about challenges and how to do something differently to solve them!
Where to Find More From Jeff Eschliman
To find more from Jeff Eschliman, please visit his website at jeffeschliman.com. There you can find out more about his work as The Harmony Coach and how he helps executives create a lifestyle where success and harmony coexist. Be sure to take the Harmony Quiz on his homepage to learn more!