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Executive Corner – Leaders Don’t Use Enough CRIME

Michael Clegg | 02/16/2022

CRIME is an acronym that I like to use so that leaders can focus on learning the human side of leading. 

Leaders are being challenged today like never before. The reason is there’s more information coming at us at a faster rate. Progress is happening daily instead of being measured by years. In 1969, two brave astronauts took the first steps on the moon while millions watched in awe. The computing power to get those brave men to the moon is equivalent to the computing power of two video game controllers today. From 1956 to 2015, technological advances have increased a trillion-fold. Today’s Alexa in your kitchen could fly a plane a few decades ago. Leaders now have a ton of data coming at them quickly.  As technological advances continue, the need for human advances is equally as critical and cannot be forgotten. Use my formula for CRIME as a guide:





Emotional Intelligence 

Coaching: in my last newsletter, I discussed the need for doing regular 1x1s with your direct reports. Coaching helps business leaders build emotional intelligence, with greater self-awareness, empathy, and self-control. It allows coaches to provide observations and feedback about individual performance and assists with developing strategies for personal and professional improvement. I provided a framework for these 1×1’s in that article.

1.     Performance

2.     Professional Development

3.     Relationship

The 1×1 cannot be about performance only. Employees need a vision/plan for their development as well as enhancing the relationship with their boss. If you are NOT doing 1×1’s currently, the chances of your team having high engagement is less likely.

Emotional intelligence plays a large role in coaching. The ability to recognize and understand your own feelings and the feelings of others. Emotional Intelligence has 4 primary areas, which we will explore in the next newsletter on March 2nd. The four areas are:

1.     Self-Awareness

2.     Self-Management

3.     Social-Awareness

4.     Relationship Management

Rally: a great leader uses the information from their coaching session to share the vision and to get buy-in from their direct reports. If a vision is not created or understood, it will be very hard for any leader to rally a team to achieve their goals. Most importantly, that vision must match the direct reports’ desired outcomes. Once your direct reports understand their expectations and how they fit into that vision, the leader’s role is to remove obstacles and rally their team to the desired outcome. 

Inspire: Inspiration comes from within. It’s a state of being or something that connects you to something desired. A 2015 LinkedIn article about the difference in motivation and inspiration is one of the best examples I’ve seen. The article outlines that inspiration is something that you feel on the inside, while motivation is something from the outside that compels you to act. Inspiration is a driving force, while motivation is a pulling force. It’s another reason why it is important to find out each employee’s “purpose and meaning”.

Motivate: This is one of the many traits that you need to engage today’s employees. Unlike Inspiration, motivation is a process. It helps to unlock higher performance through empowerment, not command and control. It is imperative that you understand what motivates your employee. As Simon Sinek says, “what is your why?” Finding the obstacles or barriers that are keeping your employee from achieving is critical. Maybe it is a lack of prioritization. It could be that they don’t understand the expectations in their role. In 2015, Gallup found that only ½ of employees understood what was expected of them.  Whatever the situation is, it is our responsibility to find the driving force to motivate our teams.

Engage: Last and certainly not least. The data on engagement is widely published and discussed through the Gallup survey. By 2021, there were 36% of U.S. employees engaged while 15% are actively disengaged. If you look around your company today, that is a frightening statistic. Not only does the data show that engaged employees are more productive than disengaged employees, but they are invested emotionally as well. The benefits are simple. Higher engagement leads to higher retention and higher performance.  Let’s be clear. Engaged employees do NOT necessarily mean happy employees just because they are actively involved. If you are looking for a way to measure your engagement, get involved in the Q12 survey. There are 12 questions for your employees to answer.

Let’s review what SHRM (Society of Human Resource Management) shares some differences in the behaviors of engaged vs disengaged employees.

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Above are some clear behaviors outlining the difference between engaged and disengaged employees. I find how Gallup distinguishes them makes a lot of sense as well. 

·       Actively Engaged: loyal and productive

·       Not engaged: average performers

·       Actively disengaged: R.O.A.D. warriors (Retired On Active Duty)

I learned about Leader CRIME so many years ago in my first leadership role.  Mostly by accident. It just felt right.  I had a new hire that was a single mom, with a newborn. She just recently became a single mom when her husband decided to leave, and she was going through a tough time. We had a lot of mid-day talks about how we could help each other get her to where she needed to be. When I reflect, I didn’t know it at the time but my acronym for CRIME began. I coached her daily. We put together a very specific plan that we both agreed on and set milestones and timelines for that plan. I helped paint the vision. I knew her motivation was making a better life for her daughter. The engagement part was easy because we both had a vested interest in helping each other.

The days of sitting behind a desk and managing direct reports are long gone. Leading is a contact sport. You must lead them actively. It is possible that you may have to lead them remotely. Regardless, you must stay involved on multiple levels. In summary, make your leadership style a CRIME.

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