Monday, September 17, 2012


If you've ever had to give instructions to an individual or a team, you know how easy it can be to omit key items. A good way to prevent that problem is to adapt the "five paragraph field order" used by the military. SMEAC is easy to remember and easy to use. Here's a handy version:

  • Situation: Give an brief and uncensored version of the current status.
  • Mission: Tell them what must be achieved.
  • Execution: Here, you get into the specifics of how the mission will be achieved. By the time you are done, they should know who is doing what by when.
  • Administrative support: Describe which resources will be needed and how they can be obtained.
  • Conclusion. This part is too often omitted. Tell them where they will be once the mission is achieved, what will have been accomplished, and what they must be prepared for at that stage. If this is not discussed, it can be easy to be surprised by new problems. 
Whenever giving orders on an important project, don't just tell people what you want; also tell them what you don't want. The contrast will give them a better perspective and a clear sense of the boundaries.

Giving orders in a comprehensive and clear manner is not something that comes naturally, but there is good news:  It can be learned!

- Michael Wade

[For information on Michael's coaching and training services and to get his free management tips e-newsletter, send him a note at] 

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Still Another Leadership Lessons Briefing!

The September briefing was a great success!

Michael Wade will be conducting another complimentary Leadership Lessons briefing for our clients and friends of clients from 9:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. on October 9, 2012 at Ottawa University in Phoenix.

The briefing will provide key information for leaders as they answer the demands of Being, Knowing, and Doing. Among the topics are:
  • The murky roles of leadership: Has it disappeared?
  • How leadership and management clash
  • Leadership and the new followership
  • Cherchez the system: The vital part on the organization chart
  • What is hidden within your strengths
  • Simplifying your universe with key leadership values
  • The benefit of a leadership triage
  • The danger of that "vision thing"
  • Why what you've probably heard about micromanagement is bunk
  • Communicating the rules
  • Achieving flexibility amid a variety of styles
  • The power of introspection
Attendance is limited to 22 people. For information on how to attend this or other sessions, email

No sales pitches - No nonsense - Just great information!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Ask Affirmative Action Consultants for Success Record

When shopping for an Affirmative Action consultant one piece of key information you should be seeking is the success record of the work passing OFCCP compliance reviews? No business has ever asked for our success record; usually cost is all they are interested in. However, attorneys refer clients to us because of our success record. The quality of an AAP and the associated consulting can be best measured by the success rate of passing an audit. A client referred to us some years ago had an applicant analysis prepared by another company in which the data showed selections in a job group and no corresponding applicants in the job group. This is pretty basic yet easy to overlook. A valuable consultant will identify every nook and cranny legally available in the process. I find the red flags and give clients options for addressing these areas of concern. Next time you’re shopping for AAP consultants ask the “other question” and see what you get.  My record at getting clients through a compliance review without any conciliation agreements…100%. See if you can beat that record when you’re shopping.
You can reach Lou Rodarte at or 602 788 1717.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

OFCCP Compliance Review Process - Executive Summary

A client requested an executive summary of the OFCCP's compliance review process.  Here's what we prepared:

“The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP), an agency under the U S Department of Labor, conducts random reviews (audits) of Federal contractors’ compliance with Equal Employment Opportunity and Affirmative Action regulations. The OFCCP reviews Affirmative Action programs, company policies, required filings and general regulation compliance. In addition, they review personnel practices/procedures including applicants/selection ratios, promotions, transfers, terminations and compensation for evidence of discrimination. Most audits are conducted and completed without the agency coming on site, this process can take months. If the agency does come on site, contractors are notified ahead of time and the senior officer normally participates in the initial meeting.  If the audit is successful, contractors are not subject to another audit for two years.  If the audit finds some discrepancies, there may be an agreement to monitor changes for two years. In extreme cases, findings can lead to legal proceedings.”

Friday, February 10, 2012

Providing Great Customer Service in the Public Sector

Let us tell you how we developed an extraordinary customer service program for the public sector.

Over several years, we noticed that the usual customer service class has a heavy slant toward the private sector. It misses the fact that public sector employees are dealing with customers who are, at least indirectly, their bosses and that there are rules governing the public sector that simply don't apply to its private sector equivalents. A big example: Few private sector firms tell their employees that they can, in certain circumstances, handcuff, subdue, and perhaps even shoot their customers!

We also noticed that some of the greatest public sector customer service problems arise not with external customers, but with internal ones. We knew our program would have to show how to spot and overcome the turf issues, values differences, and mixed signals that can spark such problems.

The result is a fast-paced (3 1/2 hours), thought-provoking workshop that addresses the macro (which goals and values may inadvertently harm customer service?) and the micro (how do you handle a tough customer?) with practical guidance that is easy to understand and which can be put to immediate use. Class participants learn how to set the environment for extraordinary customer service along with specific steps to turn customers into allies and not adversaries. They get techniques on how to defuse sensitive situations and expedite service. They learn when and how to set boundaries.

This important program can be brought to your workplace. For details, e-mail Michael Wade at or call (800) 788-7753.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

OFCCP Compliance Review - Compensation

If your company is going through an OFCCP compliance review expect a rough road.  If you haven’t already experienced this you’ll be in for a surprise when the OFCCP asks for more compensation data including bonuses, compensation, part time hours worked and overtime. These will be just some of the data you’ll be asked to deliver. If this makes you uncomfortable get ready for a rough ride. 

It’s likely the initial review of your compensation data (Paragraph 11) by the OFCCP is going to fail…giving them the green light to ask for all of your data.  It’s believed the OFCCP is using a 2or2 test (2% or $2K difference in pay) they’ve devised that generally fails most companies. We’ve noticed the letter they send requesting the additional data is a canned letter asking for this data on all your positions. It really would be a lot easier if they were to just come out and ask you to explain the findings that alerted them. Never less they will likely come back to you and ask for at least 16 points of compensation related data. Drive carefully, there’s a rough road ahead.