The war for talent is not just a contrived theory it is reality. Despite what our politicians may be saying, there are many good jobs out there at all levels of skill, talent and experience. In all my years of consulting/coaching I have never seen a period where so many companies have vacancies for key […]
Leaders have far too many tools to distract them these days. It's easy to default to hyper-activity mode where action and movement trumps everything else. For example, it's impossible to properly listen to someone or fully understand a situation if you are constantly checking-in and out of the conversation or thinking about what else you could/should be doing. It worries me that as business and life gets increasingly complex our leaders are losing their capacity to focus and think. More often than not, there isn't a simple answer or quick fix to issues that end up on the desk of the chief decision maker. While it has become popular these days to espouse the benefits of learning by failing, some failures are hard to recover from (and completely unnecessary). You can't just plough forward and believe that courage, confidence, speed and resilience are the primary secrets to success. The quality of your thinking, application of your experience, soundness of your judgment, and consistency of your effort are equally important.
Leadership is very rarely about doing what's easy. If the decision ends up on your desk it typically means no one else can or should be making it. As Harry Truman was fond of saying, "the buck stops here." If you are delegating properly, then your people will feel empowered to step up and make most day to day decisions. If you are picking the right people, then they will be capable of using sound judgment and thinking through just about anything. However, some issues still do come down to leadership prerogative and accountability.
We have experienced a very good run in business over the past decade or so. After experiencing a difficult recession, our economy roared back to life. Many of us have not only regained but grown our personal wealth as a result. It has been fun to participate in this Bull Market. Business conversations are […]
There are quite a few people out there who claim to know what will make us happy. I am always a bit suspect of accepting general answers to mostly subjective questions. One person's happiness can be another person's obligation or chore. My contention is that most people don't spend enough time truly trying to get in touch with themselves as individuals and what honestly makes them happy. In fact, we often feel a bit sheepish or odd when we don't follow a conventional formula for happiness. There is this overriding sense that it is better to fit in than be different - which is nonsense and direct pathway to personal malaise and/or unhappiness.
Leadership isn't rocket science. Creating the conditions for business success is actually pretty basic: be clear about where you are going and why; define what success looks like and track performance; make sure all of your key people on the same page; don't "wing it" when it comes to important decisions; ensure that every single employee knows how they fit in the big picture and what they are supposed to be doing; create a process for providing on-going performance feedback; hold people accountable for results (including yourself); be careful about who you hire and put in supervisory roles; provide extensive training and support; never stop communicating with your customers; and make sure everyone shares in the success of the business but also feels the pinch of nonperformance.
Every year I look for inspiration to help me create this message and I must admit this year it has been a bit of a struggle. The external environment seems so divisive at the moment and good people just can’t seem to figure out ways to respect each other’s views. Many […]
As we wind down another year, I thought it would be useful to share some best practices I have observed over the years by leaders who tend to end every year on a high note:
I am regularly flabbergasted by the number of professional people I interact with who think it is okay to just miss meetings and/or deadlines as it suits them. This is especially true when it come to philanthropic or voluntary responsibilities. I do my best to give people the benefit of the doubt and understand that they can be stretched way too thin, but after awhile, why should this be anyone's problem but their own. Whatever happened to personal responsibility? We are all busy. We are all striving to find work-life balance. Life is about making choices and establishing priorities.
It feels like we live in a world today where rushing to judgment on the behaviors and actions of others without all the facts has become the norm. It is especially convenient when the person in question thinks or looks differently than us. American is still a place where you’re innocent until proven guilty unless […]