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.
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 […]
As I've covered many times in previous blogs it becomes less and less and about you working harder or having all the answers and more about you diligently asking the right questions and letting others guide you. You need to become an expert question asker and never miss an opportunity to interact with all employees in this manner. There are seven question that when asked on a regular basis will encourage your people and ultimately the company as a whole to learn and grow:
As I sit here writing with the names of the dead lost on September 11 being read in the background on TV it’s easy to get very emotional. It's hard to believe it's been 10 years since this terrible tragedy. You can still hear the pain in the voices of the family members as they take turns reading from the list. It must have been very hard coping with their grief all these years. I only hope they are able to find peace at some point.
I've heard many leaders tell me they always wait to do something until the last minute because they perform best under this type of pressure. Sounds like a bit of rationalization to me. I know that when I procrastinate on something it's not because it is the best way to work - it is often quite the opposite. I just don't want to do whatever it is because I view it as drudgery, am unsure how to proceed or I'm not sure I'll be pleased by the outcome. I cannot imagine any scenario where purposefully putting yourself under time pressure until the last minute makes any sense.
In less than two months we will have a presidential election here in the United States. Billions of dollars have been spent trying to influence voters to lean one way or another. Interestingly enough a majority of people will simply vote their party line and put very little effort into understanding the position of the other candidate or their leadership abilities. As a result, a comparatively small number of swing voters in an equally small number of states will end up deterring the final outcome. As someone who certainly has a strong sense of party loyalty but has crossed party lines on many occasions this has always frustrated me. No one party has the market cornered on good ideas or is the sole wellspring of capable leaders - the history of our nation has proven this. I have spent considerable time studying leadership and observing leaders. I also enjoy reading about the presidency and the 43 occupants of the oval office. In my humble opinion, the most successful presidents have exhibited the following traits:
In small business settings once you get past the obvious knowledge and competency screens, success decisions are most often a matter of personal choice.
I find that most of us tend to avoid the emotionally difficult or awkward conversation. Instead of addressing an issue head on, we "beat around the bush" or try and avoid the issue altogether. This puts the onus on the other person to become a verbal detective and/or force the issue. This isn't fair to them or us. Moreover, I find that most of these types of exchanges devolve into a passive-aggressive dynamic which is unhealthy for the relationship. You ever notice that avoidance never works - it just delays the inevitable. In matters of importance to you or someone else, when you don't say what you truly mean (or feel) this is the textbook definition of be inauthentic as fellow human being.
As we get set to celebrate another Independence Day here in the United States, we should rightfully pay tribute the obvious courage that had to be exhibited by our Founding Fathers 236 years ago. Many of these men had much to lose and only marginal personal benefits to gain by signing the Declaration of Independence. They were already part of the established social and economic order and for the most part were beneficiaries of the existing system. In fact, although we often hear about the select few who rose to historical prominence, most of the others suffered great personal hardship as a result of their decision.