Posts Tagged ‘empowering’

What Seth Godin Got Right – and What It Means for Management

Monday, May 9th, 2011

“The easier it is to quantify, the less it’s worth.”

- Seth Godin, Linchpin

Seth Godin has built a terrific career by giving us new lenses through which to view ourselves and our culture. He shown us all how to be marketers, leaders, and artists. I disagree with many of his generalizations and simplifications, but sometimes I read something from him that takes my breath away. The quote above certainly did.

Early in my career, I ran across Peter Drucker’s famous dictum “What gets measured gets managed.” Over the past many years, this has proven true more times than I can count. And yet, it begs some crucial questions: Read the rest of this entry »

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Getting Out of Your Own Way

Monday, May 2nd, 2011

What he had taught me was…that if I let myself go, did not slow myself down by thinking so much beforehand, I could achieve many things I would never have dreamed possible.

Per Petterson, Out Stealing Horses

Recently, a successful CEO client told me, “I’m not good at decisions. I get caught up in possibilities.” Later that day, I ran across the above quote in Petterson’s remarkable novel, and I thought, “How often do we make ourselves our own biggest obstacle?”

Petterson’s character is talking about learning as a boy to become reckless, but his learning equally applies to becoming creative, decisive, empathetic, more communicative, a better listener – all the skills related to Leadership. Read the rest of this entry »

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Two Questions that Lead to Growth – for Everyone

Monday, April 4th, 2011

Are you creating the opportunities you’ll need for a highly successful career? In Insights for the Journey, John Lucht suggests asking yourself two questions in order to stay on a growth path:

  • “How can I re-distribute my work in order to provide a more richly developmental experience for each subordinate?”
  • “What can I offer to take over from my boss that will give him or her helpful support and, at the same time, give me needed stimulation and growth?”

Why are these two questions critical? Read the rest of this entry »

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Get Better Results by Adapting Your Style

Thursday, March 24th, 2011

Leaders have an arsenal of useful tools to help them better understand themselves, ranging from Meyers-Briggs (which suggests our personalities are pretty much hardwired through life) to DiSC (which suggests who we are at any given moment depends on the situation). In between there are models such as Big 5, Birkman, CRG, and many others. Each one lets you look at yourself from a different perspective.

What they all have in common, however, is the assertion that when we are aware of our dominant behavioral style, we can choose to adapt to the situation. Read the rest of this entry »

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Leadership, Learning, and Maturity

Monday, March 7th, 2011

Regular readers of this blog will know that I am an advocate of other-orientation, or service, as the foundation of effective leadership, also known as the Servant Leadership school of thought (expounded by Greenleaf, Covey, Senge, Blanchard, et al.). This week I’ve been listening to an audiobook by James Hunter called The Servant Leadership Training Course, and have learned a number of powerful concepts.

Hunter examines the implications of the following facts: Read the rest of this entry »

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Education’s Challenge Is Finding the Right Metrics

Wednesday, February 16th, 2011

I recently had a conversation with a gentleman whose name I didn’t catch, but he certainly stimulated thoughts. He has spent his career as a specialist in Education Leadership and Policy. We were both old enough to chuckle over the current deja vu in education policy discussions. It feels like the early 80s again. He recalled Reagan’s denunciation of our educators as possibly criminal because of our students’ low scores on international tests, while I remembered the fear of an engineering-driven Asian giant that was about to surpass us (Japan then, China now). Of course, what the hand-wringers didn’t know was that we were at the dawn of one of America’s greatest growth eras, spurred by the very skills which our education system excels at fostering, like creativity and innovation.

American education remains one of our economic treasures, a net exporter of services as foreign students flock to our schools. Yet we have this sense of failure. Why? Read the rest of this entry »

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Managing the Free Agent Job Market

Friday, January 7th, 2011

Are you old enough to remember how free agency revolutionized baseball in the 70′s? Suddenly the whole concept of “team” was up for grabs. Many of us purists were horrified as the Yankees found they could buy championships by snapping up available stars.

Today, there is no more debate. Free agency is the water all sports teams swim in. And despite our fears, professional sports remain fascinating. Despite rapid turnover of players, teams command loyalty.

Less commented on has been the revolution of free agency in the business world. After brutal rounds of downsizing and restructuring in the 80′s and 90′s, most businesspeople no longer regard their companies as family but rather as stepping stones. And you know what? It’s OK. Read the rest of this entry »

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Micro-Managing? 5 Steps to Stopping

Wednesday, November 10th, 2010

Many managers got to their positions by being very good at a particular function. Not surprisingly, they want to be deeply involved in their subordinates’ projects – after all, the manager has been doing it longer and more successfully. Almost always, he has a better idea and doesn’t hesitate to share it. Unfortunately, this is often counterproductive. Subordinates feel stripped of ownership, become demotivated, and perform poorly.

Fortunately, you can reprogram yourself to stop micro-managing. Here’s a straightforward 5 step process that will wean you from your bad habit and help liberate your team’s potential…without abdicating your responsibility to get great results. Read the rest of this entry »

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Marking Your Territory

Tuesday, October 5th, 2010

Many managers are like my dog. They are perpetually compelled to leave their mark for others to admire or fear. Someone comes up with an idea and wham! they’ve got an improvement. They add value everywhere. And they undermine their success. Because sometimes you can add the most value by saying nothing.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Response-Ability, or How to Raise the World’s IQ in One Easy Step

Thursday, August 5th, 2010

SUMMER VACATION! Following is a reprint of a popular post from earlier this year:

Doesn’t it seem sometimes like the world is filled with irresponsible idiots? Wouldn’t your job be easier if they just got a clue and did what they obviously need to do?

Let me give you an example of corporate idiocy. Read the rest of this entry »

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