Wednesday, December 23, 2009
Friday, December 18, 2009
- a lack of information
- a lack of respect for each other
- a lack of courage
- a lack of ownership
- a lack of self worth
- a lack of accountability
- a lack of perspective
- a lack of focus
- a lack of leadership
- Provide constant information
- Reward and encourage strategic risk
- Hold everyone accountable
- Celebrate success
- Coach failure
- Create opportunities for teamwork and leadership
- Keep everyone focused on the prize (laser sharp focus)
- Step up and encourage others to do the same
- Collaborate on decisions
This list is one to empower management. Anxiety is not to be dealt with passively. It can be nuetralized. You can use "Strength Against Weakness". Chip away at the sharp edges of Anxiety and you'll discover a blunt fragile enemy who will retreat away from your aggressive front line.
You can follow me on Twitter @TerrenceWing and @LiquidLearn
You can follow me on Twitter @TerrenceWing or @LiquidLearn
Thursday, December 17, 2009
The participant’s question came from a noble place but it screamed of potential problems within the organization. The flag appeared when he stated, “…I don’t want to…” I needed more information obviously and he shared that his employee was a good employee and hadn’t been late in the past (lateness was the performance problem). I asked him to tell me the policy at his company. He explained that lateness was not tolerated but the policy read that counseling lateness was “at the manager’s discretion”. There in lies the problem.
“At the Manager’s discretion” creates inconsistency throughout the organization. I suggested to him that another manager in the organization may interpret discretion to mean never, while you (the participant) are interpreting it within the context of extenuating circumstances. The answer to his question was that he should challenge the policies wording. Remove “at the manager’s discretion” and replace with steps that would be taken consistently despite the circumstances. The ambiguity of the policy minimizes its effectiveness. Additionally it invites the opportunity for potential litigation.
Learning Point: Policies should be consistent and clearly worded to avoid discretionary applications.
Leadership Behavior: Enforce standards consistently to clearly communicate the journey to success.
Leadership Principle: Success is achieved through the development and commitment to achieving standards.
Monday, December 14, 2009
Clooney's character works for a company who is contracted to manage the termination process for downsizing organizations. His job takes him all over the world, helping him in his pursuit of elite status with Frequent Flyer programs. Of particular note is the brilliant product placements throughout the film which almost serve as characters. Clooney's character brilliantly spins a termination into an opportunity for the films "victims". As Clooney mentors a Generation Y protege, we are taken on a journey of the frailty and victories of human relationships. So what does this have to do with leadership.
People are anxious today. Even those in the most stable of industries are seeing the dark veil of uncertainty as tomorrow's accessibility becomes more a question than an expectation. I had a recent coaching session with a young professional woman who was almost finding this state of anxiety paralyzing. She stated she was afraid to make decisions she would normally make without hesitation in the past. She feared the repercussion of failure in a time when companies are "looking for an opportunity to let you go". Her goals were starting to morph away from ambition and towards compliance. "Stay off the radar", was becoming her mantra. What a shame to see one of this company's most talented individuals do herself and her company this incredible disservice.
So what should the company do. Leadership is most visible during times of adversity. If it's not evident in your organization during these times, chances are your ranks don't contain many leaders. Here are some tips
LISTEN. Simply stated but often a complex execution. Clooney's character was cleaning up a termination meeting gone south (due to the naivety of his mentee). He read between the lines on the employees resume only to unveil that this job was a prison to the employee's aspirations. He restated this as an opportunity to follow that dream for the benefit of his children. The employee took pause to this. What are your employees aspirations and needs? Do you create opportunities to listen?
ENGAGE IN RELATIONSHIP BUILDING. Your employees are feeling more and more isolated these days. Every time they don't see their managers, they started drawing their own conclusions. This fosters that "stay off the radar" mentality my mentee stated. It's destructive and a sure fire way to slow the progression of success.
COMMUNICATE. Information is gold in this day and age. As "Knowledge Workers" your employees need it. As a leaders, it should be a driving passion to provide it. Let them know what you know and what you don't know. They need a leader they can trust. Don't hide behind the curtain of uncertainty. Instead bast in the warmth of focus and direction.
CELEBRATE THOSE THAT TAKE RISKS. You need to grow today. This isn't the time to join your cowardly competitors who are hiding under rocks and regressing from the life force of business, growth. Growth is not waste. Help your employees see their potential by "Getting on the Radar".
Sure this list is simple, short and not a guarantee for longevity. It is a starting point though. Don't leave your future and that of your employees up to chance. Today is a time for Leadership. If you hear the calling, don your cape or magic lasso and step up to be the hero your employees need but more importantly deserve. To "Stay off the Radar" in the mist of this calling is a horrible tragedy. The calling is loud. Can you hear it?
You can follow me on Twitter @TerrenceWing and @LiquidLearn
Saturday, December 12, 2009
Friday, December 11, 2009
Today's blog is a youtube video of Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody done Muppet Style.
Thanks for the contribution Baby Boomers.
You can follow me on Twitter @TerrenceWing.
Remember, "Nothing really matters but mwah" as stated by the beautiful Miss Piggy.
Recently I read an article on a Stanford University Research Study that showed Media Multi-Taskers pay a mental price. I felt it was a worthwhile blog entry as so much emphasis and pride is placed on one's ability to multi-task. I personally have always been wary of those that feel they can do it all when, personally, I have trouble focusing (and no I don't have ADHD) on more than one or two main priorities. Ahh, but that is the difference. I am managing multiple priorities. Multi-Taskers aren't managing priorities they are trying to do several things at once.
The blog header read, "Think you can talk on the phone, send an instant message and read your e-mail all at once? Stanford researchers say even trying may impair your cognitive control." Following are a few of the researchers points:
- They didn't find any talent or gift that came from those that claimed Multi-Tasking proficiency.
- Low MTs (Multi-Taskers) had better memory than high MTs.
- High MTs have difficulty filtering out the irrelevant.
If I may be so bold to extrapolate this in my own words, High MTs may be problematic in many situations. The perception of skill with this activity in and of itself may handicap competence. I remember working with a former employee who always seemed busy. Every time I saw her at her desk, she was clearly occuppied doing work related tasks. Somehow she still struggled with her performance. After our investigation, we discovered she was trying to do too many different things at once. The quality of everything she was doing.... how should I say it, SUCKED. What a great case study against Multi-Tasking. We solved the problem by providing her with guidance on priorities and instructed her to only work on the priority at that moment. After a few months, she was doing more and performing better than she had when she thought her performance evaluation was based on her ability to Multi-Task.
So, here's the problem. As employers and managers, do we encourage and even reward multi-tasking? Do we even see its potential hazard? If were paying someone $15 per hour, do we want that investment focused on everything or the most important things? Should we deploy that $15 /hour on trivial distractions or on vital business growing ventures.
I am reminded of Stephen Coveys, 7 Habit of Highly Effective People. Habit 3 is, Put First Things First. Covey's Time Management Matrix (pg 151) helps to put the MT issue into perspective. "... Leadership decides what first things are, it is management that puts them first, day-by-day, moment -by-moment", Covey writes. High MTs may be missing leadership that helps them identify where their time should be spent. Are you (your employees) managing the approprite Quadrant?
It's time for all of us to focus on the critical and important and realize that if we miss the other stuff, we'll probably be better off anyway. Also, I didn't perform any other tasks while writing this blog entry.
Honorable mention goes to @ErickTaft who tweeted "Ignoring the details is the problem w multi-tasking. Leads to sloppy work & poor relationships."
You can follow me on twitter @TerrenceWing but only if its a priority : >
Thursday, December 10, 2009
I attended a one hour teleclass by the Los Angeles Chapter of ASTD on Networking hosted by Tom Henschel of Essential Communications. Clearly one hour hardly covers the complexity of networking but Tom discussed some critical points that are important when trying to complete your networking strategy. This blog will cover some of Tom’s key points.
“Networking is about planting, not hunting” was Tom’s lead in. He couldn’t be more on target. I can’t begin to tell of how many times I have been approached by someone at a networking event who wanted something from me, expected me to give it, and had never met me before. The balls on some people. For me, networking is more relationship building than anything else. My goal at any event where networking is an activity is to build relationships and get to know the people in the room, nothing more. I am not looking to sell them anything or even pitch an idea. Typically I reroute conversations away from me and I start asking questions about them. These questions derive from a genuine interest also. Which brings us to a second point made by Tom.
“Be Genuine when you are networking”. Tom seems to subscribe to the Networking School of Trust. A phony might as well walk around with a tattoo on his or her head saying, “It’s all about me”. I like to get into the mindset that I am at this event to prove that the people in the room are way smarter than me. This allows me to want to learn from them. Also, my listening skills become activated because there is no other agenda.
Keep the close for another time. I paraphrase Tom a little here but in essence, he is stating that closing a stranger during networking is like, “proposing to a blind date when you first meet them”. What a way to lose trust (and not know what you’re getting into). It’s so hard to get trust and to waste it on a selfish agenda should be a crime.
Tom further gave a few tips on “ Elevator speeches”. As professionals, these are common and often an aspect of networking that sees the poorest performance from many people. For those reading who may not be familiar with this, the “Elevator Speech” is a high level and very short summary of who you are and the value you bring. You’re stuck in an elevator for about 20 to 30 seconds with the CEO of a company you would like to work for or do business with, what do you say to leave an impression before the doors open again. You can stare at the ascending or descending numbers or make the most of that brief but valuable time period. Here’s 3 of Tom’s suggestions on making your pitch memorable:
- Use numbers and specific language - “I’d like to tell you three things about my company”
- Use short labels – “I’m in the Talent Harvesting Business”
- Make the pitch repeatable
So let’s summarize here. Here is the executive review of Tom Henschel’s teleseminar on Networking. It also includes a few other key points that I didn’t elaborate on.
- Networking is about planting not hunting
- Be genuine when you are networking
- Keep the close for another time and event
- Make your (Elevator) Pitch” memorable
- When networking, think, “stop talking sooner”
- Follow up with those you meet
- Be positive
- Forecast your question before the event
Networking can be a powerful skill. Like all skills, it takes careful preparation and flawless execution to bear a bountiful harvest. Thanks Tom for you tips and advice.
You can follow me on twitter @TerrenceWing.