Here is a simple habit that can boost productivity in your organization. One client credits this technique for an 18% increase in annual revenue with a reduced headcount. It takes practice but quickly becomes second nature.
I brought this method into the workplace from my flight training. Pilots and air traffic controllers (ATC) must communicate precisely and briefly while also executing specialized tasks. Misunderstandings in aircraft can have horrible consequences, so specific communication techniques are required. Many of the most serious accidents are caused by failure to follow these practices, including the 1977’s Tenerife Airport Disaster, commercial aviation’s deadliest incident.
Talk may be cheap but miscommunication is costly.
Have you ever listened to the (more…)
Chapter One is below.
Read the Author’s Preface by clicking here.
I reminded myself that we were in a well-lit office, not a dark alley. No need to get aggressive yet. I relaxed my jaw and tried to keep the fear out of my voice as I replied, “If you pull my people off your project, there’s no way you’ll meet the delivery date.”
My client looked at me blandly, as if he had delivered a weather forecast. In fact, he had devastated my sales forecast. Five fewer of my consultants billing their time to this client meant there was no way I would meet quota to earn my bonus. I needed him to engage with me. I forced a response with a direct question that was also a threat. “Did Juan approve this staffing cut?”
“Why would I check with Juan?” asked the Director of Information Systems Development (ISD) for Billing Systems. He ran his finger down a page of the MCI internal directory as he spoke, “Nobody (more…)
Of all the management tools I recommend, one of the most effective is both very simple and very unlikely to be consistently employed—if it is used at all: the written progress report, completed on a consistent schedule.
The power of progress reports to promote results and reduce anxiety is demonstrated daily, on matters titanic and trivial. The U. S. Constitution requires that the President “from time to time give to the Congress information of the State of the Union.” Public companies are required by law to present results to shareholders, at fixed intervals and in specific formats. Schools send regular reports to parents, our GPS tells where we are, and UPS sends a text when a package arrives.
Still, managers and employees resist implementing this simple process.
Who cares about why? Just grow up and start doing a progress report. Declare your goals. Confront your results. Adjust to living in reality. Enjoy the benefits of clarity while the less disciplined fail and fail in a fog of vague expectations and inchoate regrets.
Before I explain how to format and prepare a good progress report, let’s deal with some common excuses questions.
Q: I don’t have a boss.
A: If you have (more…)
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Crimes of Cunning
A comedy of personal and political transformation in the deteriorating American workplace.
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Fast-paced, funny, and smart. This novel puts you into the world of a young MBA striving to succeed at a famous high-tech company. Brash and confident yet comically inept, Tony clashes with colleagues, clients, and even his biggest supporters.
He fires his most loyal employee, derails the career of his only friend, and nearly destroys his young marriage before transforming from chilly corporate collaborator to empathetic executive coach. Laugh and learn as his clients turn criminal, corporations collapse, and compassion triumphs.
It should be as much the aim of those who seek for social-betterment to rid the business world of crimes of cunning as to rid the entire body politic of crimes of violence.
–Theodore Roosevelt, 1901
A veteran executive coach draws on his years inside Arthur Andersen, Wall Street, and MCI to share a moving story that explains why your 401k shrank, your house is underwater, and your job stinks. The comedy and conflict illustrate management methods and personal practices that can improve your career and deepen your personal relationships.
Click here to read a free sample.
Click here to learn the source and meaning of the book’s title.
Before you are a leader, success is all about growing yourself.
When you become a leader, success is all about growing others.
– Jack Welch
Everyone loves to hate performance evaluations, and with good reason: Research has shown them to be ineffective, unreliable and unsatisfactory for seemingly everyone involved. They consume way too much time, leave most workers deflated and feel increasingly out of step with reality.
…more than half the executives questioned (58%) believe that their current performance management approach drives neither employee engagement nor high performance. [Click here to see the survey.]
…conversations about year-end ratings are generally less valuable than conversations conducted in the moment about actual performance.
Three items correlated best with high performance for a team:
- I have the chance to use my strengths every day
- My coworkers are committed to doing quality work
- The mission of our company inspires me
It’s not the particular number we assign to a person that’s the problem; rather, it’s the fact that there is a single number. … we want our organizations to know us, and we want to know ourselves at work, and that can’t be compressed into a single number.
—Reinventing Performance Management
Harvard Business Review
The new approach focuses, alternatively, on how to develop employees in the future given their current performance.
–What if you could replace performance evaluations
with four simple questions?
Deloitte has come up with them
(and two only need a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer).
By Jena McGregor in the Washington Post
More on this blog about improving employee evaluations
It’s always been the major belief of our company, take good care of your people, they’ll take good care of the customer and the customer will come back.
And we celebrate them. We train them. We teach them. We provide opportunity for them. You’ve got to make your employees happy.
If the employees are happy, they are going to make the customers happy.
–J. W. Marriott, Jr.
speaking of his father,
the founder of Marriott Hotels
How Bill Marriott’s Putting Employees First Transformed A Family Root Beer Stand Into $14B Hotel Giant by Steve Forbes in Forbes Magazine January 8, 2014
Failing entrepreneur: “My problem is money.”
Entrepreneurship Coach: “No, your problem is trying to do everything yourself. Finding people is your job.”
One of Sirolli’s current goals is to work with business schools to shift the nature of entrepreneurial education. “Most schools teach entrepreneurs that they must have all the skills—product, marketing, financial management. They reward students for putting together a go-it-alone business plan instead of collaborating or identifying who they need to start a business with. In this way, [the schools] often set their students up for failure.”
I told [the trainee coach], “There are just two things you should never do. Don’t initiate anything yourself and never try to motivate people.”
The newly anointed [Entrepreneurship Coach] objected that it would be a disaster to rely on locals for ideas, but promised to do “nothing” until given different instructions. Within two months, he had 46 projects under way.
–Ernesto Sirolli, Ph.D.
The Entrepreneurship Coach
by Sally Helgesen
in Strategy + Business
Everyone’s favorite radio station is WII-FM
Broadcast on their frequency and they’ll tune in.
Vision Series: Transformational Leadership from GMU-TV on Vimeo.
Jorge Haddock, Dean, School of Management talks about Transformational Leadership. Change focuses on behavior, whereas transformation focuses on “beingness” or culture. Transformational leadership is about shifting the organizational conversations or interpretations to create different results or outcomes. Organizational culture can become transactional, but transformational leadership creates conversations that generate a culture of relationships, moods, and actions consistent with the desired outcomes. The axiom is that our power to transform our commitments and subsequent actions is directly determined by our ability to engage in powerful conversations – to generate transformation we must generate different conversations. These conversations utilize language, which is most commonly descriptive. However, leaders use language in a generative fashion to declare something with no evidence or authority. Using this type of language, transformational leaders create truly new possibilities.