A Simple Habit That Can Boost Productivity

NASA-DC-9-cockpit


Repeat Back
&
Report Back

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…)

What Evil Lurks in the Design of Public Companies

CofC_milgram

 

Too many jobs are perfectly constructed to elicit inhumane behavior. Read my book to learn how it got this way.
 

The most fundamental lesson of our study:

 

Ordinary people, simply doing their jobs, and without any particular hostility on their part, can become agents in a terrible destructive process.

 

Even when asked to carry out actions incompatible with fundamental standards of morality, relatively few people have the resources needed to resist authority.

 

—Professor Stanley Milgram, PhD
Obedience to Authority: An Experimental View
Perennial Classics 2009 p. 6.

Professor Milgram was responsible for two psychological studies that became well-known by the general public while having almost no positive influence on government or corporate structures, the “administer a painful shock” compliance experiment and the “Small World” six degrees of separation demonstration.

 


 

Author’s Preface to Crimes of Cunning


Author’s Preface is below
Also free: Read Chapter One by clicking here.


 

Crimes of Cunning 3D on sale now

Book Sample

Author’s Preface

Mamas,
don’t let your babies
grow up to be corporate cowboys.
Or make ’em be
bankers and lawyers and such.

In the 1980s, I was a minor participant in major trends that would blow up the world economy in 2008, determine the dehumanizing workplace culture of today, and establish the Wall Street plutocracy that still guides governments and blames the poor for the plight of the middle class. Our descent began in the eighties, from endless e-mails to mind-numbing meetings, deregulated banks to defunded pensions, mortgage-backed securities to job insecurity, hedge fund royalty to vanishing loyalty, private equity to income inequality, even Starbucks ubiquity and business books’ vacuity.

I reluctantly admit that I eagerly supported every aspect of it. I ate the dog food and drank the Kool-Aid™. I believed in and tried to practice the free market economics and financial engineering I had been taught at the University of Chicago. I worked nights and weekends at an investment bank to help create a trading platform for one of the first derivatives. I willfully immersed myself in the toxic corporate culture of MCI. I was a true believer who gave thanks to capitalist economists Milton Friedman and Alan Greenspan, cowboy capitalists Bill McGowan and Michael Milken, and most of all to cowboy president Ronald Reagan for making the 1980s “Morning in America.”

I was wrong. Now, I am mourning for America. This novel, detailing a descent and incipient redemption similar to my own, is partial penance and restitution. I hope this story encourages my readers to make better choices and a better world than I did.

After experiencing MCI, I began my search for a way of working that encouraged people to produce results while feeling appreciated, connected, and healthy. That quest made me an executive coach and gave me a life dedicated to workplaces of humanity and prosperity.

Caveat Lector

Lurking amongst the thousands of words in this book are a few dozen that are considered profanity, including certain stalwart Anglo-Saxon four letter words beginning with f and s. Since a major goal of this story is to convey a sense of the time and environment in which events are set, I chose to use herein the exact, if impolite, language I heard and occasionally used. I regret any upset or disturbance this accuracy may cause the sensitive reader but expressing your objection is likely to incite the author to use these very same words in reference to the complainant.

  *  *  *

Get your copy today.

Click here to see it on Amazon.com

Or, here for Barnes & Noble

 


 

Tony Mayo’s New Novel on Sale Now!


Crimes of Cunning: On Sale September 22, 2015

Crimes of Cunning

On Sale Now!

A comedy of personal and political transformation in the deteriorating American workplace.

Click here to see it on Amazon.com

Or, here for Barnes & Noble

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 be notified when it is released on Kindle and as an Audible audiobook on iTunes.

 


 

Crimes of Cunning


 

On Sale Now!Crimes of Cunning now on Kindle

Crimes of Cunning

A comedy of personal and political transformation in the deteriorating American workplace.

Click here to see it on Amazon.com

Or, here for Barnes & Noble

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 be notified when it is released as an Audible audiobook on iTunes.

 



Click here to learn the source and meaning of the book’s title.


 

Marriott: Happy Employees = Happy Customers

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 

Humanized Work with an Emphasis on Mastery of Craft

 


 

I was very pleased to see an international expert on software development express the following clear insights into the types of workplaces my executive coaching seeks to foster.

Visionaries are designing organizations for collaboration. These firms remove the bottlenecks imposed by the strict hierarchies of the past. [In hierarchical firms] no one was being rewarded for taking the kind of risks that lead to innovation or other breakthroughs in performance which thrive in a climate of collaboration.

Knowledge workers spend a large proportion of their time seeking information, much of the rest making sense of what they’ve found, and relatively little time in applying what they now know.

Transitioning from a hierarchical way of working … requires letting go of habitual behaviors that may have worked well in the hierarchy, but no longer serve anyone when collaboration becomes a critical part of the work process.

[The result is] … humanized work with an emphasis on mastery of our craft, a focus on rapid learning and feedback, delivery of business value (sooner not faster), and close connection to customer needs (even ones the customers’ haven’t noticed yet).

 

— Diana Larsen on Agile Fluency,
Barriers to Agility &
the value of Open Space Technology
in InfoQ

 


 

Another Good Reason to Meditate

 


Dr. Peter Suedfeld, a psychology professor at the University of British Columbia and an expert in human cognition. …told us that creativity is a “very mysterious thing” that “exists in pretty much everyone” — but that there are indeed ways to improve it. One method he has studied extensively is what he calls the Restricted Environmental Stimulation Technique (REST) — putting people into places with no light or outside stimuli.

“What I’ve found,” he said, “is that far from making people crazy, moderate deprivation lowers blood pressure, improves mood, and makes people more creative.”

From: “Outside the Box”: The Inside Story
By Martin Kihn, Fast Company, June 2005

Found in:

IDEAS IN THE NEWS
A biweekly publication of MeansBusiness
Vol. VI No. 8 — June 29, 2005 

 


 

See free, easy Meditation Instructions on this blog.

 


Meditation for Managers video


 

Been down so long it looks like up to me


 

The point at which what we are given is difficult beyond endurance is a point that pierces and refines the soul. And (though this may be hard to believe) it is possible to be so fluid and centered, so filled with trust in the intelligence of the universe, that even the horror can pass through us and eventually be transformed into light.

Stephen Mitchell
Genesis: A New Translation of the Classic Bible Stories
Quoted in Psychology Today, December 1, 1996

 


 

A quick and novel technique for integrating difficult moods and experiences is here Resistance is Futile on this blog.

 

See free, easy Meditation Instructions on this blog.

 


Meditation for Managers video