In the spirit of the Holiday.. I wanted to share one of my favorite singers and the song I love the most by him.. Victor Frankl talked about how in the concentration camp, when things were really tough, he would close his eyes and imagine he was somewhere else... I often use this song to deal with the stress of the moment. Hope you like it!
Sunday, December 9, 2007
Ultimately, man should not ask what the meaning of his life is, but rather must recognize that it is he who is asked. In a word, each man is questioned by life; and he can only answer to life by answering for his own life; to life he can only respond by being responsible.
Monday, December 3, 2007
- Can you believe that Missouri, which is ranked 6th in the BCS rankings didn't go to a BCS bowl (there are 10 spots which count as BCS Bowl spots).. .but Illinois which is ranked way down at 13th did! This is just not right.. and what does it say about how far the Rose Bowl has fallen from being one of the greatest sporting events in college sports.
- Money has even more impact when you look below the BCS bowl games. Clemson and Virginia, ranked 3rd and 4th respectably in the ACC, leaped over Boston College to take the more significant bowl bids. Why? Just cause Boston College fans don't travel like Clemson and Virginia fans. It is all about making money gang.
As for who is the best college football team this year, I doubt we will know at the end of this mess. For me, my choice will be simple if Hawaii wins.. Hawaii will at least be the only team without a loss. And their schedule will be close to as tough as OSU's.. Go Warriors!
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
- Employees of different generations actually actually want a lot of the same things from their work.
- Global demographics, education levels, living costs, economic issues, and labor market conditions may have the strongest influence on the way different generations view work.
- Other findings.. regardless of age,
- Resistance to change is more about what you stand to lose or gain.
- Loyalty to the employer is more about your place in the company hierarchy than your age.
- most employees seem to what security and a balance work and personal lives.
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
The need or drive to seek pleasure (Freud)
and the relentless pursuit of power (Adler)
were really just attempts to cover up,
but not necessarily fill, a
“void of meaning”
that existed in the lives of these individuals.
-Alex Pattakos on Viktor Frankl’s principle on the “search for meaning”
Thursday, November 22, 2007
In the spirit of thanksgiving here in the USA.. I want to give thanks for all that touch my life with love and leadership. I thought it would be nice today to share a video that reminds us all of how even when things are not so good.. we can reach forward and do great things... In one of the the greatest of Olympic moments, Derrick Redmond demonstrates what it means to be a champion!
Saturday, November 17, 2007
A colleague of mine and I are working on some research related to retention. We know from previous research that most of us have thought about leaving our current job at least once or twice. Of course, we often do not act on these thoughts, but the thoughts themselves tell us something about retention.
You can help out a great deal by either responding to this blog with a comment, or sending me a private e-mail. Please feel free to respond to the blog in an anonymous post. It should not take you long to answer just one question.
The last time something happened that made you think your current job is not the one you want to be in... what was it that made you think about leaving that job?
Please share this post with as many people as you can.. I would love to get as many people as possible to respond.. If I get a good response, I hope to post a summary of the best of the posts and the most dominate themes..
Monday, November 12, 2007
CISCO's Chambers demonstrates the art of Telepresense
Imagine.. 20 years from know this may be the most common way of communicating. What is the implication of being able to project your telepresense to millions of homes or businesses or call someone halfway around the world for a nice evening chat. I am sure you can think of lots of ways this could be used. Will we end up with American Idol on Steroids? Will this technology enable leaders to network greater than ever before and communicate to their followers in more frequent and richer ways. Imagine what this one piece of technology might mean to the darkest side of humanity.. could it allow the leaders of countries like Israel and Palatine to work together for peace knowing that they can interact daily without security concerns. So here is the question for you.. If you were a leader today and hand this technology, what is the one way you would seek to use it for the highest return on your time in the telepresence chamber? Here is mine:
I would use it to enhance what are boring teleconferences we have. This technology would add richness to the conversations and also encourage everyone to be mentally present. Now it is your turn:
Gotta run.. I am scheduled for a holodeck session in 5.
Tuesday, November 6, 2007
- Confidence: What are you doing to create customer trust in your services? Would your customers say you always deliver on your spoken and unspoken promises?
- Integrity: Do you treat your customers fairly? When something goes wrong, do you apologize for the problem? How fair are you in resolving the problem?
- Pride: Do your customers have a positive sense of association and identification with you? Are they proud to be your customer? Does their association with you mean something to them personally? Does it define their own self-concept of who they are?
- Passion: Would your customers consider life not worth living without you? Ok.. that is a bit much, but the concept is the same... Are you indispensable? Would they drive across town for you? How much passion do they have for you?
Confidence: How sure were you that the flight would leave on time? Were you confident that you would get where you were going on-time and with your baggage?
Integrity: Now whatever went wrong has happened.. they have been delayed, or your bags are gone.. etc..Do you think they treated you fairly? Did they demonstrate respect for you?
Pride: After the flight.. did you go around bragging on how you traveled.. I mean, did you become a poster child for the airline?
Passion: Now suppose you are going to fly again next week.. how important is it for you to fly on this same airline.. if they can only offer you bad connections or cost more, would you still fly on them?
Most likely, you answered no to all of these questions. It is sad, but I think the deck is stacked against airlines. They don't help themselves much, but they have little chance of overcoming the confidence dimension. Some have risen above.. take Southwest.. you could argue that they do most of these well. I have run into a few Southwest Air Passion Freaks in my days.. Better examples might be Apple or Nordstroms.
There is another piece of this pie as well.. It also links up to employee engagement:
Confidence is about knowing what to expect.. Integrity is about respect and recognition, Pride is about belonging and inclusion (FIRO), and Passion is about connecting to some future goal.. The result is employee engagement.. which equals retention. Incidentally, these concepts also overlap with concepts in Lencioni's new book on misery! :)
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
- We know that diversity is a strength once a team is well formed. Diversity brings forth creativity and insight that comes from multiple perspectives held by those from different backgrounds and viewpoints. The paradox.. research shows that the higher the proportion of people who do not know anyone else on the team and the greater the diversity, the less likely the team members share knowledge.
- Knowledge is good. Right? We want our teams to have specialize knowledge. We want the experts, but research shows that the greater the proportion of highly educated specialists on a team, the more likely the team is to disintegrate into unproductive fights. Kinda sounds like a faculty meeting...
- Virtual teams.. it is the great solution for all of us who travel too much. Wikipedia.. Facebook.. etc.. the Net is allowing us to work together in new ways at a distance. It all makes sense, but research shows that as teams become more virtual... collaboration declines.
How do we build trust with individuals who are different from us?
How do we build trust with individuals who perceive they know more than us?
How do we build trust with individuals who are at a distance from us?
TRUST.. sort of becoming a theme for this blogger lately...
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
We have to unlearn and relearn in-order to change for the future. Changes that may influence us:
- Demographically we are changing - we are getting grayer, older, browner, and more diverse
- There will be twice as many old people in the near future
- Families: Few Children, 75% will be nontraditional families
- Declining rural and urban communities (Increasing problems/declining opportunities)
- Changing workforce (Gen X vs Retiring Older workers)
- Increase in the demand for training
- Natural Resources: Value shifts.. care for animals, need for open space
- Social Issues - Obesity, housing, globalization, terror, safe food, disasters
- Technology, web 2.0, anywhere-anytime-anydevice
- Funding pressures and accountability
Refers to Scott Moore of Yahoo.. Moore showed that 60% of the audience that is watching 60 minutes on Yahoo is under the age 44.. 70% of the TV audience is over 60.
In 1993 according to Pew, 60% watched network news.. today on 28% watch network news.
Two Change Ideas
- Bigger and more consistent is Better (Mergers, Leadership wants consistency, but we are not all alike, we are all unique) Consolidation can cause us to be more alike.. may weaken our ability to be unique and successful
- New and exciting: Something new and different, even when it is not much gets way more attention. Older programs that are effective don't get the headlines.. Maybe we should rename our stuff that is working.. put a nice new look on it.
- Vision - From all levels, inspiring, pointing to the future
- Good to Great: Listen to your customers - Continue to find your hedgehog
- Tells the story of the managers of Walgreen who had to accept location change so that Walgreen could put their buildings on the corner. Being Good keeps you from accepting change.. can not be satisfied with Good
- Must move to be more cooperative.. team approach regardless of the external culture of competition.
- We have to look for new ways of doing things.
Thursday, October 18, 2007
One of the most important issues in today is to ensure that you have valid and accurate information. Wikipedia replaced encyclopedias..and does a better job in MHO, but it is still a secondary source. It was true before and it is still true that our students should be learning how to validate and read primary source materials while synthesizing their own original thoughts. They can use wikipedia for their daily needs, but they also need this added skill. What example can I use to make this point.. Wikipedia comes to mind! We don't want our students to be just users of wikipedia.. we want them to be contributors.. contributors know how to find information and pull it together in a valid and reliable way. So I slightly differ with you Seth.. I want my son learning how to find information.. I want him to be writing wikipedia articles.. so he is going to be reading journals and such.. In fact.. now that I think about it.. there will be lots of people who can write.. it will be the ones who find the knowledge that have the edge...
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
Along the same vain, I am increasing interested in the complexity of social networking from the view of anthropology. Especially from the view of Dr. Karen Stephenson who has defined seven separate knowledge networks that flow through an organization. I have take the liberty of renaming some of her titles, but her list is a pretty good definition of the people networks we should be aware of in any change management effort:
- The Work Network
- The Innovation Network
- Expert Knowledge Network
- The Change Agent Network
- Social Network
- Career Coach Network
- Decision Maker Network
Saturday, October 13, 2007
Additionally, Web 2.0 can be used to maintain and build upon existing professional relationships. Let me give a personal example.
I see some of my colleagues from other states only 1 or 2 times a year. Social networking, blogging, commenting, Twittering, and instant messaging (and Facebook, to a much lesser degree) helped build upon the acquaintance of our relationships into a higher level of professional respect.
Now, when we see each other at conferences "we start in the middle of conversations." The respect and understanding of philosophies were not created through the face-to-face time, but rather through (online) casual and informal conversations and through blogging.
Without social networking--particularly, blogging and presence technologies--this would not have happened. On a few occasions, confidential remarks have been made in IM or email--mirroring how we communicate with our local trusted professional friends. Are any of these online friends my "Top 8" closest professional friends? Not yet, but I will not discount that from every happening.
Anne's post allowed me to see this issue from a different perspective. She did an excellent job of summarizing the issue. I agree that some low level trust may be developed with complete strangers using Web 2.0 tools. These types of social networks are useful in many ways, mostly in influencing through spread of knowledge. This trust may lead to behavior change in the sense of transactional change. For example, I might purchase a different type of golf club brand after reading a blog, or after noticing twitter postings by a significant golfer and his frustrations with one brand or another. All this is true, but it is equally true of all other forms of Web 1.0 technologies. Web 2.0 adds a bit of the reality TV quality to Web 1.0 in my view.. but that type of trust is very limiting. Where I still have grave questions is whether Web 2.0 technologies can lead to high trust communities.. Teams that we know from research will perform at three times the level of productivity of typical low trust community.
For clarity sake, my question is not intended to negate the many wonderful Web 2.0 positives. Web 2.0 technologies are enhancing productivity and enabling more collaboration than ever before, but at this time I do not see them creating high trust-performing social networks. And while these low trust social networks are an improvement to no social networks, they have much less potential than if one can discover how to build high trust within Web 2.0 social networks. Here is another question for you..
Think of a significant transformational change you observed in yourself or a close friend where someone influenced you to change. The key word is transformation.. a new way of living or working completely. Now, what level of trust did you have in this individual? Can you build this level of trust using Web 2.0 technologies? How?
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
I did a quick count in my head and the number of leaders I know who could benefit from just one chapter in this book is amazing to me. Do you know of a leader who is too competitive.. or maybe one who is likely to become defensive if you question something they have done... or maybe one who thinks the world revolves around them.. If so.. your Christmas shopping is done. Buy it, wrap it up, and send it.
Of all the books I could give to a CEO or top leader who is derailing, I think this one is my favorite. It paints a road map on how to become the Level 5 leader that Jim Collins describes in Good to Great! And if you know of a young charging leader, this may be the best book I can recommend to keep them from derailing on their way to top. For one, I see some of my biggest mistakes described in this book. Some it took me years to overcome both personally and in the view of others. So ego is important and we all need to read this book.
Let me explain by describing functioning social networks. Here are three examples:
The Creative Network: Withing each organization, there is a group of individuals, who when alone discuss what I call "career ending ideas." They ask the questions that nobody asked in the board room meeting, like.. "What if we eliminated John's product line and reorganized?" These type of discussions occur when the two or more people in the room trust each other and know that they have to protect those involved in the discussion. These type of discussions also create a sort of social network that can eventually result in organizational change.... sort of an innovators club.
The Knowledge network: Also within every organization is a group of experienced individuals who have become quite accomplished. They tend to be the experts on how to do things.. and we have developed a trust in their knowledge and abilities. Their level of knowledge and skill.. (demonstrated through the many times we have relied on them) results in this group have abnormally high influence. We know them, and as a group, they tend to make up a network of individuals who bless new ways we want to work. And while everyone can act or claim to be an expert, we trust this select group because they have demonstrated skill at very high levels.
The Learning Network: Within these same organizations, there are networks of individuals that are created around learning. If I am a new manager, it is not too long before I begin relying on another more senior manager for advice and counsel. This chain of coaches and coachees creates a rich network built on trust. As any good coach will tell you, they can not help anyone who does not trust them. Most of the best coaching I have done has been when I helped someone face a fear or a failure, something that required a tremendous amount of trust in me as a coach. It also requires a great deal of trust to tell someone a fear or weakness you are facing. Real learning networks are build on a foundation of TRUST, not access.
So what is the point: When I look at who I might go to for advice on how to do my job, who I might trust because of their competence, or who I like to hang out and brainstorm answers to the questions we are not allowed to ask... It is not someone I met on Facebook, or who I first met through twitter, or who reads this blog. Truth is, we don't know each that well and I am still pondering how I could build a community of trust using these tools. No, the person I see having influence over my thoughts is soLet me be very clear.. the thesis of this post is simple:
It appears that WEB 2.0 does not build true social networks, it enhances those that we create through the richness of face to face contact.
Sure there are individuals who I have met using Web 2.0 tools, but the level richness and trust in these relationships is low. Only through time together and experiences where trust is built will I develop a true social network.. that takes time.. not something I can do using IM.
The leadership implication is that effective use of Web 2.0 will best be done in a blended manner, where it is coupled with other methods of working together. It also suggests that if you formed a virtual group using one of these tools, you need to find a way to have a trust building experiences.
So, here is my question today and I really hope I can get some feedback: Think of a stranger you have met online... in what way would you develop a high level of trust using WEB 2.0?
Monday, October 8, 2007
- The Team is effective overall?
- Decision-making processes are clear
- Team deals well with conflict
- Members put the welfare of the organization above interests of their own divisions or functions
- CEO provides effective direction for the team.
Saturday, October 6, 2007
- In 2000, Jones was an Olympic champion, an Icon with manufactures begging her to be sponsors for her products. It would have been hard to say no to millions of dollars.. can you really blame her.. a little lie and she has a great cash flow.. but after a divorce, a house foreclosure, and now a possible prison term.. Ms Jones is the loser.. chewed up by the a system that promotes the very behavior she has exhibited.
- In the Women's World Cup, Coach Ryan chooses to go with a more experience goal keeper, one who has faced the opponent over a younger but still accomplished player. The player who is benched disrespects her coach and also her team member... the media and community rallies to support the benched player rather than acknowledge that respect for the team and coach should come first over winning. (See my last post)
- In the 2006 Men's World cup, France captain Zinedine Zidane wins the Golden Ball award for the World Cup's best player, despite getting a red card while losing to Italy in the final. the head butt was uncalled for, intentional, away from the play, and very malicious, and yet... Zidane polled 2012 points in the vote by journalists covering the tournament, ahead of Italian Fabio Cannavaro (1977 points) and Andrea Pirlo (715 points).
- In 2004, with his new book hitting the bookstores and after years of denial, Pete Rose freely admits that he bet on baseball. What's his motive.. selling books, getting into the Hall of Fame. The system rewards this behavior.. to this day, he is still making appearances and signing autographs. (Disclaimer.. he was one of my childhood idols)
And so deep and so tall,
We can not pick it up.
There is no way at all"
Wednesday, October 3, 2007
We sit around and complain about our leaders for not being ethical. Yes, it has become an art form and nothing represents this more than the final of the world cup. Sure.. I agree that what Zidane did was horrible and the punishment was just, but the truth is we created this environment. Just like Jerry Maguire figured out... We live in a culture of competition that often pushes leaders to the line between what is right and wrong. While it is most visible in sports, it happens in the corporate halls as well, and in truth, our leaders are enabled by our own behavior.
The broken windows concept is that when someone walks down a street with broken windows, they are far more likely to throw a piece of trash of paper on the ground.. This concept also applies to higher crimes.. the more we are surrounded by bad behavior, the more likely even good people will fail to stay on the right side of ethics. I will argue that Zidane.. did what we enable him to do.. by creating an environment where we accept that is "ok" to win at all costs. where we don't complain when our own team cheats.. takes a fall, or worst does something as bad as Zidane.. If this is to get fixed.. it will take more that firing a couple of bad CEOs and sports stars.. everyone is going to have to shape up.. We have to yell just as loud when our own team cheats.. whether it is corporate or sport.. we all have to behave! I am starting now! Posted by mowen ( Jul 12 2006, 01:54:33 PM EDT )
That was the post back in July of 06.. now we find a similar problem among our own women's team.. After much reflection on this incident.. it is clear that no one looked very good.. except maybe Scurry who I do not believe commented. I also think Hope has to share a large part of the blame for what happen. After openly criticizing both another player and her coach (even if she was right), he was left with no choice but to bench her.... So here is how I count the points..
Coach Ryan loses 1 point for first benching the superior player for a legacy player, another point for not substituting in the younger player during the loss with Brazil, and finally another point for not allowing Hope to dress even though her comments were worthy of benching. (I am still not sure of the last point.. Ryan may have studied the video and saw how Hope acted on the bench in the Brazilian game). In truth.. benching her may have been appropriate.. we don't know the team rules.. winning is not everything.
Hope loses a point for her behavior on the bench.. and another point for her comments.. the way I see it, they both should be off the team. Neither deserve our respect. Neither exhibited behavior that is worthy of World Cup play.. keep in mind.. Hope is 29.. her comments were not the emotions of a 18 year old freshman.
Enough said.. but one last point.. those who defend Ryan could be accused of defending incompetence.. those that defend Hope could be accused of empowering self gratification and poor sportswomanship.. Neither of these individuals deserve to be defended.. they need to learn what they did was wrong.
Sunday, September 30, 2007
Nine Things They Don't Tell you about Leadership
by Mitch Owen
1. Job Skill is one-third of the success equation.
Knowledge and skill is important, but it equals about 1/3 of the equation for success. Making successful decisions and building strong relationships are just as important.
2. 95 percent of real leadership is in doing the hard work.
Being in the leadership means you get to go to nice meetings and eat wonderful meals.. but the truth is great leaders know.. it is all in doing the hard jobs. Your people remember you most when your there during the tough times. Here is an easy question.. how many funerals and hospitals did you visit this past year? Think about it.. I still remember one of my dad's former football players just because he choose to fly 500 miles and spend a weekend telling me what my dad meant to him. I would follow him anywhere!
3. Everything is not equally important, but everything is very important.
Yes.. it says what it says. Somethings are more important.. One of the toughest job is deciding what is most important and staying focused on that and only that.. and yes.. everyone thinks everything is important, so be prepared to have a few doubters.. especially when you don't value their special projects as most important.
4. Most complex problems are really simple, we just don't like the answer.
Several years ago, an organization I was advising got into financial trouble. The creditors were bang on the door and even threating to foreclose. The President looked at me and said, this is such a complex problem, I am not sure what to do. Truth was, it was a very simple problem.. he just didn't want to face the truth. He had to sell a portion of his business to save the rest. Sure, he could use bankruptcy protection, but the solution was still the same. We did 23 different scenarios showing them the same basic answer.
5. Don’t forget where your taking them.
Much of leadership is making strategic choices where you want to take your team and then staying true that choice. In sports it is easy.. score the most goals, win games. win a championship, etc.. In life, it is not as simple. In my experiences, leaders have a tough time choosing what their goals will be. When they do choose a single focused goal, they usually do quite well. I am reminding of companies like Southwest.. who transformed an industry by focusing very specifically on things that matter.
6. When you throw your weight around, you usually fall.
One of the toughest dynamic of being a great leader is to exude confidence without being arrogant. No one follows you if they think you don't know what your doing, but no one wants to be around someone who looks and acts like s/he knows it all.
7. In the end.. it is personal
Everyone says that business is business.. it's nothing personal. Truth is, it is personal. Most employees who leave a job, do so because they don't think their boss cares about them. Caring about people is one of the most underused techniques in building teams. Trust me.. we all want our boss to care about us.
Even your enemy's matter in the world of leadership. Don't burn bridges.. don't hurt people when their down. Remember that even strangers matter in the long run. Touch strangers with your endless meaningful little acts of compassion and build friendships. Years from now, one of those strangers might end up being your boss...
9 Failure is necessary to be successful
If you really hope to be successful, you have to fail a time or two. It's true, there is even research to back it up. Not only does it give you humility, it also teaches you how to avoid failure when it really matters. So, if your having a rough year, just think of it as your last year in grad school..
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
Today, most of are faced with challenges where there are no Dr. Martinis to lay out the six million dollar questions? We are looking at a large text book of material, having to make decisions on what to do and what not to do... and we often don't have clues as to which of these questions are most important.. and which can be ignored. We are overwhelmed with the hundreds of actions that we could take and we know that we have time for only a few... Let's take a simple problem:
If you offer a product, you should be doing some customer evaluation of that product.. and given what I have seen in my experiences.. most of you have somewhere from 10 to 25 questions your asking.. but is there a six million dollar question? Just one question that will serve you well.. allow you to evaluate a product and move on to decision.. the research says yes: The six million question is:
Would you recommend this product to a friend?
Yes.. all the other questions are helpful.. but asking this one question tells you whether this is a product that will continue to be wanted by your customer.
I would suggest that their are other six million dollar question that we learn from our leadership experiences. Do you have any. I have a buddy who use to tell me this one:
Does creating this rule control 1% of your workforce, while penalizing and limiting the other 99% of your workforce?
Of course.. we have those kind of rules, but the answer is hopefully no in most cases. What are the other six million dollar questions you can ask that will help you move through the complexity of today's leadership? Please share your's so that we all can learn from you experiences!
Monday, September 24, 2007
I recommend it and have found it very useful. What I like best is he targets things many of us could fix, but we just don't have them on our radar. My favorite is Reason 1 - The Job or workplace was not what was expected. Here are some tough questions you might ask yourself:
- Do you conduct realistic job previews with every job candidate?
- Do you make a significant percentage of your hires from a pool of temps, adjuncts, or part-time workers who already know your workplace?
- Do you use employee referrals and hire a significant percentage of these referred potentials?
- Do you have realistic job descriptions with a short list of the most critical competencies?
- Do you allow candidate's future coworkers to participate in job interviews?
- DO you make a significant percentage of hires from a pool of current employees?
- Do you build into the interviewing process a way for candidates to gain a "sample" of the on-the-job duties.
- Do you survey or interview new hires to find out how to minimize new hire surprises in the future?
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
"Personally, the biggest lesson from our ocean is to respect it. Waves are more powerful and predictable than I am. They can come up and wipe you out instantly. We need to respect nature because it's so much more powerful than we are. If you're going to go into its environment you need to walk lightly first and learn from it. There's no way you can fight it, no way you can take it on. It can be calm and still one moment and then it can be growling and nasty. I've been in both situations many times."
Whats the leadership message. Think of the last time you joined a team where you were new but everyone else had been together for awhile. The culture and rules for operating are the KAI.. they are powerful and can wipe you out in an instant. Walk lightly at first.. learn the culture of this team you have joined.. and most of all, don't try to impress them with all your knowledge and skill.. less the ocean will rise up and be nasty...
More on KAI later.. especially on "Eddie would go!"
Monday, September 17, 2007
Using Lencioni's model, we can say that:
- Teams have to begin by building trust in each other and the leader.
- Then you must have a team that can discuss conflict openly.
- The third pillar is for everyone to be fully committed.
- The forth is the need for everyone to accept accountability for their role.
- Finally, there has to be an attention to getting results.
While I still think very highly of Lenconi's model and will continue to teach it, I still feel it can be enhanced further. In teaching this, I have often noticed that the first two seem to have so much more impact on learners. I have recently been toying with how I might improve on the final three pillars. With that in mind, I would love your input on the following variation on Lencioni's model:
- The first pillar to team success is to create an environment trust. The lack of trust in the team can derail them regardless of whether the other pillars are in place.
- The second pillar is a open environment where all can share their views without fear of conflict. I teach this as a environment that is interested in learning about both sides of every decision. This pillar is fully grounded in the Learning Organization movement.
- The third pillar relates to how significant is the cause. Lencoini's stresses that team members have to be committed to the cause. This is true, but more significant in this is the significance of the cause. The more significant they view the cause, the greater their commitment will be. For this reason, I have changed this pillar to "Finding a meaningful and greater-than-self outcome to work toward."
- The forth pillar based on Lencoini's model is all about taking personal accountability. I have modified it to be "Identifying Your Contribution to Achieving a Meaningful Outcome you could not Achieve Alone."
- The fifth pillar is all about measurement. One of the best outcomes of the past 20 years has been the concept of scorecards. Tools that help teams know if they are achieving the outcome they are striving for. Take Toyota.. I am sure they have been gunning to be the biggest car maker for many years.. I am willing to bet that each team in Toyota down to the line where they put the camry together are measuring success toward some outcome. How fast do we put it together, how safe were we this year, how many failures did we have.. all meaningful outcomes for that team. the fifth pillar is still tough to lay out in one sentence.. "Do you seek the truth and aggressively pursue the data that tells you (measure) if your team is on the path to success or failure."
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
What happen to Britney, having a bad day is not uncommon. It happens all the time in our organizations. Our leaders all have bad days.. they might give a poor speech or answer a question in a defensive manner. They might try and do a meeting when they have been sick and really come off as a weak leader. All sorts of things can happen and worst.. sometime is not a bad day.. but rather a habit they have. I once had a boss who was fond of stretching stories about his sporting accomplishments. We all knew they were white lies and the impact on the team was to introduce a sort of "make fun of the boss" culture. He never knew what he was doing.. that the very culture he would whine to me about... he actually created.. which is my point.. At least Britney Spears got the message that she flopped. She can go work off a few pounds or starting shopping at a mature girl store. My boss was out of luck.. I was just an young 18 year old kid and wasn't about to tell my boss.. your a clown.. grow up and quit bragging about how great a sports star you were.
One of the greatest failures of leaders is the art of self-deception. It has a profound impact and can literally cause a leader to crash and burn without them even having a clue to what is happening. One of my favorite examples is when a leader things very highly of him or herself.. EGO is just a wonderful vice. The research indicates that these leaders will actually not be able to see their contributions to failures.. actually be blinded to their own weakness.. We all need a little Britney time to keep us humble and help us get beyond our self deception...
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
- Oral Communication
- Ethics and Social Responsibility
- Reading Comprehension
The second question relates to retention directly. SHRM asked employees what were the most important things that influence their job satisfaction. The findings in rank order are:
- Compensation or Pay
- Job Security
- Flexibility to balance life and work issues
- Communication between employees and senior management
- Feeling safe in the work environment (up 14% since 2002)
- Management recognition of employee job performance
- Relationship with immediate supervisor (HR Directors rank this 1st)
- Autonomy and independence
- Opportunities to use skills and abilities.
Monday, September 10, 2007
The lesson to me is never to put off something that will make a difference in your life. Sure, there are lots of better things to do with my time that concerts, but I do believe this one would have made a profound impact on my view of the world. So, I will take this one off my list of things to do and refocus my efforts on those things that really matter.. like watching a world cup game (cricket or football-soccer)
Friday, September 7, 2007
Let me bring it home to your organization with a simple question: How often when someone in your organization receives an award or promotion, do others in the organization talk negatively about them behind their backs. Is there a culture of tearing down those who achieve in your organization. It may be very well human nature for us to explore the question "How Good is that winner?" when we see someone do well. The implication is not good for building a trusting organization. Especially if this question dominates the culture.
The leadership tip! Build a culture of celebrating success in others. Embrace them and park your need to judge how awards are judged. With that said.. Congratulations to ASU! What a wonderful experience for all of us to celebrate your achievement this past weekend!
Monday, July 30, 2007
What is the leadership lesson. Maybe I am stretching, but when a team or company is facing crisis, there is a sense of commitment that brings good teams together. That commitment can be built on, and once the crisis is over be a source of great accomplishment. The key is ensuring that you have a good team prior to the crisis and showing respect for the team members.
Wednesday, July 18, 2007
"It's hard to argue against the charisma of some of our most heralded and successful leaders, inside and outside of business. Gandhi had charisma; so did Martin Luther King Jr., Mother Teresa, Winston Churchill, and Ronald Reagan. These people were known as leaders because of their vision, conviction, and tremendous influence over others, as well as their appealing mystique. In business, few leaders have been as notable as these public figures, but those who transcend their organization are often undeniably intriguing. Whether Jack Welch, Richard Branson of Virginia, Herb Kelleher of Southwest, or Warren Buffett of Berkshier Hathaway, we want to know more about them, and we want to know more about the secrets the possess. "
He continues... "People who are impressive have special qualities. Some of that impressiveness has to do with technical competence, but there is also the impressiveness that comes with good looks, communication skills, or aura..."
Even Jim Collins might have to agree with this. If you read my earlier post.. if you have seen him speak.. I have to say he is Level 5 Leader.. and he also is rich with Charisma.
Saturday, July 14, 2007
So what was so profound.. that I am now feeling inadequate as a leadership development expert. First what lead me to this thought... I have been reading and listening to famous speeches, stories and history on WWII, the pacific & D-Day for several days(See my last post). Coupled with some additional reading I had been doing on Martin Luther King and his Birmingham letter from prison... it struck me as strange the impact these stories had on my sense of who I was. I was too young or not even born then, but somehow I was able to relive these events. My sense of sacrifice.. what someone should face for the good of others was changing. Through study and experience with history, I was embracing the same values of the GI Generation.
My Fear: Are we missing this in programs we offer to young employees?
We know that these events helped form the value system of their generations. Values that future generations do not necessarily understand. For example, WWII vets came home with a new sense of citizenship. I am reminded of the story of John Brady, one of the flag raisers at Iwo Jima. He came home believing he an obligation to others because he survived when 1000s died taking the island. The question is why shouldn't other generations be exposed to these stories in a way that instills in them the same sense of citizenship. The same sense of it is not all about having fun.. or being able to do what you always want.
These significant events have taught their generations what is important to success and happiness. They have raised a consciousness among the generation.. but the lessons should be shared. Are we digging deeply enough in the personal development of these young employees? Will it will be years before they go through a leadership program where they are challenged by these sorts of stories? Are we even considering how important these stories are in our current leadership programs?
Sunday, July 8, 2007
Friday, July 6, 2007
Friday, June 29, 2007
Kimo Kippen gave a message on Ohana (Family)9at ASTD this year. He is the VP of Human Resources for Marriott and was asked to introduce the keynote done by Keith Ferrazzi. Before introducing Ferrazzi, told three stories about leadership.
Kimo's Lesson on Ethics!
Kimo was eight years old 8 and just beginning to think for himself. His had a close friend named John. And John's father was going to war.
She told him that everyone was right!
Then she asked him a question: "What do you think is right?"
The lesson is an important one. Kimo's mother taught him that he had to decide what was right for himself? He had to be an independent thinker.. her simpler and power advice continues to shape him.The Importance of OHANA
One of his first leadership role was managing the hospitality bar in a maui hotel.. He had a secret shopper.. who came into his shop. Secret shoppers are trained to do quality audit on the operation and she was brutal on them. They were all called in on their day off for a meeting and she laid out all the things his team was doing wrong. It was all negative. Kimo got upset and decided that he had to talk to his boss. He had strong feelings that they had been treated unfairly. He told his boss that that moral was down and they were all unhappy. He thought he was easily killing any future job opportunities he might have, but he believed his was doing the right thing.
His boss told him one thing... "For every arrow she through at you, it when through you and hit me in the stomach." He took ownership of the problem and took responsibility and accountability. The boss demonstrated the concept for Ohana.. we are all family.
OHANA - 9/11
Then Kimo brought home by reminding us that on 9/11..
These three stories echo the importance of treating your employees as a family. Putting yourself last.. putting them first.. Great stories and Kimo did a much better job of telling them than I!
Thursday, June 7, 2007
Why do I like it.. well it is interactive... it engages you quite well and best of all.. it teaches you important things.. Even us adults will learn a thing or two..
What sites do you think of when asked the question "What is great e-learning?"
Tuesday, June 5, 2007
Bill Lazier was the who Collins refered to as his chairman or his personal board of directors.. his team of mentors. He credits Bill with teaching him the principle that there are two paths he could take in life.. he could build relationships or he could just do transactions. The latter would never lead to success. John Gardner taught him about the importance of learning and being curious. He loves to quote one of of Gardner's best statements to him.. Jim, you need to spend more time being interested, and less time trying to be interesting." The message.. Life is about asking questions and being curious about why something is the way it is.
John Gardner taught him about the importance of learning and being curious. He loves to quote one of of Gardner's best statements to him.. Jim, you need to spend more time being interested, and less time trying to be interesting." The message.. Life is about asking questions and being curious about why something is the way it is.
Joann Ernst (wife and Ironman Champion) taught him about asking the right question. She was facing breast cancer and one day his was asking all these "what" questions. What are going to do about this.. or that.. etc.. She looked at him, smiled and said.. "You need to read your own book.. It is not the "what" questions we need to be answering, we need to be answering "who" questions! Who do we need to go see? Who can help us with this or that?
Rochele Myers helped him to personalize his work. What is your personal hedgehog. Align the following three answers..
- What can you be the best in the world at? (And equally important—what can you not be the best at?)
- What is the financial need that best drives you?
- And what are you deeply passionate about?
He also had two great quotes from Peter Drucker. He ask Peter Drucker, out of the over 30 or more books he has published, which was he most proud of. The response was classic Drucker.. "The next one!" At the end of his day with Drucker, he ask him how he could ever pay him back. Drucker told him to go become a mentor to others! and then at the end of their conversation, Drucker slammed his hand down and said.. "Now.. go out and make yourself useful!"
First a good quote.. His mentor John Gardner once said... "I want to grow and learn as much between the ages of 70 and 88 as I did between the ages of 0 and 12”
Collins opened up by telling stories about why learning is important: "Life is about being curious. To be surprise and to discover what we did not know." He also talked about his love of data.
His latest question:
How do companies fall.. midstream Why did one go from Great to good or worst.. What happens just before that company goes down..
Then he told one of his best stories ever.. His wife is a Iron Man Champion.. and a great athlete.
In August of 82, his wife was running up a hill dominating the hill while he walked.. He remember watching her run up the hill ahead of him, he was just able to walk at this point. She looked like the perfect specimen of health.. then in the fall.. she was diagnosed with breast cancer.. even when she was climbing the hill back in August.. the disease was in her body.. His main point:
When a company is in decline.. the disease is not visible.. Companies can appear to be in great shape, may be in decline.
Collins says there are 6 stages of decline.. Can you see a book coming.. :)
The decline does not show until stage 4 or 5.
Sunday, June 3, 2007
The type of positions that were cited as the best for developing one for the role of learning leader are Human Resources and Program Management.
Individuals in mid-career or later, should seek to focus more on building strong relationships and managing their social networks. Business acumen, leadership development, and skills in learning acumen are also important, but relationship development is more critical at this stage in your career.
Once you become a learning leader, the most important competencies according to their survey are:
- Strategic and visionary thinking 62%
- Relationship management 41%
- Influential communication 36%
- Performance results 34%
- Learning acumen 33%
- Business acumen 30%
- There would be measurable business impact
- Learning would support and have a strong relationship to business goals
- The organization would have a learning oriented culture
- People would be developed
The presenter offered several recommendations.. but two stick out above all the rest. Not that they all were not important, but maybe these two mean more to me personally:
- Make sure you know the business your in. Know what everyone in the business is trying to do, what their mission is, what they business goals are, who are the key leaders in the organization, who are your main clients... etc. The more know about everything in the business, the easier it will be to align your learning system to strategic business goals.
- Be intentional about your social network. Build a network of leaders who can advise, support and encourage you. I have mentioned it before months ago that I have what amounts to a Personal Board of Directors.. a social system of key leaders who help me with tough decisions and ensure I stay honest.. :)
Saturday, June 2, 2007
Starting Sunday, I will be at the International Conference of the ASTD. This is a great time to soak up trends in leadership development, as well as check out new strategies and methods for e-learning and face-to-face training. I will be trying to capture some of the keynote's main points here on the blog when possible. Just to give you two of the big names who will be presenting: Jim Collins and Tom Rath. I am excited about both as well as the unknowns.. they have presenters from across the globe sharing their insights on training and development. I am not sure right now whether I will post just once a day or try posting during the day. Some of this will depend on access to wifi at the convention center and how spiritual the moment is.
Tuesday, May 29, 2007
...He took great care to cultivate the friendship of his subordinates, and to explain to them in detail his battle plans in advance of an operation. He emphasized to them what he intended to accomplish, and would leave much of how it would be achieved to them. Once guns were firing, he expected them to use their own initiative without waiting for his further instructions, to conform to the extent necessary to the overall line of battle he have given them, but seize opportunities where they presented themselves to destroy the enemy with the courage and daring he always showed in combat. "No captain can do very wrong," he told them, "if he places his ship alongside that of the enemy."
He inspired them to share his self-assurance by his demonstrations of confidence in them. And he saw to it that the rewards of glory and fortune won by daring and ambition were fairly shared. Most important, he did not shift the blame for mistakes and occasional failures to his subordinates, but assumed the responsibility for them himself. He gave his officers greater responsibility that they had ever possessed, and he never shirked his responsibility to them. This quality of command - daring , inspirational, confiding, and fraternal - renowned as the "Nelson Touch," forged extraordinarily strong bonds of mutual trust and affection between Nelson and his officers. It made him the greatest commander of this age....
I know I live for this stuff.. but when you read this excerpt, you have to get a chill in your bones when you think about how Lord Nelson was centuries ahead of his time. If only Jim Collins was writing Good to Great in 1805!
Monday, May 28, 2007
Letter to Mrs. Adams, July 3, 1776
Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and the success of liberty.
-John F. Kennedy
Spirit, that made those heroes dare
To die, and leave their children free,
Bid Time and Nature gently spare
The shaft we raise to them and thee.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson
Sleep the sleep that knows not breaking,
Dream of battled fields no more.
Days of danger, nights of waking.
-Sir Walter Scott
Thursday, May 24, 2007
This is worth a read.. check out this excerpt:
"Jonathan Adler, a researcher at Northwestern, has found that people’s accounts of their experiences in psychotherapy provide clues about the nature of their recovery. In a recent study presented at the annual meeting of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology in January, Mr. Adler reported on 180 adults from the Chicago area who had recently completed a course of talk therapy. They sought treatment for things like depression, anxiety, marital problems and fear of flying, and spent months to years in therapy.
At some level, talk therapy has always been an exercise in replaying and reinterpreting each person’s unique life story. Yet Mr. Adler found that in fact those former patients who scored highest on measures of well-being — who had recovered, by standard measures — told very similar tales about their experiences.
They described their problem, whether depression or an eating disorder, as coming on suddenly, as if out of nowhere. They characterized their difficulty as if it were an outside enemy, often giving it a name (the black dog, the walk of shame). And eventually they conquered it."
This work raises more questions for me. Can we predict whether leaders of organizations will be successful by the stories they tell? Or, do the stories we tell ourselves ultimately influence how successful we will be?
Tuesday, May 22, 2007
Time - One of the easiest to understand. Cultures differences around time include:
- Are you focused on yesterday, today or tomorrow?
- Are you focused on one issue/person, or multiple issues at the same time?
- Is late one minute pass the hour, or 30 minutes pass the hour?
- Are you oriented on doing the task or building relationships first.
- How important is context to your communication?
- Are you direct or indirect in what you share?
- Are you expressive and show how you feel?
- How big is protocol and formality to you?
Power - Do you prefer hierarchical or flat power structures
Competitiveness vs. Collaborative - Does this one really need an explaination..
Structure - Do you prefer order or like to be flexible?
Individualism - Two perspectives explain this one:
- Is it about you: "Me" generation vs. our is about the community "taking one for the team"
- Justice -All treated the same vs. each treated based on their situation and who they are.