Take 15 Minutes to Save Your Job

Take 15 minutes, and save your job, your department, and possibly, your company. How? You won’t need your smartphone, laptop, phablet, email, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Periscope, text messaging, or IBM’s Watson for this. Just your head, a pen, a piece of paper, and 15 minutes. Now, think of the key roles in your team, department, and/or company. Got them? Good. Write them down in a column on the left hand…

Give Them the Gift of Experiences

This past Christmas, my wife and I decided not to give gifts to each other. For previous Christmases, we each had said “no more gifts”, but one of us would ultimately violate the mandate and end up buying the other something. Well this year we each said, “No more gifts”, and we actually kept to it. Instead, we “gave” ourselves several dinners out, just the two of us, during the…

Stop Playing to Your Strengths.

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Photo by Philip Kromer “It’s much easier to play to your strengths than to compensate for your weaknesses.” “You’ll go a whole lot further developing your strengths than developing your weaknesses.” “No one got promoted by improving a weakness; focus on your strengths.” And so it goes. The business literature is filled with articles and blog postings touting the value in playing to one’s strengths vs. developing or overcoming one’s…

If You’re Bored at Work, You’ve Just Been Warned.

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Think about the work you do every day. Ever find it boring, repetitive, or lacking in meaning? Did you answer “yes” to any of that? If you did, then that’s a good thing. Why would it be a good thing? Because it means you’ve been warned. And better still, you’re the one who’s warning yourself. According to the Associated Press, jobs that “follow well-defined procedures and are repeated throughout the…

Is Your Company Heading for Talent Bankruptcy?

“If businesses managed their money as carelessly as they managed their people, most would be bankrupt.” That’s how Bill Conaty and Ram Charan start their recent book “Talent Masters: Why Smart Leaders Put People Before Numbers”. And it’s hard to argue with them. Depending upon where you work, it will be true to varying degrees. But there certainly aren’t many places where it isn’t true at all. So how did…

Are You Paying the Price for Your Slow Burn?

Nothing like an economic crisis to bring latent leadership issues to the forefront. If you were grooming and “weeding” your people during the good times, chances are you’re doing better than other leaders during these challenging times. If you weren’t focused on the quality of your people during the good times, changes are your suffering extra now. As companies have pared back on staffing levels, leaders have assumed greater responsibility…

Succession Planning: Some Basic Steps

Even with the crummy economy and high unemployment, smart leaders are still concerned about the potential loss of great talent from their companies. Whether you’re running a company, division, department, or a team, you need to plan for your future talent needs. And the sooner, the better. In this month’s 60-Second Email (TM) , we outline the first steps you need to take for effective succession planning. And when you’re…

Is Failure Truly Not an Option?

“If an educated work force is the nation’s human capital, business is seeing a lot of subprime these days.” – from An Educated Workforce, Wall Street Journal, November 23, 2009 Recently the Wall Street Journal invited top CEOs and policy makers to Washington to discuss critical issues facing the United States. According to John Chambers, Chairman and CEO of Cisco Systems, and a Co-Chair of the assembled task force on…

Experience is Teaching, Now.

In the last post, I cited the work of Lombardo and Eichinger in discussing the type of experiences that lead to significant personal development.  These experiences have four qualities in common: 1)  You know very little about the experience as you go into it. 2)  You have to make a difference. 3)  You feel a chance of significant failure. 4)  You feel a tremendous amount of pressure. I realized, however,…

Are You Staying Relevant?

My local dry cleaner’s specialty is breaking buttons. If your shirt has buttons, they will break them. Their 2-for-1 special is bring in two shirts, and we’ll break the buttons of at least one of them. In by 9:00, broken buttons by 5:00. Coming in a close second is burning collars. Don’t have ring-around-the-collar? No problem; we’ll burn one in for you. Consider it a shirt tattoo. Lastly, the icing…
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