Rex Huppke of the Chicago Tribune writes a great column entitled “I Just Work Here’, where he humorously reflects, shares stories and information about the intersection of work, careers and corporate life. His latest column (April 29 Chicago Tribune – http://shar.es/l9QCH) posed the question of returning to work for a company that had previously let you go. Hmmm. Good question. Later Rex gives us more to think about when he points out that much our work life is similar to dating. And, as dating has changed over the past several years so has our relationship with our employers. From this, I recommend that you “move in” with your employer but think very seriously before deciding to marry them.
Most organizations these days are in the throes of change which means their leaders are charged with driving it. Successful change leadership starts with the ability of senior leaders to broadly communicate with clarity, conciseness and compassion. It’s this last component, compassion, that too often falls short in executive communication about change. And when I refer to compassion, I am talking about a balanced message that doesn’t just focus on the needs of the organization but equally takes into account the impact on the individual employee. Many leaders can artfully communicate the change requirement from the company point of view. Too often these leaders miss the opportunity to make this message personal to the receiver of the information. When they do this, a great opportunity to make a connection that will drive change missed.
A friend just sent me a memo from his company’s new CEO. (This is the actual memo with some changes made to keep things anonymous). It was the CEO’s first opportunity to address the global employee workforce. His ability to create a ‘personal needs’ connection could well be the difference between success and failure, both for him, the company and its employees.
On a scale of 1-10, how well do you think he did in addressing change in relation to the company’s needs? Conversely, how well did he do in addressing change and the impact on the employee needs? Continue Reading »
A few months ago I added ‘Building A Magnetic Culture’ by Kevin Sheridan to my Great Reads listing. FYI, anyone who would like more information on this great book, there is a new website for information I encourage you to check it out.
You may have heard this joke below. If not, is a reminder to pay close attention to every interaction you have with your potential new company during the recruiting process. If you don’t, the joke could be on you! Continue Reading »
Below is an excerpt from a blog post I wrote for my company from my research project on our best bosses:
One of the more powerful themes about great bosses is their tolerance for mistakes. As one respondent put it, “I never felt like a failure when I worked for my best boss.” Just think about that statement for a moment. I never felt like a failure. What a powerful and positive statement. How can you learn, grow, develop and build confidence if you are afraid to make a mistake? To be successful, to push the bar and accomplish great things, one has to take risks. But you won’t take a risk if you fear reprisal for a mistake. It’s much easier to play it safe. The respondent went on to say, “(My best boss) always had my back, but if I made a mistake, he would come to me and discuss ‘other options’. Mistakes were seen as part of the growth process in a person’s professional life.
Let me share one of my favorite stories on this topic from our survey responses.
“I asked my boss to join me on a sales call to a Fortune 500 company, which was a major opportunity for me. When we got to the lobby, I realized that I forgot to bring the firm’s brochure and panicked because I thought he would be disappointed. Instead, to my surprise, he said…” a good sales person doesn’t need any stinking brochures”, which made us both laugh. It was such a funny comment and made me feel OK. He told me that I was a good sales person and that I should just rely on my sales skills and ability to build relationships. He told me not rely on brochures as they just become a crutch. It was a huge learning experience for me”.
What a cool reaction by the boss as well as a dramatic learning moment for the individual. It’s something that she never forgot when, years later, she herself became a leader.
One of the more annoying aspects of life in America is our short attention span. One day, an issue is screaming in the headlines and bantered across all media channels. The next day it disappears, replaced by the next big issue or Lindsay Lohan’s latest indiscretion.
Given this, I was surprised to hear an opinion piece on the radio yesterday, revisiting the Yahoo CEO’s decision to end all remote working arrangements in their company. While I didn’t agree with the opinion (a snarky toned commentary by an older white male who clearly doesn’t see organizations, leadership and career’s the same way I do), I was happy that this issue was still on the front burner.
That brings us to this guest post from Kevin Sheridan, author of the NY Times best seller “Building A Magnetic Culture”. Kevin is also the former CEO of HR Solutions, an employee survey firm. He has a very interesting take on this topic, with stats to back it up. I hope you take a minute to give it a read. Continue Reading »
In this morning’s Chicago Tribune there was an article (written by Dan Pompei) about the new coach of the Chicago Bears, Mark Trestman. I almost skipped it because I find football coaches tend to be all cut out of the same cloth. That’s not good or bad. I just don’t find them to be very interesting.
I am glad I decided to read the article. It turns out that Mark Trestman isn’t your typical football coach. At least, not the current edition of the man. But he was. And it is his personal and professional transformation that I found compelling. Continue Reading »