Wednesday, September 8, 2010

What Game Are You Palying?

Ever feel like you're going nowhere despite your best efforts?

You do everything right without accomplishing the goals you've set for self?

Are you playing the same game as the people you report to or serve?

How do they keep score?

If you want to get ahead you have to score points in their system.

Don't lose yourself, just suit up.

You can always play a different game if you so desire. But if you are playing on their court it would be wise to play their game.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Skill Bill (Of Rights)

As a manager or business leader you have a responsibility to train your team to do the job at hand.

As a team member you have a right to learn those skills essential to play your part in the team's success.

In as much as the job at hand is always changing and your role is constantly morphing the skill most essential is situational analysis.

What can I do right now that is going to best move us toward our goals and provide the greatest return on my efforts?

If the answer is mop the floors, then by all means mop the floors.
If the answer is brainstorm, then for the love of Pete (who gets a lot of loving) brainstorm.
Regardless of the answer do it.

This skill is meaningless of course if there is no bias for action.

So go ahead and exercise your rights, skill bill!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Labor (of Love) Day

Work without passion is boring.

Your heart pumps constantly so you can pour out love in everything you do.

Love cleaning the shit off the wall. How? Imagine how happy the weary traveller is to find a clean restroom that they aren't scared to use (wear gloves though).

Love that irate customer. Why? They might have identified a significant opportunity for you to improve your business (read profits).

Take on the most arduous assignment and love it. When? No time like now (I don't know who said it, but remember today is a gift that is why it's called the present).

Show a coworker that you love them (agape don't want an HR issue). Who? Any one of them. We could all use a bit more love in our lives.

Share something you love. What? Anything... an idea, program, tool, resource, plan... anything that you have passion for that might benefit the person you share it with.

Imagine how much better the world would be if everybody put a little more love in everything they do.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Straight F's

Forget about getting an A for customer service. If you want happy customers then deliver F level service.




Create an environment that drives your team to deliver this type of service and a lot of other issues go by the wayside.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Change - Maybe Not

Move the cheese and all that. It is well known that most people don't like change. Many prefer a known painful situation to a potentially great unknown. Often the effort involved in getting someone to change is much greater than the effort the change requires.

Knowing this, know that not all change is for the better or needed.

Often we insist that methods be adhered to because they make us feel safe. If other honorable methods produce the desired results it might be best to allow the variant.

Showing your work isn't the same as getting the correct answer.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Tuning Out

I spoke with a colleague who advised me that at a certain point he tunes out his supervisor. Wow! This seems like a great way to ensure that one does not suffer from excessive feedback. It also seems like a great way to shorten your career expectations.

It would be great if we could choose the way others communicate with us. In some more enlightened settings this happens. Bottom line is if you are choosing to tune out what your supervisor is saying you either better be an untouchable bullet proof superstar or be willing to find new work.

Sure there is often unnecessary emotion included. Often messages are overly broad, confusing and at times just plain mean. Filter, find the nuggets and build something better.

Remember the ancient rhyme suggesting that words can never hurt you. Wrong! You can often be hurt by the important messages you choose to ignore.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Window of Opportunity

Since I was a baby manager the long standing figure has been that 10% of the people are good, 10% of the people are bad, and 80% of the people will behave based on how you treat them. This means that a full 90% of the folks you interact with are prone to misbehavior under the right (wrong) conditions. Recognizing this a primary function of management is to cut the cancerous 10% at the first sign of trouble and create an environment where the 80% feels neither inclined nor sees the opportunity to abuse the system.
Creating a great work environment is only part of the equation. Equally important is limiting the window of opportunity for wrong doing. This boils down to keeping time and access controlled as much as possible. Checks need to be in place so that all levels realize that they are being monitored and that wrong doing will not be tolerated. If this sounds like Big Brother is lurking then so be it. Making it in this rapidly evolving climate is difficult enough without hamstringing oneself with internal wrong doing. I know that some will claim that internal checks hamper rapid fire efforts and impede progress...
To this I say they are right. Checks and balances do hold some processes up a bit. I'm going to bet on the organization with strong internal checks in the long run though.