Not enough debate

February 12, 2018

By Morten T. Hansen via   Article

The Problem with Most Meetings Is That There’s Not Enough Debate

“… most meetings are devoid of real debate. To improve the meetings you run, and save the meetings you’re invited to, focus on making the discussion more robust. … So how do you lead a good fight in meetings? Here are six practical tips:

Start by asking a question, not uttering your opinion. In one meeting I was invited to as an adviser, the boss started out by saying, ‘I think we should do X; I would like your opinion.’ Then he went around the table, and everyone in the room raised their hand in support, with zero objections. If you want a real discussion, start with a question. …

Help quiet people speak up (and don’t let the talkers dominate). Even with good questions, many people refrain from speaking up. … To draw them in, try to ‘warm call’ them ahead of the meeting, as one top performer in my study did: ‘Sometimes I’ll talk to folks in advance of a meeting, saying, ‘Hey, we’re going to have this meeting. I know you have a particular viewpoint, and I think it’s very important that it gets heard, so I’d like to make sure you share it with the group.’’ …

Make it safe for people to take risks — don’t let the sharks rule. … lead by example (‘Let me just throw out a risky idea…’); support those who try (‘I really appreciate you suggesting…’); and sanction those who ridicule others (‘I don’t want that kind of language here…’ ).

Take the contrarian view. … take the contrarian view: If the meeting was about raising the price for a service, … ask whether they should lower the price. It [forces] … people to have really solid arguments for their views. …

Dissect the three most fundamental assumptions. … One of the managers in our study kept asking the team one tough question: ‘What are the key assumptions, and what data will make them flawed?’

Cultivate transparent advocates (and get rid of the hard sellers).  People are led astray by confirmation bias, where they pay attention to data that confirms their idea, and they escalate commitments by continuing to advocate for their plans even in the face of negative information. You can combat this tendency by forcing people to show the negative: ‘When you present in the meeting tomorrow, I want to see a slide with the five biggest risks, and we will spend lots of time discussing them, so be prepared.’ Or you can ask for a pre-mortem: ‘Assuming your idea will fail, what would be the key reasons for the failure?'”


Don’t say any of that stuff

February 12, 2018


Fake leadership

February 12, 2018

By  via  Article

“There certainly seems to be a lot of news lately about fake stuff. There’s fake news, fake websites, and even fake, or at least disingenuous, people. While much of the ‘fake stuff’ is new and can be mostly attributed to the rise of the internet there is one fake thing that has seemingly always been around. That one fake thing is Fake Leadership.

Fake Leadership happens when someone gives the appearance of leadership without really leading. They may have a title or position that indicates they are a leader, they may make big decisions, say big things and even have great success in their careers. But they are missing one necessary characteristic of nearly all Authentic Leaders and absolutely all Authentic Servant Leaders.

They do not build people and they do not develop more leaders.

Fake Leaders may have tremendous business success but that only proves they were great managers. As I have written on numerous occasions there is a singular distinction between managing and leading….you manage stuff, buildings, inventories, budgets, and plans but you lead people.

Leadership is about people and only people. Many people are blessed with both management and leadership skills but many, many more are not. Frequently when people possess only one of those skill sets the one they possess is management.

A manager builds a successful organization mostly on their own efforts. They outwork and out-think most everyone around them. They are successful albeit a bit selfishly so. But here’s the thing, there’s really not all that much wrong with that, I’d rather be a very successful great manager than a not so successful mediocre leader. …

While a manger builds a successful organization a leader builds people who then build the successful organization. In the case of an Authentic Leader they truly care about the people they build; in the case of an Authentic Servant Leader they may very well care more about the success of their people than they care about their own.

A strong manager’s organization will have success as long as the manager is present to ensure it. A leader’s organization will outlast their leadership so long as the leaders they built continue to build people who become leaders themselves. The success of an Authentic Leader can go on virtually forever, the success of an Authentic Servant Leader does go on forever.

If you want to know if someone is a leader don’t look at the leader, look at the people around them. If those people are not growing, if they aren’t involved in the decision making process, if they aren’t responsible for at least part of the success, then it’s safe to say that the person above them isn’t really leading.”

This 150 year-old letter

February 12, 2018

By Jeff Haden via  Article

This 150 year-old Letter Shows Exactly How Exceptional Bosses Make Their Employees Feel

“In late 1864 Union General William T. Sherman marched into Atlanta, crippling the southern war economy. The practical effect was massive but so was the psychological impact, and not just on southerners: Abraham Lincoln would ride the resulting wave of public confidence into his second term as President.

As Ron Chernow describes in the excellent biography Grant, this is how General Grant congratulated Sherman:

‘You have accomplished the most gigantic undertaking given to any General in this War and with a skill and ability that will be acknowledged in history as unsurpassed if not un-equalled. It gives me as much pleasure to record this in your favor as it would in favor of any living man, myself included.’

Keep in mind Grant could have hogged at least some of the credit. After all, he was Sherman’s boss, he developed the overall blueprint for Sherman’s campaign — and he kept the Army of Northern Virginia pinned down in Richmond and Petersburg, making it impossible for Lee to send reinforcements to Georgia.

But he didn’t — because great leaders always shine the spotlight on others.

In response, Sherman said:

‘I have always felt that you personally take more pleasure in my success than in your own, and I appreciate the feeling to its fullest extent.’

That’s what great leaders do. They make the people they lead feel like they, not the boss, are the most important people. Great leaders aren’t served; great leaders serve.”

How are you perceived – find out

February 5, 2018

By Kristi Hedges via  Article

How Are You Perceived at Work? Here’s an Exercise to Find Out

“In The Power of Presence, I outline a straightforward presence audit to determine how others perceive you. It only takes a couple well-worded questions to a few key people to get the information you need. (If you’ve ever conducted a 360 evaluation, you’ve seen how quickly impressions start repeating.)

While this exercise won’t take a lot of time, it may be psychically intensive. So keep in mind that there’s never a comfortable time to do this and assume now is the exact right time.

Use this process as a guide:

  • Select five people. Choose colleagues who see you repeatedly in relevant work situations: bosses, executives, direct reports, peers, or even former colleagues. Influential co-workers who have their ears to the ground make great sources. … While it’s important that you have trusted people in your group, make sure to choose people who will tell it to you straight.
  • Ask for a face-to-face meeting. Be clear that you’ll keep whatever the person tells you confidential, which will encourage honesty, and that you’ll be collecting feedback from several people to find themes, which lessens the burden for any one individual. …
  • Ask two questions. In the meeting, ask these two simple questions designed to tap into the collective wisdom:
  1. What’s the general perception of me?
  2. What could I do differently that would have the greatest impact on my success?

Depending on the person, you’ll hear responses ranging from eye-opening and helpful to vague and confusing. If the person is uncomfortable, they may rely on job- or project-specific feedback. In that case, clarify:

I appreciate that feedback. May I go up a level now and ask about the general perception of me as a leader/colleague/person?

  • Manage your reaction. Resist the temptation to explain yourself, defend your actions, or reveal disappointment. Your interviewees will be looking to see what effect their feedback has on you in real time. The quality of your feedback will only be as good as your ability to remain comfortable while receiving it. Ask for details or examples if you need them. And end with a sincere thank you.

When you’ve finished the interviews, look for themes and repetitive points (it’s OK to shed outliers as long as you’re sure they don’t contain valuable information). If the perceptions of you are in line with what you intend, great. If not, it’s time to change your behaviors and begin to shift perception.”

The 1 thing you’re forgetting to mention

February 5, 2018

By Nicolas Cole via   Article

Your Resume Should Be More Than A List Of Skills. Here’s The 1 Thing You’re Forgetting To Mention

When I interview people, I don’t even look at their resume.It means nothing to me. …

What I care about is what type of person you are.

I want to know if you have an ‘owner mentality,’ or a ‘follower mentality.’ I want to know if you’re confident in your abilities, but also open and humble enough to learn. I want to know how you handle conflicts, how big your ego is, and whether or not I can trust you to make good, genuine decisions. I want to know who you are as a person. And most of all, whether or not you’re teachable.

This is the 1 thing nobody puts on their resume–and it doesn’t make any sense to me.

I was recently reading The Road To Character by David Brooks, and in the book he breaks down what it means to separate your ‘achieving self’ from the part of you that holds much deeper values.

He explains that in our society, we all spend a great deal of time nurturing our ‘achieving selves.’ That we prefer to present the part of us that can perform tasks well, climb the ladder and reach some level of success. In the working world, especially, this is the part of ourselves we highlight. Our resumes are filled with concrete skills on which we can place a numerical value.

As Brooks puts it, which perfectly encapsulates my own belief, we do not reveal the most important part of who we are, which is our emotional place of judgment–and whether we are kind, open, genuine (or critical, negative, and egotistical).

The modern day resume doesn’t give an employer any idea as to what sort of person you are.

Which is precisely why, as a founder, I don’t look at them.  … my decision to hire you is always rooted in how I feel when I talk to you, and whether you are someone with a solid core and a good heart–or if you’re someone obsessed with external success and willing to cut moral corners in order to get there.

Skills, in themselves, are not valuable. 

Skills are only valuable when they are used by people who have the emotional competency to use them effectively. A resume is nothing but a list of skills. But what the modern day resume is missing is information on the person behind those skills–who you are, what you believe in, and what drives you forward in life. Those are the things I want to know as a founder. And I’m sure I’m not alone.”


February 5, 2018