How Will You Measure Your Life?

May 28, 2012

By Clayton Christensen   Article

An Unending Stream of Extenuating Circumstances

“This marginal-cost argument applies the same way in choosing right and wrong: it addresses a question I discuss with my students: how to live a life of integrity—and stay out of jail. The marginal cost of doing something “just this once” always seems to be negligible, but the full cost will typically be much higher. Yet unconsciously, we will naturally employ the marginal-cost doctrine in our personal lives. A voice in our head says, “Look, I know that as a general rule, most people shouldn’t do this. But in this particular extenuating circumstance, just this once, it’s okay.” And the voice in our head seems to be right; the price of doing something wrong “just this once” usually appears alluringly low. It suckers you in, and you don’t see where that path is ultimately headed or the full cost that the choice entails. …

100 Percent of the Time Is Easier Than 98 Percent of the Time

Many of us have convinced ourselves that we are able to break our own personal rules “just this once.” In our minds, we can justify these small choices. None of those things, when they first happen, feels like a life-changing decision. The marginal costs are almost always low. But each of those decisions can roll up into a much bigger picture, turning you into the kind of person you never wanted to be. …

If you give in to “just this once,” based on a marginal-cost analysis, you’ll regret where you end up. That’s the lesson I learned: it’s easier to hold to your principles 100 percent of the time than it is to hold to them 98 percent of the time. The boundary—your personal moral line—is powerful because you don’t cross it; if you have justified doing it once, there’s nothing to stop you doing it again.

Decide what you stand for. And then stand for it all the time.”

Leadership Insight

May 28, 2012

By Michael Josephson  Source

“A boss creates fear: a leader confidence. A boss fixes blame; a leader corrects mistakes. A boss knows all; a leader asks questions.” – Russell H. Ewing

Welcome aboard – watch your step!

May 28, 2012

By John Heckers   Article

“There are several things to be aware of with onboarding. Here are a few.

1). Watch your new boss. Regardless of what you’re told in the interviewing phase, the nuances of the corporate culture will not become clear until you’re actually on-board. …

2). Imitate your boss. If your boss is a very hard worker, you should be at least as a hard of a worker. Is the corporate culture strictly hierarchical? Don’t try to go around it. Watch and see what is valued and perform those functions exceedingly well.

3). Don’t take time off. You need to learn your new job. Every day you’re off is two to three days of getting back into the swing of it. Remember, if you take time off in the first six months, your boss might not remember why s/he hired you.

4). Your job is your top priority. If you are newly employed, put your social and personal life on hold and knuckle down to your work. …

5). They don’t know you. You may be a great employee. They don’t know that. So you desperately need to show them. Don’t do things that make you look undedicated, too family oriented or like a slacker. …

6). Quit smoking now! I have talked with many executives and numerous HR people. Many will not hire a smoker, and many, if they find out the person is a smoker, will get rid of him or her ASAP. …

7). Control your alcohol intake. This is especially true at company parties where “one” should be your limit, but it is also true even in the privacy of your own home. And, of course, many companies have a zero-tolerance policy for illegal substances.

8). Be very, very, very careful with emails. One rule of thumb is – if you wonder if you should send it or not – don’t. Stay off the company internet for anything but company business, even if it is technically OK to be on it.”

Why Corporate Ethics Statements Don’t Work

May 28, 2012

By    Article

“Every company of any size introduced an Ethics Statement a decade or more ago. In too many cases, they’re just words buried deep on the company website. …

Most of us in corporate America are so steeped in the “win at any cost” mindset. We’ve grown up in the culture of competing to win, taking no prisoners, and making the bold move, no matter where it sits on the ethical borderline. Many of us have had our knuckles rapped for being insufficiently risk-taking or for holding the line on ethical issues.

The hardest thing I know for a corporate salaryman (or woman) to do is to tell the boss when she or he is wrong. Writing the formal Ethics Statement is the easy part. Listening to employees, calling attention to squirrelly practices, and sounding the alarm when the company is ethically off-kilter are the hard things to do. We should be making those easy and risk-free, not terrifying and career-ending.”

6 Key Attributes of a Winning Corporate Culture

May 28, 2012

By    Article

” 1. You can’t force culture, you can only create environment. Every culture is the culmination of the leadership, values, language, people processes, rules, and other conditions, good or bad, present within the organization. …

2. You are on the outside what you are on the inside. The service you provide for your customers will never be greater than the service you provide to your employees. You can’t force people to treat customers well if they feel ill-used themselves. …

3. Success is doing the right things the right way. By defining your values and behavior by the right actions, you simplify and enable everyone to make the right decisions on the front line. …

4. People do exactly what they are incented to do. Your expressed values will be perceived as hollow and meaningless unless you base compensation and rewards on the behaviors that go along with the values. It takes diligence and courage to hire only people with these values, and fire ones who have lost them.

5. Input = output. … Communicate your values often, and use values-based performance metrics to gauge your results, measure the level of implementation, leadership development, and succession planning.

6. The environment you want can be built on shared, strategic values and financial responsibility. … Values are most critical when making tough decisions, but that is also when they come in handiest to illuminate the way forward.”

“If I were you…”

May 28, 2012

By Seth Godin   Article

“But of course, you’re not.

And this is the most important component of strategic marketing: we’re not our customer.

Empathy isn’t dictated to us by a focus group or a statistical analysis. Empathy is the powerful (and rare) ability to imagine what motivates someone else to act.

When a politician or a pundit vilifies someone for her actions, he’s missed the point, because all he can do is imagine what he would do in that situation, completely avoiding an opportunity to see the world through someone else’s eyes, to try on a new worldview, to attempt to imagine the circumstances that would lead to any action other than the one he would take.

When a teacher can’t see why a student is stuck, or when an interface designer dismisses the 12% of the users who can’t find the ‘off’ switch… we’re seeing a failure of empathy, not a flaw in the user base. …

You don’t have to wear panty hose to be a great brand manager at L’eggs, nor do you need to be unemployed to work on a task force on getting people back to work. What is required, though, is a persistent effort to understand how other people see the world, and to care about it.”

10 Ways to Motivate Anyone

May 21, 2012

By Geil Browning   Article

“… there is no cookie-cutter approach to motivating your people. What inspires one person may leave the next cold. …

1.   Analytical types want to know that a project is valuable, and that their work makes a difference to its success. They need a leader … whose expertise they believe benefits the group. They prefer compensation that is commensurate with their contribution. …

2.   People who are “structural” by nature want to know their work aids the company’s progress. They prefer a leader who is organized, competent, and good with details. … An encouraging email is appropriate to communicate with them.

3.   Social people want to feel personally valued, and that what they are doing has an impact on a project. They go the extra mile for a leader who expresses faith in their abilities. They prefer to be rewarded in person with a gesture that is from the heart. …

4.   Innovative employees must buy into a cause. To them, the big picture matters more than the individual who is leading the charge. They prefer to be rewarded with something unconventional and imaginative, and would find a whimsical token of your esteem very meaningful.

5.   Quiet staffers don’t need a lot of fanfare, but they appreciate private, one-on-one encouragement.

6.   Expressive people feel more motivated when assignments are openly discussed and an open door is available. They like public recognition, with pomp, and ceremony.

7.   Peacekeepers hope everyone will move in the same direction. They’ll never demand a reward or recognition, so it’s up to you to offer it.

8.   Hard-drivers are independent thinkers. If they agree with you, they’ll be highly motivated. They will let you know what they’d like as an extrinsic reward, and they tend to want whatever it is right away.