What Chains Do You Revere?

August 20, 2012

By Jamie Notter  in Get Me Jamie Notter Blog  Article

“That’s a beautiful quote. And in case you’re wondering, the real application of this quote is not in you feeling superior to all those fools who revere their chains. It’s in figuring out what chains YOU revere.

We often really love the things that hold us back, even if we sometimes don’t realize it or admit it. As much as we like to complain about email and how it keeps us from doing what’s important, we all still spend lots of time checking our email inbox. In many cases, I think we actually like it. We like feeling busy, even if we know it’s taking us backwards.

Much of what we call “management” could probably fall in this category too. Let’s start making it easy on everyone and shed our own chains.”


Where Free Speech Goes to Die: The Workplace

August 20, 2012

By  in Bloomberg Businessweek   Article

“In America you can say pretty much whatever you want, wherever you want to say it. Unless, that is, you’re at work. Simply put, there is no First Amendment right to “free speech” in the workplace—potentially perilous for many employees in a polarized political year with a tight presidential race. …

Bosses and those who work under them are not equal when it comes to free-speech legal claims. Employers have the right to take action against any employee who engages in political speech that company leaders find offensive. With a few narrow exceptions the Constitution and the federal laws derived from it only protect a person’s right to expression from government interference, not from the restrictions a private employer may impose, lawyers say.

Employers are not similarly restricted in expressing their political views or encouraging support for a particular candidate or cause. Not only can employers remind employees of the upcoming election and encourage them to vote, but they can base continued employment on whether a worker agrees to contribute money or time to the boss’s favorite political candidate, so long as there’s no state law prohibiting it. (Eight states and the District of Columbia have laws protecting employees from such mandates.)”

Stretched not Crushed

August 20, 2012

By Dan Rockwell in Leadership Freak Blog   Article

“Every time things start going wrong we look to the leader for solutions. Beware! The pressure to provide solutions crushes leaders. When solutions come from the top, organizations crumble from the bottom. …

Leaders who can’t ask people to do hard things can’t get hard things done. Meaningful contributions require deep commitment and effort. Weak leaders assume others can’t or won’t step up. They rule out before they ask. …

It’s the team:

Carrying the load alone crushes;
carrying the load together stretches.

Shared values are magnetic; they pull people together. Success is always about people before it’s about programs and initiatives. People committed to shared values make deep commitments to each other. Connections sustain and energize when things get hard. Blame separates and defeats.

How do you ask others to do hard things?”

$100 Million Just to Get Our Engineers

August 20, 2012


5 Questions Great Job Candidates Ask

August 13, 2012

From Inc. Blog   Article

“Be honest. Raise your hand if you feel the part of the job interview where you ask the candidate, “Do you have any questions for me?” is almost always a waste of time. Thought so. The problem is most candidates don’t actually care about your answers; they just hope to make themselves look good by asking “smart” questions. To them, what they ask is more important than how you answer. Great candidates ask questions they want answered because they’re evaluating you, your company–and whether they really want to work for you. Here are five questions great candidates ask:

What do you expect me to accomplish in the first 60 to 90 days? …

What are the common attributes of your top performers? …

What are a few things that really drive results for the company? …

What do employees do in their spare time? …

How do you plan to deal with…?

Every business faces a major challenge: technological changes, competitors entering the market, shifting economic trends… there’s rarely a Warren Buffett moat protecting a small business. …

A great candidate doesn’t just want to know what you think; they want to know what you plan to do–and how they will fit into those plans.”

Going Boss-free: Utopia or ‘Lord of the Flies’?

August 13, 2012

Published in Knowledge@Wharton   Article

“Recent articles in the business press have extolled the benefits of work environments where there are no bosses and no titles, where employees decide among themselves which projects to pursue and which people to hire and fire, and where each employee is responsible for deciding his or her own salary, raises and vacation days. … A bossless office “is a very democratic way of thinking about work,” says Wharton management professor Adam Cobb. “Everyone takes part in the decisions, so it’s not being directed from above. …”

Peer Pressure

On the other hand, Cobb says, an office with no boss or manager overseeing the work flow can be disastrous. He cites an academic paper from several years ago that examined the fate of a small company whose owners decided to try and stave off bankruptcy by letting the employees run the company. “Over time, the workers became more oppressed than when the bosses were there,” notes Cobb. “Everyone became a monitor, constantly checking up on their fellow employees, even setting up a board to track what time people came into work and when they left.” …

Thomas Davenport, a senior consultant with Towers Watson and co-author of a book titled, Manager Redefined: The Competitive Advantage in the Middle of Your Organization, says the model of being a boss these days is evolving into what he calls “offstage management.”The idea, he notes, is that “nobody comes to work in the 21st century and says, ‘Please manage me.’ They say, ‘Create an environment where I can be successful.'””

Help everyone learn something from your mistakes, including professionalism under fire

August 13, 2012

By  in Management Excellence by Art Petty Blog   Article

A Mistake is a Horrible Thing to Waste

“6 Suggestions for Dealing with and Benefiting from Your Mistakes:

1. Practice saying the words, “I was wrong.” For some of us, those words don’t flow easily, but they are the most powerful words in your vocabulary when it comes to dealing with your mistake. Anything less will sound like an excuse.

2. No “Buts” Please. Saying, “I was wrong, but,…” is just as bad as making up an excuse. Don’t be tempted to qualify your mistake…it just sounds weak and hurts your credibility.

3. Resist the urge to point your finger. If it happened on your watch or on your team, it’s your fault. Stories of bosses pointing fingers at others for their mistakes (and at themselves for the success of others) are legendary. …

4. Share where you went wrong. If your gaffe was an interpersonal one, admit to the other party that you recognize what you did wrong. … If the mistake was related to a decision, assess where you might have gone wrong and share the mistake. “ … This is powerful credibility building juice and a teaching moment for everyone involved.

5. Apologize. The fine art of the workplace apology is often ignored in the workplace. Instead of a sign of weakness, it’s a sign of character and strength. 

6. Keep a journal and review it to support your own improvement. I’m a huge fan of maintaining a decision and issue log and noting how my decisions work-out over time. Log the results and take a few minutes to jot down what you learned. Review the journal frequently.

The Bottom-Line for Now:

Rather than dwell on or attempt to hide your mistakes, confront them head-on, help everyone learn something, including professionalism under fire and move on!”