3 Questions to Test Your Trust
“Trust is not spoken, it is demonstrated. Trust cannot be requested, it must be earned.
Trust is the wheel that makes relationships go ’round. Losing trust is not just like getting a flat tire. Actually, it’s like losing the whole wheel! So, you need to earn and nurture your team’s trust every day. Your team will respond positively because a trusting team:
- Is more open to change
- Delivers better service
- Focuses on finding win-win solutions
- Has lower turnover
- Shares unfiltered information to help the team be successful
- Quickly forgives their leader if he/she makes a mistake.
Trust is also complex. There are complete books dedicated to trust that do not even address all of its facets. So, let’s boil it down to this simple Trust Test:
- Do you serve your team’s best interests?
(Not your own interests)
- Do you communicate all the information they need to be successful?
(Don’t make assumptions about what you think t’hey can handle’. Leaders who underestimate the intelligence of their teams generally overestimate their own.)
- Do you keep your commitments?
(Leaders must watch their words because even a casual comment can be interpreted as a commitment.)”
Agility Is The Key To Survival In Good Times And Bad
- “Stamp out organizational inflexibility. Bureaucracy can appear quickly in startups as well as large companies. The real problem is inflexible people. Every organization must constantly review its hiring practices, training, and leadership to make sure the focus is on people who are motivated, open-minded, and empowered.
- Continually watch for new opportunities. Don’t wait for your competitors to uncover new markets that you wish you had jumped into early. An agile business doesn’t wait for their current product line to fail, before planning some enhancements. The days of the “cash cow” are gone. Make sure you have a process in place to find your next big thing.
- Rotate team members into new roles. If a key person in your organization has never changed roles, that person is likely limiting their personal growth, as well as the growth of your business. Maybe it’s time to find the real strength of your team by giving top performers additional new responsibilities, and rotating the lower performers out.
- Define a continuous innovation culture. Innovation doesn’t happen without active leadership, a mindset of commitment from the team, and a defined process. Discipline is required to continually track results, return on investment, and customer satisfaction. Let your continuous innovation become your sustainable competitive advantage.
- Foster a performance culture, and avoid analysis paralysis. A strategy of speedy execution is required. If you organization routinely thinks in terms of months or years to make any change, it’s falling behind and probably already obsolete. Don’t wait for expensive outside consultants to tell you it’s time to change, or make it happen.
- Practice small change experiments often. The “big bang” theory of change, where innovations only come through huge and expensive new projects, with big rollouts, is a thing of the past. New innovations should be seen as experiments, which are inexpensive, measurable, quick to fail, and without retribution if they don’t work.”
The 5 Most Common Negotiating Mistakes
“Negotiating can be uncomfortable: standing up for yourself, asking for what you want, and trying to get a better price, terms, and condition often feels confrontational–and most of us avoid confrontation.
‘You have to go out and learn to negotiate–it’s not a natural skill,’ says Eldonna Lewis-Fernandez, author of Think Like a Negotiator. ‘It’s like playing baseball; you have to do it to get good at it.’ …
The best place to practice negotiating skills is at a yard sale where the stakes are low, says Lewis-Fernandez. ‘It’s a great place for training,’ she says. ‘Nobody expects to get what they ask for things; they expect negotiation. Drill your skills by turning a purchase into a game.’
For example, if someone is asking $6 for a teapot and $6 for a tray, ask if you can have both items for $10. Multiple purchases will often increase your negotiating leverage. Or have the other person start the price-lowering process by asking if the price marked is the lowest they’ll go. Sometimes they’ll suggest a price that’s less than what you would have offered.
Once you become comfortable with asking, take your skills to larger arenas–anything from calling your phone carrier and asking for a lower rate to settling a multi-million-dollar contract. The most effective deals are a win-win proposition for all parties rather than a winner-loser result, says Lewis-Fernandez.
In the beginning, Lewis-Fernandez says inexperienced negotiators will have missteps. She shares the five most common mistakes that are made during negotiations and how you can avoid them: …”
Microsoft lays off 12,500 employees via the worst email ever
“Talk about burying the lead.
In a rambling, 1,100-word memo, Microsoft’s Executive Vice President of Devices & Services Stephen Elop announced that 12,500 of his employees would be laid off. Or at least, we’re pretty sure that’s what he says — the absurdly long email is riddled with corporate jargon and takes 11 paragraphs to get to the point, as Kevin Roose at New York points out. The move is part of a larger round of 18,000 layoffs announced today, but Elop’s division was hardest hit.
Elop’s epistle (which, oddly, begins with a casual introduction of “Hello there”) is a master class in how to use business speak to utterly confuse everyone. Amid mentions of “appropriate financial envelopes,” “local market dynamics,” and “right-siz[ing] manufacturing operations,” are fun and easy-to-understand paragraphs like this one:
As part of the effort, we plan to select the appropriate business model approach for our sales markets while continuing to offer our products in all markets with a strong focus on maintaining business continuity. We will determine each market approach based on local market dynamics, our ability to profitably deliver local variants, current Lumia momentum and the strategic importance of the market to Microsoft. This will all be balanced with our overall capability to invest. [Microsoft]
I’d guess that employees who had to wade through all this would have preferred The Donald’s signature directness.”
Project management for work that matters
- “Resist the ad hoc. Announce that this is a project, and that it matters enough to be treated as one.
- The project needs a leader, a person who takes responsibility as opposed to waiting for it to be given.
- Write it down. All of it. Everything that people expect, everything that people promise.
- Send a note confirming that you wrote it down, specifically what you heard, what it will cost and when they will have it or when they promised it.
- Show your work. Show us your estimates and your procedures and most of all, the work you’re going to share with the public before you ship it.
- Keep a log, a notebook, a history of what you’ve done and how. You’ll need it for the next project.
- Source control matters. Don’t change things while people are reviewing them, because then we both have to do it twice.
- Slack is your friend. Slack is cheaper, faster and more satisfying than wishful thinking. Your project will never go as well as you expect, and might take longer than you fear.
- Identify and obsess about the critical path. If the longest part of the project takes less time than you planned, the entire project will take less time than you planned.
- Wrap it up. When you’re done, take the time to identify what worked and what didn’t, and help the entire team get stronger for next time.”
The 5 Saddest Words You Can Say
“I walk offstage after speaking to 4,500 people. A sound tech shakes his head. ‘I could never do that,’ he says.
‘Sure, you could,’ I think. It’s hard, but not that hard. First you struggle because you haven’t figured out what you want to say doesn’t matter–all that matters is what your audience will benefit from hearing. Then you work and revise and find your hook and your story. And you practice. And what’s to be afraid of? That you’ll fail? Sometimes we bomb when we speak to one person; the only difference is the degree.
In time, speaking is relatively easy–and if it’s relatively easy for someone as shy and insecure as I am, it can be fairly easy for anyone. You just have to be willing to try. …
Life throws up enough barriers. Genetics. Education. Intelligence. Athletic ability. The list of reasons we can’t do certain things is endless. No matter how hard I work I’ll never be as talented as LeBron James. Or Usain Bolt. Or Maria Sharapova. Or Stephen King or Stephen Hawking or Stephen Colbert.
They’re all bigger, stronger, faster, smarter, more creative, or much, much funnier. Those are barriers I could forever work to overcome but likely never surmount. I can go far…but probably not that far. (If you haven’t gotten the point yet, I am definitely nothing special. If I can do interesting or challenging things–imagine what you can do.)
But then there are the hundreds of barriers we construct all on our own without any justification. We don’t know we can’t; we just decide we can’t. So we decide we shouldn’t.
We decide whatever we might want to do is too hard, too challenging, or too scary for a person like us.
And that’s why five of the saddest words you can say are, ‘I could never do that.'”