Just a boss

January 30, 2017

By Steve Keating via stevekeating.me   Article

Leading by Example

“Somewhere around 15 years ago I met a person who ran a small business who was really into … ‘remote monitoring.’ … having cameras set up around your business so you could see what was happening … This guy could sit at his computer at home and keep an eye on his employees without them even knowing about it. …

I was … thinking two things; first I was thinking how happy I was not to be working there. (I didn’t tell him that thought) What I did share with him was that it was probably only fair that he would be watching his people that closely since they watched him that closely too.

He was a little taken back by that and asked why his people would be watching him, after all he was the boss.

I said that was exactly why they were watching him. They needed to watch him to determine if he could be trusted. They wanted to see for themselves if his words matched his actions. They wanted to see if he saw them as mere employees or if he really understood that they were people.

They also wanted to see how they should behave. They wanted to know what was appropriate to say and what behavior would lead to success.

What this ‘boss’ didn’t understand what that he was their model. His people were going to do what he did about a thousand times faster than they were going to do what he said to do.

If his actions matched his words then he could be trusted. If not then they knew he was just a boss and not a true leader.

This boss expected his people to trust him when he had no trust in them at all. He modeled an untrustworthy behavior and he likely received untrustworthy behavior in return. …

As someone in a leadership position you should be modeling the kind of attitude that you want your people to have. You should be modeling the type of language you want them to use. You should be modeling the appearance that you want them to have.

You are leading by example. Always! You are leading by example in everything you say and do.”

This one phrase changed my life

January 30, 2017

By Tobi Atkins via pickthebrain.com   Article

“There is an old zen saying

‘The way a person does one thing is the way they do everything’. 

I first heard this phrase from a mentor of mine a few years ago and it made me rethink my whole approach to the way I was living my life.

I used to be a someone who would cut corners on what I thought were small things. For example, I would make my bed but I wouldn’t tuck the sheets all the way in. I would clean the house but not pull the lounge out and vacuum under.

I would complete a task to 80% of my ability and then stop when I thought it was good enough. What I couldn’t see at the time was; by cutting corners on the small things and not doing them to the best of my ability, I had developed a habit of laziness and mediocrity.

Over time this habit had crept into the more important areas of my life. I found myself wanting to cut corners on work projects and wanting to stop when a piece of art I was working on was “good enough” but not perfect.

I had accepted mediocrity as an option in my life and that’s exactly what I ended up with. If you have accepted mediocre in one area of your life, you have accepted mediocre. Full stop. The cure for this is to not allow mediocre to be an option in your life. If you don’t accept it, it’s impossible to end up with it.

The world we live in today is a competitive place. There is no room anymore for average. The bar has been raised and people expect excellence. Excellent products, excellent service and excellent work. The people who don’t provide excellence get 2nd place.

The fastest way to become successful is to commit to excellence in everything you do. When you commit to doing every task to the best of your ability, from the household chores all the way to the big things like your work tasks, you develop a habit of excellence. Once I developed a habit of excellence, success in my life soon followed. …

‘Success is peace of mind, which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you did your best to become the best you are capable of becoming.’ – John Wooden

‘Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it.’ Maya Angelou

… Start paying attention to the way you do the small things in your life. You may surprise yourself at just how much more you are capable of.”

Tastes like cardboard

January 30, 2017

By Bill Taylor via hbr.org   Article

How Domino’s Pizza Reinvented Itself

“You don’t have to be a programmer in Silicon Valley or a gene splicer in biotech to unleash exciting innovations and create huge value. Instead, you can rethink what it means to be in the retail-banking business, or the industrial-distribution business, or the office-cleaning business. Yet little did I know that some of the most extraordinary innovations I’ve seen would take place in the pizza business. …

[2010: Domino’s] …  growth was slow and its stock price was stuck, a lame $8.76 per share. Today, Domino’s is the second-largest pizza chain in the world, with more than 12,500 locations in more than 80 countries, and a share price approaching $160. …

How have Doyle and his colleagues unleashed so much change in such a short period of time? First, by reminding themselves of the business they’re in. Domino’s is not just in the pizza-making business, the CEO emphasizes, but in the pizza-delivery business, which means it has to be in the technology business. ‘We are as much a tech company as we are a pizza company,’ he told the audience, pointing out that of the 800 people working at headquarters, fully 400 work in software and analytics. …

… the pizza mattered too—and the pizza was bad. Soon after he took over, the company launched an ad campaign that has become legendary for its boldness, sharing comments from focus groups about what people thought of the product: ‘worst pizza I ever had’; ‘the sauce tastes like ketchup’; ‘the crust tastes like cardboard.’ Doyle appeared in the ads, accepted the withering criticism, and promised to ‘work days, nights, and weekends’ to get better.

… He also worked with crowd-sourced auto designers to create a Domino’s delivery car, the DXP, a colorful, cool-looking, modified Chevrolet Spark (an article called it a “cheese lover’s Batmobile”) with just one seat, and a warming oven with room for 80 pizzas.

‘Transportation is a core part of the business,’ Doyle explained, so it makes sense for Domino’s to create a ‘purpose-built pizza-delivery vehicle.’ (The company is also experimenting with robotic delivery, and delivery by drones.) …

… Doyle’s most important lessons are about the mindset required for organizations to do big things in tough fields. Two of the great ills of executive life are what he calls, borrowing from behavioral economics, ‘omission bias’ and ‘loss aversion.’ Omission bias is the tendency to worry more about doing something than not doing something, because everyone sees the results of a move gone bad, and few see the costs of moves not made. Loss aversion describes the tendency to play not to lose rather than play to win. ‘The pain of loss is double the pleasure of winning,’ he argues, so the natural inclination is to be cautious, even in situations that demand creativity.

Leaders who want to shake things up have to be comfortable with the idea that ‘failure is an option,’ Doyle concludes. In a world of hyper-competition and nonstop disruption, playing it safe is the riskiest course of all. That’s a recipe for reinvention that makes for good pizza and big change.”

Greatest threat

January 30, 2017

By Steve Keating via stevekeating.me   Article

Your Greatest Business Threat

“It’s a threat so severe that in many cases it threatens the very existence of their business. The threat they miss comes from the rapidly changing demographics of the workforce. Roughly 10,000 Baby Boomers reach retirement age every single day. … They are replaced by far far fewer Millennials. That’s the textbook definition of a problem. A very serious problem. …

The Millennials who replace boomers will have far less experience and know-how, and will need considerable training to get up-to-speed. This will lead to significant gaps in areas such as engineering, utilities, manufacturing, education, healthcare, and many many more professions. The majority of the less desirable manual labor jobs, even skilled positions like mechanics and service technicians will become increasing challenging, if not impossible, to fill.

Just as important for leaders is the need for awareness as to just how differently Millennials will behave. Millennials significantly differ from Boomers in a number of ways: They want, actually need, more feedback and attention, and prefer the instant gratification of texting to the slower response of email; they prefer casual attire so they can just be themselves at work; they want tons more flexibility with scheduling and work location; they value the importance of their work over pay and benefits; and they want to be involved in strategy and not just told what to do. (It’s important to keep in mind when discussing generational differences that we’re discussing ‘generalities,’ it’s just as unfair to ‘pigeonhole’ the Millennial generation as any other)

None of this makes Millennials harder to work with or more challenging to lead, it just means a shift in leadership thinking. …

The threat posed by the changing demographics is so severe that your next threat assessment (or whatever you want to call it) needs to be focused almost exclusively on the internal workings of your organization. Conduct a demographic risk-analysis of your team. What knowledge and skills are likely to leave your organization in the next five years and how will you replace it. … If it’s determined that they will and those strengths are held by a Boomer then you have identified a threat. …

I fully understand the difference between a real threat and an irrational apocalyptic kind of threat. This threat is the real kind, VERY very real; the numbers just don’t lie. If you disagree then I wish you luck cause you’re going to need it.”


Most vs. enough

January 23, 2017

By Seth Godin via sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/  Article

Seth Godin

Most vs. Enough

“It’s easy to be confused about the difference.

“Most” as in the best, the fastest, the cheapest.

“Enough” as in good enough. And that means just what it sounds like.

If you run an ambulance company, you need to be the fastest at response. (The ‘most quick’). Anything else is a reason for potential users to switch.

On the other hand, if you’re delivering flowers, ‘fast enough’ is plenty fast.

Everyone competes on something. That thing you compete on is your most. The other things you do, those need to be enough.

The two mistakes organizations and freelancers make:

  1. They try for ‘most’ at things where ‘enough’ is just fine, and they waste their effort.
  2. They settle for ‘enough’ when the market is looking for the one with the ‘most’.

The only way to maximize your most is to be really clear where your enough is.”

Bounce them out in 10 minutes or less

January 23, 2017

By Michael Graber via innovationexcellence.com   Article

The Why of What You Do

“So, you want a job? We’ve been on a hiring frenzy at the Studio. Sadly, the drudgery of the interview process has wasted too much time and energy. More than 90-percent of the time we end up playing a role that seems more like a professional coach, friend, or therapist, trying to help the candidate figure out their core strengths and where they may potentially make a good fit in our culture. Then, we stop being so nice, realizing, this is their job, their ticket to the meeting.

Enough! Now, we are courteous, but bounce them out in 10 minutes or less unless they have done the work to prepare. We hear there is a talent shortage, but what we see is lots of people who don’t care enough to research the company with whom they are interviewing and who do not know themselves—and many are in their 30s, 40s, 50s.

At a minimum, if you are interviewing for a position know what the company does, research and read their thought pieces and propaganda, look up their leaders on LinkedIn, and be able to speak to how your experience and proclivities can help them meet their targets sooner. …

Finally, be able to speak to your driving passions, the why of what you do. As the great poet Ezra Pound stated: ‘only emotion endures.’ This wisdom is truer in an interview setting than any other. If you have the hard skills and experience, but not the manner, the social graces, soft skills, and awareness of others to establish a genuine rapport, then you will not be able to grow professionally into a managerial or leadership role. Speak to your core drives and tie them to the interest of the organization where you seek to be a vital force.

In summary, before going on a job interview, know your audience, know yourself, and make it matter.”

Big government :-)

January 23, 2017