Best management advice you ever received?

July 31, 2017

By Alan Murray via Fortune CEO Daily <> June 9, 2017

“I’ve been sharing bits from our new poll of Fortune 500 CEOs, which was done to accompany the new Fortune 500 list. Among the questions we asked the chiefs was: ‘What’s the best management advice you ever received?’ The result was an outpouring of pithy pointers. A selection follows:

‘Out-dream, outthink, outwork’

‘Focus on your team’

‘Speak less—listen more’

‘Highs are never as high as they seem; lows are never as low as they seem’

‘Always start with the consumer’

‘Never assume competence’

‘Think 10X not 10%’

‘Think like an owner’

‘The CEO sets the level of the bar, everyone else adapts to it’

‘Don’t believe the news clippings’

‘Balance confidence with humility’

‘It is better to be effective than right’

‘Surround yourself with people more capable than you’

‘Don’t believe your own BS’

‘Be yourself’

‘Be vulnerable’

‘Stay focused’

‘Do what’s right'”

I ordered a large cone

July 31, 2017

By Ken Fite via   Article

Stand out in a fast food world

“I ordered a large cone. A little sweet treat for getting through another long week. I practically drooled on myself as I approached the window to happily hand over my hard-earned $1.70. But when I got to the next window to pick up my order, the reality of a fast food world sunk in. ‘We’re out of cones,’ the lady said in a matter-of-fact-couldn’t-care-less tone. ‘Want a cup?’

I thought about it. Looked in the rear-view mirror at the line behind me. Thought about the money I already shelled out. Thought about the hassle of asking for a refund on a buck seventy. Becoming impatient, the woman raised her eyebrows and lowered her head, nudging me for a response. ‘Sure,’ I finally replied and watched the lady disappear and come back sixty seconds later.

She outstretched her hand and presented a tiny cup with an almost nonexistent amount of ice cream inside. I took it, pulled up as the car behind me took my place at the window, and I realized that the lady hadn’t given me a spoon. So I threw the cup into the trashcan next to me and left.

They could have offered me my money back. They could have given me a jumbo cup, overflowing with more ice creamy goodness than I could have handled. They could have just said ‘I’m sorry.’ But they didn’t. I was a number. An inconvenient problem to solve with a convenient, not-so-thoughtful solution. It’s pretty simple, really. All they had to do was care.

What’s sad is that not caring is the norm now and not just in fast food restaurants. It’s everywhere. And if I’m honest with you, I fall into that trap often myself. We all do. Shortcuts are easy to take.

At some point today, you’ll get a chance to not deliver on something that you promised somebody. You’ll be tempted to brush it off. You’ll see an easy way out and will feel like taking it. Don’t. Deliver. Give more than you think you need to. Do more than you feel like doing. You don’t need to do a million different things to make a difference in this world. We just need to do one thing: care.”

The hardest arithmetic

July 31, 2017

“The hardest arithmetic to master is that which enables us to count our blessings.”  – Eric Hoffer


Why leaders fail in one sentence

July 31, 2017

By Marcel Schwantes via   Article

Why Do Leaders Fail at Their Jobs, Exactly? Here’s the Entire Reason, Summed Up in 1 Sentence

“I’m going to put everything on the line here. If you were to ask these ten of the world’s most successful leaders about their roles as CEOs of their respective companies, I would wager that every single one of them would tell you that a leader’s ultimate role (including their own) is to lift up their employees and help them to reach their fullest potential so they can thrive in the workplace. Anyone want to take me up on that?

And the reason they do it is two-fold: 1) They KNOW this way of leading has immense competitive advantage; 2) They CARE about their employees, so they choose to serve them well because when you do, research says they’ll be engaged and do great work — the whole company succeeds.

The Reason Leaders Fail, in 1 Sentence

Robert K. Greenleaf, a world-renowned thought-leader and the founder of the modern servant leadership movement, wrote these famous words in his legendary essay ‘The Servant as Leader,’ published in 1970. This, in essence, sums up the entire reason why leaders fail, if they don’t heed the following advice by Greenleaf:

The servant-leader is servant first. It begins with the natural feeling that one wants to serve, to serve first. Then conscious choice brings one to aspire to lead.

When you fail to serve, you fail to lead. … whatever your status or rank, serving first as a leader is for the other person’s benefit. You selflessly focus attention away from yourself and put the spotlight on others — the people doing the work. … The challenge for most leaders today is to set aside ‘self’ and focus on others to help them reach remarkable results.”

Doers and dreamers

July 24, 2017

By Dan Rockwell via   Article

How Doers And Dreamers Drive Each Other Crazy

“Doers and Dreamers face resistance, obstacles, and failure differently. Doers push through. Dreamers adapt quickly. The first inclination of a Doer is to buckle down and make the current plan work. Doers change reluctantly. The first inclination of a Dreamer is to suggest alternatives. ‘Why don’t we try…?’ Or, ‘Oh boy! We could…!’ Change is like Christmas morning to Dreamers. ‘What’s next?’

Let the craziness begin:

Dreamers love to shake things up. Doers love to nail things down. Doers don’t want five new alternatives. They want to figure out how to make the current plan work. Dreamers are like lawn chairs in a hurricane. Dreamers stress out Doers when they offer suggestion after suggestion. Organizations led by dreamers struggle to keep up with all the changes. Doers want to settle down and create stability. Dreamers create chaos. Doers go stagnant.

Maximize the difference:

Doers create stability. You’re a train wreck without them. Lean toward the Doer orientation when you’ve started too many things and finished too few.  When Doers are frustrated, don’t offer five new alternatives.

Ask Doers:

  1. ‘What isn’t working?’ Doers are great at being judgmental.
  2. ‘What needs to stop?’ Doers hate waste.
  3. ‘What’s making this work?’ Doers love a smooth running machine.

Focus your Dreamers. Ask, ‘What would make the current plan work?’ If you don’t rein them in, Dreamers are off to the races. Narrow their attention to one thing.

Lean toward Dreamers when you need options. Lean toward Doers when making decisions.”


What sort of quality are we seeking here?

July 24, 2017

By Seth Godin via   Article

Thinking clearly about quality

“There are at least three ways we use the word ‘quality’ at work:

Quality as defined by Deming and Crosby: Meeting spec.

If you can reliably, and without drama, deliver precisely what you have promised, this is quality. This is what happens when a car, regardless of price, has doors that don’t squeak. Or when a website doesn’t go down. Or when your dry cleaning is ready on the day it’s promised, and your clothes are clean.

When six sigma professionals talk about quality, this is what they mean. Meeting spec.

Quality as defined by Ralph Lauren or Tiffany: The quality of deluxeness.

This is when the clarity of the diamond or the nap of the leather or the speed of the jet is something that most others can’t match. This is not just, ‘you get what you pay for,’ but also, ‘you paid a lot.’

And finally, there’s the quality of right effort, of ‘I did my best,’ of the sweat and vulnerability that happens when a human has given it her all.

That TV show or that software that you love: what do you love about it? What about the calculus you put into shopping for a car or a school for your kids?

A $100 million-dollar movie might have more spectacular special effects or be more carefully edited, but it might not have the quality that you find in an indie film.

When you’re doing your work, when you’re creating an offering, there’s no more important question to answer than, ‘what sort of quality are we seeking here?'”

The most successful leaders

July 24, 2017

By Scott Mautz via   Article

This 10-Year CEO Study Reveals a Key Behavior of the Most Successful Leaders 

“Exhibiting this one behavior makes you an astonishing twelve times more likely to be a high-performing CEO. … as detailed in the most recent Harvard Business Review:

We discovered high-performing CEO’s do not stand out for making great decisions all the time; rather, they stand out for being more decisive. They make decisions earlier, faster, and with greater conviction. They do so consistently, even amid ambiguity, with incomplete information, and in unfamiliar domains.

… Here’s how to be more decisive.

1. METER YOUR EMOTIONS. Emotions can get in the way of making a decision, causing us to gloss over facts right in front of us or creating a desperate search for information to support the decision we really want to make. …

2. STEP BACK AND EVALUATE THE TRUE IMPACT OF A WRONG DECISION. … ‘What’s the worst thing that could happen in the long run if this decision turns out to be wrong?’ Odds are, consequences aren’t that dire after all. …

3. CONSIDER THE RISKS/COSTS OF NOT DOING SOMETHING. No decision might mean budgets run over, competitors move first and end up eating your lunch …

4. ACT WITH SELF-ASSURANCE. … Ever watch someone visibly riddled with self-doubt arrive at a decision? Most of the time these are the decisions that won’t stick.

5. REDISCOVER THE PLOT. … Revisiting the objective can quickly illuminate the path forward, or what seemed like a huge call to be made might reorient itself and shrink vastly in size.

6. DON’T VACILLATE IN A VACUUM; STEP BACK AND SEEK ADVICE. Indecision can arise from the constant rehashing of the same set of data, input, or experiences. …

7. SET TIME-BOUND PARAMETERS FOR MAKING THE CALL. … Concrete, time-bound parameters (with some teeth to them) can force the perfectionist or the want-it-all to let go a bit, thus enabling a much-needed decision.

8. SHARP DISCUSSIONS NET SHARP DECISIONS. … run a disciplined and pointed meeting that drives toward a decision by asking the right questions, controlling the discussion flow, reining others in when necessary, and expanding discussion where appropriate to get all the information, options, and points of view out on the table.”