April 30, 2018

By Matthew Boyle via bloomberg.com  Article

Walmart Whistle-Blower Claims Cheating in Race With Amazon

“Tri Huynh, a former director of business development at Walmart, claims he was terminated ‘under false pretenses’ after repeatedly raising concerns about the company’s’“overly aggressive push to show meteoric growth in its e-commerce business by any means possible — even, illegitimate ones.’ …

Huynh claims Walmart mislabeled products so that some third-party vendors received lower commissions, failed to process customer returns, and allowed offensive items onto the site.

Huynh’s dismissal in January 2017 — just a day after a retail-industry publication singled him out as one of the sector’s rising stars — was in retaliation for warning senior executives about the misdeeds, he said in the lawsuit, filed Thursday by employment litigation attorney David M. deRubertis in San Francisco federal court. …

Huynh, a native of Vietnam, joined Walmart in 2014 from Amazon. He claims he warned his superiors and the company’s ethics department that if ‘Walmart did not properly address these issues, its failure to do so could have serious long-term implications for its critically important e-commerce business.’ He said he was told to stop raising such concerns, and when he eventually brought them to U.S. e-commerce chief Marc Lore in early 2017, he was ‘abruptly terminated’” ..

Huynh sued accusing Walmart of whistle-blower retaliation in violation of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, retaliation in violation of California labor code, failure to prevent discrimination, and wrongful termination. He seeks unspecified damages for lost wages and economic losses, special damages and punitive damages.”


Not sucking as a boss

April 30, 2018

By Marcel Schwantes via flipboard.com  Article

3 Daily Habits That Will Keep You From Sucking as a Boss

“What I have witnessed over the course of nearly fifteen years developing leaders is that the best of them are sincerely more interested in the success of their people than their own.

… ‘ultimately, a Servant Leader wants to help others thrive, and is happy to put their team’s needs before their own. They take the blame and give out the recognition. They care about employees as people all around and they understand that the best results are produced not through top-down delegation but by building people — and their skills — up.’ …


Great leaders support their people by showing an interest in their people’s jobs and career aspirations. They look into the future to create learning and development opportunities. … This is about emotional engagement. … Remember this quote by John C. Maxwell? ‘People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.’ …


Recently, global training giant Development Dimensions International (DDI) conducted an assessment of over 15,000 leaders from more than 300 organizations across 20 industries and 18 countries to determine which conversational skills have the greatest impact on overall performance.

The findings … pointed to empathy as the most critical driver of overall performance. Specifically, the ability to listen and respond with empathy. …


Last year, Chip Bergh, chief executive of Levi Strauss & Co., told The New York Times how he practices leadership transparency. …

I was at Procter & Gamble, which was a promote-from-within company that placed a huge emphasis on the role of the manager to develop their people. In fact, it was part of your performance review. My first hire was super smart, but he really wasn’t performing over time, and I felt pressure to get this guy promoted. I basically carried him and got him promoted. But about four months later, he was gone for performance reasons. The big lesson for me, and it stuck with me forever, is that you’ve got to be really transparent and straight with people, and if they’re not cutting it, you’ve got to tell them where they’re not cutting it. Hold the bar up high, and if it’s not a good fit, call it.


… Let me ask you a look-in-the-mirror question: How well do you know the people that work for you?”

Empowering employees – good idea?

April 30, 2018

By Allan LeeSara Willis , Amy Wei Tian via hbr.org  Article

When Empowering Employees Works, and When It Doesn’t

“Research has regularly demonstrated that when employees feel empowered at work, it is associated with stronger job performance, job satisfaction, and commitment to the organization.

Many leaders today often try to empower their employees by delegating authority and decision-making, sharing information, and asking for their input. But our recent research found that this style of leadership works best in motivating certain types of performance and certain types of employees. “Empowering” leaders should know when they can be most effective.

We conducted a meta-analysis of all available field experiments on leaders empowering subordinates – examining the results of 105 studies, which included data from more than 30,000 employees from 30 countries. Our paper was published in the Journal of Organizational Behavior. We looked at whether an empowering leadership style was linked to improved job performance, and we tested whether this was true of different types of performance, such as routine task performance, organizational citizenship behavior, and creativity. We also tested several mechanisms that might explain how this type of leadership would improve job performance – for example, were these effects caused by increased feelings of empowerment, or by increased trust in one’s leader? Finally, we explored whether leaders who focused on empowering employees influenced employee job performance equally across different national cultures, industries, and levels of employee experience.

Our analysis yielded a few main results: first, empowering leaders are much more effective at influencing employee creativity and citizenship behavior (i.e., behavior that is not formally recognized or rewarded like helping coworkers or attending work functions that aren’t mandatory) than routine task performance. Second, by empowering their employees, these leaders are also more likely to be trusted by their subordinates, compared to leaders who do not empower their employees. Third, leaders who empowered employees were more effective at influencing employee performance in Eastern, compared to Western, cultures, and they had a more positive impact on employees who had less experience working in their organizations.”


Say “no” to your boss

April 30, 2018

By Farnam Street via fs.blog   Article

Understanding Speed and Velocity: Saying “NO” to the Non-Essential

It’s tempting to think that in order to be a valuable team player, you should say ‘yes’ to every request and task that is asked of you. People who say yes to everything have a lot of speed. They’re always doing stuff but never getting anything done. Why? Because they don’t think in terms of velocity. Understanding the difference between speed and velocity will change how you work.

I once worked for someone who offered me the opportunity to work on a new project nearly every day. These projects were not the quick ones, where you spend 15 minutes and crank out a solution. They were crap work. And there were strings: my boss wanted to be informed about everything, and there was no way I’d get credit for anything.

I remember my response: ‘That sounds amazing, but it’s not for me. I’m busy enough.’

Saying no to your boss, especially as often as I did, was thought to be risky to your career. I was the new kid, which is why I was getting all of these shit jobs thrown at me.

The diversity of skill sets needed to accomplish them would have made me look bad (perhaps the subtle point of this initiation). Furthermore, my already heavy workload would have gotten heavier with projects that didn’t move me forward. This was my first introduction to busywork.

My well-intentioned colleagues were surprised. ‘You’re not going to get anywhere with that attitude,’ they’d pull me aside to tell me. The problem was that I wasn’t going to get anywhere by saying yes to a lot of jobs that consumed a lot of time, were not the reason I was hired, and left me no time to develop the craft of programming computers, which is what I wanted to do. …

Velocity and speed are different things. Speed is the distance traveled over time. I can run around in circles with a lot of speed and cover several miles that way, but I’m not getting anywhere. Velocity measures displacement. It’s direction-aware. …

‘People think focus means saying yes to the thing you’ve got to focus on. But that’s not what it means at all. It means saying no to the hundred other good ideas that there are. You have to pick carefully. I’m actually as proud of the things we haven’t done as the things I have done. Innovation is saying ‘no’ to 1,000 things.’

— Steve Jobs”


A $100k lottery for its employees

April 23, 2018

Via thehustle.co 

In lieu of bonuses, United Air created (and canceled) a $100k lottery for its employees

“In an internal memo …, United Airlines announced they were replacing performance-based bonuses with a new, ‘exciting’ lottery system, in which the company’s 80k employees would have the chance to win a handful of prizes.

Now, after a  widespread petition and a barrage of bad press on the internet, United is calling off the whole thing.

What’s wrong with a little lottery action?

United’s current performance incentive program rewards 30k+ of its employees with up to $1.5k in bonuses per year for meeting companywide goals, like on-time departures and on-time arrivals. Last year, the company paid out $87m in such rewards.

The proposed lottery system — which offered prizes ranging from a Mercedes sedan to a one-person $100k payout — would’ve only affected 1,361 employees, and cost the company around $18m.

Only employees with ‘perfect attendance records’ would’ve been eligible for the lottery, excluding those who took sick leave or had emergencies.

When employees call bullsh*t

Hundreds of United employees signed a Change.org petition calling for the reinstatement of bonuses — and the airline was skewered for trying to peddle the lottery as a step up in worker compensation when, in reality, it was a cost-saving measure.

… United President Scott Kirby told workers that the company was ‘pressing the pause button’ on the lottery, and taking time to ‘review feedback.”

In recent years, companies have largely replaced raises with ephemeral reward systems, often at the expense of worker satisfaction. But the internet has given workers a platform to speak out — and employers are forced to listen.”

Deliriously happy to go to work?

April 23, 2018

By Laura Garnett via inc.com  Article

Want to Wake Up Deliriously Happy to Go to Work? Do These 3 Things Now

“How many of us sit at our desks, at a coffee shop, or in an office on autopilot, plugging away at daily tasks that feel less like the stimulating routine we envisioned and more like a daily grind?

For most of us, work equates to just that, work. It’s something we do to pay the bills, to support our families. It’s not something we necessarily need to be happy doing. But I’m here to shift your thinking. Why can’t you be deliriously happy at work? There’s no rule that says you have to settle for anything less than work that inspires you and allows you to truly shine.

Here are three things you can do right now to bring more challenge and fulfillment to your everyday work experience:

  1. Define success for yourself

Success is a very personal thing. What motivates one person can vary drastically for another.  For me, success is spending the majority of my time focused on work or tasks that are fulfilling, leveraging my Zone of Genius, maximizing my potential, and helping others in a meaningful way. Think of what your own version of success is, write it down, and make sure that your job and career is providing the kind of success that’s important to you.

  1. Embrace who you are and pinpoint your genius

Your genius involves the kind of thinking and problem solving that keeps you in your sweet spot of challenge. Ask yourself, “When am I in the zone?” Pay attention to those moments, and identify the type of thinking that you’re doing when you’re in the zone. Isolate what that is and put a name to it; that’s your genius. Next, value it and use it as much as possible. It’s a superpower that you possess, and it’s the key to being challenged in the right way at work

  1. Fully leverage your purpose 

Everyone deserves to feel that their work is contributing to something that’s meaningful to them. When you aren’t clear on your purpose, you start to think you should be doing things to change the world on the weekends or outside of work to make up for the lack of fulfillment you’re experiencing in your day job. Leveraging your purpose at work will allow you to start experiencing fulfillment every day, which plays a significant role in happiness.

At a time when working on cruise control is commonplace, don’t settle for anything less than something that energizes you. Feeling challenged and fulfilled at work isn’t a pipe dream.”


If you can’t lead yourself

April 23, 2018

By Steve Keating via stevekeating.me  Article

First Person Leadership

“If you can’t lead yourself you can’t lead anyone.  Too many people in leadership positions focus all their leadership energies on leading other people. They forget about leading the person most responsible for their success… themselves. The problem with that is it often causes someone to hold the people they lead to a higher standard than themselves. …

What about you? Are you leading yourself with the same standards that you apply to your people?

It’s likely you expect your people to have a positive attitude. Have you checked your attitude lately? Attitudes are contagious and a leader’s attitude is more contagious than most. …

Are you an emotional leader? Emotions are a powerful human force but they are also a twin-edged sword. Too little emotion and leadership dies pretty quickly. Too much emotion and it can die even faster. What kind of emotional model are you for your people? …

Are you modeling enthusiasm? Leaders want their people engaged in and enthusiastic about their work. It’s not often that you find a leader’s people more enthusiastic than the leader. When was the last timed you evaluated your own level of enthusiasm?… You can’t fake enthusiasm but you can make it. Act enthusiastic and you will be enthusiastic!

Can you lead yourself all the way to the finish line? Successful people finish what they start and that applies to leaders as well. … You can’t start projects and leave them unfinished. When you do that you’re modeling unsuccessful behavior for your people. When that’s what you model that’s what you get.

… Your people are a reflection of you. When they aren’t performing look first in the mirror for potential causes and solutions. You can occasionally find that gem of a person who excels past the level of their leader. They find a way to make their own model of success. But generally speaking you as the leader are that model so it’s a good idea to stop occasionally to determine what it is that you’re modeling for your people.

Always remember, before you can effectively lead others you must lead yourself exceptionally well. So… how you doin’?”