Replace yourself

August 27, 2018

By Dan Rockwell via leadershipfreak.blog  Article

Delegation Is The Decision To Replace Yourself

“You’d delegate if you had the time, but it’s easier to do it yourself. Even though your brain says the previous sentence is self-limiting and ridiculous, managers still say it.

Managers know ‘doing it by yourself’ is a short-term strategy, but in high pressure environments all that matters is getting through the day.

5 reasons to develop delegation skills:

  1. You feel like you’re rowing alone.
  2. You work late. Everyone else goes home on time.
  3. You touch every decision.
  4. Your team feels like you don’t trust them.
  5. You’re bombarded with questions. People don’t dare to move forward without your nod of approval on everything they do.

7 reasons you don’t delegate:

  1. Others might outshine you. Insecurity is a bottleneck to delegation.
  2. You’re a control freak who struggles to trust people.
  3. Others aren’t equipped. They haven’t been trained.
  4. Mission and vision are ambiguous. People don’t know where they’re going.
  5. You overestimate your own importance.
  6. You’re protecting people from discomfort and stress. Coddlers end up overworked and underappreciated.
  7. The last time you delegated to someone, it was a fiasco.

Delegating is the decision to replace yourself in specific areas.

Begin with TASKS. Move to AUTHORITY:

Assign specific tasks. See how they perform.

  1. Do they follow through?
  2. When did their energy go up?
  3. How are they interacting with others?
  4. Do they look for more?

After an employee demonstrates competence, initiative, and follow through, delegate authority. The difference between assigning tasks and delegating authority is control. For example…

Sweep the floor is an assign tasked. Keep the room clean is delegated authority.”

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The true purpose

August 27, 2018

By Steve Keating via stevekeating.me  Article

The Only Mission Statement Your Business Needs

“I’m perfectly fine with mission statements filled with flowery words and important sounding messages. I’ve even helped write some and I’ve used them to great effect in sales presentations. They make people feel like their business, and the role they play in it is important… and it probably is.

But if your organization’s mission statement does not include the words ‘we exist to serve our customers’ then it’s missing the true purpose of your business.

It doesn’t matter what business you’re in, your purpose must be to serve your customers. That’s all that matters. That’s ALL that matters. …

No[t] only must it be at the center of your mission statement it MUST be at the center of every customer interaction. When you or anyone in your organization forgets, even for a moment, that the purpose of your business is to serve a customer bad things happen. It’s very likely that your customer will also forget something. It could be your phone number, your address or why they ever did business with you in the first place.

If you’re in business to make money then you must know that the best way to do that is to serve your customers. You can’t buy customer loyalty with a low price. Customer loyalty can only be acquired through highly valued service. Yes, it is possible to make a profit, for a while, without serving your customers. The only way however to make a sustainable profit, over the long haul, is to serve your customers.

Do not spiff up your mission statement with so much ‘stuff’ that your actual mission is hidden from your customers or your employees. The only mission statement your business needs will sound a lot like this: ‘We exist to serve our customers in the manner that they desire.'”


Stocks vs. real estate

August 27, 2018

By  via marketwatch.com  Article

7 reasons stocks are better than real estate

You’ve heard this before: Stocks, over time, outperform real estate. There are many schools of thought on this but one common statistic that gets tossed around shows equities over the past several decades have returned an average upwards of 10% a year, while real estate is in the 4% ballpark. …

Sam Dogen of the Financial Samurai blog, a longtime proponent of the real-estate side of the discussion, recently made a move to unload his rental property and add to his equity holdings … Dogen, who just last month wrote about how ‘real estate will always be more desirable than stocks,’ flipped the script this week and listed several ways, in addition to the lure of better profits, that stocks are the better choice.

1. Much more liquidity

You want out of a stock? Press a button. You want out of real estate? ‘I tried unsuccessfully to sell one property in 2012,’ Dogen wrote. ‘It took a stressful 45 days to finally sell the same property in 2017. With stocks, it’s so nice to be able to simply click a couple buttons and be done.’

2. Lower transaction costs

You can trade stocks for less than $5 a transaction online. Real estate still has those ridiculous commissions as high as 6%. …

3. Less work

Real estate can keep you busy with maintenance, disputes with neighbors, finding tenants, etc. Stocks can be tucked away and left to collect dividends so that ‘you’re able to focus your attention elsewhere such as spending time with family, your business, or traveling the world,’ Dogen said.

4. More diversification

‘Unless you are super rich, you can’t own properties in Honolulu, San Francisco, Rio, Amsterdam and all the other great cities of the world,’ Dogen explained. ‘With stocks you can not only invest in different countries, you can also invest in various sectors.’

5. Ability to invest in products you love

Dogen pointed to this is as one of the ‘fun aspects’ of the stock market. Apple … fan? Buy the stock. Got an appetite for McDonald’s … cheeseburgers? Buy the stock. …

6. Easier to protect your investment in a downturn

When the going gets ugly, you can easily sell or short a stock. But when the bottom falls out of the real-estate market, ‘there will be no reasonable offers as vultures will start swarming,’ Dogen said. …

7. Fewer taxes and fees

Property taxes typically run 0.5% to 2.5% of the value each year. Then there are the costs related to maintenance, insurance, property management, etc. ‘With stocks, you can build a portfolio of ETFs for free on Fidelity,’ Dogen points out. ‘Or you can have a digital wealth adviser build and maintain your investment portfolio for just 0.25% a year.'”


Let go of average performers

August 27, 2018

By Tom Gimbel via flipboard.com/@flipboard/  Article

Why You Need to Let Go of Average Performers

When average and subpar is acceptable, it lowers the output of everyone. You work hard. Your team works hard. You treat people well. People like you. Your company grows. Your worst people ‘cover their cost.’ Stop.

You’re not in business to cover your cost. You’re there to make money. You’re there to grow. You’re there to help your employees grow and develop. Everyone is there to earn more money. Ask your staff, do they want to make more next year, or less? Even the people who are average and just cover their cost want to earn more. If they just cover themselves, do they deserve a raise? Why will you give them one? Because you don’t like confrontation, and you’re afraid to cut a “nice person.” Mistake.

When you have subpar performers, it lowers the work to everyone else. You think your new people aim towards the best person. Not true for everyone. Most people look at their peer group and see what everyone else is doing. Consciously or subconsciously people see the minimum and know they need to beat that. Human nature. The joke of when you and others are being chased, you don’t need to be the fastest, just need to outrun the slowest person. That’s work.

When average and subpar is acceptable, it lowers the output of everyone. They think, if that’s acceptable, I don’t need to crank it out. Everything drops, and you don’t even realize it.

It will be hard to let people go. You will realize they aren’t happy either, and that’s why they aren’t giving it more. You’re being fooled because you think they are nice. Nice people don’t tell you they love it and then not give it their all. …

When that’s all someone is doing, and they aren’t wanting to grow and be better, it’s time to make changes. You owe it to the people who are busting their butt. You owe it to yourself. And, you owe it to your company.”


“Just better” or “just different”

August 20, 2018

By Nailya Ordabayeva via hbr.org  Article

How Liberals And Conservatives Shop Differently

“In our research, conservatives tended to differentiate themselves through products that show that they are better than others – for example, by choosing products from high-status luxury brands. In contrast, liberals tended to differentiate themselves through products that show that they are unique from others – for example, by choosing products with unconventional designs or colors. These distinct preferences emerged across multiple studies in which U.S. participants (university students who completed surveys in the lab, adults who took surveys online, and members of a research panel) indicated their political ideology and made real or hypothetical choices between products.

In one study, participants chose between coffee mugs that would be customized with their names and the message ‘Just Better’ or ‘Just Different.’ Conservatives were 2.2 times more likely than liberals to choose the mug that signaled superiority (‘Just Better’) over the one that signaled uniqueness (‘Just Different’). In another study, participants could win a gift card from one of two brands as a reward for participation — Ralph Lauren, which based on our numerous pretests of consumers’ brand perceptions generally signals superiority, and Urban Outfitters, which based on our pretests generally signals uniqueness. Conservatives tended to prefer Ralph Lauren, whereas liberals tended to prefer Urban Outfitters. …

We hypothesized that these differences in product preferences might emerge because of different beliefs about social hierarchies. Conservatives tend to endorse social hierarchies as reflecting legitimate differences in people’s skills and work ethic. As a result, conservatives view products that signal superiority as legitimate reflections of their favorable individual qualities such as hard work and motivation. On the other hand, liberals tend to oppose hierarchical social structures, believing that everyone works hard and that some people attain high positions in society because of luck or connections. As a result, liberals try to break away from traditional hierarchical structures and to signal their unique identities in alternative, non-conventional ways. …

These findings encourage marketers to think about how they position their products. Brands that emphasize superiority or luxury may be appealing to conservatives, while brands that signal distinctiveness or unusualness may be resonating with liberals. Furthermore, our findings suggest that different products may do better in conservative or liberal regions, or when they are advertised in conservative or liberal media, depending on their product positioning. For example, our analysis of over 130 million searches on Google across conservative and liberal U.S. states showed that searchers’ interest in Ralph Lauren (and in similar superiority-signaling products and concepts) was higher across conservative states, whereas interest in Urban Outfitters (and in similar uniqueness-signaling products and concepts) was higher across liberal states.”


Spectrum of sexual misconduct at work

August 20, 2018

By Kathleen Kelley Reardon via comebacksatwork.com  Article

“Decisions about which category a behavior falls into depend on the situation, tone of delivery and nonverbal behaviors.  This is not a set of cut-and-dried categories. It’s a first-pass blueprint for organizations – a way to start talking about what is and isn’t sexual misconduct. Additional examples can be added, some moved. The point is to get this conversation underway.

Non-offensive:

Common off-the-cuff compliments on such things as hair style and dress. ‘You look nice today;’ ‘I like your haircut,’

‘That’s a nice outfit;’ ‘That’s a good color on you.’

Awkward/Mildly Offensive:

Comments on gender differences such as: ‘You would say that as a woman,’ ‘I suppose it’s a woman’s prerogative to change her mind;’ ‘We can’t speak frankly around you women anymore.’

Offensive (Not necessarily or overtly intentional) 

Holding a woman’s arm while talking

Uninvited hugs

Patronizing/dismissive/exclusionary behavior toward women

Sharing jokes about female blondes, brunettes, red-heads, etc.

Implying or stating women are distracted by family

Seriously Offensive (Intentional lowering of women’s value)

Denigrating comments about women in general

Jokes about a woman’s limited intellect or skills due to her gender

Words like ‘ice queen’ or ‘female mafia’ when referring to women

Comments about about physical attributes used to insult or demean a woman

Evident Sexual Misconduct 

Looking a woman up and down in a sexually suggestive manner

Grabbing, rude patting and unwelcome holding

Unwelcome, unexpected kissing

Ignoring a woman’s expressed disinterest in a personal/intimate relationship and continuing to hassle her

Making or telling crude jokes that demean women

Describing women with such terms as ‘slut’ or ‘frigid’

Trying to demean a woman by implying/claiming she uses her gender to advance career goals

Egregious Sexual Misconduct

Exposing genitals

Physical sexual behavior while a woman is present

Pressing against a woman suggestively

Threatening/implying career damage to a woman who refuses to engage in sex or sexual behavior

Forcing or coercing a woman to have sex”


Guaranteed to increase communication success

August 20, 2018

Via Blog: The Negotiation Edge  Article

3 Guaranteed Ways to Increase Your Communication Success

1. Listen to understand vs Listening to respond

There is a very fine line between listening to understand and listening to respond.  When we listen to respond we are looking for flaws in our counterparts reasoning.  Once we pick a target within what they say then we are waiting to interrupt them, or for them to take a long enough breath where we can interject, to point out the issues with their logic in comparison to ours. We all do this. …

Listening to understand is basically a different spin on active listening. Which essentially means you guide the conversation with responses like labels or carefully worded calibrated questions.  Once you have gotten a true synopsis of what their viewpoint is the next step is basically to paraphrase back to them what their ‘world’ looks like.  Use your gathered information to articulate how they would describe what they see or feel using your skills.

2. Articulate your understanding, stop using “I understand”

… ‘I understand’ is commonly followed by ‘but’, (I understand but listen to what I have to say now….).  First of all we all know when someone says ‘I understand’ to us they have no concept of what our problem or issue really is.  Basically a lazy way for them to get us to stop talking so they can interject with their own reasoning. …

3. Beware of asking “yes” oriented questions

Lastly, stop asking questions where you are trying to get people to say ‘yes’.  When people say ‘yes’ it makes them extremely nervous because they don’t always know exactly what they are letting themselves in for.  … there is a difference between confirmation ‘yeses’ and commitment ‘yeses’, as we know they are not equal and a series of confirmation does not mean or cause commitment.”