Are you a Manager or a Leader?
What distinguishes a leader from a manager? When asked, many wax poetic about passion, and charisma, and vision. But how can you tell the difference in a more empirical way?
Culture Chicken or Egg?
Do organizations bend and shape their cultures to match their target market? Or does the target market tend to favor organizations with cultures that match?
Not Always Right
Working around truly smart people, real geniuses, can be invigorating. But we often defer to them too easily. Are smart people really right more often? Do they really get more hits, or do they just take more swings at the ball?
As your career progresses up in an organization the most overt change is the expansion of scope. Scope in time, and scope in organizational perspective. What you gain with more scope is an invaluable asset: context. And the most important thing you can do as a leader is to share that context.
One Small Step
Common wisdom is that the first promotion from individual contributor to leader is the hardest. But it’s the second promotion that is the true turning point in a leadership career.
WFH Killer App
The next killer app is the one that figures out how to effectively replicate the brainstorming / bulls**ting / hallway moment session virtually.
The Gruntled Manager
There are a lot of “disgruntled” people around lately. But it’s not clear it’s all their fault.
Where’s Your Admin Now?
Whatever you do, if you’re going to learn one piece of technology, learn how to video conference. It will be how you lead. Now, and probably into the future.
Loyal to a Fault
Loyalty gets a bad rap. Rightfully so. Misplaced loyalty is too common. The best loyalty is that which is placed in a cause, in an institution.
Hire the Fisherman
There are a lot of ways to recruit people, and some of them are far better than others.
Ever wonder why so many people get paid on the 15th and last day of the month? Here’s the whole story.
In Praise of the Tiny Inbox
Wired just ran an article entitled “Everything You Thought You Knew About Inbox Zero Is Wrong”. In it, Merlin Mann who claims to have invented the idea of “Inbox Zero” recants essentially everything. He basically says “never mind”. Merlin was right. And is now wrong.
Slave to Success
There’s a great deal of noise going around on Twitter right now about how you have to work 80 hours a week to be a success. It’s wrong.
Lack of Coordination
I was reading a post on a forum from someone asking if they should take a job as an “HR Operations Coordinator”. I almost threw up in my mouth. Not because HR is terrible, quite the contrary. I have the utmost respect and admiration for people who make other people’s […]
The flop sweat caught me off guard. Driving to a doctor’s appointment, I was running just a couple minutes late. Yet I was filled with panic and driving like a jerk, darting from lane to lane and cursing people for driving too slowly. This for an appointment I was paying […]
We are on a delightful vacation in Hawaii and there is a corporate retreat also taking place at the hotel. It has all the trappings of the typical boondoggle, with employees and their spouses being plied with ample food and drink. I’ve seen dozens of these, even been on a […]
In a recent interview, Hillary Clinton said that Bill didn’t need to resign because of the extramarital high jinx he had with Monica Lewinsky. That Monica was an adult at the time and made her own decision. Whether you’re “I’m with Her” or “Lock Her Up” on the Hillary scale, […]
There is a quote that is widely mis-attributed to Albert Einstein. Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different result. While the origins of the quote are uncertain, the sentiment is clear: if you repeat the same actions, you’ll get the same results. Anyone with […]
The Why Matters
When working with Brainpower workers, companies are finding out that the “why” matters. I noted it in the foundational explanation of The Brainpower Age, and more companies are feeling the effect. Today’s New York Times writes about tech workers who want to know “What are we building this for?” Employees […]
Where Have All The Scruples Gone?
On the way to the gym this morning I heard a radio ad that I’ve heard several times before. It’s from the International Star Registry. It’s a mind-boggling scam. These people offer the chance to “name a star”, and tout it as a “great gift” — “a gift that will […]
A Real Resolution
People often make New Year’s Resolutions — personal goals to remake themselves. Most often these involve quitting smoking (as I did 30+ years ago) or losing weight (as I need to) or other self-improvement goals. But they almost never involve their work life. I’m here to beseech you otherwise. This […]
Never Expect Change, You Won’t Be Disappointed
It’s an ancient theme of comedians, as old as comedy itself. It goes something like: A woman marries a man expecting he will change, but he doesn’t. A man marries a woman expecting that she won’t change, and she does. It’s told many different ways, but the essence is that […]
Greed by Any Other Name
There is a great article in the Wall Street Journal today [Note: I believe this link is subscription-only]. The title of the article says it all: “When $70 Million is Not Enough”. It is about how a star at Goldman Sachs, aptly named Mark McGoldrick (nicknamed “Goldfinger”), quit because he […]
Visions of a License
I talk a great deal about visions. About how they should drive organizations, about what they should contain, and about the importance they have on the effectiveness of teams. I see many cases of strong, clear, focussed visions leading to great success. And I see the opposite. I see organizations […]