Working with Bill Gates
Bill Gates With the announcement today that he’s going to step aside, a load of my Bill Gates memories have flooded back for me. Forgive me while I share those with you. I’m a fortunate man; I’m among a very small group of people who’ve had the priviledge of working […]
Can titles be compensation?
Dilbert It’s a classic Dilbert cartoon: in lieu of a raise, I’m going to promote you to “senior whatever”. Not only does it happen (or it wouldn’t be so funny), but it’s commonplace. But the question is: is it wrong? Well, if you listen to the CFO, no it’s not […]
Bush on Leadership
Today, George W. Bush, ended his press conference (after the surprise drop-in on Baghdad yesterday) by waxing on leadership: I understand leadership. Leadership requires determination, you gotta be determined to do something in order to be able to lead particularly in difficult circumstances. You gotta have will, you gotta have […]
Recruiting’s “Big Billers”
Who is your recruiter working for? As I often say, symbols are everything. And is there a bigger symbol than money? If you want a symbol for the big business of recruiting, look no further than XtremeRectruiting‘s web site. Xtreme Recruiting You are looking to hire an executive for your […]
Exec Options Backdated? I’m Shocked!
Numerous news reports and blog postings have been aghast at the fact that some execs were setting the price of their option grants at the lowest price in the period. They are simply stunned that these execs would take advantage of the system. “How could they?” Oh, grow up. Nothing […]
Should we use online job sites?
When people ask about recruiting, one of the first questions they ask is “where do I find good people?” One of the first straws they grasp at is an online job site such as Monster, CareerBuilder and other more local sites. I think this is a mistake. Online job sites […]
Meaningless Vision Does More Harm Than Good
I had the wonderful fortune to drive from Seattle to L.A. and back a couple of weeks ago. You see a lot of nothing and do a lot of thinking in those 40 hours. Spotted on a truck was this statement: Providing customer solutions through trust and innovation. OK, so […]
Should I test potential hires?
One of the hot button questions these days is what kind of testing should you do on potential hires. There are a number of aspects to this question, and there are moral, legal, and psychological implications that need to be considered. First, it’s important to consider what type of testing […]
Reality TVs Teambuilding How-NOT-To
Boyd Coddington It’s my guilty pleasure that some reality TV shows draw me like a moth to a flame. One of my favorites is Discovery Channel’s “American Hot Rod”. The show ostensibly chronicles Boyd Coddington and his team while they build world-class custom cars. For anyone who knows much about […]
Perfect Symbol for Today’s CEO?
Big pay package, perks aplenty, hobnob with the famous… who wouldn’t want to be a CEO? And there is no shortage of wannabes and/or scoundrels among the CEO ranks. But I’ve been around a large number of CEOs and one can tell the good from the bad pretty quickly. And […]
I needed some stamps and stopped into the post office today. Miracle of miracles, there was no line. At the counter she tells me “these new stamps have the ’39 cents’ on them now.” OK, I admit, I’m not strong enough to let that one pass: “well that ought to […]
Home Depot’s Autocracy Holds Annual Meeting
As if all the other things about HD weren’t enough, Bob Nardelli of Home Depot ruled with an iron fist over their annual meeting the other day. Reports are that he controlled all the discussion, allowed no dissent, and brushed off concerns over his massive pay package. Not a single […]
Death of the Job Reference
It passed away sometime early this century, and only a few really noticed. I’m talking, of course, of the passing of the meaningful job reference. Sometime in the last few years, managers and even friends stopped giving quality feedback. Now, even though people are expected to list references on their […]
Home Depot’s Nardelli Gets What is Coming
Well Bob, it worked. This great PR offensive (see these posts about it here and here) worked wonders, the board bought all this stuff, and they rewarded you handsomely. In the last five years, you’ve received some $200 million in salary, bonus, stock, stock options, and other perks. In 2005 […]
Home Depot’s “Culture Change” Offensive
Not long after Home Depot‘s Bob Nardelli unleashed his silly PR offensive designed to get him more money (see the post here), he managed to get someone to whip up an article designed to show he reads management articles too. The Harvard Business Review‘s Ram Charan wrote a puff piece […]
Swearing to Tell the Truth
For crying out loud, it is one of the most touchy yet most important elements of organizational culture. I mean, holy f%&*ing christ, few things draw such a clear line between those that do, and those that don’t. Of course, dumbs*&t, I mean cursing in the workplace With the simultaneous […]
Home Depot’s Army Mentality
Back in March Home Depot unleashed what could only be called a PR offensive [ed: pun intended]. There was this great BusinessWeek cover story, a couple of other minor articles and mentions, and then a Harvard Business Review piece, all about how Bob Nardelli was wonderful. Heck, the BusinessWeek article […]
Microsoft Changes Performance Review Scoring
Microsoft just announced a number of changes in personnel policies designed to improve sagging morale. Good for them. It’s the result of a year of work by a longtime colleague of mine and now SVP of HR, Lisa Brummel. According to the reports, she spent a year listening to people […]
How important are titles?
Job titles serve a number of purposes, and treating them lightly is done at your peril. Job titles help to indicate organizational structure to newcomers and outsiders, they tell people the relative importance of the person they are working with, and they reward their holders. Job titles serve a number […]
What time of year is best for reviews?
Set the time for reviews to be off-schedule from your main business processes, especially budgeting. The last thing you want is for your team to be overwhelmed with non-line-of-business work, or to give either budgetting or reviews short shrift. Neither your business, nor your employees will appreciate that. For example, […]
How often should we do reviews?
Immediately after an organization decides to do performance reviews, the first thing they ask is: how often should we do them? There is very real tension between providing enough feedback to the employees, and making painful busy work for the management team. Fortunately there is a good compromise that many […]