Gallup #2: Polling

27 Aug

I hope last week’s pump primer intrigued you.

 

The Gallup homepage is well organized and information rich. Here you will find the most recent articles based on polling, the Gallup Daily polls, the Gallup Business Journal, Editor’s Picks and Interactive Features. Take care, you may find yourself spending too much time linking from this site.

Across the top in green are links to the four major topics that Gallup measures: Politics, Economy, Well-Being & World. Let begin with Politics. It’s reasonably easy to navigate where you are going by returning to the homepage.

The organization of the politics page is similar to the homepage: articles on recent polling results, actual weekly and monthly polling averages, popular topics within this heading. This is the page for political junkies.

Next week. Let’s look at the Economy page.

There are a couple of ways that people can subscribe to this blog. Click the “+ Follow” link on the bottom right section of the site and enter your email address. This is a very easy way to receive the newest post as an email. The other way is via RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feed. The RSS Feed link is located on the right sidebar of the site, directly above the Categories section. Click on “RSS – Posts” to receive your posts in their favorite RSS reader. The RSS reader that many prefer is Google Reader (http://reader.google.com). It is free, well organized, and easy to use.

 

 

 

Beginning A New Series

20 Aug

Beginning this week we are going to explore the information available from what I consider to be the world’s finest survey research organization, Gallup. As you probably know I prefer to understand events, systems, people in their context. So, for a fine corporate history of Gallup go to

http://www.gallup.com/corporate/1357/corporate-history.aspx#6   or

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gallup_%28company%29

This may sound boring to you so I begin with a link entitled Dead Wrong: America’s Economic Assumptions.

There are a couple of ways that people can subscribe to this blog. Click the “+ Follow” link on the bottom right section of the site and enter your email address. This is a very easy way to receive the newest post as an email. The other way is via RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feed. The RSS Feed link is located on the right sidebar of the site, directly above the Categories section. Click on “RSS – Posts” to receive your posts in their favorite RSS reader. The RSS reader that many prefer is Google Reader (http://reader.google.com). It is free, well organized, and easy to use.

 

Pygmalion and leadership

13 Aug

Some years ago G. B. Shaw wrote a play entitled Pygmalion about a flower girl on the streets of London who is transformed into a lady by learning how to speak, act and dress.  Eliza Doolittle falls for Henry Higgins and near the end of the play says to Colonel Pickering,  “Colonel, you think of me as a lady, treat me like a lady and around you I behave like a lady.  But Henry Higgins thinks of me as a flower girl, treats me like a flower girl and around him I behave like a flower girl.”

Behavioral researchers call this the Pygmalion Effect. This is a powerful management and leadership principle and it works two ways.  It can enhance or reduce performance and is driven by self-fulfilling prophecies.  In many ways we communicate either our high or low expectations to others and these influence their behavior.  Ask yourself, what expectations am I communicating to those around me?

For an excellent in-depth review of this important leadership process go to the Harvard Business Review.

 

 

When the temperature rises – the light dims

6 Aug

Recently a colleague mentioned that his teen-age daughter had obtained her driver’s license, promptly backed out the driveway, hit the neighbor’s car – then drove off.  Dad learned about it when the neighbor came over.  He is a gentle man, but he was pretty upset!  Sounds like conflict, something familiar to managers.

Conflict feeds on HEAT and SPEED. The emotional temperature goes up and drives too-rapid reactions.  This is a one-two punch that produces transient stupidity.

When the daughter came home, mom suggested an over-night cool down and asked daughter to suggest what penalty dad and mom should consider.  In the morning daughter suggested a harsh penalty.  The parents asked for an apology to the neighbor, were able to enact a milder punishment and re-assured the daughter that they still loved her and had confidence in her driving.

This is an example of a wise management process:

• This partnership works (managers need to collaborate).

• Someone understood that some cool-off and slow-down time was needed (managers take heed)

• The parents invited the daughter to take some responsibility for the decisions by asking for her recommendation (this won’t work with all teens or employees).

• In the morning everyone was cooler and emotion wasn’t driving decision making.

• The parents concluded by asking their daughter what she learned and re-assured her of their love (managers re-assure and show respect).

For more detail check out the full story.

Major point:  Managing heat and speed is an important people skill.

Consider this when you are hot:  “Sleep on it.

The similarities between effective managing and good parenting are often striking.

Management Self-Test

30 Jul

 

 

If you ask a room full of professionals who have at least 20 years of experience “have you ever worked for the boss from hell,”  about 40 – 60% will raise their hands.  If you ask entrepreneurs, 90% will raise their hands. There is explicit evidence that the quality of a person’s boss has a dramatic effect on how they preform and on how they feel. For Japanese salarymen, upwardly mobile professionals, the stress levels at work can become so high that the Japanese have a term to describe the worst effect – work death. One little known characteristic of these managers is they are oblivious to their effects on their direct reports. Having interviewed literally thousands of people in organizations, I have compiled a list of the most onerous behaviors of such managers and the three origins these characteristics. Perhaps the worst thing that can happen to an employee is to have a boss with all three of these attributes. Do you have any of these attributes?

There are a couple of ways that people can subscribe to this blog. Click the “+ Follow” link on the bottom right section of the site and enter your email address. This is a very easy way to receive the newest post as an email. The other way is via RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feed. The RSS Feed link is located on the right sidebar of the site, directly above the Categories section. Click on “RSS – Posts” to receive your posts in their favorite RSS reader. The RSS reader that many prefer is Google Reader (http://reader.google.com). It is free, well organized, and easy to use.

 

Motivation: Intrinsic vs. Extrinsic

23 Jul

 

 

An intriguing article about motivation in a recent issue of the New York Times. In general the use of Intrinsic – Extrinsic is used to describe motivation outside your skin vs. inside your skin. In the article the author uses use the Internal vs. Instrumental dichotomy. Both seem to work equally well.

The interesting element here is that the simultaneous interaction between these two general types of motivation can have opposite effects. Another important is the difference between motivation and consequences as well as the intersection of internal and instrumental.

 

 

There are a couple of ways that people can subscribe to this blog. Click the “+ Follow” link on the bottom right section of the site and enter your email address. This is a very easy way to receive the newest post as an email. The other way is via RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feed. The RSS Feed link is located on the right sidebar of the site, directly above the Categories section. Click on “RSS – Posts” to receive your posts in their favorite RSS reader. The RSS reader that many prefer is Google Reader (http://reader.google.com). It is free, well organized, and easy to use.

Optimism #5: Optimistic vs. Pessimistic Management

16 Jul

For those of you are not tired of hearing about optimism, consider that optimism is largely an attitude. An attitude is a combination of thought and feeling.

Becoming a manager/leader is ultimately an exercise in self-development, a life-long journey of making yourself a better person. The benefits to you are self-evident. What is perhaps more important are the benefits to your peers and direct reports.

There is a compelling body of evidence that emotion is contagious.

If you believe as I do, that emotion is the energy that propels human behavior then you understand that the direction of that propulsion is to some extent controlled by the value of the emotion (positive or negative).

Over the years, I have noticed some managers seem able to make any managerial technique work effectively, whereas others cannot make even the most rudimentary managerial tool work.  Emotional contagion is the first creditable explanation of this phenomenon I have seen.

“And this before all, to thy own self be true, and it must follow as the night the day, thou cans’t not then be false to any man.”  – W. Shakespeare

Food for thought

For those intrigued by the nature of optimism, begin the journey by going to:

http://langhorne.wordpress.com/2010/06/30/optimism-1/

 

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