Be the same person every day

23 Apr

“I try to be the same man every day” – a profound insight by a high-performance manager when asked why.  Trust is an essential ingredient to being an effective manager.  Behavioral consistency is a fundamental trust builder.  Unpredictability is a trust-buster.  To be a high performing manager: Make sure you always have a very high say/do ratio. Do what you say you are going to do when you say you are going to do it, if things change, inform people why you cannot or did not do so as soon as possible (even after the fact).

This is one of the most sensitive measures of the effectiveness of people in the work place.  Consider for a moment the people in your life who you trust.  Almost certainly these people have very high say/do ratios.  It is also a key behavior that customers, employees, peers and managers use to judge you.  To be an effective manager, your word must be your bond.  The result:

  1. Monitoring your behavior builds self-discipline.
  2. Say/do is a key component of integrity.
  3. Say/do maximizes accurate communication.
  4. Trust is essential to effective interpersonal performance.
  5. You like yourself better.

Consider your expectations.  Some believe you have to earn their trust.  This is nonsense.  A more effective strategy is to trust people until they provide ample information mistrust them.  Assuming people are trust worthy is an optimal strategy, assuming people are untrustworthy is not.  The former works with most people (unfortunately there are always exceptions) and the latter requires enormous mental effort that could be spent elsewhere.

The Marshmallow Experiment

16 Apr

 

In the 1960s and 70s Walter Mischel of Stanford did a set of simple but fascinating experiments with marshmallows and children 4 – 6 years old. Alone in a room each child was presented with a marshmallow and informed if they didn’t eat it while the adult was out of the room they would get another. About one third managed not to eat it. There are a number of amusing videos of these children trying not to eat the marshmallow on UTube.

 

When followed up 10 and more years later it turned out that the children who could delay gratification had better life outcomes measured by SAT scores, educational attainment, body mass index and other measures of life outcome.

 

Recent studies with brain imaging show that the children who cannot delay have poorer levels of frontal executive functioning when they are in the experiment. The inference is that stress, particularly poverty, has a negative effect on brain development at a very early age (4 – 6).

Food for thought.

 

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Managing Up and Down

9 Apr

 

 

 

 

People are often surprised when I note that there are some managers who are very good to their bosses and treat their direct reports very badly. They are also surprised to hear that it’s hard for executives to identify this problem especially if they are not familiar with tools such as skip-level meetings (see Beyond Luck for an example of how to run good skip-level meetings). Here is an interesting article on this topic from a recent New York Times.

 

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Why Likeability Matters IN…….

2 Apr

 

 

This a powerful and practical WSJ article about how “likability” has a large influence in how your workplace colleagues rate and interact with you. This article is a home-run of practical advice.

 

So, my question is HOW do you get to likability and WHY? Here is one of the most watched TED videos (16,000,000+) hits and one of the top-four rated in the psychology category.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

 

Three Rules for Leaders

26 Mar

A Fast Company conversation with Anne Sweeney and Ken Robinson explores each one’s set of three rules for being a great leader.

 

Anne Sweeney’s 3 Rules for Being a Great Leader:

1. Show up”Walk around the halls. Eat in the cafeteria. When you show up, it means you are paying attention. It means you want to make sure people know how their world connects to the bigger whole.”

2. Hold everyone accountable for each other”We are stapled together. We live and die by each other’s successes and failures.”

3. Communicate as a person, not simply as a boss”Have a conversation. Don’t have it be a reporting relationship.”

Sir Ken Robinson’s 3 Rules for Being a Great Leader

1. Adopt a growth mind-set”If you’re always thinking about possibility, you’ll find it. You’ll keep creating the future.”

2. Create your own life

“The ‘element’ is where natural aptitude meets personal passion. It’s great if you’re in your element at work, because you get energy from that. But for people who aren’t, finding this elsewhere is important.”

3. Unlock others

“People get locked into their job descriptions. If you create a culture where they feel encouraged to unleash their various talents, they’re more engaged.

 

 

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.

 

“Paying it Forward”

19 Mar

 

 

You have probably been hearing about the current “paying it forward” events.  A customer at a drive thought or walk-up will pay for the person behind. 226 customers did this at a drive through in Canada.  This article reviews some interesting studies about why this happens i.e. generosity can be contagious.  This article in the New York Times is an interesting read.


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.

 

The Right Answer Is NO!

12 Mar

 

Once in a great while I see an article that is OUTSTANDING. One of the major reasons for stress, overload and declining individual productivity is the inability to say NO.  This is a well presented article on NO.  For a look at the always saying No go to:  NO!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

 

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