Archive | November, 2011

When The temperature Rises…..

30 Nov

The light dims.  When I ask audiences “Have you ever worked for the manager from hell?” about 40% raise their hands, with entrepreneurs the number is usually closer to 90%.

Try this management development tool on yourself or with some others.  Review your career and identify your best and worst boss.  Jot a brief paragraph (2 – 3 lines) about each.  I do this with management development groups.  With more than five persons’ input summarized in a T chart, the answer is obvious: How They Make You Feel.

For the past several months the Sunday NYTimes has been running a column in the Biz section entitled The Corner Office.  Go to “No Ranting and Raving Permitted” for a great article on the power of emotion and entrepreneurial culture.

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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Dichotomy: Principles – Rules

23 Nov

“Rules are for the obedience of fools and the guidance of wise men”

– Douglas Bader

I was wise in my choice of parents, my mother and father complemented each other in a manner that allowed me to experience two different styles of living. My mother taught me: Always say “thank you.” I use it often and it has served me well. My father taught me, through his actions, to “always show respect for people.” This is a principle for living that I am still working on perfecting.

This is an example of the difference between a rule and a principle. A rule is basically an algorithm, a logical step-by-step set of procedures that if followed produces exactly the same set of results every time. Principles are heuristics, informal methods for solving problems or making decisions based on experience and often using iteration, a form of trial and error.

To be a manager you must understand this distinction.  Too many organizations are becoming rule-bound.  Rule-bound behavior stifles motivation and innovation.  Principles invite the exercise of good judgment and common sense.  For more on this go to: On principles and rules: heuristics and algorithms.

Feedback: Beginning Leadership

16 Nov

Last week I linked you to a fascinating and instructive article in the New Yorker about the trajectory of a woman to the top leadership role at the New York Times.  This week the link is to an interview in the NY Times that is an insightful example and a model of how a manger develops into a leader.  Interestingly she begins with learning how to use feedback and then understanding that feedback works with everyone, not just the high performers.  There are important lessons in this article and it’s well worth a couple re-reads.

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.


For Our Daughters

2 Nov

Yesterday a colleague sent me Changing Times: Jill Abramson takes charge of the Gray Lady from the New Yorker magazine.

This is a very fine article about three important topics in our society:

1. The advancement of women in American business

2. A picture of one person’s journey to leadership

3. The issues of running a newspaper in our digital zeitgeist

It’s a long article but worth the time if any or all of the above topics interest you.

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.