There was a time when loyalty was everything. My father’s generation worked at the same company for an entire career, professional athletes stayed long term with a single team, and Ford people would never dream of owning a Chevy. In those days, loyalty to a job was assumed. I’ve actually seen employees fired – not because they were incompetent – but because the boss didn’t
When it comes to brainstorming and creative teams, Jeff Bezos at Amazon.com says to keep them small. Usually, when I’m involved in creative meetings with clients, most organizations want 20-30 people in meetings and that’s just too large and unproductive a group to work. With a smaller group of key people, you don’t waste a lot of time and man hours on bad ideas. Plus, like a herd of cats, large creative teams are simply too unwieldy to manage well. Small groups move faster and are more nimble. The perfect number?
Since we were kids our parents warned us about hanging out with the wrong people, and as adults, we look back and realize they were exactly right. The truth is, the people you run with are the people who will inspire, educate, and motivate you. In short, they have a very big impact on your future. I was watching one of my “guilty pleasure” TV programs the other day:
Nearly everyone knows someone who’s “failed up.” In other words, no matter how many times they’ve failed, been fired, hurt co-workers, or created a catastrophe, they still seem to move up the career ladder. It’s frustrating to watch, and if you’ve ever wondered how they do it, here are the real secrets of “failing up:”
Last week I had the incredible opportunity to speak into the lives of forty top Salvation Army leaders from their Eastern Territory. We talked about engaging culture in today’s digital age, developing great teams, and becoming more effective influencers. It was a terrific time. But during our sessions, we were next door to a law enforcement conference focused on men and women from bomb squads across the country. During the breaks, I had the chance to talk to a few, and learned some ideas that all of us could use in our own leadership:
At some point, all leaders will be required to confront someone on their team. It may be about performance, personal behavior, mismanagement, or a host of other possibilities, but confrontation is critical – and inevitable – in all organizations. However, as Deborah Smith Pegues points out in her excellent book “Confronting Without Offending,” the key is to use confrontation to make better employees, not drive them away. Here’s a few of her tips for making that happen:
Leadership is about influence. After all, if you can’t inspire and influence your team to accomplish your organization’s purpose, then you won’t get very far. But over the years, I’ve seen plenty of leaders lose that influence – and yet don’t recognize when it starts slipping away. For a number of reasons, they’re unable to see the warning signs that indicate they’ve lost authority and influence. Ex-leaders are everywhere, so don’t become one. To help, here’s 5 warning signs that you’re losing influence with your team:
He took a lot of crazy heat over “Deflategate,” but New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick has left his mark. After six Super Bowls, he’s doing something right. And if you take the time to study his coaching techniques, you’ll find a significant number of areas that would easily transfer to leadership in any organization. Writing in the Wall Street Journal this week, Christopher Caldwell pointed out some key areas that make him a great leader: