Thursday, June 30, 2016
Tuesday, June 28, 2016
Is Delegating Worth the Effort?
My Administrative Assistant
- Filing in the wrong files
- Filing not even in file folders, but loose in the drawer
- Making a list of what’s in the file drawer – which does not need to be done.
- Mixing up documents to be filed with my basket of work to do – and I think she filed some documents requiring work on my part that I may never find again.
- Leaving half finished work lying about – for me to put away.
- Not writing down – or remembering instructions about how to complete a very important document, which needed to be done perfectly – thereby ruining 40 pages of work which had to be redone – because she didn’t save the prior draft.
- I need to micro-manage more.
- I need to be slower and provide her with much more detailed information.
- I need to give her only one thing to do at a time, rather than a whole day’s worth of projects.
- I need to point out (gently of course) things she left lying about, and ask her to put them away before she leaves.
My Computer (IT) expert
- I need to realize that his thinking style (he’s an IT guy) is vastly different from mine. I’m a soft-skill expert with a background in Psychology.
- I need to realize that he thinks it is helpful and useful to share these details with me, whereas they seem like minute and uninteresting pieces of information to me.
- He needs social time and recognition and these pronouncements are his way of trying to obtain both from me.
- I need to understand that this is an open cabinet and like it or not others use it.
- I need to recognize that we are working with materials that are replaceable – these are not priceless works of art.
- I need to lighten up and go with the flow.
- I need to ask him to be more careful and to replace things where they belong.
- I need to lighten up and not get frustrated over the little things.
- I need to tell her that this matters to me by being direct and congruent.
- I need to stop giving her mixed messages by joking and being light about it.
- I need to show her where I want things placed.
- I need to remind her when they are re-arranged.
How do all of these apply to you as a manager?
- How we communicate what we want from our staff
- Who we hire to do a particular task and how we train them
- Learning how they learn and understand and coaching them accordingly
- How we hold people accountable, not just at the beginning, but during the life of their working for us.
- Our own over-reactions “don’t sweat the small stuff” as they say.
Thursday, June 23, 2016
New Ways to Do Old Stuff
- Are your policies and procedures so tightly wound (a nicer phrase than rigid) that there is no room for improvement?
- Do you have managers who stifle good ideas because they think a different idea will make them look bad?
- Do you hope that the good ideas will “bubble up” or do you have a process in place that enables them to come up the chain of command seamlessly?
- First by developing relationship, then trust, then opportunity.
- Ideas are captured, evaluated, and given to the correct decision makers for approval or change.
- Experimental – trial – pilot projects – are created when necessary and tools for measurement are developed.
Wednesday, June 22, 2016
Leadership in the 21st Century: What Makes it Different?
Tuesday, June 21, 2016
Second Acts and the Less Traveled Road
Friday, June 17, 2016
Bringing the WOW Factor to Everything You Do
- What is WOW?
- What is the purpose of this organization?
- What makes an experience memorable?
- How do you create WOW?
- What are some of the factors that take something from ordinary to extraordinary?
- Can we go above and beyond?
Tuesday, June 14, 2016
Saving Money While Increasing Productivity
- Are you double tracking simple tasks that are already tracked in business applications?
- Are you spending too many dollars to protect against the possibility of a one in a thousand problem?
- Do you have more than one department working on the same tasks, not knowing what the other is doing?
- Are you making it difficult for people to communicate with each other when they need to check in with each other frequently?
- Are you providing your staff with bits and pieces of the information they need rather than giving them the whole information?
- Do you have endless unnecessary meetings? Could some of these be eliminated? Shortened? Less people needed to attend?
Thursday, June 09, 2016
Be the Best You Can Be
- Not investing in their business equipment and supplies.
- Doing everything themselves rather than delegating.
- Not having support personnel to call on.
- Not investing in professional marketing materials.
- Not dressing as though they were successful.
- Speaking in a quiet and self-effacing manner.
- Not volunteering to chair, rather only offering “to help”.
Managing for Creativity
- A new President was brought out to run the west
coast branch of an international insurance call center. Among his staff were
about 50 telephone operators, responsible for customer service and responding
to customer queries. This President decided that there needed to be changes to
make working conditions better, improve morale and increase customer
satisfaction. He set up a “Suggestion Box” and asked his management team to
review the suggestions and bring him the good ones. Over a period of several
months, no “good ones” were ever brought to his attention. When he questioned
his managers he was told that none of the ones reviewed were worthwhile. He
didn’t believe it was possible to not receive any good ideas and so asked to
see all suggestions that had come in – and personally reviewed them and all
further new suggestions. There were many wonderful ones that he implemented –
and for which he rewarded the person making the suggestion.
- A General Manager of a division of a huge semiconductor company told me that he and his team could not trust their Human Resource Department to bring them good candidates. After much frustration the GM demanded that all resumes be brought to him. HR sorted the resumes, giving the GM those they thought most worthy on top. Over time he discovered that the better candidates were on the bottom of the pile – and from that time forward, he and his management team always reviewed the resumes from the bottom up. HR was sorting by the strictest definition in the job descriptions.
Wednesday, June 08, 2016
Building Trust in Distant Teams
Given these problems, here are some tips to developing trust in distant teams:
- Allow members of the team to take the time to get to know each other on a somewhat personal level.
- Have in-house discussions, at all locations, about what is proper to ask and discuss and what crosses the line into intrusive or inappropriate.
- Share pictures – not only of the staff, but also of their families. Most people are family oriented and grow to like (and trust) each other when they start to see pictures of their children and to hear stories about them.
- Send your managers to the locations of their team members whenever possible. Although this is an expense, the potential value in developing trust, respect, and therefore greater levels of understanding and productivity is immeasurable.
- Teach cultural diversity. Let the people in the various locations around the world learn as much as possible about the behaviors, customs, and expectations of those in other areas with whom they work.
- If you have telecommuters who can be brought into the office once or twice a month, be sure to have as many face to face meetings as possible with them.
- Use video-conferences and video-cams where feasible.