Thursday, October 29, 2009

What's Your Mission?

No matter what you sell or where you sell it, great leaders infuse their employees' work with a clear sense of purpose. They not only explain the mission of the organization in terms of serving customers, acting with integrity and being the best in the industry, but that grand overarching mission.

Surprisingly, many leaders think their job of pursuing a central goal ends once the company values are written. Even when wallet cards are printed and every conference room has a framed poster with it's values. But then leaders are surprised when people's behavior does not conform to the organization's stated values.

I have found that while goal setting may seem to be a basic management skill, it is rarely found in managers that do it effectively. Your organization's mission and goals should be recited in their sleep and in the water they drink.

Mission is where you are going and goals get you there.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Have You Been Sisyphus’d?

Sisyphus was a king in Greek mythology who offended the gods. His punishment was to roll an enormous boulder up a steep hill only to watch it roll back down again to the bottom of the hill, where he’d begin the process all over again. It appears the Greek version of torture is much like the work life of modern man – a meaningless task with no end in sight.

Today many companies operate in such a manner where workers and their leaders have no idea what is valued. With a lack of direction, workers (and leaders) drift along getting nowhere fast.

A leader must focus every day on what matters to the company. Many leaders think that chasing a common goal ends once the company’s values have been written. They print them on posters in conference rooms, on wallet cards but when workers behaviors don’t match the company’s stated values, we are surprised.

Does the audio match the video?

Monday, October 26, 2009

Don't Miss the Point

Some leaders in their enthusiasm for recognition miss the point. Leaders have asked “So if a manager who is not trusted begins using recognition will their scores go up?” Studies show that if you haven’t mastered the basics of leadership, you most likely don’t have the foundation for employees to accept and react to recognition. What are the basics of leadership?
· Goal Setting
· Communication (that includes listening)
· Trust
· Accountability

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The Best Known Performer

On June 6, 1954 Roger Bannister did something most people at the time thought was physically impossible; he ran the mile in less than 4 minutes (3 minutes 59.4 seconds). The world celebrated his success as the “miracle mile”. Bannister was celebrated on magazine covers, television and cereal boxes.
One month later it happened again. Bannister’s rival, John Landy of Australia, ran the mile in 3 minutes 58 seconds. The floodgate was now open; soon a sub-four mile became less of a miracle but the expectation of top runners. What had accelerated the pace? Recognition. Bannister’s achievement had shown the rest of the running world what was possible – with rewards and acclaim.
Recognition has similarly accelerated in the workplace. It gives employees a vision of the possible and the desire to reap rewards.
I will continue to show you how leaders can make an impact through recognition and reward in upcoming articles.

Monday, October 19, 2009

The Delusion of Time

Have you ever imagined the Earth without human life, inhabited only by plants and animals?
Would the Earth still have a past and a future?

Would we still speak of time? The question: "what time is it?" or "what's the date today?" if anyone were here to ask it - would be meaningless.