This scoop is about sharing great leadership stuff I find on the Internet - quality not quantity - to save you time and give you greater insight into leadership. I am interested in how we become and remain leaders in business, in community and in life. If you find something that seems to belong here, please let me know. ...Geoff (www.performancepeople.com.au)
As Cleve Gibbon aptly put it, PPP is “rich in stuff, low in fluff”.
I do not know how useful the Weekdone tool is (promoted in this post). However, I do know that reporting the three Ps is very effective. I've been using the headings: Completed Last Week/Month; Working on Next Week/Month; and Risks/Issues for a long time. Another alternative is to replace the first two with Tasks Underway and Tasks Completed. There is no right way to do this. Consider what information you and others need to receive.
Characteristic 2: A catalytic mechanism distributes power for the benefit of the overall system, often to the great discomfort of those who traditionally hold power.
Good advice on translating goals into action - albeit quite tricky in implementation, due to the complexities of the real world. As Tom states: "Obviously, not every company should institute short pay." Good luck finding your 'short pay'.
"To label this a “performance management system” is to give the process much more credit than it deserves. A perfunctory meeting between a manager and employee once a year to review a standard rating sheet that lists competencies and goals that are probably no longer relevant is not a performance management system."
Another thought-provoking blog post by Stephen Gill. He clearly explains issues that make many of us uncomfortable with the annual performance review meeting; and goes on to promote a 'learning alliance' between manager and direct report - a commitment to a performance-focussed relationship.
"I lasted 5 months, then I quit and I opened a motorcycle repair shop. The point of contrast I want to make is that in fixing motorcycles you answer to standards that really aren't open to manipulation..."
Wow, it's a bit of a video time, and a TED time, for this series of scoops.
Professor David Swain blends hands-on skills with intellectual nous in creative ways at CQ University. He put me onto this TED talk by Dr Matthew Crawford.
(For those of you following along in this ScoopIt, Matthew did this presentation at the same TEDx event - TEDxEast in 2011 - as the talk by Gever Tully that I linked not long after setting up this ScoopIt.)
"What does produce earnings are strategic decisions, and strategic decisions should be the ultimate output of a strategic-planning program. That is, the strategic plan should clearly set forth the critical issues currently facing a company or division in terms of alternative courses of current action."
I just love the quote attributed to Dwight Eisenhower: "Plans are nothing; planning is everything." This article focuses on decisions over plans in a good way.
"In what ways are our social practices, personal relationships, moral judgments, foreign policies, and political beliefs based on foundations of “knowledge” that, when pressed, we can’t even satisfactorily define or demonstrate?"
I talk a lot about questions. The ability to ask good questions is critical to collaborative (and any other kind of) leadership.
This article by ike Merrill is about a technique with a long history - the Socratic Method. And it is presented in such a way that you can see that our assumptions can be, and should be, smashed.
"Generally, people who think one-on-one meetings are a bad idea have been victims of poorly designed one-on-one meetings. The key to a good one-on-one meeting is the understanding that it is the employee’s meeting rather than the manager’s meeting."
Ben Horowitz has written about why and how he does one-on-one meetings (often called 'one-on-ones') with people who report directly to him. I have described these meetings as "the core line management practice". Don't believe me and Ben, try them for yourself.
"You’re worried about hurting the person’s feelings so you hold back. Then, when they don’t improve because you haven’t told them they are doing something wrong, you wind up firing them. Not so nice after all…"
This post blew me away. I am going to lead off with some of Kim's insights in a leadership training session next week. They are very relevant to the 'difficult conversations' session I had with this group when we last met.
I collect quotes while I'm reading to put in the quote block above, I love the one I found above. Here is another one that resounds with me:
"Is my job to build a great product or am I really just an armchair psychiatrist?” She got her answer when her coach literally yelled at her: “It’s called management and it is your job!"
"you have to keep your spirits up even though you well understand that you don’t know what you’re doing"
Last year in feedback on a leadership workshop a participant wrote that another topic that should be dealt with is:
"Coping with the self-doubt and stress of leadership roles. The program has dealt really well with the nuts and bolts of leadership skills but sometimes the elephant in the room is the topic I've listed above. Just a thought."
And a big thought at that. While looking for some assistance in framing this topic for emerging leaders, I found this post by Bob Sutton. It is old, but is not out of date.
"Strategies are imagined stories about possible worlds, whose constraints are determined by elements of doctrine, and whose vocabulary is determined by available tactics. Converting those stories into reality through appropriate mixes of deliberative, reactive and opportunistic planning, scheduling, resource allocation and risk management, in the fog of action, is the discipline of operations."
I have been using the Strategic - Tactical - Operational Pyramid for years now (taught to me by Bruce Reidy), and I am looking for a deeper understanding of how these elements work together. I do not agree with all that Venkatesh writes, but he certainly gives a different and well-considered perspective.
"I view teams skeptically, because so many organizations treat them cynically. Teamwork has become a euphemism for organizational politics. Guess what? People sense the dishonesty there. People aren't stupid. They know when they're being used." (Michael Schrage, MIT Media Labs)
I came to this page looking for something about teams vs single-leader units by Jon Katzenbach , and I stayed to read a bunch of pretty considered responses to 'What makes teams work?'.
Leaders must find ways to show respect for everyone in the organization, from front-line hourly workers to top-level executives. Otherwise, employees will tell themselves stories about leaders that may or may not be true.
Stephen Gill does a great job of explaining the importance of leaders being self-aware and being present and connected
This echos some important points made by Robert Sutton, who says (quoting from a slide I use in a leadership workshop): The team members are watching you They are looking for cues They want to know: - What you are thinking - What they should do - Whether you are worth following
"the first follower is actually an underestimated form of leadership in itself. It takes guts to stand out like that. The first follower is what transforms a lone nut into a leader."
This is really short, and very entertaining. You can just watch this video for some laughs and an important message. Or you can watch it alongside the Seth Godin video I just Scooped too ('The Tribes We Lead'). And create a movement yourself!
"To be successful, such collaborative adaptive leadership requires humility, honesty and trust, empathy, suspended judgements, commitment and authentic listening. The “inner game” of leadership can be tough to master."
Samuel Wilson and John Fien distinguish between different types of problems which require different sorts of responses. And do so within the context of contemporary Australian politics. A fine read. ...Geoff
"Let me break it down for you. In good organizations, people can focus on their work and have confidence that if they get their work done, good things will happen for both the company and them personally."
Ben Horowitz, a Venture Capitalist, writes extensively on leadership and management. His posts are often self-critical, which is a useful standpoint to come from as a leader. In this post he writes about one-on-ones, a technique I have been talking about to a lot of practicing managers lately. You might also want to read his co-post explaining one-on-ones, which I am also scooping here.
"We may be doing things differently just to be different sometimes, but it’s also allowed us to embrace so many new things."
Two in a row from 'First Round Review'. The practical suggestions in each of these articles means you can implement changes in your practices immediately. Here's an aspect of overlap between the two articles: "He started spending one-on-one meetings talking to his reports about their lives, instead of their tasks, and productivity shot through the roof."
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