FROM THE TOP
STRATEGY & LEADERSHIP
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LINKS FOR THE MONTH
From the Top
Mid-point 2010 has come and gone. We're in the home stretch, and it's time for real, actionable efforts if we're to see success on those goals and objectives we identified earlier.
In fact, over the next several months, we must keep one eye trained mercilessly on 2010 success, with the other equally focused on 2011 planning. That never-ending circle of life in our business world...
Make it a point to closely examine a few things right now:
- Take clear stock on 2010 goals and objectives; ensure those really important get the resources they need - now.
- Start doing a 2010 autopsy: what went well, what didn't, and why.
- Begin clarifying vision, strategy, and directions for 2011 and beyond. Keep in mind the clarity that should come from your assessment of 2010 activities.
- Don't forget to consider the leadership skills - new and existing - that are required to move forward. Bad place to go short-sighted.
Triangle Performance LLC's 2010 Survey of Senior Leadership is almost over! Data collection closes on July 31. Our third such survey; the participant rate continues to grow, as does the validity of the data presented. Click here to take the survey.
Many thanks in advance to all have participated so far; it only takes a few minutes. If you're interested, you can click here to see the results from the 2009 Survey of Senior Leadership.
Some newsworthy mentions:
Repeat mention: Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) was recently ranked the most admired company in the food production industry for the second year in a row by Fortune magazine. ADM (Cedar Rapids) has been a Triangle Performance client for several years; they are a dedicated group of really good, hardworking people -- congrats to them for continuing their successful efforts!
The Houston Business Journal featured my firm (and a large, multi-year client) for an article on team-centric executive development. Appeared on page 5B of the April 24th print edition of the HBJ.
I spoke in June at the 2010 Society for Human Resource Management's (SHRM) national conference in San Diego. It was billed as a MEGA SESSION - just me and 800 or so of my closest friends; have received tons of positive comments, most around the "No Whining" rule, and my version of Larry, Curly, and Moe: The Three Stupids.
I also spoke just last week at the 2010 National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) HR Conference in San Antonio. Great crowd, really good bunch of people, good audience dialog around value-producing in human resources, and why leadership credibility is a must for HR success in any organization.
Speaking of speaking... I continue to present two favorite topics:
Sit Down, Shut Up, and Color!
Breaking through employee entitlement...
Leadership is Easy... until it isn't.
Successful leadership in challenging times...
If you have a corporate or association event, I'd certainly enjoy speaking to your group. You can see more information regarding topics and details on my website.
Further, feel free to download and read a few articles that may be relevant today:
Leading Strategically -- And no, this isn't more consultant-speak...
Change is Cumulative -- Don't give up when you're winning..., and
New! The Three Stupids -- Avoiding stupid people
...and don't forget to check out my blog;some interesting (I think) posts on gut-check decision-making, and stupid should hurt... please comment, complain, or scream at me if you agree, disagree, or just want your opinion read, seen, and heard.
If you'd like to know how I can assist you, your organization, or a colleague of yours, please fill out this form and I'll send you some specific information, articles, engagement results, and so forth.
As always, I hope this finds you well, personally and professionally; please give me a call if I can ever help in any way, and feel free to forward this to anyone you feel may be interested. (Really!) I appreciate your referrals.
D. Kevin Berchelmann
Triangle Performance, LLC
Strategy & Leadership
Leadership: You're doing it wrong...
-- Gump was right, 'stupid is as stupid does'
No question that leadership takes effort. Equally, there's no valid question that leading has become more difficult today than just 2-5 years past (seems like an eternity ago, doesn't it?).
Having said that, it seems some go out of their way to make things more difficult than they need be. It's like taking the wrong way to get somewhere, all the while knowing it's the wrong way, but still doing it anyway.
Are you kidding me? Is this "leadership" stuff so easy that we can make it unnecessarily difficult? Personally, I think not. Let's take a page from our doctor's playbook who, after being told by his patient that "it hurts to do that," the doctor simply says, "Well, then don't do that anymore."
This can be easier than we think. For example:
- Leadership is timeless. Remember that most leadership principles, theories and concepts (and most applications) haven't changed much in over 2,000 years. Sure, some demographic movements have caused a change in some application, but by and large, human behavior and leadership success today are consistent with a couple of millennia ago...
Just because some consultant or academic comes out with a new glossy-backed book, extolling us to do something we think we've been doing already for two decades, doesn't make it new. Nor does it mean we should change what we're doing, necessarily.
- Insanity defined. I think it's been attributed to Albert Einstein: 'The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.' Stop that. If it didn't work for your boss, and it isn't working for you, it's time to take a new approach. No, I don't subscribe to the "anything would be better" line of thinking, but it may be time to bring in a Magi, or someone similar to help discover new ways to repeat old successes...
- You can't fix stupid. I've heard this for years, though Ron White may have made it currently popular. It still has a huge basis for leadership thinking... our folks must bring three things to the table: Work ethic, honesty, and sufficient intellect
Hire for great organization fit, cultural adaptability and intellect. We can add/improve abilities, develop skills, even provide experiences to build on.
But we can't fix stupid.
Focus on what's really important, keep leadership as simple as possible, cultivate trust and credibility. It's easier than you might think...
It's Not Your Parents Leadership Anymore
-- leadership is harder now than it used to be (unlike the uphill, snow-filled walks to school)
Yeah, yeah... we've heard all our life how "hard it used to be," and how "easy we have it today," and other such nonsense. Maybe there's some truth to some of it (I said "maybe," mom), but I'll tell you one thing for certain:
It doesn't apply to leadership.
Leading today is light-years more complex than it was in yesteryear (or whatever appropriate word you choose for "way back then"). The complexity of business, the globalization of economies, internet, etc., all create challenges that were all but non-existent just a few decades ago.
Some things that prove this out (in my mind) include...
- The world is watching. No more "leading from the back room." Though we have abandoned much of the good trait of "leading from the front," we have clearly done away with "leadership can be invisible."
Hardly a day goes by when we hear about another business decision made by some poor schmuck, unaware that his/her every innermost thought would be plastered all over 100 different media outlets, papers, blogs, tweets, etc.
Just remember, we' not alone anymore, like it or not.
- Politically incorrect. Even with all the oversight - both wanted and unwanted - mentioned above, leadership today is held to seemingly impossible standards. Not only had you better make all the right decisions (or face hind-sight analysis by some journalist, seemingly well-versed - though never employed - in corporate leadership), but you had better make them for the right reason; further, the way you communicate the decisions, the ramifications for those decisions, and the final results therof, had better not offend anyone on the planet.
Heaven forbid someone gets their feelings hurt in Tuscaloosa about a two-sentence announcement made to locals in Miami. There'll be hell to pay, Mr./Ms. Leader, and you'll be writing that check.
- Our cheese has wheels. I've mentioned this before, but the speed and pace of change we face today is simply mind-boggling. Gone are the days of luxury (we didn't know they were luxury at the time), where we could implement a change gradually, then wait for all appropriate reactions and results to be available for analysis prior to moving forward with the next/another change.
Now, we have layers of change, across all spectrums of our organizations. We have academic and leadership topics specifically in change management. Heck, we've got people employed in many organizations solely to manage and implement various change initiatives.
Our change definitely has wheels.
So, what does all this mean?
It means, to my way of thinking, that we should focus on those things that allow us to be informed, decisive, and credible. It means we must develop thick skins, remembering that leadership has risks, and that our role as a protector and buffer is more important today than ever before.
It means, quite frankly, that we must exercise real, no-kidding, honest-to-God leadership; no more faux stuff, no more half-hearted efforts. We must be leaders in every way, and that leadership must be expressive, purposeful, and obvious.
We simply must be out in front.
But, that's just me...
© 2010 Triangle Performance, LLC