Competition vs. Collaboration

– “Can we all get along?” Rodney King III

Late in my Air Force career, I had the great fortune to command a fantastic group of diverse, talented Airmen. The only downside was that we lacked sufficient personnel and resources to be fully capable of executing our assigned mission, which pitted me against my peers in a competition for more – more people, more money, more equipment, and more priority. I thought it was the perfect job for me, because I’d spent most of my career competing for more. (more…)

De-mystifying Millennials

Picture4How many of you are growing weary of pundits and advice-givers obsessing over Millennials taking over the workplace?

You can put your hands down. Me too.

And we Boomers and Gen Xers aren’t the only ones. A very unscientific poll of 100% of the Millennials in my immediate family reveals that they’re both sick and tired of being stereotyped with the Millennial label as one big spoiled, needy, homogeneous cliché. Their reasons are valid: they’re not all the same, and they generally want the same things from work that generations before them have wanted. (more…)

Where Is Everybody?

 –The war for talent rages on…

Don’t get caught with your pants down.
That idiom has its origins in the Roman Emperor Caracalla, later known as Marcus Aurelius. Picture1He was known as one of the bad-ass Emperors somewhere before 200AD. Legend has it he was killed while relieving himself, hence “with his pants down.” Though it may actually have been a robe. Or chainmail. Whatever he was wearing, he had it down and he was killed. Going forward, warriors took care of their business with sword in hand, so not to be “caught with their pants down.”
(more…)

Confessions of a Recovering Perfectionist

Several years ago, my sister gave me a book about how to deal with the controlling perfectionists in our lives. She said I might benefit from an impartial description of — get this — me.

Ouch.

Okay, so I only had two standards: perfect and unacceptable. That didn’t make me a bad person did it?

It’s not like I imposed my unreasonably high standards on my family or people at work. After all, I’ve always said, “Don’t let perfection get in the way of good enough.” And I talked plenty about building a culture where failures are learning experiences and not short-cuts to the unemployment line, of embracing our own failures as stepping stones on the road to self-improvement, yadda yadda yadda.

Other people’s failures, of course.

So what’s the problem with having unreasonably high standards?
(more…)

5 Ways to Deal with a Malcontent

— What’s that pain in my neck??

Note: This is updated from a 2008 article I wrote, same general subject. Seems the issue is still hanging around…

You know who I’m talking about, too. Those people who just never seem happy; who always see the negative even when the message is positive; who suspect ulterior motives regardless of act. They are the literal “pain in your neck” (or some other anatomical part…). (more…)

At C-Level

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