Are management skills sacred? Recently Pope Benedict XVI resigned his papacy due to his advanced age. However, there are rumors floating around that in part, his resignation was due to his poor management skills. During an interview with a cardinal, a reporter asked if the cardinal thought that it was more important for the new pope to have the skills to “get the message out” or one with good management skills. Without hesitation, the cardinal replied “one who can get the message out.” The idea, of course, is to elect a pope who has both talents. A question for the Vatican, as well as every business, is to ask, what is the pope’s, or CEO’s, or director’s job description?
In the movie Six Days Seven Nights, two of the main characters become stranded on a desert island and eventually fall in love. Harrison Ford’s character (Quinn Harris) turns to the love interest character, Robin Monroe, played by Anne Heche and states, “I decided my life is too simple, I wanna complicate the hell out of it.” While a CEO may want to expand his or her organization, complicating matters is probably not the thought uppermost in the CEO’s mind. However, Harrison Ford’s line fits the organizational growth scenario.
As a company grows, the complexity of the organization increases. However, the complexity is not because of revenues, profits, or equity growth. Organizational complexity increases because of a factor that is often difficult to control – people. While a CEO might desire to hire a character like Indiana Jones from Raiders of the Lost Ark to swoop in and rescue the company from such complications, some better ideas follow…
In his latest book, The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth, John Maxwell discusses the power of having positive self-esteem at the individual level. Dr. Maxwell quotes psychiatrist and expert on self-esteem, Nathaniel Branden, “No factor is more important in people’s psychological development and motivation than the value judgments they make about themselves” (p 39). Apparently, this same philosophy is not just for individuals anymore. Teams and organizations are both more productive with operating from a position of power that positive self-esteem generates.
While self-esteem power does originate at the individual level, the organization must also possess the power of self-esteem. For example, is your company proud of its level of customer service? Does your organization take pride in the products and services it offers? Do your employees take pride in the working environment your organization provides both from a cultural and facilities perspective? When organizations function from the power of self-esteem, it allows them to serve their customers and the community in an exceptional manner, hire the best human resources, and beat the competition. This helps generate a bottom line in which leadership can take pride. This is indeed a powerful source of self-esteem. While teams consist of individuals, the team as a whole can have the power of self-esteem.
Recently HVS Executive Search conducted interviews with three male executives and a breakfast brief made up of approximately 12 women and three men. One of the males in this group suggested that males spend 50% of their time doing a good job and 50% of the time seeking approval and are therefore more visible. This high visibility is the key to their success. He went on to suggest that women spend all of their time doing a good job and do not seek approval. This behavior, therefore, is the key to their lack of visibility and drives their failure. In another interview, one of the executives suggested that males climb the corporate ladder because of their visibility due to the approval they seek for doing a good job. This is interesting fodder for discussion. However, we know through the use of assessments, that both men and women seek rewards for their work. The other two drivers for success mentioned in the interviews by various contributors were development and relationships.
Recently Matt Lauer, host of the Today Show, interviewed a panel of experts on their outlook on life and economic expectations. The panel consisted of Warren Buffett, CEO Berkshire Hathway; Tony Robbins, Motivational Speaker; Susan Blakely, Founder of Spanx; and Juan Castro, Mayor of San Antonio, TX.
Several sports have handicaps. For example, golf, bowling, and polo all have a handicap as a part of play. Sometimes people have handicaps as well. Some people might use the simplest handicap as an excuse for not pursuing success. Teams are especially good at this.
Excuses like not trusting one another, a lack of communication, misunderstandings, or misguided perceptions of one another. However, building trust, learning how to communicate with one another, reducing misunderstandings, and clearing up perceptions are tools that can help lead your team to success. However, we often avoid using these or a myriad of other useful tools because of our perceived handicaps.
Life-long learning has become one of our society’s most recent buzzwords. But it does not have to be just a buzzword that runs through our collective minds and goes in one ear and out the other. It is a phrase that should not be placed in the same category as “Groovy man” or “Yeah, Baby”. Instead life long learning has proven to be a catalyst for inspiring your customers to do business with your company. Here is how it works:
Of course there are the obvious means to life long learning like going to school, reading books, reading industry relevant newsletters, periodicals, etc. But there is another avenue to pursue that not only leads to the acquiring of new knowledge but also adds interaction, enthusiasm, networking and that sparks new ideas. This avenue is joining an association, being active in that association and attending workshops and conventions put on by that association. Let me give you an example.I am a member of the National Speakers Association. Each year the association puts on a national convention as well as a winter workshop, one for the Eastern United States and one for the Western United States. Some people attend all three every year as well as their local chapter meetings. Recently I attended one of the winter workshops. While I was at the workshop, I made many new contacts, each of whom were doing many diverse projects to help their respective business grow. We shared our ideas, questions and suggestions. My head was almost bursting with new ideas and concepts. At one point, I sat down at a table and I almost could not get my pencil to move quickly enough to keep up the ideas spilling out of my head and onto the paper.
During a recent meeting with some associates, the topic of Performance Appraisals was addressed. This led to the issue of self-evaluations. Several associates stated: “I don’t like to do the self-evaluations”. Other associates asked, “Why do we have to do self-evaluations?”. Still others thought it was a waste of time because they felt that employees would just rate themselves as excellent in every category. What if we understood the real value of self-evaluations? What if self-evaluations could be a practical and useful tool for us to use to make our work lives better? This article will address each of these three concerns and help you to understand the role of self-evaluations in your success. Taking these concerns in order, the first is: “I don’t like to do the self-evaluations”.