Life is about happiness
Controlling how you feel is a talent that everyone needs to develop in order to be happy and successful. What ever measure of happiness you have now is greatly dependent how well you have developed this skill. It is also the most valuable talent to own, if happiness is your goal…and it is.
It’s pretty easy to be happy and hopeful for the future when things are going well; you’re healthy; just got a raise or a promotion; or had the girl or boy of your dreams fall for you.
It’s quite another thing to feel great when you just lost a job; just received the wrath of a boss; had a serious injury or disease; or the boy or girl of your dreams just dumped you.
So, the question to ask yourself is, “am I happy because of what happens to me, or am I happy because I choose to be?” Continue reading
Helping others to their own success
Story #1. I gave David, the board member, several ideas privately on how he could improve the new business strategy of the startup. I expected him to go directly to the CEO and explain these to him. To my pleasant surprise he made all the suggestions in an email and attributed all the ideas to me, thus giving me full credit for them. My respect for him increased exponentially. I will always be willing to help David.
She was fairly attractive and very engaged in the project, but every time you spoke to her, you had to mentally dodge garbage coming from her mouth. Simply speaking about an upcoming launch of an Intranet project meant that you had to deal with injections of references to the sex act, as well as her other litany of repeated oral puss. How did she think that fit into the context of this project. Its not like it happened just once, this thing for her was a real habit.
I did not look forward to meetings with her, and she did periodically apologize for swearing, but the apology did not make up for it. I was always glad when the meetings with her were finally done. She was a burden on many levels. Continue reading
Each rung of the ladder requires you to produce more.
A company once hired me to organize their global e-mail system. The business had been quickly formed through acquisitions, and no time had been spent organizing technology, or taking advantage of economies of scale. There were over 300 offices worldwide with nearly all of them on completely independent and different e-mail systems. There was no way to even know what the email addresses of most, let alone all of the company employees were. Sending an email to “everyone” was not possible. Continue reading
More on the outside than on the inside?
He was gregarious, funny, confident, understood what needed to be done and appeared to be a perfect leader candidate. His pre-show trailer was quite good, but once in the position the damage began. Confidently managing up was his best skill, and with brutality was how he confidently managed down. Everyone has seen this scenario play out; like going to a movie with a great trailer, but the actual movie is offensive.
The 2002 Winter Olympic games was won from the experience gained by losing the 1998 bid to Japan. The Utah bid committee had spent over $16 million on the 1998 Olympic bid. Later analysis implied that they had been out “gifted” by the Japanese. The Nagano Japan region’s governor said the city had provided $4.4 Million in just entertainment costs alone to win the bid. The 2002 bid committee made an adjustment.
Many years ago I worked with someone who applied for the CIO position in my company, yet they had no technical skills. They had never programmed, built a server, or installed a network, because they had never worked in Information Technology. What they had done, was design the requirements for an Intranet project that had failed. Mainly, because they wanted every feature, and the vendor was saying yes to anything because he needed the project’s money through his financially hard times.
The amazing thing for me in this process, was how this person was going to manage something they could not understand. It was like someone who wanted to manage a medical research project with scientists, but they had never studied medicine, or even organic chemistry. They had described a cure once, and in their own mind that qualified them. Now this could have been a different situation had this person kept learning through their career instead of relying on their political connections to carry them. Continuous learning as a leader is essential. Continue reading
In 2005 I received probably the best advice in my career. I was Director of Infrastructure at an International firm with offices worldwide. I was energetic and looking for opportunities. In February of that year I was called into the Global CFO’s office and offered the Global CIO position from a man named Andre Pinto. Continue reading
Baby 12 hours after birth, Photo by John E Tanner
If all the people in the world suddenly disappeared except you, all the money and inventions in the world would suddenly have no value. Money would be useless, because there is no one to spend it with. Things of themselves have no value without people. Therefore, the most important product created in the world is human beings.
Learning to like people who are difficult to like is a skill you need to learn to become a great manager. If you want to have control and become a great manager here is one big step on the way. Continue reading
Nothing is more frustrating than a manager who is not a good listener. Like the manager who types on his computer off and on while meeting with you, or is working his IM as you talk to him. Multitasking while you talk to someone sends a really bad message; “your not worth my FULL attention!” Unfortunately, there are more and more of these types of managers. Society is also changing what is acceptable technology behavior, so it looks like there will be even more of them in the future.
Anyone can become a good, or even a great caring listener by practicing three basic skills and one “no no!” If you do, it will give you a big advantage. Continue reading
Great leaders do not need to have authority or positions of power. There are many examples of leaders who have changed the world without any type of authority, such as Mahatma Gandhi and his Salt March in 1930, or Dr. Martin Luther King and his March on Washington in 1963. They did not hold political office, or military authority. They had no authority over employment, wages, or social services. Yet, it was still only through authority that the laws were eventually changed to reflect their goals. Leadership may provide the motivation, but authority still holds the necessary keys to change.
A business leader will need to have the following five required leadership skills and the authority to be the most affective. Continue reading