Now, each of these has messaging, or themes, that could be related in some fashion or another to Corporate America – risk/reward; entrepreneurial spirit; getting ahead with good deeds and jobs well done; dropping down a few rungs on the ladder for our mistakes, etc., etc.
Articles by Derek Murphy
People in the business community love their clichés.
“There’s no ‘I’ in team,” “work smarter, not harder,” and my personal favorite, “think outside the box.” Ugh.
When it comes to describing a workplace culture, clichés are abundant here as well — especially with our open-door policies and expectations of giving 150 percent (how is this even possible?). These general statements don’t provide the employee with a lot of useful insights into what it really means to work, and fit in, at the company in question. Read more…
Leadership and management should be linked together, not separated
Leaders are celebrated, while managers are often criticized, but a combination of the two could be just what the economy needs.
There’s been an ongoing debate for the past five decades, and I’m not talking about Medicare or why the Chicago Cubs haven’t won a title since 1908. This debate has to do with leaders and managers. Read more…
Let’s say there is a skills gap in your company. If budgets allow, your first inclination might be to hire someone from outside the company to close that gap.
After all, there are some people who know how to look great on “paper,” and a stunning resume can make any company leader salivate over the potential of hiring a “rock star” employee.
While that philosophy works in certain situations, new research suggests promoting a current employee because they may actually perform better than hiring an external candidate. Read more…
At risk of sounding like a yoga teacher or a self-help guru, I think most people strive for balance. We want city budgets to be balanced, our football teams to find balance as a cohesive unit, and most of us aspire to have some type of work-life balance.
Now we could hold a healthy debate around your definition of work-life balance vs. mine, but I’m not sure if that would be a good use of anyone’s time. Instead, I’d like to take a closer look at finding balance as it relates to a very specific leadership skill – Push/Pressure. This competency can be an extremely difficult leadership area for some to master.
In short, push/pressure in the workplace setting is where managers and leaders need to strike the right balance between pushing for results, and the amount of pressure they’re applying to reach those results. After all, the need to use pressure to achieve results is often a fact of life in organizations. Read more…
I hate that phrase.
I find it irritating because of the origin behind it, the idea that in order to succeed you must wake up and get to work early. I’m going to have to disagree with this concept.
I’m a night owl. I have little desire to be up at 6 am, unless I absolutely must. I’ve tried many times in my career to be like the rest of the working population by being a morning person and one of the first to work. That concept got old real fast. Read more…
I can’t help but notice the abundance of articles dedicated to workplace stress.
Bottom line: Workplace stress is a very real phenomenon that can bring about an array of health concerns. It’s no secret that stress is a major contributor to employee absenteeism and low morale, which can result in a substantial loss of productivity.
But what can we, the business leaders, do to help lower stress levels? Reduce the amount of work given to an employee?
Sure, that sounds all noble in theory, but let’s be realistic, deadlines are there for a reason and work needs to be accomplished. Sometimes reducing the workload really isn’t a feasible option.
Before you throw your hands up in frustration and increase your own stress levels, maybe you should turn to man’s (or woman’s) best friend. Read more…
We may have conflicting views on politics, movies, and choice of beer, but when it comes down to it, the whole country can agree on one thing – it’s hot outside.
Living in Colorado, I’m not quite as accustomed to a steady supply of 100-degree days. But whether I like it or not, this is our current reality and it can have a lingering impact that isn’t just about sweat.
Some in the medical community have said weather could have a direct correlation to our moods. According to an article on MSN.com, researchers have been investigating the relationship between weather and temperament since the early 1970s, around the time the song Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head was released. Read more…
At one time, Achilles was considered the strongest of all Greek warriors, except for his pesky heel problem.
To give you a Greek mythology refresher, Achilles was the hero of various battles during the Trojan War. He was invulnerable, except for one spot untouched on his heel. And in true mythology misfortune, Achilles met his end when an enemy shot an arrow into his weak heel.
The story of Achilles not only gave the medical community a name for the tendon connecting the heel to calf muscles, but also gave us a metaphor for a small but crucial weakness.
Whether we want to admit it or not, we are all struggling with our very own Achilles’ heels. Leaders are far from perfect and are just as susceptible to slip-ups as their employees. Read more…
Facebook made headlines once again, and it was not due to another layout change. Apparently, the company’s second-in-command, COO Sheryl Sandberg, leaves work every day at 5:30 p.m. so she’s home for dinner with her kids.
If you’re wondering why this has any sort of significance, think about all the advancements in technology. Thanks to our lovely laptops, smart phones, iPads, etc., we can take work anywhere we go, which is both a blessing and curse.
However, Sandberg points out that she not only leaves work when the sun is still shining, she actually spends time with her family once she’s home. In other words, she embraces healthy work boundaries.
While this is somewhat of a novel approach in today’s work environment, it shouldn’t be. Read more…