Editor’s Note: This is the seventh of 12 essays from the new book, The Rise of HR; Wisdom From 73 Thoughts Leaders. It’s compiled by Dave Ulrich, Bill Schiemann and Libby Sartain, and sponsored by the HR Certification Institute.
By Mark James
While there are many books written on leadership, most of them focus on charisma and motivating people.
In my view, there are three important areas leaders need to focus on and get right:
- Pick the right strategy. This is important, because otherwise you can motivate your organization to follow you in the wrong direction. Sometimes it isn’t clear if you picked the right strategy until years have passed. Read more…
“You know, your butt looks so bad in the outfit you’re wearing, that I was surprised when I touched it, it felt good.”
Imagine hearing that on a date, or in the office, or on a date at your office party, or even your boss hitting on you at the office or at a party. Pretty horrible don’t you think, especially if you were the one experiencing it.
This was actually a real dating story referenced in one of my favorite podcasts called StartUp from Gimlet Media. It’s actually from their season two opener about a new dating/matchmaking startup called Dating Ring. Read more…
I work as a business advisor to executives, and in doing so also I often also have one-on-one conversations with their direct reports.
I can’t count how many times, though I am having confidential conversations with each of them, I am left thinking, “Do you two ever talk to each other?”
They often are in violent agreement about how they feel about what needs to be done, and what role each of them should play in doing it. But to talk to either of them you’d think that they lived on different planets. Read more…
It is clear why open floor plans are so popular in offices today. They bring people together to collaborate in ways that just weren’t possible in the cubicle mazes of the past.
In theory, an open office plan stimulates connections between employees and productive cooperation that can support a vibrant, high-performance culture.
In practice, though, an open office design can struggle with an important detail — how do you reward managers without taking them out of the collaborative environment? Read more…
By Danielle Urban
So your company is expanding and, for the first time, you’ll be sending key employees abroad to work in other markets.
While the opportunities for expansion may appear limitless, so is your potential liability for failing to protect your employees from the myriad problems they may face while traveling on business.
While some risks may appear obvious, such as the Ebola virus in West Africa, or kidnapping in Syria or fighting in Ukraine, there are other, less obvious risks such as an employee falling in the shower or suffering from a poisonous insect bite. In addition to personal safety risks, your employee could face border hassles or even detention for failing to have the proper travel documents, vaccinations or visas. Read more…
Here are some phrases that can pose difficulties to many of us when our ego gets in the way.
Great leaders, however, understand their importance and master them early on.
1. “I was wrong”
Whether you’ve made an outright error or had a failure of judgment, there are few things more difficult than standing in front of people whose respect you desire and admitting that you got it wrong. Read more…
My husband has this annoying habit of criticizing my television choices whenever he pops into the family room and sees I’m watching something he doesn’t like.
“Oh, you’re watching this again?” He’ll say, while grabbing up the remotes. Occasionally he’ll add, “You weren’t really watching that, right?” when clearly I was.
Five minutes ago this man was in a car driving home from work, in the kitchen eating a pre-dinner snack, or out in the back yard doing whatever it is men do in the back yard, but now here he comes, wanting to commander the best screen in the house.
But that’s not why I get annoyed. Read more…
Sometimes even when people agree, and like, and respect each other, they can still find it frustrating to communicate.
Both can be really smart, capable people, but they just don’t get each other — they drive each other crazy.
The issue is that we all have our own preferred style of thinking and communicating.
When we are lucky enough to get a match with our boss, life is easy. When we end up as opposites, the interactions can be highly stressful and annoying, leaving both parties scratching their heads about why this is so difficult. Read more…
Believe it or not, walking loosens the tongue.
Think back to your childhood. Do you remember any long walks with grandparents, aunts, or uncles when you bonded as you bounded through the neighborhood or countryside?
Or about those long, romantic walks with your first love when you poured out your deepest secrets and highest hopes for the future? Or how about those strolls through the hallways at school with your best friend, sharing what you were going to do on the weekend? Read more…
One of the best parts of my job is the creative work I get to do with our customers around change management, communications and training.
As I’m sure you can imagine, that encompasses a fairly expansive suite of potential materials and mechanisms to get out the message about the Power of Thanks to transform an organization.
But if I had to pick a favorite means of communication to develop with a customer, it would be the CEO video. Read more…