Sometimes leadership and management jobs just feel ugly and impossible.
I can remember feeling at various points in my career, that the mission just didn’t make sense, or that it was unsupported. I felt like I was out on a limb owning all of the risk, and with not enough resources to succeed.
Or, I felt like the corporate bureaucracy — the board, or another group or particular adversary –, was blocking me (or sabotaging me) from doing the right things that I knew desperately needed to be done.
Welcome to being a leader. Read more…
Editor’s Note: Readers sometimes ask about past TLNT articles. That’s why we republish a Classic TLNT post every Friday.
It’s a lesson I learned while I was working toward an MBA: the most powerful business lessons aren’t the stories of success, but the stories of failure.
Yes, as good as it is to hear about Herb Kelleher and how he built the great workforce culture at Southwest Airlines, I got a lot more out of studying “Chainsaw” Al Dunlap and all the bad stuff he did while systematically tearing down companies (like Sunbeam) and their culture.
This is also true of business wisdom; I always learn a lot more from the bad advice I see popping up from so many so-called experts who have curious notions about what really matters when it comes to managing people and leading a workforce. Read more…
Remember cartoon character George Jetson’s grueling two-hour workday, which earned him a deluxe apartment in the sky? Whatever happened to that future?
Instead of enjoying a shrinking work week due to better technology, as we’ve expected for decades, the average American work week has actually grown to nearly 60 hours!
How is it that we have less discretionary time and work harder than ever, even though technological breakthroughs have made us all incredibly productive? Read more…
Why are you in HR?
Perhaps I could end this post with the title alone because it’s a poignant question. If you work in HR or make money off of HR, have you asked yourself lately why you are here?
Most will say they work in HR because they “love to work with people,” or they “like making a difference in organizations.” The funny thing is, the more you work in HR the more you find that the relationship you have with your employees is a bit of a sordid tale, and that making a difference is a periodic win that graces you with its presence maybe every solar eclipse.
So again I ask — why are you in HR? Read more…
When you’re feeling good, it’s easy to take your health for granted.
Most of us appreciate when we feel great, but few of us spend the time to figure out how we got there — and how to stay there.
It’s the same with organizations. If nothing’s obviously wrong, if people aren’t leaving in droves, if “people issues” aren’t driving costs up, managers tend to get complacent.
However, if managers are to understand the underlying health of an organization, they need much more than the basic pulse-check of annual performance ratings. Otherwise, they might be bleeding talent before they realize anything is wrong. Read more…
Brevity is emerging as an essential new business basic.
In the fast-paced, multi-tasking, attention-deficit workplaces we find ourselves, getting to the point quickly matters more than ever. If you’re long winded, you’ll lose people’s attention and get lost in the data deluge.
But we face daunting challenges just to be heard.
The average person’s attention span is now only 8 seconds, and professionals are interrupted 6-7 times an hour, often unable to get back to their task at hand. More than 43 percent of us abandon complicated or lengthy emails in the first 30 seconds, and the majority of us admit ignoring half the emails we receive every day. Read more…
Companies today face several unprecedented challenges.
- An increasingly competitive hiring landscape, combined with growing talent shortages and skills gaps, makes finding the right people harder than ever.
- Looming retirements among Baby Boomers means companies will soon lose their most senior employees, along with their skills and knowledge.
- And, with rampant employee disengagement, companies often struggle to retain their best and most promising workers.
As these issues converge, talent management has become increasingly difficult. So, what can employers do to counteract these factors? Read more…
Innovation – finding a better way of doing something or creating something new — that’s how Google, Apple, Microsoft, Amazon, and countless others became such well-known brands.
Rather than just “do what the Roman’s did,” they created something that no one else had, or at least delivered products and services in a way that their competitors had not done.
Innovation doesn’t just happen. Innovation requires key areas of your business running like a well-oiled machine. Read more…
I recently received a note from my good friend Sharlyn Lauby (aka, the HRBartender) in reference to a question that she received from one of her readers:
How did you prepare for your new human resources role in Saudi Arabia? The country has different cultures, business traditions, and labor laws.
What I realized is that the story behind me making the move from New York City to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia could possibly fill a book [to be announced at a later date]. Read more…
If there is one thing I hate in HR, it’s when I hear other HR Pros try and make HR seemingly overly complicated.
Look, we aren’t launching the Space Shuttle, we’re only trying to get good people to come and stay at our organizations. It’s not rocket science, it’s people science, and it’s probably less science and more common sense.
In fact, we could call your HR strategy, People Sense! But, that’s sounds like a bad HR tech company name. Read more…