Today, we are used to our politicians taking shots at each other, mostly through third-party ad campaigns. Imagine, however, if Vice President Joe Biden got insulted by some personal comments made by past Secretary of Treasury Henry Paulson and then challenged Paulson to a duel with pistols.
There were several days last week when I felt like I was drinking out of a communication fire hose. I spent the early part of the day before 7AM getting caught-up on e-mails and working on detailed tasks. Then I went into a four to five hour meeting and came out to find 70 – 80 e-mails and four text messages waiting for me.
Over 25 years ago a friend and I closed on a business deal that was the worst deal we ever made. Before we got to the closing there were many “yellow and red lights”, but I didn’t see them…I kept moving towards the closing. I have subsequently referred to this as “transaction momentum”, which is when there are so many forces pushing everyone toward a closing that you fail to back-off when you should.
Effective leaders know the emotional capabilities of their team members. They know their strengths and insecurities. They know when to push and went not to. One challenge is to understand how deep one’s well of strength is. This past week when we lost Maya Angelou I listened to an old interview in which she talked about her life, which had very difficult early years. If anyone had a deep well of strength, it was she.
It is job relocation time and you are all stressed? It is but obvious that a change can bring about this state of mind! There are going to be a whole lot of new things and will give rise to tension too in some cases. But, there is nothing that you need to feel tensed about, for you can accomplish all the relocation with great ease when you bear these helpful tips in mind.
One responsibility leaders have is to put people into stretch positions so they can grow. When they do this effectively, people develop. When they do it ineffectively, people regress. It’s like when you drive a standard shift car and you are stuck in traffic on a hill. You have to “ride” the clutch just right so as not to either hit the car in front or in back of you.
Have you ever heard of strategic inflection points? They are times in the life of a person, business, or industry when almost all the rules change and to survive, you must substantially change, quickly. To the uninformed and unprepared, they come as a surprise. Strategic inflection points in industries are caused when changing external forces meet viable, disruptive innovations and then a completely new industry structure forms.
When I walked into the first night of my first MBA class at Northeastern University, the professor had written this on the blackboard – “Counter Complacency.” I’ve never forgotten it. We had a great discussion about how every leader should put this at the top of their daily “To Do” list.
Except for when I lived in Hawaii, I have spent most of my life within a few miles of the Atlantic Ocean. Like many folks, I take it for granted. My father did not; he spent several of his early years on ice patrol with the Coast Guard in the North Atlantic. Even in his later years he would often go down to the ocean to watch and listen to the surf.
Like so many young managers, Martha fell into the “lying trap”. Her boss asked her if she had followed-up on a sensitive customer issue and she said “yes.” But she hadn’t. Now she was in a fix. What would she do next? In a minute, I’ll tell you what happened. Have you ever suspected that someone you lead at work has lied to you? What did you do? I think confronting employees who have lied is very challenging, especially for less experienced leaders, and how you prepare for those conversations can make all the difference.