14 items tagged "management"

Results 1 - 14 of 14

The Leader's Five-fold Secret to Successful Meetings

Category: Blog
Created on Jun 14 2017

Board Room

 "Oh, no," she moaned as if she were staring at the gallows.

"What?" I asked. "What's wrong?"

We were fellow teachers at a small, elite, private academy in Washington, D.C. Not yet credentialed, still in college in fact, I was part-time and therefore free of all the extra duties and committees required of the full-time faculty. She was easily my mother's age, perhaps older. I'm sure she saw me more as another student than as the "colleague" I fancied myself.

"Oh, it's another meeting. The principal has called another meeting of a committee I serve on. I'm thinking of faking a migraine. Will you back me up?"

"Is it as horrible as all that?"

"It's worse! It's excruciating. They go on and on and on and they accomplish nothing. He just enjoys being the center of attention. I'd rather actually HAVE a migraine."

It was years later, many meetings later, many excruciating meetings later before I understood both her pain and the real problem. When people say meetings are horrible what they really mean is horrible meetings are horrible. I have sat through meetings where I ached to scream. I have also been in meetings that were efficiently conducted, yielded results and proved crucial to setting and meeting team goals. Actually after such meetings I have sensed, not anger and frustration, but enthusiasm, good humor and esprit de corps.

I have been able to identify five keys to conducting a productive and, dare I say it, enjoyable meeting.

The Leader in Crisis

Category: Blog
Created on Apr 26 2017

sos

If you start losing teeth at fifty-five it's a crisis. If you start losing them at five it’s progress. What makes a crisis a crisis depends in part on the context. But there are life crises which irrespective of context are universally understood. I find it absolutely remarkable that so much in King David's life and leadership is so easily applicable to my own. He lived three-thousand years ago. An Iron Age warrior, an outlaw, a poet, a musician and a king. None of these, especially the musician part, have any remote similarity to my life, yet every time I study David, I identify.

I suppose David's life could be accurately described as one unceasing crisis. Many might think of their own lives that way, but there are actually long periods in even the most tumultuous life which are lived in relative calm. We just don't memorialize those. Likewise, the writer of the books of Samuel, Kings and Chronicles surely felt no need to say, "For the next five years everything was pretty much ok."

Having said all that, I have identified three specific crises in the life of this desert warrior which are profoundly relevant to the modern family and leader.

Understanding Myth and Momentum

Category: Blog
Created on Mar 22 2017

How an organization thinks about itself is largely a function of senior leadership. Self-concept is critical to success at varying periods of the organization's history. This truth is easily observable in sports. Furthermore, it is commonly observable. One team, the unanimous underdog comes onto the field with a wild passion, an almost crazed determination. Their opponents, the prohibitive favorites, seem stuck in low gear. They just cannot seem to find the inner fire for which they have in the past been famous. What happens? Why does a team that is so much "better" suddenly lose to a team they ought to have beaten easily, and which if they played a series might predictably defeat nine out of ten times?

There are all kinds of factors, of course, and no one explanation is sufficient, but I believe the number one answer lies in an organizational communication failure between the coach and the team. Somehow the coaching staff failed to impart the correct self-concept. Many coaches and leaders think this is done by convincing the team they are winners.

Don't Tell People How to Do Things - Really?

Category: Blog
Created on Aug 24 2016

Patton
Patton pins the Silver Star on Private Ernest A. Jenkins, a soldier under his command, in October 1944. (Wikimedia Commons)

On The Leader's Notebook this week I am featuring a guest post. I may not do this often but every now and again, I may find something (or someone) I want to introduce to the Notebook's readers.

     This week's guest is not only a business/leadership/marketing/management expert; he is also a personal friend and former colleague. Dr. Steve Greene has extensive experience in business and in business education. Dr. Greene was the dean of the college of business at ORU while I was the president of that university. Before his highly successful years at ORU, he provided excellent leadership at a multi-million dollar television company and a major restaurant chain. Today he is a blogger, publisher, speaker and a business consultant with an extensive clientele. Dr. Greene is also a member of the Board of Directors of Global Servants Inc.

Don't Tell People How to Do Things - Really?
Guest blog by Dr. Steve Greene

I read Bill O'Reilly's latest book, Killing Patton. Bad reviews aside, the book reminded me of a classic quote from General George Patton ...

"Don't tell people how to do things; tell them what to do and let them surprise you with results."

Well, the good general has one thing right in his thinking: There is a surprise coming.

The Importance of Short-Term Wins

Category: Blog
Created on Jun 29 2016

Chess

     It is impossible to overstate the importance of short-term wins in the process of leading any team or organization through the rocky rapids of change. If you take over a team that went 2-13 the last four years, do NOT schedule Alabama for your home opener, believing God for a gridiron miracle. That not faith. It's magical thinking. Instead, schedule Slippery Rock for your first home game and win big. Roll up the score. In other words, a small win is an infinitely better strategy than a showy loss.

     In negotiating the headwinds of change remember that you will have resisters all along the route. Not may have. WILL HAVE.  Some may rise up and fight you. They are not the problem. Those are the easiest to deal with. The silent resisters, the underground opposition are your real problem. Nothing shifts the tide in your favor like wins. A stream of small wins early is a great momentum builder.  Plan them. Set up easy targets and hit them.

     Here are six important ways to turn short-term wins into long-term leadership gains. This is leadership alchemy and is the key to turning the ship in the face of contrary winds. Each small win is a step to big success if you:

Why did you do it THAT way?

Category: Blog
Created on Sep 30 2015

String Puppets

On The Leader's Notebook this week I am featuring a guest post. I may not do this often but every now and again, I may find something (or someone) I want to introduce to the Notebook's readers.

     This week's guest is not only a business/leadership/marketing/management expert; he is also a personal friend and former colleague. Dr. Steve Greene has extensive experience in business and in business education. Dr. Greene was the dean of the college of business at ORU while I was the president of that university. Before his highly successful years at ORU, he provided excellent leadership at a multi-million dollar television company and a major restaurant chain. Today he is a blogger, publisher, speaker and a business consultant with an extensive clientele. Dr. Greene is also a member of the Board of Directors of Global Servants Inc.

Why did you do it THAT way?
Guest blog by Dr. Steve Greene

People want to be led. They do not wish to be controlled.

Effective leaders know the end result they have in mind. The vision of the leader is clearly articulated and the team knows what is expected of them.

You: Corporate Motivator and Chief Reward Giver

Category: Blog
Created on Mar 11 2015

Bullhorn

You determine the pace at which the people in your organization move. You cannot drive people faster than you can go yourself. I have been around a lot of big-time leaders. They emanate a sense of huge personal energy. For all I know, they go home and collapse at night, but when they are around other people, they express vitality. That vitality gives life to the people who follow them.

Of course, it is true enough that some people naturally have more energy than others. But you can cultivate a sense of energy that energizes the people who follow you. When I played basketball a hundred years ago, I found that in the fourth quarter, when I began feeling tired, I felt less tired the more I cranked up my output. It was counterintuitive, but if I ran more slowly, I felt more tired. When you are tired, run faster. It energizes you, and it energizes people around you.

There's No Such Thing as Overstating Vision

Category: Blog
Created on May 14 2014

Excerpt from
RELAUNCH: HOW TO STAGE AN ORGANIZATIONAL COMEBACK
by Dr. Mark Rutland

In fascinating slow-motion photography, Dr. Mike Wheatland, a professor at the University of Syndney specializing in solar astrophysics demonstrated the quite surprising movement of a suspended Slinky. Holding the Slinky at the top, he let it hang straight down, unfurled as it were. He then let go. The slow- motion photography proved that for a time (brief though it was) the bottom end did not fall. The Slinky collapsed from the top down. The sections at the top began to contract while the bottom stayed where it was.

{youtube}8UimHnsWSBc|550|300{/youtube} 

This was caused, he explained, because the information that the slinky was no longer held in place at the top took some period of time to reach the bottom. In fact, by the time that information did reach the bottom it was distorted. The very top

Keeping an Eye on Quality

Category: Blog
Created on Oct 23 2013

Excerpt from
RELAUNCH: HOW TO STAGE AN ORGANIZATIONAL COMEBACK
by Dr. Mark Rutland

The late quality expert Philip Crosby offered a definition that changed everything for me. “Quality,” he said, “is meeting expectations.”

That hit me like a hydrogen bomb. If quality is simply a matter of meeting expectations, then there is no objective standard of quality for anything. That is not to say that there is no such thing as quality. It simply means that most of us think about quality in the wrong way.

Knowing that quality is a matter of meeting expectations is freeing in many ways. In another way, it binds us more closely than ever to the responsibility to communicate with others in our organizations—and with our customers and clients.

What makes a quality shoe store? Well-made shoes? Good customer service? Low prices? It all depends on the customer’s expectations—expectations that are set in large part by the owner of the store.

Myth and Momentum

Category: Blog
Created on Oct 16 2013

How an organization thinks about itself is largely a function of senior leadership. Self-concept is critical to success at varying periods of the organization's history. This truth is easily observable in sports. Furthermore, it is commonly observable. One team, the unanimous underdog comes onto the field with a wild passion, an almost crazed determination. Their opponents, the prohibitive favorites, seem stuck in low gear. They just cannot seem to find the inner fire for which they have in the past been famous. What happens? Why does a team that is so much "better" suddenly lose to a team they ought to have beaten easily, and which if they played a series might predictably defeat nine out of ten times?

There are all kinds of factors, of course, and no one explanation is sufficient, but I believe the number one answer lies in an organizational communication failure between the coach and the team. Somehow the coaching staff failed to impart the correct self-concept. Many coaches and leaders think this is done by convincing the team they are winners.

Facing Up to It

Category: Blog
Created on Oct 02 2013

For the life of me I cannot understand the apparent refusal of many in the press and in the government to use the word "Islamic" or one of its synonyms when describing terrorists, whenever it is apparent that that is exactly what they are. They seem utterly predisposed not to mention the religion of the terrorists. This would not be important to the story unless it is important to the terrorists. I do not think a Baptist bank robber or a Buddhist pickpocket should be described as such unless they did what they did precisely BECAUSE of their religion. Then it is important. The motive of terrorists is crucial to understanding what is happening and what their actions mean. It is indispensable to formulating a successful response.

Is their steadfast refusal to face reality and use the word "Islamic" a fear of being attacked themselves? Perhaps it's some kind of inexplicable sense of simpatico. Or could it be that there is some perverse reluctance to give any satisfaction to political opponents who want the names named?

I will not pretend to know the inner motives of the press or the pols, nor is that really the purpose of this article. That being said, whatever the cause, it is dangerous when leadership refuses to face up to it, whatever "it" is. Whether a snarl in the mail room or a failure of communication between executives or a vision gap between the administration and the board, any issue causing problems must be faced. Furthermore a name must be put on that face. This may not, in fact probably will not be so often a person's name as it is the "cause."  This is the problem with the terrorism issue. If all the realities concerning the perpetrators, including their religion and motive, are not considered honestly, response may be hampered. In fact, the wrong thing might easily be done. Limited or unrealistic comprehension of the issue may dictate a response that might be counterproductive or even put people in harm's way.

Leadership Confusions I: Strategy or Tactics

Category: Blog
Created on Aug 15 2013

For use in teaching at the National Institute of Christian Leadership, I designed a model called the Mission-Function Vertical Axis. Many NICL attendees have expressed how important that teaching became to them. Here in The Leader's Notebook, I will not give an exhaustive explanation of the axis itself, but this week and next I will discuss two points of confused organizational thinking which can occur along that axis and which will cause stagnation and other problems. Many organizations live at a tragic level of confusion over two elements of the axis: strategy and tactics.

Tactics are the use of available resources for the accomplishment of a task. In other words, how do I use what I have to accomplish what needs to be done in this circumstance? Tactical thinking is not about keeping the circumstance from happening again or even understanding what caused it this time. Tactics answer a basic question. What is the best way to resolve this now given the resources at hand?

Strategy, on the other hand is the comprehensive set of plans and goals designed to further the long range vision. Strategy asks a totally different question from tactics. Tactics asks, “How do we fix this?” Strategy asks, “How do we get where we want to go? How do we best move this organization toward the fulfillment of the vision?”

The Leader in Crisis

Category: Blog
Created on Aug 15 2013

If you start losing teeth at fifty-five it's a crisis. If you start losing them at five it’s progress. What makes a crisis a crisis depends in part on the context. But there are life crises which irrespective of context are universally understood. I find it absolutely remarkable that so much in King David's life and leadership is so easily applicable to my own. He lived three-thousand years ago. An Iron Age warrior, an outlaw, a poet, a musician and a king. None of these, especially the musician part, have any remote similarity to my life, yet every time I study David, I identify.

I suppose David's life could be accurately described as one unceasing crisis. Many might think of their own lives that way, but there are actually long periods in even the most tumultuous life which are lived in relative calm. We just don't memorialize those. Likewise, the writer of the books of Samuel, Kings and Chronicles surely felt no need to say, "For the next five years everything was pretty much ok."

Having said all that, I have identified three specific crises in the life of this desert warrior which are profoundly relevant to the modern family and leader.

The Leader's Five-fold Secret to Successful Meetings

Category: Blog
Created on Aug 15 2013

"Oh, no," she moaned as if she were staring at the gallows.

"What?" I asked. "What's wrong?"

We were fellow teachers at a small, elite, private academy in Washington, D.C. Not yet credentialed, still in college in fact, I was part-time and therefore free of all the extra duties and committees required of the full-time faculty. She was easily my mother's age, perhaps older. I'm sure she saw me more as another student than as the "colleague" I fancied myself.

"Oh, it's another meeting. The principal has called another meeting of a committee I serve on. I'm thinking of faking a migraine. Will you back me up?"

"Is it as horrible as all that?"

"It's worse! It's excruciating. They go on and on and on and they accomplish nothing. He just enjoys being the center of attention. I'd rather actually HAVE a migraine."

It was years later, many meetings later, many excruciating meetings later before I understood both her pain and the real problem. When people say meetings are horrible what they really mean is horrible meetings are horrible. I have sat through meetings where I ached to scream. I have also been in meetings that were efficiently conducted, yielded results and proved crucial to setting and meeting team goals. Actually after such meetings I have sensed, not anger and frustration, but enthusiasm, good humor and esprit de corps.

I have been able to identify five keys to conducting a productive and, dare I say it, enjoyable meeting.