June 16th, 2011
The giant presence of a lighthouse, topped with a powerful beacon, conjures images of safe guidance and the warning of imminent danger for those travelling by sea. Historically, lighthouses have been used to mark points of hazardous coastline as well as to indicate the entrance to a secure harbor. It is unfortunate that the number of operational lighthouses continues to decline as their purpose is replaced by advanced geo-location technology. Still, the lighthouse itself remains an iconic symbol for a safe journey home and for an illuminated path during difficult times.
Like the lighthouse, a leader is also in a position to provide guidance and to cast a concentrated light on the unseen perils facing people and an organization. Through their personal light do they light the way for others, and from the brilliance at the core of their being are they meant to shine out! Read more »
June 13th, 2011
I’d like to focus today on grief. I’ve had several significant events that have brought grief into my life. Interestingly, I wasn’t even aware of the impact they had on me until many months later. These events included a transition from one business to creating a new one, our son leaving for college within a week of my business changing, and then a very significant relationship that started professionally and grew into a personal relationship had a significant challenge and changed forms as well.
As I’ve gotten through each of the events above
and reflected on their impact on my life, I’ve thought of several ways grief can be good for us both personally and professionally.
Grief Reveals our Capacity to Commit
The first thing that is good about grief is that it shows us that we cared about, committed to, or were involved in something that was so significant that we miss it. We view it as a loss. This is a testament to our capacity for commitment. We committed ourselves to something or someone that it hurts that that they, or it, no longer exist in our lives. We need to celebrate the fact that we created something so significant that the loss has a real impact on our lives. That says something about who we are as a person. Read more »
May 31st, 2011
Last week I discussed one reason why poor employee performance may be the leaders fault. The following are two additional reasons that employee performance may suffer and what you can do about it.
Expectations are Not Clearly Defined
Our experience has shown that across different industries people are hired but the results that are expected from these new employees are not clearly defined. In most companies the on-boarding process is weak and inconsistent. Employees are hired and expected to navigate this process on their own. The results are many times disastrous and expensive.
Consider these examples of expectation misalignment. Many of the companies we work with have expectations of Business Development but fail to explain the parameters or the numbers they are expected to achieve. Read more »
May 9th, 2011
I recently heard a story of two business partners who had designed a unique type of tennis shoe. They invested millions in the design, the factory, the manufacturing and the marketing of these shoes. They were filled with excitement because they knew that success beyond their wildest dreams was right around the corner for them!
They had identified a particular area in Africa to launch this business. One of the partners traveled there to explore the market and was horrified by what he found. He called his business partner and said “I have terrible news. People are everywhere and NOT A SINGLE PERSON IS WEARING SHOES! We’re sunk.” To which his business partner responded — “It’s the perfect market — everyone NEEDS shoes!”
How many times do we see a similar scenario play out in our life and work? The exact same situation can be described very differently from the perspective of two different people. They say the least reliable source to describe an accident is an eye witness. Why is that? How can five of us see the same accident and report it very differently? Read more »