Sunday, March 28, 2010

Have you clarified your expectations?

In November 2009, I shared a story about the downfall of not clarifying your expectations as a leader. The post was about Tim and was titled “Where is this new place that we are going?” I thought I would share the actual publication I produced. Have you clearly articulated your expectation? How do you react to the ones below?

JPB Expectations for team members (8 Nov 2009)

Leadership - Leadership is a verb, not a position. Everyone has a responsibility to lead.

Talent - Build world class teams of multi-functional, culturally diverse, multi-lingual talent. Develop/hire people more capable than ourselves. “A’s hire B’s. B’s hire C’s.”

Trust - Be honest. Don’t blame. Build the team. Help each other succeed.

Dependability - “Do what you say, when you say you will do it.” Over-deliver on commitments.

Virtual - Develop and demonstrate excellence in leading virtual teams. Master technology and improve people skills daily. Virtual is 10% technology and 90% people. “A successful virtual team is a geographically dispersed team that thinks and acts as if they were in one place.”

Relationships - Supplier and customer relationships are valued and proactively maintained. “Our performance is that of our supplier/teammates.”

Consistent - Predictable performance, rhythm, reviews, reports and meetings are valued. People can plan on our results.

Innovation - Continuous improvement is valued and lean is our toolbox.

Fact Based - Measure everything important using Malcolm Baldrige metric criteria. Have S.M.A.R.T. goals (Specific, Measureable, Achievable, Relevant & Time Phased). Make decisions based on a healthy balance of facts and intuition.

Standard Work - Once agreed, standard tools and templates are to be used. They save time and confusion. Improvements should be coordinated and deployed.

Recognition - Reward great results in a timely manner. Say “thank you.” Coach each other. Everyone should recognize everyone.

Have Fun - We are fortunate to be able to work on these amazing assignments. Everyone deserves to enjoy what they do. If someone is not having fun, help them find something they will enjoy doing.


Sunday, March 21, 2010

Amazing what you don’t need

Did you know that a full 50 gallon water heater can last for five brief hot showers and a few shaves without refill? Did you know that in a time of need, a standard window screen can be slipped into slots cut into a couple short of 2x4’s to create a fireplace screen? Did you know if you keep a fair amount of ice in your freezer that it will keep your food frozen for many days if you don’t open the door during a power outage?

Many of you know that I’m in the first year of our “Connecticut Adventura” (or as a SoCal friend calls it, living in the “upper right”). If you saw the news last weekend, many parts of Fairfield County CT was heavily hit by the storm and lost power. New Canaan lost power to over 56% of households. It was interesting at first, a pain later on and just life by the third and fourth day. There was a generator sign in the center of town providing residents with updates. It mostly said that schools remained closed.

What does this have to do with leadership? I was reminded how much we have we really do not need. America is a consumer nation. While power is something we do need, I was able to solve each of the challenges presented once I thought about it. I imagine the same is true in the workplace. We need to provide our teams with the tools to accomplish their jobs in an efficient manner. Some nice to haves are important. Too many are not required.

What types of things have you found fall into the “excess” category?

PS – Maybe later in the week I’ll share my staple inventory blog post.


Sunday, March 7, 2010

“3 hots and a cot”

Entitlement. It has been a topic we have discussed many times on LiaV. Generally, I’ve coached that the trappings of success for many can be the same things that cause them to lose touch with their teams and the real work being done in an organization. Big offices, reserved parking, office administrators and separate entrances are all motes disguised as perks.

The other day a colleague, a retired Marine gone executive, told me the only thing he needed was “3 hots and a cot.” The most basic needs to him were 3 hot meals and a place to sleep. It was such a simple statement and concept I thought I would share it more widely. Can you imagine how much more productive everyone would be if there was no effort expended on items of status?


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