Sunday, December 18, 2011

Gifts that matter

Gifting in the workplace is a tough topic on many levels. When you are a true leader, the task is difficult because so many people help you accomplish anything you achieved.

I figured out the answer for me. Gifts that take effort or help someone or something greater than you are always a good thing. So, I determined a small token of appreciation that also supports a non-profit organization could be noticed as an interesting and educational way to thank co-workers. About ten years ago I learned that the annual fund raiser for the Canine Assistance Program of Utah was a hand crafted goat milk soap sale. Since that time, we buy “CAPSOAP” product in bulk and divide it up as appreciation gifts. It sends a nice gifting message, educates and helps an important cause. Everybody wins.

Have you discovered our holiday solutions leaders might use in the workplace?


Sunday, December 4, 2011

“I can make it right”

Given all our complaints about customer service, could you imagine a company only hiring “C” students and giving them the power to make management decisions to make situations right for the customer?

I’ve been a fan of the Enterprise Rent-A-Car hiring and service model for a long time and their most recent TV ads say it all. The ads have Enterprise teammates stating that if a customer ever has a problem, “I can make it right.” If you have ever dealt with Enterprise, it is true. Enterprise is family owned, hire highly social, C students with leadership potential. They train them, put them in charge and let them make decisions. Seems like such a simple concept.

Do you give your teammates the decision authority to get their job done? Do they know what decision power they have? Do you cause non-value added checks and balances?


Sunday, November 27, 2011

I love bad news

Probably not true. A mentee asked me once, “Why do managers not like bad news?” While the answer seemed obvious, I took a moment to understand the question.

It was clear from the question that this person (and probably many people) had not been rewarded for telling their boss something bad that they needed to hear. Often the bearer of bad news becomes associated with the news itself. Shooting the messenger is a common trait of leaders with limited emotional intelligence. I once lead a quality organization and it became clear to me that I was the grim reaper of constant bad news. I had to purposefully starting inserting good news stories to avoid that “dark shadow in the doorway” image. Mature leaders of high emotional intelligence are able to encourage their teams to bring them news of all types without over reacting.

Do you act or react when people give you bad news. Do you reward people for keeping you informed or punish for being the messenger? How have you been able to overcome the desire to shoot the messenger?


Sunday, November 13, 2011

Can government work be cool?

Why is it we love our mailman and hate the DMV? Could it be your mailman’s autonomy makes them more customer-oriented or flexible?

What would you do if you were responsible for the work policies of the federal government and President Obama gave you the goal “to make government cool again by developing flexible, results-oriented Human Resource policies and working to change how Americans view their public servants“? That was exactly the assignment John Berry, United States Director of the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) got in early 2010. His first strategy, was to make The Telework Enhancement Act of 2010 (Public Law 111–292) a reality because it provided the authority to develop flexible policies, tools and training.

I heard about this charge and the progress being made by the Mr. Berry and explored their website ( The US government has collected many best practices used throughout industry for virtual work programs. It subscribes to the belief that successful virtual work is a “90% people challenge and 10% technology.” Written agreements, goal setting, frequent communication and strong performance management are cornerstones of the program.

How formal have you implemented your virtual work programs? Did you fundamentally change your leadership style to lead a virtual team?


Sunday, October 16, 2011

How late can we celebrate?

On 26 September 2011, Boeing delivered the first 787 Dreamliner to airline ANA after a three year delay. The aircraft is a technological achievement unmatched in aerospace and will create a customer flying experience like no other. The event was celebrated.

The 911 Memorial officially opened on 11 September 2011 after ten years of debate, design, coordination and construction. “The Memorial is a national tribute of remembrance and honor to the 2,983 people killed in the terror attacks of September 11, 2001 and February 26, 1993.” The event was celebrated.
This weekend, an international team under my leadership achieved an aerospace manufacturing milestone of large implication, significance and meaning. While the project concluded one year late, it has the potential to change the face of aero-structure assembly for years to come. The event was celebrated locally with no fanfare or drama.

Should a significant accomplishment be celebrated in the same way whether on time or significantly late?


Sunday, October 9, 2011

Artificial Barriers

One of the occupational consequences of working international projects is an abundance of long flight hours with time to kill. Once all the possible staff-work is complete and I’ve read as much as possible, the airline movie marathon starts. I categorize movies based on if I’d be willing to pay to see them at a theater, willing to pay to Netflix them, willing to watch them for free on a plane and last, movies I cannot even to watch for free. Sometimes I’m pleasantly surprised by a movie I’ve never heard of.

“Cold Souls” (2009) starring Paul Giamatti was very odd and a nice surprise. An interesting scene in the movie involved a doctor explaining to Giamatti the concept of tying a young circus elephant’s ankle to a tent spike to stop them from wondering off. When young, the spike is strong enough to stop the elephant. The elephant “learns” that they cannot over-take the constraint. As the elephant grows bigger and stronger, they never question the power of the constraint. Of course the spike is no match for the large elephant, but they never try to over-power it.

This made me wonder what constraints we artificially apply to ourselves and/or what barriers our people believe that really do not exist. How often have you heard “we have never done it that way” or “this will never work?”

What artificial constraints can you remove for your people? What items can you fix that have really bothered the teams reporting to you?


Sunday, September 25, 2011

Vision accomplished

Each of the days following Hurricane Irene was the same for us. We would come home from work to find no power. We would BBQ dinner outside and once it got dark we would walk downtown where some street lights and stores had electricity. Starbucks was one of those with power and the first night there were about 10 folks there getting a charge and internet fix. By day two, there were about 25 people at Starbucks getting a charge and the nightly internet fix. Day 3 saw the crowd grow to over 50 and then even more the next. People brought power strips, shared open outlets and we all sat around together. It was the night time community social area.

I’m not the biggest Starbucks fan, but I just finished reading Howard Schultz book “Onward”. It is the CEO’s story of Starbucks since the beginning, but with special focus on the turn around since 2008. Schultz says he was not trying to create a coffee place for people, but a people place that served coffee. The Starbucks Experience has many elements and free internet and power are a part of the formula. I hate to give Schultz too much credit, but our local Starbucks met his goal in the days after Irene and I suspect he would have been proud. Very seldom do vision and results ever match as closely as this.

Have you ever seen a leadership vision and results align this closely? What was the situation?


Monday, September 5, 2011

Power On!!!

Where has LiaV been? It has been four weeks since we last heard.

Simple enough, a week vacation and week in China and a week in India and a week in Irene! Just got power and internet back a little while ago. We got hit pretty hard, but much less than many on the coast line and in Vermont so I’m not going to tell you it was really bad. It was an event and there were few lessons.

First – we do not need much of the stuff that we have. I lived out of a suitcase for 3 weeks and then in the post-Irene world for a week. It is not a big deal. Being without power for five days made the house a quiet and dark place, but totally livable. The BBQ was going each night and everyone was helping each other. We should have started a multi-day Monopoly game.

Second – Web 2.0 technology has morphed from something for kids and shopping to a basic communication tool for those needing to get and give information. The city of New Canaan had one-way communication on their web site but their Office of Emergency Management established a Facebook page early. This allowed for two way communication and created an environment for people to communicate with each other. It made a big difference in causing everyone to work together and be part of the solution. What was the single technology that allowed this leap – the smart-phone. It does not require connected power or internet access.

There are lessons here for leaders of all types. What do you think we can do with these lessons?


Monday, August 8, 2011

When do leaders risk it all?

After a beautiful week of surf and fun in Huntington Beach, CA, it came down to the finals of the men’s Nike US Open of Surfing competition with reigning 10-Time ASP World Champion Kelly Slater (Cocoa Beach, FL) versust Yadin Nicol (Australia) at the iconic Huntington Beach Pier.

Slater had been surfing well all week. Nicol had been making average waves into big scores for 9 days. So, what does the contender do to overcome the champion? In this case he took a risk and tried something new. Nicol went out deeper than he had all week, became extremely patient and waited for the big wave to catch an awesome score. Unfortunately for him, there was no perfect wave Sunday afternoon and he went the 30 minute segment without surfing a single wave. Slater won with a few decent scores on average waves. The fans were disappointed and Nicol was not a happy camper.

This does beg the question about when is the right time to take a risk and try something different. In a serious situation, do you go with the familiar or try something completely new? Do you go for the big score or win the old fashion way?

If this surfing championship were a business situation, what approach would you have taken? Has it worked for you in the past?


Sunday, July 24, 2011

“Vibe Tribe”

“We can’t paint the plant exterior this weekend because the hippies are coming to town.” Say what? Dave made this statement in a Facilities review a week ago. What could he possibly be talking about? It was the 4 day Gathering of the Vibes Music and Art Festival at Seaside Park in Bridgeport, CT. I figured for sure, there was some stereotyping going on. I blogged a couple weeks ago about the Clearwater Music Festival and I did not think any event could bring out more hippies.

I’ve shared the leadership lessons from Coachella, Austin City Limits and Clearwater. Generally, these festivals offer us all an opportunity to experience diversity. The Vibes was no exception. This was a celebration of the 1960’s era along with more contemporary. Many world peace organizations had platforms and booths the share information about their causes.

What out of the ordinary experience did you have this weekend?

PS – Anyone LIAV members been to Bonnaroo? That’s next.


Sunday, July 17, 2011

Do you create Charlies?

This skinny kid with wavy hair and bright eyes wandered down to the end of the court where my nephew and I shooting hoops. This kid is probably only 13 years old and says “you guys want to play some twenty-one or something?” As it turns out, the kid has game but struggles against our size and experience.

Charlie tells us he caddied at the golf course early this morning and played hoops in his drive most the day. He was bored playing by himself so his mom drove him to the city court. Turns out, we were the only guys playing that hot evening. Charlie was headed to basketball camp the next week and planned to play freshman high school ball when the school year starts. This kid has passion for what he is doing. Can you imagine a work team with the passion of Charlie? “Drive – The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us” by Daniel H. Pink asks the question, “why will we do something for free that we would not do for pay?” Part of the secret is to align the individual’s passion with the available assignments.

How do you capitalize on the innate passion of your teammates? How do you keep your own passion aligned?


Monday, July 4, 2011

Cereal Killer

Ok. I admit it. I am a self confessed “cereal killer.” I have been since as a teenager I could devour a whole box of Cheerios at one sitting. If you were hearing this admission rather than reading it, this would be a very concerning blog post. This phenomenon happens all the time with the English language and even worse when communicating with someone whose English is a second language.

It happened one time when I was mentoring a young Chinese born manufacturing professional as I and asked her if she “ever planned to enter a cleaner side of the industry?” Her reaction was obvious and I came to learn she thought I was insinuating she might enter the dry cleaning industry. It happened internationally a couple weeks ago when the words “blame” and “hold accountable” were used interchangeably. They definitely have difference connotations in the United States. The funniest wording mix-up I’ve heard came from a friend that publically said she forgot her “pants” instead of “trousers” while in the UK. That brought a lot of smiles.

Have you learned from an important mistake? Does it happen within the United States too?


Sunday, June 19, 2011

Hippy Power

The tickets never arrived. They were using a home grown system. The help line was overrun and they could not keep up with email traffic. We were deciding whether it was worth driving to the show and not getting in. We did and it was no problem. We explained the problem to the hippy at the “ticket solutions” tent and he sent us into the festival.

I’m talking about the Clearwater Music & Environmental Festival at Croton Point Park in New York. The music drew us to the event, but the diversity of thought at this event was stimulating. In April 2009, I posted a blog about forcing yourself to become immersed in Gen Y diversity. This weekend was about being overcome by Boomer diversity. Clearwater has an interesting way of exposing one to a world displaying where all the hippies landed. The event was “zero waste” and energy neutral. The 30 plus activist booths included knowledgeable and passionate people of many causes. It was an eye opening experience.

What did you do this month to meet a group of people outside you normal sphere? Can you inquire and learn from people you do not necessarily agree with?


Sunday, June 5, 2011

Ignoring a problem is accepting it

This weekend, my brother, nephew and I laid 300 square feet of Connecticut gray slate in the back yard. They were heavy, awkward and dangerous. We wore the proper hand and eye protection and there were no injuries.

As a leader, every time you walk by an unsafe working practice you are accepting it? We do not get the choice to ignore it. Sooner or later, someone gets hurt bad.

The safety pyramid was brought to my attention late last week and appreciated its simplicity. For every so many bad practices something will happen. For so many events happening, a something really bad happens. And so on. H.W. Heinrich, a pioneer of occupational safety, came up with the original accident pyramid in 1931.

Do you speak up when you see something unsafe or done dangerously?


Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Never give up

The 100th running of the Indianapolis 500 was this past Sunday. 500 miles in 200 laps around a 2.5 mile, 4 turn historic track.

I can’t bring myself to watch two full hours of racing, but I definitely like the finish of this race given the distinguished field of international racers. There were the normal contenders and the new hopefuls. At the end of it all, rookie J.R. Hildebrand had the lead going into the last lap. He was ahead by a lot and simply had to stay on the course to win. Sounds easy, but it didn’t happen. On the last turn, Hildebrand slid out and crashed into the wall allowing Dan Weldon to slip by within 100 feet of the finish line to take the victory. Weldon had not led the race for a single lap up to that point. He had no hope of winning and most of the afternoon was about staying in the race. Can you imagine the coaching Weldon got that afternoon during the long two hours from his crew in the pit.

Often as leader, you have to coach your team to stay the course, plow ahead and good things will happen. Even the most insightful lead does not know for sure that perseverance will pay off, but we do know without it, we are doomed. Weldon stayed in the won.

Have you had to coach in what seemed like a losing effort? How did you motivate the team? Did the victory ever jump from the jaws of defeat?


Sunday, May 22, 2011

Sometimes leaders do have the answer

It was getting late Friday afternoon and time to go home. That’s when Jamal stepped into my office and asked if it was ok to close the door. Jamal is a hard working young professional that has a lot of promise. Unfortunately, he looked like he had the weight of the world on his shoulders.

After beating around the bush for what seemed like forever, he shared what was bothering him. He said the situation was keeping him up at night and making him ill. Without going into too much detail, his challenge was one of being pursued by multiple managers while balancing loyalty to his home department. There more details. Once I had the pertinent facts, the answer and approach Jamal had to take was clear. Of course, clear to me given 30 years of organizational experience. “Great performers get choices and other may not.” I explained to him how I would handle the situation to maximize everyone’s satisfaction. You could see the weight removed. It is true, sometimes leaders do have the answer and they must simply share it. I wondered as I drove home, what Jamal would have done this weekend had I not been available or had not taken the time to talk.

As a leader, do you give direct and unambiguous opinion when appropriate? Do you tell it straight even when it may not be what someone wants to hear


Sunday, May 15, 2011

Jimmy Olsen or Superman?

I got an email this week from a project element leader stationed overseas that provided the performance results. It was the third month in a row performance was below plan and the three month trend was negative. The note came with a simple “here are the results.” No explanation of why or what was going to be done to put the project on track.

Remember James Bartholomew Olsen (Jimmy Olsen) from the Superman TV shows and movies? Do you know the difference between Jimmy Olsen and Superman? It is simple – Jimmy Olsen reports history and Superman changes it! Olsen sees a situation, collects information and runs back to tell “the Chief” (the newspaper editor). Superman sees a situation, assesses it and takes action to change the outcome. If leadership is really a verb, then leadership is action and not a report. This lesson is especially important to leaders located in geographically dispersed places (virtual leaders). It is hard to see the leadership action of a teammate 9,000 miles away. People only see the action implied in the communications they provide. So, the next time you are providing an update to the project you are leading, consider the message you are sending.

How do you demonstrate action in the remote communications you provide? Have you considered methods to improve them?


Sunday, May 1, 2011

Blackberry drained the pool

“You know what killed our ability to develop young leaders don’t you?” Dave said as he held up his Blackberry. “It used to be that we had to make the hard decisions when our bosses were away. Now, you just email your manager in Timbuktu and she emails the answer back in seconds.”

Whether you are recruiting it, developing it or just worrying about it, talent is the life blood of the role of leadership. Early in our careers we were put in situations where a decision had to me made and there was no one to ask. This made us think through the ramifications of the alternatives and select one. Sometimes we picked the least risky and other times we decided to double down. Sometimes we were right and others times we were off base. We learned from the wins and even more from the failures. If we were lucky enough to work for a true leader, they would return and “coach” us in private. If not, we learned the error of our ways in front of the full team. In either case, we learned how to make the tough decisions.

Dave and I talked about learning to swim (lead) by being tossed into the deep end of the pool and how leaders that are not careful can end up draining the pool. How we use our Blackberry is a decision we make. We as leaders choose if and how we answer subordinate inquiries. We choose whether we let them develop their reasoning and decision skills or just give them the answers. We have the option to respond, “Make a decision and I’ll support you when I return.”

Are you letting you Blackberry drain the deep end of the leadership development pool? How do you make sure it does not?


Sunday, April 24, 2011

Snake solution

Why not so much a leadership topic, this is why you have not heard from LiaV lately.

After decades of travel, I finally had a close call. I came down with what we call the "Jingdezhen hack" (like a smoker's cough) while in Jingdezhen China. The local "pharmacy" gave me "999" to resolve the symptoms. I found out later it was some kind of ground up snake parts! The condition got worse. I often try to exercise in cases of a cold so on Saturday morning I did two laps around Century Park in central Shanghai. It did not seem to help and the condition got worse so I went to an expat clinic in Shanghai. At first they thought it was pneumonia and did not want me to fly to India that afternoon. They did an x-ray, gave me drugs and let me fly to India. A day later the Shanghai doctor emailed me saying it was pneumonia and to be very careful. I was feeling a little better but still had a deep chest cough that continued the week.

I got back to CT yesterday and saw my local doctor. She confirmed pneumonia and said it was amazing I'm not down ill. She gave more meds and told me not to exercise until the breathing straightens out.

Leaders – travel safe!


Sunday, March 20, 2011

Are you solving puzzles or mysteries?

To be a successful leader on an international stage you have to be extremely curious. Sure, you must have great technical skills, understand cultures and languages and excel at virtual leadership capabilities, but having a healthy curiosity brings it all together.

I’ve shared this time and time again and drive it into the international organization I now lead. While I knew it to be true, I did not have a firm basis for my belief. While reading Malcolm Gladwell’s latest release this weekend (“What the Dog Saw and other adventures”) it all came together. The Million-Dollar Murray chapter discusses in depth the different between solving a puzzle and solving a mystery. Gladwell’s theory suggests that solving “puzzles are transmitter dependent and mysteries are receiver dependent.” One of Gladwell’s examples was the difference between Watergate (Deep Throat was the transmitter) and Enron (reporters and analyst were the receivers and found the issues in the public accounting statements).

For the international leader, this means a successful business relationship is not as simple as reading a book. It involves taking the huge amount of disparate data points and painting the successful approach. It is your role as the leader to interpret what you are given.

As a leader, do you try to solve puzzles or focus on mysteries?


Sunday, March 13, 2011

Jim, Tim and Earl have character!

Jim Burr, Tim Higgins and Earl Walton made a mistake. They missed a game ending Big East Conference second-round basketball call at Madison Square Garden that ended the Rutgers University season prematurely. It was obvious and misfortunate.
Here is the big difference that makes me bring it to the attention of the LiaV community. Referees Burr, Higgins and Walton took complete ownership in their error and removed themselves from the rest of the tournament. They administered self discipline. There was no investigation, review or committee. They recognized their mistake, felt a huge sense of injustice and decided the right path forward without any further consideration.
As leaders, we are going to make mistakes. We need to own them, do the right corrective action and move forward. Admit to your shortfalls before others do and take your own corrective action. I wanted St. Johns to win this basketball game, but t not this way. The self action of the referees renewed my faith in the refs that made the error.
Have you seen a leader take ownership for an error? How did it make you feel?


Sunday, March 6, 2011

R u stdyg us as mch as we r u? (2)

We met Josh and Elizabeth in downtown NYC for an evening of good food and conversation. The four of us had mutual professional interests but viewed the world from very different perspectives. Two of us were just starting our careers and the other two were enjoying the benefits of successful careers Around that table (other than some gray hair) you could not tell who was who.

A few years ago, I posted the question “Are you studying us as much as we are you?” The hypothesis was that boomers were spending a lot more effort learning to be successful working with Gen Y’s than they were on how to work with us. The comments to the posting indicated that those in leadership roles had the responsibility to do the learning. One person even commented that the boomers need the Gen Ys far more than the Gen Ys need them. Well, my faith has been restored. QR codes, social networkings in the workplace and knowledge management solutions were tossed around the table with excitement. The table was vibrating with curiosity as we shared different perspectives. The visit was a blast and one well worth the effort.

As leaders, how are you staying current with work place technology opportunities? Who are your Josh and Elizabeth 25 year old mentors?


Wednesday, March 2, 2011

LiaV™ recognized again – Thank you

On-Line has selected “Leadership is a Verb™” as one of the best fifty leadership blogs on the web. The list includes many others that are worth your viewing – some professional and other amateur.

Thank you for the encouragement and making our community successful.


Sunday, February 6, 2011

Are U Happy?

A leader that knows what makes them happy is far more likely to understand what makes others happy. The 17 June 2004 article by James Montier in Global Equity Strategy tilted “The Psychology of Happiness” outlines where happiness comes from.

Here is Montier’s top ten list for improving happiness (in no particular order)

1) Don’t equate happiness with money.
2) Exercise regularly.
3) Have sex (preferably with someone you love).
4) Devote time and effort to close relationships..
5) Pause for reflection; meditate on the good things in life.
6) Seek work that engages your skills; look to enjoy your job.
7) Give your body the sleep it needs.
8) Don’t pursue happiness for its own sake, enjoy the moment.
9) Take control of your life, set yourself achievable goals.
10) Remember to follow the rules.

How many of these ten do you do?


Monday, January 31, 2011

Mildly interesting, not relevant

I had the opportunity last week to hear a senior Army officer speak about his priorities and the importance of contractor performance to them achieving their objectives. He was quite focused and knew his topic. On a couple occasions during the talk he described certain information as “mildly interesting, not relevant.”

So many things are mildly interesting and not relevant. It often seems like a leaders job is to sort through the mildly interesting to find the relevant. In fact, some experts would say that is a key skill a true leader must have. I would suggest the same skill is critical for team members to understand when communicating with their leadership. Everyone is busy. To be an effective communicator, one must thoroughly determine what is fluff and what is important. If you can do this, your message will get through.

How do you teach your teams the difference between what is mildly interesting and what is truly relevant? Has it worked?


Sunday, January 23, 2011

Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle

“In quantum mechanics, the Heisenberg uncertainty principle states by precise inequalities that certain pairs of physical properties, such as position and momentum, cannot be simultaneously known to arbitrarily high precision. That is, the more precisely one property is measured, the less precisely the other can be measured.”
I first starting web searching this topic today because there was reference to it in the New York Times. The way the author there described the principle seemed to be relatable to our leadership topic. So what did I learn? First, look up information you read to see if it is true. Second, quantum mechanics is very interesting and complex.
What does it have to do leadership? Simply that we all balance priorities, resources, effort and attention. While the quantum folks are balancing position and momentum measurement accuracy, we tend to balance quality and speed. In past posts (“Understanding the blind spots”), I’ve shared the decision model for leaders that has urgency on the Y axis and importance on the X axis. Simple guidelines like this can help leaders focus.
Hopefully none of you are professionals of quantum physics and able to tell how much I butchered Mr. Heisenberg’s work.
What tools or guidelines do you use to prioritize your time and focus?


Sunday, January 16, 2011

Refrigerators and Microwaves

The first manufacturing management assignment I had (called a foreman back then) was assembling the MD-80 upper aft fuselage. It was loud, dirty, had plenty of shortages and the parts did not fit together very well. Lean was not cool yet. You’d think the team I was responsible for would want my help fixing these issues, but they did not. They told me in no uncertain terms that they needed a new refrigerator in order for productivity to improve. I got them a refrigerator. The next group needed a microwave oven. I got them an oven. Another group needed filing cabinets. I got them. An exhausted Supplier Management team just needed a day off. We took the heat and shut down for a holiday weekend. Time and time again, leaders need to help teams with the fundamentals before moving to the more complicated.

The funny thing is these are not new concepts. Abraham Maslow (Hierarchy of Needs - 1943) and Fredrick Hertzberg (Motivation-Hygiene Theory - 1963) have been taught for years. I formally learned them in 1980. Sometimes in our quest for the “new and exciting” we do not give proper credence to the tried-and-true. Bottom line, it is unlikely a team of people can do fantastic work when their basic needs are not being met. Key here is that the leader does not select what the basic needs are or if they are being met. The team or the customer selects.

We all want to work on the latest and greatest, but we need to ensure the “refrigerators and microwaves” are in working order first. Where have you seen this done well?


Sunday, January 9, 2011

Leaders find opportunity

It was November 1999 and Cheryl asked her team to develop a list of all the IT applications that they believe had no real use. The assignment created a list of over 500 reports and summaries. The IT team was authorized to turn all of them off over the holidays and was instructed that if any of the users speak up, simply mention Y2K and turn the report back on immediately. Interestingly, the only person to inquiry was the courier that carries the report, not the actual user!

Each year, the holiday break allows me to rethink my leadership and team interface approach. This ensures I make the adjustments needed to be the most effective. This year was no different. As leaders, we need to be open to seeing change as opportunities for improvement. While the rest of the work force might fear the upcoming new environment, leaders have the ability to see the future and how the change will help them achieve their objectives.

What recent changes have you used to your team’s advantage? Do you re-assess your leadership approach at least annually?


Saturday, January 1, 2011

Leadership 2011

Thank you to all that participated in LiaV in 2010. It was an exciting year with lots of leadership topics discussed and lessons learned. You made this forum what it has become.

Please let me us know if you have ideas for improvements for 2011.


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