Saturday, September 29, 2012

Hogs get slaughtered!

Alan is a senior at a major state university.  He has ok grades and some related work experience.  He is a talented young man I have mentored over the years.  He emailed me the other day to ask for advice concerning a job offer for received for a management rotation program.  Yes, you heard this right.  A college senior with a job offer in September of their senior year!

The offer was very fair and competitive.  The position was awesome.  The problem was that when Alan asked the people around him (probably other students), they coached him to ask for more money.  He asked my opinion.  I did not beat around the bush.  I knew of the program he was offered and it is an unbelievable career opportunity.  While he might be successful receiving a few more dollars per year in salary, he would be forming the initial opinions of his new leadership.  The situation reminded me of the investment advice I got years ago “Pigs get fat and hogs get slaughtered.”  We all need to know when enough is enough.  I shared my opinion with Alan in clear, straight forward words.  He thanked me and pointed out that he needed someone to point out the obvious.  His friends were thinking too short term. He accepted the offer.

Do you provide clear, concise advice when it is needed?  How do you tell the difference between when a mentee needs general concepts from direction?


Saturday, September 1, 2012

Reduce Your Value Now

The day after I presented a leadership lesson on "Delivering Results" I got this note of appreciation from one of the participants. “Thank you for your leadership lesson.  You successfully reduced your value.” Out of context, you might think this is a very questionable complement. 

On 29 April 2012, I posted a very controversial leadership concept that suggested it is all our responsibility to teach the people we lead everything we know.  By doing this, we would reduce our value in the organization and taken to the extreme, become redundant (0 par value).  It is then the leader’s responsibility to re-tool their skill-set or move on to a new challenge.  This helps explain while large organizations often appear to have a lot of churn.  The complement above was the result of my sharing this concept with the class participants and one student following up with a very witty email.

Do you have the gumption to make yourself redundant?  Do you drive your value down and up at the same time? Would you force your own removal?


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