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Showing posts from April, 2011

Thoughts on Profound Networking: Living For Others

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One of the things I like about twitter is the many quotations that are shared every day. Today this one, from the great American novelist Herman Melville, caught my eye:

"We cannot live only for ourselves. A thousand fibers connect us with our fellow men; and among those fibers, as sympathetic threads, our actions run as causes, and they come back to us as effects."

Sounding like a Buddhist with this karmic concept of causes and effects in our network of relationships with others, Melville teaches us an important truth about life: We cannot live only for ourselves.

This truth has a deep resonance for me. And many implications. For instance, the practice of networking has taken on a central significance in our lives these days. Whether networking with prospects through LinkedIn, or networking in a church basement with job hunters, everyone is networking. Networking has become a means to our ends: a sale, an interview, a job. Though we are connecting with others, the aim is eco…

Leadership Lessons from the Pirates of Penzance

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Recently, my wife and I saw several wonderful high school theater productions, including Seussical, Hello Dolly, and The Pirates of Penzance. The last in particular was so delightful and kinetic that we thought we had witnessed a Broadway show. Their exuberant performance was that spectacular.

Since we had gone to the final performance, there were many speeches after the show, where the students thanked the various teachers and parents who had helped make the show a success, in one way or another, including make-up, costumes, sets, lighting, sound system and more.

Lastly, the Drama Club teacher came up to say a closing word. He had directed the show and conducted the orchestra. It was clear as he spoke that he had a passion for theater and that he loved his kids.

Wowed by how totally committed everyone was to this show, my wife and I reflected upon the factors that make an excellent theatrical performance. Clearly, the best ones always have a palpably high level of engagement by the act…

Believing Is Achieving

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At a recent community awards night in my town, retired pro football player Perry Williams gave a stirring talk about making a difference. His theme was: "If you're believing, you're achieving."

He illustrated it with his own story. As a young pup growing up in a broken home in Hamlet, North Carolina, he would watch pro football games on TV and say "Someday, mama, I'll be in the Super Bowl." Then, when he made it to the big time and played in the Super Bowl on the NY Giants team, he phoned home to tell his mama he loved her.

Believing is achieving, he said. Make sure you have a dream. Hold on to it. And pursue it no matter what.

Perry Williams' philosophy is badly needed in today's world, especially on the part of job hunters. Reading the business stories each week about the so-called "jobless recovery" is a sad tale. Many Boomers have given up and checked out. And many young college graduates are looking in vain for their first jobs.

So w…

Making Your Workplace Happy

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I just read a great blog entry by UK performance coach Joan Henshaw called 4 Ways to Delight Your Employees where she says: "Most of the business owners and managers I work with genuinely want their employees to be happy at work. Why wouldn’t they? For one thing, happy employees are always far more productive than unhappy employees!."

How do you delight employees? Henshaw says:
1. Get clear on your expectations
2. Help your employees connect with the mission and purpose of the business
3. Give feedback and recognition
4. Show care, interest, and concern

Great points. I couldn't agree more with the importance of these steps to a happier workforce.

To add my two cents, I would say that the way to a happy workplace is L*O*V*E:

L = Listening: The power of listening cannot be emphasized enough, I believe. Why? Because we usually half-listen. We take it for granted most of the time. We pay lip service to listening, rather than actively listening with empathy.

O = Open Communication:…

Social Media, Job Search, and the Engine of Success

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Many of today's job hunters are wondering about the value of social media, asking such questions as What is it? Is it safe? How much time will it take each day? and Why should I care?

Recently at the St. Matthias Employment Ministry, we have been addressing such questions, attempting to help our job hunters to get more comfortable with linkedin, twitter, facebook, and blogging.

If you have such questions yourself, maybe it will help to revisit the Engine of Success.

Back in 2007, I blogged about "the Engine of Success," an idea formulated by Systems Engineering professor Ken Modesitt. He says it is his core theory of success and his idea is a cyclical process that goes like this:

- The Quality of Our Relationships has an impact on our thinking...

- The Quality of Our Thinking affects our choices and actions...

- The Quality of Our Actions determines the outcomes we get...

- The Quality of Our Results affects our relationships...and the cycle continues...

Describing the cycle, Mo…

Three Keys to Organizational Change

My friend and colleague Dan Tobin, author of such books as Feeding Your Leadership Pipeline, is in the process of writing his next book, to be called "What Did You Learn at Work Today?" Dan says the book will provide guidance to employees at all levels on how they should be learning at work every day in order to improve their job performance and build their careers.

A major feature of the book, Dan says, is going to be many personal stories of ways that people have learned valuable lessons at work (other than by attending a training program or taking an e-learning course).

Here's a story that I submitted to Dan for his consideration. It's a story about organizational change.

I was the Training Manager supporting the R&D unit in NJ of a global pharma-chemicals company based in Germany. The business unit head from Frankfurt had flown to NJ for a management meeting and, to my great surprise, asked to see me.

In a meeting that lasted only a few seconds, he shook my han…

Time to Develop

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Here's a question for all Managers reading this blog entry: When is the last time you took a Time Management seminar? What? You don't have time for that?

Though humorous, it's all too true. Many (if not most) don't have time for Time Management. But if You did make the time, and if you took my Time Management course, you'd come face to face with Yourself and your own priorities.

Time Management, after all, is not about managing time. Time is an abstract concept. Rather, Time Management is about managing yourself: your values, your choices, and your actions.

For example, let's consider Delegation. Someone once said, "The price of delegation is training." There's a great truth there. We don't delegate because it would take too long to explain the task and show the associate what we want and how to do it. So, we end up doing the task ourselves. It's quicker. We get it done the way we want it done. And we retain control.

The problem? At the end …