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Archive for the ‘carnival’ Category

Check out the May Leadership Development Carnival!

Posted by Mark Bennett on May 14, 2012

If you haven’t read it already, you’ll find many excellent posts related to leadership. Dan McCarthy has assembled contributions from 27 different blogs into one post, providing a brief description of each. All of the contributions are high-quality and provide valuable insight, advice, and challenges to everyone, but you might be tight on time, so these descriptions help you spot that ones that seem most relevant to you and your organization.

If you’re really short on time, here are a few that I found particularly interesting:

  • Art Petty’s The Cruel, Bitter And Crushing Taste of Dump Truck Feedback does a great job pointing out the danger and damage that can be done in withholding feedback until performance review time. He also prescribes things that both managers as well as employees can do to correct this terrible practice.
  • Sharlyn Lauby makes a great case for What Creates a High Performing Organization. While I am admittedly biased in that I already think that continuously sharing information is one of the key contributors to superior organization performance, Sharlyn brings together a nice set of succinct facts and arguments that solidify that position.
  • Chris Edmonds presents an intriguing concept in Out-of-the-Box Thinking About Corporate Culture. The specific approach to work itself that was covered might not be for everyone, but it certainly shows how every organization has within its power to rethink how their culture and how work gets done interact and can either support, or undermine, each other.
  • Carol Morrison doesn’t just go over old ground with Executive Leadership: Trending Toward Trouble. It’s easy to get discouraged and cynical about how bad the examples from recent headlines have been about executive leadership, but Carol offers fresh and inspiring examples of what some organizations have been doing to address the issue.

 There’s a diverse set of ideas, opinions, and findings presented in this Carnival. Who knows, you may discover a blog you never knew before that you’ll want to follow.

Posted in carnival, leadership | Leave a Comment »

Leadership Development Carnival – Super Bowl Pre-game Edition

Posted by Mark Bennett on February 5, 2012

For many in the US (and for some around the world as well), today will be occupied by watching the culminating clash of titans for this NFL season. If not that, it will be for the commercials (if they haven’t already been seen on the internet – so it goes with our “always on” society.)

It’s easy to be cynical about these contests what with all the spectacle, commercials, and money that is being poured out onto televisions in households and sports bars across the country. In a culture replete with excess, this event is often held up as a classic example.

However, what’s great is when the focus is on how each team plays and the leadership that is demonstrated. While the outcome of the game itself does make things more tangible by setting stakes to the contest, it’s watching the individual efforts, the coordinated efforts of the teams, and in particular, the leadership moments that can really make the game a richer experience. It doesn’t happen all the time and some games have felt quite “hollow” – something was missing. But when you see a coach, quarterback, receiver, or even a lineman make a leadership call, it adds value because we can ask ourselves would we do the same? Am I doing the same? It could be by setting an example through extraordinary effort, motivating the team when they are behind, monitoring over-optimism when they are ahead, etc. How well the team plays in the game as a unit is also testimony to countless acts of leadership throughout the season and the training that went before it.

What follows are over 20 ways you can find how to improve leadership in yourself, your team, and your organization. It’s a diverse collection, so not only are you likely to find something that hits on exactly an issue you are dealing with, but you might also find a new way of looking at things that changes things for the better. You also might discover a blog that you’ll want to subscribe to going forward.

We’d like to thank Dan McCarthy of Great Leadership for allowing us to host this month’s Leadership Development Carnival as well as for the great work he does to support this community. So without further ado, let’s take a look at the superb entries this month’s carnival holds:

Wally Bock presents Fundamental Advice for a Young Leader posted at Three Star Leadership, saying “Noah Lomax asked me for ‘fundamental advice’ for a young leader. Here’s my best shot.”

Anne Perschel presents Manager or Leader – Which One is More Important? posted at Germane Insights, providing a case study and a story of two men, one is seen as a leader, the other as a manager. Which one is more important?

Tanmay Vora presents Fostering Autonomy in a Team: 7 Lessons posted at QAspire. People do their best work when they are “intrinsically motivated” and one of the most important intrinsic motivator for people is autonomy in work. This post outlines 7 lessons learned in building a self organized team.

Jesse Lyn Stoner presents No More Boring Meetings, Please! posted at Jesse Lyn Stoner Blog. The purpose of a team meeting is to create and tap into the collective wisdom. Holding a meeting to share information is not a good reason to meet. This post lists 7 good reasons a team should meet and 3 tips to determine whether a meeting is necessary.

Mary C Schaefer presents 3 Things Great Leaders Know About Managing Change posted at Lead Change Group Blog. Mary reminds us to appreciate resistance to change and to give people adequate time, tools and resources to prepare for change in order to give our organization the best chances for success.

Sharlyn Lauby presents The Inevitable Shift from Jobs to Skills posted at HR Bartender. Superb post about what is perhaps the most important issue of our time across the globe.

David Zinger presents 8 Powerful Approaches to Create Meaningful Employee Engagement  posted at David Zinger Employee Engagement, providing an outline of how to weave meaning into work.

Lynn Dessert presents Have Performance Reviews run their course? posted at Elephants at Work, asking do Performance Reviews deliver their intent or has process gobbled them up?

Miki Saxon presents Ducks in a Row: Titles—Silly or Serious? posted at MAPping Company Success. It’s the report structure that moves new CXO titles from silly to serious.

Chris Edmonds presents Plot Your Path to Ethical Behavior posted at Driving Results Through Culture. His post was prompted by the World Economic Forum session in Davos, Switzerland last week. The founder, Klaus Schwab, was quoted as saying that the global economic crisis was prompted by excesses – and that the Davos session would focus on ethics and moral behaviors by economic and political leaders to serve society more fairly. His focus in the post is that ethical behavior starts with each of us, and by following a simple ethics check we can “hold our heads high” at the end of each interaction, each day.

Robyn McLeod presents 7 questions you must answer to strengthen your great idea posted at Thoughtful Leaders Blog. A client shares a set of powerful questions from the R&D world that will resonate with anyone who wants to get their great idea the attention it deserves.

Steve Roesler presents Where You Decide To Perform Matters posted at All Things Workplace. Everyone is talented in some way. Whether or not you are a star depends on where you choose to perform.

David Burkus presents The Least Important Question in Leadership posted at The Leader Lab. Won’t spoil it here – but the post is really about the question behind that question. Curious now?

Dan McCarthy presents A Performance Management Model posted at Great Leadership. Dan has developed A Performance Management Model as a follow-up to his recent “Are You Managing or Just Nagging?” post. Check it out and see which quadrant you’re spending time in: Managing, Avoiding, Nagging, or taking a well deserved Vacation.

Jane Perdue presents 5 reasons it’s OK to say “no” posted at LeadBIG. Telling people “no” doesn’t make you unlikable. Failing to say “no” when it’s appropriate to do so makes you a doormat. And the really ugly kicker here is that saying “yes” doesn’t necessarily make you likeable.

Nick McCormick presents Hiring People that Fit Your Culture posted at Joe and Wanda on Management. The key to hiring good people is to hire those that embody the unique attitudinal characteristics of your organization.

Anna Farmery presents Why Predictions Are Not Just For Christmas! posted at The Engaging Brand. Leadership is not about predicting what will happen; it’s about being prepared for what might happen, which means being open to diverse opinions on that very topic.

Jennifer V. Miller presents 7 Questions That Help Conversations Move Forward posted at The People Equation. If you are having the same conversations over and over with your employees, you’re probably having the wrong conversation. Here are seven ways to get unstuck from the “conversational mud”.

Guy Farmer presents If You Don’t Have Something Nice to Say… posted at Unconventional Training. Many leaders miss a golden opportunity to lead more effectively when they don’t communicate in a nice way.

Chase Dumont presents What is Leadership? The Definitive Answer posted at Chase Dumont, Rainmaker. Rulers, philosophers, and corporate middle managers have been defining and redefining leadership for millennia. In this post, Chase outlines 8 keys to leadership, with concrete examples to arm you with an unbeatable – and practical – understanding of how to lead.

Mary Jo Asmus presents 20 Things To Stop Waiting For posted at Mary Jo Asmus. A checklist of actions leaders do to create positive change.

Scott Eblin presents Is Being the Go-To Person Holding You Back? posted at Next Level Blog. Being the go to person is a great thing for leaders to be until it’s not. In this post, Scott Eblin offers tips and a video coaching segment for leaders who want to shift from being the go to person to someone who build teams of go to people.

Erin Schreyer presents A Loss for the Broncos, A Win for Tebow’s Leadership posted at Leadership. Life. Legacy. Whatever your opinion on his beliefs and the way he shows them, Tebow demonstrates 4 solid characteristics of leadership that are worth reflecting on.

Photo by fPat

Posted in carnival, development, leadership | 11 Comments »

If you want to improve Leadership, read these posts

Posted by Mark Bennett on August 7, 2011

So let’s start from the succinct definition, via Seth Godin, of Leadership as: “the ability to create positive change.”  Well, the last few weeks have been exceptionally disappointing then, if you were looking for leadership from figures in power, both public and private.

What can we do? We can be resilient and work at developing leadership, for which Dan McCarthy’s Leadership Development Carnival, this month hosted by the inimitable Jason Seiden, has itself demonstrated that very definition.

Jason has assembled an excellent collection of over 40 posts submitted from a wide variety of sources, all towards the goal of helping you build leadership and be a better leader. He read each one and has written a brief introduction to each to help you focus on the ones that could best assist you.

That’s still a lot of posts to digest, and while they are all excellent (I read them all as well), I’ve selected a few that struck me as being especially insightful, new in perspective, or inspiring. If you’d like, start with these, and then continue on with the rest. I normally try to get to five, but these ten stood out:

1. Adi Gaskell’s Is your chief exec suffering from the God Complex? | Chartered Management Institute. This applies to all leaders at all levels, so don’t let the title trigger the cynic in you (i.e. “Show me one who doesn’t!”) The excellent Tim Harford’s TED talk applies to each and every one of us –  gods only exist if they have worshippers. You already know how much importance I put on the “how” of thinking vs. the “what.” This supports that notion (although it needs to be tested, if you get my drift.)

2. Jason Seiden’s 4 Ways to Become a More Emotionally Mature Leader. Our emotions influence our thinking to an extent more than we’d care to admit and we’re less able to shut them off than we’d care to admit as well. The good news is that it’s okay; it’s more about understanding our emotions and how to handle their influence that really matters. In the end, it will enrich our lives as well as those of others.

3. Linda Fisher Thornton’s Ethical Leadership Context. The effort in thinking the ethical context is key here. It’s so easy to just say, “Profit” or “Shareholder Value” are all that matter, but that’s the God Complex again, claiming in the face of the incredible complexity of today’s world that There is Only One Answer and I Know It.

4. S. Chris Edmonds’ The Five Disciplines of Servant Leadership. The word “Servant” is a turn-off for many, which is too bad. These principles are key if a leader wants to see positive change actually happen.

5. Miki Saxon’s Ducks In a Row: Who Cares? A classic example of one of Jason’s favorite (and my) cognitive biases – the Fundamental Attribution Error (i.e. Self-Deception, etc.) “It’s them, not me.” The God Complex has its roots in this as well.

6. Amy Wilson’s Why Business Leaders Should Conduct Talent Reviews. An excellent, concrete example of really creating (and achieving) positive change through a practical tool that should be used more frequently in organizations.

7. Michael Cardus’s Yearly Performance Reviews SUCK! Managers Can Change That. Another example of creating positive change by simply viewing differently what is frequently a loathed process.

8. Dan McCarthy’s Which Change Model Should You Pick? Solid, practical advice on which of the many change models available you should consider in order to enact positive change.

9. Michael Lee Stallard’s Starbucks’ CEO’s Broken Heart. A seriously moving example of how leaders can accept our emotional nature in a mature way and as a result, be honest and true to ourselves and others.

10. Bret L. Simmons’ The Most Important Social Business Metrics. Of course, I had to include this post in that it helps you focus on what measures you need to keep an eye on if you are looking to see if your social business efforts are creating positive change.

Finally, our own Sri Subramanian has written a series of five superb posts that focus on the particular needs/challenges of technical folks who are looking to develop themselves as leaders. Her guidance is geared to the technologist’s typical pitfalls, mindset, etc. but they still apply in many ways to the broader populace. These posts have received huge accolades, so check them out, especially if you have had challenges in the technical leadership area (a very common circumstance):

·         Technical Leadership – An Introduction

·         Technical Leadership – The First Transition

·         Technical Leadership – The Leadership Transition

·         Technical Leadership – Impacting The Customer Experience

·         Technical Leadership: The Technologist

Posted in carnival, development, leadership | 5 Comments »

Check out June’s Leadership Development Posts

Posted by Mark Bennett on June 7, 2011

The June 2011 Leadership Development Carnival is up. This month, it’s hosted by Jennifer Miller, at her blog The People Equation. Jennifer has assembled over 35 posts and has included a brief description of each to help you zero in on the ones that interest you the most.

Some notable posts include:

This Leadership Development Carnival offers a terrific opportunity for you to get a great sample of a variety of perspectives, thinking, and just plain good writing. It can also save you time by bringing them all together into one post. And who knows? Maybe you’ll discover a great blog you never heard of before.

Posted in carnival, development, leadership | Leave a Comment »

Check out these great leadership development posts

Posted by Mark Bennett on May 15, 2011

Dan McCarthy, the founder of the Leadership Development Carnival over at Great Leadership, has posted the May 1st edition of the carnival. Dan has assembled over 30 contributed posts on a huge range of Leadership topics and has also written a helpful, brief intro to each, so check it out.

Some notable posts include:

This Leadership Development Carnival offers a terrific opportunity for you to get a great sample of a variety of perspectives, thinking, and just plain good writing. It can also save you time by bringing them all together into one post. And who knows? Maybe you’ll discover a great blog you never heard of before.

Posted in carnival, development, leadership | Leave a Comment »

Safe at Home

Posted by Mark Bennett on March 28, 2011

Like the saying goes, “What is measured is what gets managed.” And while you may rationalize that you are measuring things that really ought to be managed, what about the things that aren’t getting measured or aren’t being measured the best way?

Let’s take costs as an example. Businesses often focus on costs because they are a more “tangible” item on the books. You “see” costs all around you; people, supplies, capital equipment, etc. Their impact on the bottom line seems very clear as well. So, you measure costs, then you imagine lower costs, and you think, “There is where we will get our profit!”

Yes, profit can come from lower costs. But if those lower costs result in lower revenues by more than your costs were lowered, what happens to your profit? You get one guess.

Measuring revenue is not difficult, but understanding the connection between what you did by lowering costs with what happens to revenues is a little tricky.

Lessons from Baseball

What’s the connection to “Safe at Home” and baseball? Think of Profit as scoring a run – i.e. “Safe at Home.” How did that happen? What contributed to scoring a run?

For a long time, the most common measurement of a player’s contribution to their team’s score was based on the “Triple Crown” of offense: Home Runs (pretty obvious), Runs Batted In (almost as obvious), and Batting Average (not so obvious). What is common about these measures is they are tangible and/or easy to measure.

The problem is that by focusing on these measures, teams can end up encouraging or pay too much for behaviors that don’t really help them. That’s because these measures don’t give a very good picture of how individual performance affects team performance.

It turns out that there are two (instead of three), better measures: Slugging Percentage and On Base Average. These measures step back and think about scoring runs more in terms of “production” (hey, a business term!). These measures aren’t as tangible, but together they were found to better relate individual performance to team performance.

Back to Business

It’s the same for Profit. A big component of cost is often labor, but do lower labor costs always mean higher profit if there’s also a connection between labor and revenue as well? Since cutting a cost can mean reducing revenue (and likewise, increasing a cost can create revenue), it’s vital that your measurements take into account the real relationship between the two.

That seems obvious. What’s not so obvious is what measurements to use to make the best decisions. Conventional wisdom and best practices might point out what not to do, but they really won’t give you the insight to beat your competition. You must think in terms of your company’s production.

Is there a magic answer? No. But if you’re only measuring things in a way that doesn’t really show the connection (think “Time to Hire”, “Total Payroll”, etc.) you run a high risk of pulling the wrong levers and losing profit unnecessarily. At the very least, step back and think about how all the pieces relate and fit together to bring in Profits “Safe at Home” and then make the call.

Photo by SD Dirk

Posted in carnival, measurement, performance, Uncategorized | 4 Comments »

The Carnival of HR – Food Edition is up!

Posted by Mark Bennett on February 5, 2011

Evil HR Lady Suzanne Lucas, the originator of Carnival of HR, has posted the Carnival of HR – Food Edition. Suzanne has assembled over 30 contributed posts on a huge range of HR topics, including food, and has written a helpful, brief intro to each, so check it out.

Along with our own Anders Northeved’s Feb 21, 2012- Are You Ready? some notable posts include:

This Carnival of HR offers a terrific opportunity for you to get a great sample of a variety of perspectives, thinking, and just plain good writing. Who knows? Maybe you’ll discover a great blog you never heard of before.

Posted in carnival | Leave a Comment »

The Leadership Development Carnival – Back to Football Edition is Up!

Posted by Mark Bennett on September 5, 2010

Dan McCarthy, the founder of the Leadership Development Carnival over at Great Leadership, has posted the September Leadership Development Carnival – Back to Football Edition. Dan has assembled over 35 contributed posts on a huge range of Leadership topics and has also written a helpful, brief intro to each, so check it out.

Some notable posts include:

This Leadership Development Carnival offers a terrific opportunity for you to get a great sample of a variety of perspectives, thinking, and just plain good writing. Who knows? Maybe you’ll discover a great blog you never heard of before.

Posted in carnival, leadership | 2 Comments »

The Jukebox Carnival of HR is Playing…

Posted by Mark Bennett on August 26, 2010

Paul Smith over at Welcome to the Occupation has posted the HR Carnival Jukebox. Paul has assembled over 35 contributed posts on a huge range of HR topics, associated them to a particular song, and organized them by genre,  so check it out and listen.

There are seriously a huge number of great posts (and music selections), so do take the time to go over and experience this unique and enjoyable Carnival. Some notable posts include:

This Carnival of HR offers a terrific opportunity for you to get a great sample of a variety of perspectives, thinking, and just plain good writing. Who knows? Maybe you’ll discover a great blog you never heard of before.

Posted in carnival | Leave a Comment »

Both the HR and Leadership Development Carnivals are up!

Posted by Mark Bennett on August 11, 2010

Both the new Carnival of HR at Humor That Works and Leadership Development Carnival at Fail Spectacularly! are up. They both have a terrific amount of excellent content and it’s worth it to spend some time in each to enrich your thinking on both Talent and Leadership.

Drew Tarvin over at Humor That Works has assembled over 25 contributed posts on a huge range of HR topics and has written a humorous comment for each, so check it out. Some notable posts include:

Jason Seiden over at Fail Spectacularly! has gathered together over 30 posts contributed from all over the leadership community. It’s worth your time to look them over and follow the links on the ones that catch your eye. Some notable posts include:

Both of these carnivals offer a terrific opportunity for you to get a great sample of a variety of perspectives, thinking, and just plain good writing. Who knows? Maybe you’ll discover a great blog you never heard of before.

Posted in carnival, hr, leadership | 3 Comments »