No, I didn’t read them all. But I did spend a morning searching the net and reading reviews so you don’t have to. I looked at Amazon, Fast Company, Harvard Business Publishing, ASTD, Pfeiffer, BNET, BusinessWeek, The Financial Times, Borders, Leadership Now, the Center for Creative Leadership, Wharton Publishing, and a few other trusted sources.
Take a look at the best of 2008, and start off the New Year by adding at least one new book to your bookshelf.
Talent Is Overrated: What Really Separates World-Class Performers from Everybody Else by Geoff Colvin
A Sense of Urgencyby John P. Kotter
Ahead of the Curve: Two Years at Harvard Business School
By Philip Delves Broughton
The Game-Changer: How You Can Drive Revenue and Profit Growth with Innovation by A.G. Lafley and Ram Charan
Lead by Example: 50 Ways Great Leaders Inspire Results by John Baldoni
Followership: How Followers Are Creating Change and Changing Leaders by Barbara Kellerman
It's Our Ship: The No-Nonsense Guide to Leadership
by Captain D. Michael Abrashoff
Leading with Kindness: How Good People Consistently Get Superior Results
by William F. Baker, Michael O'Malley,
Developing Leadership Talent, by David Berke, Michael E. Kossler, Michael Wakefield
Developing Great Managers: 20 “Power Hour” Conversations that Build Skills Fast, by Lisa Haneberg
Outliers: The Story of Success
by Malcolm Gladwell
Winners Never Cheat: Even in Difficult Times, New and Expanded Edition by Jon M. Huntsman
Leadership Gold: Lessons I've Learned from a Lifetime of Leading
by John C. Maxwell
More Than a Minute: How to Be an Effective Leader and Manager in Today's Changing World
by Holly G. Green
Leadership Lessons: 10 Keys to Success in Life and Business
by Greg J. Swartz, Julie K. Thorpe
Crucibles of Leadership: How to Learn from Experience to Become a Great Leader
by Robert J. Thomas
Total Leadership: Be a Better Leader, Have a Richer Life
by Stewart D. Friedman
Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions
by Dan Ariely
Did I miss any? Please leave a comment if you have one to add.
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
No, I didn’t read them all. But I did spend a morning searching the net and reading reviews so you don’t have to. I looked at Amazon, Fast Company, Harvard Business Publishing, ASTD, Pfeiffer, BNET, BusinessWeek, The Financial Times, Borders, Leadership Now, the Center for Creative Leadership, Wharton Publishing, and a few other trusted sources.
Saturday, December 27, 2008
University-based executive education programs are often a once-in-a-lifetime developmental experience, and can enhance any resume.
These 1-4 week programs are an excellent way to develop leadership and management skills, as well as build external networks that can last forever.
They are a big investment, and there are a lot of choices. To get started, I’d recommend reading the article, “How to Select an Executive Education Program”.
Once you’ve done that, here’s a handy companion reference list to bookmark and save.
I cross-referenced the Financial Times 2008 Best Open Enrollment Executive Education programs with the BusinessWeek Best Open Enrollment Executive Education programs 2007 (2008 has not been published yet).
Keep in mind that these are the best non-credit executive education programs, not the best business schools for an MBA.
Here are the 14 schools, with links and locations, that appear in the top 20 on both lists. I’ve put asterisks next to the schools that I have experience with and can personally recommend.
London Business School
Pennsylvania (Wharton) *
Chicago GSB *Chicago
Virginia (Darden) *Charlottesville, Va.
MIT (Sloan) Cambridge, Mass.
Western Ontario (Ivey) London, Ont.
Instituto de Empresa Madrid
Northwestern (Kellogg) *Evanston, Ill.
Although they did not show up on the FT top 20, I would be remiss if I didn’t include the Center for Creative Leadership, with locations around the world.
Monday, December 22, 2008
1. Instant Message
2. Cell phone call
3. Email (which they only check once per day)
Here are the five winners of the MORE THAN A MINUTE: How to Be an Effective Leader and Manager in Today’s Changing World free book contest:
1. Susan Ryan-Vollmar
2. Brad in the Moody
And here are three runner-ups, in case any of the five winners don't claim their prize:
Twenty-four contestants entered for a shot at the book. I used random.org to determine the winners.
Winners and runner-ups have seven days (by midnight EST Sunday, December 28) to send me an email with shipping information to claim their book.
Please include the subject "More Than a Minute book contest winner" in the subject of your email.
I'll then send the names to the publisher and they will send your book. If I don't hear from all five winners, then I'll go to the runner-up list.
Thanks again to Newman Communications and Holly Green for sponsoring this contest, and thanks to all of the contestants for stopping by and commenting.
Friday, December 19, 2008
Cyclist and Advocate Making tireless efforts on behalf of cancer survivors like himself.
California Institute of Technology This Nobel-winning scientist leads with "a little bit of chutzpah."
Le Batre Rural Health Clinic She believes that living in a tiny rural town shouldn't mean giving up big-city healthcare.
Amazon.com The founder of the massive online retailer is a true Internet pioneer.
Terence Blanchard and Herbie Hancock
Thelonious Monk Institute Their Thelonius Monk Institute of Jazz brings music education to public schools.
Johns Hopkins Hospital A talented pediatric neurosurgeon and activist for inner-city kids.
Mayor of Miami A son of Cuban immigrants, Diaz leads one of the nation's major multicultural cities.
Marian Wright Edelman
Children's Defense Fund A civil rights pioneer and crusader on behalf of children.
National Institute of Allergies & Infectious Diseases A leader on HIV/AIDS and a straight talker on key health issues.
Mike Feinberg and Dave Levin
Knowledge Is Power Program Raising educational expectations in underserved communities.
Secretary of Defense Pentagon chief looks for uses of "soft power" in a hard power world.
Fiona Harrison and Maria Zuber
NASA scientists The first two women to head their own NASA robotic space missions.
University of Maryland-Baltimore County He helped turn a no-name commuter college into a center for math and science.
Rocky Mountain Institute For this bright light in the field of alternative energy, it's all about efficiency.
Xerox In reforming a troubled company, she had the courage to say "No" to Wall Street.
PepsiCo Karaoke-singing chief executive is taking Pepsi in an unlikely direction--toward healthful foods.
Endeavor Her nonprofit seeks to build profitable small businesses on a global scale.
United Nations Millennium Project An academic who looks for real-world ways to beat global poverty.
Filmmaker He addresses important issues on the big screen and through his philanthropy.
Michael Tilson Thomas
San Francisco Symphony A maverick maestro is winning big crowds of new classical music fans.
U.S. Junior Officers
Military They are rising in the military ranks with a hard-earned wisdom forged by war.
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
- Give feedback
1. Buy the DVD for $13.99
2. Or watch the last nine minutes for free here
3. Think about it
4. Key learning points: Be thankful for what you have. Make a difference in the lives of others.
Monday, December 15, 2008
Sunday, December 14, 2008
Holly G. Green is the chief executive officer and managing director of The Human Factor, Inc., a full-service organizational and management consulting firm and author of MORE THAN A MINUTE: How to Be an Effective Leader and Manager in Today’s Changing World (Career Press, 2008). http://www.morethanaminute.com/.
Green has over 20 years of experience developing strategic plans and comprehensive business strategies for FORTUNE 100, entrepreneurial, and management consulting organizations. An award-winning consultant and keynote speaker, Green has been responsible for successfully designing and building critical infrastructures in several organizations and has worked as both an internal and external resource for multinational corporations. Green is also a highly rated speaker for Vistage, the world’s largest CEO membership organization. Previously, Green served as president of The Ken Blanchard Companies, a global consulting and training organization, and the biotech firm LumMed, Inc.
Saturday, December 13, 2008
Sometimes, the person or group that has formed this belief works for a pointy-haired boss (PHB). Or maybe a BOSS (double SOB spelled backwards). This article isn’t about those managers, because frankly, I’ve never had much success getting idiot managers to listen to good ideas. In these cases, you’re better off looking for a new manager to work for or pitch your idea to.
The good news is, most managers are relatively intelligent, successful people who are working as hard if not harder than you to help your team and the company succeed. They’re always looking for good ideas. They also often have experience, know more, and are in a good position to evaluate the merits of an idea. When they reject your idea, chances are, your idea may not have been as good as you thought, or maybe you didn’t do a good job pitching it.
Another reality is that most ideas are never implemented. I’d compare it to baseball. A 300 average (3 ideas implemented out of 10) and you’re an all-star. However, if you never even step up to the plate, or take a swing, your batting average will always be 0. So start by having a realistic expectation of what success is when it comes to innovation.
What can you do to ensure your ideas at least get listened to? Managers are as different as people are different, so there’s no one way that will work for all. Knowing your manager’s style will help, so you can adapt your approach. For example, using a social styles model, a “Driver” will want you to get to the point and present the facts. With an “Amiable”, you’ll have a better chance if you’ve built a good relationship first.
However, for many managers, or least for me, consider the following tips:
1. Develop an inspiring vision of your idea. Describe it in a way that brings out your enthusiasm, your passion, and commitment. Most people have a hard time not listening to someone that’s genuinely fired up about something. And if YOU’RE not excited about it, how can you expect someone else to be interested?
2. Take the time to think it over, list the pros and cons, and come up with a plan. Check to see if it’s been thought of or tried before, and what were the results. In other words, don’t waste your manager’s time “thinking out loud” – do your thinking on your own time, then present a well developed idea.
3. Test your idea with a few trusted co-workers. See if it makes sense to them, ask them to be critical, and provide feedback. Check for their understanding to see how well you’re explaining it. While you shouldn’t let resistance squash your enthusiasm, be prepared to accept that if five people tell you it’s ugly, it just might be ugly.
4. While I can’t speak for all managers, here’s some ideas are more likely to get your manager’s attention:
- A way to reduce expenses
- A way to increase revenue
- A way to get more done with less people (improve efficiency)
- A solution to a problem your manager has been trying to solve
- An idea that will help your department achieve one or more of its goals
- An idea that will help one of your co-workers be more successful (rarely do we come up with these kind of ideas… that is, being an advocate for your peers, and not just yourself or your manager)
5. Here are a few ideas that are more likely to lose your manager’s interest in the first three minutes:
- Something obviously self-promoting, or blatant empire building
- A way to make your job easier, but at other people’s expense
- Something that has a great potential to embarrass your manager (and you)
- Something that’s going to cost a LOT of money in a tight economy
- An idea built on the assumption that 2+2=5
6. When you present your idea, answer your manager’s questions patiently and with respect. If you don’t know the answer, admit it, and commit to getting the answer.
7. If your manager starts making suggestions, then you’re there! That means he/she is starting to buy in, and taking some shared ownership. Don’t be rigid about the details – give a little, if anything just to get buy-in, and who knows, your manager’s suggestions just might improve your chances for success.
8. Be willing to let go of the notion that the idea is “yours”. The best ideas are the ones where multiple stakeholders have had a hand in shaping, and you’ve been able to build a broad base of ownership and support. Insisting that you get “credit” for “your” idea will be seen as immature and selfish. Don’t worry; enough people will become aware of your involvement, especially if you keep coming up with good ideas. Don’t expect your name and picture to be inscribed on the idea.
9. Decide on who else should be involved. Determine who the stakeholders are: who will be impacted the most, whose support do you need, and who else could contribute to refining the idea. Agree on who should talk to whom and by when.
10. If needed, follow-up with a more detailed, formal business case. Stay on it. Ideas are a dime a dozen, but execution is what separates the great from the average. This is not a “drop and run”. That is, drop your proposal or business case on your manager’s desk and sit back and wait. Step up and take personal responsibility for making sure the idea gets implemented. That’s a good way to get yourself heard the next time.
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
All right, this has nothing to do with leadership or leadership development. But I bet it got the attention of my RSS subscribers.
However, if you've been following this blog for a while, you know it's sometimes about dogs.
So at the risk of ruining my chances of blogging for Harvard Business School, I just had to show you Gin the Dancing Dog.
It's absolutely amazing. Even Simon thinks so. Now get back to work. I promise my next post will be a very serious leadership topic.
Lisa Rosendahl, one of my favorite HR bloggers, is hosting the December 10th HR Carnival over at HR Thoughts.
Here’s the introduction:
The legendary character of Santa Claus is known for bringing smiles to children's faces during the Christmas holiday season with his jolly laugh and generosity.
The legendary Carnival of HR is known for bringing smiles to reader's faces with links to great posts by the best (and nicest) bloggers the web has to offer.
On Dasher, on Dancer, on Prancer on Vixen, on to the HR Carnival and this bag of posts!
Check it out, and while you’re at it, read and subscribe to Lisa’s blog, you won’t regret it!
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
It was written in 2002, so it’s not a new book, but I had somehow either missed it or don’t remember reading it (a phenomenon those of you under 30 won’t relate to).
It’s one of those easy reads, about 100 pages, which suits my blogger attention span.
It’s a true story about a new manager, Jeff Walters, who’s really struggling. He seeks out advice from a friend of his father, Tony Pearce, a successful entrepreneur and executive coach.
Tony agrees to meet with the Jeff for a series of 8 Monday morning mentoring sessions in order to help him become a better leader.
I really liked the lessons and examples. Here’s an excerpt from the first Monday lesson, about making the transition from individual contributor to leader, and the one I liked the best, called:
Drivers and Passengers
Tony recalls when Jeff was 16, the second day after he got his drivers license, he had an accident, and most of his soccer team was in the car with him. That’s a story that hit home with me.
Tony and Jeff’s father felt that the main reason for the accident was Jeff’s failure to understand the difference in responsibilities between being a driver and being a passenger.
“You see, passengers are free to do a lot of things the driver can’t do. As a driver, your focus needs to be on the road and not on the distractions. As a driver, you no longer have the right to ‘mess around’ – like listening to loud music – even though it seems OK to do that as a passenger.
The same principle applies when you become a leader. You’re no longer just a passenger; you become the driver. Even though your responsibilities increase when you become a manager, you lose some of the rights or freedoms you may have enjoyed in the past.
“For instance,” Tony continued, “if you want to be successful as a leader, you don’t have the right to join employee ‘pity parties’ and talk about upper management. You lose the right to blame others for a problem in your department when you are the manager and leader. You are the person responsible for everything that happens in your department, and that can be pretty hard to swallow.”
Being a leader means you give up being “one of the guys" (or gals).
I’ve seen so many new managers struggle with this transition, of going from “buddy to boss”. As a matter of fact, I’ve seen a lot of experienced managers who have never made the transition.
Two of the other lessons I liked were “Escape from Management Land”, about the importance of not letting yourself become out of touch with your people, and “Enter the Learning Zone”, about the importance of reading, listening, and giving back.
Here’s something from the “Learning Zone” lesson to think about:
-Most people don’t read one non-fiction book in a year.
-If you decided to read one book on leadership or management in a month, that would amount to about a half chapter per day, which would take you about 10 minutes.
-During the next year you’d have read 12 books.
-Do you think you’d know more about management and leadership if you read 12 books a year on the subject? When the next job opening at a higher position in your company comes up, would you be better prepared to assume that role?
-In 15 years, you could read 180 books just by reading half a chapter per day.
I’m wondering if an updated version of the lesson would include reading blogs about management or leadership? How about one blog post per day?
Sunday, December 7, 2008
3. Tom Magness
4. Michael D. Haberman
Saturday, December 6, 2008
Welcome to the December 6, 2008 holiday edition of the Leadership Development Carnival!
I had over 90 submissions to this month's Carnival, way too many for ever the most ambitious reader. After weeding out the internet marketing, selling strategies, personal and spiritual development posts, and any site that hits you with one of those annoying pop-ups, I think I ended up with a more manageable collection of 46.
Once again, I've put my "Featured" posts at the top. These are "FOGLs" (Friends Of Great Leadership) - bloggers I know and read and personally recommend.
The rest were good enough to make the cut, and are also worth taking a look at.
Thanks to all those who submitted posts. The next Leadership Development Carnival will be January 4th, 2009, right here at Great Leadership.
Jim Stroup presents The decision maker posted at Managing Leadership, saying, "A popular idea in business over recent decades is that employees should be given “ownership” of the decisions they are charged with carrying out. It is believed that this will better distribute the actual intent of the decision throughout the organization, and enhance the energy and efficiency of its execution. There certainly is nothing wrong with developing those latter characteristics. But as with so many decent ideas . . ."
Art Petty presents The Counterintuitive Nature of Management Excellence posted at Management Excellence
Simon Stapleton presents 6 Powerful Questions To Ask In Your Performance Review SimonStapleton.com posted at Career & Personal Development for CIOs, Technical Professionals and Self-Professed Geeks, saying, "Was your last performance review/appraisal enjoyable? Worthwhile? Inspiring? Constructive? It should be all of these things, if done right. But chances are, it wasn’t. And you won’t be the only one. I recently surveyed over 800 IT professionals from over 600 companies and discovered that over 70% felt their performance reviews were ineffective. What’s happening?"
Laurie Ruettimann presents hr advice: skip fruit baskets in 2009 posted at Cheezhead, saying, "Recruiters can make the most of a down economy by mentoring and teaching Corporate HR Generalists and Corporate HR Recruiters how to use social networking and technology to acquire talent for their organizations."
Alice Snell presents Succession Planning Strategies posted at Taleo Blog - Talent Management Solutions, saying, "Alice Snell of Taleo Blog - Talent Management Solutions weighs in on Succession Planning Strategies."
Morgs presents The Role of the Line Manager – how to motivate your people…? posted at Learn2Develop - Thoughts from the World of L&D, saying, "One of the key roles of the line manager and in fact any leader is in motivating his people and in the current climate this is more important than ever."
Wayne Turmel presents The Cranky Middle Manager #166 High Altitude Leadership Don Schmincke posted at TPN :: The Cranky Middle Manager Show.
Nina Simosko presents What Leaders Can Learn from Britney Redux posted at NinaSimosko.com, saying, "The "STOP" approach to managing a crisis is a simple, but effective way to focus on your communications during a crisis. See how Britney Spears has put this approach into action."
Wally Bock presents The Workplace of the Future posted at Three Star Leadership Blog, saying, "Wally Bock says that today's workplace will change because of major trends and because some current practices are simply broken and need to be replaced. He asks three questions about how your workplace will be different in the future."
Nick McCormick presents ?Ask More Questions? ? Listen to Win a Free T-Shirt posted at Joe and Wanda - on Management.
Michael Ray Hopkin presents Five leadership practices for improving customer service posted at Lead on Purpose
Chris Young presents Six Effective Business Time Management Tips and Techniques for Improving Productivity In Any Economy posted at Maximize Possibility Blog.
Anna Farmery presents The Power of Living Your Life Again and Again and Again! posted at The Engaging Brand.The Best of the Rest:
Great Management presents The 7 Simple (but ignored) ‘Rules’ For Ensuring Your Meetings Are Productive posted at The GreatManagement Blog, saying, "Here are 7 simple basic ideas, which are often overlooked, that can improve the quality of the meetings you organise and the meetings you attend."
John W. Furst presents Seth Godin - A Podcast About Tribes (47 Minutes) posted at E-Biz Booster Blog, saying, "Seth Godin has gathered a tribe of 3,662 people around him in a private network for his current book launch of Tribes - We Need You To Lead Us. Tribes is already a bestselling book on Amazon. It is about leadership and marketing. Listen to Seth Godin talking about it."
Khan presents Presidential Leadership Lessons posted at Higher Education and Career Blog, saying, "As modern-day presidents struggle with the challenges of an office more complex than that of their predecessors, the captains of business and industry wrestle"
Gazzali presents Tips On How To Have A Vision - Leadership 3 posted at PROenrichment.
Greg Group presents 5 Forces for Smart Leaders in Difficult Times - Associated Content posted at Associated Content.
SpkTruth2Pwr presents Finding the Inspiration to Lead posted at The Apathy Remedy, saying, "A how to look at how to tap in to your potential to lead and understanding what qualities made leaders great in world history."
Bhupendra Khanal presents Entrepreneurs : Don't Do an MBA posted at Analytics Bhupe, saying, "If you have something to show to the world. Just do it. Don't waste your time doing an MBA."
Tony Huynh presents 8 Ways to Make Your Goal a Certainty posted at LimitlessUnits.com, saying, "People will allow themselves to be pushed around and bullied in order to remain comfortable. People will act in a painful situation to ease the pain or remove the source of that pain. Security and comfort is not afforded by a job, it is provided by your ability to produce."
Eric Klen presents Is there mold growing in your organization? Dharma Consulting posted at Dharma Consulting.
Dawn Abraham Life Coach presents Confidence posted at Qualified Life Coach.Com
Jason Koeppe presents Personal Development - The Key To Reaching Your Goals posted at Z-Synergy Zurvita Reps Team Blog, saying, "The key to reaching your goals, both business and personal, is closer than you think. Jason Koeppe share's a simple idea/concept that even though is extremely simple, is extremely effective at transforming your business and personal life."
Louis Burns presents Crafting Mental Movies For Others posted at NLP Marketing Blog, saying, "This article is about not only visualizing your own goals but the experience you want other people to have as well."
Eileen McDargh, CSP, CPAE presents Plain Talk Blog: Leadership; Work/Life Balance; Management; Employee Retention; Human Resources posted at Plain Talk.
Will Edwards presents The 4 Ps of Service Strategy posted at ITIL V3 Talk, saying, "The 4 Ps of Service Strategy (after Mintzberg) are as follows: Perspective, Plan, Position and Patterns - at least according to ITIL v3. A Strategy can be any of these things or, indeed, any mixture of them."
Erik Samdahl presents Leadership in the information age - i4cp posted at Productivity Blog, saying, "i4cp's Carol Morrison talks about how leadership needs to adjust its approach to properly lead in the information age."
Gazdag Gergely presents Strategic thinking - as I see it posted at GregRichBlog.com, saying, "Strategic thinking is a widely used expression with no real concensus. What needs to be involved, actually? Opinion at GregRichBlog.com"
Chris presents Be an Effective Leader at any Level of an Organization posted at ProsperingServant.com.
Tushar Mathur presents Ways To Leave Your Business posted at Small Business Resource, saying, "Selecting your successor is a fundamental objective that is decided early in the Exit Planning process. Almost all owners want to transfer the business to other family members, an employee or a co-owner; only about 5 percent want to sell to an outside third party."
Britannica Blog presents The Need for Greater Flexibility in the Workplace posted at Britannica Blog, saying, "Reports on the falling economy and heaving financial industry are monopolizing news lately. At the same time, today’s managers are faced with continuously changing and conflicting demands: consumers want their products customized in record turn-around time while employees are faced with the impeding stress of long work hours and the resulting burnout."
Ralph Jean-Paul presents How To Become a People Person posted at Potential 2 Success, saying, "“All things being equal people will do business with people they like. All things not being equal, they still will. Learn to become a people person and become better in relationship, leadership, and influence in every part of business and life.”"
That concludes this edition. Submit your blog article to the next edition of the Leadership Development Carnival using the carnival submission form. Past posts and future hosts can be found on the blog carnival index page.
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
Check out the top 25, as well as the rest of the blogs that received votes. I'm already a regular reader of many of these, and am looking forward to discovering some new ones.
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
I’m really not heartless, really. In fact, I’m talking about one of the most compassionate things you’ll ever do as a leader.
Sunday, November 30, 2008
2. Sharon 54330
3. Jon Housknecht
4. Michael Ray Hopkin
Friday, November 28, 2008
I was in New York City recently to do a presentation for a Training Magazine sponsored event. As I was riding up the elevator, a young man looked me in the eye, smiled, stuck out his hand, and said hello to me using my name.
My first reaction was – OK, how did he know who I was? I have no idea who this guy is, but he sure seems to know me.
You know how sometimes when you go to a conference and forget to take your nametag off – and you’re caught off guard when someone calls you by your name? So I immediately looked down at my lapel – and duh, no name tag, I hadn’t even signed in yet.
He explained to me that he recognized my picture from the event brochure, and introduced himself as Sam Parker. I wasn’t sure what he did, but I noticed he had this kind of positive, confident, and authentic way about him.
Afterwards, he told me he’s an author, and founder of a company called Give More Media. And true to his company name, he gave me a copy of his recent booklet, called Smile and Move. It turns out I’m very familiar with one of his other publications, 212 the extra degree. I heard about 212 from our sales managers - they use the video and books as a way to fire up the sales troops. I told him I’d take a look at it and possibly mention it in my blog. I actually don’t do many book reviews – I’ll use them for contests, but don’t take the time to read and review each one. So I was really just being polite.
I read Smile and Move on the plane on the way home and really liked that little booklet. It’s a simple message – to be happy and do something – but described in a way that both inspires and instructs. And having even just briefly met the author gave it added credibility. Sam did what he wrote about- he made an impression on me with his positive attitude, and moved on the opportunity to talk to me about his book.
Here’s an excerpt, with a good Thanksgiving message:
So many of us are lucky in some way. Some, even more so.
Occasionally, we'll have moments that remind us of our luck.
The positive moments...
- Our work is recognized as meaningful by a colleague, manager, or customer.
- A good friend or family member calls and brightens our day, reminding us of the wonderful people in our lives.
- We're finally able to buy that special thing we've always wanted.
- We'll see someone who appears less fortunate, or hear of a friend losing a job.
- We'll see someone working in a job that seems physically difficult, or learn of a friend or colleague's new illness.
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Monday, November 24, 2008
IDPs are often used as a way to drive leadership development. Organizations like them because they are visible, tangible evidence that leadership development is taking place. They can be monitored and tracked as a measure of progress, used as a way to drive accountability for development, and most importantly, if they are well written and taken seriously, they really do work.
I’ve written about the importance of written individual development plans (IDPs) for leadership development, and how to develop your leadership skills, but not how to actually write one.
I’ll draw on my experience from having helped hundreds of leaders write IDPs, using them for my own employees, as well as my personal experience with my own IDPs (rule number 1: if you’re going to help someone else write an IDP, you’d better have current one yourself).
How to Write a Great Individual Development Plan (IDP)
1. Start with a goal; have a reason to develop
There needs to be some kind of reason to develop. If there’s no reason to improve – or no motivation, then there’s no reason to have an IDP.
Here are the most typical reasons for an IDP:
· You’re new in a job, and want to get up to speed as fast as possible
· You’re struggling in your job, and want to improve
· You’d like to move to a new role, and want to prepare yourself for that new role
· You’re good at what you do, and have no immediate aspirations to move, but just want to get even better
2. Identify what you want to learn, or get better atIdentify the three most important competencies (skills, knowledge, attributes) that you want to work on in order to achieve your goal. If you’re new in a role, these will most likely be the unfamiliar functional areas that you’ve had little prior experience with. Or it may be getting to know your new organization or team. If you’re struggling in a role, these things may have been identified in your performance appraisal, a 360 leadership assessment, or feedback from your manager or a coach. In order to prepare for a new role, you’ll need to identify the required competencies for that new role that you don’t yet have.
For leadership development, having access to a leadership competency model can help you identify the leadership competencies your company has identified as critical for any leader. You can either assess yourself, ask your manager for feedback, or ask for a 360 assessment.
When I work with a leader, I’ll ask questions to get at the what and why. That helps me identify the competency, the reason, and the relative importance. People sometimes struggle to put a “label” on the need, so having that competency model helps us do that (“OK, so it sounds like you want to work on your leadership presence, or strategic thinking, or you need to improve your financial acumen – is that right?”).
You might also want to identify your strengths. Strengths can often be enhanced and also be leveraged in order to address development needs.
3. Identify “development actions” to address the needs
Here are the most common development actions, listed in order of developmental impact:
1. Move to a new job
2. Take on a challenging assignment within your current job
3. Learn from someone else (your manager, a coach, a subject matter expert or role model)
4. Get educated on the topic: take a course, read up on the topic
Sometimes, if you aspire to a larger role, the most important step in your development plan is to identify the role or roles to take in order to get you ready, often a lateral move. However, given that job changes are significant and don’t happen all that often, a challenging assignment is usually the best way to develop a competency or competencies. It’s those “stretch assignments” that force us to perform, learn, and have the most impact. The other advantage of a developmental assignment is that they combine real work with development. Otherwise, an IDP can become an “extra” thing to do when you have time, and of course, never gets done.
Then, once that project is identified, identify people that can help you learn the new skills required to be successful with that project (the same skills identified in step 2). For example, if that new project is going to require you to lead change, find 2-3 people that are really good at leading change and go talk to them. An internal or external coach may be able to help with tough to learn attributes, like relationship building. A mentor can often help you develop political acumen, or organizational agility.
Finally, identify any courses, books, or websites on the topics you want to learn.
4. Assign dates, costs, and who’s responsible for whatThe date helps you get specific and keep your commitment. Any costs need to be approved by your manager. While you’ll be responsible for most of your plan, your manager may have s few things he/she commits to doing to support you.
5. Discuss your plan with your manager
Although it’s possible to have your own plan and not involve your manager, it usually helps to get your manager’s feedback, involvement, and support. If for some reason you’d prefer not to do this (say, you work for a jerk, for instance), find a trusted coach or peer to talk it over with. By both of you signing the plan, it’s kind of a symbolic two-way commitment.
6. Implement the plan, follow-up often, and reflect on what you’ve learned
Keep your plan in front of you at all times. Check off those items you complete, you’ll feel a sense of accomplishment. Think about what you did, what you read, what you learned. What were the lessons? What should you incorporate as a permanent part of your repertoire? What should you reject? What did you learn about yourself? It’s often helpful to have a manager, trusted coach or mentor to help you uncover those “V8 moments”.
What’s your experience been with IDPs? Would doing it this way be an improvement? Do you have any other tips to share?
If you’d like to assess the quality of your IDP, see my checklist for a great IDP.
Sunday, November 23, 2008
I was tagged by Lisa, from HR Thoughts. I’m honored.
Here’s the rules:
- Link your original tagger(s), and list these rules on your blog.
- Share seven facts about yourself in the post - some random, some weird.
- Tag seven people at the end of your post by leaving their names and the links to their blogs.
- Let them know they have been tagged.
1. I used to be a bartender- way back when. I learned how to hustle, listen, juggle lemons, and light a match with one hand. Those were the days, when there were only two kinds of martinis – vodka and gin. And blenders were for sissies
2. My first real job out of college: working at a public utility in a call center. College didn’t prepare me for that – it was white collar hell
3. I’ve been married for 23 years, and fall in love over and over every year
4. I’d like to live on a lake or near the ocean some day
5. I once jumped out of an airplane. They say I dog paddled until my chute opened. My friend broke her leg when she hit a tree (“so that’s what those toggle thingies were for”)
6. I still watch American Idol
7. Favorite food: home-made (see #3) chocolate chip cookies
Here’s the seven bloggers I’m tagging - which includes a few you may not have seen before, so please check them out:
1. Scott Eblin at The Next Level
2. Eric Boehme at The Blogging Boss
3. Art Petty, at Art Petty on Management
4. Rick, at Flip Chart Fairy Tales
5. Donna Rawady, at Get Real
6. Michael Lee Stallard, at same
7. Raven Young, at Raven’s Brain
Tag, you’re it.
Saturday, November 22, 2008
Thanks AP for pointing me to this awesome video. It's about 5 minutes, with a good soundtrack.
Does it scare the living @#&% out of you or get you excited about the possibilities?
Here's one more "did you know". Thanks Molly, from the Delaware Employment Law Blog, for selecting Great Leadership as one of your favorite blogs on leadership and management. Twice.
These words of fatherly advice helped shape Ted Turner’s remarkable life, but they only begin to explain the colorful, energetic, and unique style that has made Ted into one of the most amazing personalities of our time. Along the way - among his numerous accomplishments — Ted became one of the richest men in the world, the largest land owner in the United States, revolutionized the television business with the creation of TBS and CNN, became a champion sailor and winner of the America’s Cup, and took home a World Series championship trophy in 1995 as owner of the Atlanta Braves.