Part of the Fabric

If you are taking on a new management assignment, if you are a new boss, you have but a short time to make expected changes. “Expected Changes” are usually anticipated by employees and coworkers when the boss’s position turns over.

The longer the new boss is in the job, employees and coworkers settle into the new ways (or the status quo; old ways) and do not look for continuing, significant changes. At that point the boss can become part of the fabric of the organization where significant change becomes a larger and possibly more difficult undertaking.

A new boss may be tested by some who could not convince the last boss to make a change… just be aware as the change may be unnecessary or counter to a direction that the business needs to pursue. Examine the request carefully.

To avoid becoming part of the fabric, as a new boss, make significant changes within the first three months through the first year. Make sure your boss and other bosses affected are on board. That does not mean you need everyone’s concurrence. A participative environment is is important, it helps with building buy-in for change. That does not mean that running the business or department is a democracy! It should not be!

Making changes for change sake is foolish… changes that improve efficiency, performance, morale, and the numbers — perfect!

Never, never, never underestimate the importance of continuous, accurate and all- encompassing communications when planning and implementing change.

***** S&E *****

New Leader’s Orientation

You have a new job… You have 12 people reporting to you, two direct reports and the others reporting to them.

Leadership

You absolutely need to have a meeting of “All Hands”, your direct and indirect reports, within the first few weeks on the job, notwithstanding who reports to who.  It is a prime opportunity, to set the standards and expectations, win them over, and dislodge any concerns about “the new boss”.  And, it is a prime opportunity to have an open exchange and discussion. Here are some suggested talking points:

  • Roadblocks and barriers
  • Schedule one on one’s
  • Open door
  • Have some fun, humor
  • About setting objectives
  • Expectations about performance
  • Boss’s role and responsibilities
  • Reports role and responsibilities
  • Importance of communications
  • Values and Ethics
  • Career help and assistance
  • Review the company’s behavioral competencies list (if one exist)
  • One-on-one followup schedule

In a much earlier posting, “A Leader’s Leader”, a brief entry was made on traits important to work and performance …. https://successnexcess.com/2017/11/26/a-leaders-leader/ some applicable for noting in the ‘all hands” orientation, some for one-on-one followups. All are good for career coaching, improving performance, and mentoring.

***** S&E *****

The Frightening Responsibility of Leadership

The link below will take you to the article titled “Making The Tough Calls”, written by Fast Company Editor-in Chief, Stephanie Mehta. She doesn’t need anyone paraphrasing for her. I just have to say that this captures the very scary responsibility of leadership and the importance of values at the foundation of business, especially as it relates to AI.

This is not a long read… but it should leave some weighty thoughts on your mind.

https://www.fastcompany.com/90395810/from-the-editor-what-the-ceos-of-bumble-and-nike-have-in-common

***** S&E *****

Success and Ignorance

So Andrew Luck announces his retirement from the Colts. He explains that the years of injuries and pain that he experienced and the continuing possibility of more of the same was just not worth the impact on his health and family.

During his career, Luck suffered a lacerated kidney, a torn abdomen, torn cartilage, and a concussion.


So the fans booed him as he walked off the field for the last time. They did not applaud for the yeas of leadership he provided for the team. They did not applaud for the tremendous athletic ability he demonstrated through years at the QB position. They did not applaud for the years of wins and thrills he provided on the gridiron. There was no standing ovation for the four-time Pro Bowler! Luck said that it hurt walking off the field, hearing that from the “fans”.

I placed this post under success because of what the man contributed to NFL, to the sport, to the community, to the fans. This post is all about that!

It is a post about success, nothing short of success in so many dimensions!

Separately, I just have to say that there must be a tremendous amount of ignorance, tunnel vision, and just plain stupidity in Indianapolis, as demonstrated by the “fans” at last Saturdays preseason game. They enjoyed years of so much entertainment, thrills, and pride, courtesy of the team and Andrew Luck. All of that at the leadership of Andrew Luck! And that is how they send him off!

Good luck Andrew Luck… there are many of us that applaud your contribution to the NFL, the community, the sport, and the team!

***** S&E *****

Very Lucky !

I love  talking to my kids about their jobs.  

They work for big companies.​ ​They have jobs with huge scopes.  They have gone through company relocation. They touch a lot of people — customers, employees peers, bosses. 

I just ask how’s the job, how are things at work and just sit back and listen and appreciate their business sense, that they know and have skills that successfully influence customers, bosses, and co-workers, and have business competencies that help them be successful and that give them important leverage in their companies. 

I am thankful and very lucky!

***** S&E *****

You Just Gotta Love Dr. Seuss

Who the heck looks to Dr Seuss for career advice? Motivation?

I had this boss who was so dynamic, he was a great leader with a nasty temper, accompanied by a short fuse as they say. But you try and take people for their strong points, and you can learn from everyone.

He gave his staff a Dr Seuss book entitled “Oh, The Places You’ll Go” at one of his staff meetings, and we all took our turns reading a page from the book. One of my favorite pages… was about “waiting”:

Congratulations! Today is your day. You’re off to Great Places! You’re off and away!
You have brains in your head.  You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself any direction you choose.
You’re on your own. And you know what you know.
And YOU are the guy who’ll decide where to go.

It’s opener there in the wide open air. Out there things can happen and frequently do 
to people as brainy and footsy as you. 
And when things start to happen, don’t worry. Don’t stew. 
Just go right along. You’ll start happening too.

You can get so confused that you’ll start in to race
down long, wiggled roads at a break-neck pace
and grind on for miles across weirdish wild space,
headed, I fear, toward a most useless place.
The Waiting Place…for people just waiting.
Waiting for a train to go or a bus to come, or a plane to go or the mail to come,
or the rain to go or the phone to ring, or the snow to snow or waiting around for a Yes or a No
or waiting for their hair to grow. Everyone is just waiting.

Waiting for the fish to bite or waiting for wind to fly a kite
or waiting around for Friday night or waiting, perhaps, for their Uncle Jake or a pot to boil,
or a Better Break or a string of pearls, or a pair of pants or a wig with curls,
or Another Chance. Everyone is just waiting.
NO! That’s not for you!

So…be your name Buxbaum or Bixby or Bray or Mordecai Ali Van Allen O’Shea,
you’re off to Great Places! Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting. So…get on your way!

***** S&E *****

Control / Micro Managers

These guys do a lot of damage. They stifle future leaders, can undermine confidence, create poor work culture, foster non-learning, and can delay personal and professional development. They are killers of creativity, drain productivity, choke self-expression, stifle new opportunities and the advantages that come from innovation… huge negative affects on the business, its people, its customers!

It is just plain bad leadership and management. And it is not unusual for that “style” to be recognized in the broader organization. That style can be characterized by talent loss and employee turnover.

If you have a manager/supervisor working for you who is controlling, make a change. If you work for one… look for a way out, don’t stay too long… controlling managers won’t help you much in the short or long term and can be very poor career developers.

If you have no choice, if you like the company, the best thing you can do is build your reputation in the organization which just might open new opportunities, despite your current situation.

  • Look for teamwork projects.
  • Everyone’s work impacts other departments… get out there and do some customer service work; make yourself and your capabilities known!
  • Possibly sponsor some community project work.
  • Make sure you do a good job of managing and documenting your objectives and performance. If your boss does not, here is some related information: https://successnexcess.com/2018/04/09/talent-management-pay-for-performance-p4p-performance-management-process/
  • Find a manager or leader you respect and cultivate a coach and mentor relationship. This is best done outside your department.
  • Above all, act.

In the end it is all learning and time eventually changes everything, and, good boss/bad boss, you can learn from both.

If you one of “those” managers, here is some advice: https://www.mindful.org/micromanager-mindful-counterproductive/

“Join a company, quit a boss!”

***** S&E *****