Learn Something New…3X10

Learning something new isn’t just about concentration but is more about practice. Dr. Douglas Fields, a neurologist at NIH, reported that spaced learning which provided three learning opportunities with 10 minute intervals between each session created a much higher percentage of the learning having “stuck” in the individual learner’s mind and then being able to apply it rapidly and effectively. In practical terms  that translates to repeating a particular learning experience one time and then taking  a 1o minute break before doing it again. A bit of rinse and repeat and repeat. In our new book, Retooling Leadership Development, Mike Couch as I assert that learning new leadership skills must happen in the day to day world of the aspiring or established leader and Read More

Be Like Ryan

I just go back from my car place, Tower Auto, where the young guy I deal with was working on detailing my wife’s car until 10 PM last night. Now detailing is not his job. He is more of a service manager but he so enjoys helping his clients that he was willing to stay late to try to remove some stains that had developed on the outside of the car.  Ryan is really into cars and he loves working at this car place. They treat him well and he sees that he has a future where he can move up through the ranks. He does a lot of everything and enjoys it all. Ryan is fully engaged in his work. Read More

Leadership: Influence with Information

I’ve been watching the Public Television show on Bill Clinton’s presidency the past two days and one of the things I’ve been most interested in is how much confidence and skill President Clinton had around influence. Almost everyone (at least the democrats) described Clinton as the consummate influencer. Put him in a room with just about anyone and he would win them over through his power or personality . I’ve been around a few national politicians and I know that they have an amazing ability to make someone feel a constituent feel like the constituent is the most important person in the world and I imagine Bill must have had this skill to the nth degree. The show described the Read More

Talent: He’s “Lintastic”

Last year, the movie MoneyBall talked about how the old traditions of baseball’s talent management system grossly misunderstood important factors that should be considered when looking for an all star baseball player. Today we know that another professional sport “stumbled upon” a potentially great player more by luck than intent. By now the entire world has heard about Jeremy Lin. An unheralded undrafted New York Knick basketball player whose resume highlighted his Harvard education more than his professional basketball prowess. While he helped his high school team win a California championship, he received no Division I scholarships and “settled” on Harvard as his number 2 choice. After an outstanding career at Harvard, he wound up signing a contract with his Read More

Five Keys For CEO’s

There is a seismic shift happening in the “C” suites of organizations. New and younger leaders are stepping into the Chief Executive Office role and are finding that they want to do things differently than their predecessor and are not only charting new paths but are also going about it in a different way. As I’ve been meeting with senior leaders, many of whom are in their 40’s, they are bringing a completely different perspective to their role. They don’t see themselves as “heroic leaders” capable of running and leading their organization on their own like a lion who is king of the jungle. Instead they want to create a working organization where responsibilities are shared more evenly and decision Read More

Oops…My Best People Are Not in My Key Roles!!

So what happens when we review what the senior management team identifies as the strategic roles in the company and they discover that they do not necessarily have the strongest people in these critical roles? Perhaps it has been someone who has been with the company for 25 years or maybe they got bumped up because the prior manager left unexpectedly. While everyone thinks they may have earned the opportunity to be in an important role in the organization they may not be the best person for that particular strategic role. I see this occurring in many organizations where the metric of seniority and tenure trumps competency and value.  I remember a conversation I was having with a retired Air Read More

Bring Talent To Your Organization

Talent Management speaks to the strategic role that companies are now taking to maximize the value of their employees. If we look back over the past 100 years in business what we see is that we have gone through three major transitions in how the workplace has dealt with people. The first was the industrial age. In the industrial age employees were expected to be obedient and diligent. They were expected to do their job, keep their mouth shut, and follow the rules and regulations. This was actually a critically important phase since products were being produced and specific parameters and guidelines had to be followed to ensure proper manufacturing. Additionally, employees were seen as a cost. In the late Read More

Talent Management: It’s Not The Old HR

Another interesting aspect of talent management is how it is transforming the human resources department from a transactional role to a strategic role in the organization. Let me explain what this difference is about. In many companies, HR’s role is to make sure that everyone’s paperwork is complete, that all the t’s are crossed and the i’s are dotted. Their role is to help fill job openings and to discharge employees who are not making this cut–all-important roles for certain. Consider for a moment, however, what happens when those transactional roles (which are supportive at best to the organization) shift to a more strategic role where the jobs that are critical to the company’s success become the guiding principal of Read More

Understanding The Key Roles In Your Organization

One of the most important aspects of talent management is that it identifies the different kinds of roles within the organization. While every role in your company is important, not every role is critical or strategic. And by identifying the big picture responsibility of the jobs in your organization, employers can see if their best employees (most talented staff) are in the most important roles in the company. Let’s begin by identifying the three kinds of roles that exist within every company. The first are strategic roles. About 10-15% of roles within the organization are strategic. Most people typically think that the strategic roles are roles like the president of the company, the senior vice-president of the company, the chief Read More

Are You Linking?

A couple of weeks ago, I received an invite from someone on Linkedin who I did not know. It wasn’t that I didn’t know him, but I had no idea of who he was. So I checked out his profile (the little of it I was able to see) and determined that I was a random hit for him and decided to opt out (what if he was actually a serial killer?) Now I have to admit that I like and use Linkedin. It helps me build my email list, provides me access to certain groups where I can exchange information with others and keeps me up to date with colleagues who are busy building their professional network. I often Read More