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Archive for 2009

Managewhich’s Guide to the Annual Review

For many middle managers, it’s that time of year again.  Fiscal year’s over and review time is upon us.  I’m guessing that this is an unpleasant task for most of you, which is a shame.

Corporate America has taken one of it’s better opportunities for engagement and celebration and turned it into a administrivia-laden stress-inducing B.S.-laden process that’s designed to control compensation as opposed to inspire great performance.  In the end, most people feel demoralized.  (If your experience is different, I’d love to hear about it.)

Putting Some Meat in the Managewhich!

No one wakes up in the morning and asks to themselves, “How can I screw my job up today?”  And yet, sometimes we feel that way in our management roles, yes?

I’ve gotta tell you, when I look back over the course of my corporate career, there were a lot of things I would do differently, mainly around conflict management, negotiation and feedback.  I wish I’d had better examples and mentors.  In the craziness of never having enough time to do what I needed to do, there were many times that it felt like I was blindly feeling my way around the fun house.

What Got You Here May Not Get You There

Photo By Dani

When met with what seems to be a familiar situation, humans behave based on habit.  The brain is designed to operate based on patterns and filters, so it’s very quick to assess “Woah! something’s going on here” vs. “Oh, OK”  and respond accordingly.

By the way, it’s also the same mechanism that makes Bob’s name easier to remember than Atmajyoti’s, if you’re not Indian.

Managewhich Question: Who the “mans” the Role of Policy Police?

“The rules make it fair for everyone,”  a quote from one Managewhich who’s struggling with influencing and managing her peers.

The Managewhich was describing how other groups are rewarded for complaining (as opposed to problem-solving),  how other managers were giving undocumented vacation days in exchange for excessive for overtime, and other “rule-breaking” perks.  Her point of view is that the rules were put in place for a reason.  She follows the rules, and it makes her look like the bad guy when she doesn’t break them and others do.  She wants to influence her peers to follow the rules.

Does Anyone Hire Eeyore?

Photo By Michael

Photo By Michael

For those of you who’ve blocked out or forgotten who Eeyore is, he’s the pessimistic, melancholic, depressed, downtrodden old grey donkey from the Winnie The Pooh books. (Think, “Oh no, we’re doomed!”)

Managewhich as Leader in Trying Times

Photo by Wendell

Photo by Wendell


Here’s an excerpt from “Breakthrough Leadership”  by Wayne Baker at the University of Michigan Stephen M. Ross School of Business.  As you read it, I encourage you to think about how you can create this for the people who work with and for you.

“Extraordinary events–positive or negative–are temporary openings for breakthroughs in personal growth, organizational development, and human progress. Breakthrough leaders seize these moments to explore a world of new possibilities for themselves, for their organizations, for society.

Small Business Owners and Solo-preneurs: Learn the Power of Partnering

While many of us who start our own businesses or who become solo professionals value our independence, we quickly find more value in having people at our side to give us extra strength, visibility and insight in the market. And so we get out there both in person and online to network and build relationships.

It’s great to meet new people and learn what they do, and it’s even more exciting when you can find a great deal of synergy between your goals and theirs. This is when you can start to explore referral partnerships or strategic alliances.

For the Managewhich and Business Owner: Who’s a Team Player?

Photo by Joseph Shemuel

Photo by Joseph Shemuel

Team Player is one of those phrases that we all assume we have the same definition for.  It’s one of the performance management buzz-phrases that shows on reviews and on job descriptions.  And, we all think we know what it means, but do we?

Tips for the Managewhich: Is My Staff Doing Anything Resume-Worthy?

Photo by Klaus

Photo by Klaus

One of the more obvious clues that your group is on the chopping block is when you can’t figure out what real value your group adds.  That’s even more true when the company is reorganizing people into that group in ways that don’t make sense.  It’s a good thing for the managewhich to recognize this trend, and start managing up immediately, even if it seems like it is too late.

Tips for the Managewhich: Is What I’m Doing Resume-Worthy?

Photo by Thana Thaweeskulchai

Photo by Thana Thaweeskulchai

Career Management groups are filled with people who haven’t progressed in their careers, and those are the folks who are having the toughest time landing new positions.   Many of those fall into the category of being happy that they had a job, and so they did whatever was necessary to keep it.   This is fear-based decision-making at it’s finest, and I say at it’s finest because the decision probably wasn’t that conscious for most of them.

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