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Inspired Middle Management

Inspired Middle Management: The Komen PR Nightmare

Inspired Middle Management, Leadership Development, Executive CoachRegardless of where you stand on the issue of Komen’s funding of Planned Parenthood, rarely do we get such a public example of a personal agenda being pushed to the detriment of the organization, which is why it’s our topic for discussion today.

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Is Humiliation a Leadership Tool?

When I first got my Saint Bernard, Ponca, the biggest behavioral challenge we had was that she beat the other two dogs up.  Bloodfang and Knight, the existing members of Team Dog, didn’t understand her boundaries and rules because their rules were different.  One rule on Team Dog was that water is an infinite, shared resource because Alpha Dog kept them fully supplied.

Man (or Woman) Up! Curing the Epidemic of Weak Leadership

This morning I was attending the Young Women Executives Forum at the Tower Club, and today’s topic was Conflict Management. This is a topic that I hit with my coaching clients 100% of the time.

We all have a default mode for dealing with conflict. Some people use the “my way or the highway” approach. Others are passive-aggressive. Others stuff their point of view down like a philly cheesesteak, and what comes back up when they get a overstuffed ain’t pretty.

Managewhich Tip: Process-Focus Ain’t a Bad Thing

Photo by Nur Hussein  - find the pic on Flickr, the story is hilarious!

Photo by Nur Hussein - find the pic on Flickr, the story is hilarious!

We hear a lot about being results-focused and results-driven.  Results are important, and somewhere along the way, we’ve lost sight of the importance of the journey.

Case and point.  In 1959, Cuba had an illiteracy rate of 23%.  Post Castro revolution, in 1961, it was reduced to 4%.   Let’s just say, this wasn’t the kindest of processes, and yet, if the focus was on the result to wipe out illiteracy, they were astoundingly successful.

Managewhich Tips: What is “Too Busy” Saying About You?

We’re all busy. And, being busy in our culture can be a badge of honor. Busy = Important.

“Busy” is also where Managewhiches get tripped up.

Case Study 1:
Jennifer was on the receiving end of some “unpleasant” news. Her company was cutting back on hours for its hourly employees and reorganizing some of its work, and everyone was informed that “changes were coming” via mass email. Jennifer’s hours were cut in half (as she discovered by looking in the system for her schedule) and some of her duties were reassigned (as she discovered in an unfortunate incident when she showed up to work and someone else was doing her job).

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.)

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.

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.

Managewhich? What to do With Complete and Utter Incompetence

Photo by Ryan Schultz

Photo by Ryan Schultz

Her name is Oblivia.  She’s nice.  People like her.  And, she can’t get anything done.

Have you ever worked with someone who is Unconsciously Incompetent?  That is to say, that they are so incompetent that they don’t even know that they are incompetent?

It’s rare.  Most of us know when we really, truly suck at something.  However, there are times…

Manage Which? Up or Down (Part 3)

In the saga of Breeze and Hoover, so far Breeze has been able to minimize the number of times her team is derailed by Hoover’s ad hoc requests.  We set up three circumstances for which she’ll will accept the mission.

First, she has to fully understand how the ad hoc report or spreadsheet will be used.  This forces Hoover to be clear about what he wants, and it also allows Breeze some input into how it’s produced.  This minimized rework when Hoover has asked for something that actually won’t give him what he wants, and sometimes Hoover realizes that he doesn’t need the work done at all.

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