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Posts Tagged ‘Career Management’

The Great Experiment – A Lesson in taking a risk

Back in February of last year, a former colleague that I'd worked with at two companies and had known for thirteen years called me out of the blue. He said he'd just taken over a team at his company and things were bad. Really bad. Highest attrition rate in the company bad. Poor quality of work bad. To say morale was low and attrition high was an understatement. Read the rest of this entry »

How Could They Have Been So Stupid?

Vivid EpiphanyWe’ve all witnessed debacles in decision-making, decisions so bad that we on the outside knew at first blush how bad they would turn out to be the second we saw them.  I’ve always been curious about those kinds of decisions, the one’s where we all knew better, and yet the people making them thought it was a good idea.  (I’m also curious about the converse of that, the one’s that no one thought was a good idea that turned out to be world changing like the iPad. And, we’re not talking about that today.)  Recently, I’ve studied critical decision-making and the latest neuroscience in much more depth so that I can upgrade our Improve Performance NOW!™ Executive Leadership program for 2012, and I can’t resist sharing some of the juicier observations.

Creating a Reality That Doesn’t Exist

As humans, we make sense of our world through story.  In other words, we create a reality for ourselves that doesn’t exist, in reality.

I attended a workshop last weekend with Human Change Technology Expert, S. Lane Pierce, and he cited Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi the author of Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience who theorizes that we are bombarded with two million bits of input each second, and we process about 126 of them.  We do that through a process of deleting, distorting and generalizing.

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.

You Couldn’t Pay Me Enough to Do This Job

Update:  Col. McCraw from DPS did respond to my email.  The short version is that the mental and physical demands tend to weed out a portion of the new hires, and they are studying other reasons why trainees leave in the first year.

I was watching a news story the other night about Texas DPS.  Seems that 21% of their trainees are leaving DPS, and one of the reasons cited was that the pay isn’t competitive.

How Powerpoint Dumbs Down Your Organization

Powerpoint doesn’t kill brain cells…. people kill brain cells.  Much like a gun and its ability to harm, Powerpoint provides a very effective method for making people stupid.

Here’s why – it provides the means and mechanism for dumping (some might call it vomiting) lists of facts (bullet points) all over the audience.  This is not an effective way of disseminating information or learning.   First and foremost, it’s boring.  Boredom shuts down the brain.   And, real learning requires involvement in the experience.  Which means that it requires an experience.

Can’t Stand Working With That Jerk

As a managewhich, one of the more frustrating challenges is dealing with people who do not play nicely together in the sandbox.   Most of managewhich’s deal with it in one of three very ineffective ways:

  • Ignore it, and hope it goes away.
  • Do their best to separate them, so that there is minimal disruption to the team and the work product, and then we have to all ignore the hostility elephant in the room.

Afraid for your Livelihood? Now’s not the time to hunker down.

This could also be titled Playing to Win vs. Playing Not to Lose.

What tends to happen in frightening circumstances is that we pull in, physically and mentally.  We play not to lose.

Making decisions out of fear is the hallmark.   Many times, we know these decisions aren’t good ones, but we make and commit to them anyway, because we’re afraid of losing.

Life by Design vs Life By Default

Living the Success Principles #4

Principle #3 in Jack Canfield’s The Success Principles is “Decide What You Want.”  This, folks, is your vision.  What do you want to be, do and have?  My corollary on that is “Who do you want to be?” or maybe it’s “Who do you have to be to do and have what you want?”

Escape the Drama Triangle

Have you guys ever noticed how a lot of what I yap about here on the blog about business really translates back to life?  If you haven’t noticed, then I want to highlight the point today.

One of the books on my shelf is The Power of TED (again, thank you Ken Abrams for turning me onto that), which is where I first learned of “The Dreaded Drama Triangle.”  As a human effectiveness expert, the description of the drama triangle quoted from their book’s website made perfect sense to me:

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