LEADERSHIP EVALUATION & Are You A Good Boss? Test Yourself With These 5 Questions

by Lisa Quast, Forbes Magazine, 1/2/17.

… A Gallup study of 7,272 U.S. adults revealed that 50 percent had left their job to get away from their manager to improve their life at some point in their career.

Poor people management skills also negatively affect employee happiness and productivity, with managers accounting for up to 70% of variance in employee engagement scores.

Want to find out how good you are as a people manager? See how many of these five questions you can answer with “yes.”

Have you clearly defined and communicated the vision and strategy for your group, department or organization?

Have you worked with each employee to help him or her understand the role they play in contributing to the success of the organization?
According to a Robert Half Management Resources survey, 53 percent of workers are unable to make the connection between their day-to-day duties and how they impact the company’s financials.

Do you meet regularly with each employee for progress discussions?

… This doesn’t mean meeting once a year with employees to provide performance feedback – it means holding regularly scheduled two-way communication sessions, providing ongoing feedback year-round, giving credit where it is due, and being unafraid to have difficult conversations.

Do you empower your employees to succeed by delegating challenging and meaningful work?

People want to succeed and they want to continue learning. If you don’t provide opportunities for growth and help employees build on their strengths, then you won’t be viewed as a good people leader.

Do you recognize great work?

This doesn’t mean throwing out a “nice job” comment every now and then. Backhanded compliments – an insult disguised as a compliment – also don’t count. Recognizing great work means providing recognition and rewards that reinforce positive behavior, increases employees’ sense of progress and keep them motivated.

Read more at … http://www.forbes.com/sites/lisaquast/2017/01/02/are-you-a-good-boss-test-yourself-with-these-5-questions/#5571004c3de9

SUBURBAN/URBAN DIVIDE & Why Church Leaders Must Start Building the BRIDGES of God Across this Growing Chasm

Commentary by Dr. Whitesel: Over the past decade I’ve been urging growing suburban churches to take more responsibility for helping their urban colleagues. And according to this article in Forbes magazine this may be more necessary after the recent election. Read about how polarization is growing in America – not between rural and urban, but between urban and suburban. Then if you lead or pastor a church in a suburban area, ask what you should be doing differently.

“It Wasn’t Rural ‘Hicks’ Who Elected Trump: The Suburbs Were — And Will Remain — The Real Battleground”

by Joel Kotkin and Wendell Cox, Forbes Magazine, 11/22/16.

…The popular notion of “city” and “country,” one progressive and “vibrant,” the other regressive and dying, misses the basic geographic point: the largest metropolitan constituency in the country, far larger than the celebrated, and deeply class-divided core cities, is the increasingly diverse suburbs. Trump won suburbia by a significant five percentage point margin nationally, improving on Romney’s two-point edge, and by more outside the coastal regions.

Despite the blue urbanist cant that dense metro areas — inevitably labelled “vibrant” — are the future, in fact, core cities are growing at a slower pace than their more spread out suburbs and exurbs, which will these edge areas even more important politically and economically in the coming decade. The states that voted for Trump enjoyed net domestic migration of 1.45 million from 2010 to 2015, naturally drawn from the states that were won by Hillary Clinton. Democrat-leaning ethnic groups, like Hispanics, are expanding rapidly, but Americans are moving in every greater numbers to the more conservative geographies of the Sun Belt, the suburbs and exurbs…

Read more at … http://www.forbes.com/sites/joelkotkin/2016/11/22/donald-trump-clinton-rural-suburbs/#6ce23da3690c

JOB TENURE & When Should You Switch Jobs? 4 Career Lessons in 3 Graphs #ForbesMagazine

by Stephanie Denning, Forbes Magazine, 4/25/16.

Job-hopping is commonplace these days among millennials. I’ve often wondered how much time one should really stay put in a job? And if you leave, what are you really at risk of missing? Can you leave a job too soon? Can you stay too long?

In my experience there are two important variables. The first is your learning curve. Every job has one. Surprisingly, I’ve found the learning curve to be pretty universal across jobs. From what I’ve seen, it takes about 1.5 to two years to really surpass the steep part of the learning curve. It looks something like this:


After 1.5 to two years, you start to experience diminishing returns to learning. So if you’re concerned about leaving a job too soon, and foregoing some of that learning, let your concern be assuaged by the fact that after two years, your opportunity cost of learning isn’t as high as it once was.

Only after you’ve past this learning curve can you really start to experience productivity gains, the second variable. After surpassing the steep part of the learning curve, it will take you a lot less time to complete a task than it did six months ago. But productivity gains only matter if you’re trying to make a career for yourself in that job. If you’re trying to rise the ranks, this can be helpful because you can spend more time on other tasks and less time on the old ones…

Read more at … http://www.forbes.com/sites/stevedenning/2016/04/24/three-career-lessons-in-three-graphs/#7fdd2cf727d1


MANAGEMENT & 3 Management Styles That Belong In The Past

Commentary by Dr. Whitesel:  Research cited in this article describes facts I utilized to write the book “ORGANIX: Signs of Leadership in a Changing Church” (Abingdon Press). For more about how leaders must apply management differently today with younger people, see excerpts from “ORGANIX” on this .wiki after reading the article.

MANAGEMENT & These 3 Management Styles Belong In The Past

by Paolo Gallo, Forbes Magazine, 2/3/16.

What assumptions am I making, that I’m not aware I am making, that give me what I see?

This powerful question, taken from Benjamin Zander’s book, The Art of Possibility, has been stuck in my mind for a while. Traditional management thinking is based around three fundamental assumptions.

  1. First, that organizations need a top-down approach to strategy and objective setting;
  2. Second, that the role of management and human resources is to measure/control what is being done to achieve objectives and to provide the corresponding incentives for performance or non-performance; and
  3. Third, that monetary incentives motivate people.

Accepting these assumptions, grounded in a dogmatic approach,

  1. means that CEOs and executives decide on behalf of people,
  2. managers control and HR professionals develop complex systems to measure performance,
  3. incentives and consequences.

Sounds like the same old story of carrot and sticks.

Beyond Carrots And Sticks

Yet scientific evidence has proven that what motivates knowledge workers is not longer carrots and sticks.

Take for example Daniel H. Pink’s book, Drive, which makes the case that autonomy, a sense of purpose and mastery are the real motivating factors, in addition – in my view – to a sense of fairness and trust.

Despite such breakthroughs in understanding human behavior, most organizations have still not changed their management systems or thinking accordingly. The problem is that we are using the management tools of the first industrial revolution, while we are entering the fourth industrial revolution. It’s the equivalent of still using a gramophone to listen to music. I suppose it is easier to change a smart phone than a mental model.

Even the fabled “20% time” granted by Google, Facebook, LinkedIn and other Silicon Valley giants – originally designed to give knowledge workers greater job satisfaction, allowing them to use company time to tinker around with new ideas – is only change at the margins. In Google’s case it is now being discontinued, with others possibly following suite.

Overwhelmingly, even in the most innovative industries with the most “knowledge workers,” we tend to manage using the same methods that were put in place to keep tabs on factory workers during the industrial revolution.

Overcoming Resistance To Change

I would like to share a story which illustrates how we can move beyond our old, hopelessly out-of-date assumptions.

In 2012, when Professor Klaus Schwab, who founded the World Economic Forum some 41 years earlier, had the idea of disrupting his organization with a new model of community management, better suited for the Millennial generation, he met the same reaction from management that every leader faces when implementing change: resistance.

Like others who walked the road of change management before him, he set up a “skunk works,” an isolated team under his leadership, to make change happen.

Professor Schwab’s premise was simple: with half of the world’s population under the age of 27, we need a new and different way of engaging young people with decision-makers to shape their common future.

Read more at … http://www.forbes.com/sites/worldeconomicforum/2016/02/03/these-3-management-styles-belong-in-the-past/#d2b49913707b

LEADERSHIP & 6 Things Real Leaders Don’t Do (Like Boss People Around) #ForbesMagazine

by Lynn Ryan, Forbes Magazine, 10/8/15.

People get hired or promoted into leadership roles every day. Sadly, when they get the job they may get little or no training on how to lead a team…

No one tells them “The trick to leadership is to have people want to do a good job — not to please you, but for themselves!” The greatest power source on earth is a team of people who are energized around a common goal…

Real Leaders Don’t Boss People Around

What kinds of obstacles could slow people down and frustrate them? Bureaucratic processes are a big problem in many if not most organizations.

A good manager is willing to take on stupid processes and get rid of them, or soften them or figure out a way to work around them so his or her team can keep winning…

Real Leaders Don’t Bark Out Orders

Real leaders don’t bark out orders. They may have a goal in mind, and when they do they’ll say “Jane, you’re the expert. If we can get that pricing model completed this month we’ll be able to launch it at the sales meeting next month.

“Does that sound like something we can do? What do you need from me to make it easy for you to reach that goal?”…

Real Leaders Don’t Second-Guess Their Team Members

…Often the reason that people pad the dates on their schedules is that they’ve learned through harsh experience that when they honestly say “I can have that done by Friday” a poor manager will say “Then get it to me by Wednesday.”

If you don’t trust your teammates, that means you don’t trust yourself to hire trustworthy people. That’s your problem, not theirs!

Real Leaders Don’t Blame Their Employees When Something Goes Wrong

… It is easy and tempting to diagnose an employee with all sorts of problems and to characterize him or her as lazy or careless, but you hired Jack. You trained him. Until you take responsibility for Jack’s difficulties, you’ll stay frustrated and you won’t learn a thing.

Real Leaders Don’t Bring the Hammer Down Right Away

Real leaders don’t turn to disciplinary measures at the first sign of trouble. They ask questions, thoughtfully and compassionately, instead. They look for gaps in an employee’s understanding of his or her job….

Read more at … http://www.forbes.com/sites/lizryan/2015/08/08/six-things-real-leaders-dont-do-like-boss-people-around/

EVALUATION & Meet the Quantified Employee – Is Measuring Employee Productivity Good? #ForbesMagazine

by Josh Bersin, founder and Principal of Bersin by Deloitte, a leading research and advisory firm, Forbes Magazine, 8/15.

The Quantified Self Comes to Work

Well, the Quantified Self movement has come to work. Each day day more and more tools are being developed to help employers monitor, track, and better understand the activity of workers. These tools are real-time, often anonymous, and usually invisible. And many of the startups in Human Resources believe that bringing the Quantified Self movement to HR is the next big thing. Here are some examples.

1. Employee Monitoring

Companies have been monitoring our internet access for years. But now they’re monitoring our daily activity, who we meet with, and where we go.

The New York Times just published a great article about a new set of tools that lets employers monitor location. These tools, which fit inside an employee badge, tell your company who you’re meeting with and how “social” you are. So far companies using this technology have already discovered that more social people (people who eat lunch at bigger tables) are better at customer service…

Some companies are even more creative. A well known company I recently met with (I will leave them anonymous) developed a tool to monitor the pattern of employee emails. They look at everyone’s “To” list and “cc” list and also who they are receiving email “from.” Their goal is not to read anyone’s email, but rather to study the patterns of communication in the company. This is a “culture-driven” company and they are using the information to understand who are the “connectors” in the organization and what patterns of communication seem to lead to higher levels of performance…

2. Real Time Employee Engagement

The second explosive area for the Quantified Employee is providing real-time feedback on the work environment. Traditionally companies have used annual engagement surveys to capture this information: that process is rapidly becoming too slow, too coarse, and just not very useful.

Replacing this, a new set of tools (most run on mobile devices) let you speak up about how you feel at work on a real time basis. These tools (companies like CultureAmp, Achievers, BlackbookHR, TinyPulse, OfficeVibe, TemboSocial, Hppy, Waggl, 15Five and many others) are hitting the market like a storm. Companies of all sizes are starting to move away from annual engagement surveys and putting in place real-time feedback systems…

These are all good things. The Japanese Niko Nikocalendar, pioneered in Japan, has given managers real-time feedback on their teams for years. Anything that frees up information and gives people transparency and freedom to share what they feel will make management more accountable and improve the work environment. And let’s face it, people often won’t speak up publicly but they will confidentially.

3. Employee Retention and BigData Monitoring Tools

The third wave of “quantified self” tools is coming from a new breed of companies (Entelo, OrgStars, and others) which mine social data and apply intelligence to figure out if you’re thinking about changing jobs. These tools monitor all your aggregated social activity and try to develop a “score” which tells employers if you’re looking for a new job. The benefit? Fast-growing companies can quickly figure out who is thinking about leaving and try to prevent retention problems.

And many tools go even further. Companies like Evolv On Demand, IBM, Visier, PeopleAnswers, and others now provide turnkey BigData analytics using internal HR data. These companies help you understand the characteristics of high performers to help with management tools, better hiring practices, and pre-hire assessment. Think about these as “off the shelf” analysis tools to help you understand your workforce in detail…

Where Will This Go?

So where is all this going? Should we be worried? Will your employer know so much that you’ll have to hire a lawyer and read your employment contract to decide who owns your data?

Ultimately this is a very good thing. Remember that employers already have plenty of data about all of us: our job history, employment history, salary, performance evaluations, and when we clocked in and out each day. If companies start using this information to improve the workplace, we’ll see better management, better hiring, and improved workplace conditions. Already, Talent Analytics projects are becoming one of the biggest new focus areas for HR.

Should we worry about employees “Yelping” about their boss online? No. Let’s face it – today people can complain publicly about almost anything, so bringing transparency into the workplace in a more structured way lets management and leadership act more quickly to resolve problems. Hate your boss? Pretty soon you won’t have to clam up and just deal with it in silence.

I know these tools will raise many issues about data ownership and workplace privacy. But we already give up much privacy to companies like Google and Facebook so in most cases these tools are just extensions of our consumer life every day.

Our research shows that transparency in HR is almost always a good thing. Old fashioned employment practices like annual performance appraisals (given by managers), secret lists of high-potentials, and politically charged talent reviews which lead to secret salary decisions can be made more accurate with a little more “light” from the outside world.

Not to Quantified Self: Meet the Quantified Employee. Today’s 21st Century workplace is getting more instrumented, more transparent, and more data driven every day.

Read more at … http://www.forbes.com/sites/joshbersin/2014/06/25/quantified-self-meet-the-quantified-employee/

COMMUNICATION & Seven Habits Of Fearless People #ForbesMagazine

Commentary by Dr. Whitesel: “This article explains how to communicate to your team and build teamwork. One of the most important rules is #3, which is talk to the person directly, not to others. And #4 is to make the rest of your team follow #3.”

Read more at … http://www.forbes.com/sites/lizryan/2015/06/13/seven-habits-of-fearless-people/