Monday - October 22, 2018
 

PLAYING THE WRONG GAME

December 7th, 2006

He was concerned with the direction a decision was leaning, Jon said on his voice mail. Could I meet him for lunch in the cafeteria before Friday\’s meeting to talk it through? As peer managers involved in policy implementation, our departments would be impacted by any direction taken. Friday\’s meeting was with the decision makers; a discussion of pluses, minuses, timetables and resources needed for three options under consideration. Over lunch, we discovered our alignment. Option one required mandatory overtime, organizational changes and significant resources to implement. I felt... Read More

CARVED IN GRANITE

November 14th, 2006

In the Black Hills of South Dakota, carved in granite, the six-story faces of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt create a grand impression viewed from a distant, or standing on the national monument\’s viewing terrace. Visiting Mount Rushmore on vacation, I found the documentary of its making fascinating. Weeks later, one story stayed with me. It turns out the sculptor, Gutzon Borglum, planned to have the figure of Thomas Jefferson on George Washington\’s right. But after painstakingly carving a portion of the massive face, Borglum reached... Read More

CHANGING RULES

October 11th, 2006

Poor Pluto. Stripped of its planetary status by the International Astronomical Union and reclassified as a “dwarf planet,” Pluto\’s demotion heralds new rules for planet classification. A week of debate by renowned astronomers from seventy-five countries culminated in the decision to reduce the number of planets to eight “classic” ones. This reclassification got me thinking. Like a company reorganization or leadership change, the rules were altered. And no matter if you were among scientists advocating for more planets or less, it no longer matters. The decision is... Read More

CHECK YOUR THOUGHTS

September 15th, 2006

It was clear she was having “one of those days.” But to be truthful, I didn\’t care. I was too nervous about my surgery to pay attention to Doris, the nurse grousing about how overworked she was that Thursday. But by the time I was wheeled back to my same-day surgical room, she was even less hospitable and entrenched in complaining. So, I was surprised when a young nurse introduced herself and said that she was called in to help. You\’d think it would have made Doris happy to have assistance. But to the contrary, it exacerbated the situation. She barked at me when she... Read More

It\’s Not About Time

August 1st, 2006

With mounting to-do lists, big projects with short delivery dates, consuming workloads, growing obligations and festering unfinished tasks, it\’s no wonder in this what-have-you-done-for-me-today world we often feel time deprived. Work-life flows to home-life, balance becomes imbalance, and goals and dreams get relegated to a closet shelf. If this sounds familiar, you\’re not alone. In a recent “Winning at Working” reader survey, the most commonly articulated work problem was related to time. Overwhelmed. Overworked. Overstressed. Too much to do and too little time to do... Read More

Serving Company Politics

July 1st, 2006

I once had a boss who informed me there was no such thing as company politics. At the time, I decided that depended on whether you were the person wielding power or influenced by it. In my career experience, I\’d categorize self-serving antics, sabotaging behaviors, information hoarding and artful manipulation under the heading of company politics. I\’d throw in veiled threats, perpetuated mistruths, finger-pointing and coercion. There\’s a long list of behaviors I\’ve personally experienced or witnessed in the workplace under the politics label. And I\’m sure you... Read More

Ancora Imparo

June 1st, 2006

Ancora imparo, translated as “I am still learning” or “Still, I am learning,” is attributed to Michelangelo in his eighty-seventh year. The man who painted the Sistine Chapel and sculpted the Pieta and David, whose very name evokes mastery of his craft, exemplifies a lifelong learning philosophy. Contrast him with a fifty-two year old executive I read about in the Wall Street Journal touting in an interview that he had never written or sent an email, refused to read staff messages received in email, and was uninterested in learning how to access the internet. He was perfectly... Read More

The IT Factor

May 1st, 2006

American Idol judge, Simon Cowell, periodically remarks about the “it” factor when assessing contestants. It seems to be one of those nebulous, undefined and subjective attributes one either has or doesn\’t have. And it falls into the category of you-know-it-when-you-see-it. He\’s right. You do know it when you see it and that\’s true in the workplace, too. Some people call it passion. And while that\’s part of it, it goes beyond the intense driving focus associated with passion. When I think of the hundreds of people I\’ve hired in my career, there was... Read More

Lying on a Nail

April 1st, 2006

Once there was a young woman who didn\’t like her job. Everyday when she came home from work, she told her husband how terrible her day had been, how tiring the work and how unreasonable her boss. “Leave that job,” her husband told her. “Oh I will” she said. “But not yet. I have too many friends there for me to leave just yet.” And so she complained until the days became years and her family grew to five. “Leave that job,” her children told her. “Oh I will” she said. “But not yet. I have seniority and four weeks vacation I... Read More

The Most Important Commitment You Can Make

March 1st, 2006

Commitments. Commitments. Commitments. They fill our days, our heads and our lives. Most of us are in the commitment business. Of course, that\’s not what we call it. At work, we\’re making commitments to customers, suppliers, bosses, coworkers and staff. At home, we\’re making commitments to family, friends, neighbors, community and organizations. Not to mention commitments to pay taxes, credit card bills, mortgages and car loans. Commitments become our drivers. Like the proverbial hamster wheel, we can\’t stop the stress, or the time demands we obligate ourselves to, because... Read More