Dan Ponterfract: “FLAT ARMY”

Required Reading

Over the weekend, I have read Dan Pontefract’s book “Flat Army.” I was looking forward to reading an inspirational text about change management, corporate culture improvement and employee engagement, but the book appears to take the reader further. Continue reading “Dan Ponterfract: “FLAT ARMY””

Was Starbucks’ venture into Lean useless?

Lean Six Sigma vs Starbucks

I received a few messages with this question in reply to my original article.

My answer: Not at all. Continue reading “Was Starbucks’ venture into Lean useless?”

Here’s how to make your worklife better:

Help

Offer more help than you ask for.

When parents help their children grow up, they do not ask for anything in return. Nor do they expect to have a good return on this investment in the future. If they do, the ROI is often negative in the long run.

Good teachers are excited and overjoyed with their students’ success. They see themselves behind the scenes watching their students receive a standing ovation from the academia. If laughing all the way to the bank in front of their student is all they can see, never will there be a standing ovation in their lives.

Lovers want to comfort each other. Continue reading “Here’s how to make your worklife better:”

“Am I Paranoid?” Client Seeking Advice

Who Is Your Boss?

What would be your advice to this client? This story sounds like a job-interview business case – but it is not.

My client Alex (not his real name) is asking me for advice. He thinks that his boss, a senior manager in their company, has lied about his background and experience.

Connecting on LinkedIn, Alex noticed that the boss does not have ANY connections in the companies that are listed as his past employers. His graduation year on LI profile is different from what is stated on the corporate “Management Team” page. His name is not in his school yearbook for either of the graduation years.

He believes that his relations with the boss have changed after Alex had jokingly noticed his boss wiping his fingerprints off the cocktail glass.

Since then, Alex feels continuous pressure and considers looking for a “Plan B.”

Have you had a similar experience? Doubts about your manager’s integrity? What would you do in his case?

Please share your experience. Ask your peers to chip in. 

What Do Starbucks and Lean Six Sigma Have In Common?

Lean Six Sigma vs Starbucks

In essence, both are not new. They are derivatives from older businesses or trends that have been in existence for at least some decades: Lean is a mass-market Toyota Production System and Starbucks is a mass-market coffee retailer. Continue reading “What Do Starbucks and Lean Six Sigma Have In Common?”

A Leadership Dialogue with Brian Fetherstonhaugh

Brian Fetherstonhaugh

Integrated Management Symposium Series: Authenticity and Deception in Communications and Advertising

Great event at McGill University. Amazing speaker and a great book!

Once again, highly recommended reading – to children from 15 to 65.

Brian Fetherstonhaugh: The Long View.

 

Brian Fetherstonhaugh: “The Long View”

Required Reading

Over the weekend, I have read a very interesting book – “The Long View” by Brian Fetherstonhaugh.

Brian Fetherstonhaugh is the Chairman & CEO of OgilvyOne, but the book is not about marketing. It is a thoughtful but clear feedback on his personal career experiences, supported by “business cases” from the careers of other successful individuals. Continue reading “Brian Fetherstonhaugh: “The Long View””

Negotiate Out of Anything

Negotiation Skills Help With Police

Ever realized that negotiations play a major role in your life?

What to eat for breakfast, where to go for vacation and how to get a discount, as well as your starting salary, your promotion, and eventually your severance package – those are but a minor sample of the items that you have to negotiate daily, whether you recognize this fact or not.

And do not forget such things as speeding tickets or court hearings: things happen. Even when you have nothing to lose (the cashier erroneously charged you full price for a discounted item), it will take you considerably less time to get your money back AND rip the possible benefits, if you know the rules of the game. Continue reading “Negotiate Out of Anything”

Leaders’ Digest One-Page Essentials: A Corporate Primer

Corporate Sharks

This is an old classic dating back to late 18th century. The author, Voltaire Cousteau, is allegedly related to both Francois Voltaire and Jacques Cousteau. The text was translated and turned into a dinner talk in late 1970ies by a French scientist working in the US. Perhaps the guy moved from science to management and realized that quite a few “natural laws” are applicable in the corporate world.

It has been abridged to fit on one page, downloadable and printable as a handy one-pager. Continue reading “Leaders’ Digest One-Page Essentials: A Corporate Primer”

Why Do We Call Them ‘Leaders’?

Leaders HBR

Interesting article in HBR, and by a respected author.

I would argue though that the problem does not exist. Or should not.

But why do we call them ‘leaders’ in the first place? We do not have to. Nothing’s wrong with ‘managers’ or ‘administrators.’

This is just another case of semantic escalation albeit widespread and severe. To cope with the problem, we must avoid glorifying the administrative positions that may have some control over our careers.

In most cases, we are talking about ‘position leaders’, i.e. about the lowest level of the leadership hierarchy – leadership by appointment, at best, leadership by permission, as per John Maxwell’s description.

Only a small percentage of them will ever make it to the higher leadership levels. But those who make it will be called leaders by their teams and not by HR (or by themselves). And rarely will they think that they’re better than they actually are, because they have other things to care about.