Tuesday, July 31, 2007
Monday, July 30, 2007
But honestly these past few days I've felt particularly tired and just drained, and just out of my groove. It's not fun for me or anyone else, so bon voyage groove monster. I could feel it coming on, and was able to spot the signs and managed it by getting some extra sleep and getting a more intense walk in. But I need to do more - I haven't had a whole lot of energy to do my run, but by golly I'm going to get it in tomorrow even if it is 100 degrees outside or call me a rappscallion. In addition, I haven't been able to attend church cause of work, but try to render this by journaling and of course daily communes with God.
But life is really good, and I cannot complain. I have health and good teeth :), exciting things in the works, great relationships (mmm hmm), and my faith (amen sister). And I know I'm blessed. This being said I'm back on the boat and steering the wheel due north.
So it's time to refocus.
Goals for the rest of the week include:
- sticking to running / workout schedule (sweat sweat in the humidity woot!)
- making time for at least 30 minutes to read / journal during day
- eating healthy = less caffeine (tea ok)
- fun, fun, fun enjoying last week of LA
You can hold me to them or call me ....old. Which cannot happen b/c let's face it, I have way too cute of a face to ever be called...old.
Saturday, July 28, 2007
Below you'll find a quick recap of our speaker's presentation. Check out Acumen's Wanderings for more and a YouTube clip. Pretty neat stuff!
Business Mythbusters (aka 5 Misconceptions of Professional Life)
1. Entrepreneurs don't have bosses.
2. I've got a full social calendar, so I'm out the door at 5pm everyday.
3. Right out of college I'll make 100k, drive a new car, purchase a house and vacation in Europe.
4. If I only had an iPhone/Blackberry/laptop/venture capital/etc I'd be happy and succesful!
5. Life is fair.
Man v. Market (aka How to Separate Yourself from the Pack)
1. Learn to lead
2. There are more important things than salary.
3. Your reputation is your most valuable asset.
4. Think differently.
5. Always put the team first.
It's always engaging and fun to test out new channels for communication. I think this was the first time a conference has ever gone Live Feed! Very cool!
Wednesday, July 25, 2007
Tuesday, July 24, 2007
Real leadership, powerful leadership, leadership in 30 days. Leadership can be packaged in many different ways, but when it comes down to it leadership needs to be authentic. The word authenticity hails from an existential philosophy of knowing and understanding thyself. Today, authenticity for leaders is the first step towards effective leadership.
When broken down, the concept of authenticity has two parts according to Dr. Naddaff, president of the Management Research Group.
1) know thyself
2) express thyself.
Knowing thyself is the seeking to understand who you are - your beliefs, values, needs, wants, emotions, character. It's learning what makes you tick, what makes you work, and what makes your heart sing. It's basically a lifelong walk. (Spiritually, emotionally, mentally, physically)
The second part, expressing thyself is the set of behaviors that we use to fully express who we are, to show our true selves to the people around us. (Expressing all of the above)
So the question that beckons today's leaders are - do you know yourself? And if so, do your behaviors genuinely reflect what you value, believe, and love?
The bottom line is that when those we lead see that our knowing and expressing align, then and only then are we truly practicing authentic leadership. It's when we truly come alive. The whole energy that we are made of is channeled. And when this energy is channeled, that's when we engage others, and spark the fire.
Again, this is a lifelong journey. But to begin we have to do the work. And it starts with lighting the match, adding another log, and moving the embers. Only then can we watch the flames grow.
Sunday, July 22, 2007
The author points out that one important step in developing your influence skills is to identify where your own power resides. She points out that acknowledging and analyzing the bases of power that we possess does not always come easily to women. Women can tend to downplay their strengths and have a hard time with the word power.
Power comes from many sources - knowledge and expertise, financial resources, position/title, and certainly relationships you have. The different types of power are outlined below:
The 5 Bases of Power
* Resource Power - having control or access to needed resources or rewards. Resources could be funding, materials, critical information, or assistance. Tricky part with this power is that it can easily shift or change, resources can be taken away (ex: budget cut).
* Position Power - this is your title or rank within the organization. This represents where you are on the totem poll. While people may have to comply with you, it doesn't mean they are committed to you.
* Coercive Power - based on threats and manipulation. This power rests on positional power. Threats may get you what you want, but you will most likely also inspire resistance and hostility at the same time.
* Expert Power - information, knowledge, and subject matter expertise. This can sometimes be where women sell themselves short. Research shows they may downplay their expertise to avoid looking like they are egotistical. Often attributing their success to "luck" rather than hard work. (Important point. Recognize the power of decisions you've made, and the hard work you've put in. Don't pass it off as luck).
* Relational Power - basis in who you know and the quality of those relationships both internal and external to the organization. This base of power is built upon trust and length of history with the relationship. This tends to be the key to most leaders' success. (Key: if you can't build trust w/ folks, you cannot have much influence over them).
Of course communicating our ideas, expertise, or needs is the next biggest determinant of whether or not we have the ability to influence others. But that's a subject we'll save for next time.
Until then, learn and lead.
Friday, July 20, 2007
MappyHour lets you scope out and plan your pub crawl before you leave the house or office. It includes happy hours (if available), drink specials, and even food to pour your beer on top of. It has many American cities and a couple of international ones (Sydney, Melbourne).
The biggest cities are the best developed, but users can add pubs, as well as ratings and reviews for any location. If there are no reviews for a bar, the site links to Yelp reviews. It also looks like the bars themselves can buy space on the site to list their drink special and hours.
Limitations: The review system’s a little wonky. I lost a review I wrote by trying to pinpoint the bars location better. Also, it only shows the nearest 50 bars to your location. If an excellent bar is the 51st closest, it won’t show up.
There are some competitors (Unthirsty, Stumbling Donkey), but MappyHour rules the roost. Link
(care of Boing Boing Blog)
Wednesday, July 18, 2007
Sunday, July 15, 2007
Sink or Swim?
- While the company may do a reasonable job of deciding who to recruit and promote, little or nothing is done to help leaders make successful transitions. Regardless of the magnitude of the challenges transitioning leaders face, they are left to figure out their new roles by themselves.
This really is not the best way to help your organization remain successful or foster a nourishing learning environment for the personel. In addition, if the roles aren't defined, how can they begin to do the right job?
- Senior leadership believes that it’s best to test leaders by fire in order to separate the good from the bad. Respected executives perceive efforts to support leaders making transitions as “coddling” or worry that it will blunt the company’s edge in some way.
Testing by fire is a way to burn someone out. I've been there. If the organization wants to establish any culture of leadership, testing by fire is not the route to go.
- The organization makes little effort to help leaders hired from the outside understand the culture of the company or to make the right connections with key stakeholders. Most of the emphasis in the recruiting process is placed on evaluating people for raw capability, and relatively little attention is given to cultural fit or adaptability.
Hire for attitude. For example, person A seems to have the picture perfect resume, 4.0 and a last name of a former politician. They get hired. But then on the job, they don't fit in at all, aren't open to learning, etc. Case in point. Hire people who are sponges.
- External hires often are placed in situations where they are set up to fail. Newly hired executives are told, for example, that they are being brought in for their ability to bring new ideas to the company, encouraged to try to make change happen, but not adequately supported or protected.
We like your new ideas and your flair. You're hired. But once you start we don't have the time to listen to them, or resources to make them work. This is sometimes what happens - definite sinking factor.
- Executive coaching is viewed as remedial rather than developmental. The only people who get coaching, if anyone gets it, are the ones already in serious trouble.
Think about the last time you received footlocker or executive coaching. Was it for a positive or negative behavior? Imagine if you got caught doing something right.
Friday, July 13, 2007
* It's always made sense to me for people who work hard to be given the opportunity to play hard. I've read different case studies now, and looked at different profiles of companies to see the differences in environments and cultures. While I admit I've only really held one official/real job so far in my life (I'm still young) you can see gianormous differences in the way companies value creativity based on their policies.
- If you want employees to be creative, they need to be rested and alive. So time off should be given as an incentive for folks who can bring creativity to the table. Guy Kawasaki makes a Good Point in saying that people are also much less prone to make mistakes if they are rested. It's better to avoid making mistakes, then fixing them.
* Sitting at the local pub last night with two of my girlfriends, I heard an interesting opinion. Both of they thought that our CEO should sit down with them at the conclusion of our yearly cycle and be given the opportunity to give their top 3 pluses and deltas for the year. They didn't understand why he couldn't give a half an hour to each of the folks in this position and why he wouldn't want to.
- CEO's should be the visionaries not the details hounds. While it would be great to get to sit down with the CEO and give him the down and dirty, it's not necessary and really not a good idea. If CEO's are given a chance to get into the details, I just know his head would get wrapped around the axle and suddenly we'd have a huge mess on our hands. Instead, employees need to make sure they are being listened to. This is huge. I tried to help my friends understand this, and see how to go about making sure their knowledge was noted and valued through a different channel other then the CEO.
Wednesday, July 11, 2007
Tuesday, July 10, 2007
Monday, July 09, 2007
The boy was invited up to be a guest speaker for my business program, and let's just say that kicked off the weekend to a fantastic start. The students and staff alike loved him! (This is a plug to get him to come up to our Boston conference at the end of the month).
After the conference wrapped up and I did a little bit of firing, (yes) we started out the weekend with a visit to Broadway to see Avenue Q. Funny, off beat musical, detailing the truth of life in a comedic fashion - using puppets and lively songs to sing abou tthe facts of life. We were able to get cheap tickets from tkts that landed us in the orchestra section. Talk about a fun evening!
Following that we got up and enjoyed our Saturday morning and afternoon with a visit to the Museum of Modern Art. I got to see Van Gogh's Starry Night - which has been a dream of mine and also laughed at the delightful drawings by Dan Perjovschi. Also among the artistis displayed there were Picasso and Monet. Picteresque way to spend some time with the boy.
After that we headed to Central Park where I was given a 5 star tour of Strawberry Fields and the famous fountain. The boy had lived just across the street from the park for a bit, so he knew where he was going - good thing too. We made it back just in time to catch our flight back home and of course I fell fast asleep on the plane back.
What a fantastic weekend and wonderful memory!
Wednesday, July 04, 2007
Sunday, July 01, 2007
He didn't mean to give me those 2 bags so early or even at all, but I got them and held onto them tight. My arms got bigger and my heart was enlarged, but I still carried the bags even when it was cold. It's funny how they can become part of your existence. They don't feel like weight anymore and at one point they were comfortable. But they aren't comfortable and I bear a hefty price for keeping them in tow. They've been to Florida. But they aren't going to travel anymore. They've put on enough mileage, it's been decided, they are ready to retire.
So here you go God. Take these bags. I have no use for them anymore. Take them out of my arms. I don't want to hurt anymore, and I don't want anyone else to either. You're the only one that can lift them up now. So - here they are.