Hidden Lessons in Leadership #27

In a New York Times interview Jack Dangermond, founder and president of Esri, explained his role as CEO is one of support.  More specifically, to “support getting work…support doing work…ensuring the work is financially sound (i.e. support getting paid) and he approaches these guided by four priorities.  The first two of these priorities rests with people—in the form of customers and employees.  Jack’s third priority is to ensure “a very strong business that supports the first two priorities”, and the forth priority is to work seriously with business partners, of which there are about 20,000 worldwide.  Continue reading

Hidden Lessons in Leadership #26

Bing Gordon, partner in the venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers, claimed in a New York Times interview “that people want leaders who give them confidence.  In a start-up company or in a creative process, there’s turmoil.  Every day feels like you’re looking into the maw of a black hole, and you want somebody around who’s confident, who you think is competent, who can kind of create a floor and say: Don’t worry.  It’s not going to get worse than this.” Continue reading

Hidden Lessons in Leadership #25

A New York Times interview with Dominic Orr, president and CEO of Aruba Networks, highlights the importance for a leader to understand the organization as a system and to relate to its’ employees as people.  Together these two principles are essential for creating a workplace culture that affords high levels of performance. Continue reading

Hidden Lessons in Leadership #23

With technology begetting more technology, innovation appears to be increasing at an increasing rate.   Consequently in many industries, if a business is not cutting edge, it may not be too long before it fails to make the cut.  Accordingly business managers/leaders have a corresponding need to foster creativity within the organization toward realizing more innovation of product and service just to sustain a favorable image and position in the market—current and future.  Doing so is not so much a skill or technique as it is an attitude or mindset about people that is evident in the leadership one exhibits. Continue reading

Hidden Lessons in Leadership #22

Interviews with CEOs, Romil Bahl (PRGX) and Irwin Simon (HAIN Celestial Group), bring to light the importance of people and their ideas to an organization’s success; and consequently why creating a culture that fosters the unfolding of people’s potential is central to the viability of the enterprise.  Two quite business organizations operating in quite different industries striving to essentially create the same kind of culture, one wherein people and ideas flourish. Continue reading

The Nature of Management

As Marjorie Kaplan, President of the Animal Planet and Science networks, noted in a recent interview, “it’s easy to be somebody’s friend. It’s harder to be their manager.”  While both are relationships they are different relationships.  What is the difference?  Likely it rests on the purpose or objective of why you are in the relationship. Continue reading

Empower Thy Self

Managers have the legitimate authority by virtue of their position in the organization’s hierarchy to make decisions that ultimately involve the allocation and deployment of the organization’s resources.  The popular use in business organizations of the empowerment concept has to do with things like pushing decision-making down the hierarchy of the organization, structuring a flatter organization thus enabling management to push decision-making down the hierarchy. So in essence a portion of a manager’s decision-making responsibility is distributed to employees in an attempt to make them feel as though they are important participants in the work of the organization.  Seen in this light it is understandable why many managers believe that they empower their people. Continue reading

Hidden Lessons in Leadership #19

How do you motivate people? In a Harvard Business Review classic article (titled “One more time: How do you motivate employees?”) Frederick Herzberg addresses this very issue.  The essence of his explanation went something like this:  Simple answer is you don’t.  Actionable answer follows from the fact that people in your employ are already motivated.  So all you have to do is find out what they are motivated to do and give them that to do. Continue reading

A Lesson from Google

The recent buzz about Google giving all employees a 10% raise along with a $1000 bonus plus a holiday cash bonus, reportedly because in the words of Eric Schmidt (CEO) “We want to make sure that you feel rewarded for your hard work, and we want to continue to attract the best people to Google”, on the surface seems like a smart move by management.  After all who doesn’t want to be recognized for the contribution they make!  Moreover if the company is doing well, then everyone should benefit.  Such a policy encourages a cooperative (win-win) culture that can only contribute to continued collaboration among people to the benefit of the organization. Continue reading