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Leadership Math

Simple Math

Leaders often use simple math. However, the numbers they most often look at – sales, profitability and even employee retention stats – are trailing indicators. They only tell them what happened in the past. A more effective approach to creating success is to look at the math tied to underlying factors and leading indicators. Read more.

Culture Crash

The recent “First Annual Ultimate Culture Conference” in Chicago this week offered presentations about constructive and destructive corporate cultures. Culture choices define “how we do things here.” Building a culture is a series of choices and actions made every day, which lead companies down one path or the other.Read more.

Getting Real Engagement

What do people really want from work? I mean really want. Say you manage a key team and your company has been acquired and gone through cost-cutting over the past two years. Colleagues have lost their jobs. Then your company acquired and integrated another one. Business is tough.

Productivity pressure has increased and a senior leader tells you that some customer-facing teams are going to participate in an effectiveness survey. In a pre-survey briefing, you learn one of the questions asks people to complete the sentence “What we need to do more of is…”

You know your team is made up of highly skilled engineers. No one has had a raise in two years. Competitors regularly poach them. What percentage of team members will say something like “Pay us more?” (a) 5% (b) 25% (c) 45% (d) 75% (e) 95% ? Read more.

Low Hanging Fruit

My daughter came home from waiting tables - one of her two jobs - about 10:00pm last night. (Her other job is writing.) She was tired from being on her feet.Even though she hadn’t made much money, she was certain that she’d rather wait tables at her current restaurant than her last gig. Why? Because her manager cares about her and she works with a great team. “There’s no drama.” Anyone with restaurant experience knows how drama hurts results.

The financial benefits of running a business in an inclusive way have been demonstrated repeatedly.Check out this piece in the NY Times: Rethinking Work. Barry Schwartz lists a compendium of studies from researchers at Yale, Stanford, and Wharton. Each study demonstrates that people invest more of themselves in their work when they care and have a sense of purpose.Businesses benefit in a big way. Read more.