Friction can be helpful. Without it, we would slide around uncontrollably. But too much friction can prevent us from moving forward or changing direction. Today’s post is by James Millar, author of Building Bridges (CLICK HERE to get your copy). Friction can be helpful. Without it, we would slide around uncontrollably. But too much friction can prevent us from moving forward or changing direction. Sir Isaac Newton observed that a body at rest stays at rest unless it is acted upon by an unbalanced force. But this is not just true for physical objects. We have all experienced friction in other parts of our lives. For instance, when we procrastinate or make excuses, we may not apply enough force to overcome friction inherent in the status quo. For more than a decade, I’ve seen the benefits that executives can derive from ongoing, authentic conversations with peers. And I have come to believe that every professional should belong to at least one network of trusted peers who meet regularly to exchange ideas, explore new perspectives, and maybe even share a few laughs. Yet few professionals seem to enjoy the benefits such a group can offer. I’ve often wondered why. And I’m starting to think it comes down to friction.
About Ryan Shaw
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Entries by Ryan Shaw
Our reader poll today asks: How productively do you use slow periods at work to catch up on important projects? Very: I take full advantage of slow periods to catch up: 37% Somewhat: I get some things done but also chill out a bit: 53% Not very: I end up wasting the opportunity slow times present: 8% Not at all: I get virtually nothing done during slow periods: 2% Using slack times effectively. It’s rare that we get a slowdown at work. What matters is how well you use that gift of time when it presents itself. A few suggestions for making better use of that time are to put blocks on your calendar dedicated to specific tasks. If you leave a slot open, you’re more likely to lose focus on a specific task. Also keep a handy list of important but not urgent projects. When you do get a free moment, the list is already made and you can just dive in rather than wasting time figuring out what project you should tackle during the slowdown. The better prepared you are for the inevitable slow period, the more catching up you’ll be able to do when it presents itself. Do you agree with these poll results? Let us know in the comments below! – Mike Figliuolo at thoughtLEADERS, LLC Did you enjoy this post? If so, I highly encourage you to take about 30 seconds to become a regular subscriber to this blog. It’s free, fun, practical, and only a few emails a week (I promise!). SIGN UP HERE to get the thoughtLEADERS blog conveniently delivered right to your inbox!
Building a culture of accountability takes effort day in and day out to truly establish and it is also the responsibility of those in leadership positions to continual reinforce. It’s not enough to just build a culture of accountability. You have to strengthen it and reinforce it every single day. This is about the small behaviors adding up to that broader culture. And the organization is going to behave in a manner based on what it sees punished or rewarded. If people see others covering things up or laying blame, and see those people getting ahead, and getting promoted even, then people are going to behave in a manner consistent with that. If, on the other hand, they see that people are stepping up and accepting responsibility, and those behaviors get rewarded, and when people take responsibility for problems and say they’ve made mistakes, that’s held up by management as great behavior, people will behave that way as well. You need to reinforce your culture every single day. Look for creative ways to do so. When I was a consultant, we had “Firm Values Day.” We would take all of our consultants off of client work for a full day, which was extremely expensive for the firm. And for that one day, we would talk about our values. People would share examples of when they saw the values in action, or they would talk about when they violated the values, and what they did to fix it. Think about your organization. Are there opportunities to include conversations around the values and the culture in progress reviews? Can you use it as a lunch and learn topic, or at your staff meetings? When people get promoted, hold up those opportunities as: This person did great work. They’re living up to our culture. This is what we believe in. This is what we want. And others will look at that and say, “That person got promoted based on those behaviors. I want to behave the same […]
From MBAs to managers, leadership through effective presentation and communication is key. The visualization of data empowers the curation and communication of results, problems, and ideas. Well-designed data graphics make the insights interpretable and actionable. Today’s post is by Dr. Kristen Sosulski, author of Data Visualization Made Simple (CLICK HERE to get your copy). From MBAs to managers, leadership through effective presentations is an essential skill. With the enormous amount of data that managers use to inform decisions, show results, and classify problems, data graphics are a simple, yet efficient means to communicate these data findings. It is a way of showing quantitative information visually. At its core, data visualization is the process of creating data graphics for the purposes of exploration, communication, or decision-making. Knowing how to visualize data as charts is a competence that managers can develop with training. When I first started teaching data visualization in both academic and professional settings, the all too common initial response from the learners was that it was likely that someone else, such as an intern, would be creating their data presentations. Although they thought this was a valuable skill to learn, some felt that the task was not something that an aspiring manager would spend their time doing.
Our reader poll today asks: Do you tend to do things right the first time or act now and fix later? I invest in doing it right the first time: 79% I take action and fix as needed later: 21% Understand the cost of fast action. While there are some situations that require fast more than they require correct, applying that mindset in other situations can cost you more than the time it saves. Think through why you’re rushing and if the rush will be worth it in the long term. Often it’s not. Invest the extra time in doing a task correctly on the first attempt rather than taking shortcuts. The “future you” will appreciate your rigor and attention to detail when there aren’t messes to be cleaned up later. Do you agree with these poll results? Let us know in the comments below! – Mike Figliuolo at thoughtLEADERS, LLC Did you enjoy this post? If so, I highly encourage you to take about 30 seconds to become a regular subscriber to this blog. It’s free, fun, practical, and only a few emails a week (I promise!). SIGN UP HERE to get the thoughtLEADERS blog conveniently delivered right to your inbox!
Many business leaders struggle with making decisions for their company but there are a few simple steps to work through decision making as a process. It’s important to realize that decision making is actually a process, and it’s the process of selecting a choice from a range of possible options, with the goal of achieving a very specific objective. Now contrast that with judgment. Judgment is the ability to form an opinion or reach a conclusion based on available information plus prior experience. So, as you go to make a decision, there are some important principles to keep in mind. First, be clear about the objective. You need to understand what your optimizing for or trying to achieve as you make that particular decision. Second, decide who gets to decide and who doesn’t. Be clear about who’s going to be involved in the decision making process. You need to define who to involve and how to involve them. Some people are going to provide input, other people will provide perspective on implementation, other people will actually make the decision, and having clarity of roles is critical for successful decision making. Next, you’ll need to reduce ambiguity and risk as much as is reasonable before making your decision. The way to do that is to gather information, but realize that gathering information takes time, and as you’re taking that time, new sources of uncertainty are going to emerge. Next, you’ll need to make your choice and make that choice known to the organization. Tell people you’ve made a decision, what the decision is, and why you made it. And then last, once you’ve made the decision, you need to evaluate and adjust based on new information. So the decision making cycle that you should think about following is first, prepare to make the decision, then you actually make the decision, communicate it to people in the organization, execute, which is put the decision into action, and measure and adjust accordingly.