Our reader poll today asks: How well-defined are your organization’s prioritization criteria for investments and projects? Our criteria are very well defined and clear: 23% We have some criteria but they’re a bit loose: 25% We have few criteria and they’re mostly financial: 29% We have no formal criteria defined: 23% Criteria for fit focuses efforts. While it’s great to see many of you have criteria for investments and projects, the bigger question is how rigorously are they used to assess project fit. Without a proper balance of qualitative and quantitative criteria, you run the risk of pursuing non-strategic but financially attractive ideas. Long-term that can result in a muddied strategy. Push for clarification of what your strategic investment filters are. When you achieve a balanced set of criteria, you’ll have a better-balanced portfolio of ideas you’re pursuing that is also more consistent with your long-term strategy. For those of you without any criteria, it’s time to speak up and push to instill some rigor in your investments. 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!
About Ryan Shaw
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Entries by Ryan Shaw
Happiness is something everyone is striving for in their everyday lives, but what might be getting in the way of your happiness is actually you. Today’s post is by Deirdre Maloney, and author of Tough Truths (CLICK HERE to get your copy). Pay even a little attention these days and you’ll find there’s an epidemic going around when it comes to our professional lives. Simply put…a whole lot of us aren’t happy at work. Or we’re not as happy as we could be. Many are downright miserable. And, far too often, we’re a big part of the problem. And we don’t even know it. Or, at least, we didn’t know it…until today. Because we’re about to get real about how we mess with our own happiness at work, and how to stop. Embrace the Happiness Ratio The first problem is that we often fail to even think about whether or not we’re happy at work in the first place (we also do this with our personal lives, by the way). Once we’ve established ourselves for even a short amount of time, we don’t stop for even a second to consider if we’re truly happy…or still happy…in our jobs. We just move through our workdays, noticing that sometimes we don’t sleep well at night, sometimes we snap at colleagues, sometimes we roll our eyes as the emails come rolling in. To get at this problem, consider the happiness ratio. This quick nugget of wisdom states that we must be happy in every part of our lives a minimum of 70% of the time. This is especially true for our work, which, for most of us, takes up more time in a given week than anything else. I came to this 70% minimum number after conducting research with plenty of happy and not-so-happy folks. […]
Our reader poll today asks: What’s been your experience with individual contributors moving into management roles? I’ve always seen it work out great: 4% Sometimes it works well; other times, not so much: 85% Usually it’s been a disaster: 12% Set them up to succeed. Promoting an individual contributor to a manager role often seems like a good idea. The person does great work in their area of expertise and is respected by their peers for their competency. You have to realize, though, that managing is a completely different skill set than their individual contributor work. Set the person up to succeed. First, confirm they even want a manager role (not everyone does). Next, get them training and on-the-job opportunities to learn management skills. Find them a mentor. Give them additional coaching. And most important – do ALL of this BEFORE you put them in the role. A little bit of preparation over a few months can keep that promotion from going sideways and turning into a disaster. 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!
Becoming the partner at your particular firm or company is the goal of many people, here’s a couple things you need to make it there. Today’s post is by Victor Prince, a principle here at thoughtLEADERS. Reaching the partner level is a career goal for many a new lawyer, consultant or other professional. It often requires several years of getting promoted through the ranks, from an individual contributor to a manager. Many a successful manager has failed to make the leap to the partner level, however. The skills required to become a good manager are required to become a partner – but they are not enough. Here are the five skills that high-performing managers need to demonstrate to make it to the partner level. The first two are easy to measure and are often set as clear expectations. The last three are tougher to measure. If you have demonstrated the first two skills but still haven’t made it to partner, then you still need to focus on these last three skills. 1) Selling – Managers often are expected to sell new work to existing clients. That helps demonstrate selling skills. But getting new clients is essential for revenue growth, and partners have to be able to attract and close deals with new clients too. Opening doors to new clients requires different skills than closing deals with existing clients. Managers have to demonstrate that they can use their networking and promotional skills to bring new clients in. This is often the first clear hurdle that a successful manager has to cross to show partner potential. HOW TO BUILD THIS SKILL -> Practice selling wherever you can. Find training. Ask the successful partners for advice and books you could read to learn how to sell. (SPIN Selling is the one I recommend the most.)
Employees having internal wars on work distribution and work load shouldn’t be the problem you’re dealing with and your management style might be the cause. Today’s post is by Ed Muzio, author of Iterate (CLICK HERE to get your copy). It’s happening again. Employee A is in your office asking you to force Employee B to provide some help. “I can’t succeed without this and my work is more important.” Of course, you’ve heard this before. Come to think of it, last week Employee B made making a play for Employee C’s budget. And the week before that, A and C showed up together to talk you out of funding B’s newest program. “We need those resources for our work,” they sniveled, “it’s so important.” But at the moment it’s Employee A telling the story. And to be honest, this one sounds reasonable. If you’re reading things correctly – that is, seeing the truth behind the attempt to convince – Employee A faces some real challenges. A little nudge from you on B would take care of much of the problem, and it’s fair to say that A’s work represents a critical part of your commitment to your own boss. You certainly don’t want A failing. It’s so compelling, you muse to yourself, it’s tempting to grant the request. Of course, that’s a problem too. Make an exception and you appear to be favoring one division over another, or one person over another. Just one opens the floodgates for every other request your team can dream up. Besides, you worked hard to assign heads and budgets and such, using the most careful consideration and the best planning you could muster. And you don’t want B failing either. Revisiting one part of who-does-what means revisiting it all, psychologically if not operationally. Who […]
Our reader poll today asks: How closely are your priorities tied to your company’s strategy? Very. Everything I work on links directly to the strategy: 41% Somewhat. Links exist, but I also have some unrelated priorities: 38% Not very. Most of my work has no clear link to the strategy: 10% Not at all. I don’t even know what our strategy is: 11% Aligning activities to strategy. It’s encouraging to see 80% of you have a direct link between many of your priorities and the company’s strategy. For the activities that don’t seem aligned, ask why you’re doing them. Some are out of habit. Some are required by regulators. Some should simply be stopped but no one has ever said anything about it. Trim unnecessary activities on a regular basis. For those of you who don’t have a clear link to or understanding of the strategy, ask for it. Spend time reading your company website and annual report. Ask your managers and leaders to give you an update on the strategy. The better you understand it, the more effective you can be in your job. 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!