Mastermind Group? What is That?

As I pointed out in one of my mastermind invitations recently, we North American business people are still following the US Army slogan from the early 2000’s: “An Army of One”.

We’re very individualistic. We like to go it on our own. And us menfolk are especially prone: we’d love to declare that, “I am a self-made man!”

Truth is, that might get you to the top. But once you get there you find out it’s pretty lonely.

How to Build Credibility as a Leader: Three C’s

The right to lead is no longer about power.

Every leader can build trust by establishing credibility.

Image courtesy of JoshBerglund19 under the Creative Commons license.

We live in the era of networking. The capabilities and resources of any organization can now be distributed anywhere in the world. People no longer need to find powerful leaders and ally themselves to that person in order to ensure success.

Power is Old School

No, alliances are no longer about power. They are about influence. And that influence is granted to those who are trustworthy, making trust the new linchpin of all leadership qualities. Are you trustworthy?

Netflix Corporate Culture: A Must-Read Manifesto

As a business leader, you are well aware of the myriad of issues competing for your attention. Yet, despite the busyness of it all, you know that one of the elements of success you must always be intentional about is the formation of corporate culture.

Image courtesy of @HarvardBiz as posted on Twitter.

Corporate culture is the elephant in the room. It is always there and everyone is aware of it but your team rarely will address it directly. One of the things that you need to do as a leader is make sure that you and your team give visibility and voice to the culture you are creating so that you can be intentional about shaping it.

In this post, I want to focus on how Netflix has done an outstanding example of this. With over a billion dollars in revenue, this is one company worth keeping an eye on. As the image above illustrates, Netflix’s focus on talent is a perfect case in point of how hiring is so critical to culture.

Why Your Christmas Bonus Sucks!

Think about it. How many Christmas bonuses have you received (or given) that were a home run?

Image courtesy of Frédéric Bisson under the Creative Commons license.

I believe that for those of us who lead, we have good intentions behind the desire to issue Christmas bonuses. We want to encourage the team, reward effort and loyalty, and even develop some good mojo from the employee’s family.

The most striking thing about highly effective leaders is how little they have in common. What one swears by, another warns against. But one trait stands out: the willingness to risk.

Larry Osborne
Measuring up: the need to succeed and the fear of failure. (Sisters, OR: Multnomah Books, 1993), 59

How Google Proved the Science of Management
December, 2013

I love it when vigorous research proves out what has long been known intuitively. The study reported via the link above identifies come 8 characteristics and behaviours that serve as excellent tips on how to be a top notch manager.

Executive summary from HBR:

High-performing knowledge workers often question whether managers actually contribute much, especially in a technical environment. Until recently, that was the case at Google, a company filled with self-starters who viewed management as more destructive than beneficial and as a distraction from “real work.” But when Google’s people analytics team examined the value of managers, applying the same rigorous research methods the company uses in its operations, it proved the skeptics wrong.

Mining data from employee surveys, performance reviews, and double-blind interviews, the team verified that managers indeed had a positive impact. It also pinpointed exactly how, identifying the eight key behaviors of great Google managers.

In this article, Harvard Business School professor Garvin describes how Google has incorporated the detailed findings from the research into highly specific, concrete guidelines; classes; and feedback reports that help managers hone their essential skills. Because these tools were built from the ground up, using the staff’s own input, they’ve been embraced by Google employees. Managers say that they’ve found their training to be invaluable, and managers’ ratings from direct reports have steadily risen across the company.

What Google's Best Manager's Do (image from HBR tweet linked above).

What Google’s Best Manager’s Do (image from HBR tweet linked above).