Tips, ideas and techniques for leaders and managers.
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Powerful Life Lessons From Maya Angelou
A co-worker shared with me the other day the following powerful quote from the late Maya Angelou. I'll read this often and do my best to follow her advice.
“I've learned that no matter what happens, or how bad it seems today, life does go on, and it will be better tomorrow. I've learned that you can tell a lot about a person by the way he/she handles these three things: a rainy day, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights. I've learned that regardless of your relationship with your parents, you'll miss them when they're gone from your life. I've learned that making a "living" is not the same thing as making a "life." I've learned that life sometimes gives you a second chance. I've learned that you shouldn't go through life with a catcher's mitt on both hands; you need to be able to throw something back. I've learned that whenever I decide something with an open heart, I usually make the right decision. I've learned that even when I have pains, I don't have to be one. I've learned that every day you should reach out and touch someone. People love a warm hug, or just a friendly pat on the back. I've learned that I still have a lot to learn. I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
Here are 10 tips for how to maximize employee involvement: Have active ways to listen to your employees.Check often with employees to see if the information you are sharing with them is what they need and what they want.Share information about customer satisfaction with employees.Discuss financial performance with your employees and be sure everyone understands the importance of profitability and how they can contribute to profitability.Allow ad hoc teams among employees to form to address organizational problems and work with those teams to tackle the identified issues.Encourage employees to make suggestions for improvement whether those ideas are large or small.Take an idea from one employee and share it with other employees and teams and let everyone make a contribution to build upon that idea.Train!For long-term employees, find ways to keep their jobs interesting through new assignments and challenges.Conduct meetings around specific issues and brainstorm solutions.
Contrary to popular opinion, Ibarra argues that you have to act your way into a new type of leadership thinking instead of thinking your way into it. And to do this, you need to develop and practice outsight (versus insight).
To do that, you should:
Redefine your job to make time for more strategic work and more work outside your function, unit and even organization.Diversify your network so that you connect to and learn from a bigger range of stakeholders.Get more playful with your sense of self so that you allow yourself to experiment with styles of behaving that go against your nature.
"Doing things -- rather than simply thinking about them -- will increase your outsight on what leadership is all about," explains Ibarra. Here are three ways to do things at your office tomorrow: Sign up for one new project, task-force, professional association or extracurricular professional acti…
Business leaders who wonder whether they should conduct an employee survey should think about these five good reasons for conducting surveys, as recommended by John Kador and Katherine J. Armstrong in their book, Perfect Phrases for Writing Employee Surveys:
1. To discover what employees are thinking and doing – in a nonthreatening survey environment. You will learn what motivates employees and what is important to them.
2. To prioritize the organization’s actions based on objective results – rather than relying on subjective information or your best guesses.
3. To provide a benchmark – or a snapshot of your employees and their attitudes at a certain point of time that you can then compare to future surveys to spot trends.
4. To communicate the importance of key topics to employees – by communicating with employees the survey results that shows your organization is listening to employees.
5. To collect the combined brainpower and ideas of the workforce – that sometimes cannot be…