Category Archives: Thoughts

10 Stupid Games that Managers Play

This post was recently published at Smartblog on Leadership:

Most managers are rationale, logical, practical problem solvers when they first get promoted. Then, through organizational conditioning, they learn to play silly games. They are like the frog in a pan of boiling water. The change is so gradual, these silly games eventually begin to feel like “real world management.”

How many of these silly management games do you play? More importantly, do you have the courage to speak up and stop the insanity?

Forgive yourself

Forgive yourself for not being the richest, the thinnest, the tallest, the one with the best hair. Forgive yourself for not being the most successful, the cutest or the one with the fastest time. Forgive yourself for not winning every round.

Forgive yourself for being afraid.

But don’t let yourself off the hook, never forgive yourself, for not caring or not trying.

Leading a Healthy Life After Retirement

So you’ve finally made it to the promise land of retirement, woo hoo! You’re probably ready to relax the days away with an ice cold drink by the blue pool that even the deepest blue eyes would be jealous of. But let’s just slow down a little bit, you still need your health to enjoy … … Continue reading
Linked 2 Leadership

America’s New Labor Movement

Flip through issues of Harvard Business Review from the 1950s or 1960s, and you’ll see a steady drumbeat of articles on labor relations. But search Google today, and our top hit on unions is from 20 years ago — John Hoerr’s still-interesting “What Should Unions Do?

America’s public sector has also found new issues to focus on – as Roger Martin has persuasively argued, Democrats now care about the interests of shareholders and investors, and Republicans about top-tier talent.

So I called up Lowell Turner, professor of International and Comparative Labor and Director of the Worker Institute at Cornell, to ask him how labor might adapt to regain its influence. What I learned was that the labor movement in the United States is already adapting — though those changes still fly below the national radar. Through strategic alliances and city- and state-level initiatives, America’s labor movement is already being reborn.

A Road Map for Young Adults

It all began with an e-mail from his daughter, Avery, with the subject line: “Is this okay to send?”

Avery had gotten her first post-college job as an assistant to the co-executive producer to a new network daytime TV talk show. She wanted to ask her new boss for a later start date so she would have more time to “tie up loose ends.”

The Bigs

It was then her Dad, Ben Carpenter, realized that today’s young people don’t really know what is expected of them in the real world—the “big leagues”. They didn’t know how the working world actually worked.

10 Stupid Management Games

This post was recently published at Smartblog on Leadership:

Most managers are rationale, logical, practical problem solvers when they first get promoted. Then, through organizational conditioning, they learn to play silly games. They are like the frog in a pan of boiling water. The change is so gradual, these silly games eventually begin to feel like “real world management.”

How many of these silly management games do you play? More importantly, do you have the courage to speak up and stop the insanity?

We’ll start with some silly budgeting games:

1. “Use it or lose it budgeting.” This is when you are getting close to the end of the year and your budget is running under your forecast. In previous years, when you underspent, your next year’s budget was set based on that year’s actual. So, in order not to have your budget cut again, you go on a shopping spree — buying stuff you really don’t need or stocking up just in case you might need it.

It’s a great book, it has no typos!

And you really have to check out this hotel, it’s dark in your room at night. And quiet, too.

Quality is now a given. Quality alone is not remarkable.

Surprise and delight and connection are remarkable.