Category Archives: Thoughts

Stop People from Wasting Your Time

We’re all too busy, spending our days in back-to-back meetings and our nights feverishly responding to emails. (Adam Grant, a famously responsive Wharton professor, told me that on an “average day” he’ll spend 3-4 hours answering messages.) That’s why people who waste our time have become the scourge of modern business life, hampering our productivity and annoying us in the process.

Sometimes it’s hard to escape, especially when the time-waster is your boss (one friend recalls a supervisor who “called meetings just to tell long, rambling stories about her college years” and would “chastise anyone who tried to leave and actually perform work”). But in many other situations, you can take steps to regain control of your time and your schedule. Here’s how.

State your preferred method of communication. For years, millennials have famously eschewed phone calls — but almost everyone has a communication preference of some sort. Regina Walton, a social media and community manager, told me that she, too, hates talking on the phone, a habit she developed after years of living abroad; email is almost always better for her, as “I can respond when I have time and usually am very fast to reply.” You can often limit aggravation (and harassment via multiple channels) by proactively informing colleagues about the best way to reach you, whether it’s via phone calls, texts, emails, or even tweets.

“Google it!”

The job is no longer to recite facts, to read the bio out loud, to explain something better found or watched online.

No, the job is to personally and passionately make us care enough to look up the facts for ourselves. 

When you introduce a concept, or a speaker, or an opportunity, skip the reading of facts. Instead, make a passionate pitch that drives inquiry. In the audience, in your employees, in your customers…

The only reason people don’t look it up is that they don’t care, not that they’re unable. So, your job is to get them to care enough.

Powerful Team Story (Video) – Does Your Team Embrace Its Diversity?

Diversity on Teams and In Organizations

Team diversity can’t be overlooked as a big advantage. If you are someone who likes working on teams of people just like you, that may be a big mistake.

Research and studies show that team diversity is a good thing. For example, a study talked about on NPR showed that research papers written by multicultural teams are cited more often in other research than those written by homogeneous teams.

L2L: How Major Companies Motivate Their Employees

This infographic is brought to you by NextGeneration Recruitment
Linked 2 Leadership

Customer Satisfaction Can Kill Your Business: The Deadly ‘Who Cares?’ Phenomenon

Your customer flat-out betrays you, or at least that’s how it feels. She does business with you, everything goes fine, andshe even fills out the survey afterward checking off that she’s satisfied, or maybe even “very satisfied” with her experience.
Forbes – Leadership

It’s Your Job to Tell the Hard Truths

Rashid,* the CEO of a high-tech company and a client of mine for nearly a decade, called to tell me we had a major issue with some of the newer members of his leadership team.

What comes to mind when you think of what might constitute a “major issue” with some senior leaders? Maybe they’re in a fight? Maybe they’re making poor strategic decisions? Perhaps they’re not following through on commitments they made about the business? Maybe they’re being abusive to their employees? Maybe they’re stealing?

I’ve seen all of those problems in the past at various companies. But none of that was happening at Rashid’s firm. The major issue he was talking about was far more subtle — and in most places even acceptable.

Rashid had heard, through the grapevine, that two new team members were quietly questioning whether they should be honest about the gaps they saw in the business.

Famous to the family

There is famous and there is famous to the family. Cousin Aaron is famous to my family. Or, to be less literal, the family of people like us might understand that Satya the milliner or perhaps Sarma Melngailis or Peter Olotka are famous.

And famous to the family is precisely the goal of just about all marketing now. You don’t need to be Nike or Apple or GE. You need to be famous to the small circle of people you are hoping will admire and trust you. Your shoe store needs to be famous to the 300 shoe shoppers in your town. Your retail consulting practice needs to be famous to 100 people at ten major corporations. Your WordPress consulting practice needs to be famous to 650 veterinarians or chiropractors. Famous the way George Clooney and George Washington are famous, but to fewer people.

By famous, I means admired, trusted, given the benefit of the doubt. By famous, I mean seen as irreplaceable or best in the world.