Wed, 19 February 2020
No matter if you work for yourself or in an organization, time management is one of the most essential skills you can master. Managing your time makes you more productive and opens the door to new personal and professional opportunities.
Here are three proven strategies to manage your time effectively:
- Understand Where Your Time Goes
You can’t manage your time if you don’t know how you currently use it. When I first started working for myself, I would get to the end of the day and realize I hadn’t accomplished anything substantial. My time had been spent doing smaller things that pulled at my attention. But I had to come to that realization before I could make changes and have a frame of reference of how to manage my time. Spend a week keeping a journal of where your time goes. Track what you’re doing throughout the day and what is happening. You may be surprised at certain patterns or distractions that can lead to major time management changes.
Some people claim that multi-tasking is the most efficient way to get things done, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Every time we switch tasks, our brain needs time to refocus, which makes us less productive overall when we’re pulled in different directions. Batching tasks is grouping things together and doing them back to back. You might batch your writing or brainstorming tasks and do them in the same block of time. I batch checking my email and social media to certain times of the day to avoid distractions.
- Prioritize The Most Important Tasks
Start each day by prioritizing the three most important things you want to get done that day. There is always more work we can do, which can feel overwhelming and pull you in multiple directions. Prioritizing your top tasks sets the direction for the day. When you’ve accomplished those things, no matter how long it takes, you know you’ve been successful. As you master this strategy, you can extend it to the top four or five things for the day.
Time management comes with practice. Try these strategies to find what fits your work environment. When you can control your time, you’ll find you get more done, have more energy, and can enjoy more time doing things you enjoy.
Direct download: How_To_Manage_Your_Time_Effectively.mp3
-- posted at: 2:15am PST
Mon, 17 February 2020
Dr. Denise Trauth is the President of Texas State University. She is currently in her 18th year leading the university. Prior to that Dr. Trauth was provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.
Under Dr. Trauth’s leadership, Texas State has experienced its largest construction program since being founded in 1899, became a federal Hispanic-Serving Institution, was designated a Texas Emerging Research University, has been reclassified as an “R2: Doctoral University – Higher Research Activity” under the Carnegie Classification system, and moved up to NCAA Division I.
Dr. Trauth and her team at Texas State make sure they are staying in touch with industries in the area in order to provide the most relevant and up to date education for students. She has noticed two big trends currently impacting the business world. She says, “What we see in particular is that business is being impacted by two factors in particular: One is technology, and the other is globalization. And those two factors have a big impact on everything we do. It might not be terribly apparent in every single one of our academic programs, all 200 of them, but it does infuse the way we think about curriculum, the way we approach curriculum, and particularly, how we think about adding degree programs or getting rid of existing degree programs.”
Technology impacts every aspect of our lives, so it’s not surprising that it is changing the way students learn. And while Dr. Trauth doesn’t believe that face-to-face learning will be going away anytime soon, it is important to utilize technology in education.
“We have configured the classrooms differently. That's one thing. All of these classrooms obviously are capable of having lots and lots of technology, whether you're talking about the individual devices, or you're talking about the devices the instructor is using. What that means is, all of our new buildings and a lot of our older buildings have been converted. So there's lots of places to plug in and recharge, that makes a big difference. The other big difference is what we're calling, Makerspaces. We have about five or six Makerspaces across our campus here in San Marcus and also our campus in Round Rock, where students can do everything from 3D printing to manufacturing some kinds of prototypes for classes. A lot of opportunities; lasers, laser printers, lots of opportunities for students to make things.”
Globalization is also impacting the future, for the good and the bad. As Dr Trauth shares, “What's happening on the other side of the world has great implications for us and the implications are widespread. Starting with the cultural implications. Our students, more and more, are working with... When they graduate and they go to work, and we try to replicate this on our campuses, that they're going into a very diverse environment, where people don't all think alike. Where people certainly don't all look alike, and it's important that we educate our students to go into that kind of a world where there's just a lot of different ethnicities, races, religions, philosophical backgrounds, political parties. That's all now a part of a college education. So that's kind of where it starts for us, is educating our students for this cultural diversity that if they haven't experienced it in the university, they're gonna experience it when they go to work”.
Dr. Trauth’s advice for leaders who want to stay relevant is two-fold. First, she says it is important for employers to reach out to universities to get involved, especially by joining advisory boards. Secondly, employers should be tolerant of educational differences. Students may be different than the employer, but that is a good thing.
What you will learn:
- What the future of education looks like
- Big trends Dr. Trauth is paying attention to in the world of education
- How education leaders are planning for the future of learning
- What skills and mindsets employers are looking for in prospective hires
- How technology is impacting education
- How to teach students to be lifelong learners
- Advice for employers, leaders, and individuals looking to stay relevant
Direct download: Dr_Denise_Trauth_Podcast_-_DONE.mp3
-- posted at: 1:21am PST
Wed, 12 February 2020
Chances are, at some point over the course of your life and career, someone will shoot down a project or idea that you’re passionate about. Hearing No is a part of life and something everyone faces. The difference between success and failure often comes in how we react to hearing No.
I recently had the chance to interview former GE executive Beth Comstock. She told a story about an idea she had for a project early in her career. She did her research and presented it, only to be told No. But Beth didn’t give up there. She re-worked her project and presented it again. Again, she was told No. This happened over and over — Beth made adjustments to her idea, listened to feedback, and then went back to present. Over and over she was told No.
Finally, a top executive told her Yes. When she asked why he said it was because she had made it impossible to say No. Her persistence had paid off and her idea finally came to fruition.
In the business world, No really means Not Yet. Don’t let one person’s opinion of your ideas get you down. It simply might not be the right timing for your idea. The most successful leaders encompass the growth mindset and look at challenges as opportunities instead of roadblocks.
Hearing negative feedback about your idea can be difficult, but it can also be powerful inspiration to prove the doubters wrong and deliver amazing results. That comes from not giving up and continuing to push, even when you hear No.
Not Yet is very different from No. Follow Beth’s example and re-work your proposal and make adjustments. Don’t give up. Eventually that No can turn into a Yes.
This episode is sponsored by my friends at Conga, the company that’s helping people spend less time on manual work and more time on the projects they love. If you’re tired of endless paperwork and manual processes, make sure to check them out at http://bit.ly/congaddxc
Direct download: In_Business_No__Not_Yet.mp3
-- posted at: 2:10am PST
Mon, 10 February 2020
My new book, The Future Leader, comes out on February 26th and it is based on interviews I had with over 140 CEOs around the world. In the book the two questions that I wanted to answer were: Is the leader of 2030 going to look that different than today? And if so, how is that leader actually going to look different?
To find out the answers to my questions, I interviewed CEOs around the world from organizations like Mastercard, Unilever, Audi, Best Buy, Oracle, Kaiser, SAP, Koc Holding, Enel, Carnival Cruise Lines, Dominos, Dunkin’ Brands, National Grid and many others. I also teamed up with LinkedIn and we surveyed 14,000 employees around the world. And this gave me a very good picture around what the future leader is gonna look like.
And what I found out from these interviews was that most of the top CEOs around the world believe that while there are going to be some attributes that remain the same for leaders of the future-- things like being able to create a vision and execute on strategy-- they also believe that business leaders are going to need to arm themselves with a new set of skills and mindsets in order to stay relevant.
Why do they need a new set of skills and mindsets? It's because our organizations are going to look fundamentally different over the next 10 years than they do now because of technology and artificial intelligence, because of things like purpose and meaning that employees care about, globalization, the changing nature of talent, etc... And because our organizations are going to look different, it makes sense that we are going to need a new type of leader to guide and lead these organizations over the next 10 years and beyond.
So what I created after interviewing all these CEOs is something that I call The Notable Nine, a collection of four mindsets and five skills that leaders of the future will need to succeed.
The four mindsets are:
- The Explorer: This includes practicing curiosity, being a perpetual or lifelong learner, having agility and nimbleness in your way of thinking, having a growth mindset, and being open-minded.
- The Chef: As a future leader, in 2030 and beyond, you are going to have to balance ingredients, and there are two ingredients that you as a future leader are going to have to balance. The first ingredient is technology and the second ingredient is being purpose-driven and caring.
- The Global Citizen: As a leader you must think globally and embrace diversity
- The Servant: Leaders need to know how to serve their team, serve their customers, serve their leaders, and serve themselves. There is more to being a servant leader than we usually talk about
The five skills are:
- The Futurist: Making sure that you can think in terms of possibilities and scenarios.
- Yoda: This one is all about emotional intelligence--specifically empathy and self-awareness
- The Translator: Listening and communicating with all of the channels that you have access to--email, video chats, text messaging, Slack, Facebook at Work, etc….
- The Coach: You need to believe that your job as a leader is to help make other people more successful than you are
- The Technology Teenager: Leaders must be tech savvy and digitally fluent just as today’s teenagers are
These are the four mindsets and five skills I want you to teach your team, to everybody in your organization. That's it. Four mindsets, five skills. If you can do this and teach others these things, I'm very confident that you will become a future ready leader and you will be successful. And by the way, success doesn't just mean making money. It means having a positive impact on society, on the world, on communities in which you serve.
To order the book or learn more about it, go to getfutureleaderbook.com.
What you will learn:
- What it will take to be a successful leader in 2030 and beyond
- A look at the global leadership gap (leaders around the world think they are doing much better than they really are!)
- A look at the insights found from Jacob’s interviews with over 140 CEOs around the world
- The trends shaping the future of leadership
- The greatest challenges future leaders will have to face
Direct download: Jacob_Morgan_Special_Podcast_-_2.10.20.mp3
-- posted at: 12:42am PST
Wed, 5 February 2020
It’s a pattern that has been around for decades. Once a year, employees gather their accomplishments and projects for the past 12 months and talk with their managers and HR representatives to plead their case of why they’re a valuable asset to the company. At the end, they may get a few suggestions for improvements and maybe even a raise. Then it’s back to work until the same time rolls around next year and it all starts again.
Annual performance reviews are standard in many organizations, but the way they’ve always been done can be incredibly detrimental to the overall morale, productivity, and engagement at a company. There’s no absolute answer to if your organization should have annual performance reviews, but here are three things to improve the process:
Ask your employees. Many organizations are quick to kill traditional annual performance reviews without asking their employees. Take a survey and hold focus groups to find out what employees are looking for and the format they prefer to receive feedback. You may be surprised with the results.
Provide regular feedback. The main downside of traditional annual performance reviews is that they only happen once a year. Waiting to give feedback until months after a project is inefficient for everyone. Instead, provide employees with regular feedback. That can happen with daily check-ins or with more formal meetings between employees and managers on a weekly or monthly basis. Regular feedback addresses issues in real time and helps keep things moving forward. With a feedback schedule, the annual performance review becomes more of a meeting to provide a raise and plan steps for the future.
Build relationships. In organizations with engaged employees, annual performance reviews are a collaborative meeting instead of a scary situation where employees have to prove their value at the company. Managers and employees should work to strengthen their relationships for more open communication. A trusting and transparent relationship can remove the fear from the annual review and create a more positive work environment.
Every organization needs to consider their own employee review process. What works for one company might not work for another. Follow these three tips to improve the process and find the right solution for your organization.
Mon, 3 February 2020
David Marquet is the bestselling author of the 2013 book, Turn the Ship Around! A True Story of Turning Followers into Leaders and the new book, Leadership is Language: The Hidden Power of What You Say and What You Don’t, which comes out on February 4th.
David was in the Navy for 28 years and he was ultimately selected to be captain of a nuclear submarine. And it was during his time as a captain of the USS Santa Fe that he changed his leadership style and that change led to him writing his first book.
What does David mean by “leadership is language’? He explains that while there are a lot of professions that require a person to work mainly with their hands, in leadership, because it is always about other people, leaders interact through words--face to face, emails, company statements, annual reports, etc...As he says, “the magic of leadership is that by changing your words you will change the world around you because if you ask a question a different way, you'll get a different answer.”
In his book David gives six plays that all leaders should use to improve how their teams operate. He says a big problem with leaders today is that they are trapped in an industrial-age playbook. In the industrial age leaders gave commands and employees followed, and that was it. But that way of leading is no longer effective, it is outdated.
The six plays are:
- Control the clock, don’t obey the clock--Pre-plan decision points and give your people the tools they need to hit pause on a plan of action if they notice something wrong.
- Collaborate, don’t coerce--As the leader, you should be the last one to offer your opinion.
- Commit, don’t comply--Rather than expect your team to comply with specific directions, explain your overall goals, and get their commitment to achieving it one piece at a time.
- Complete, not continue--If every day feels like a repetition of the last, you’re doing something wrong.
- Improve, don’t prove--Ask your people to improve on plans and processes, rather than prove that they can meet fixed goals or deadlines.
- Connect, don’t conform--Flatten hierarchies in your organization and connect with your people to encourage them to contribute to decision-making
David also explains the uneven “share of voice” that happens inside of so many organizations. Inside of meetings leaders tend to talk the most, which is not good. It is something that leaders need to be aware of. He says, “As a leader, you don't need to say a lot because you already know what you think and when you start talking, you're anchoring the group. Basically, the idea is you're bringing them to your way of thinking, which is what you think you wanna do but it's actually not. What you want to do is understand how they think and what they think, and at the end, you can decide what to do, whether you could do what they wanna do or what you wanna do, that's fine. But it's after uncovering what everybody thinks.”
What you will learn:
- The real life example of how David changed his leadership style while captaining a nuclear submarine
- Why employees should talk more than leaders
- 6 plays for all leaders to implement to improve how their team operates
- How to embrace variability, instead of reducing it
- How to foster a culture of collaborative experimentation
Direct download: David_Marquet_Podcast_-_DONE_1.mp3
-- posted at: 12:38am PST
Wed, 29 January 2020
Motivation is key to your success at work. Your boss can try to motivate you, but in most cases, you can’t rely on anyone else and have to find your own internal motivation. No matter if you work in an office or remotely for yourself, everyone needs help from time to time finding motivation to push through and be productive.
Here are three effective ways to motivate yourself at work:
Start every day with an idea of what you want to get done that day. Setting goals gives your purpose and direction instead of just wandering around trying to find something to do. Goals can be big or small. I like to set large goals, smaller daily goals, and mini goals. For example, my large goal could be to write a book, so I set a daily goal to write for an hour. As I’m working on that goal, I can set a mini goal to write 500 more words. Setting goals pushes you in new directions.
You’re more likely to be motivated and productive if you feel the work you’re doing is useful. It can sometimes be a struggle to find meaning, especially in routine tasks, but connecting the work you’re doing to a bigger purpose can be incredibly motivating. Tell yourself stories about how your work impacts people and the world. You can also find opportunities to do things you like by volunteering for new projects and groups. Take time to talk to people and build relationships because we often find meaning from the people around us.
Find something to motivate yourself and work towards as a future reward. The most important reward is to simply acknowledge the great work you’ve accomplished. Use positive self-talk to celebrate what you’ve accomplished instead of getting stuck on all the things you have yet to do. Rewards can also take other forms like eating something, taking a break, or buying yourself something.
Staying motivated can be the difference between a fruitful, productive career and merely skating along and counting the hours until the day is done. Take control of your own motivation with these three tips to keep you engaged and productive all day long.
Mon, 27 January 2020
Bruce Daisley is a former Twitter VP and bestselling author of the forthcoming book, Eat Sleep Work Repeat: 30 Hacks for Bringing Joy to Your Job, which comes out February 25th. Bruce also has experience working for Google and YouTube.
There are some statistics that show that only 13% of employees are engaged in their jobs. Why is that? Bruce says it is because, “If you have a look at status, higher power is dis-inhibiting. What I mean by that is if you watch people who are bosses, people who are presidents, people who are high status individuals, they generally are unencumbered by this sort of self-consciousness that the rest of us fail. And the correlate of that, the flip side of that is that lack of status is inhibiting, meaning that when we have no position in the hierarchy, when we are junior, when our opinions are told that they don't matter, it means that we repress how we feel. And you observe this more and more, countries that have strong hierarchy generally find that their workers are less engaged, because when they've got less input into decisions, when they've got less contribution to make, they generally think, "I can't get anything done here." So they're gonna repress their emotions. And so you observe this, one of the most hierarchical countries in the world is France, and worker engagement is one of the lowest, 3% of French workers describe themselves as job. I mean, it's a number so low that it makes you go back and check the methodology. But it's the same methodology they use around the world, and yeah workplace engagement is really low, we feel like we're bowing to our bosses.”
So how do we fix the problem? When it comes to fixing workplace culture there is the big picture, which means changing the policies the company has in place such as flexible working arrangements. But there is also the little picture--simple changes that individuals can make to improve day to day work.
Bruce gave some examples of some of the simpler things that we can implement right away to make work better. One thing is walking meetings, where instead of sitting down in a one on one meeting people can take a walk around the building inside or outside while meeting. This can break up the routine, allow people to get up and move around, and it may even produce more creative ideas.
Another example he talked about was moving the coffee machine or the water cooler because of the research that shows face-to-face conversation empowers workplace productivity. If there are teams who don’t normally interact moving the coffee or water can spark those conversations to start.
“I think the reason why the book has ended up being the best selling business book of the year in the UK, is because these changes are so simple, that anyone can stage their own intervention. They can say, Actually, we could do two of these things next week.”
What you will learn:
- What it's like to work at Twitter
- Why are so many people not happy with their jobs
- Who is responsible for your happiness at work?
- Simple things that can be implemented to improve productivity and happiness
- What happens if your managers just shut all your ideas down?
- What is a monk mode morning
- Bruce’s thoughts on the hustle culture that we're seeing
Direct download: Bruce_Daisley_Podcast_-_DONE.mp3
-- posted at: 1:29am PST
Wed, 22 January 2020
For decades, most people believed there was just one path to career success: climbing the corporate ladder. Everyone was expected to start in an entry-level role, pay their dues, and get promoted as they worked their way up the organization. That was the only way it was done, and no one questioned it.
Thankfully, today we have many more options and fewer people spend their entire careers working their way up the corporate ladder. With new technology and opportunities, each person can build their own career ladder to chart their own path to success. For some people, that could be staying with the same organization, but for other people, the career ladder they create could involve becoming an entrepreneur or working for multiple companies.
Building your own career ladder comes with countless possibilities, but it also requires work and vision. Here are five way to build your own career ladder:
Knowledge has never been more plentiful than it is today. We have access to tools and resources to learn almost anything we want, and we can do it inexpensively. If you want to make a career change or learn a new skill, you no longer have to go back to school and invest tons of money and time. If you want to learn how to code, write a book, lead a team, or practice yoga, there’s a way to do that. Keep learning and developing your skills. Find things that interest you and skills that will make you a valuable asset. The more you know, the more directions your career ladder can take you.
Become a subject matter expert
Social media makes it possible to share messages and information with the masses. Use these resources to become a subject matter expert. Find a topic you’re passionate about or an area that is often overlooked and make it yours. You can post articles and thoughts on your own social media platforms and especially on the internal platforms within your company to showcase your knowledge. When people in your organization see your expertise in a certain area, it builds credibility and can open doors.
Build your personal brand
What do you want to stand for? A personal brand is what people think of when they think of you. It can range from being a great public speaker to being the go-to person for organization or personal finance. Decide your brand and build it by learning, sharing, and participating in conferences and conversations. A strong personal brand adds power to your career ladder.
Start a side hustle
A career ladder doesn’t have to stay within an organization. You can become an entrepreneur or at least test the waters with a side hustle. If you have a great idea, go for it. Take advantage of the resources available to you and branch out into something new. You might find your side hustle becomes a full-time startup and makes you a full-fledged entrepreneur.
Find a mentor
You’re in charge of your career ladder, but you don’t have to do it on your own. Find a mentor you trust who can give advice and act as a sounding board. They can provide connections to build your network and strengthen your ladder.
Climbing the corporate ladder isn’t the only way to career success. You have the power to build your own ladder and create your own path — but it requires work and dedication.
What are you doing to build your own career ladder?
Mon, 20 January 2020
Marissa Andrada is the Chief People Officer at Chipotle, a very popular restaurant chain with 2,500 restaurants and 80,000 employees. Prior to Chipotle Marissa had led HR for companies such as Starbucks, Kate Spade, GameStop, Red Bull, and Universal Studios.
Marissa has seen quite a few changes in HR over the past 10-20 years. One of the biggest changes she mentioned is a shift in leadership. Purpose, vision, and values have been around in theory for awhile, but it wasn’t until recently that companies took these words from something on a poster in the hallway to something that companies actually live out through leadership. And employees can tell when leaders are actually living out what they talk about in company meetings or if it is all just talk.
When it comes to tenure in restaurants, a lot of times employees are coming and going frequently. Although Marissa shares that tenure at Chipotle has increased, she also says they understand that not everyone will stay at the company long term, and that’s OK.
Marissa says, “We've introduced so many new things that I believe are just leading edge for restaurant and retail, and we believe that, for example, debt-free degrees, we believe that first and foremost, that we are investing in and creating future leaders for Chipotle and for our restaurants, and ultimately the company. And if not, we're creating future leaders for the world. I think there's a responsibility that companies have especially one as large as ours is not only to do well, but also to do good in the world. And so that's how I answer that question like that's why we do it.”
Chipotle has also moved away from the traditional annual performance review. They now have what they call a 4x4 conversation, which is a meeting that happens four times a year (at least) where managers ask employees four questions. The four questions are:
- What are your most significant accomplishments since we last met?
- What are the most important things you will focus on before we meet next?
- What obstacles are you encountering right now?
- What can I do better or differently as your manager to support you?
Marissa shares, “It's interesting when we first introduced the first 4x4 conversation, we just said, "Have a conversation," and people were freaking out going, "Where's the form? What do I fill out?" And then at the year end, they're like, "Where's my form? What do I fill out?" And we just kind of said, "Hey, we're all learning this together. At minimum, we want you to have this conversation. If you feel like documenting it, do it." And so that was what we did at the Restaurant Support Center. But then for our crew members, what we created was just kind of a template to walk through those four questions. But it also helped people to understand, "Hey, here's what I'm held accountable for," but it's not a traditional performance review form. It's really highly customized for that employee. And so that we have a different spin on that and that it's in a very Chipotle way and not a traditional performance review.”
What you will learn:
- What first drew Marissa to HR
- How they scale their values and culture across 80,000 people
- What Marissa is most excited about regarding People Experience at Chipotle in 2020
- The unique way they approach performance reviews
- Some specific mindsets and skills they look for in potential leaders
- How new employees get onboarded at Chipotle
Direct download: Marissa_Andrada_Podcast_-_DONE.mp3
-- posted at: 12:57am PST
Thu, 16 January 2020
If you’re like most people, you often get caught up in your work and personal life. You’re busy every day with new activities, goals, and the mundane tasks of work and life. It can be hard to find time to be curious when you’re busy with all your other activities.
But curiosity is vital to our creativity and success. Curiosity allows us to solve problems, uncover opportunities, and have fun. It’s the curious people who shape the future.
So how can we balance our daily lives with the need to be curious? It comes down to making time to be curious. For most people, it takes real effort to set aside our daily tasks and allow our minds to wander and think of new possibilities. Here are five ways to make time to be curious.
- Schedule it in. The most basic tactic is to simply schedule time to be curious. If it’s on your calendar, you’re more likely to actually do it. Scheduling in curiosity time can come in many forms, from giving yourself a few minutes to step away from your responsibilities to finding a new hobby or creative outlet. You don’t have to block out hours at a time—even just a 15-minute block can make a difference. And the more you schedule time to be curious, the more you’ll find yourself naturally becoming more curious.
- Watch or read something new. Get out of your rut and watch a new movie or show you wouldn’t typically watch. Find a documentary, TED Talk, or podcast on a subject you know nothing about. Read a book in a genre you don’t typically read or a non-fiction book about something completely new. Let your mind ask questions as you read and wonder about the things you see.
- Let your mind wander. Give yourself time to simply relax and let your mind be free. For some people this means meditation, while others let their mind wander while they spend time outside or exercise. Forget your to-do list and let your thoughts go wherever they want. Take time to dig deep and really think about things and different possibilities. You might find yourself on a completely new thought or question than where you originally began.
- Explore with a partner. You might need the buddy system to become more curious. If you’re afraid to step outside of your comfort zone, try doing it with a friend. Find a new hobby or explore somewhere new together. Even just walking in someone else’s shoes can open your mind to new perspectives and curious possibilities.
- Talk to new people. Most of us fall into the trap of simply searching online when we have a question, getting the answer, and moving on. Instead, try talking to new people. Find someone who is an expert or who can answer your questions and have a real conversation with them. You’ll likely go beyond where your internet search would have taken you. Talk to people wherever you go, listen to their ideas, and think of things from their point of view.
People are naturally curious, but those tendencies often get squashed and replaced by to-do lists and busyness. Finding time to tap into your natural curiosity and building the skill can drive your personal creativity and innovation and help you create the future of work.
Direct download: Are_You_Finding_Time_To_Be_Curious.mp3
-- posted at: 5:00am PST
Mon, 13 January 2020
Rita McGrath is a professor at Columbia Business School and author of the new book, Seeing Around Corners: How to Spot Inflection Points in Business Before They Happen. She was also recently ranked #5 on the Thinkers50 list for her work in strategy, innovation, and entrepreneurship and for being a champion of harnessing disruptive influences for competitive advantage.
What does it actually mean to see around corners? Rita says it’s not about predicting the future, because predictions are hard, but it is about paying attention to signals. She says, “it's more about expanding your range of possibilities that you're considering, and then really being prepared to challenge your own assumptions. And I think that's really where the seeing around corners part is so valuable, because if you think about it, any business grows up with a set of assumptions about what's possible and what's not. And what an inflection point does is it really changes the nature of those assumptions.”
Companies have to be able to pay attention to possible disruptions that could affect the way they do business. But what tends to happen is companies get comfortable doing the same thing and they think as long as it is working now, it will continue to work in the future. Companies such as Blockbuster and Toys R Us didn’t pay attention to signals all around that would have allowed them to adapt with the times and because they failed to pay attention they are no longer around.
Rita explains that the way to keep a lookout for inflection points is to think of a disaster scenario that would have a huge impact on your company and then work backwards from that “time zero event” to see if it has merit. For example, for someone working at a business school an example of a scenario would be students lose interest and employers don’t really care about business degrees. So the time zero event could be 50% of all existing business programs shut down, working backwards what would have to happen for that to take place?
And by looking at all the evidence you can figure out either this is not a likely scenario at all so just forget about it, or it is a very real possibility so what can I do to shift my strategy.
So what can you start doing now to improve your ability to “see around corners”? Rita says, “I think the first thing is this idea of the edges, that you really need to embed ways of learning about what's happening, that isn't right in front of you, that's farther out. Go to conferences that aren't directly related to what you do, maybe take a training course. Today, you can learn almost anything in 10 minutes a day on YouTube, and that's really interesting. I read a lot. I actually... One of the reasons I really like my Twitter feed, and to some extent, LinkedIn, is a lot of the people that I interact with introduce me to sources I wouldn't necessarily have run across on my own. And I think that's another kind of interesting practice. I would say, this takes time. Now, it doesn't take huge amounts of time, but if you're spending every waking moment nose to the grindstone, busy, busy, busy, busy, busy, you're much more vulnerable to missing things than if you give yourself a little bit of that imagination space.”
What you will learn:
- What it means to see around corners
- Why leaders struggle to see around corners
- How to spot inflection points and avoid downfalls in business
- Real life examples of companies who survived disruption
- How is the role of CEO going to change in the next 5-10 years
Direct download: Rita_McGrath_Podcast_-_DONE.mp3
-- posted at: 12:00am PST
Wed, 8 January 2020
As AI and automation grow, employees are concerned for their job security. Adding to that fact is uncertainty about the unknown future of work and what it will take to succeed over the next decade and beyond.
There are lots of ideas of what it will take to future-proof your career, but the simplest and best thing you can do is this: be a coach and mentor.
All leaders should be coaches and mentors, but it’s not just limited to leaders. Employees at all levels can find people to coach and mentor, either at work or outside of work. A coach is different from a traditional boss. A coach gives honest feedback to their mentee, pushes them, unlocks their potential, and removes obstacles from their path. In fact, the ultimate goal of a coach or mentor is to make the person they’re mentoring more successful than them.
This isn’t how it’s always been. It used to be that leaders and managers sat at the top of organizations and pushed down anyone with talent who threatened their success. Today, we’re seeing more leaders embrace the coaching and mentoring philosophy. And it’s the best thing they could do for their careers.
As technology becomes more prevalent and starts to automate tasks and take over parts of our companies, what helps us stand out the most is our ability to be human. A machine will never be able to coach or mentor as well as a human, which means coaches and mentors will have a role in any organization. Every company would love to have an employee, no matter if they are a junior associate or a top executive, who cares about people enough to help them on their way and bring them to greater success. All it takes is a human who wants to help others.
The future of work is uncertain and can be scary at times. But the need to be human and help other people will always exist. If you want to future-proof your career, start by finding someone to coach or mentor.
Mon, 6 January 2020
Tom Rath is a bestselling author and researcher who has spent the past two decades studying how work can improve human health and well-being. He has written several books, his newest one comes out in February and it is titled, Life’s Great Question: Discover How You Contribute to the World.
Tom set out to write this book as a result of his personal reflections over the last several years. He says, “I've really been personally reflecting on, given my own health challenges and threats and my mortality, what are the most important things for people to get focused on? In particular, most of my writing and research is focused on that nexus of people and organizations, and how can we help people to lead better lives through the organizations that they're a part of? And one thing I've observed after 20 years of, kind of following this area is that we're often so quick to look inward and think about self-development and our own brand and how we can improve personally, and the more I have studied these topics, my big takeaway is that we can get more done and life is less stressful and more liberating when we find real concrete ways to focus almost all of our energies on the contribution we're making to other people”
The book addresses topics such as how to separate our identity from our job title, why following our dreams is not always the best approach, and the things teams need to address in order to be effective.
One thing Tom has observed over the years is that the relationship between organizations and employees is broken. Why? Mostly because the basic structure of organizations today is outdated and ineffective for the modern age. It no longer suffices to bribe employees to work with monetary rewards, people today want more than that. They want purpose and meaning in the work that they do. They want to feel that they are contributing something to the organization and the world.
As Tom shares, “I think the question is how quickly can we get to a place where each of us as individuals and organizations start to say, "Are we producing people who are better off when they go home at night?" They're healthier and they're more financially secured, that does matter. They have better relationships with their family members because they chose to be a part of this organization.”
But this isn’t just up to the organizations to fix, individuals have a role as well. “Each of us has the responsibility to make sure that we're not tolerating a job or a work that's making our lives worse at the end of the day than we were when we showed up in the morning. And we need to start to ask some of those critical questions, ask the people around us, ask your best friend or your spouse, "Do you think I'm a better person because I'm doing this job right now versus where I was a year ago?" And sometimes they can help hold up a mirror where we need it as well.”
What you will learn:
- Why Tom first started writing, even though it is not what he originally planned on doing
- How he approaches his day to day work and life
- What’s wrong with the employee-organization relationship and how do we fix it?
- Advice for leaders who want to be role models
- How to discover what you contribute to the world
- Why following your passions and dreams is not the best approach
Direct download: Tom_Rath_Podcast_-_DONE.mp3
-- posted at: 1:03am PST
Wed, 1 January 2020
Like most people, I’m constantly bombarded with requests from other people in both my personal and professional lives. I’m asked to meet friends for coffee, attend a conference, conduct an interview, answer questions for someone — the list goes on and on.
I used to say yes to everything because I didn’t want to miss out on making a new connection. But over time, I felt myself becoming exhausted and depleted. I could never meet my own goals because I was spending all of my time helping other people. So I started saying no. It was difficult at first, but I learned that in order to see my own professional and personal success, I had to invest time in myself. When you say no, you’re really saying yes to something you want to do. Something for yourself that gives you purpose and meaning.
As we become more connected with new technology, we’ll be even more inundated with requests. Learning how to say no is one of the most valuable things we can learn. You don’t need to be rude, but you also need to stand up for yourself. Here are three tips for saying no:
Think of the most important things that you want to protect. Be selfish. If you really want to write a book or start a new business, decide from the beginning that you’ll say no to anything that gets in the way of those goals. With pre-determined boundaries, you don’t have to think about every offer but can quickly say yes or no.
Don’t say maybe if you really want to say no. Be firm in your response and don’t leave the door open for the possibility that you might change your mind.
Don’t offer an explanation
Don’t feel like you have to give an excuse or explain yourself. Offering an explanation leaves the door open to saying yes in the future. If you feel you have to add something after saying no, give an alternative like introducing the person to someone else who could help.
Learning how to say no is an invaluable skill for both your career and personal life. With practice, you can start saying no and start saying yes to yourself.