Leadership is scary business. Both for ourselves, and our customers. It means moving from where we are now, to some place new, some place unfamiliar, some place unexplored. Leadership is personal — you cannot lead a crowd, you can only lead persons, individual people. Business is scary leadership. Read more
Choose your favorite writer
“The reality remains that teamwork ultimately comes down to practicing a small set of principals over a long period of time. Success is not a matter of mastering subtle sophisticated theory but rather of embracing common sense with uncommon levels of discipline and persistence.
Ironically, teams succeed because they are exceedingly human. By acknowledging the imperfections of their humanity, members of functional teams overcome the natural tendencies that make trust, conflict, commitment, accountability and a focus on results so elusive.”
You know: the mastermind, who has the vision, and orchestrates all the pieces in a three-dimensional chessboard, to achieve a magnificent result. They are filled with sage wisdom, far-seeing insight, and a gut instinct that never errs. We watch with awe and aspire to one day be that person.
Might I humbly submit…they don’t exist. Or at least they are as rare as unicorns.
So why are our business structures built on this myth? Why do we have managers, or at least, why are they endowed with powers and expectations that far outstrip a realistic understanding of what they can accomplish? Is it helping, or hurting, to follow this accepted “professional” model?
But what would a world look like without managers anyways? Read more
ROWE has been taking a bit of a hit lately in the media. Companies like Best Buy and Yahoo have made bold moves to end their work at home options for employees. I have seen some people respond that ROWE did not work out like it was supposed to. As my friend Greg Kyte would say, I call BS.
I don’t think Best Buy or Yahoo! were ROWE at all. Because ROWE works. What fails is leadership.
For some reason, people think working away from an office is the same thing as ROWE. It’s not though. In fact, Jody Thompson and Cali Ressler have been trying to help us understand for a while that flexibility is the new F word. Just because you are not forced to be in an office from 8 to 5 Monday through Friday does not mean your are working in a ROWE. There may have been a lot of people both in an out of the offices of Best Buy and Yahoo not achieving results. Maybe they didn’t even know what results they were supposed to achieve! That’s a leadership problem. Let’s not blame ROWE. Read more
The Firm of the Future. What does the future look like? And how does one ready their firm to flourish in it? Lately, the future seems to be arriving faster than it used to, and these questions have increasingly grown in significance. Many of you also recognize The Firm of the Future as the title of the landmark book by Ronald Baker and Paul Dunn, where they lay out an argument and a plan for professional firms that shifts focus intensely to identifying and pricing for value. Another highly recommended title and a companion volume: Implementing Value Pricing.
Like many Thrivealists, I am fascinated by the concept of the firm of the future – it’s so core to who we are, and runs as a common thread through our Manifesto. The more I thought about it though, the more I came to think that “the firm of the future” was somewhat of a misnomer. I had a chance to actually chat about it once with Ron Baker, and he readily agreed. He wasn’t fully comfortable with the term, but he hadn’t found one he liked better just yet. More recently you’ll often find him, and other members of the VeraSage think-tank, using the phrase “timeless firms,” which I find much more apt. Read more
I fight confusion in working with business owners all over the country. It’s a confusion I’ve fought in the past. That confusion is this: how business owners lead their team and delegate their work. More specifically, business owners seem to think it is necessary that they know everything going on internally with their company, and externally with their customers. It’s shocking when I tell them that there will be more and more things that they do NOT know about in their company as they grow their team. It doesn’t dawn on them that they must lose some Control if they ever want to grow.