There is an adage that goes, “Authority is the last resort of the inept and frustrated.” Parents who have found themselves relying on “…because I said so” to direct a reluctant child know the truth of the adage. When rank becomes the only means of insuring compliance, one has long lost the battle to effectively influence.
The art of influencing has challenged leaders for centuries. In autocratic settings, influencing is relatively simple to accomplish — you simply gave an order. In more democratic settings, leaders resorted to an array of more humanistic means. Some leaders influence by selling — focusing on the benefits of pursuing a goal. Some use colorful communication with a reliance on a charismatic style or a compelling message.
Role modeling is a popular approach to influencing with leaders — “walking the talk.” Then there is the incentives approach — affirming the “good subordinate” who acted in sync with a goal. (read more…)
Last week, we asked: Do you consider your team to be “high performing?”
- Absolutely — they’re consistently excellent: 26.32%
- Kind of — they’re good but have room to improve: 60.15%
- Not really — they’ve got their share of issues: 11.09%
- Not at all — I’m in disaster-recovery mode: 2.44%
Driving high performance. The high performing team is elusive. It requires a special chemistry among the team members and you are the chief chemist. If your team is currently high performing, beware of throwing off the mix with new hires, role changes or revised priorities. If you’re trying to elevate your team, step back and list what’s working great and what’s holding the team back (caveat — you might be on that list of things holding them back). (read more…)
Today, you’re either innovating or you’re falling behind. 97% of CEOs label innovation as a “top priority” for their company. The best companies are the ones that continue to innovate and have HR departments scouring the globe in a never-ending search for the most creative talent available.
The problem is, internal innovation programs are hard to implement, which is why few do so successfully. Below are three common pitfalls of companies trying to accelerate employee innovation, along with some examples of those that do it right.
1. Designating “innovation time”
You’ve heard about Google giving days off to employees to work on side projects and Quicken Loans’ “BulletTime” initiative. You’ve also seen reports of 3M allowing employees to take hours at a time to work on their own projects. So you decide to implement something similar at your company and are disappointed when no one comes back with the next Gmail. (read more…)
How many times have you walked out of a meeting saying, “Well, that’s an hour of my life that I will never get back!” We seem to tolerate poor presentations in the workplace assuming that’s just the way it is, not thinking about or recognizing the negative impact poor communications has on business. Let’s face it; the quality of a presentation can make the difference between:
- Winning that next big job or a pointless pitch
- Team collaboration or needless conflict
- Profitability or money down the drain
In a world where the bottom line rules, how we communicate has a direct correlation to success and profitability.
Bringing people together costs money
Simply put, whether it’s a sales pitch, an analyst summit, industry event or everyday run-of-the-mill business meeting, it costs money to bring people together, whether on-site in a conference room or an event that is produced off-property. Meeting costs escalate quickly when you include the dollars for salaried employees taken away from work, travel, the venue itself, equipment, hiring production crews, as well as lodging and the cost of food and beverage. (read more…)
Think of a speech as a piece of music.
Like a piece of music, it has melody, harmony and rhythm. Melody rises and lowers according to the notes, i.e. the words. Harmonies are a blend of facts and stories blended for meaning.
And tempo, fast or slow, matches mood and meaning. Put more simply, every good speech must have its own signature, a rising and falling according to meaning and a tempo owing to emphasis.
Speech delivery, like playing an instrument, is an art that can be mastered; it simply takes a willingness to try and a commitment to speaking in public whenever you have the opportunity to do it.