Adapted from Organizational Behavior, Schermerhorn, Hunt, & Osborn, John Wiley & Sons, 2000, pgs. 311-15

Power or Influence? This is an important question as we navigate through our careers. The two are often confused for one another so our first step is to define them. Here are my definitions:

  • Power: The ability to get others to do something you want done, and perhaps even to complete the task the way you want it done.
  • Influence: A behavioral response to the exercise of power; you demonstrate your influence when others comply with your requests.

If you are the CEO of a company, the governance structure of that organization gives you a substantial amount of power. Unless it is a smaller organization with no board of advisors or directors, that power has its limits, and that is a checks-and-balances system that protects the interests of the various groups of owners or investors.

But there is a lot of “juice” in the comments or directives of the CEO or [resident of most firms. (read more…)

Workplace Morale 1 badgeThis post is part of the series “Workplace Morale,” a weeklong effort co-hosted by SmartBrief’s SmartBlog on Leadership and the folks at Switch & ShiftKeep track of the series here and check out our daily e-mail newsletter, SmartBrief on Leadership. Don’t subscribe? Sign up.

Workplace inspiration doesn’t happen casually. It takes intentional effort to create and maintain a safe, inspiring work environment. The problem is that most leaders put greater thought and energy into their products and services than into their culture, yet culture drives everything that happens in their organizations.

Their culture wasn’t created intentionally — it happened by default. It may not be a healthy culture, but it’s there just the same. Culture is a powerful and (usually) invisible force in organizations.

How can leaders affect workplace culture? Leaders have to pay as much attention to citizenship and values as they do to results.

Leaders can change their culture by changing the rules. (read more…)

Workplace Morale 1 badgeThis post is part of the series “Workplace Morale,” a weeklong effort co-hosted by SmartBrief’s SmartBlog on Leadership and the folks at Switch & ShiftKeep track of the series here and check out our daily e-mail newsletter, SmartBrief on Leadership. Don’t subscribe? Sign up.

It doesn’t matter if your company has 10,000 employees or five – a healthy corporate culture is the secret for healthy workplace morale. One company that takes pride in its corporate culture is The Carlyle Group. The steps co-founders David Rubenstein, Bill Conway and Dan D’Aniello have used at Carlyle can easily be applied to any size business.

Their corporate culture is built on what they call “One Carlyle.” When asked to define it, Rubenstein said, “The ‘One Carlyle’ official definition is having all Carlyle professionals collaborating seamlessly across funds, industries and geographies to deliver the wisdom, knowledge and resources required to invest wisely and create value for our investors.”

The ultimate goal of “One Carlyle” Conway adds is to make sure the company constantly differentiates itself from the competition. (read more…)

To infinity and beyond: That’s where Pixar Animation and Walt Disney Animation Studios are headed provided they maintain the type of leaders that have gotten them this far.

Ed Catmull, president of Pixar Animation and Walt Disney Animation Studios, describes what he’s learned about leadership and corporate culture in his excellent new book, Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration.”

Everyone knows that Pixar has been phenomenally successful with the likes of “Toy Story,” “The Incredibles,” “Finding Nemo,” and “Up,” to name but a few of its films. In 2006, Disney bought Pixar to boost its struggling Walt Disney Animation Studios unit. Catmull and John Lasseter, Pixar’s CEO, were appointed to lead the unit as president and CEO, respectively. With the leadership change, Disney began to produce hits such as “Tangled” and “Wreck-It Ralph.” If any doubt existed that Disney’s magic was back, it was put to rest with the 2013 release of the blockbuster movie “Frozen.” Having earned well over $1 billion in box office revenue in its first six months, Frozen became the highest-grossing animated feature ever and moved into the top 10 of worldwide highest-grossing movies of all time. (read more…)

Designing and implementing a successful workplace flexibility program is a team effort. Since my favorite sport is football, I like to think of the CEO like that widely-respected coach who builds a winning culture and the senior human resources leader as the talented, calm-in-the-clutches quarterback.

Here are four additional lessons that football can teach us about effective workflex programs:

Recruiting is job No. 1. In the spirit of Jim Collins’ classic business book, “Good to Great,” get the right people on the bus — or field, as it were. Working flexibly or remotely isn’t for everyone. As such, be sure to evaluate the competence of possible candidates – i.e. do they possess the necessary skills, experience, talents, expertise, and track record of results to be successful in a flexible work situation? This involves intellectual and emotional components, hard technical skills, and soft people skills or EQ. What are the criteria for eligibility and how will you evaluate new and existing employees who want to work flexibly? (read more…)