Mike Krzyzewski (pronounced “sha-SHEF-ski”) is amazing. As Coach K prepares to lead the Duke men’s basketball team to yet another run at the Final Four, consider what he’s already accomplished:
- Four national championships (1991, 1992, 2001, 2010),
- Four gold medals as head coach of USA men’s national team, and
- 980 career wins (most in NCAA history).
To truly appreciate the magnitude of his accomplishments, look at his 14-page biography on the Duke men’s basketball website.
Coach K’s phenomenal success as a coach and leader begs the question: How does he do it?
Obvious reasons are that he’s talented, disciplined and works hard. A lot of coaches fit that description, though, so there must be something more that differentiates Coach K and provides Duke men’s basketball a sustainable competitive advantage.
Coach K grew up in Chicago. He attended an all-boys Catholic high school then went on to an all-male West Point, where he played basketball under the driven, domineering, perfectionist coach Bobby Knight. (read more…)
Recently, social psychologists discovered a problem most of us have in preparing for the future: we think of our future selves as strangers — as different people altogether. Valuable insight into this problem is provided in research by two university educators — Hal Hershfield, an assistant professor in the marketing department of New York University’s Stern School of Business, and Kelly McGonigal, a health psychologist and lecturer at Stanford University and author of “The Willpower Instinct.”
In experiments with undergraduates, Hershfield discovered that students who were shown a digitally aged image of themselves allocated twice as much to their retirement accounts as those who didn’t see themselves as they aged. Hershfield says that “looking ahead in time and feeling a sense of connection to one’s future self can impact long-term financial decision-making, converting a consumer into a saver.” People with this “future self-continuity” also accumulate more assets than others, including owning their own homes and having bigger bank accounts. (read more…)
“The average person tells four lies a day, or 1,460 a year; a total of 87,600 by the age of 60. And the most common lie is ‘I’m fine.’” This quote appeared in a friend’s recent blog post and got me thinking.* Does the average manager tell four lies a day?
Much of corporate America has an unspoken doctrine of “business masks.” Act a certain way. Dress a certain way. Downplay (or hide) your failures. Don’t ever show weakness. Observe corporate politics carefully to avoid land mines. Play by the rules. Say, ‘I’m fine’ even if you aren’t. Oh, and while you are at it? Be authentic. Employees and customers cherish authenticity.
If “I’m fine” is a lie, what else is? What about purposeful non-disclosure of business information — holding back details that might influence a listener’s decisions?
Where’s the line between spinning a yarn and acceptable communication spin?
In many organizations, polished “business masks” become essential for rising to the most senior roles, and many C-suite executives go on to create “organizational masks.” Gary Mitchiner, a management consultant, describes the phenomenon this way: “I dislike when leadership tells employees pieces and parts of what’s going on, being selective with content to share, instead of conveying the full story of what’s really happening. (read more…)
Diane is six months into her assignment as a midlevel manager in a large technology company. She was promoted to this position because of her previous “wild success” as a first-line manager, where she managed a team of engineers. She’s struggling in this new position, feeling ungrounded, overwhelmed and unable to lift herself up enough to see where her organization is heading.
She thought the transition to this midlevel position would be easy. But this is where the rubber meets the road in many companies. She will either find a way to become successful or she’ll fail. Unknowingly she’s being tested now to see if she has the mettle to get through the complexities she’s dealing with and manage a team of managers that will drive — in her words — “my organizational agendas forward.”
Wait a minute. What’s wrong with that last sentence?
Her organizational agendas! Nobody told her that she needed to have input from her team! (read more…)
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Figuring out how to harness social media—to respond to complaints and compliments, engage guests with original content and promote local properties—is a challenge for all hotels. Starwood’s Le Méridien has found a balance while still accomplishing its goals of building awareness for the growing brand, driving loyalty, personalizing the experience and creating channel growth. (read more…)