What if the unemployment rate is the wrong measure? The U.S. economy added 243,000 jobs in January 2012, and the unemployment rate dropped from 8.5 percent to 8.3 percent. That’s huge, and everyone should be excited regardless of their political affiliation. This is the type of employment gain that solidifies the economic recovery. But, what if the right number turns out to be the wrong measure?
So what have we learned after nine months of almost continuous campaigning; over twenty debates; and three different contests (with a fourth coming soon)? If you are a leader, the on-going battle between Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich offers two important lessons about selling yourself and your ideas.
We’ve been doing annual business and workplace predictions for our clients since 2005. This is the second year we have posted them here for wider distribution. We are different from others who publicize their predictions in one very important way – we let you know how accurate we were the previous year.
So here’s a scary thought: What if the turbulence that we’ve seen in the past three years is the new normal? This is an exciting time to be in the business of building a team, a department, and an entire organization. It is not for the faint of heart, however. The legendary brands of the future are being created today by leaders and organizations who relish the opportunity to compete and master life in the new abnormal.
Two months and counting. Truthfully, did you believe that the Occupy movement would have lasted this long? Protests happen all the time in this country. Travel to Washington, DC on virtually any day and you will see some group making their presence felt and beliefs known. The freedom to assemble and communicate your opinion is a sacred right in our country that was founded on a protest movement. And yet, we haven’t seen a movement like since … last year if you understand that the Occupy movement – while different in its goals – was born out of a frustration that shares striking similarities to the Tea Party. So what can leaders learn from a movement that has captured the news and proven to be more than just a group of people gathering to share their dissatisfaction? Here are four lessons:
Would you pay two hours of your life for a bus ride? Would you choose to sleep late if you had less than one day to live? Would you work harder to deliver results if [...]
“Culture” is becoming the catch word for virtually every new business book, training program, or speech. There are people out there who want to help you develop a culture of accountability, service, innovation, celebration, learning, listening, sustainability, trust, recognition, teamwork, engagement, and change. The only culture that matters is the one that helps you and your organization achieve your desired results.
The reality of today’s market-driven world is brutal. We are all better at some things than others. Most of us are actually excellent – or at least better than average – at some aspects of our business or personal performance. And, that doesn’t matter unless what we do well adds value to the customer.
What separates the marketplace heroes in every industry from the has-beens and wanna-bes? It can’t be just products, services, or price. Your competitors don’t hire all geniuses and leave you with the dunces. Their computer systems, compensation, and operational processes are not dramatically better than yours. When they discuss strategy, the words on their flip charts are not significantly more insightful than yours. The difference is an intangible. It is a culture where every person at every level is focused on and committed to delivering results that are critical for success.
Remember the definition of insanity: Doing what you have always done and expecting to get different results? That truth has never been more relevant than today, and yet we are all guilty of failing to heed a piece of wisdom that would help us deliver amazing results. Mark Sanborn has written an excellent new book titled Up, Down, or Sideways. In it, he devotes a chapter to what prevents us from doing what needs to be done to achieve results. I asked him to share his key observations in this this blog.
The numbers are in, and people lack confidence. Not all people, but enough of them to slow consumer spending and business investment. Lack of confidence changes behavior. Confident consumers spend more money because they believe the future will be positive. Confident sales people make more sales because they trust their ability and the value of their product. Confident companies invest in innovation, talent development, and new equipment because they believe that they will be rewarded for their investment.
Your value in the marketplace is in direct proportion to the importance and complexity of the problems you can solve and solutions you can provide to your customers. Put another way, you can’t earn a brain surgeon’s salary with a talent level that qualifies you to be a convenience store clerk.
“People do things for their own reasons, not for our reasons.” – William Marston My seat mate on a recent flight owns a successful small business. It is growing in a down economy because he [...]
The U.S. economy is in a self-fulfilling death spiral propelled by mistrust. There is a good chance that the same thing can be said of your industry, your employer, and your career. Growth requires investment, and that requires confidence. You can’t cut your way to sustainable growth. When trust is absent, people naturally protect their immediate self-interest. This will occur even if it leads to their long-term individual and collective undoing.
Someone recently asked me why I use so many examples from political leaders when discussing effective leadership. Isn’t it obvious? Every week elected leaders and candidates give us something that is simply too good to ignore. This week’s example is the brou ha ha over President Obama’s bus trip through the heartland. In case you missed it, a number of people were upset that the President left his “real job” in Washington to ride through the middle of the U.S. on a new tricked out bus while conducting town hall meetings and visiting the Fair. To the President’s detractors, this was a blatantly political act designed to take the focus off of the two leading Republican presidential candidates, Congresswoman Michele Bachmann and Governor Rick Perry. Bachmann and Perry were also taking time away from their “real jobs” to ride through America’s heartland on tricked out buses attending town hall meetings and Fairs. The only apparent difference is that they were asking people to give them a new job while on the clock at their current job while the President was accused of asking people if he could keep his current job.