In its “Economic Prospects for the Year 2000,” the writers at Business Week saw a glass half-empty and chose to see it as mostly full. The world painted in its 1989 article would have been a great place. The vision that they created was completely possible. We missed the opportunity. We lacked the rigor in our thinking and failed to consider all the possible implications of our choices. We lacked the discipline to execute toward the vision. And, we lacked the courage to confront reality and put long-term success ahead of short-term reward.
Fred 2.0: New Ideas on How to Keep Delivering Extraordinary Results is loaded with practical examples and compelling stories of how individuals, companies, and entire communities have decided to distinguish themselves through service to others.
Are your people complaining? Do you see more work drama than work? Then, you’re not unusual. Seventy-seven percent of people spend at least 3-6 hours a week dealing with complainers and energy draining situations. However, before you start polishing up on your coaching and counseling communication skills, look at what’s creating the creating the negative behavior.
I’ve offered observations about the year ahead each year since 2005. Lots of people do this, but unlike others, we grades ourselves on the past year. Here is what we predicted last year at this time and four key ideas we see on the horizon for 2013.
The Gallup organization just released its latest survey results about the perceptions of honesty and ethics for 22 professions. There are honest and ethical people in every profession. Rankings such as this reinforce a very important principle: Scandal paints with a roller not a brush. When enough people in any profession act dishonestly and unethically, it hurts everyone in the profession.
A thought struck me as I contemplated the observance of Veterans Day here in the United States and Remembrance Day in Canada: Have you ever wondered why we don’t have an Excellent Service Day parade? Is it only because that excellent service is so rare? Or, is it because there is a significant difference between providing service and actually serving?
You can blame technology or globalization or anything else you want. It doesn’t really change the fact that the status quo is the kiss of death for every person, every organization, and every marketplace. And that is where constant change becomes the new stability.
Most of the people I speak with today describe their life as running as fast and far as they can … and then being asked to run even faster and farther. One of the participants in a leadership boot camp I’m conducting for a client asked for help with time management. It turns out that she didn’t really need time management tips at all. She keeps a calendar with priorities, and she knows all of the time management techniques she needs to be successful. In fact, this leader is widely considered to be very effective by her colleagues. The problem that we face isn’t time management. It is focus and resource allocation to be more effective.
A friend emailed me late last week with a question: Are temporary jobs replacing permanent jobs as the standard in the workplace? The answer is it depends on how you define a temporary job. The use of temporary jobs is definitely increasing as companies work to keep their flexibility. Employers learned a lesson during the past recession: You don’t want to be caught with a huge overhead when the economy starts faltering.
Another month, and another weaker than expected jobs report. So what’s up with the economy? Welcome to the new normal: Unemployment that is higher than anything we can remember in decades. Scores jobs are available due to a lack of skilled workers. Slow growth that feels like a recession even though technically it isn’t, and most of all, uncertainty.