Fourteen senators leave the state. 60,000 plus show up to demonstrate. And, the next thing you know there’s a national debate on the role of public employee unions in the state budget crisis occurring throughout the country. Those who support the unions see this as a not-so-veiled attempt to alter the essence of collective bargaining and limit the people’s right to protest. Union members see it as a fundamental challenge to their right to organize, and in some cases, a violation of their contract. The union leadership no doubt sees it as payback for supporting Democratic and pro-labor candidates. Those who support the various initiatives view this as a much needed step to reign in spending that is out of control. They view unions as – at worst - the enemy that have secured salary and benefits that are unavailable to them as private sector employees. “Why should government employees experience no pain when they are out of work,” they ask. There are probably even Republicans who view this as the perfect opportunity to weaken a political opponent. The problem with perceptions is that it only takes one act to prove you are right. As the saying goes, “All Indians walk in single file. I know that to be true because the one I saw was doing it that way.”
Every crisis presents us with an opportunity to lead or shirk from service. It either paralyzes us from moving forward, or it pushes us to take action. Here are five actions you can take to lead your organization or team through tough times:
The edge is a deep passion for competing, contributing, and yes, winning. It’s being dissatisfied with the status quo and never resting on your laurels. It is caring so much that you work your tail off to deliver better results tomorrow than you did today. Passion for delivering results drives learning and embracing change as a way of life. It’s an attitude not a skill.
The tradition of New Year’s resolutions dates back more than 4,000 years to the ancient Babylonians. Even then people were failing to turn intention into action. Very few of the good intentions professed as a New Year’s Resolution will ever come to fruition. The goals are noble, but the choices are wrong. For 2011, consider forgetting your typical resolutions and make this the year of better choices.
Being different is easy. Being distinctive in the markeplace ... now that takes work. But, according to a study by Booz Allen Hamilton, it doesn’t require you to break the bank for new research and development.
Someone out there is waiting to take your customers, your best employees, and ultimately, your business. Your competitors are not just the usual suspects you know. They can come from anywhere – from a dorm room to a foreign country.
Consciously changing – even tweaking – a culture is hard work.. There is no twelve-step program. There are choices you can make that, over time, will help you repair a damaged culture or sustain and grow a positive one.
We choose every day. Consciously or not, we make it nonetheless. Are we a leader or a liar? Here is the challenge – we know our intentions, but simply look at our behavior and performance filtered through their lens of perception. Did we do what we said we would do? We may see ourselves as a leader, but to others we are simply lying to them or ourselves.
We have all seen and/or participated in an experience similar to my purchase of an Arabian horse. More important, we have witnessed the result of a well-intentioned idea gone bad in the communities and organizations we serve. Stupid – once in play – can take on a life of its own.
Your best employees are contemplating quitting. Some of them already have. Increased turnover always occurs after a recession. Pent up demand for new talent combines with pent up desire for something better, and the people with the best skills – your star employees – start listening to the offers for more money and opportunity. Are you vulnerable? Chances are the answer is yes if you are guilty of any of the following: