Friday, December 22, 2006

Happy Holidays

It's a sign of getting old, but is it really a year since I had to make sure my house was this clean!

I want to wish you all a Happy Holiday, blogging will be light but MabelandHarry will still be thinking of you....

Thursday, December 21, 2006

A new year resolution for you

Promises are special, they are have great value to people. So one thing to consider for a New Years resolution is this

"Make few promises but keep them all"
Imagine the power of this statement, imagine if every one of us did this.....imagine the impact on your team, family and friends. Successful people live by this, honest when they can't do something, but deliver what they promise - what that brings is trust and respect, 2 values that leaders need in abundance.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Customer Experience - Making Magic Moments

Creating a magic moment for a customer increases loyalty, and provides the WOW factor that differentiates you from the rest of the pack...a little story

Disney...On Main Street a Guest(Customer) asked a cast member(employee) who was cleaning the street where he could get a cup of ice. He was then directed to a street vendor and in the short walk to the vendor the street cleaner radioed the Guests request to the vendor who then, when the guest arrived at the stall remarked "I believe you're looking for a cup of ice" the Guest was stunned.

Simple request, simple solution, simply can you make that "magic moment" for a external or internal customer?

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Networking across the levels

One of the best way to build your personal brand and also develop the talent within the organisation, is to spend time with the younger, newer members of the team. Taking them for a coffee, lunch or even just pulling a chair up at their desk will give them such a personal buzz. Do you remember when you were new, when you were at a junior level? The buzz that someone has taken time to get to know you is incredible. As you move up an organisation you can affect that your presence can have a huge motivational factor on those around you.

10 minutes of your time invested in the talent within the junior levels, will pay huge dividends both in your internal PR but also the engagement of your team.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Engaging People In the Company Vision

Words are powerful, incredibly emotive and can be used to really ignite the passion in people. Here are 3 great examples of ho

  1. "It's the place people come for refuge - a 3rd place not home not work" Starbucks
  2. "It is more than just a resort; it's a means of rediscovering oneself, of inventing an entirely new me" Club Med
  3. "The experience enlivens the senses, instills well being and fulfills even the unexpressed wishes and needs of our client" Ritz Carlton

Now look at your vision...does it stoke the same level of emotion, is it too general like surpassing customer expectations, being the best etc? Does it read like words put together at a "facilitated brainstorming session" or does it paint a powerful picture that people can see and engage with?

Friday, December 15, 2006

Seek the Truth for Success

As managers we are often not rational but rationalising and we tend to spend our time proving our point, not finding the truth. The reason... truth sometimes hurts, can sometimes mean that we have to be big enough to see when something is not working, or needs changing. So to be successful,

Seek the truth, rather than prove the point.

Respect will soar for you as a manager.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

The Difference between Management and Leadership

A question that I often get asked, and I do feel people do mix up the terms. For instance you often get Team Leaders being managed by a manager!

Here is what my old boss explained it to me about 20 years ago, and I think it still makes sense to me

"Manage today, lead tomorrow"
Or as I sometimes say.....Management is motivating people to get the work done today, leadership is about inspiring people to create the future.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

The Role of the Director....lessons from the film industry

Robert Altman says the the role of the film director is

"to create a space where the actor or actress can become more than they've ever been before, more than they've dreamed of being"

Now if you replace actor/actress with employee...isn't that what business is all about? You are a dream creator, a dream coach, a dream tell me that you have no power!

The dreams are inside people, they were there as a child but then life has made them give them up - be realistic! Your role is to dig deep, find those dreams, engage them again and relight the fire inside.....are you a dream maker or a dream breaker?

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Are you special?

"If there is nothing very special about your work, no matter how hard you apply yourself you won't get noticed, and that increasingly means that you won't get paid much either" Michael Goldhaber, Wired
How true! How do you provide value, how does your personal brand bring value to the company, to the team etc Does your brand demand a premium as it delivers a higher performance? List down what your personal brand is, your values and why someone would want to pay a premium for you compared to someone else? If you can't....then write a development plan for 2007 to create your premium in the talent marketplace.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Challenging the Obvious

Advances in thinking, in products, in services come when people forget their perceptions and challenge the status quo. A story to illustrate

In ancient philosophy whoever could untie the Golden Knot was destined to become King of Asia. All who tried failed. Alexander the Great after trying decided to write his own rules, pulled out his sword and sliced the know in half...job done!

Often at work and in life we are blinded by what we see as constraints, our assumptions, our preconceptions.....if you are stuck, then challenge the rules, the status quo...challenge what you believe are stopping you from advancing...try a different approach.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Carnival of Management Tips - 2

Welcome to the December 11, 2006 edition of carnival of management tips.

Anna presents Are you looking for a solution or a solid? posted at The Engaging Brand

Jane Chin presents Most Important Quality in a Coach posted at On Careers and Life.

Mike Murray presents The Importance of Empathy posted at Episteme - Belief. Knowledge. Wisdom.

Daniel Scocco presents What do Google, Apple and Harley Davidson have in common? posted at Innovation Zen.

David Maister presents We'll Follow the Old Man Wherever He Wants to Go posted at Passion, People and Principles

Brandon Peele presents What the Media Industry Tells Us About Business Strategy and Our Lives posted at GT.

Anna presents Numbers Can Be Fun! posted at The Engaging Brand

Sagar Satapathy presents Management Strategies: 18 Tips to Manage Your Blog Network posted at Management Strategies: 18 Tips to Manage Your Blog Network

My Bubble Life presents Unleash Your Potential: Transactional Communication posted at My Bubble Life

David presents Corporate Career Success - How to Become CEO posted at Worldwide Success,

David Maister presents Wise Words posted at Passion, People and Principles, saying, "Don't just manage the goals, manage the process!"

David Maister presents Are We ON The Same Side? posted at Passion, People and Principles.

Patricia presents Dream Your Dreams to Achieve Greatness and Inspire the World posted at Patricia.

Debra Moorhead presents Put Yourself First posted at Debra, saying, "Anna,

Charles H. Green presents Legacies, Left Tackles and Investment Banking posted at Trust Matters,

Tracy Coenen presents Top ten ways to prevent employee theft posted at FRAUDfiles.

Bruce Hopkins presents How to be an Innovator posted at Bruce Hopkins

Milo Paulo milo G. Riano presents One Major Mistake When Reporting a Problem to Superiors posted at Milo Riano

Paul presents How to deal with information overload, posted at Paul,

Mark Shead presents Management Systems Leadership501 posted at Leadership501,

Game Producer presents 3 Efficient Ways to Deal With People posted at Game Producer,

Nick Rice presents Strategic Design marketing & branding thoughts by Nick Rice: Why in-house design teams should work, but don't. posted at Strategic Design marketing & branding thoughts,

Ririan presents Why You Lose Your Focus (And What To Do About It) posted at Ririan Project.

Michael presents Tales of a Corporate Hypnotist » Delegation connection posted at Tales of a Corporate Hypnotist.

John Hill presents Talking About Other People posted at Universe Of Success.

Laura Young presents Laying Down the Badge posted at Dragon Slayer's Guide to Life,

Steve Faber presents Get Your Discounts - Cash and Otherwise posted at DebtBlog.

That concludes this edition. Submit your blog article to the next edition of
carnival of management tips
using our
carnival submission form.
Past posts and future hosts can be found on our

blog carnival index page

Friday, December 08, 2006

Boxing clever for Suggestions

I am not a lover of suggestion boxes...though it is a start, I have to admit that in getting feedback. The problem tends to be that they become moaning posts so what about having two!

One for problems/threats
One for solutions/opportunities

This builds into the culture a sense of acccountability and responsibility for driving improvement. Post the problems that people see and get them to suggest improvements...with the winner being based on the solution rather than the issue.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Gifts at Xmas

This is the time of year you go through the agony of wondering what to get your direct reports for Xmas....and end up with the same standard gifts so that you don't offend anyone. Mmmm but does it engage them?

One thought why not get them a gift for their thank the family for their support during the year.....a treat to say thank you for letting mum or dad share their precious time with you. Money is tight with most families at this time so a thank you theatre tickets, films, etc may well be appreciated.

The key thing on gifts is making sure they illustrate your thanks, that you have taken time to think about the relevance to them, and that they too deliver a value to the individual.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Do you REALLY understand your business?

I am a believer in understanding all aspects of the business to be a better manager. Here are some ideas on how I increase both my knowledge and that of the team.

  1. Invite other managers to come to team briefings and explain their goals, successes and how they work.
  2. Attend other team meetings to explain our goals.
  3. Visit one department per month to work through their process, to understand the full supply chain.
  4. Arrange at least yearly for senior managers and Executives to walk through the full supply chain so they can see for themselves issues, progress and success.
  5. Go to lunch with someone from outside your normal peer or team group.

It is important that you work across the organisation, understanding how an idea becomes purchased by a consumer. It also helps you to contribute more fully at meetings.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Is arrogance affecting you?

A lesson from Napoleon. On the morning of the Battle of Waterloo he said to his generals
"I tell you Wellington is a bad general, the are bad soldiers; we will settle this matter by lunchtime." Mmmm I bet he regretted that one!

With hindsight a little humility would have been great. How often does this happen to you, often without you knowing. Is there something like pride that is clouding your judgement? What are you not seeing? Who are you undervaluing and not giving sufficient attention to?

Friday, December 01, 2006

Managing People - A sentence to remember

Each person has needs and concerns, to be successful in life and at work you need to.......

  • You need to answer the first - their needs
  • You need to allay the latter - their concerns

Simple but effective personal development.