Most of us have heard the old axiom, begin with the end in mind. Create a vision for what you want and go after it. But what if that is all wrong? What if having a picture of what you wish blinds you to opportunities along the way? Can we be so focused on one outcome that we miss others that appear in our path?
Edward took over as branch manager of this bank eight months ago. He is new to town and this particular branch but not new to the company. He has been an assistant branch manager with success, and his promotion to branch manager at this bank is long overdue. A previous manager taught him how to run an efficient and profitable business enterprise during his tenure as assistant manager.
I believe winning is a basic human desire built into our grand design. I think the quest for winning is tied to the quest for survival. After all, if you're faster than the next guy you might take down that wooly mammoth or buffalo and your family would eat. Granted we may not be hunting wooly mammoths or buffalo these days, but deep down we all love to win.
In 1965, a psychologist named Bruce Tuckman developed a well known model that captures the various stages of team development. Tuckman’s five stages of team development include forming, storming, norming, performing, and adjourning. Each one of these five stages of team development represents a step towards developing your team, aligning it towards your vision and completing the team objective.
No matter how 2022 impacted you, it is not over. Whether it brought you the birth of a new family member or the passing of a loved one, the rest of the year is upon us. We can choose to look backward or forward. I can be sad about the past, or I can look forward to the next season in my life without youth sports. We like to cling to the past and the nostalgia accompanying those memories. The following story by Dr. Wilson provides perspective.
Preston is already late for work and feels stressed by the fresh Monday morning upon him. He decides to stop for coffee anyway. The five-mile drive to his office seems more like fifty. He is in his seventh month as production supervisor, and it feels like seven years. "How did it get this bad so fast?" he thinks. He used to love his job and his life. He is twenty-nine years old with a three-year-old baby boy at home. His relationship with his wife, Cindy, is excellent. And yet, he is so miserable. That faint yet undeniable sick feeling is coming back, and he ponders whether he needs to vomit again today.
I have discovered some powerful reasons why managers seek mediocrity rather than excellence for the organizations they serve. Surprisingly, the challenge for greatness is often "not more difficult" to achieve. It simply requires a different mindset when presented with a problem.
A recent study revealed that the key to human happiness is the ability to live in the moment and place less emphasis on the future and the past. Our obsessive preoccupation with the past or future is a significant burden that limits our happiness during life. The study indicates that our stress over past events and our worry about the future harm our current satisfaction. Furthermore, the ability to live in the current moment and search for the contentment of the present is a critical key to deliberate joy and happiness.
I have had my suspicions now for quite a while. I knew something was not quite right regarding leadership positions in most organizations. After all, how could there be so few excellent supervisors? How many followers would consider current supervisors to be actual leaders? I have been puzzled by the epidemic of bad leadership, which exists at all levels. Freshly minted supervisors up to seasoned executives struggle to earn the title of leader from their followers.
Three distinctive individuals can exist in a typical organization based on activity, attitude, and contribution to the collective work. These individuals rarely identify themselves as one or another, yet all three persist organizationally. They do not wear tee shirts for identification, yet you will recognize each one once a description gets provided. Ironically, most organizations never discuss or acknowledge the separation of these identity groups. Self-examination and a candid workforce will help you discover where most team members fall within this analysis.
Being busy does not mean you are effective. The higher you are in an organization, the more demand exists for your time. If not disciplined, schedules expand like that “great-stuff” expanding foam to fill each day. A full calendar is not a sign of efficacy, but rather a lack of decision-making and effective delegation. Temporary activities and conditions may create periods that require more time. However, a chronic full calendar is a severe problem for most aspiring leaders. Sadly, too many people equate activity with success.
"I will not pay for employees to train while I am paying them to work," said the CEO of a company. It reminds me of the CFO that told the CEO, "If we train our people, they will leave for a better job." The CEO replied, "What if we don't train them, and they stay?" This polarized thinking forms the foundation for organizations' challenges during the Great Resignation.