Book review by Susan Palmer of "The Book of Joy: Lasting Happiness in a Changing World" featuring his Holiness the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu, with Douglas Abrams (Avery, 2016)
“I’m so good that I’m replaceable……” – I must admit, this headline from a recently published blog on LinkedIn by a C-level executive named Rudolph Rosenberg, really caught my attention.
Mr. Rosenberg’s central question is whether you should “make yourself irreplaceable, center to key processes and sole holder of high value knowledge or should you do the exact opposite and make yourself as replaceable as possible by organizing processes, knowledge and power so that people could wonder if you’re actually needed for things to run smoothly?”
Star Trek: Next Generation fans remember episodes that included an alien race called the Borg in which their stock phrase was “Resistance is futile” where they would assimilate other cultures into their world forcing them to become part Borg. I think they were right in that generally resistance is futile. In my experience, there really isn’t a way to stop the sensation or feeling of not wanting to comply or accept something. When resistance (a force that opposes or slows down motion) arises, it is difficult to prevent the energy from taking over us and halting the ease and flow.
We have only to consult our experience to know that our leaders’ and co-workers’ moods and outlooks affect us. My colleague Cheryl radiates sunshine and hope; they “power” her life. During a year-long collaboration, I marveled at her earnest friendliness, genuine curiosity about others, and often-expressed appreciation. When we faced challenges, her hope buoyed me.
If you do a search for “ongoing performance management trend,” you’ll get roughly 1.5 million results going back quite a few years. It’s a theme that continues to catch on from small businesses to global powerhouse companies looking to revamp their approach to talent management, moving away from annual appraisals to something more in tune with the pace of the business.
And this trend towards ongoing performance management is catching on because it works. Consider this excerpt from Willis Towers Watson’s paper, The Power of Three:
Within the last 6 weeks I was a first-time attendee at two industry conferences in the field of scholarly publishing. Relatively new to my employer, though with over a decade of experiences in operations and client services, I felt a sense of optimism for meeting new people and learning new things alongside the usual apprehension about long days in back-to-back-to-back sessions, doubts about relevant content, and the potential mishaps of travel.
In a variety of companies and industries, and in a range of roles involving direct reports, I have been responsible for decisions related to training and career pathing, Over the years, I have also learned the value of maintaining focus on my own professional development.
As you may have experienced, there is a palpable feeling of high stakes in many organizations – you work in an increasingly competitive industry, operating globally and therefore 24/7 (at least in terms of accessibility), and technology is rapidly changing the way you conduct business. Consequently, so much is needed to stay relevant, confident, and authentic amidst the stark realities of change management, process improvement and customer satisfaction against which you are measured.
“Yes, yes you do have to network.” As a Stress Management Coach and Training Director I spend a good deal of time describing to others how important maintaining a web of support is. It reduces stress, builds resiliency and can help you both personally and professionally. So why for so long was my first thought always, “Ugh, do I have to?” Over time I learned to appreciate how networking is wrapped into social and emotional intelligence and how they, in turn, are very important to our overall success. I knew I needed to change my response, mainly the one in my head, and figure out how to step outside my comfort zone.
When you had your last BIG IDEA, where were you and what were you doing? Based on the answers I’ve heard, many of us meet the muse while running/biking/working out, showering or vacationing. I’d be willing to wager that there aren’t many who’d cite sitting at their desk or post-lunch meetings as incubators of Ah Ha! moments. So, when it comes time for a retreat, why head to the same old catered conference environments? Here are six reasons to head beyond the box:
"doing more with less" or simply doing less with less? how execution cultures get things done by michele comette
There are many organizations and individuals out there who have subscribed to the notion of needing to “do more with less” in order to succeed in the ever-changing economic climate. In addition to implementing legitimate ways to become more lean and effective (e.g. waste reduction, work flow re-engineering), organizations are requiring their talent to become more agile and nimble, more innovative, and more strategic in order to remain competitive in the business landscape, all with less resources and less time. If everything is a priority, how do we get everything done without burning out?
When it comes to leadership, being a high-performer just isn’t good enough anymore. Just because you’re the company’s number one sales rep, doesn’t mean you’re going to be a successful sales manager. Being a brilliant engineer doesn’t equate to being a magnetic CEO. Being the most productive line worker doesn’t automatically make you a great shift leader. Effective leadership is learned. Effective leadership is intentional. Effective leaders build meaningful relationships with their staff - cultivating a culture of resonance. Many “star players” find themselves promoted into management or supervisory roles with little to no leadership development support. Being an effective, skillful leader takes compassion, competence and intentionality - traits we must all learn and develop. As leaders it’s easy to fall into the traps that consume our time, get in the way of our sensibilities and hijack our best intentions.
In a recent training class my organization conducted, one of our exercises was to pair up people from the same department in similar job functions and have each person share a challenging situation they were facing at work. The other person’s role was to listen, ask questions, and offer any additional insight. The participants were “senior” level, having been in this line of work for many years. In addition to coming up with some options and alternatives to their respective challenges (our main objective), many of the participants vocalized how they had gained a greater appreciation for seeking another’s perspective which added value to the problem solving process (our secondary objective).
When you’re involved in a discussion aimed at reaching an agreement with someone there are a multitude of factors that can affect the process and outcome. One of the more significant variables is relationship. In the midst of ongoing discussion - negotiating a contract, persuading someone to share your perspective, offering feedback, resolving a conflict – the status of your relationship with the other party can swing the pendulum dramatically.