There is a phrase that Lorne Michaels, the creator and Executive Producer of Saturday Night Live, and I both share. I didn’t know we shared it—I thought it was original with me—until, several years ago, a friend told me that it was Lorne’s quotation. Well, it was mine too, before I knew that it was also Lorne’s, but let’s not quibble. The phrase is:
“We don’t go on the air because we’re ready. We go on the air because it’s 11:30.”
Have you ever worked with someone whom you just plain didn’t like? I think we all have, at one time or another. For example, there are moments when I really hate my boss—and I’m self-employed!
The good news is that liking each other is not a prerequisite for an exceptional, productive team. Granted, if you are fortunate enough to work in a team where you all like each other, that’s great! It’s a bonus. But it’s not vital.
If you’re wondering why your team doesn’t seem to be engaged in their work (which, according to Gallup, describes 68% of the American workforce), it may be because they just don’t give a crap about their jobs.
And that’s partly on you.
Among the needs that virtually all of us share is the need for purpose. We all like to feel like we’re a part of something bigger. And, sadly, many leaders do an absolutely terrible job of helping their ...
I used to be a fan of brainstorming. What could be better for generating ideas than gathering your team around a table, presenting the challenge, and then letting the ideas flow! No bad ideas here! Just open the mental floodgates and let the brilliance pour out! Each idea sparking another, and another! Sounds perfect, doesn’t it?
Except it doesn’t work.
Brainstorming—despite the positive press it’s gotten, and still gets—doesn’t work. Why? Two words: human nature.
I was just listening to an interview with one of the world’s top leadership experts, my friend and colleague Mark Sanborn. He was asked how leadership has changed over the past several years. Here’s what he said:
“The biggest change I’ve seen in leadership is not among leaders but among followers…. The principles by and large haven’t changed, but the people whom we lead really don’t think of themselves as followers. They think of themselves as team members or collaborators.”
I don’t know Janie’s boss. I’ve never met Janie’s boss. But I do know Janie. Janie is one of the most diligent, hard-working, eager-to-learn people I’ve ever met. But because Janie’s boss doesn’t understand one of the basic rules of leadership, Janie is being made to feel like a failure in her job, and is thinking about leaving. So what’s the rule that Janie’s boss doesn’t understand? It’s this:
This weekend I was lucky enough to have VIP seats to see a performance by the U.S. Navy’s precision flight demonstration team, the Blue Angels. They are, by any standard, an incredible team. They fly 18 inches apart at 400 miles per hour, while simultaneously doing coordinated turns and maneuvers — all of this in a plane that costs $56 million. And if you don’t think that’s a big deal, think about how mad you were when you got that ...
According to Fast Company, creativity is now the most important leadership quality for success in business. Why is it, then, that so few leaders do little (or nothing) to make creative thinking a conscious part of their personal development?
In short, why do so few leaders practice intentional creativity?
When I was producing my multiple Emmy® Award winning ...
“Some people brighten a room when they enter it; others when they leave.”
You’ve probably heard this quotation or some variation of it. I have no idea who said it originally, but it certainly is true. I’m sure you know people on both sides of the semicolon. Today I’d like you to consider a slight variation, this one mine:
“Some leaders brighten a workplace when they enter it; others when they leave.”
I’ve written quite a bit about how and why leaders need to be continuous learners. I believe that, as a leader, if you’re not continuously — and intentionally — learning, then you’re not really a leader.
I mean, c’mon — would a real leader ever think, “Well, that’s it. I’ve learned everything I need to. My brain is full, so I’m done.” Outside of Congress, that is.
But let’s leave aside for a moment the question of whether ...