Last week I had the opportunity to sit with our team of miners at our Rockville quarry and talk some shop. Blue-collar workers to the core, these front line associates are the heart and soul of our company. They define themselves by their values, their work ethic, and the family like relationships they have with each other. Since spending time with them, there is one more distinguishable attribute I would add to the list… common sense. As Voltaire said, “common sense is not so common.” In the case of our Rockville miners, I do not think that could be further from the truth…. Read More»
What does it mean to unleash employee passion? To start, it doesn’t mean letting employees run amuck and do whatever they want. It does mean, however, spending time learning about what your employees’ aspirations are. It means spending time deepening the relationship with employees. It means paying attention to the work environment and doing what you can to remove blocks to passion…. Read More»
Do you remember the thrill you felt when you just joined a firm or project team? The intellectual sparks that brought feelings of untapped, incredible possibilities? Possibilities of what you could create, the impact you could generate, or the difference you could make with the resources at your disposal? You were ready to lead, run with it, engage with others, and prove yourself. The sky was the limit. At least until you ran into that someone we’ve all met in our careers – the person who has “been there and done that.” They were too focused on the roadblocks to see the possibilities you saw so clearly…. Read More»
Teams are at the core of how business gets done. As the manager of a team of professionals, there are a lot of questions I constantly ask myself. How do I help teams shine? How do I help them work together more effectively to be more productive? How do I challenge them to develop, both personally and professionally?… Read More»
It’s all too easy to forget the human side of business. We get so bogged down in the processes and procedures, the board meetings and balance sheets, that we forget that business doesn’t exist for its own sake. Business is about human beings. It was invented to serve human beings. It employs human beings. It rewards, develops and sadly sometimes discards human beings. And any business has an impact on the human beings all around it…. Read More»
Self-evident and self-validating natural laws that don’t change or shift, providing true north direction for our lives. All are elegantly simple words that much like a compass, always show us the way. So simple however, that maybe, just maybe they are getting buried in the complexity of modern day leadership and life. Could this be what we are missing, what we are looking past when it comes to the leadership gap? I’ll let you be the judge…. Read More»
When I was taking business school courses a billion years ago, we used to laugh at the Peter Principle*, “managers are promoted to their level of incompetence,” to explain stupidity in organizations. Sadly, current evidence seems to point to the fact that the Peter Principle may still be alive and well today, wouldn’t you agree? … Read More»
Leadership presence is mysterious. Like charisma, authenticity, or influence, it can be hard to describe, yet we know it when we see it. Every senior leader wants more of this secret ingredient that distinguishes the leader of work from the leader of people…. Read More»
My first memory of being in the presence of someone with presence.
I am 21 years old and hanging out in Rome. Like many first-time visitors to this intoxicating city, I am entranced by its history. It seems to seep out of the pores of every building I pass. The moment I am about to describe is like a cliché from a Fellini movie – except that it really happened. As I am strolling up the Via Veneto, Ursula Andress, the original and archetypal James Bond girl, is descending toward me…. Read More»
Now I’m not knocking charisma. It’s useful and people tend to be attracted to it. And, from the leader’s perspective, it can seem kind of easy. You just show up. Problem is, that approach only works for well-established and/or highly visible guru-ninja-rockstar leaders. The rest of us need to do our homework before that big day arrives.
So here’s your assignment… … Read More»