Archives: July 2013

So Much For the "Gorgeous" Beach Walk …

Tom is vacationing by the Atlantic Ocean. Yesterday morning [Monday 29 July] he took a beach walk at 6a.m. "Gorgeous," he says. But how would he know? He tweeted his way down the beach. Turned out to be a tweet sequence he'd like to reproduce here. "Sterling," he calls it.


Starting vacation today? Vacation goal: No vacation goal. REFRESH. [Pure hypocrisy on Tom's part—cm]

Vacation: Unless you are a truly shitty manager, your team can live w/o you for 48 hours. No emails. ZERO.

19 people require 19 different "management styles." (Just like great teacher who has distinctive way of dealing with each of 19 10-yr-olds.)

Yo, jovial boss: Some of your very best folks hypersensitive. Light wiseass remark can demoralize them for month. Uh, people are different.

"Jovial" types often dim when it comes to hypersensitive types ... who are often your most thoughtful people.

Don't waste a moment this week persuading naysayers. Spend your time deepening and widening network of allies.

Monday reminder: A "small" act of incivility may well be remembered for 10 years.

Make your 1st meeting today a demo of Leadership Excellence. Prep your ass off.

Make your 1st 10 emails of the day positive!! Every damn one of them!!

Thank 5 people for SOMETHING before day's end.

MBWA today ... or bust.

Thank a front-line employee this morning for bringing a great attitude to work this Monday morning.

Suck down for success! Add 2 people 2 levels "down" in another function to your network. The Real Work is done "down" there.

Are you 40? 45? 50? Sign up for a Web course this week on something new you need to understand. DO NOT DELAY.

Bain study concluded that 80% of companies think their service is good. 20% of their customers think so. Do you have similar disconnect?

When I ask you Friday afternoon, "Who was the most interesting person you added to your network this week," what will your answer be?

Devote the week to better cross-functional integration. Do SOMETHING in that regard before 11AM this morning.

Is there anyone on your agenda for the week who will give you a genuinely novel perspective on something of importance? If not, why not?

I'm mostly a function over form guy. My iPhone a sleek beauty; or, rather, it was until I put an ugly, garish, drop-proof cheap case on it.

Passed a Frank Gehry-ish house on beach walk. High on artsy-fartsy scale, likely a leaky nightmare to live in. (I'm a Donald Norman-ist.)

[We're glad he paused long enough to take a photo—below—cm]


Tom's caption: World War II pillbox, Gay Head, Martha's Vineyard, MA, as of 30 July 2013

Leadership Reductionist Revised

In keeping with Tom's long-held conviction that every document can be improved—if only by one word if a closer-to-perfect word can be found—he has provided a revision to his "'Reductionist' Leadership Self-Assessment." Only one element has been changed (not in substance, in wording only), but the revision is, in fact, an improvement. For good measure, he made the piece into a PowerPoint presentation, too. We hope you'll download and use whichever you like.

"Reductionist" Leadership Self-Assessment PDF
"Reductionist" Leadership PPT

IIA Orlando

Tom's in Orlando, Florida, speaking to the Institute of International Auditors. For the occasion, he produced a version of his "Systems Have Their Place—Second Place," which you can download here. As always, there are a couple of PPTs, also:

Institute of International Auditors, Final
Institute of International Auditors, Long Version

Recent "Hot" Reading

Tom's been reading up a storm in the last few months. Following an old habit, he transforms some of the most telling material to slides for subsequent use in his presentations. You'll find here some of his favorite quotes—as always, all yours, and please use!

Download the PPT: "Hot" Books/Recent Reading

Leadership Reductionist Redux

Back in May, Tom posted a self-assessment for leaders of orgs big and small. In keeping with his stance that a focus on people is more important than vision, energy, and integrity in a leader, he proposed statements on which to evaluate yourself addressing that aspect of leadership particularly. We put up a fast-draft PDF when Tom blogged this, but we've had time to polish it up a bit, and we're posting the new version now.

Sample assessment statements:
• Listening is Item #1 in our set of Core Cultural Values.
• I believe in the Iron Law of Communication: Regardless of circumstances, if there is a miscommunication ... it's my fault
• 100% of our employees have specific development plans/programs carefully designed and precisely tailored for them and on which they ... are rigorously evaluated.

If you'd like to test yourself on those standards and more like them, you can download the PDF (revised once more on 19 July) now.

Manchester VT

On 22 June 2013, I had the privilege of acting as MC/host for a TEDx conference in Manchester VT—effectively, my home town. The chosen topic was creativity, and some 13 talks attacked the issue from every angle imaginable. As MC/host, I began by attempting to set the context—and chose to do so along economic lines. Call it:

Creativity: NO OPTION.

What follows, very lightly annotated, is an expanded version of that context-setting overview.*

(*I did not give a speech—and I did NOT use PowerPoint. The presentation here is my notes subsequently transformed into PowerPoint.