Human Capital Newsreel

Loading...

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

In Case You’ve Forgotten, Here’s How Real Leadership Looks

“This holiday season, you’ve probably seen or read about all the retailers opening their doors as early as 6 pm on Thanksgiving Day. We have decided not to follow that trend. Instead, we believe family comes first and you should be at home celebrating with them on this special holiday. This means none of our stores will be open on Thanksgiving Day. In addition, none of our stores will be open before 7 am on Black Friday. ” -- Michael R. MacDonald, CEO, DSW Shoes

I came across this on Facebook the other day. It rang so true to me since my wife and a lot of her friends work in retail from the management end.

A visible expression of company culture

One of the great features of the Internet, for me, is to read through the comments of others and get a sense of other people’s concerns.

The comments read:

“I like this company even more! I’ll buy all my shoes and sneakers there from now on.”

“I’ll be shopping at DSW.”

“I wish other stores would follow their lead! Of course if we, as consumers, refused to shop on Thanksgiving the stores would quit opening on family holidays.”

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Someone Is Always Watching or Listening, So Make Your Message Clear

Do I know you?

Someone commented on a picture that I posted on Facebook, saying to me that  “you look more and more like your daddy.”
When the person responded to that question, I was in for the surprise of my life. The woman grew up a few blocks from me, and yes, our families knew each other.
However, she proceeded to tell me a story of how she idolized my brother, who was a saxophone player. She is now a doctorate in music and known the world over for her music prowess.
Refocused and reinvigorated
She told me that from the 4th grade on she would just marvel at my brother’s ability to play the instrument. I was incredulous.  How did that made such a formidable impression on her to the point that it caused her life’s calling? She said she knew then what her career trajectory would be. Talk about a life’s calling!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Culture Vulture

This article is a reprint from Communicate Magazine [Advertising Age] located in Dubai...

No matter how far reaching a leader’s vision or how brilliant a company’s strategy may be, neither will be achieved if not supported by organizational culture. 

Analyzing his team’s successes, basketball all-star Kobe Bryant of the LA Lakers once told ESPN: “I think we have to start at the top, in terms of the culture of our team. What type of culture do you want to have? What type of system do you want to have? How do you want to play?” Much like any other organization, the LA Lakers uses a top-down approach to team culture, in which the leaders set the tone for the entire team.

Leading by example

Thursday, October 23, 2014

What Do You Do When Your Career Suddenly Gets Cancelled?

“I would advise all of them if they find another career, take it and do not look back.”
This statement came from a captain in a local police force. He was referencing the layoffs that had hampered the police department in a large East Coast city.
Close to 200 officers had been laid off, and according to the newspaper article, only a handful had been rehired back into their career of law enforcement.
Sorry but your career is cancelled

Saturday, October 18, 2014

The New Career Mantra: Turn Every Call and Contact Into an Interview

“I worked all those years, coming to work every day, doing a great job. Each year there was a raise and eventually more responsibility.
I went home at the end of the day and came back the following day. I repeated that cycle all those years until one day, I came in and was let go.
During all those years I had received numerous inquiries from outside headhunters, but at each call was kindly rebuffed because I loved what I was doing. My resume had never been updated in all those years, and I had not interviewed in 24 years.”
Being negligent
As I listened to this call this week, I felt sad and angry at the same time.

Friday, October 10, 2014

You’ll Be a Better Leader and Manager If You Don’t Believe the Hype

She asked me to wait a minute, went to her room and came back with a piece of paper. It was a list that she had compiled of her important events that I had missed due to work commitments.
Talk about a wake-up call. The list included 22 items, from her first day at school and first soccer match of the season, to a parent-teacher meeting and a Halloween parade. And the school year wasn’t over yet.
This note was from a CEO’s daughter to her dad, Mohamed El-Erian, the former chief executive of the investment firm Pimco, who was frustrated that his daughter was not listening to him
When she gave him this note, he was initially shocked and defensive. But after it sunk in he realized that she was right. A short time later, he resigned from his job as CEO of Pimco.
Flashbacks in focus

Thursday, October 2, 2014

When It Comes to Good Management, It’s All About Just Walking Around

I can’t believe this guy. He did not show any concern as to why I was leaving. He is the CXX and he had three people leave within the past month, plus me. And with all of us, there was no exit interview or anything.
When I tried to steer the conversation to the office environment, he countered as if it was all our fault. Totally clueless.
After that conversation, I to concur that one of the hallmarks of a great leader is the ability to LISTEN. If your organization is suffering withdrawal and your turnover is inching up, you should be concerned. That is a basic.
Manage by connecting

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Getting Ready to Pounce When the Next Opportunity Comes

“Can you make the connection for me? I would love to get an opportunity with them based on this article.”
The other email read, “Could you send a copy of my resume over to her and tell her to “help a brother out.”
Friday is a day for me to connect back to the U.S. with requests like the one above, follow-up, and meet new people. But sometimes I get a little perturbed with the level of request and the cluelessness of the people making it.
Granted, I do know a lot of people and I am always willing to share my network with them. The problem is that sometime the requestors do not realize is that this is the major leagues. This career conundrum is a serious business.
Are you really prepared?
What this means is that every job you apply for is one you need to aggressively compete for — and in order to compete, you have to be prepared.

Friday, September 19, 2014

It Takes the Right Talent Mix to Get the Culture Thing Right

No the manager was cool, it was just that I could not survive in that culture. I had to get out.
We have all heard the phrase that people don’t leave companies, they leave managers. Well, hearing that had me thinking.
Yes, this makes sense. I quit Martha Stewart Living because the culture had changed dramatically. I loved the people, but the toxicity at that time was a bit much. I walked out with a job in sight.
It has become more and more apparent that the key conversation in the executive conference room needs to be about the culture of the company. In some of my recent meetings, I talked to senior leaders who are focused on getting the people thing right. I would advise any organization that you ignore this at your companies risk.
Strategic thinking is more than the business