Why We Should Be Leading ‘Persons’

Leadership | Workplace | Motivation

by Larry Bonfante | September 21, 2017

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A number of years ago, I was interviewed by a major trade journal and was asked about my leadership style. One question the interviewer specifically asked me was, “How do you lead people?”

I answered him in a grammatically incorrect way (I’m having flashbacks to the nuns smacking my knuckles with a ruler!). I stated emphatically that I don’t lead people, I lead persons!

While this may be grammatically incorrect, I feel strongly that it makes a critically important point. You see, each of us is wired differently. Each person is a unique combination of talents, competencies, attitudes, preferences, etc. What matters deeply to me may not mean a hill of beans to you. What motivates you may be of no consequence to me.

Leading persons is about understanding what makes them tick as individuals and then tailoring a personalized value proposition that resonates with each of them. Read more…

 

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How nice people can master conflict | LinkedIn

Workplace | Communication | Career advice

by Travis Bradberry | LinkedIn Influencer | 03-20-16

When you’re a nice person, conflict can be a real challenge. Not that mean people are any better at conflict; they just enjoy it more.

New research from Columbia University shows that how you handle conflict can make or break your career. The researchers measured something scientifically that many of us have seen firsthand—people who are too aggressive in conflict situations harm their performance by upsetting and alienating their peers, while people who are too passive at handling conflict hinder their ability to reach their goals.

The secret to effective handling of conflict is assertiveness—that delicate place where you get your needs met without bullying the other person into submission. Assertive people strike a careful balance between passivity and aggression (that is, they never lean too far in either direction).

Read more…

 

What Trader Joe’s Figured Out About Work Culture That My Other Past Employers Haven’t

Workplace | Employment | Leadership

By Hayley Benham-Archdeacon—Lattice | 09.13.17

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[Photo: ablokhin/iStock]

When I was hired by Trader Joe’s at 16, I wasn’t even legally able to run a register. I was told I was hired based on my personality, even if I was almost useless. By the time I left seven years later, I’d worked across six different stores. And I don’t know how they do it, but they have the best managers possible, consistently.

Trader Joe’s hierarchy is organized unlike anywhere else I’ve worked. Each store runs with one captain, and a team of eight to 12 mates. Everyone else is crew. And yes, they are thorough with the sailor-ship deck theme.

I thought that having so many middle managers would cause problems, but in fact it turns out to be good for everyone. Oversight of opening and closing shifts are distributed evenly, and tasks and assignments are rotated throughout the week, which means no one is stuck taking in the frozen truck at 4 a.m. every single morning, or closing out our computers every night until midnight. Maybe that’s why managers are able to stay so nice to us. And if you don’t feel comfortable going to one manager about a problem or personal event? No problem, you have 10 others to speak to.

At my last store, my coworker was having a rough time in his personal life and the frustration was beginning to show at work. We watched a manager take him out back, presumably for a stern talking to. In fact, the manager handed him a box of broken eggs from the spoils cart, taped a plastic pallet wrap up to the wall of our loading dock, and told him to throw eggs at the wall until he felt better. It worked.

Read more…

You’ll never be famous: And that’s O.K. | Op-Ed

Career advice | Emotional intelligence |Education

 

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Charlotte Ager

Today’s college students desperately want to change the world, but too many think that living a meaningful life requires doing something extraordinary and attention-grabbing like becoming an Instagram celebrity, starting a wildly successful company or ending a humanitarian crisis.

Having idealistic aspirations is, of course, part of being young. But thanks to social media, purpose and meaning have become conflated with glamour: Extraordinary lives look like the norm on the internet. Yet the idea that a meaningful life must be or appear remarkable is not only elitist but also misguided. Over the past five years, I’ve interviewed dozens of people across the country about what gives their lives meaning, and I’ve read through thousands of pages of psychology, philosophy and neuroscience research to understand what truly brings people satisfaction.

The most meaningful lives, I’ve learned, are often not the extraordinary ones. They’re the ordinary ones lived with dignity. Read more…

Philosophy can teach children what Google can’t | Charlotte Blease

With jobs being automated and knowledge being devalued, humans need to rediscover flexible thinking. That starts in schools

3500 Ireland’s president Michael D Higgins: ‘The teaching of philosophy is one of the most powerful tools we have at our disposal to empower children.’ Photograph: Jane Barlow/PA

At the controls of driverless cars, on the end of the telephone when you call your bank or favourite retailer: we all know the robots are coming, and in many cases are already here. Back in 2013, economists at Oxford University’s Martin School estimated that in the next 20 years, more than half of all jobs would be substituted by intelligent technology. Like the prospect of robot-assisted living or hate it, it is foolish to deny that children in school today will enter a vastly different workplace tomorrow – and that’s if they’re lucky. Far from jobs being brought back from China, futurologists predict that white-collar jobs will be increasingly outsourced to digitisation as well as blue-collar ones.

How should educationalists prepare young people for civic and professional life in a digital age? Luddite hand-wringing won’t do. Redoubling investment in science, technology, engineering and maths (Stem) subjects won’t solve the problem either: hi-tech training has its imaginative limitations.

In the near future school-leavers will need other skills. In a world where technical expertise is increasingly narrow, the skills and confidence to traverse disciplines will be at a premium. We will need people who are prepared to ask, and answer, the questions that aren’t Googleable: like what are the ethical ramifications of machine automation? What are the political consequences of mass unemployment? How should we distribute wealth in a digitised society? As a society we need to be more philosophically engaged.

Amid the political uncertainties of 2016, the Irish president Michael D Higgins provided a beacon of leadership in this area. “The teaching of philosophy,” he said in November, “is one of the most powerful tools we have at our disposal to empower children into acting as free and responsible subjects in an ever more complex, interconnected, and uncertain world.” Philosophy in the classroom, he emphasised, offers a “path to a humanistic and vibrant democratic culture”. Read more…

There Are Only 4 Types Of Career Problems

by J.T. O’Donnell

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CREDIT: Getty Images

Several times a day, the phone rings at our company with people calling to discuss their career problems. We get ten times as many emails each day from people writing in about their career problems. By phone or by email, they always start with, “I need to explain my story, it’s pretty complex…” And yet, here’s what they have in common:

  • All of them are experiencing a crisis of confidence.
  • They’re all frustrated and unhappy.
  • Each has a detailed account of what has led them to their current situation.
  • AND, every single one is also making the same (false) assumption about their situation.

It’s Not Rocket Science, You Shouldn’t Treat It That Way

Over 15 years ago, I started studying and working with people who felt unsatisfied in their careers. I’m a logic girl. I like process. I went to school for engineering. I decided to set out to build a system for finding greater career satisfaction. To do that, I realized I needed to be able to diagnose each person’s situation so a plan could be put in place. To the untrained ear, it might sound like each person has a highly complex career problem on their hands. But, after listening to a large quantity of career stories, I noticed they all fell into four categories. No matter what the complexity of the circumstances surrounding their particular career problem, it still boiled down to one of these four major challenges. Read more…

6 reasons 20-somethings don’t get promoted

Caroline Beaton Aug. 29, 2016

8424415835_7117453f30_oFlickr/Francisco Osorio

According to a recent millennial leadership survey from The Hartford, 80% of millennials see themselves as leaders today.

Yet only 12% of Gen Y held management roles in 2013; and less than a third of The Hartford’s sample reported that they’re currently business leaders.

Maybe we’re entitled and delusional. Or maybe, explained millennial expert and author of “Becoming the Boss,” Lindsey Pollak, we have a progressive understanding of what it means to be a leader. “Millennials believe they can lead from whatever position they’re in,” she said. We know we don’t need an official title to impact our organization.

But if millennials really are leading from behind, why aren’t we getting promoted?

If you’re ambitious but stuck on Level 1, below are six possible reasons. (Warning, tough love ahead.) Read more…