30. September 2015
Source: The Wall Street Journal
Subject: The Joy of Following
We hear a lot of talk promoting leadership in the workplace. But few people aspire to be followers.
Most offices are populated with too many leaders and too few followers as a result. Now, some employers are training people in “followership.” That doesn’t mean being a doormat or a docile sheep, but taking responsibility for shared goals, being a self-starter and telling leaders the awkward truth when they mess up.
It isn’t an easy sell. When consultants Marc and Samantha Hurwitz arrive to hold corporate-training programs in followership, some employers ask them not to use “the F-word,” says Ms. Hurwitz, co-author with Mr. Hurwitz of “Leadership Is Half the Story.” Employers, Mr. Hurwitz adds, say “Can you call it something else, like ‘leader support?’ ”
Countless employers, authors and coaches promote leadership skills, but what if there’s nobody to follow? WSJ’s Sue Shellenbarger discusses the traits of a good follower with Tanya Rivero. Read the rest of this entry »
23. August 2015
The harsh workplace that a New York Times story recently described plaguing Amazon represents an old-fashioned business model that will almost certainly disappear soon.
This week, a New York Times profile of Amazon’s treatment of employees has provoked a debate about the future of the workplace.
The article claims that Amazon’s professional employees are well paid and work on world-changing projects, but are pushed to the breaking point in a survival-of-the-fittest climate where they tend to burn out and leave quickly.
Readers, including Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, say they are appalled by the anecdotes of insensitivity in the Times report. But the controversy has raised the possibility that the underlying business model portrayed in the article is legitimate or perhaps inevitable. The Times article quotes an ex-Amazon employee who says CEO Jeff Bezos has envisioned a “new workplace: fluid but tough, with employees staying only a short time and employers demanding the maximum.” Read the rest of this entry »
19. April 2015
ANYONE WHO HAS ACHIEVED ANYTHING GREAT HAS LIKELY GOTTEN THERE AFTER REPEATED FAILURES.
Everyone experiences setbacks every now and then, but while some of us may view losses or disappointments as things that hinder us from achieving our goals, Heather Hans, licensed clinical social worker, psychotherapist, and author of The Heart of Self-Love, says loss, disappointment, and tragedy can have the opposite effect, and may just be what we need in order to move up in both our personal and professional lives.
“If you think of anyone who has achieved anything great—take, for example, an Olympic athlete—they achieve success after repeated attempts and failure,” she says. Hans argues great success never comes without a set of failures. “Struggle is the part of the story where it’s about to get good. This is why movies have these kinds of climaxes to them. Struggle and loss are usually the precursor to success,” she says. Read the rest of this entry »
18. April 2015
Source: The Economist
Subject: Management theory: Survival of the fittest
THE MODERN THEORY of the firm is the theory of the public company: obsessed with questions such as transaction costs but blind to questions of transmitting wealth to future generations. In numerical terms, this emphasis on the public company is clearly a mistake. Its triumph is limited to the Anglo-Saxon world. The economies of most of the rest of the world—developed as well as emerging—continue to be dominated by family-focused businesses that control a wide range of companies, not just individual firms.
It is also out of date. Talk of the triumph of the Anglo-American public company might have made sense in the post-war era when the British empire still had a glow and the American Century was in full swing (though family companies continued to flourish in both countries). It makes far less sense in an increasingly integrated Europe and in rapidly emerging markets. The world’s fastest-growing region, Asia, is dominated by powerful business houses run by families. Though some of these could no doubt benefit from more focus, a significant number are Schumpeterian entrepreneurs destined for success, thanks to a rare combination of risk-taking and long-termism. Read the rest of this entry »
15. March 2015
YES, THERE IS A DIFFERENCE BETWEEN MANAGING AND LEADING, AND UNDERSTANDING IT CAN ONLY SERVE YOU, YOUR BUSINESS, AND YOUR EMPLOYEES WELL.
Do you think leadership and management mean the same thing? If you do, keep reading—knowing the difference will make your job more fun, boost your staff’s morale, and could even make you more money.
The mistake many entrepreneurs make as their companies grow is focusing on how to manage their workers. They devise elaborate ways for teams to collaborate and communicate, dream up long- and short-term goals to set checkpoints and monitor when and how they are met, and focus intensely on office infrastructure.
In this all-too-common rush to expand bosses often forget to develop their leadership strategy. A more nebulous concept, leadership refers to the higher-level thinking: What are our overall goals? How would my ideal representative present himself? And how can I make it second nature for my employees to embody that model? Read the rest of this entry »