leadership

March 10, 2009

Quick Thinking Required!

I’m fascinated by productivity. Making things actually happen, instead of pondering endlkessly is a huge step forward for any manager.

When I was in Australia recently, I met up with Dr Ken Hudson, from The Speed Thinking Zone. Ken’s premise is that things take way too long and there is a better way.

Hudson’s Law of Meetings

February 27, 2009

In 1955, Cyril Northcote Parkinson suggested, in a tongue in cheek way, what has since become known as Parkinsons Law. It states:

Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.

I would like to suggest that this be updated for meetings in what i have called Hudson’s Law of Meetings:

Meetings expand to the time set for the meeting.

Think about it. Have you ever been at a meeting when someone says, well we have the meeting room booked for the next hour why don’t we stay till then. Why should you? If the meeting is over the meeting is over.

Why do most of us feel guilty about having a shorter meeting or one that finishes early? In a recent workshop we covered all we had to do and i suggested that we finish early. One person started to complain about this.

Why I asked?

Why don’t you use the extra time to go to the gym or see your kids or go to a movie?

If Hudson’s rule is valid then we should think seriously about the amount of time we spend in meetings. Why are all our meetings at least one hour? Why aren’t these half an hour?

Imagine how much time you could free up and how more productive and enjoyable your life could be.

Ken Hudson

Ken’s thinking is fast paced, as you might expect. I like his stuff and I want to know more, despite Australia being quite a hike from where I am.

I think you might like to check it out too, right here at The Speed Thinking Zone

Filed under Blog by Martin

Permalink Print

November 18, 2008

6 Tips To Effective Delegation

Greetings!:

As an executive, supervisor, manager or team leader, you make daily decisions about everyone’s workload. Delegation is an excellent management tool to maximize your team’s performance; however, it is a skill that needs to be learned. To help maximize your delegation skills, we have put together 6 tips and 5 core competencies to improve your delegation skills.

6 Tips To Effective Delegation

1. Give The Person A Whole Task To Do – People prefer to get the job done and not wait for someone else to hand-off a component of it. Likewise, connect everyone who is actively working on the project so they can all see the big picture.

2. Make Sure They Understand Exactly What You Want Them To Do – Take the time to manage expectations so things are done correctly. Establish performance standards with SMART goals. That way, it is crystal clear what and how the task or project needs to be done.

3. Share Your Vision With Them – People like to know what your vision is on a project so share it with them. If they understand the big picture and how the task or project they are delegated fits into that big picture, they are more likely to be committed to it.

4. Set Project Due Dates – Most people need to know due dates so they can effectively manage a project. By setting specific dates and milestones you will help your team better manage a project that has been delegated to them.

5. Give Them The Right Tools – Make sure your team has the right tools to do the job. This can range from computers to software and everything in between.

6. Reward Your Team – Rewarding people for their individual and group performance is a great way to motivate them. Although financial consideration is great, best-in-class leaders find creative ways to reward their team.

Effective Delegation Can Strengthen Any Organization

Delegating tasks not only fosters a team environment but can help individuals increase their level of performance. Doing so, you will find individuals increasing their responsibility, leadership skills and project management skills. Plus, it’s an excellent way for them to feel important to your organization.

The 5 Competencies To Help Maximize Your Delegation Skills

1. Make Your Team Accountable – Leaders who delegate well demonstrate personal responsibility and hold everyone accountable for organizational outcomes.

2. Human Resource Management – Leaders who delegate well make sure there are resources available to meet the team’s goals and objectives.

3. Solid Interpersonal Skills – Leaders who delegate well build solid relationships of trust and respect inside and outside the organization.

4. Leveraging Diversity – Leaders who delegate well find ways to leverage capabilities, insights and ideas across diverse cultures, styles and ability.

5. Strong Leadership – Leaders who delegate know how to enhance their organization’s value, while tapping into their team’s skills and abilities, to help achieve the desired results.

SUMMARY – Effective delegation is all about sharing the workload, with the added bonus of developing skills and responsibility in others. A leader not only needs to look at the “final result” but also who worked, who didn’t work and what they should do differently next time. The 6 tips and the 5 competencies above will not only help you achieve a work-life balance but also become more productive.

“Never tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do and they will surprise you with their ingenuity.”
–General George Smith Patton, Jr.

If you want to find out more about how Dale Carnegie’s® Competency Based Development Solutions can make your business more effective, or need more information on this subject, please contact us.

Anita Zinsmeister, President
Dale Carnegie® Training of Central and Southern NJ
(609) 324-9200
success@dalecarnegie.com
www.southjersey.dalecarnegie.com

Filed under Developing Your People, Management Basics by Martin

Permalink Print

November 14, 2008

Manager or Leader – What’s The Difference?

Two absolutely necessary things needed for the survival of any organization are leadership and management.

While leadership is the ‘quality’, which determines how far a company will go and how successful it will be in the long run, management is the ‘quantity’ that deals with the daily workings and the implementation of current plans that will help in the immediate health of the organization.

Maybe! Truth is, both are pretty important.

Although we might try to distinguish between them and aim to get them into a neat little descriptive package, it can be quite a challenge.

Maybe the way to separate the two is that a leader deals with the longer term aspirations and opportunities, whilst a manager will be more focused in managing the resources, including people, to achieve shorter-term goals for the ongoing health of the organization.

Then again, managers need to be leaders sometime…

Filed under Building the Future, Developing Your People, Management Basics by Martin

Permalink Print

November 10, 2008

It’s All About Perspective (and Change, and Listening, and…)

So, America has elected a new president and it seems, a very different one at that.

Perhaps because of his ‘difference’, the expectations on President-Elect Obama are high indeed.

It’s usually true that as the ‘new manager’ (well, that’s what being a president is really!), there is a belief that things will change. Of course when you newly arrive, then that’s an excellent time to start.

The risk, when you can clear the decks with new ideas, standards and even people, is that you can alienate those around you whose support and help you need as you aim for progress.

For Obama, this is the American people. For you, it’s the team of employees you need to work with, as you make the changes.

When you are new to a position, it can be easier to make the changes that are vital. When you are incumbent already, you need to take a freash look at your weaknesses and blind spots from time to time.

If you have created good, open and collaborative relationships with your people, you can seek their guidance for those areas where you may be less than effective enough.

Taking time to get to know your people well will work well for you, as it will (dare I say it!), for President Obama.

Filed under Building the Future by Martin

Permalink Print