Tag Archives: management

You are who you are, not what you do.

You weren’t born a Teacher, Accountant, Engineer, Nurse, Doctor, Banker.  You became one.  If you don’t like what you do, change it.  Easier to say than to do, but it can be done.  It is not impossible.  The only thing that is holding you back is you.

In the same way you trained, learned to become a Surveyor, you can train in entirely the same way to do something else.  Sure you might need some help, but if you really must change then you can.

If you are happy, fulfilled, motivated, engaged then there is no need.  If you are none of those things, if you are simply turning up, going through the motions, you are going to get found it.  Life is too short.

What you are is not who you are.  For sure our job shapes us, influences us, has a big part to play in how we lead our lives, but it is not who you are, it is what you do.  If you need to do something different, you can.  You just have to start.  The first step is the hardest.  If you need to, you owe it to yourself to take it.  You won’t look back.

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Diversity delivers.

Pricewaterhouse Coopers is the worlds second largest professional services firm, employing 161,000 people in 757 cities across 154 countries.  Despite its global reach, only 14% of its Partners are women.

They want to change this to better represent the diverse nature of customers they represent and people they employ.  Chairman Ian Powell is reported as wanting to set an “aspirational goal” of 40% to 50% of partners “being women or from other under – represented groups, such as ethnic minorities.  Good for him.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/supportservices/8290793/PricewaterhouseCoopers-targets-women.html

What encourages me most about the way this is being reported is the fact that reference is made to this not being about “quotas”.  This isn’t about political correctness, this is about recognising that talent is not defined by gender or ethnicity.  Talent is always in demand and always in short supply, regardless of the economic cycle.  If you want the very best for your organisation, why restrict that which from you select to half the population?

I don’t want quotas, or for that matter positive discrimination.  I want to able to judge everyone purely on merit.  I want to hire the very best talent I can attract within the budget that is available to me.  That should be the case for all hiring, if you want your organisation to flourish.

All the research I’ve ever read on the subject of hiring evidences the more diverse your board, your leadership group, your managers, the better performing, more productive, profitable, sustainable, successful your business will be.  This is about applying best practice in your hiring.  I applaud PwC for taking these steps, I look forward to seeing them deliver.  Not only great news for their employers, but frankly their customers.

Lord Davies take note, quotas are not the way to encourage behaviour along these lines.   Education is the answer.  Keep getting the message across that you can greatly impact your bottom line by attracting a diverse range of talent to your business.  Give business the evidence, the case studies, the facts and keep giving it.  Diversity delivers.  It is a positive message we would all be well served to heed.

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Filed under Hiring

The Ying and the Yang

I am repeating myself. I don’t want to be told who to hire. I am interested in your talent, your aspirations, your ambitions, what motivates, what inspires, what drives you, what you’ve learned, what you want to learn. Your gender has no bearing on my hiring decision.

Nor frankly does your sexuality, religious beliefs, favourite colour, shoe size or football team (well perhaps not entirely true!). I want the very best I can possibly afford for my company. That to me is just simple common sense. Many it would appear do not share my view. Frankly life would be dull if they did.

However the world is changing. Management speak is full of terms such as engagement, retention and diversity. Is this just lip service, or are people really embracing genuine workplace diversity and seeing the value that a range of views, talent, experiences, cultures and perspectives can bring to the workplace?

Long term vision and compelling purpose are topics for discussion as companies gear up post apocalypse for the promise of brighter days ahead. At the same time testosterone would appear to be on the wane in the Boardroom. Statistically this is certainly not the case as yet, but the rallying cry for more women in the boardroom was heard again this week from the CBI and the IoD in the UK.

This video from the always excellent TedTalks, evidences just how women are out performing men in so many areas of society today. I for one am delighted. The wider and deeper the talent pool, the easier my job.

If you want to attract the very best, if you truly want to succeed, then open your mind. A successful business today needs to combine the very best that Mars and Venus has to offer. It should not be about Men OR Women, it should be about Men AND Women.

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What does it take to manage a global company successfully?

What does it take to run a global company?

Just KISS!

The acronym Keep It Simple, Stupid wins every time, makes such perfect sense, is so easy to understand yet all too often gets missed. Running a global entity requires simplicity of vision and mission and a compelling purpose.  Add a serious dose of clarity, honesty, integrity, consistency and relentless commitment to delivery and you have just some of the ingredients required.

Oh, and no little talent, a razor sharp intellect, the ability to inspire people to produce great results, huge energy and stamina, a body clock to astound the most learned Doctor and an incredible work ethic.

Up for it?

Richard Cousins is CEO of Compass, the worlds largest contract food service, serving over 4 billion meals annually in over 50 countries. He gives us his insight in to just what is required to run a global company in this interview from http://www.dailytelegraph.co.uk

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Filed under Careers, Leadership

Interview Nick Bollettieri Head Coach, IMG Performance Institute

Sport is a metaphor for life.  The emotions, the commitment, the effort, the highs, the lows, the blood, the sweat, the tears, the bouquets, the brickbats.  Follow a sport, play a sport, you can experience all that life can offer in ninety minutes, five hours, a day, five days.  There is much business can learn from sport and vice versa, not least sport would appear to acknowledge that the best players are not guaranteed to make the best managers.

Nick Bollettieri is one of those people who has managed tremendous success from the business of sport.  An American Tennis Coach, he has taken the likes of Jim Courier, Andre Agassi, Monica Seles and Mary Pierce to the world number one spot.

For those of you that aren’t familiar, MeetTheBoss.tv  is a great resource for all things Executive Leadership and Management Training.  Click on the link below for the full interview and here some great content from Nick on the lessons he has taken from a career in business and sport working with some of the world’s greatest talent.  You can subscribe for free, its more than worth the key strokes.

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Filed under Leadership, Talent, Uncategorized

Management lessons from the Wayne Rooney saga.

Your star performer has a contract up for renewal.  He has performed consistently at the very highest level for years, but in recent times his form has taken a dip.  Something must be wrong.   He has great talent.  How can you help him to get back to the level of performance you need to realise the objectives you have set as a leadership team?

You put your arm around him.  You offer help, whatever you can to support him.  How does he thank you?  He openly questions your ambition, your hiring decisions.  What impact does this have on your team?  He has broken the bond, the trust that exists and is crucial to team success.  How will his colleagues react?

For years you have espoused the virtues of no one player being bigger than the team and your actions have consistently evidenced this.  This time its different.  The financial situation makes acquiring new talent incredibly challenging.  You are working hard to develop your own talent, but this takes time.

Consider the actions of Sir Alex Ferguson.  He talks openly about his disappointment.  He looks physically shocked, disillusioned, let down, he opens up to the world, expresses his disappointment.  A master stroke?

He forced the issue out in to the open.  Rooney had to make a decision.  Once again Ferguson looks to have been the master of ensuring that nothing allows his focus and that of his team in meeting their objective to be thrown off course.

What of Wayne Rooney?  He looked to rebuild trust with his team mates by offering up an apology.  Trust is something that takes a long time to build up and a second to break down.  Its easier if you are the talisman, the natural leader, the difference between success and failure, to paper over the cracks.  After all, we need you, right?  But at what price?  You have made it clear that you don’t consider your colleagues to be as good as your competitors.  If times get tough here issues are bound to surface.

If it were just about the money Rooney would appear to be the winner.  If reports are to be believed, he has doubled his money.  If you have made the decision to resign from your employer rarely will money be the real issue.  There is always more to it.  Offering you more money to stay is simply putting a plaster on a deep cut.  It stems the flow of blood and helps the wound to heal, but you will be left with a scar.  More money simply papers over the cracks, temporarily.  The reason that you were looking to leave in the first place will still be around 6 months later.  The extra money makes those issues easier to deal with for a spell, but unless addressed they will re – surface.

I can’t decide who the winner is here, if indeed there is one at all.  Ferguson gets to keep his star man.  Rooney doubles the value of his contract, with assurances from his board that his ambitions will be matched by their investment decisions.  It is surely a dangerous premise to allow your star man to dictate the broader investment strategy of the board.  Would you allow your star sales person to hold the board to ransom in the same way?

Is sport just different?  Is this a master stroke in negotiation from Rooney and his advisors?  Is Ferguson once again proving to be the master in management, constantly building and rebuilding winning teams?  The answer will come in May when the Premier League once again crowns its champions.

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Filed under Employee Engagement, Leadership

Who’s your number 2, Steve Jobs?

I love a gadget.  Ipod, Ipad, Iphone, Itunes, AppleTV, Mac, Macbook, they all feature somewhere , in someway, in my life.  I love what they do and I love how they do it.  Clearly so do many others.

Just look at yesterdays Q4 results.  3.89 million Macs, 14.1 million iPhones, 9.05 million iPods, and 4.19 million iPads sold in one quarter.  They are killing the competition, selling 2 million more iPhones last quarter than RIM sold BlackBerry devices.

The numbers are compelling.  In one quarter, $20.34 billion in revenue and $4.31 billion in profit.  The success juggernaut that is Apple enjoyed a share price one year ago around $190 a share.  Today Apple shares closed at $317.93 (an all time high) giving a market cap approaching $300BN.

What possibly can go wrong?

I can see only one problem coming over the hill for Apple and its a monster.  Who is your number two, Steve Jobs?

I am sure he has one.  I am sure in fact that he has several superstars that he has identified within Apple and indeed outside who he feels have the talent to fill his shoes.  I am sure he invests much of his time mentoring, teaching, engaging, developing his key players of the future.

He has history to learn from.  The last time Apple rid themselves of Jobs incredible talents, it was a disaster for the company.  I am sure he won’t allow that to happen again.  Will he?

Succession planning is crucial to long-term, sustainable success.  Jobs casts an imposing and vast shadow.  Whoever fills his shoes will be faced with a thankless task.  However, fill them he or she must if Apple is to continue to look after the best interests of its stakeholders.

It is the responsibility of leadership to ensure succession planning is an integral part of business strategy.  Long term, sustainable success requires a commitment to developing the leaders of tomorrow today.   Succession planning is essential at all levels within business.

Who is your number 2?

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Filed under Corporate Governance, Leadership