Tag Archives: TED

Where do you go to get things done?

What is this place we call work?  We get in the car, get on the bus, get on the train, join the commute and descend upon this great bricks and mortar building where we all are required to do great work.  This is 2011.  We are all connected.  Is this best use of our time, our skills, our talents?

Jason Fried is the Co – Founder and President of 37 Signals.  Here he asks a great question, very simply “Where do you go to get things done”?

So what’s the answer?  When you really need to get something done, where do you go?  Is the answer really work?  So why do we go to the same place every day?  Do we need to anymore?

Working practices are changing at the fastest rate in economic history.  Change is scary, change is exciting, change creates opportunity.  What do you think?  Do we really need to go to the same place each day to achieve great things or even just get things done?

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Filed under Careers, Employee Engagement, Hiring

Why we have too few women leaders

Five years ago I was invited by a large Investment Bank to a recruiters forum to debate gender diversity.  Specifically the issue being addressed was why there weren’t enough female managers in Investment Banking.  How are we going to attract them?  Where are we going to get them from?  How will we retain them?

It was a frank, open, grown up, honest debate.  A lot of good ideas and initiatives were suggested from those 50 or 60 recruiters and HR PRofessionals in the room.  I don’t know how many of them were implemented, but five years on and the debate still rages.

So why doesn’t 50% of the population of the planet occupy 50% of the top jobs?

The numbers speak for themselves.  190 heads of state, 9 are women.  Women occupy only 13% of all the Parliamentary seats available on the planet.  84% of top jobs in the corporate world are occupied by men.  In the not for profit sector, a sector often assumed to be occupied by more women, men still assume 80% of the leadership roles.

From an employers perspective, we are limiting the pool of talent from which we select for leadership roles to only half that available.  Why does this happen?  Particularly when all the research evidences the more diverse an organisation, the more long-term sustainable success it is likely to enjoy.

Rather than give you the perspective of a 38-year-old Anglo-Saxon male, I thought it would prove more insightful to get the perspective of someone who really knows from personal experience the journey that women must take in order to achieve leadership responsibility.

Sheryl Sandberg is the mother of a five and two-year old.  She is Chief Operating Officer at Facebook.  A Harvard MBA, her CV also includes Chief of Staff to the US Treasury and Vice President of Online Sales at Google. She also helped establish the philanthropic Google.org

If you have 14 minutes 58 seconds to spare I implore you to watch this.  There is much here from which we can all learn.  If you don’t have time, I would love to know your views.  Let me have your comments.  Why do we have too few women leaders?

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Filed under Careers, Leadership

How great leaders inspire action

Everything in life stems from why.  If you absolute and clear understanding as to why you want to achieve something and can communicate the way with clarity and specificity so that it becomes compelling, the what and the how is the easy part.

You can apply this to the job search or the hiring process.  For the job seeker, having absolute clarity as to why an organisation should hire you is critical.  Having absolute understanding as to why you want to pursue a specific career path makes it compelling, it gives you purpose, focus.

The same is true for the hiring manager.  Really understand why you need to hire (it isn’t because someone just resigned and you have a vacant post to fill).  Make the reason someone should join your company compelling.  People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.  This is the key to making great hires.  Understand this and your organisation will flourish.  Simon Sinek explains in this excellent TED production.

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Filed under Employee Engagement, Hiring