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  • 5 years 26 weeks ago Players knew by 2005. $ in off-shore accounts. Untraceable. Business basics, make some $, get some integrity, look honestly in the mirror. L
  • 5 years 29 weeks ago Idiocracy, a funny movie. Now reality. Embodied in the "razzle dazzlle" politobabble of Newt Gingrich. Pillsbury Doughboy would be better. L
  • 5 years 31 weeks ago Effective government,profitable business displaying real corporate citizenry and delicious moments lounging in front of the fire. Good Life.
  • 5 years 31 weeks ago Zoo? Circus? Politics? At this moment, they all look the same except the animals are more attractive and the circus performers more skilled.
  • 5 years 35 weeks ago Recall a Jamie Fox line from film American President-"just vote your conscience, you chickenshit." Imagine impact in both business&politics.

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Linda C Thompson's blog

The Real 911 Bottom Line

The real bottom line begins personally and ends for you. On 9-10-2001 I was in the World Trade Center -Tower Two-for business. Crossing the floor to the elevatores taking me to my clients offices, I noticed a group a group of children taking pictures and yelling "look-up." Having grown-up poor, it took me a moment to realize they wanted to take pictures of me --one of those people who had made it to the top. I waved, smiled, felt embarrassed and went  to work.

My daughter worked in a ground floor coffee shop. She was at work on 9-11-2001. She had to walk out of the City. She had to walk through a tunnel. We could not communitate because not only land line phone but cell phone service was out. I did not know if she was dead, alive, hurt etc.. for four days. We were both lucky. We are alive to tell our tales.

We both lost many friends and collegaues that day. Those who were not dead, lost homes, possessions, loved ones.

My personal choice in the months that followed was to take every consulting "gig" (as we say in the biz) that required airflight. There were no rules, no pilots sealed in cockpits. There only the people on the plane. We talked about our 'gameplan" if....

as the risk of clichque -- when the going gets tough...the tough get tougher.

About your bottom line... values, values, values. Read Victor Frankl's "Man Search for Meaning" He survived the Holocaust while in a concentration camp. Washington is broken. We have politicians and have lost Statesmanship. The markets are wealth creation for the wealthy. The markets swing between 10.8 and 11.4 and have done so for most of the summer. We can fix all the problems America is experiencing.-- if we have the courage to call out the real issues and hit honest delete buttons to sacred cows. That is a BIG "if".

Your choice is simple --step up your game or get out of the way. Personally, I do not enjoy the sight of butts in front of me. I choose stepping up my game. Market plays of 14-90 days have worked well. Remeber, market covergae wants ratings. they have high-paying jobs and are not required to disclose personal investments.

You know your weak spots. Just be honest with yourself and reach out to sources that can really help -- not charge a lot of money for little return

If you have a good job -- great. Do not count on it. The Fortune 500 and large non-profits are in unparelled turmoil. Be a master of knowing you can take care of yourself no matter what.

If you do not have a coach --get one. If your coach is not helping, get one that does. Your bottom line is your credibility and integrity. That is all you have to trade-on. Get real with yourself. Find the person who can help and even if you have to pay out of your own pockeck -- your $$$$$ bottom line will grow exponentially.

My Dad was a WWII bomber pilot stationed in England and flying missions over Germany. He kept the plane in the air long enough to land in Switzerland -neutral in WII. Not content to ride the war out there, he escaped over the Alps (in a train with the help of a fraulein). then he went back to war.

He also taught me to play poker when I was nine. Caused some jaw-dropping among other adult family members. It was a great gift. In poker, as in life, you don"t play the cards, you play the players. Decide -- are you a player or content to be played. I still have a thriving business because I am not afraid and refuse to be played.

Now it's your turn. Choose.

 

 

 

 

The Lost Blogs -- the Price of Communication Failures

Imagine my surprise in checking the website (in my spare time, of course) to find a couple of blogs I thought published, out and spreading the message of TRI i, were simply not there. I re-checked my "blogging instructions" from my web folks. At least in my mind, I had followed the process. The only factor in these two lost blogs  that was different was when publishing them I was in a hurry and did not log-out of the site, log back in to be sure they were there. Hmmm... there is a message here. Forget blogging -- are you ever in such a hurry to complete and move on that you assume a process you've successfully completed before has worked again and do not take the extra moment to check and make certain? Think of issues seemingly as disparate as combing P&L figures to checking for feedback on what was actually heard in a leadership message you sent. In a business world of virtual communication, Skype (which I use extensively) travel, rapidly changing economic factors, the constant impact of potential geo-political events...how often are we moving so fast we cannot be sure if the messages we intend to give and those actually received are even close in alignment? The short answer is, obviously, often--far too often.

The price we pay as individuals and organizations is tangible in terms of failed results, sub-optimized talent, and consumer dissatisfaction and desertion. The price is also intangible in the unique minds and hearts of each individual impacted. One of the"lost blogs" had to do with people as an asset versus  corporate lip service that people are an asset. Just watch the morning news or the stock channel during lunch. Notice how many commercials are companies touting the value of people as their greatest asset. If that is true, why is the jobless rate so high? Why are people more fearful and thus less effective in their jobs than ever before? While these questions are somewhat rhetorical, the contradictions between corporate behavior and corporate ad messaging contributes to the human and thus profit price we pay in business.

A couple of recommendations:

Tell people the truth -- even if the truth is you do not know or cannot tell them because (fill in the blank.) Credibility is the congruence of your words and actions. The people you lead are astute. Their "radar" for inauthenticity is highly developed.

Communicate often using a variety of virtual and people-to-people channels. Be sure you include a feedback loop of some kind to close gaps between your intended message and what was received. Even a simple  "Just to make sure we are tracking...what did you hear me say?" The virtual version might be an e-request "Please let me know your reaction to be sure what I am intending to say is coming across."

Vary your leadership style appropriately depending on factors such as new responsibilities, changing corporate structure, and just plain human needs. The Hersey or Blanchard models of Situational Leadership are good basics here. If you are not aware of them -- go find out. One really easy way to master situational leadership is call TRI i. One of our many areas of expertise. OK, OK that was pretty self-serving. True- but self-serving.

These recommendations sound simple. They are. The difficulty is DOING them. People are the largest item on your P&L -- you can't afford not to maximize talent contribution.

All for now. I'm going to be sure this blog is posted. then -- expect more and often.

Linda C. Thompson

The Winds of Change

The nature of business, the ways we connect both physically and virtually are global in scope. I can note this blog, watch the Markets, the Royal Wedding and prepare next week's team session simultaneously. Not only are these variable channels of action expected, the prize belongs to those who find the complexities, multiple realities and instantaneous communication exciting and fulfilling.

From the Fortune 500 world to academic medicine to medium-sized professional offices, the theme that emerged this week is the continuous change and a sense of angst that changes are not beneficial to employers, employees, consumers or anyone else. The C-level clients I speak with daily are more and more open about their concerns over job loss, the feasibility of business models or the ethicality of the business path. Usually the C-level players are immune or discreet about such concerns. The landscape has changed. We are all worried, challenged and wondering what the next step enatils.One senior client felt pulled between the perceived "smart" move of orchestrating a package out of a company and the conflict with personal values regarding "giving up" and belief in his own abilities.  A leader in a major medical research organization is considering retirement yet the word has such connotations of "over the hill" "past the prime" that the individual equates to becoming some very creaky zombie-like creature. No matter where you are in your career, whether you are in a corporation, a professional office, or an organization either non-profit or governmental you are probably experiencing a level of stretch and uncertainty that is dizzying.

In the gaps between our perceptions of work reality and our own values of who we are and want to be lie the glimmering stars of our next step in life.

In a private session recently a senior executive discovered a gap between his desire to be out of the on-going daily challenge of a corporation and his belief that he could not "provide' or be held in esteem if he did not carry a significant corporate title. We dubbed him President of the Seekers and he is sorting through the aspects of his professional life and the aspects of his own identity as he knows it to create a position that reflects both to the greatest extent possible. Regardless of whether he remains in his current position, becomes a consultant or takes an entirely new direction, the point is that he will choose at deepest possible level of consciousness based on the greatest truth he knows of himself and the world around him. In that choice, gaps disappear and the world becomes an intensely satisfying place.

Here are the secrets I have been practicing lately:

Notice the gaps in perceptions. We have talked about leaving companies and perceptions of accomplishment, strength, vigor or leaving companies and perceptions of "couldn't do it" and "too old." You may have gaps such as "I have great ideas but this is just an old boys' club. I'll never get to a (fill in the blank) level." Take on the reality of each side of the gap.  Just listen to your inner voice as you examine the situation from all perspectives. Listen to the information, feel the feelings. Take no action.

Now you can identify the conversations you are having with yourself that keep you stuck in worry or doubt. The good news is that you are the only one having the conversation and can change it at any time.

Imagine the world is a mirror. If you are not seeing a place where you are fulfilling yourself as a person as well as taking care of the pragmatic realities of the world, then you just have to tilt the mirror, enlarge it or change the angle. What you can give up is any worry that the place of fulfillment and taking care of life's pragmatics in an effortless combination does not exist. Of course it does.

You are painter of the canvas of your life. Want more artistic expression? Paint it in! More Money? There's plenty. Paint some into the picture of yourself. Need that first VP title? What would be true of you if  that had already happened? Get the paints ready!

 

Let's practice together. Identify one action you are going to take toward something you really want in your life but think is impossible. Even if it is just making a call or writing a letter of inquiry. Paint your canvas with glowing, luminescent shades and we'll compare notes next week. Can't wait to see what you paint!

Linda C. Thompson

CONTINUATION

REMEMBER THE FEELING OF FALLING IN LOVE? NOTHING WAS IMPOSSIBLE. WHAT IF EVERYONE YOU HAVE THE PRIVILEGE OF LEADING FELT THAT WAY? COLLEAGUES JUST MIGHT WANT TO CONTRIBUTE THEIR OWN MONEY TO THE BOTTOM LINE. AS A COACH, I HAVE SEEN IT LIVE.

PERSPECTIVE

KNOW YOUR BUSINESS, MAKE SURE THE BUSINESS KNOWS YOU, MAKE SAVVY DECISIONS -- MEANING GUESS RIGHT ABOUT 80% OF THE TIME. YES, THAT ABOUT DOES IT FOR PERSPECTIVE. YOU CAN READ THE SO-CALLED EXPERTS IN THIS AREA, THOSE WHO MUST PUBLISH OR PERISH.

PLANNING

NOW WE HAVE GAME. PLANNING IS A NAME, A SOUND, A LIFE AND A DEAL-BREAKER. ORGANIZATIONS HAVE PLANS. GREAT PLANNERS SUCCEED WITH ONE TINY CAVEAT -- ALWAYS HAVE A PLAN AND KNOW YOU CAN THROW IT AWAY IN AN INSTANT IF YOUR BRILLIANT INSTINCTS TELL YOU DEVIATION FROM PLAN HOLDS KEYS TO KINGDOMS. PLANNING IS ESSENTIALLY SKILLED TRUTH WITH YOURSELF. PLAY ORGANIZATIONAL POLITICS WIN-WIN AND DON'T LIE TO YOURSELF. LISTEN. YOU KNOW WHAT TO DO WITHOUT BRINGING OTHERS OR THE BUSINESS DOWN.  IF YOU DON'T EMERGE AS A COLLABORATIVE LEADER IN LOVE WITH YOUR CAREER -- GO BACK TO SCHOOL ON YOURSELF.

 

PRECISION

THINK OF A SURGEON. IS IT OK TO PRECISELY AMPUTATE THE WRONG BODY PART? OF COURSE NOT. HOW ABOUT AN OK PLAN PRECISELY, CRISPLY EXECUTED?  TRY IT AND WATCH YOUR BOTTOM LINE, MARKET SHARE GROW. EVEN MAJOR CANCER CENTERS WHO ARE NON-PROFIT LOSE "SHARE" IF THEY DO NOT CONSIDER THE BABY-BOOMERS ENTERING THEIR MOST FREQUENT CANCER YEARS OF LIFE. CANCER CENTER? HOSPITAL WITH DYNAMITE ONCOLOGY AND PEOPLE ACTUALLY GET HEALTHY? I KNOW MY CHOICE. DO YOU? SOMETIMES METAPHORS DO WORK -- NOT ALWAYS. THE BLINDING GLIMPSE OF THE OBVIOUS -- ENSURE YOUR PEOPLE ARE EQUIPPED WITH ALL THE KNOWLEDGE, SKILLS, ABILITIES TO EXECUTE WITH PRECISION. THE MOST IMPORTANT SKILLS ARE THE PEOPLE SKILLS. WITHOUT COMMUNICATION AND RELATIONSHIPS, NOTHING WILL SUCCEED.

PROFIT

WHAT IS IT, REALLY? EBITA? FLOW-THROUGH? ANALYSTS GUIDANCE? STOCK PRICE? MANY, MANY THOUGHTS HERE. AS A LEADER, YOUR JOB IS TO MAKE SURE EVERYONE YOU LEAD HAS A SHARED KNOWLEDGE OF THE MEANING OF THESE AND ANY OTHER FACTORS YOU CAN CONJURE. PROFIT IS A SHARED AND GLORIOUS RESPONSIBILITY IN ACCELERATED, HIGH PERFORMING TEAMS. THE MOST OFTEN ERROR IN PROFIT IS THINKING IT IS A NUMBER. AS THE GREAT PHILOSOPHER WITTGENSTEIN NOTED, NUMBERS ONLY EXIST AND MEAN WHAT THE PERSON THINKING THE NUMBER THINKS IT MEANS. $100.00 IS THE NEW THOUSAND AND A THOUSAND IS THE NEW MILLION. IF THE ALMIGHTY GREENBACK KEEPS GOING, A DOLLAR IS WORTH NOTHING.

 

AS EINSTEIN SAID "I AM SURE OF TWO THINGS. THE UNIVERSE IS INFINITE AND HUMAN BEINGS ARE STUPID -- AND I AM NOT REALLY SURE ABOUT THE UNIVERSE.

 

PRESCRIPTION FOR GOOD FRIDAY: AN ACT OF KINDNESS BEYOND WHAT YOU THINK IS KIND -- A MARVEL OF KINDNESS. GIVE MORE THAN YOU THINK YOU CAN. KISS A DOG --THEY ARE THE TRULY BRILLIANT BEINGS. ACT AS IF EVERYTHING -- ROCKS, DIRT ETC. IS ALIVE. THINK OF THE WORLD WE CAN CREATE IF WE WERE TO ACT THAT WAY. NOTICE I DID NOT SAY BELIEVE...JUST DO IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

TILL NEXT FRIDAY --BE WELL,SAFE AND LOVED.

LINDA

People+Perspective+Planning+Precision = Profit

People

" People are strange, when you're a stranger" The Doors Try eliminating the "a" -- people are strange when you're stranger. WELCOME TO LEADERSHIP! the people you lead inevitably perceive youas strange, out-to-get-them, or just incompetent at some point. Unless...you make it a key Leadership Responsibility to know what they think, want and telling you the truth. Mastering the are of "leading up" is critical to success and can undercu the effectiveness of an entire organization if leaders do not kinow when direct reports are leading them.

Take a new look at your Profit and Loss statement (P&L) -- not the Executive Version -- the entire statement. The largest line item has been and is currently " wages and salaries".please, it is non-sensical to fail to invest in the very asset on which you spend most of your organizations money. If the logic of this statement escapes you --run, scury, find a job not leading people. Forget a career, setle for a job.

OK, OK -- I'm being a bit tough. WELCOME TO LEADERSHIP -- AGAIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

At TRI i, we are adamant that people make or break every organization.

In the new definition of work, the changed changing social covenant between employeers and employees,  what constitutes investing in people? a few thoughts and statics:

  • The number one job satisfier and key to retention of the best employees is their relationship to their boss. Do you know your TRUE relationship with your employees through their eyes -- not yours?
  • Do you have "watchdogs" that you have asked to tell you the truth and nothing