Friday, May 31, 2013

Front Burners

I've been busy lately. I know, you have too...we all are busy. But for me, I've been busy, as in "I can't keep up with everything I want to do in life" busy. I don't like it. I particularly don't like it when it impacts my life here in the blogosphere. (Does anyone still use that word?...I have been away too long.) 

One of the main reasons I'm all cranked up about my recent situation is actually good. My job is more demanding than ever; the assignments I'm working on are more challenging than ever, and the possibilities to do good work are everwhere. That's a pretty good reason to take a short hiatus from the least this blog.

There's No Place Like A Blog
Although it's been quiet here lately, that doesn't mean I've been able to stay quiet overall. I mean, seriously people! Me? Quiet? No way!

I've been blessed recently with the opportunity to participate on several terrific blogging sites including ceVokeJobsite, Performance I Create and HR Tact. (You might even see a rare guest post soon right here.) These are fanatastic projects, and it looks like one more is on the way. Maybe it's all too much? Or, maybe I'm not organized enough to embrace every single opportunity life brings my way. So what, I'm going for it anyway.

Work Is Like A Stove
My organization is going through a period of rapid and exciting change.  The result as I mentioned has been a little time away from the blog...but that time has passed.

I like to think about my organizational priorities this way...

"Imagine a huge stove with only front burners. That is how I need to prioritize all of my work right now. Everything is a front burner issue."

That approach may not be the healthiest. Nor is it what the so called experts claim is the best way to organize and rank the work you need to accomplish. Really, 3 to 5 items on my task list each day? Get real!

Guess what? Sometimes everything is a priority and you need to find a way to get it done!

How About You
What does the stove look like where you work? Is it an apartment sized hot plate? Or, do you look far to the left and far to the right and only see that one row of front burners too?

I'ts good to be back.

I'd love to hear from you.

No Excuses.


Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Enemy Within

“Did I do the right thing?”

“Is the company going to get sued?”

“Did we violate one of the many new regulations that seem to keep coming?”

“Is my job now on the line?”

Human Resources professionals face more challenges today than ever before. Any reasonable person would believe the laws that have been passed to protect all employees would certainly suffice.

Yet, external parties, government agencies, and old school thinking from many organizational leaders continue to give the impression that the life of an HR practitioner is doomed to processing forms and trying to hide from anything confrontational or impactful.

Read the rest of my post over at HR Mouth of the South!

HR Mouth of the South is the official blog for HRFlorida. Check it out!

Monday, May 6, 2013

Everyone Is A Coach

I'm a big sports fan. Hockey is my favorite. It's fast, and violent, and graceful, and full of finesse, and power, and endless hours of work away from the ice to get better. As in most sports, players, friends, families and fans are very engaged in every aspect of the game.

They all think at one point or another that they are the coach. Not literally of course, but we've all seen or heard someone offer their perspective on how things should be done. If only their keen insight would be listened to so the entire game/practice/tryout would be better!

Give me a break. Everyone is not a coach. At least, not a good one.

Work and Sports
Some of us also get fired up about our work. No, we don't swear at the television set when something goes wrong in our training videos like we...ahem...might...during a big game. But the reality is that there is a whole lot of "coaching" going on in the workplace from people who have absolutely no idea what they are talking about.

There, I said it. 

Apparently there is in fact something to be said for taking a global view of an organization. In sports a comprehensive game plan is critical to success. At work, the big picture is so important, that I now challenge myself to consider the unintended consequences of the decisions that are made in my organization that have nothing to do with human resources issues.

There, I said that too.

"Sometimes HR isn't the center of the universe."

Good Coaches Set An Example
Whether you are leading a group of players or are in a leadership position in your company, you are setting an example every day. Sometimes it is a good one that people come to rely on as part of their world. Other times, "coaches" get so caught up in their own ego, that they completely miss the point of what it means to offer their insight and perspective on the issues occurring at work.

It's a shame really, because typically these folks have knowledge that could be very useful. But alas, they typically worship at the church of "themselves" and earn a reputation for saying a lot but contributing very little.

How About You
Do you know any "coaches?" I do too. In fact, sometimes I slip into bad habits of being one of those people too. But having the courage to actually step back and evaluate my own behavior has given me the opportunity to leave most of my lame coaching days behind me. How about you?

I'd love to hear from you.

No Excuses.


Thursday, May 2, 2013

Power Base

Once you accept a leadership position you immediately have power. You may feel the same as you did ten minutes prior to saying yes to that job offer, but in reality your world, and the world of the employees around you just changed. Power often has a negative connotation and that is unfortunate. Having the power to change things that are going poorly, or the power to make a difference in some one's life are usually afterthoughts. That's a shame because power is good.

Power is good.

Power Train
Power can also be very seductive. Those who have it often find themselves suddenly becoming very popular. It's as if the one who holds power is the engine, and now a long train is forming behind them as others hitch themselves on to that locomotive powerhouse.

I wonder if their intentions are sincere?

Do the "hitchers" believe they will be protected from harm (read here --> have job security) if they are closely aligned with the one who holds so much power in the organization?

Perhaps...but nothing lasts forever. The reality is that often times their thinking is flawed, as I've seen many leaders suddenly lose their power base when the 'senior leader' they were so focused on was suddenly no longer with the organization.

Good bye power base...hello having to answer for your behavior.

"When leaders focus too heavily on one member of the team vs. building relationships with every member of the team, they risk losing not only their reputation, but their position too."

Missing the Point About Power
Where does power emanate from? Is it really about a fancy title or a new level of signature authority? Are we really so limited as human beings that the mere chance to have a slightly increased level of control over others make us salivate and jettison all common sense from our daily life? In a perfect workplace there would probably be a balance between giving power to those who are doing the work, while ensuring that key decisions actually get made to keep the organization moving forward. Is that so difficult?

How About You
Do you approach power with wide eyes and visions of being fed grapes on a velvet couch? Or, do you see it as a huge responsibility that has to be properly shared in order to achieve world class results?

I'd love to hear from you.

No Excuses.