Welcome to our Hō‘ike‘ike 2006 —A Collection of Bloggers’ Bests on Management and Leadership in the spirit of Managing with Aloha.
This is a forum in which I ask for contributions that are a blogger’s best from the past year. Emails are often traded behind the scenes, for picking just one is difficult. I will coach my fellow authors to be bravely confident, believe in what they have written, and resurrect something they feel worthy of more attention. In the nature of blogging, where posting a day or several times weekly helps you rise like cream to the top, and RSS “saving for later” doesn’t always happen, many golden nuggets can disappear in the buried tunnels of blog archives.
For instance, this would be my pick from Managing with Aloha Online, as I force myself to choose ‘just one’ too so I may empathize with the difficulty! (Talking Story’s Best of 2006 will be presented with Ho‘omaha on Monday.)
It was especially hard to choose this one, for 2006 was a year I more than quadrupled the articles I had written for www.managingwithaloha.com, primarily due to my experimental online coaching program, MWA Jumpstart. Yet while I am very proud of my first foray into systematic online coaching, this article was not one within the Jumpstart program.
It IS one I do hope we talk about more, for it was influenced by the alarming trends I see emerging in our workforce demographics. Two books in particular contributed to it this year, for I have studied them both with thoroughness and near obsession: Thomas Friedman’s The World is Flat (the oh no! we need to wake up part) and Dennis Bakke’s Joy At Work (the we can fix this, hopeful part).
A big thank you to Anita Campbell for the sole trackback sent to me for it;
On the Lessening of the American Work Ethic
Which in turn introduced me to Dawn Rivers Baker, who added;
Provoked thoughts on work in America. Mahalo Dawn for adding to the discussion!
Call them renegade citizen publishers if you wish to (the rebel in me kinda likes that), I believe that bloggers have important things to say, and I have the highest degree of respect for the thoughtful writing of these authors within our Ho‘ohana Community. I am sure you will agree.
My short excerpts simply give you a preview; Click to each blog for both the complete posting (remember how rich the comments can be!) and for the full blog’s design and archives —treat yourself to the full experience!
Grab pen and paper, or open a new Word doc for notes as you read these gems. Trust me, you will want to be prepared. Shall we begin?
From Mike Sansone at ConverStations:
“Last fall, I created a “To Cause” list. Mine is a short list of three items that act as a compass in my daily doings:
- Turn each frown upside down.
- Introduce one stranger to another.
- Help someone accelerate their success.”
From David Zinger at Zinger On Strength-Based Leadership:
“The second practice in Erich Fromm’s The Art of Loving is concentration. I am drawn to the focused archer on the cover of Lisa Haneberg’s new book, Focus Like A Laser Beam.
The archer has so much concentration that she has become one with the target. The cover of the book reminded me of Eugene Herrigel’s 1953 classic on Zen and the Art of Archery.
To lead is to lose sight of oneself as we unite with our people and our target.
To develop concentration Fromm maintained that a leader needs to be comfortable being alone without distractions.”
From Daniel Oestreich at Unfolding Leadership:
“Capability, meaning the skills, intelligence, spirit, and desire — the full mental and emotional potentials to lead. For some of us, this word, capability, is a tough one. It means “equal to the task.” I know a number of people, clients and colleagues, who struggle with interior “voices” that tell them they are not ready to lead and may never be. For these folks, “capability” has come to mean “adequacy,” and is attended by feelings of frustration and self-criticism, sometimes depression. Actually, my sense is that the best leaders, not the worst ones, are closer to these feelings, precisely because they value leadership so much and are not blind to its requirements. There certainly have been times in my own life when I’ve known these feelings, too, and wondered about my own capacities.”
From George Ambler at The Practice of Leadership:
“What do we mean, when we describe leadership as an art? How does the idea of leader as artist affect the way we think about, and practice leadership? When pondering on the idea of leader as artist and considering the parallel between an artist and the practice of leadership, provides some useful insights on leadership.”
From Verna Wilder at Out of the Cube:
“Do you ever wonder who our philosophers are today? Do we have any? Who is commenting on life and our culture in a way that will last? We have political pundits, but I wouldn’t call them philosophers. And we have spiritual leaders like the Dalai Lama, who is more a philosopher than, say, Billy Graham.”
From EM Sky at Straight From The Barrell:
“When it comes to management, “motivating people” is a popular topic. Managers often talk about implementing various reward systems and motivational techniques, but for me, human motivation is a lot simpler than all that.
I don’t think managers should approach people by trying to “motivate” them. Instead, I think we should be trying to engage them.”
From Easton Ellsworth at Business Blogwire:
“For the most part, yes. But there are glaring problems with many of the corporate blogs and company CEO blogs that are most highly ranked in Technorati. There should be a group of people that regularly dredges that field for weeds, pests and broken glass. I’ve done some initial poking around and I hope you’ll fact-check me.”
From Dan Ward at Dan Ward’s Blog:
“I was flipping through a copy of Dale Carnegie’s How To Win Friends And Influence People the other day. Not just because it’s an interesting book, although it is. In all honesty, I was looking for a way to keep my latest project from being deep-sixed.
Somewhat to my surprise, I actually found what I was looking for, in chapter 1 of Part 3.”
From Arnie Herz at Legal Sanity:
“I have given much thought to the issue of “fit” in creating robust employees. What do employees really need to feel filled, motivated and passionate in their work? When both employers and employees take time to ascertain real needs and both work towards meeting those needs, everyone benefits. This to me is the key leadership skill.”
From Blaine Collins at Stronger Teams Blog:
“In communicating the need for change, managers and team leaders should avoid dictating the specific changes. Team members will be more willing to buy-in and effectively implement changes that have been developed within the team. Teams that created the original plans are well-equipped for determining what alterations will meet the new requirements.”
From Pete Aldin at Great Circle:
“My wife Janine was making a great point the other day. In management herself, she was describing how – as a manager – it’s easy to make the demand that other workers comply with your own pet hates. In other words, those pet hates of the manager begin to take the form of regulations in the workplace.”
From Steve Vaught at Own Your Brand!:
“Of the five forces of brand ownership, Truthfulness is the one causing the most internal damage to organizations. The inability to tell the truth to each other results in budgets too low to get anything done, unrealistic sales goals, work-arounds, and disengaged workforces. Sound familiar?”
From Mike Wagner at Own Your Brand!:
“I was 8 years old and I wanted some money of my very own. Since an allowance was not a parenting technique my depression era mother and father practiced, I was about to go into business for the first time.
I didn’t want to sell lemonade like all the other kids. The hours seemed long, you sat in the hot sun, and you were dependent on drive-by business. So I looked for a unique product offering.”
From Tim Draayer at Live Your Best Life:
“I used to have a severe case of analysis paralysis. Spending so much time talking, thinking and reading about the things I wanted or wanted to be. I wanted to know all the details. I wanted to be the best. Most of all I wanted it to work. But it didn’t because I was continually stuck in the wrong mindset.”
From Yvonne DiVita at Lip-Sticking:
“I’m not sure you can learn to be a CEO. You can earn an MBA and go on to become a CEO, but…it doesn’t prepare you for the life choices you’ll have to make. And, no amount of schooling can really prepare you for dealing with clients, customers, vendors, family, etc. etc. People being unpredictable, and all. Instead, it helps to figure out what your “personal core purpose” is…to give you some solid ground to stand on.”
From Tony D. Clark at Success From the Nest:
“I’ve work with, talked to, and helped a lot of home-based business owners over the years. Every one that was successful had these core ingredients. Some would include others, but these four where common to all of them. On the other hand, almost all of the folks who came to me after having a bad go of it with a business were missing one or more of them. If you’ve heard it before, that’s great – and not surprising. A common theme among coaches, personal development gurus, motivational speakers, success writers, and entrepreneurs is not reinventing the wheel. Take the same steps others have to reach success, throw in your own special views and skills, and you end up with your own success – on your own terms.”
“I had a wonderful conversation recently with Ronni Bennett of Time Goes By. The conversation kept on task but moved around and wow; did the time just fly by…
The importance of respect for the individual and for appropriate working conditions comes from the top. The leader needs to set the standard. The environment needs to be functional or it will be painful to get up to go to work. The roles and responsibilities need to be defined and followed through. Deadlines honored. Commitments kept. Do something. Lend the helping hand.”
From Lee Iwan at Accumulated Experience:
“Here is a simple but powerful rule – always give people more that what they expect to get.” – Nelson Boswell
“What defines an exceptional leader, a great manager, a super business, or remarkable experience? Something extra.
Incorporating something extra in our actions, results and as a business philosophy can be incredibly powerful.”
From Phil Gerbyshak at Make It Great!:
“I like to think of myself as a courageous person. I take risks, do things others don’t do, and generally enjoy being first to try new restaurants, new foods, new technology, new places, new directions to work.
This week, I read a quote that gave me pause, and I realized I need to do a better job letting go and forgiving.”
From Kirsten Harrell at Think Positive! Blog:
“Sometimes in life we feel stuck. We may have a goal, but are unsure of the steps to take to get there. We can’t see a clear path. I am sure you have felt this way at some point in time. I know I sure have. What I do when I feel this way is to focus on one-step at a time. I may not be able to see the entire path, but if I keep putting one foot in front of the other and take each step that I feel led to take I will keep moving toward my goal.
This idea became crystal clear to me one day several years ago when I was rock climbing.”
From Jason Womack at Working Out…While You’re Out Working:
“Sure, we could focus in on e-mail as a “thing that gets in the way.” What the value be, however, in looking at e-mail as “just another workout!” Something to create a discipline for/about, and move on from it.
Imagine a world where in the same conversation people would say with pride:
“I worked out 3 times this week,” and
“I emptied my e-mail in-box 5 times this week.”
From Rebecca Thomas at CareerNiche:
“Something I’ve always been talented at (and perhaps why I have often found myself coaching individuals through career changes) is recognizing what someone else is good at, and then pushing them in the direction they want to go. Often, I’ve helped someone see a talent they had that they never realized was there.
I use this talent to my advantage as a teacher, a manager, and a volunteer coordinator.”
From Dwayne Melancon at Genuine Curiosity:
“”We live in an atmosphere of shame. We are ashamed of everything that is real about us; ashamed of ourselves, of our relatives, of our incomes, of our accents, of our opinion, of our experience, just as we are ashamed of our naked skins.”
— George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman (Act I)”
From Tim Milburn at studentl.inc:
“There’s nothing like writing with a newly sharpened pencil. It has a nice fine point, plenty of lead to work with, and what you write is very legible.
If you happen to go too long without sharpening your pencil, the lead gets dull, wide, and soon, you’re rubbing wood on your paper.
So what do you do? In order to sharpen your pencil, you need to cut away the wood to expose the lead. Then you need to cut the lead in order to get it to a point. The pencil works best at it’s sharpest.
There’s also a trick to sharpening properly. Not everyone can do it correctly. Often people end up with broken leads and broken pencils.
Let’s move to the application…”
From Dave Rothacker at Rothacker Reviews:
“I bought and read Leading the Revolution by Gary Hamel in 2002. If the Cluetrain Manifesto started kindling the fires of “there is a possibility of changing business as usual,” this book threw flame throwers on it. Leading the Revolution was written for people who want to make a difference in their world and organizations and to show them how to do it.”
From Greg Balanko-Dickson at Business Performance Coaching:
“I think business success is a lot like playing sports. Anyone who has been successful in sports or business has worked hard for it. They paid a price — time, energy and money. Oh, and failure.
Every business person dreams of winning big or cashing out someday! The path to business success is quite simple — it just takes a lot of hard work. Here are the ingredients I think make up business success.”
Mahalo nui loa to all our contributors this year. You have my deepest appreciation and warmest aloha.