A short blog today – there is far too much on for me to spend too much time here.
I have, over the years, tried out a load of different types of planner and diary. In between writing a novel or two, you understand.
Many years ago, I was determined to keep a diary so I would be able to look back in my white-haired dotage and peer with vague stirrings of memory at my writing and recall ancient emotions. I bought a five year journal, and almost kept up with it for one year.
The trouble is, I’ve never been disciplined enough to keep scribbling about my own life. It just doesn’t work like that for me.
However, when I was in business, I was introduced to a number of new systems to make life easier.
Yes, I started out with a rubbish series of annual diaries (each pathetically…
In my last post I wrote about the damage done by micromanaging. I could write for hours and hours on this scourge to all things productive. It limits the growth of every type of organization by limiting the growth of it’s people. It kills moral, it kills productivity, it kills profitability and eventually, it kills the organization.
But there is a way to stop micromanaging in it’s tracks. It’s called delegating!
Now as all micromanages will tell you, delegating doesn’t work. They say that if you want a job done right then you must do it yourself.
To all my micromanaging friends I say this: that’s a bunch of bunk!
If you delegated a task to someone and they failed at the task then it’s likely the failure was caused by YOUR poor delegating skills. As a leader you failed to delegate properly and further convinced yourself that you MUST…
I was not a Boyscout. After my time as a Cub Scout, (scouting for younger children) I dropped out. On the final Cub Scout camp out, a Boy Scout troop set up camp a few hundred yards from our camp. This group frightened me and my buddies. The word “rogue” comes to mind. Screams came from those hung by their ankles in trees, or bound in their sleeping bags as bigger kids and leaders stood around laughing. They were not the model Boy Scout troop by any means. Remember the “evil” karate school from the movie Karate Kid? That’s what I’m talking about. (I’m sure this group was the exception and not the rule, that there are wonderful troops, and my perception was skewed being several feet shorter than the rough-housing teenagers.)
During my long and glorious career as a Cub Scout, I learned about earning rewards and awards. The lure of the shiny pin grabbed me, it drew me in, I thought, I must accomplish the tasks and earn the “bling.” You can think of a similar experience or example I’m sure. If you do the deed, you earn the bling.
I am grown up now, at least according to the calendar, and I know that for those in the working world, the goal goes beyond pins and medals. We think we want to be called “leaders.” Leadership, however, cannot be earned like a badge or a pin. Leadership is different from what we have been told.
Leadership cannot be obtained by completing a single or series of tasks, attending a seminar, taking a class, or reading a series of books. Many are under a great deal of pressure to figure out which tasks and deeds must be completed to reach the goal of being called a leader.
May I make a suggestion? Follow the blog at creativefollowership.com, you will hear things you probably have not heard before. You will learn more about an alternative approach, if you have already been around the block a few times, chasing the “rabbit” of the leadership development industry, cut yourself lose. Try something different, try something that really works.
I am not kidding; the best consultants use mirrors.
I do not mean mirrors as in the old saying about “smoke and mirrors” – I do not actually know what that is, other than I am certain it is about deception (if you look it up, let me know what you find).
What do I mean by consultants using mirrors? I mean the ability to show a company who it is, from a different perspective, and build on what made the organization great to begin with.
Too often, way-too-often, successful brands with decades of sustained growth do something crazy. They bring in outside experts. These experts have little or no knowledge of the corporate culture. They may even have false impressions about the corporate culture. At worst, they lack sincere interest in your organization.
I know it is strange for me to say-seeing how I am an outside consultant-but allow me to explain.
Frequently, the consultant or contractor with the most ideas, the most unusual designs, gets the job. These different ideas are usually different because they are outside the reach of anything from the past. Allow me to interpret that: external advisers are predisposed to come up with developments out of alignment with the enduring corporate history.
The more changes implemented outside the successful corporate culture, the more diluted and transformed the culture becomes. This is how ancient civilizations conquered one another: after the initial invasion they removed (exiled) 50% of the citizens of one nation and brought foreigners from other nations in to take their place. The remaining citizens resist change at first, but eventually they became enamored with “new” ways of doing things.
Outside consultants can behave in the same manner. They can dilute and destroy the foundation of your culture.
Do not get me wrong, I’m not talking about businesses that are on the decline, or those too inflexible to change what they are doing. I’m talking about companies that are successful and want to be even better than they are now.
The best type kind of specialist avoids entirely new and different methods of establishing a brand. Instead, he and she will get to know the company, find out what makes it tick, discover where it origniated and how it arrived where it is. They will hold up a mirror and reveal what the organization is doing right and where the strengths lie; he or she will help the organization to appreciate and understand what made it great and build upon that foundation in new ways.
Anyone can point out deficiencies and provide alternatives, even creative, trendy and blingy ones. It is good money if you can manage to get paid for it. The end product will be detrimental to the organization in the long run. Wise consulting depreciates the flaws by building on success, not turning it upside down.
Times change and the way a company does business needs to change to keep up. Use your consulting budget to hire consultants who can tell companies how to do what they have been doing successfully in a new way, one that sustains and preserves the culture. Do not waste your time and money with the consultants who come in with a bag of shiny tricks they have used and repackages for the last dozen clients.
Be wary of those bearing a whole set of ‘better’ ideas. Look for consultants who will invest time and effort to get to acquainted with your company, your history, your character. Build on what you have done right for years or decades.