You know what I think about drug addiction? Drug addiction is a devastating illness that wrecks lives and families, but unless the issue touches us personally we don’t see it, do we? It doesn’t really affect us, right? Wrong. Almost 15 million Americans suffer from addiction and 11 million of them are gainfully employed–they work for us. And we may never know it because they’re afraid. Afraid of losing their jobs, their families, of being stereotyped. So they hide their addiction and keep working. And it costs American businesses billions dollars a year in lost productivity, absenteeism, workplace injuries, and turnover. In a zero tolerance world, can we have empathy and accountability for those suffering from drug addiction or are the two antithetical?
You know what I think about the hiring process? If you do a Google search for “how to hire the right people” you’ll find a plethora of posts on leadership qualities and attributes, but there’s not a lot of process-oriented information. There’s a lot of advice for job candidates, but if you’re a hiring authority, well, we just never really got a lot of training, did we? During the course of my career, I’ve hired hundreds of people, and for various level roles, entry-level, mid-level managers, and professionals. I’m certainly no expert, and although I didn’t always get it right, more often than not, especially at this point in my career, I do get it right. So, today, I’d like to share with you my process for hiring the right person. I’ll explain each step in the process, and provide real-life example of that step in action. Although, there’s really no way to eliminate all risk when hiring, these five steps will help you mitigate the risk.
From time-to-time, you’ll find me reminiscing about my days in the Air Force. This is one of those times. I can remember working as a young Airman in an Air Force hospital when the announcement came down that the Health Services Inspection would occur within the next month. The Health Services Inspection or HSI is a medical compliance inspection conducted jointly by the AF Inspector General and the Joint Commission. Anyway, for myself and my follow airmen, the announcement meant more work and a scramble to get programs updated to meet compliance standards. It was also the only time in my 24-year Air Force career that I had to clean baseboards. So, what does this have to do with servant leaders? Listen-in to find out…
You know what I think about personal growth? In the business world today, the words “mentor” and “coach” are very common, and they’re often used interchangeably. Although both are extremely valuable resources, in reality, they couldn’t be more different, there is a distinction between the two that make them as different as night and day. A mentor is an advisor, someone who is successful in his role, and readily shares his knowledge or expertise with others, but he doesn’t have to really know the mentee to be effective. Coaches, on the other hand, understand their clients intimately, they usually hold a certification, and are strong process managers. They’re prescriptive and proactive, actively participating in strategy development with their clients to achieve specific goals. Essentially, where the mentor is a generalist, the coach is a specialist.
You know what I think about project management? Historically speaking, project management was around long before it was known as “project management”. Although we don’t know exactly how the pyramids of Egypt were constructed, we do know the Pharaoh had managers overseeing their construction. It wasn’t until the early 20th century that we started to explore Project Management as a formal scientific process. Since then it’s evolved into a field of study and a career path. And it’s still evolving. In this podcast, I’m pleased to share an interview with Paul Gallagher, who has applied the basic tenets of project management, namely managing resources, maintaining schedules, and coordinating different activities and tasks, into a framework for life. He calls it “The Amazing Me Project”.
You know what I think about conflict? People don’t stop being people at work. And because people are people conflict is inevitable. Conflict is the natural result of human interaction that begins when one member of the organization believes his or her goals, values, needs, or attitudes are incompatible with those of other members of the organization. Conflict can arise within a member, between two members, or between groups of the organization. Traditionally, conflict was viewed as a detriment to the organization, it was something that should be resolved quickly or avoided all together, but if properly managed, conflict can drive positive change and it can raise the organization to the next level.
You know what I think about Momentum? Mark Twain once said “If it’s your job to eat a frog, it’s best to do it first thing in the morning. And if it’s your job to eat two frogs, it’s best to eat the biggest one first.” The frog in this quote represents the one thing you have on your to-do list that you have absolutely no motivation to do. The biggest frog would be the most important of two undesirable tasks. If you don’t eat them right away, you’re likely to put-off doing them the rest of the day, and guaranteed they’ll be a distraction until you get it done and will impede your momentum.
You know what I think about legacy computer systems? Legacy systems are always on the chopping block because there is a seemingly never-ending cascade of new technology designed to make business more profitable and our lives easier. Moore’s Law would suggest that IT used to build systems today is superior to yesterday’s technology. However, new is not always better. Certainly, today’s IT is smaller and faster, but that doesn’t necessarily make it superior to the technology used in legacy systems. In fact, implementing new IT systems carry inherent risks that may outweigh the drawbacks of modifying or converting existing systems.