The quote from writer, William Gibson, “The future is already here, it’s just not evenly distributed,” always makes me pause. For anyone leading a business and engaging in setting strategy, Gibson’s perspective should be imprinted on your frontal lobe as a blunt reminder of your need to cultivate a discovery-driven culture or risk obsolescence.
The question, "Do I have to be a jerk to get ahead?" is spoken out of frustration. There's no doubt that in sharp-elbowed organizations, noisy, manipulative individuals can be the ones gaining the plum assignments and key promotions. If you want to get ahead, you don't have to mimic their behaviors, but you do have to choose a strategy to compete. Here are some ideas to help you get ahead without compromising your values:
Every year I read Peter Drucker's classic article, "Managing Oneself" as part of my personal-professional career navigation process. His powerful questions and frank commentary on what we need to do in our careers helps me reorient and reset on my priorities and activities. I've added five questions of my own that are relevant in our emerging world.
Multi-person feedback is a tricky issue. Don’t let it trip you up and then stress the people around you. Here are some tips for getting it right:
It takes courage, self-confidence, and a high degree of risk tolerance to challenge conventional wisdom in environments fueled by the relentless pursuit of perfecting the status quo. Here are three behaviors of individuals who think and act differently and succeed:
If you're an executive or top manager staring at a new group you've been assigned to lead and concluding you've got a lineup that looks destined for last place, it's time to take action. Of course, most of those actions involve the person staring back at you in the mirror. Here's a process that will help:
Unless you're in a start-up or small business, it's impossible to have everyone in the firm physically "in-the-room" for strategy sessions. However, using a strategy-as-a-continuous-process approach, it is possible and desirable to involve everyone in the work of strategy from ideation to execution. But first, you've got to re-plumb the trickle-down strategy process approach to something significantly more inclusive.
I’ve long believed learning to lead in the gray-zone inside organizations is a great approach for creating value, standing out, and getting ahead in your career. Here are 10 tips to help you tackle those vexing issues no one owns, by cultivating support and helping others succeed.
Develop a reputation as someone everyone can count on to tackle the big, ugly issues, and watch the doors open. Of course, it pays to have a strategy to avoid the traps while stepping up to solving or fixing the problems others actively avoid. Here are 4 approaches to help:
Anyone who has invested time in renovating an older home understands surprises and conundrums emerge every time a wall or ceiling is breached. There are parallels in the world of management where the twists and turns of the marketplace demand change. Great tradespeople and great managers find a way through wicked problems using creativity and critical thinking. Here are seven lessons I was reminded of during a recent renovation project.