I'm not sure about you but I love the medicine commercials now. With all of the regulatory requirements placed on the pharmaceutical industry, 75% of those commercials are spent informing the potential consumer of all of the side-effects that could happen as a result of taking the medicine. Everything from blood in your urine to constipation to dry mouth or mood swings. I find myself being more intrigued with the side effects and forgetting what the medication is actually supposed to treat! So, in honor of that tradition, let's assume Busiocrityis a virus.... indulge me for a bit.
Busiocrity, a virus that is plaguing offices internationally. Common symptoms:
Sound familiar? If so, you might be suffering from this common virus. Constant emails and meetings that produce no results are becoming an epidemic in today's workplace. As humans, we have evolved from spending our days toiling the land or chasing our food to toiling in meetings and chasing productivity. What's worse is that there seems to be no end in sight for this plague. There are, however, some individuals who have escaped this Zombie virus to rise above the mess. What do they do? Let's take a look:
People ask my opinion on why recruiters should use Google Plus. To me, Google Plus is what LinkedIn is trying so desperately to be but coming up short. Sure, you have the ability to post to groups, message people and other basic options, but unlike LinkedIn, Google Plus makes you a driver and not just a navigator. How? Circles, The GOLDEN Ticket
Solution 1- Direct Your Content
As a recruiter, I can set up different circles based on my efforts-projects of sorts. So if I have four jobs I'm working on, I can set up four different circles of potential candidates, influencers, or groups that would fit what I am looking for. This is perhaps one of the best reasons to use the platform because when I post a status update, I can specify which group my information targets. So if I am talking about a need for a Social Media Engineer, I can only target those in my Social Media group that I designed.
Solution 2- Monitor the Crowd
I get picked on a lot by fellow professionals and family alike asking me questions like:
Typically, these comments come from people who also ask me to assess the value of Social Media and ask for business tips so I don't take the questions personally. It does bring up a great question though, how do you remain engaged in social media without being obsessed with it?
I have a full time job, I am finishing my Masters, have three active kids, and am on more projects than I can remember. Being a self-proclaimed nerd, I typically read at night as a way to decompress my mind and find new ideas. Personally, I use the PULSE app to aggregate all of the various blogs and news sources I like to follow so I can go to one place and scan for the things that jump out at me. What many people don't know is that I will often schedule my content two or three days out on my various networks, sharing what I've read or sparking a conversation. This takes all of three or four clicks and using a platform like HootSuite to manage all of my platforms (except Google +).
(This is not to be interpreted as a political post.)
Is it just me or is there a lack of leadership everywhere you look now? We have CEOs that seem to be caught unaware by dealings within their firms, a legislative branch that enjoys arguing more than progress, and a president that only seems to know about the good things that happen in his administration. Now I get that the larger the organization, the harder it is for a leader to know everything that is going on which leads me to a deeper question. Are the leaders failing or is their team failing them?
Some of the most successful leaders have surrounded themselves with a group of unbiased, unfiltered advisers. Lincoln is perhaps one of the best examples. His cabinet included all of his major rivals for the Republican nomination including Seward, Chase, Cameron and Bates. Most of these guys were promised seats at the table as part of the negotiation to get Lincoln elected, but all of them opposed the others being selected. One could only imagine the types of debates that took place behind closed doors among that crew of dominates, but history records one voice that has resounded throughout time: Lincoln.
The issue we are seeing is the glamorizing of leaders beyond their rank. The belief that one is only as good as their team is stripped from the media's depiction of these larger than life leaders almost to a detriment. Truthfully, successful teams make successful and dynamic leaders. Sure, leaders can inspire and motivate but they do not handle the day to day execution of items and must rely on their team to provide them with honest feedback.
Google+ also shared new user metrics, confirming that the site has 540 million active users if you count log-ins through Gmail and 300 million monthly active users in the stream (users who visit the website or app directly). Users also upload 1.5 billion photos per week, said Google VP Vic.
Personally, I like this site more than Facebook for one major reason: I can control my feed and my audience. Google Circles allows those of us that recruit, market, and pontificate direct our message to the appropriate audience. Unlike its competitors, Google Plus let's you be more of a sharp shooter with your message versus looking like that annoying guy on the corner yelling on the street corner to whomever will listen.
In addition to this great feature, you can use its awesome photo editor. Now this editor I'd pretty wicked to say the least. It touches up your blemishes and also allows you to cut those aggravating photo bombers with ease. If you're like me, you're always using your phone to take pictures of the kids or the cities you visit but struggle to remember how you filed it. Well, Google takes care of that add well with auto indexing.
Bottom line: if you're not using this platform you're missing out on some great add ons. Next we will explore how the platform helps your rankings.
No, the picture is not of me, but it could be. I am not known for my patience in any capacity, most notably on the road. Being the driver I am, I blow a gasket when I get behind an idiot driver who is in the center lane, not going the speed limit or even attempting to keep up with traffic. Although I do not have the scientific proof, I would surmise 78% of most wrecks on major highways are caused by idiots who just do not want to get with the program. The remaining 22% are caused by the other idiots who rubberneck to gaze upon wrecks not even on their side of the highway. (Just a tip for this 22%, watch the news that night!)
In a recent bout with road rage, I began thinking how similiar it is on a team when one person is just not "on the bus" as stated in the great book: Good to Great. Just imagine, everyone is moving at a rapid pace toward the destination, you the fearless leader have set. There is excitement, thrill, progress, then there you spot it. The lone idiot in the middle lane going 20 miles under the speed suggestion, I mean limit, you set. And as you sit there and silently in your mind throw your hands up, pull your hair, and throw objects in your office it happens... the wreck.
In the last post, "Do the team a favor-Get Rid of the Loser", we talked about the effect one cancer cell has on your team. Now that we have identified the who, let's deal with the strategy.
So, back to the interstate. There I am, stuck behind this moron of a driver as minivans pass me at what seems to be mach speed on the interstate. It is in this moment (what seemed like an eternity), that I had this revelation. The same thing was I was telling the moron in front of me is most often what needs to be said to the cancer cells in a team. Go Faster (or up is more approriate), Get over (find a better suited job in the company), or Get Out (if you need an explanation to this one, you might be the moron in front of me).
“Simplicity is the ultimate form of sophistication.”Leonardo Da Vinci
This year I have decided I am going to embrace simplicity. Last year is already a blur and I plan on this year being more being more of a “move the needle” kind of year. In an effort to find the answer of how, I began researching ways to simplify life and discovered this wonderful quote by Da Vinci.
If you stop and think about it, what are the items that we consider “sophisticated” today? I immediately think of items like the iPhone or Android devices, tablets, and other electronic devices. If these are used correctly, it can make life less complicated and more organized. The question is, how? Which apps are best? Here are a few of my favorites right now:
In my professional career, I have learned the higher you go in an organization, the more meetings you are required to attend. Whether it be team meetings, meetings about meetings, meetings to prepare for upcoming meetings, or marathon conference calls, the map of corporate america is littered with meetings.
Although effective and efficiently run meetings can be a great value to any organization, the percentage of effective versus ineffective meetings is despairing. Most meetings consist of agendas, warring parties vying for power or influence, or misguided attempts to justify someone's salary. So how are these meetings like NASCAR?
Not bashing this... sport, but for the life of me, I have yet to understand the thrill of NASCAR. Simply put, you have a number of cars driving around a circle at max speeds. I agree there is a lot of strategy involved, but they are still driving around a circle. No progress made.
Another issue I have had with the race is the length. Why not race only a couple of cars for say 10 laps, determine the winner and have something similar to a tournament style system determine the fastest car? In my humble opinion, this would make the races a lot more entertaining. The long, 200 laps of constant circling leaves anyone waiting for the inevitable, and sometimes exciting crash that breaks up the droning, circular marathon.
So back to my point, how are most meetings and NASCAR similiar? Here are a couple of similiarites:
So in this series, we are finding some simliarities between NASCAR and most corporate meetings... or at least the ones I have been involved in.
So back to my point, how are most meetings and NASCAR similiar? In case you forgot Point 1:
1. Most meetings are like the track of most NASCAR races: circular. There is rarely a clear destination, despite the elegant five page agendas. Meetings, like any race, should have a clear destination point or point of resoultion. Laps going around the same points are similiar to the 200 laps of a race. It leaves most involved in the meeting waiting and (if like me) wishing for the crash to break up the circular motion around the same topics.
2. Memorable Meetings are judged by the crash. I remember when I was younger listening to my grandfather talk about the races. The topic of "the crash" always came up and seemed to be the more interesting portion of conversation. Think over the last ten meetings you have attended in the corporate world. Can you remember one major event of any of them? Any major progress made in any of the last ten? Now scan over the last 100 meetings. I bet the meetings where there was a "crash" are the ones coming quickest to the forefront of your mind right?
You don't have to admit it, I will though. I tend to remember either the meetings where I was involved in a "crash" with someone else or there was a major "crash" at the meeting where I was the spectator. The fact remains, if a meeting is not properly planned and kept to a minimum, the crash, as in most in NASCAR races, will be inevitable.
I am not sure what has happened to good customer service these days. If I had a dollar for every time I have been in an establishment and either been completely ignored, talked over, or just treated rudely, I would not have to work at all. What has happened? Well, I have a theory, entitlement.
There is a funny skit series called "Bonquiqui" which seems to depict the average level of service I get from most establishments I frequent. In this skit, the main character seems put out by just about everyone and everything associated with her job. Along with this general disgust for work, she has the worst vocabulary and presence there is. The part of most skits I find ironic is the line manager who just can't seem to change the situation, often just giving in and letting the Bonquiqui have her way. There is part of the problem. But first, entitlement:
An entitlement is a guarantee of access to benefits based on established rights or by legislation. A "right" is itself an entitlement associated with a moral or social principle, such that an "entitlement" is a provision made in accordance with legal framework of a society. Typically, entitlements are laws based on concepts of principle ("rights") which are themselves based in concepts of social equality or enfranchisement.
So how does entitlement foster poor customer service? Well, if you think about it, most people have it in their mind that a job is a right they deserve just because they are alive. Now, before going any further, I applaud those who actually get a job rather than waiting someone else to support them. With this said, there seems to be a genuine disregard for wanting to do something the right way, the first time, to the best of one's ability. What has happened to the work ethic today?
So being the driver minded guy that I am, I thought I would use this time to not complain about the consistent poor customer service I tend to attract, but rather, encourage those of you who are leaders in your organization to inspect what you expect. Empower your line managers to take action for your clients and against those in the organization who do not treat your clients with respect and dignity.