The June 9, 2008 issue of First For Women magazine printed an article on a topic that is a hot spot for many people in business. The title is “Meeting madness! Yes, it is possible to survive, even thrive, during those mind-numbing, time-sucking office gatherings”. I especially liked the idea that attendees attitude and behavior can be the real problem. If you expect to be bored, you will be. Instead First recommends that you research the topic of the meeting and come up with a few ideas that you can contribute during the discussion. This simple tip will keep you engaged and boost your confidence. Another tip is using an outside facilitator. This person will be responsible for making the meeting more enjoyable while keeping discussions on track and ending the meeting on time. To read more about this approach read my article “Are Your Meetings MINM or JAM?“
The Sloan Work and Family Research Network recently released a policy brief entitled, “Providing Working Families with an Important Resource: Time”. The policy discusses why providing time-resources and family friendly employee policies is a good idea. The brief also covers legislation that has been introduced to give employees more “time” to meet work and family responsibilities. You can find a copy of this policy brief by clicking the link below.
Providing Working Families with an Important Resource: Time
The Families and Work Institute and their “When Work Works” project resulted in an 85 page report “2008 Guide to Bold New Ideas for Making Work Work” that itemizes the practices and trends in companies selected by the Foundation for Workplace Flexibility. Read this report with an eye towards using some of these best practices in your own organization to create healthier and happier employees.
It is often said that “you learn the most from a bad situation then you do a good outcome”. A blogger on Life Hack, Adrian, belies you can learn seven different lessons from a bad boss. His tips center around the power of observation that works to keep you from making the same mistakes. It’s a fascinating post and one sure to get you thinking. If you learned something from a bad boss be sure to tell your story in the comment section of this post.
Gavin Heaton and Drew McLellan created a book “The Age of Conversation”. The book was wildly successful and a squeal is in the works. 275 people contributed to the new book and they are listed on Drew’s website. This is sure to be a good resource for management who think that conversation is something that doesn’t count. You can read more about the upcoming book at the link below.
Every year the Working Mothers Magazine selects the top 100 best companies for working women. These companies are committed to their employees and their families and offer innovative benefits such as flex-time, generous paid maternity leave, technology that allows employees to work from anywhere and leadership programs. All of this contributes to happier and more productive employees who pass this attitude on to customers. You can support these family friendly policies by patronizing the companies on this list.
Steve Roesler from the All Things Workplace blog responded to an invitation from David Zinger to be involved in creating an alphabet soup of employee engagement tips that turned into an e-book 300 Free Employee Engagement Keys.
In the meantime Steve created his own alphabet for employee engagement and it is a fun and fast read. Employee engagement is a critical factor in business success. To read Steve’s alphabet click
Abraham Lincoln still has much to share with us even today on the topic of leadership. We can also view him as a model of perseverance… the man never gave up! Pat Smith of the Management Strategies blog has an excellent post about Abraham Lincoln filled with insight shared by Doris Kearns Goodwin the author of “Team of Rivals: The Genius of Abraham Lincoln”. You can read the entire post by clicking the link below.
LEADERSHIP – Lessons from Lincoln
As my flight lifts off from the flat grazing land of Boise, Idaho, I sink back into my seat with a feeling of grateful exhaustion. The last three days have been spent with at the Annual Multi-District 39 Idaho Lions Conference. Meeting so many people, keynoting the conference, and listening to the accomplishments of this grass-roots organization has been both stimulating and mid-blowing.
How can so few people accomplish so much?
Unlike many gatherings, I haven’t listened to sales figures, business strategies, or human resource issues. Instead, I watched some $39,000 be given in one single sitting for use for Campaign Sight First II (a program to eradicate river blindness), forLeader Dogs, for Habitat for Humanity, for scholarships, for Special Olympics, and for a new exhibit of Afican Lions at the Boise Zoo. I listened to members speak with pride about their individual service projects such as sending school supplies to a school in Iraq, supplying hundreds of eye glasses to the needy, and awarding prizes for elementary school chidren’s essays on what is true patriotism.
This is leadership at its finest: servant leadership. Here’s how they make a difference:
(1) personal commitment to find a need in their community and serve it
(2) matching individual member’s talents with a project at hand
(3) setting stretch goals and developing a plan to achieve it
(4) celebrating everyone’s success– whether it was their individual club (think “department”) or not.
As for ROAR: that means Reach Out, Act, and Respond. Not a bad mantra for every leader.
They also embraced my husband and me as is we had been part of them for a lifetime. Their hospitality and genuine appreciation were extraordinary. What a blessed weekend… and a great reminder of what a difference individual leadership can make.
The stock market gyrates with unpredictable and heartburning results. Icons of solid companies become straw figures before balance sheets. Children are abducted from their front yards and networks of terrorists spiral throughout the world. Religious institutions cast shadows of duplicity while El Nino brings strange fish to the California coasts and out-of-control fires head toward ancient Sequoias.
Tough times. It’s enough to cause all of us to stand like the proverbial “deer in headlights”, mutter “the sky is falling”, or else spring into action. The latter would be fine but it’s often a knee-jerk response based on what we’ve done in the past. Trouble is that the present doesn’t look like the immediate past.
Whether you’re leading a Fortune 100 company, a small department, or an enterprise of one, now is the time to hone your resiliency skills. But first, let’s update the definition of “resilient”. In 1824, Webster defined it as: “the capability of a strained body to recover its size and shape after deformation caused especially by compressive stress.