Reflections on Old Men and McDonald’s …


CoffeeTHE COFFEE AND THE CONVERSATIONS FLOW FREELY …

Every once in a while, a woman or a slightly younger man shows up, but this is almost exclusively an old man’s world.

Men of a certain maturity sit and chat, about the weather, about goings-on in their lives, their children and grandchildren, the state of the world, sometimes about politics, but that is often restricted to the local level or a chorus of people who all see things pretty much the same. 

Every tongue is loose and words flow freely … I wonder if they are this verbose in other situations or at home.  I imagine not …

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Some of the Best People …


Best of LWG 2016JANUARY 2016 EDITION:  THE BEST OF LEAD WITH GIANTS 

A monthly collection of leadership thinking and wisdom from one of the most active leadership groups of which I am aware.

I feel humble that my own modest contribution is included, especially given the quality of my fellow contributors.  

LWG visionIf you want to promote effective and progressive leadership, get to know and connect with these folks … time and energy well spent:)

Better yet, join our group and add your voice.  We’ll be a little closer to our goal and much enriched by your involvement and contributions.

Just click on either image to enter a new world of leadership thinking and development.

Feeling like I’m soaring with the eagles (or maybe striding with the Giants) in the Heartlands ….

John

Image:  LWG website

Go, Team Whoever! …


Teams

I am not a sports person …

However, I heartily approve of one sports-related practice I run into quite often these days.  I do not know the origin of this practice, but am increasingly aware of its present.

One of my daughters calls her family “Team Lange“.   A good friend’s family goes by “Team Gerdes“.   I know many other family units are known as  “Team ______“.  This is usually accompanied by an inordinate amount of “team” spirit within these little family units.

This makes me smile for several reasons.  .I like the image of a group of people united around common goals, especially when they are people about whom I care.  I have also noticed that those who use the “Team Whoever” title seems to work more effectively together as a family.  

I think “Team Whoever” reflects a common understanding that the people are part of something bigger, which provides a subtle bonding.

Here are some things I have noticed informally about  how these family teams work:

Consistent communication occurs within the team, even when that communication is difficult and challenging.

Everyone is in at least tacit agreement with the goals for the team, which are usually clearly stated and reinforced regularly.

Once a team member, always a team member … consistent acceptance and support of and by each person.

A lack of destructive conflict, even when those challenging communications are occurring.   Behavior is discussed, rather than personality.

This is good stuff.  Makes me wish we had created a “Team Smith” mentality a few years ago.   This also seems like a real good practice for any group of people who have to co-exist and carry out things together … if done well and sincerely, as opposed to the “plastic” practices that often go with organizational people development.  

Why do you suppose some groups work together more effectively, beyond a simple title?

Any experiences, good or bad, to share about being part of a “Team Whoever“?

Wishing I could go back and tweak my personal Modern Family years a tad with a simple name change in the Heartland ….

John

Image:  Morguefile.com

Change Is Good …


Change is Good - AdamsOnce upon a time, I was in charge of a corporate-level productivity system.  The goal of this system was to cut our paper and computer file storage, increase the efficiency of our administrative processes and behaviors, and generally make all of us “Lean, Clean, Fighting Machines”, as far as effective work practices were concerned.  

It involved standardizing our daily work processes, filing and handling of information, and adhering to a set of principles that were new or much different from what most of us were doing.   

Well, at least we did throw away a lot of redundant or out-dated stuff:)

Now, standardizing those work practices did not go as well …

The system worked to the extent that the person was willing to act according to the practices which made the organization operate more effectively, which were not always seen as the same things that helped them individually do their jobs easily and reasonably effectively.

For example, some folks insisted on keeping copies of pieces of information, like meeting minutes and reports, that were readily available from those people who were responsible for keeping those pieces of information. 

For this part of the system to work, you needed three things:

1)  The person not keeping the information had to trust that the information would be available to them if they needed that specific information.

2)  The person charged officially with keeping the information had to do so in a way that information could be easily retrieved when needed. 

3)  Both people had to trust each other’s action would be in the best interests of all.

This did not always happen, and so the system would not work effectively in all cases.  Of course, those who dared to trust were often irritated by the actions of those who did not trust, while those who always seek a reason to not comply with organizational directions felt rather vindicated in their own resistance.

I learned some valuable lessons about change and people during this time:

1)   Some people will often resist what they did not create, even when they are encouraged to be part of the change …

2)  Some people will openly and emphatically resist change, simply because they do not like change…

3)  Some people will always see the negative aspects of a change, while ignoring or downplaying the positive aspects …

4)  The most disruptive resistors are not always the loudest or most visible resistors …

5)  Change is not a one-time event, but a long and arduous journey, which some make more quickly than others …

This is one of my earlier experiences using a coaching approach, and not a more traditional directive approach.   Rather than simply tell people to do things the way they were supposed to do them, I chose to help people understand the value of what they were doing andhow what they did or did not do affected others in the system.

I cannot claim that it was always successful, partly because I was still learning the nuances of coaching leadership and partly because I failed to realize that not everyone is coachable in a particular situation.

What are your thoughts about the flow of change?

What have you experienced of people undergoing change?

How has a coaching approach benefited you and when did it not work?

Remembering what I now consider a much simpler time in the Heartland ….

John

Image:  Gratisography.com

Friday The Thirteenth …


LCG One YearEvery so often, I post my thoughts about things around leadership and personal development over on the Lead Change Group blog.

LCG is a jolly group of folks who care about effective and character-based leadership and are willing to work hard toward making positive leadership the rule, rather than the exception.  

Many are noted authors, coaches, consultants, and speakers, while others work quietly from within organizations to make change happen.

The Lead Change Group is a vibrant division of Weaving Influence.

LCG MISSION AND VISION:  

VISION:  The Lead Change Group is a global, virtual community dedicated to instigating a leadership revolution, one leader at a time.

MISSION:  We will encourage, energize and equip one another to apply character-based leadership to leading change – in ourselves, in others, and in our communities. We want to be a resourceful, supportive community sharing and multiplying powerful leadership content.

The Lead Change Group is a powerful and collegial group of professionals who you ought to get to know.

HAPPY TRISKAIDEKOPHOBIA DAY

This time, my post takes advantage of today’s date to share some thoughts about how we do things without conscious consideration.   As leaders and learners, we may not call something we do a superstition, but it fits the definition when we act without thinking carefully:  Here’s an excerpt of one that many follow:

“… Continue to support and use outdated theories about how people think, act, and feel, along with one tool, just because they made sense once upon a time and we like the familiarity.”

If this sparks your interest, click HERE or on the title in red above to read more on the LCG blog website.

While you are on the LCG website, please take some time to sample the delicious diversity of thought and knowledge shared through our daily posts and discussions and learn about the folks who contribute through various levels of engagement.

Shoot, maybe you’ll even join us and share YOUR knowledge and wisdom.  

… I’d like that:).

Feeling thankful for the presence of strong and engaging professional connections throughout my days in the Heartland ….

John