Show Them, Grow Them by Jim Johnson


Do you have a new manager to train? Did they get promoted and then left to figure things out for themselves? I hope not.

Here’s a simple process to work through with them. This will develop your new managers into effective leaders and decision-makers:

1. You do, they observe – you discuss together

For a new activity (i.e. report pulling/analyzing, writing reviews, etc.), it is important that you set the standard. For the major “firsts”, you need to show your new manager how to do it. Explain your expectations. Show them how to find and analyze reports that they will need to manage from. Are they taking notes? They should. Tell them that this is what they will be doing…without you.

Let them ask questions. Ask them questions. Make sure you know what they know.

2. You do together – you discuss together

Now work on a projects, reports, etc. together. Don’t hog the work. Give them the reins and you’ll quickly learn what they now know and what they still need help with. This part of the process should have plenty of dialogue. Listen, watch, ask, involve, challenge, encourage.

3. They do, you observe – you discuss together

It’s time for them to fly solo – under your watchful eye. It’s time for them to prove that they understand and can demonstrate what they’ve learned. Do they understand the story behind the numbers? This will answer that question. Again, resist the urge to butt in. If they fail, they’ll learn. Most likely, they will not make a mistake that cannot be fixed. You should be making notes of your observations so your coaching sessions will have more meaning.

4. They do

This new manager will have more confidence and courage as they stretch their wings. Observe from a distance. Again, mistakes will be made. That’s ok. Don’t “rescue” them. The learning continues.

When you stepped into your first leadership role, hopefully you were not on your own. If you were, change that legacy and create a new one. If you were mentored early on, pass that on to this new leader. They will appreciate it and you will be developing a new leader who will develop and grow an effective team which will lead to your department’s and company’s success.

From Abject Poverty To CEO Of A World-Class Startup by John Greathouse


A great story in leadership. Leadership is not a matter of your past. It’s what you plan to do in your future that will determine what you do in your present.

Read this great story here:

Focus Means Sometimes Having to Say “NO” by Jim Johnson


When a leader is focused, things get done. When things get done, others take notice. When others take notice, the leader (many times) gets presented with more things to do.

WARNING: your focus could be in great peril!

You know your goals. You’re on your way to producing great results. You have your team focused on the right things.

Then someone from another department comes to you and says, “Hey, I’m leading a project. You are recognized as someone who gets things done. Your team is doing great. I would love to have your expertise on my project team. Would be willing to join this team to insure its success?”

Ego inflates. Common sense begins to fog over. WAIT!

There is a time and a place for everything. Is this project commitment the right time for you? Think about these things:

* Will this project help move the company forward or not? If not, say no.
* Is your involvement in the project that critical? If not, say no.
* Is the project leader desperate to build a project team? If so, say no.
* If you get involved, can you delegate some of your other tasks to others on your team? If so, say yes.
* Who will “own” this project initiative once the project is done and something new is implemented? If it’s you or your team, you should get someone on that project.

Saying “no” is not the end of the world or your career. If you say “no”, be sure to give a professional, clear explanation as to why you are not going to be involved.

Sometimes, being focused means you have to say “no”.

Love? Magic? Crush? thoughts from Seth Godin


A decade ago, I was walking through Union Square in New York. The farmer’s market was on, and the place was jammed with early adopters. Fortunately, I was wearing a Google shirt, a rarity at the time, a gift from a gig I had done for them.

Across the way, a woman shouted, “Google! Do you work for Google? I love Google! Google is my best friend…” as she waltzed through the crowd toward me.

How many brands get a reaction like that?

Let me posit for a moment that most people aren’t capable of loving a brand, not if we define love as a timeless, permanent state of emotion, connection and devotion. I do think, though, that people have crushes on brands all the time. And a crush can get a brand really far.

The first element of a crush is magic. When a product or service does something so unexpected, so inexplicable that we are in awe of what just happened, it feels magical. It might be the mystery of how a 1969 air-cooled Porsche made someone feel when being driven for the first (or hundredth) time. Or, more recently, it might be the surge that comes from connections found, the sort that Facebook used to deliver to new users all the time.

Read the rest here:

Marketing driven or Market driven? by Seth Godin


Even if you’re not in a marketing department, you should understand more about marketing. Spend time with folks there. Ask a lot of questions. Listen. Learn.

Looking to learn a little bout marketing? Here’s a great article from Seth Godin.

Marketing driven or Market driven?
A marketing-driven organization is run by the Marketing department. It revolves around what marketers do.

A market-driven organization is driven by what the market wants, regardless of what the marketing department feels like doing.

(And of course, there are organizations driven by Sales, by Shareholder Relations and by Operations and Tech too. Even a few that seem to be run by the Employee-happiness Department. Not many, though. Even in these organizations, the option remains: you can be market driven instead. The first step is to choose your market…)

Read the rest here:

10 Things Extraordinary Bosses Give Employees by Jeff Haden


Check this out:
10 Things Extraordinary Bosses Give Employees

5 Habits of Highly Effective Communicators by Bella Beth Cooper


Have you ever walked away from talking with someone that you’ve just met and thought to yourself “Wow, this was one of the best conversations I’ve ever had!”? I’ve recently had one of those and at first I quite selfishly concluded “Wow, I’m a great communicator”. But then I realized, hang on a second, I think this other person was the reason I felt so good about this talk, how did he do that?

I started to think about a few of the things this person did, that made me feel so comfortable and open to speak with him. In usual Buffer blog manner, I thought of finding some real science to back up some of the simple habits this newly found friend had so ingrained when talking with me.

So what I’ve come up with are 5 of the most effective habits famous communicators have used for hundreds of years. Recently some new science studies have backed up their claims and I feel it makes for a very compelling case to overhaul my own communication efforts and maybe it’s some inspiration for you too!

Let’s dig in:

1. They listen first – then focus on being Active and Constructive
The word conversation generally brings to mind talking—at least for me. However, if you’ve ever seen two people trying to talk to each other at the same time, you’ll know that listening is just as important. In fact, listening is half of a successful conversation—you take turns to talk, and everyone feels heard. This is great communication.

Read the rest here:

If I were the CEO…by Jim Johnson


So you’ve been in your leadership role for a while now. You think you’re ready for the next step. You even dream about your next promotion. You find yourself sometimes thinking, “Why did that decision get made? I would do things differently.”

Here’s a challenge – put yourself in the TOP role at your company. What would YOU do if you were the CEO? Yeah, dream a little! Actually, take out a piece of paper and start jotting down notes what you would do if you were in charge. Take 5 minutes right now and bullet point some thoughts down.

(I’ll wait….)

Let me ask some questions now that you’ve made some initial “decisions”:

* How would your dream decisions move your company forward?
* How does what you wrote down positively impact the bottom line?
* How much of what you wrote was a personal commentary on your boss or your boss’s boss?
* How does what you wrote align with your company’s mission?
* How would you convince other leaders to follow you and your vision?
* How would you communicate your vision to the Board of Directors and/or shareholders?

I’ve heard the lunch conversations. I’ve been involved in a few myself over the years. A lot of employees SAY they know what THEY would do if they were in charge. But when truly faced with that responsibility, it becomes far more daunting, doesn’t it? Why?

– We typically see life and work through our own experiences. There’s nothing wrong with that. It’s just that we haven’t had the experiences, training, or exposure necessary. What we learn and apply at work is critical to demonstrate that we are ready for the next step.

– We see other people work and think it’s easy. The good ones make it look easy (i.e. Michael Jordan). But when faced with new responsibilities, that work becomes a bit more scary. It takes hard work to be an effective CEO. It takes a lot of hard work to get to that point in your career.

– CEO’s have to work well with others. They are surrounded by leaders of leaders. Many senior manager meetings are ego-fests. Those can be treacherous waters to navigate. Effective CEO’s have to know when to step in, when to keep quiet, when to allow a decision to be discovered by another, and when to say, “this is the direction we’re going.”

But I still think this little exercise is worth the time. It will show you how much you truly understand about your company, how it makes money, how it spends money, and how your customer-base likes doing business with you. You may expose some of your own weaknesses – and that’s very valuable!

And hopefully along the way, you’ll gain a better appreciation of your CEO and what she/he faces on a daily basis. Determine you will be a team member who will make their job just a bit easier.

Own your results. Own your attitude. Own your commitment. Start by being the CEO of YOU.



Two baseball legends–Rogers Hornsby and Ted Williams–were talking to each other. The former said to the latter: The single most important thing for a hitter was to get a good ball to hit.

This is something, as Farnam Street blogger Shane Parrish observes, Williams internalized: He knew that swinging at the best balls–those most in his range as a hitter–would help him to bat .400, while reaching for the bad ones could put him down .230.

“Patience,” Parrish notes, “would make the difference between a trip to the hall of fame and a ticket to the minors.”

What Williams exercised is a point we like to keep in mind: To do our best work, we need to make decisions about the way we make decisions. This comes out in the way we structure our mornings: If we’re fidgeting about what to eat for breakfast, we’re spending mental energy we won’t get back until tomorrow; if we take every single meeting, then we won’t get our value-creating work done. Similarly, we need to have a meta-awareness of what decisions we can decide on well–or not.

What you know that you know well is your strike zone. That’s the area, Parrish details, where you have a good shot at understanding the relevant variables and likely outcomes of a decision. It’s the place where you can best rely on your intuition: Research has shown that experts make sound immediate judgments if the decision is in their wheelhouse, while novices’ hunches will be, as you may imagine, off base.

So what we want to do, then, is be like Ted Williams: to know the spaces in which we do our best hitting and have the patience to wait for them. Parrish quotes the ever-sagely Warren Buffett, who puts it more beautifully than we can hope to:

Read the rest here: