Business Topics

Humor in the Workplace – even when the work is football 0

Humor in the Workplace – even when the work is football

NFL football is a business in the end. Stadiums are built, apparel is licensed and tickets are scalped for the big games. And when a business like the NFL mounts a huge year-ending project, such as the Super Bowl, it is easy for management and staff to take the whole thing very seriously.

As any business undertakes a major product launch or restructuring or adds new locations there is a natural tendency to bear down, to stay focused until the job is done. The extra stress associated with the responsibility is a good thing; up to a point. Finding appropriate releases for that stress is crucial to the long term health of the individual and ultimately the success of the project, whether it is a new product launch or this year’s Super Bowl.

Even during the worst times of the civil war, President Lincoln understood he had to keep the mood light. When challenged about Ulysses S. Grant being a drunkard, Lincoln famously said, “Find out what whiskey he drinks and send all my generals a case, if it will get the same result”.

My advice then, while you’re painting your face and getting the nachos ready for tomorrow’s game, is to find ways to relieve stress at work. Or, maybe painting you face and dressing in licensed sports apparel is your way of relieving stress!

Enjoy the game and these cartoons.

8 Things Your Employees Need 0

8 Things Your Employees Need

In this article, Jeff Hayden says that the number one thing your employees need is freedom.  “Whenever possible, give your employees the freedom to work the way they work best.” Micro-managing comes at a cost. You hired people to work for you because your company was growing and you could not do everything yourself. You selected your employees because they had the skills you needed and their attitude towards the job, the company mission and your customers was very similar. Yet, after you give them their job assignments, you find yourself second guessing everything they are doing.

Help your employees help you. Teach them your expectations. Show them what you want, then step back and let them do it. If you have done your job correctly, they will be the “shadow of  the leader”.

Give your employees the freedom to innovate, create and be exceptional

Manager Knows Best 0

“To get a glimpse of what tomorrow’s young global managers might be like as leaders, take a look at how today’s young people think about communications”

That is how the article  http://blogs.hbr.org/cs/2012/02/why_the_days_of_manager_knows.html  begins. It generated hundreds of comments as people shared their thoughts on how much daily access team members should have to social media sites. But the main premise of the article is that “the Days of Manager knows best… are ending”. I disagree.

True, the open forums of social media allow access to greater volumes of information. Leaders get instant feedback from their teams when they email or tweet. This “tool” provides validation of a plan or gives the leader better information so the plan can be modified based on the feedback. But in the end, someone is paid to make the decision.

The manager is the manager for a reason. He or she has the experience within the company to lead their employees towards the company goal. Projects get completed, buildings get built, companies make profits when someone makes a decision. With the Internet providing instant feedback, being able to act swiftly can be the difference between success and second best. Just because there is a team of socially aware employees doesn’t mean a decision will be made, a course of action decided on or a resolution to a problem opted for.

Regardless of how you measure success, the companies that are successful have leaders. They pay managers to make the tough decisions. I believe that structure has held the test of time. As early as the 6th century BC, Sun Tzu was laying out management  and leadership principles in The Art of War. Today, people are still reading Peter Drucker’s books and quoting Lee Iacocca; “management is getting things done through other people”.

The future is bright with promise for those companies that embrace new technology and keep one eye to the future. And I believe the future will continue to show that (the) “Manager knows best”!