Thursday, April 28, 2011

What is an Informational Interview & How Do I Get One?

Note:  This post was originally posted at where I am a contributor.

“Is this another informational interview? If it is, I really do not want to go. These interviews are a waste of time.”

This quote was from my daughter, a recent graduate with 2 undergrad degrees, ready to take on the world. If she wasn't interviewing for a specific role, she didn’t want to interview at all. She believed the informational interview would not help her quest in getting a job, so I had to explain to her all the ways it would advance her search. I'd like to share those ways with you, too.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Problem Solving: It’s About Helping Diagnose What Ails the Organization

Getting dressed the other morning for a 5 AM flight, I turned on the television as I dressed.

But at 2 AM, the choices are slim. As I tried to find the weather, I clicked through many channels until I found the local news.

What I found instead was channel after channel of infomercials. Regardless of your need, there is an infomercial for it — everything from better abs, diet, dealing with uncontrollable kids, super vitamins for perfect health, and the latest in exercise equipment.

Turn on late night TV and there is a quick and easy solution for just about anything. Any ailment has an infomercial for it and, presto, you are back to 100 percent.

I am always amused as spring comes, and with it, the inevitable yard sales because you see so many of those late night wonders on sale for a few bucks.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

An Authentic Leader Shows Why Holding on to Core Values is Important

I got a call from an institutional public shareholder I’ve known for many years.

The conversation went something like, “I’m assuming you’re going to cut back on health care.” And I said, “Why would you assume that?” He said, “Well, because you’ve never had more license. No one is going to hold you accountable.” And I said, almost instinctively, “There’s no way that we’re going to cut that benefit at Starbucks.”

Noting that the fabric of the company is tied to that benefit, his response to the institutional investor was this: “You have to evaluate whether or not you want to be a shareholder, because I am not cutting it.”

Here are two more illuminating quotes:

Infusing work with purpose and meaning, however, is a two-way street. You love what you do, but your company should love you back.”

We employ 200,000 people and the most important discipline is Human Resources.”

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Sounds of Silence: Managing Is More Than Just Productivity & Multitasking

“In music the silence is just as important as the notes.”

This is the same as with speech, where we must place spaces between our words to be understood properly. There are 12 notes in our musical scale, so there must be more than just notes, too.

In music silence is golden, indeed.

My commute into New York City normally takes about 45 minutes to an hour, depending upon the bus. Since I leave very early (around 6 am), there is not much traffic. The ride is largely uneventful. It is a quiet time with the sun just coming up. I really enjoy it.

Time for reflection