Posts Tagged ‘Strategy’

Does a title make the person?

Personally, my most important title is “Dad”, which I have been blessed to hold since the tender age of 33.

I’ve never been a big title guy — I’ve witnessed buffoon CEOs lacking integrity (just watch the news) and met brilliant janitors that could serve as character role models.  I’ve witnessed grown adults throw impressive tantrums over office space, some sort of enTITLEment syndrome is my guess.

Titles can be the crack or meth of corporate America.  I admire the organizations that use playful, creative, yet poignant titles like: chief inspiration officer, head geek, president of people, or office of where the buck stops (one of my favorites).

No one can lean on you as leader if all you lean on is your title.  Titles can also provide distance from accountability, distance from customers, end users, and staff that touch customers — removed from most of what matters.  It’s also not something you should try to hide behind.

Some networking events have evolved into vanilla, humorless dances with no rhythm –“I’m with XYZ corp.”  Oh, what do you do there? “I’m the super dooper executive vice special president of logistical and process burdening nightmares.”  Wow, I thought you’d be taller…with a title like that.  Ummm, I’m Mike, I’m a Sagittarian.  Your title is not what you do, your title is not who you are nor how you are perceived.  Is it more impressive to have your name open more doors than your title?

Your journey, your wins and losses, and a network built on trust will provide you far more referrals than your title.  As always our actions speak louder than our titles.  Get hung up on doing, not being.

So, if you could make up your own title that speaks of you and to you, what would it be?

Sincerely,
Mike Cassidy
Cool Dad of Mad & Ky

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Telephone

Obsolescence can be a sad and difficult journey.  I recently read that the generation being born now may never know a dial tone.  In 1888, Almon B. Strowger conceived an idea for an automatic phone exchange which resulted in the dial tone.  122 years or so is a good run, particularly for the by-product of an invention.  Obsolescence can also be the path to progress, met with cheers and adulation.

Some measures count but do they really matter?
I am quite certain we can sit for hours, listen to some 8 track tapes and create a list of all the things we’d wish would become obsolete.  Near the top of my list would be useless reports.  You know, the ones that take hours to complete and seconds to ignore.  Interestingly, we find it far easier to add on more reports or measures than to take the useless ones away.  A friend in another industry recently shared: “taking a useless report away from a vice president is like taking the pacifier away from my infant daughter – not a pretty sight.”

Before creating a new report, measure or metric I now ask the question:  This will help us better serve (members, community, staff, donors, partners) how? No fancy decision tree, I guess you’d call it a decision root or trunk.

Have any useless reports or measures?  If a report becomes obsolete does it make a sound (or do we)?  Any helpful tips in how to push the useless into obsolescence?

Imagine trying to lead your organization while adopting the ideas of the latest best selling business book (each month).  One can imagine that it could get a little crazy.  I’m all for reading, I have stacks of books everywhere (I know — Kindle or iPad, it’s on my list of things to do this year) and consider lifelong learning a personal mission.  What I don’t do is sit in each team meeting with entire new vision, direction, priorities, core values, strategies, or key metrics each week/month/year.

Books

OK team, trying to be Great is so last month, now we’re going to focus on Switch as we’re Built to Sell while Delivering Happiness, Find Our Strengths, identify The Outliers and try to make sure we all have a 4-Hour Workweek.

Strategy nomads bounce from one strategy or opportunity to the next.  It can lead to noise, confusion and the delivery of…well, nothing or very little.  Interestingly, strategy nomads also find it far easier to create new measures than to eliminate old (think obsolete) measures.

Maybe it’s not the volume of business tomes hitting the shelves, it could very well be the need to explore, evaluate and embrace the organization’s purpose.  We must be careful and ensure that our strategies do not overwhelm our mission and goals.

Anecdotal leadership will only provide anecdotal results.

Maybe the one book that truly matters is the one that could be written about your organization’s impact.

What’s your most recent favorite book?  Why?

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