Pay now or pay later

True or false:  The more you pay people to work, the less they feel obligated to look for another job. Studies have shown that this is both true and false.  If you pay your people well, there’s a good chance they will stay.  The question then becomes:

Do you want them to stay?


12 Angry Men

I’m watching the 1957 movie “12 Angry Men“. The original featured a stellar cast of Henry Fonda, E.G. Marshall, Jack Warden and Martin Balsam. If you have never seen this movie [the original is better than the remake, both are worth seeing], I highly recommend you watch it. It’s only about 90 minutes long and is an excellent lesson in breaking out of the box thinking. Henry Fonda, Juror #8, does not believe the young man accused of murdering his father is guilty. He is not certain the (more…)

Oil and Water People in the Office

Are members of your staff like oil and water – not mixing well enough to become a team? As a manager, you’ve seen the stress involved, and are not immune to their feelings as well as the pressure from your own boss about budgets, time constraints and deadlines. Tempers can (more…)

The objective of education is not what you think

I recently read an article from Knowledge @ Wharton that gave an interesting perspective: It asks

Why doesn’t education focus on what humans can do better than the machines and instruments they create?

It goes on to say

Teaching enables the teacher to discover what one thinks about the subject being taught. Schools are upside down: Students should be teaching and faculty learning.

In their book, Turning Learning Right Side Up: Putting Education Back on Track, authors Russell L. Ackhoff and Daniel Greenberg state that there are numerous ways to learn …. teaching, or lecturing, is only one of them. Studies have shown that this is the least effective way for someone to learn … remember how boring it was to hear an instructor drone on and on and on … how much of that monologue did you actually remember?

Group discussions, provided they are brainstorming sessions, are great ways to remember theories and concepts.

The most effective way is to teach .. or ‘teach back’. This is when you teach someone else, either in a formal or informal session, what you learned. To be able to do that effectively does not require a high ability to teach or train … it requires a desire to communicate more clearly.

Being aware of your communications, your perspective and what gets you defensive or impatient, and taking the steps to handle each of these appropriately, is one sign of high emotional intelligence. And the makings of a great leader.

Let me ask you ….. what is your level of emotional intelligence?

If you can't read ….

Recently Stephen King said this:

I don’t want to sound like an ad, a public service ad on TV, but the fact is if you can read, you can walk into a job later on. If you don’t, then you’ve got, the Army, Iraq, I don’t know, something like that. It’s, it’s not as bright. So, that’s my little commercial for that.

When asked about this statement by the Bangor Daily News, Mr. King ended his response with “…of course we all support the troops.”

Nearly 100% of our courageous soldiers have a high school education, and many are trained specifically for high tech duties and responsibilities.

Mr. King, I say to you: it isn’t what you said, it’s what we think we heard.

Can you draw this …

How clearly do you think you give directions? I’m not talking about directions to a specific location; I’m talking about giving instructions to someone else so they understand what you want. If you think you are pretty good in doing this, try this activity: sit with your back to a (more…)

Striped Patterns … or Plaid?

I’m reading a great book about blame.  Blame is a big part of team dysfunctions and conflict.  Blame is part of the no-win situation, for blame has no constructive value.  Blame will simply fuel the conflict fire.  It is so easy to get wrapped up in this blame-game and finger-pointing, (more…)

Does ‘Pilot Error’ Really Exist?

As we know, ‘pilot error’ is the cause of many accidents. The precursor of Pilot Error is aviation medicine …. This was a result of the aircraft manufacturers having to replace numerous crashed planes by pilot wanna-be’s. In the early days, the pilot wanna-be’s had to go through a series (more…)

One Solution to Smelling Badly?

Has this confusion ever happened to you?

There’s an old tale in the Marine Corps about a lieutenant who inspected his platoon, and told the sergeant that the troops smelled badly. The lieutenant suggested that the troops change their underwear.

The sergeant responded, “Yes sir; I’ll see to it immediately.”

He went into the tent and said, “The lieutenant thinks you guys smell bad, and he wants you to change your underwear. Smith, you change with Jones; McCarthy, you change with Witkowskie; Brown, you change with Schultz. Get to it !”

It isn’t what the lieutenant said, it’s what the sergeant heard!

All you need is …. remember we’re in the workplace

I gave a Supervisor and Communications seminar recently to first and second level supervisors.  One of the topics the President wanted me to discuss was “How do you let your direct reports, and others that are not your direct reports, know their jobs are important?” Instead of (more…)