Do you know what people say about you on the Internet? Search Engines are pervasive but not particularly discerning about protecting a reputation. They catalog everything they find. If you have a name like "Daryle Niedermayer", you can be pretty confident that you're the only one in the world--anyone looking for you on Google will find you and only you!
My earlier posting on this topic dealt with the need to convey an urgency of the need for change within an organization. It is all too easy to engage in an endless debate of the need, the urgency, the nature, the dependencies, the requirements, the effect, the risk, the opportunity, --ad nauseum-- of change.
However, creating a visceral event to convey the urgency can usually overcome the inertia against change. Why is this? Well, frankly put, nothing gets people working together like someone holllering, "Fire!"
I can't recall how many times I've been brought into a meeting, an organization, or a committee tasked with creating lasting, important change only to find within a couple of months that the entire process was bogged down in the emotional and political equivalent of quicksand.
I was talking with an owner of an IT support company a month ago. I asked him what he meant by "good service."
"Oh,' he said, "We provide great service for our clients. Whenever they call, we have someone there within 30 minutes."
"OK, but how long does it take you to fix the problem?" I responded.
A recent article in the Wall Street Journal highlights a serious problem with North American industry. The article entitled "Software Raises Bar for Hiring", documents how Human Resource departments have taken to scanning job applications for key words and terms as the first step in screening candidates.
Edward Hallowell's new book, Shine: Using Brain Science to Get the Best from Your People, is a very easy to read primer for any manager, both new and seasoned. I can think of at least two jobs in my life that I would probably still be at if my manager at the time had even used half the wisdom contained in this book.
A Proxy Manager is a person promoted to a middle management position on the basis of their longevity within an organization or their loyalty to and agreement with the vision and management style of their immediate superior.
The term "Proxy Manager" stems from the fact that these people don't necessarily act as a leader themselves but rather serve as the extension of the management style and practice of the more senior manager above them.
In business as in life, I try to play for a win-win in all my negotiations. Instead of confrontational or competitive based posturing, it is usually possible to find a way to meet everyone's needs.
The best resource I can recommend for this approach is Fisher, Ury, & Patton's Getting to Yes. In that book, they approach the issue of position-based negotiations instead of the traditional give-and-take model--otherwise known as bartering.