Tag Archive - Competence

2015 Goal Setting – A Simple Model

Qualify Your Brainstorming Ideas

What are my priorities for 2015? What accounts and what goals should I focus my efforts on? The time is now to ask these questions. Do not wait until after the holidays.

I sat in many, many strategy sessions for individuals, small teams and large organizations. They can be a beat down or very productive and energizing.

Somewhere along the way I picked up a tool that helped me clear through the clutter of brainstorming sessions and simplified my action planning. Continue Reading…

The Best Learning Tool Available To Us All

Man in mouse trap

There was an upperclassman at West Point who I was sure was the worst leader I had ever met. Then I met a commander in the Army that jumped to the top of the list.

But, it was not until I hit the corporate world that I met someone who, to this day, ranks at the top of this dubious list. They were all bad. But, I learned a lot from each of them.

Continue Reading…

The Often Ignored Key To Getting Promoted

The Key To Promotion

“I want to do your job someday Dave. Will you show me how to get there?”   I loved the ambition and drive Dorothy showed with that statement. But like others before her, she had no clue what the most critical thing she needed to accomplish was before she became promotable.

I had just offered her an advanced position that was one level below management.  She wanted to know about her next promotion. I asked her what steps she thought would make her a great candidate for the next level. Her answers were typical, and they were misguided. Continue Reading…

Being Good Sometimes – Is Not Good Enough

Don't Be Surprised

Should someone continue to pay me for doing part of my job? I have encountered people who think that doing a good job in parts of their work is enough to expect continued employment and in some cases promotions.

Here are some examples:

  • A nurse who is strong clinically, but consistently fails to correctly document things in patient charts.
  • A salesperson who knows his products and competitor products inside and out, but creates very few strong client relationships.
  • A middle manager who always gets reports in on time, but does not coach or develop individuals on her team.

Continue Reading…

Wisdom Versus Intelligence

Wisdom or Just Intelligence

I knew some brilliant people in high school.  They made good grades and graduated without even trying.  They went to good colleges and got impressive degrees.

I also knew some people in high school who struggled with grades.  Try as they might, they fought to make it to graduation day.  Some went to community college and then finished their bachelor’s degree at another local school with unimpressive grades.

Today, I see success and failure in both the brilliant and the average.  The difference between success and failure is often wisdom.  I’ll take wisdom over intelligence every day. Continue Reading…

Identifying Experience Versus Tenure

Tenure or Experience?

5 years experience. 10 years experience. 20 years experience. Which one is better? There are many times when no experience may be better than 20 years.

An employee with 20 years of tenure can help or hurt a team. That’s why I hate the idea that tenure alone is used in making employment decisions. Tenure means little without growth!

Tenure + Growth = Experience!

Continue Reading…

Leadership: 700 People Can’t Be Wrong

Audience Participation

At 2:30 in the afternoon, I took a risk. An audience of 700 people had been listening to best selling leadership gurus since 8:00 AM. Now I had 10 minutes to make an impact on this group.

I decided to change the first half of my talk and ask the 700 attendees to actively participate in my talk. All I did was ask them to yell out their answers to a simple question.

“When you think of the best leader you ever worked with or heard about, what is one trait that you admired most?” 

Continue Reading…

Dysfunction Is The Issue Not Incompetence

Everyone Has Smart People

Two companies competing in the same market can have wildly different results.  One company will thrive and the other will flounder.  Why?  Does one company have smarter people?  Or better information?

That is unlikely.  There is not a shortage of smart people in business today.  The people available for businesses to hire have never had access to more education and more information.

Brains and skills abound in most companies.  Brains and skills are hired and reinforced through training. Yet some companies lag behind the leaders.  Why?  The answer is dysfunction not incompetence. Continue Reading…

Good People Can Be Bad Hires

Good Person - Bad Hire

“Dave, you are not the messiah of wayward sales people.”  My boss had a way of being direct – sometimes with a sting.  She knew me and my desire to help others.  I didn’t like the delivery, but she was right.

The problem was, once again, I was hanging on too tight to someone who was not making the grade.  He was not meant to be in sales, and I refused to accept it.

This is a repost from April 2013

Continue Reading…

Hire and Fire For Values – Part 2

Fire For Values

It takes a lot of work to fire someone these days.  Our friends in the legal profession have made the process of firing employees incredibly time consuming.  For some leaders, this process is a disincentive for doing the right thing.

When a leader  allows a low performer to stay, that leader is failing.  In the same way a leader who keeps a person who displays disdain for the organization’s values due to this legal disincentive is failing as well.

Hiring For Values (previous blog) is a critical first step for leaders who believe in the values they claim.  An equally important step is being willing to Fire For Values as well. Continue Reading…

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