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    Entries in Leadership (41)

    Thursday
    Jun072018

    PODCAST: #HRHappyHour 323 - The Evolution of Learning and Leadership Development

    HR Happy Hour 323 - The Evolution of Learning and Leadership Development

    Host: Steve Boese

    Guests: Elvis Ha, Cornerstone OnDemand, Melissa Lanier Preston, T-Mobile

    Sponsored by Virgin Pulse - www.virginpulse.com

    Listen HERE

    This week on the HR Happy Hour Show, Steve is joined by Elvis Ha of Cornerstone OnDemand, and Melissa Lanier Preston of T-Mobile,recorded live from Cornerstone OnDemand's Convergence Conference in San Diego.

    On the two-part show, Elvis Ha, Director of Product Management at Cornerstone, discussed the evolution of learning in the workplace, how modern learning technology is evolving as well to support new learning models and processes, and where learning in the workplace is heading in the future.

    On part two of the show, Steve was joined by Melissa Lanier Preston, Director of Leadership Development and Talent Management at T-Mobile, where she shared how T-Mobile is working to both develop future leaders at all levels of the organization, as well as help all employees at T-Mobile succeed in their careers. This was a deep dive into some really innovative learning and leadership development programs at a really large scale.

    You can listen to the show on the show page HERE, on your favorite podcast app, or by using the widget player below:

    This was a fun and informative show on learning and leadership development - thanks to Elvis and Melissa for spending some time with us. And thanks to Cornerstone OnDemand for having us out at the Convergence event.

    Remember to subscribe to the HR Happy Hour Show on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher Radio, or wherever you get your podcasts - just search for 'HR Happy Hour.'

    Monday
    Apr302018

    One podcast, forty minutes, three solid talent management lessons

    Regular readers should know by now I am a huge fan of the podcast format. Perfect for when you're in the car, waiting in the Dr. office, on the treadmill, on a plane - or really anywhere when you have a little bit of time. Of course my primary interest in podcasts is the one I co-host, the HR Happy Hour Show, but I also listen to plenty of others during the course of a week.

    Recently I caught an episode of a basketball-themed podcast, The Woj Pod, hosted by legendary scoop-chaser Adrian Wojnarowski from ESPN. On the show, Woj interviewed Steve Clifford, longtime NBA head and assistant coach, who recently was let go as head coach after a pretty decent 5 year run with the Charlotte Hornets. Sure, this was a basketball pod, but the best part of the conversation almost had nothing to do with basketball - but rather when Clifford shared some of the leadership and talent management lessons he's learned from a three decade career in basketball coaching. These lessons, while 'learned' by Clifford in the context of a basketball team are pretty valid for just about any leadership, coaching, and talent management scenario, I think.

    I will just break them off, one by one, without too much additional commentary, as like all the best leadership advice, these concepts pretty much are really easy to both understand, and to visualize how they would fit in your context and organization.

    1. Never address your team unless you really have something important to say - Clifford used the example of a coach halting a practice to assemble the entire team and saying something silly or obvious like 'Guys, we need to hustle more'. Professional basketball players, and likely the experienced folks on your team too, don't need you to repeat the obvious. They need you to help them navigate issues, understand challenges, and align the organization with the bigger picture. Wasting the team's time with nonsense is the sure path to them tuning you out.

    2. If someone asks the people on your team about you, the answer you are aiming for is 'He/she wants me to succeed' - Clifford made the important point that pro basketball players all care about their own development, careers, and future opportunities as much, if not more than the team's success. It's silly to ignore that, the best coaches find ways to balance to the two sometimes competing goals and motivations. And the key to to that is not exactly 'caring' about the players/employees, (it is fine to 'care' about them, don't get me wrong), but what you really need to do to get the best effort out of the players is for them to think and see evidence that you want them to be successful. And sometimes that means tough, hard to hear feedback, but most players, (and hopefully) most employees, will see that not as you don't care about them or don't like them, (again, neither matters all that much comparatively), but that you ultimately are invested in their career success.

    3. Leadership and coaching is not the same thing as skill development - Last point on this again had a basketball context in the pod I referenced, but does carry over to the real world too. For pro basketball players, developing new skills or improving their skills has to be seen as one of the basic elements that can lead to career success. But Clifford sees that as largely the responsibility of the player, with support from coaches and other members of the staff. The head coach/organizational leader really is responsible for understanding each player's skills, assessing how individuals fit best within what the team is trying to achieve, and to reach back up to Item #2 above, how to position each player for the best chance at success. And one more sub-point to this, Clifford made a great point about how it is important for players to not lose sight of their strengths while they simultaneously look to develop new skills.

    Solid stuff I think, and a pretty good use of about 40 minutes while I made a half-hearted attempt at improving my cardio fitness on Sunday.

    Have a great week!

    Wednesday
    Feb212018

    POWER MOVE: Who can get away with wearing sunglasses inside

    There are only two reasons to wear sunglasses inside (excluding for any medical/eye issues).

    Reason one (and this is by FAR the most common) - said inside sunglass wearer is a Grade A loser/jerk/poseur/idiot, and the sunglasses are screaming 'Look at me'

    Exhibit 1 - Lane Kiffin (back when he was still coaching at Alabama).

    As I mentioned - really jerky.

    Two (much less common but far more interesting) - the inside sunglass wearer is competing, with you, me, pretty much everybody around him or her, and doesn't want to give away any hint to what they may be thinking or feeling. The sunglasses in this case are saying something totally different - 'Don't look at me.'

    Exhibit 2 - Greg 'Fossil Man' Raymer - professional poker player most famous for winning the 2004 World Series of Poker Main Event (and a $5M prize)

    Pro poker players doing the sunglass inside thing at the table is pretty common now, but back in 2004, Raymer was kind of an innovator - and a savvy competitor. Hard to get a read on a person when they are hiding behind the shades.

    Exhibit 2A - And my new hero, one Anna Wintour, fashion industry icon, and in this picture seemingly disrespectful to Queen Elizabeth by not removing her trademark sunnies.

    But why does Wintour rock the shades? Hint - it isn't because she is trying to be too cool for the room. It is because she doesn't want you (or me or anyone else), to know what she is thinking, particularly as she sits in the front row of a fashion show, eyeing the latest designs.

    From a recent piece on Business Insider explaining Ms. Wintour's affinity for the shades: (edited a little)

    If anyone's actually watched Anna Wintour in front row fashion shows before, they'd know she always wears her blacked out sunglasses so that people and prying media cameras cannot read and reveal her true thoughts on the fashion items as they pass her on the catwalk. 

    And that's the reason the real ballers go with the sunglasses inside look. When everyone wants a piece of what you are thinking, and it is not in your best interests necessarily to let them know what you are thinking, then players like Raymer and Wintour put their guard up, and kind of dare you to call them out on it.

    But when you win as much as Raymer and Wintour have in their careers, most folks don't bother to call them out after all, and if they do, it really doesn't matter, because after all, who is doing most of the winning? And one thing we see in most winners - they are often willing to do things that the rest of us wouldn't consider 'proper'.

    So here's the move I want you to consider. That next 'big' project or staff or client meeting when things could get a little tense, when you do want or need to play your cards, (sorry Raymer), close to the vest, and to not reveal what you are really thinking or feeling - do you have the guts to walk in like Wintour, with a set of blacked out shades? How would Jerry from accounting react when he looked at you an all he got back was a stone face and a set of Ray-Bans?

    Could you pull it off?

    Wouldn't it be awesome if you did? 

    Have a great day!

    Friday
    Jan122018

    PODCAST: #HRHappyHour 309 - The Importance of the Manager - Employee Relationship

    HR Happy Hour 309 - The Importance of the Manager - Employee Relationship

    Host: Steve Boese

    Guest: Adam Rogers, CTO, Ultimate Software

    Listen to the show HERE

    This week on the HR Happy Hour Show, Steve is joined by Adam Rogers, CTO of HR Technology solution provider Ultimate Software to talk about some recent research Ultimate published on the manager - employee relationship,  why it matters, and how managers can make this relationship stronger and better.

    In late 2017, Ultimate partnered with the Center for Generational Kinetics to undertake and publish new research on the manager - employee relationship, to better understand how managers and employees see and perceive things differently at work, and then to help create solutions, both managerial and technical, than can improve and strengthen this critical relationship.

    It has been said often that 'people don't leave companies, they leave managers', and on the show Adam shared both what the research found about this idea with respect to how employee retention and engagement is shaped by these relationships, as well as his personal observations as a manager and leader of an organization.

    Additionally, we talked about the importance of openness, transparency, and trust, the need to provide training and resources to managers - especially new managers, and the need to focus on how the manager - employee relationship drives employee satisfaction and engagement.

    And we also managed to fit in some winter weather updates, college football, and NBA talk as well! 

    You can listen to the show on the show page HERE, or by using the widget player below:

    This was a fun and interesting show, many thanks to Adam to joining us.

    To learn more about the research we talked about on the show, register for an upcoming webinar on January 23 at 2PM ET with Adam and Jason Dorsey - more information on the webinar is here.

    Thanks to show sponsor Virgin Pulse - www.virginpulse.com, back as an HR Happy Hour Show sponsor in 2018.

    Subscribe to the HR Happy Hour Show on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher Radio, or wherever you get your podcasts.

    Thursday
    Dec212017

    Do sports build character or reveal it?

    Regular readers will know how much of a sports guy I am, as I have probably spent about a third of my time writing about sports related topics on the blog over the years. And I spend way too much time in the Winter/Spring on NBA League Pass and poring over the box scores. But it's good to have a hobby I guess.

    Yes, I love sports but I also don't take them too seriously. I didn't back when I was playing organized sports, and I don't now as a fan and as a parent of a son who participates in a few high school sports. Sports are awesome, but they are just games in the end. And generally not all that important.This may or may not be my HS team

    That perspective is why I never really liked the often repeated maxims (usually spouted by coaches, and most frequently football coaches) about how sports build character, create leaders, or somehow make people 'better' by virtue of their participation. Like somehow 'commanding' a huddle miraculously transforms someone into General Patton or Margaret Thatcher or Abe Lincoln. I just never bought in. Some of the biggest jamokes I know played sports in high school. And also some of the most successful, accomplished people I know as well. I don't think sports participation really meant all the much in determining any of that.

    Turns out at least one recent research study has come to the same conclusion. In an Institute of Labor Economics paper titled 'Do High School Sports Build or Reveal Character?', authors Michael Ransom and Tyler Ransom examine three large, national, and longitudinal data sets of high school students to come to the conclusion that high school athletes are no more likely to attend college, earn higher wages, or participate in the labor force than non-athletes.

    Here's an excerpt from their findings:

    We revisit the literature on the long-run effects of high school sports participation on educational attainment, labor market outcomes, and adult health behaviors. Many previous studies have found positive effects in each of these dimensions by either assuming that sports participation is exogenous (conditional on other observable characteristics), or by making use of instrumental variables that are unlikely to be valid.

    We analyze three separate nationally representative longitudinal surveys that link participation in high school sports with later-life outcomes: the NLSY79, the NELS:88, and the Add Health. We employ an econometric technique that empirically tests the sensitivity of the selection on observables assumption and find that estimates of the returns to sports participation are highly sensitive to this assumption. Specifically, we find that, for most educational and labor market outcomes, if the correlation between sports participation and unobservables is only a fraction of the correlation between sports and observables, the effect of sports participation cannot be statistically differentiated from zero. Thus, we conclude that a causal effect of sports participation is unlikely, and that most of the findings of the literature that report beneficial impacts represent the effects of selection into sports.

    Or, in simpler language the authors conclude that the kinds of people who are likely to be successful later in life for whatever set of reasons/attributes that make people successful sometimes participate in high school sports, and sometimes they do not. They may be part of the drama club or the chess club or maybe the 'leave me alone, I am just doing time until I can get out of here' club. But sports themselves do not function as some kind of magical leadership development or success training program that make athletes more likely than non-athletes successful later in life.

    And this conclusion goes against most of the mainstream thinking (at least it seems to me) about the true benefits and value of sports, particularly youth sports.

    Sports are awesome. They are fun. You can make some great friends and learn some things too.

    But lots of other things are awesome, fun, social, and provide great learning opportunities too. It is good to keep that in mind, especially if you are involved at all and at any level in youth sports.

    Happy Thursday. Have all your holiday preparations nailed down yet?