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Saturday, December 30, 2017

The Relentless Manager

 “News is what I say it is.”
     That was my editor friend Brad, demonstrating the plain-talk part of his straight-up style of management.
     It was a while ago, when the news industry was in one of its periodic fits of self-examination, ignited by public outcry over some now-forgotten issue of what’s news and what isn’t.
     Uncertainty about that definition troubled Brad not at all. He devoted no time to such matters.
     The point of this reminiscence is to introduce Brad as  a model of leadership clarity. You didn’t always agree with Brad or like his way of doing business, but you always  knew where he stood.
     “This is going to be the worst three months of your life,” he’d tell a newly hired staff member. “But if you make it, you’ll know the job.” That was intended to tell you to take the 90-day probation period seriously – as Brad himself surely did.

Friday, December 22, 2017

How to Choose Failure

   When is failure a choice?
     Quite often, as a matter of fact. It’s a major default option when success is not consciously chosen. Take a good look at projects of your experience.
     We choose success when we specify a clear outcome, make it a firm intention, talk about what it means – then support it with practical planning and execution.
     Choosing failure is an easy slide in the other direction. We may not realize we are guaranteeing some measure of failure when we decide or agree to accomplish something . . . and then don’t immediately press the “Start” button.

     When we really mean it, we act in two stages right after we decide:

First, establishing the project outcome and basic agreements with key                     

Then, executing with solid organization and relationship building,

     You start with the finish, invoking the second of Stephen Covey’s Seven Habits of Highly Successful People:

“Begin with the end in mind.”

         Regarding execution, management guru Peter Drucker said:
“Unless a decision has degenerated into work, it is not a decision; it   
       is at best a good intention.”