I have always benefited from following the blogs of thought leaders and practitioners in the areas of leadership and executive coaching. Ed Batista , Leadership Coach at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business has an extremely useful data-packed post in his blog. This is about a study conducted by the Harvard Business Review on executive coaching.
At the coaching session we discussed how the coachee was progressing since we last met. The conversation got around to a problem she still faced. ” It’s getting to be very difficulty to motivate this chap in my team” she said. ” I am trying to motivate him but it doesn’t seem to work”. I asked her to reflect on all that she had done. At the end of the session, she suddenly remarked ” You know something. I feel there is just so much I can do. At the end of the day, he has to motivate himself”. This was an important realization. We can’t motivate others but we can create an environment and work conditions in which they feel motivated.
At the first signs of a downturn, up goes the cry “Cut Costs”. But how? By reducing people? By vacating markets? By thinking here and now and hell with the long term? Different organizations react differently to the challenge of cutting costs. What would be the worst way to cut costs-and the best?
Truly, simplicity is the key to effective communication. It is admirable that some people have the skill to convey complex concepts in simple, yet effective terms. One such example is a slim volume ( just 185 pages) by Donald R. Keough. Mr. Keough, in his time, was rated as one of America’s most effective executives and served the Coca-Cola Company for many decades, retiring as the President in 1993. He is now the Chairman of the Board of Allen & Company, a New York based investment bank.
What’s the job of your leadership team? You may say this is pretty obvious. But -is it? Are they on the same page as regards what they need to focus on? In any case, when was the last time you had a conversation with them about what you expected of them? What, anyway, should a senior executive do? In times of economic crisis when the business prospects of many organizations are shaky to say the least, it is probably the best time to do some introspection on this. These and more thoughts come to me prompted by a recent blog post by Peter Roche. I found this to be very pertinent. He writes in his blog on Executive Coaching about
For decades now, by and large India has been stuck with the “Can’t Deliver On Time” syndrome. And no, I am not talking of babies because with a population of more than 1.1 billion people perhaps that’s one thing we are delivering on time. I am delighted that recent projects have shown that all this can change and we are capable of delivering complex projects on time. A case in point is the Delhi Metro. It reached its targets thanks to a sprightly 76 year old man called Dr. E Sreedharan, Managing Director of the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation.
For the last few days, one name is making waves for the wrong reasons in business circles- Lehman Brothers , which was compelled to declare bankruptcy. A development that no one would have foreseen a few months ago.. The impact of the bad news in Lehman has impacted people in different parts of the globe in many ways. In Mumbai, India employees of the Lehman BPO ( about 1500-1700) have reportedly been asked to look for alternate employment next month. In the US, it appears that Barclays may be interested in buying up some parts of Lehman like the North American investment banking and capital markets business for $250 million in cash.
In a recent conference I was struck by the differences between two executives. Executive A – for he shall remain nameless- came across as a live wire. Though he was about 40 years old, data spewed forth like a machine gun. It was very evident that he had his facts and figures on his finger tips. Answers to queries were answered with confidence and they came at a well modulated speed- neither too fast nor too slow. He was alert, maintained good eye contact and made a very favorable impression.
Executive B – who shall also not be named- was a different story altogether. Although he had been on the job longer than A, he was groping for details. His answers were not fluent. They were halting and it appeared that he was straining to put things together in his mind before making a point or answering a question.