Fire Drill

Poor planning on your end does not constitute an emergency on mine. This is a paraphrase of a wonderful quote I heard from Rory Vaden. I have lived this at times. I’m sure all of us have been in situations where we had to pull together as a team and produce nothing less than a miracle to get a deliverable complete on time.

This can create a great sense of accomplishment and team work. However, when done on a regular basis, it induces quite the opposite. Asking teams to perform heroics day in and day out while compromising their priorities to make the next deadline (and the next and the next) is one of the quickest ways to have knowledge seep right out of your company. These employees tend to get sick, start producing lower quality deliverables, and eventually just walk out.
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What I Learned from a Queen

I frequently find myself drawn to the book of Esther in the Bible. Here¬†was an amazing woman. The book intrigues me on so many levels. Did you know Esther is the only book in the Bible that doesn’t mention God by name? But I wanted to focus on Esther’s character. I think there are some communication lessons we can take from her.

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Lessons from the Devil, Part II: What Not to Do

Lessons from the Devil, Part 2I would like to continue with Part II of “Lessons from the Devil.” Miranda Priestly, so aptly played by Meryl Streep, is the epitome of what not to do as a leader. Runway’s success is built on fear tactics and power-hoarding. The writing is on the wall with companies like these. When the domineering leader leaves the company, it enters a sharp decline. An example of this is when Lee Iacocca left Ford. The company went from consistent growth to dismal performance. No one was prepared to fill his shoes.

Lead by gaining buy-in.¬†Miranda Priestly leads through fear. The first scene at Runway shows Emily, Miranda’s assistant, receiving a call that Miranda is arriving at the office earlier than expected. Panic ensues and rightfully so. When Miranda interacts with her employees, it consists of berating them for their ineptitude, doling out orders, and bullying in general. Continue reading