Thursday, November 6, 2008

The value of dissent

Last time we talked about increasing your productivity.
Today we’ll talk about how dissent helps the best leaders.
It takes courage to dissent. Many managers don’t want to hear it.
They may say they don’t want "yes" men — but they really do.
Their fragile little egos can’t tolerate dissent.
My wife and son are great dissenters. They say what they think.
I never have to wonder where they stand on anything.
That has great value. It forces me to rethink my own thinking.
Weak leaders and poor managers can’t handle this.
If you work for a weak leader, you must find another one.
If you stick with weak leaders, they will weaken you.
When you believe the boss is wrong, have the courage to say so.
Tell the truth but offer what you believe is the best alternative.
Never dissent without a better option to offer.
You and the boss, or you and your people, are on the same team.
Your vision, mission and goals should be the same.
Have courage. Have conviction. Encourage your people to dissent.
If you can’t handle the truth, they’ll find someone who can.
For more on leadership, please click here.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Contract time, expand productivity

Last time we talked about the Fog Index and clear writing.
Today we’ll talk about increasing your productivity.
Lots of us complain about having too little time for everything.
That may be true. But we can sometimes have too much time.
Being raised by workaholics, I grew up with a sense of urgency.
As an infantryman, I paid my dues in the mud and snow.
But then the Army gave me a job running a warehouse.
We spent most of the day loading and unloading trucks.
But we had loads of downtime between trucks.
I began to keep an agenda of projects to do each day.
Several skilled Korean carpenters worked with me.
We spent downtime improving our buildings.
We found an hour each day for language lessons.
I taught them English and they taught me Korean.
We were never idle and the day passed swiftly.
We learned to contract time and expand productivity.
The troops aren’t happy when they have nothing to do.
Leaders make sure their people are busy and productive.
For more on leadership, please click here.