Monday, January 22, 2018

Accidental Diminisher: Pacesetter

Leaders are supposed to lead. In many ways, they're supposed to be setting the pace, especially in the areas of improvement one's self, the processes, and changing the results. If you keep charging forward, like the Idea Guy, you can wear out your team as they try to keep up with you. What seems important to you is that action is being taken, that something is happening. Maybe you have Activator in your list from StrengthFinder (tm).

You might be the guy who says, "Do this...alright, that didn't work, let's try that..." This not only leads to a reliance on trial-and-error problem-solving and often leads to convoluted procedures and processes as 'fixes' get added and those additions haven't fixed anything. In the meantime, your team just feels like a pit crew: there only to serve the driver and only reacting when you the Pacesetter take a break. It also demoralizes anyone else who does have drive and passion if you insist that you need to outpace them. They'll quit like the cartoonish Wile E. Coyote chasing Road Runner on foot...until your team figures out a way to sabotage you in order to slow you down or some other, external mechanism to keep pace.

Pacesetters need to make space for mistakes, sufficient problem-solving and effective strategic planning. Let someone else set the pace (e.g. make them the project owner). Let the majority control the rate of action; listen to your staff on how much they can handle and if they're ready for the next thing (or are they trying to finish up the last thing you assigned them).

Monday, January 8, 2018

CEO's Are Only Human...

In the last week we learned that most of our computers and other smart devices have a security flaw: Meltdown and Spectre. Apparently it's in our computer chips. But Intel and other chip makers knew about the flaw seven months ago. Three months ago (while the public didn't know about the flaw) and earlier than previous automated stock sales, Intel CEO sold $39 million worth of stock, reducing his equity stake to the mandatory 250,000 shares. His stake in his own company was reduced by 80%.

So far, we can only speculate. But assume you learned about the flaw. And then 3 months later, you abandon 80% of your equity. It would probably say you've lost confidence in your own company or you're getting ready to retire...both reasons because your company can't fix the flaw without jeopardizing significant performance levels. And now after some period of time--after your money is safely invested somewhere else--you release the bad news about your company.

Suspicious? You bet.

Understandable? Hey, we CEO's are only human and subject to the same instincts toward greed, self-centerness and self-preservation as the rank-and-file in our companies.