Managers: 4 Things to Check as the Year Ends

Year End Checklist

 

I know you are looking ahead to the holiday break and I'm sure you've earned that down time! But you'll rest easier if you know you've buttoned things up perfectly before the year ends. There are always a few things you can do now that will make the year ahead even better.

 

That's why I put together a quick list of tips for you in my latest column for Poynter.org. All you have to do is click on this link to read the column. Then check off the items as you complete them.

 

After that, just have a wonderful holiday season. And may your work be even happier in 2015!

 

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“Boss Talk” – with VMware’s Leaders Worldwide

VMW_09Q3_LOGO_Corp_Gray VMware, a tech leader in Silicon Valley, has 16,000 employees throughout the world. As part of the company's commitment to leadership development, they've set up a call-in show with me on December 16th. The concept is simple. Twice on that day, interested managers will simply call in to a master number and we'll chat about their leadership joys and challenges.

 

Edited Boss Talk We're calling it "Boss Talk," as you can see from the invitation sent companywide. Our focus is collaboration and conflict resolution.

 

I'm really looking forward to talking with VMware's team. Some will be dialing in from the beautiful Palo Alto campus. These photos give you a glimpse of the work environment: palo-alto-photo-2-thumbnail VMpalo-alto-photo-fountain Others will be calling in from posts around the world.

 

The Palo Alto campus is famous for its turtle pond and its venerable residents. palo-alto-photo-20-turtle

 

I should point out that I have a mascot, too. VMware turtles, meet Mr.Tugboat, who thinks my home office is really his. HomeofficeDec2014

 

Tugger's a smart old fellow, but he won't be offering advice during the VMware "Boss Talk" call-in show. He's delegating that work to me.

 

 

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What Startup Organizations Can Teach Leaders about Growth

StartupScreenShot I spend a good amount of time helping organizations of all kinds -- from medicine to law to education to media -- manage the change brought about by disruptive technology and changing consumer demands.

 

I was interviewed for this article in the Columbia Journalism Review, which looked at how startups are approaching change -- and the lessons they can teach all of us.

 

If you'd like to read the article by Erin Polgreen, just click here. It's worth it just to see the cool animated illustration at the top!

 

 

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My New Column on CJR

CJR-logo I'm happy to share this news. I've accepted an invitation from the Columbia Journalism Review to do a monthly column on leadership and management issues. The editor, Liz Spayd, poses questions to me and I provide advice.

 

Here's the interesting thing: Although the publication is written about journalism and the audience is people who are interested in media issues, the management issues are universal.

 

CJR Column For example, check out the first column. Liz's questions focus on startup cultures, integrating staff with new technical talent into a traditional team, and whether charisma can be taught or learned. You can click here to go directly to the column.

 

 

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I’m Thankful for Leaders – and Readers!

Happy Thanksgiving
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High Performers Need Great Bosses

How to Manage a Star

 

Do you have star players on your team? I hope so. It can mean that you've hired well, or trained well, or retained well. If you're a great boss, your stars play well with others, too. They may demand a bit more from you because they've earned it, but their demands are reasonable.

 

Unfortunately, some managers are intimidated by star performers and don't step up to the management challenge. When stars become sacred cows, bad things can happen in organizations. That's what I wrote about in my most recent "What Great Bosses Know" column for Poynter.org.

 

If you'd like tips on how to get the most out of your star performers and avoid the pitfalls, just click on this link.

 

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Oh Canada! Happy to Help Launch the New Brunswick Community College Management Academy

NBCCSIGNA few months ago, I was contacted by the HR department of the New Brunswick Community College in Canada.  The college was developing a curriculum for its planned Management Academy and had selected "Work Happy: What Great Bosses Know" as its primary text. The kickoff was to take place in October, and I was invited to lead the workshop in person.

 

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How could I resist an invitation like that? When I wrote the book, it had always been my hope that organizations would use it just this way. I was more than happy to help NBCC develop and facilitate the learning.

 

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We met on October 23rd and 24th in St. John. It was rainy and gray outside but warm and positive inside the conference center. I worked with the group on leadership fundamentals, coaching, feedback and tough conversations. Nearly 100 managers attended, and they jumped into the conversations and exercises with enthusiasm. It was clear to me that they care deeply about leadership.

 

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This is group shot with Colleen, Nina and Suzanne - -the HR brain trust behind the Academy. NBCCTeam

 

And this is the president of the NBCC, after the group surprised me with a gift: a framed picture of the cover of my book and the logo of the NBCC Management Academy! Jill&MarilynNBCC

 

This wasn't just a two-day program. It's the start of a long-term commitment to the managers of NBCC for continuous learning, providing practical management and leadership tools.

 

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An Amazing Week of Leadership!

Fourteen years ago, I developed the Poynter Leadership Academy, a large-scale program that draws high-potential leaders from across the world to the Poynter Institute. It's our most ambitious leadership program, which calls on the talents of nearly every faculty member.

 

Leadership Academy October 2014This year's group was just a delight. During the week, they received feedback on their leadership skills and challenges, studied performance management, motivation, leading creative people, coaching, time management, diversity, tough conversations, critical thinking and the effective use of using social media.

 

WideRobJillLA2014 RobJill2014Each Academy features a keynote called The Naughton Lecture, named in honor of Poynter's late, beloved president Jim Naughton.  This year's speaker was Rob King, senior VP of ESPN SportsCenter and News.  As you can see from these photos captured by my colleague, Kenny Irby, Rob is a dynamic speaker -- and leader.

 

Rob shared his personal journey as a leader as well as a parent. He pointed out the number of times he simply had to take a leap of faith that everything would turn out all right, even in the face of uncertainty. Rob's upbeat message about optimism and self-confidence in the face of change and challenge truly resonated with the class.

 

 

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Moderating a Gubernatorial Debate

WBACSpanDebate

 

How's this for an assignment? On Friday October 10, I served as moderator for the Wisconsin gubernatorial debate between incumbent Governor Scott Walker and challenger Mary Burke. It was held in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. It was an honor to be invited to help guide this historic event. The race is being closely watched, in my very divided home state. The debate was carried on more than 100 TV and radio stations in Wisconsin and carried nationally on C-Span.

 

Here's a link to C-Span's broadcast of the event, in case you'd like to see it for yourself.

 

 

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Listen Better and You’ll Communicate Better

I learn something whenever I teach leadership workshops. That's because I believe there's already abundant wisdom already in the room. It was certainly the case when I led a week-long leadership and coaching program for journalists from around the world. As you can see from the class picture, it was a smart, diverse, fun group.     MediaProject2014Class   One of the participants, E.S. Isaac of India, made an impression on everyone. His wisdom and warm smile lifted us all. Isaac has a deep belief in the power of listening.   Jill&Isaac   Isaac inherited that belief from his father, a man who had no formal education, who was illiterate for much of his life, and yet was a formidable teacher. He gently schooled Isaac on the priceless value of listening. Now, your parents and mine may have tried to tell us to listen, but I bet the message was not quite as magical as this. Listen for yourself as Isaac tells the story:     You can read more about Isaac and see a photo of his family in a column I wrote for Poynter.org. Just click here.    
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