Here are a few things to "noodle" today:
1. Does it really matter if a leader has a strong sense of integrity?
In a study done by Fast Company magazine last year, 1665 respondents were asked about the importance of ethics in company leaders in today's business climate.
The good news: 95% of the responders said it's important. They said that ethical leadership filters downward through the organization. Then there was bad new as well: When asked to rate their own company, and a few typical organizations on the issue of integrity, their ratings crashed.
Of note because they were so poorly rated - the government and media companies. Responders greatest concerns were organizations' values toward altruism, and their ability to admit mistakes.
2. Many managers prescribe to the notion that when one moves up the career ladder, they should dedicate more time to looking at issues affecting the organization over the long term. They say that others can, and should, focus on the immediate results while the "higher ups" should be gathering ideas, contemplating new initiatives, and planning for the coming changes sure to impact the company / industry.
I wonder if this is still a valid concept.(?) Perhaps it makes sense that the higher up one goes, the more important it is that they don't lose touch with the day-to-day operations.
3. Do you use the "Big 5"?
Each month many mangers ask those below them to provide a list of the 5 most important things they wish to accomplish next month. That list then becomes a tracking document to see how the individual is performing throughout the month and if (s)he needs some help. Additionally, the manager will take the 5 best priorities of the team and give that list to her/his boss as their own Big 5 for the next month.
Here are 6 solid reasons to use this approach - First, the manager wil be able to ensure that the team is focused on the most important activities or task. Next, the manager can get involved in real-time to help the subordinate get the job done. Third, it's hard for any poor performer to hide their personal incompetence for long. Four, the manager gets to have a monthly report which can serve as a nice "brag sheet" showcasing her/his accomplishments. Also, the big boss can make changes to your Big 5 sheet to influence downward for alignment with other parts of the company. Six, it's a nice record of good work for when senior people are thinking about your raise or next promotion.
Oh yes, the big boss is up to speed and looks more in control to his bosses. It's a good thing to have your boss comfortable with you.
4. Is it appropriate to treat men differently than women?
"Gender bias is so 1975..." That's what I was told last week by a group of youngish managers with whom I was working. They felt kind of embarrassed and somewhat frustrated to be discussing the differences in the way men and women think or process information in a management development program.
Some felt that there are no longer biases in the workplace today. They noted that both genders deal with the same issues now. Others in the group disagreed. They felt that, to be successful as a manager of people, it's valuable to understand the biological differences, the hormonal differences, and the reasons why the genders process information so differently.
What do you think - outdated ideas or still timely? Watch this space for the answers.