Today, I conclude my look back at my 2011 content for the Management is a Journey Blog. Last month, I shared the reader’s top choices on what they found most valuable on this blog from last year. In this post, I’ll share my favorite content with a little back story on each of those posts.
I’m not surprised that my favorites had an emotional connection–either because they were my own stories or because they were someone else’s story that I had the privilege of sharing with them. Emotions are always with us and they are powerful forces in our interactions with others. My emotional connection played out in my choices. Like last year, I underwent some internal arguing to narrow my list down to five. So, here I go! My favorite posts from 2012 were the following:
Over the years I have known some very intelligent people who did not reach their full leadership potential because they were too impressed with their strengths and too unconcerned about their weaknesses. In my consulting and training work, I encounter the same dynamic with some business professionals. They have done so well with their strengths that they are unable to recognize how overusing these strengths has now become their Achilles heel. Like a well played song that is blasting too loudly, these managers need to learn how to turn down their volume.
Scott Patchin of the Tru Group left a comment on this post about the pitfalls of blindly adhering to a strengths-only approach to management and leadership that I appreciated.
It’s a nice saying and as I explain in my post I know it is true. I once got lost in a forest! In life and work we can lose our perspective. We can become so vested in a way of doing things that we neglect to see that it is time to change our direction. Blind allegiance to something that is flawed, no matter what the reason, keeps us going in circles. If what you are doing as a leader is not working, you may need to get out of the forest so you can see the trees!
One of my most powerful lessons on motivation came from an employee (my teacher that day) who worked for me when I was a twenty-something finance manager. (I was technically smart but I was not so smart in the people-skills area). This employee never knew how much she impacted me but her verbal turning-of-the-tables on me to give me a reprimand was something I needed. She taught me that we cannot begin to create an environment that others find motivating unless we really know our people. In fact, there is no substitute for knowing your people. This post shows why this is true.
We learn life is not fair and this is true for the workplace. Sometimes the challenges a talented manager faces is from her insecure boss who is threatened by her skills and from her ambitious and unappreciative employee who wants her job. This was the case with a manager I was coaching who in her frustration with the unfairness of her situation almost destroyed her own career. With some strategic questioning, I got her to understand that the last thing she wanted to do was to give up the strongest organizational power that she possessed. Instead of letting office politics destroy her, she had to rethink how she could leverage office politics to her own benefit.
I appreciated a comment from Jeff Velmonte of GrowBankAccount on this post. He commented on the reality of office politics. He’s right. Office politics is something that we should expect to exist in the workplace.
What does Las Vegas have to do with management, leadership, change, life, and innovation? As I learned, a great deal! There’s a world of opportunity available to you if you are willing to take educated risks, challenge the norm, walk another path, think differently, and be persistent on your journey of discovery. Las Vegas reaffirmed some important life and business lessons for me!
So, now you know the rest of the story behind my favorite posts of 2012. Thanks for sharing this management journey with me these past several years. I also want to thank those who shared my content in social media. You know who you are and I want you to know that I appreciate your support.