Recently I was driving to work and my mobile phone rang. The call was from a salesperson who works for the Atlanta Braves Baseball Team and he was trying to get me to buy tickets for employees or customers. “Thanks, but I am not interested”, I said, ready to hang up. He replied, “Oh, then is there someone else I should be talking to instead of you? I was transferred here?”. I replied, “No, I am the local Site Leader. We recently surveyed our employees and there was not a lot of interest in Braves Tickets”. “Really? I am surprised to hear that. It reallyRead More →

Do any of these budget related phrases sound familiar? There is no budget for any more travel this year. There is no budget to give your employee a market pay increase. There is no budget to provide lunch for the employees. There is no budget to replace your laptop at this time. We hear all the time in Corporate America that there is no budget to do this or do that, but I want to let you in on a little secret. There is almost always budget available. The reality is that the senior leader who is in charge of the budget, which is usually millionsRead More →

In my opinion, being accountable is one of the most positive personality and leadership traits. When important things need to get done, you and/or your team state with confidence, “I own that. We will review what needs to get done and provide an update next week. We will achieve the end of month target.” When things don’t go as planned, you and/or your team state, “My bad. This should have been done by X date, but I missed that mark. I apologize and would like to discuss an alternative date. I assure you that we’ll meet the adjusted time line.” When a direct report missesRead More →

Lately, I have found myself uttering the phrases “we need to pick our battles ” often followed by “there are bigger fish to fry” at least once per week- enough to notice it and write a blog post about it. When running a complex business operation, there will always be problems to solve and coworkers that you disagree with, but if you take action on every problem and confront every disagreement, you will actually lessen not increase progress. Strategically, picking your battles will increase your leadership effectiveness. How do you know which battles to fight? Ask yourself this set of questions… Does the issue inRead More →

Does the output need to be error free or is “80% good”, good enough? To be effective as an operations leader, and to successfully drive business results, we must understand when and how to apply these two different business concepts. We must execute with both quality and speed. Error Free: Error free outputs (e.g. documents, reports, online content) are just what they sound like – error free. The recipients or users of the output can assume that every data element has been checked and re-checked; that the information comes from a trusted “gold source” and that the data was pulled and massaged correctly. Business outputsRead More →

A report on its own provides little value. It is the analysis partnered with management judgment that holds all of the power. Sadly, there is an epidemic of low value reporting in Corporate America. Millions of pages in excel reports, large data dumps and endless CRM queries that give us the “what”, but nothing more. Leaders are being forced to work on lower value, number crunching activities, our decision making takes longer and ultimately our business results suffer. However, we can treat this epidemic. We can coach and develop our team members to move down the spectrum from reporting to analysis: from data to information.Read More →

If your position is at a Director level or above, you likely spend most of your time in meetings.  And, while in these meetings, there is often talk about the “front line personnel”… whether you call them agents, analysts, reps etc. What is disturbing about this talk is how many assumptions we make. (And when I say we, I am including myself.)  We rely on opinions formed from months past, anecdotes or second/third hand information, and apply this to current state decision making- which may or may not be relevant. So, what is a leader to do? Get out of the conference room and backRead More →