Management and Leadership Timeline (Part I)

This next post is one of two parts. I decided to construct a  timeline of management and leadership over the past 120 years. Have you ever wondered where all of these theories and management styles came from? How old are they? Who discovered them? Well, I put together a dated list to help you understand when and where these techniques and theories were discovered.
  • 1929 – 1931 – Taylorism – Scientific management in the industry.
  • 1932-1945 – The Hawthorne Studies – Questioning of behavioral assumptions of scientific management concluding that human factors were often more important than physical conditions in motivating employees.
  • 1946-1948 – Organization Development – Change theory, action research, and action learning spark the idea of Organizational Development. This is the systematic application of behavioral science knowledge at various levels.
  • 1949-1953 – Sociotechnical Systems Theory– Research leads the development of the Sociotechnical Systems theory which considers both the social and the technical aspects when designing jobs. It is a complete opposite from Fredrick Taylor’s scientific management.
  • 1954-1958 – Hierarchy of Needs – Leadership Management – Maslow’s hierarchy of needs theory is published. The Practice of Management introduces the 5 basic roles of managers. What is our organizational business structure and what should it be?
  • 19591960 – Hygiene and Motivational Factors -Herzberg’s list of factors were developed and must be present in the job before motivators can be used to stimulate workers.
  • 1960’s – Theory X&Y – Action Learning – McGregor’s principles influence design and implementation of personnel policies and practices.

 

Check in tomorrow to see the rest of the timeline up to present day!

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Keep your social media presence legit!

Today I just wanted to write a little bit about social media since it has been consuming much of my free time lately. Building a social brand is difficult and keeping your social media etiquette in line is an important duty if you wish to avoid problems and maximize your potential.

Obviously in the professional world, correspondence is everything. Communicating with people is what makes the world go round and your business a success. If you find that people are not returning your calls, emails, or texts, they may not have the professional courtesy that is expected in this world where technology is ever-increasing our ability to connect with each-other. In business, social media is a tool that can be used to meet and build relationships with new people. It is a way to network without even leaving the comfort of your own home and it is growing in popularity. In an instant, you can make new friends, customers, business acquaintances, and important relationships and keep them fresh and personal.

The key to polishing your social media presence and etiquette are honesty, valuable content, accessibility, conversational generation, good listening, good questions, helping people freely, putting other people first, tapping into the community, and surrounding yourself with meaningful people who are smarter than you.

It is important to remember that even though social media is a great way to network, the platforms and content it is not the connection itself. Whether or not the connection is built on quality is up to you. You have to make it real.

Non-Profit vs For Profit: Shedding light on the differences

There are many individuals I interact with at a daily basis who consider starting what they call a “non-profit” business before they even understand what a non-profit is. They emphasize their desire to help the community and not turn a profit from it before they even understand how difficult and demanding NPO’s can be. As if non-profits run themselves , people talk as if it were as simple as rolling a snowball down a hill picking up accomplishments and progress by itself. Unfortunately for them this is not true. Non-profits are for people who have time to work for charity and have their financial futures already secured.

Non profit organizations are companies that use surplus revenues to achieve its goals, rather than distributing them as profit or dividends. Non profit organizations are permitted to generate surplus revenues that must be retained by the organization strictly for self-preservation, expansion, or planning. This means working long hours not for your own financial gain, but for the gain of your organizations purpose alone. Designation as a non-profit and an intent to make money are not necessarily related.

Non-profit organizations have diverse structures and purpose. They are formed by filing bylaws and “articles of incorporation” in the specific state in which they intend to operate in. Non-profits may apply for tax exempt status so that the organization can function more as a community resource rather than a taxable participant in the capitalist system.

If you are thinking about starting a Non-profit organization you need to take a good look at whether or not you have the time to work basically for free. If you can afford to spend long hours as a CEO for literally no monetary return then starting a Non-profit may be the right choice for you. Otherwise, you may end up getting in over your head. If you are a young college graduate with grand aspirations for helping the community, it may be better for you to secure your own financial stability first in order to be able to contribute more to your Non-profit. The first step is familiarizing yourself with a NPO that you are interested in. Find out what makes them tick and how they deal with the day-to-day responsibilities. Only then will you understand whether or not starting an NPO is for you. Nothing is worse than a failed attempt at a charity so make sure you do your homework and prepare for a long road of working without turning a profit for yourself!

Boost Your Leadership Influence

Being a leader is not about power or status, it is about your influence on others. Good leaders will recognize that truth is the key to honing their attention and focusing on their ability and strengths when it comes to influencing followers.

Leaders must remember to:

  • Treat people as ends and not as means to an end. If followers and employees start to feel like they are just another tool in the companies toolbox, this could lead them to feel neglected.
  • Make generous mistakes. If you have to make errors, it is important to be generous with your time and resources. Forgiveness is a powerful ally.
  • Be clear and let people know their place. Never let under performing employees think they are doing will, and never let over-performing employees continue without praises. Make sure you are giving direction as a leader!
  • Use belief as a power source. Don’t let guilt and fear bring down yourself or an organization. Lead them to believe they can do anything they put their mind too. Lead them to believe that their team has their back, this way when it comes down to it, they have each others backs.
  • Praise is golden. Sticking to the “praise in public, punish in private” rule of thumb is crucial to maintaining respectful relationships. Loosing your cool as a leader can be permanently detrimental to your respect levels.
  • Dont respond to irrationally angry employees in front of the team. You have to set a president that you are in control of the situation and that you don’t let things get out of hand.
  • Muster the courage for apology when it is due. You can’t go wrong with apologizing when you make a mistake. Making excuses only makes the situation worse.
  • Hand written notes are effective ways to send encouragement, praise, or make apologies. It is so personal to sit down and take time to write something out for someone. They will notice your extra effort.
  • Set the bar high! When you do, you have something to work for. Excellence is honorable and inspiring
  • Always keep your promises and commitments.  The moment you neglect your commitments and stop doing what you say you will do, your integrity suffers. Be consistent. People judge you by your actions so let them speak louder than words and in a positive way!
Sticking to these tips will significantly improve your leadership influence and hopefully your followers will take up some of the important side effects and embody themselves in their own work ethic and way of life. Good Luck!

Tie One On

 

I thought I would stray from the normal leadership and management curriculum I usually stick to and write a post about another related challenge that managers face on a daily basis:Tying ties!!!

Even though I have plenty of practice tying ties, I still struggle with figuring out which style I want to tie and how to tie it. Usually I end up going to youtube and getting some temporary education I know that I will struggle with again on the next tie wearing occasion. If you feel the same way and want to know what knot is best for what occasion and what each looks like, keep reading.

There are over 100 ways to tie a necktie so get ready to make some morning decisions. Let’s take a brief look at a few of the more common knots:

1. The Windsor knot. This is usually an all-purpose knot appropriate for business meetings, interviews, and anywhere else you are going where you want a full-bodied knot and a respectable look. Developed primarily by the Duke of Windsor (Edward VIII) the Windsor knot fashion was adopted by Americans starting in the 1930’s and was considered comfortable and relaxed. The knot is self releasing, and can be worn with a dimple, double dimple, or worn flat.

Here is one of the better instructional videos I have found on how to tie the Windsor:

 

2. Half-Windsor knot. A true businessman knows the difference between a half Windsor and other similar knots. Usually the collar style is a good determining factor on which knot you choose. The Half-Windsor is a more assertive looking knot that is medium in size and is more formal than the four-in-hand. It can also be worn for generally any occasion and is fit for ties made of light to medium fabric thickness.

3. The Small Knot. This knot is exactly as it sounds. It is useful for thicker ties and narrow collars.

4. The Four-in-Hand. This is another smaller simple knot and is usually the most popular because it is easier to tie. This knot started for coach drivers of the past who tied the tie in the Four-in-hand style to keep it from floating around in the wind. It is considered appropriate for all occasions.

5. The Prince Albert Knot. This is a very small tight not that goes good with shirts that have long and narrow collars.

Here is a great site with some more detailed explanations and good instructions on how to accomplish that sometimes impossible morning task. Tie one on!

http://www.brooksbrothers.com/TieKnots/princealbert.tem

Personal Customer Service

There are many benefits to keeping your customer service techniques consistently at their maximum. Sometimes this means getting personal with customers in order to provide them with the level of service they desire or beyond. Making things personal can be a challenge and it is not always the easiest way to do business.

Sometimes customers want an experience when they deal with an organization. Other times, not so much. Sometimes personal experiences seem like they are the most valuable thing you can give customers, when in actuality customers differ with their preference for how personal a company is willing to get with them.  It is often difficult for an organization to adjust when their customer base changes their preferences due to technology or competitor developments. It is important to remember that what the customers want is simply what they want. This may mean giving them what they want or going after a new customer base but no matter, it is important to remember that there will be tough decisions to face when dealing with personal customer experience fluctuation.

Designing your organizations customer experience to fit the customer is exactly what managers should do. They have to allow for adjustments to be made in the future. It is important to help the customers realize their needs and wants, and that the company is willing to change their personal experience if necessary.  Understanding the management role as leaders means anticipating how customers needs evolve over time.

Learning to Predict and Maximize Performance

Learning to Predict and Maximize Performance

Lately I have been learning the varying systems of measurement for predicting performance of future job applicants. Understanding how to measure KSA’s and predict performance measures is one of the most important duties as a manager. Though this is mainly an HR function, knowing how to predict future performance of potential can significantly improve an organization. After all, selection is the key to retention. Since the majority of employees claim that poor management and lack of leadership as their cause for leaving an organization, managers and leaders must know what to expect from their employees  and in this way they can lead and manage them in the properly  while holding them to a reasonable performance standard.

When signing employees to their contractual commitment, it is important that these relationships are not built solely on good faith alone. When managers and leaders seek trustful relationships they must first give themselves the best chance they have at finding the right people for the right job. Only then will they be able to build a respectful and meaningful relationship.

While leading and managing carefully selected employees, leaders must hold themselves accountable for performing as they expect others perform. They must both “talk the talk” and “walk the walk” at the same time. Showing a genuine interest in the people who you lead is not valuable unless you have a genuine interest and care for them. There can be no entitlement as a manager, but rather, respect must be earned as it always has to be. A good place to start is asking good questions. What can you do to make the relationship between you and your followers better? What are their thoughts? Concerns? What are their strengths and weaknesses? Starting with genuine questions shows that you actually care about employees in the organization. It will give you a better chance at building meaningful relationships, giving strength to many other sectors work as well.

Read another good post about  performance management: http://charleswolff.me/2011/01/18/employee-performance-measurements-company-goals/