Among my favorite movies is the 1991 film City Slickers. Billy Crystal plays radio ad salesman Mitch Robbins, who is having a bit of a midlife crisis. Mitch and his two best friends decide to leave New York City to spend two weeks on a cattle drive in the Southwest. It’s there that Mitch meets Curly, the crusty trail boss played by Jack Palance.
A colleague shared with me an article published recently in the New York Times Sunday Review. In addition to the fact that the article had been recommended, its title, “The Secret of Effective Motivation,” was certainly enough to get me to read it. Who in management doesn’t want to know the “secret” of effective motivation?
Let me see if something strikes a chord with you as it did with me. As a manager, you’re asked to be a wise steward of the resources given to you. That means not only generating an appropriate amount of revenue and profit with the resources you manage today but also investing wisely to find new opportunities that will sustain the business in the future. A delicate balance, to say the least.
In my last post, I wrote about an article that appeared in the June issue of Harvard Business Review (“The Big Idea: 21st-Century Talent Spotting”). The subject of the article was hiring for potential. Of course, to do so, one must know how to determine a person’s potential. The article’s author, Claudio Fernández-Aráoz, provided five qualities he looks for in determining an individual’s potential: read more…
The cover article in the June issue of Harvard Business Review is titled “The Big Idea: 21st-Century Talent Spotting.” Since all of us as managers are constantly on the lookout for talent, the title of course grabbed my attention. The author, Claudio Fernández-Aráoz, a senior adviser at a global executive firm, boldly claims that potential is “the most important predictor of success at all levels.”
My mother often said to me, “Look before you leap.” She was warning me to stop for a second and think before I threw myself headlong into whatever it was I was considering. That’s because out of her four children, I was probably the most impulsive. Let me reword that—I was the most impulsive.
Sunday’s New York Times featured an article titled “Why You Hate Work.” Right from the opening paragraph, I must admit, I had my back up a bit. The article claims it’s very likely that I’m not excited about my work, I don’t feel appreciated while there, I find it difficult to get my most important tasks accomplished, and I really don’t feel like what I do makes a difference. How dare these people tell me what I’m thinking and feeling?! They don’t know me.
On November 7, 1967, 1st Lieutenant Lee Ellis was shot down over North Vietnam. He would spend the next five-plus years as a POW. Not only did he survive the North Vietnamese prison camps, but he also remained in the military after his release, finally retiring as a colonel. And his combat decorations include two Silver Stars, the Legion of Merit, the Bronze Star, the Purple Heart, and the Prisoner of War Medal.
We live in a world where everything moves fast and is interconnected. There was a time when 20 miles may have represented an entire day’s journey. Now we can travel that distance in less than 20 minutes. And information moves even faster. We learn about things that are occurring halfway around the world almost as they happen. Yet despite the fact that we can get so much more done in a day than our ancestors could ever imagine, we still feel like there aren’t enough hours in the day.
Last night, my wife encouraged me to watch the movie Saving Mr. Banks, and I’m glad she did. The movie, which stars Emma Thompson and Tom Hanks, tells the story of Walt Disney’s quest to obtain the rights to make a movie based on P.L. Travers’ Mary Poppins and her role in its creation.