It’s one of the most controversial pieces of legislation passed in my lifetime, with its legality being ruled on by the U.S. Supreme Court, but whether you support or reject Obamacare, it’s obvious that its execution has been deeply flawed. There’s a lesson in this for all of us.
“He acts like he owns the place!” Depending on the context, that single sentence, when used in the workplace, can either spell disaster or be one of the most positive and flattering things to be said about an employee. If the statement is made out of frustration about an employee who throws his weight around and has a condescending attitude, you might be in trouble. But if it’s said with pride and satisfaction about an employee, then you’ve found yourself a star.
“Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.”
Some of you might get tired of my use of sports stories to illustrate good management, but when I see something like the recent 60 Minutes piece on University of Alabama football coach Nick Saban, I’m struck by the parallels between coaching a sport and managing people. In the end, people are people. Successful strategies to manage, mold, and motivate them are consistent across the playing field and the workplace.
I was in Birmingham, Alabama, over the weekend visiting my daughter at college. While out for breakfast, I saw a local newspaper with the headline “Live Generously: How three Gardendale teenagers hope to change lives with new business.”
If you’re like me, it’s time to turn your attention to 2014. As we move through the fourth quarter of 2013 and can see the end in sight, our thoughts turn to what we want to accomplish in the coming year. At our company, we’re in the midst of our budgeting process for 2014, and to create a budget that matches our ambitions, our goals for the coming year must be defined.
The other night I walked in the door to find my youngest son watching the movie Remember the Titans. If you’re a regular reader of this column, you know I consider the movie one of my favorites. Of course, I sat down and watched the last 30 minutes of the film with my son.
A football coach in Utah recently went to great lengths to make sure his players understand the importance of high-school athletics—that is, he suspended almost the entire team because they were skipping class, had poor grades, and were even participating in bullying a fellow student.
We talk a lot about teams in the workplace today. When we recruit to fill a position, we say, “We’re looking for team players.” When the team achieves success, we say, “We win as a team.” When we consider whether we have the right people on the team, we say, “The team is only as good as its weakest player.” And we hold rah-rah meetings, hand out T-shirts and buttons, and go on retreats all in an effort to build a sense of unity and camaraderie.
Either you love the New York Yankees or you hate them. I’m a hater. I grew up hating them. They were the antithesis of my beloved Chicago Cubs. That is to say they were winners. But I didn’t hate them because they were winners—well, maybe a little. I hated them because of the way they went about it. They were brash and flamboyant with personalities and egos as large as the city they represented.