Posts tagged Careers

A Leadership Lesson From The Brooklyn Nets 
At the Barclays Center last Thursday, the Brooklyn Nets introduced three of their latest additions, former Boston Celtics Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Jason Terry. It was a basketball event, but taught an important leadership lesson in the process.
The three stars, all past their prime, were acquired by Brooklyn in a trade that sent three first round draft picks back to the Celtics. That’s a lot of future talent to give up in exchange for a group of players at the end of their careers, especially considering the 37-year-old Garnett missed chunk of last season due to injuries. 
But for the Nets, it was a risk worth taking. Their previous season ended with a playoff loss to the Chicago Bulls, a middling team without their injured superstar, Derrick Rose. The Bulls won the series because they cared more. They played with heart while the Nets, the more talented team, simply showed up. 
This explains the addition of Garnett, one of the meanest players in the NBA. He may be old, but brings an attitude that changes the people around him. The Nets acquired him for his passion as much his skill. They could not afford to be a listless group of talented folks any longer. 
“I think KG is a guy who comes with a lot of emotion, he plays the game at a high level and so he definitely changes the culture here,” said Jason Kidd, the Nets incoming coach. When asked if the Nets were lacking heart last season, Kidd simply said, “I really can’t remember last year, adding: “Whatever they were missing last year, hopefully we have it this year.” 
Jason Terry was more direct. “They just didn’t have that veteran leadership from a guy like a Kevin,” he said of last year’s Nets. “What he brings every night to the game, his intensity level, guys are going to want to step up and want to play for him.” 
It’s a simple but a valuable lesson for anyone in the workplace: Talent can get you to a certain point, but without passion, you’ll get stuck. A team of talented people can do good work, but the best teams bring something more.
Follow me on Twitter: Follow @Kantrowitz

A Leadership Lesson From The Brooklyn Nets

At the Barclays Center last Thursday, the Brooklyn Nets introduced three of their latest additions, former Boston Celtics Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Jason Terry. It was a basketball event, but taught an important leadership lesson in the process.

The three stars, all past their prime, were acquired by Brooklyn in a trade that sent three first round draft picks back to the Celtics. That’s a lot of future talent to give up in exchange for a group of players at the end of their careers, especially considering the 37-year-old Garnett missed chunk of last season due to injuries.

But for the Nets, it was a risk worth taking. Their previous season ended with a playoff loss to the Chicago Bulls, a middling team without their injured superstar, Derrick Rose. The Bulls won the series because they cared more. They played with heart while the Nets, the more talented team, simply showed up.

This explains the addition of Garnett, one of the meanest players in the NBA. He may be old, but brings an attitude that changes the people around him. The Nets acquired him for his passion as much his skill. They could not afford to be a listless group of talented folks any longer.

“I think KG is a guy who comes with a lot of emotion, he plays the game at a high level and so he definitely changes the culture here,” said Jason Kidd, the Nets incoming coach. When asked if the Nets were lacking heart last season, Kidd simply said, “I really can’t remember last year, adding: “Whatever they were missing last year, hopefully we have it this year.”

Jason Terry was more direct. “They just didn’t have that veteran leadership from a guy like a Kevin,” he said of last year’s Nets. “What he brings every night to the game, his intensity level, guys are going to want to step up and want to play for him.”

It’s a simple but a valuable lesson for anyone in the workplace: Talent can get you to a certain point, but without passion, you’ll get stuck. A team of talented people can do good work, but the best teams bring something more.

Follow me on Twitter:

When I was growing up in politics, the wisdom was to look for a 50-year-old mentor,” Trippi said. “Now, if you’re 50, you should be looking for an 18-year-old to help you deliver the message in a way that people will get it.

The World We Live In Now

Millions of dollars are pouring into politics focused tech startups this election season (and it may just be turning the game on its head). Check out Inc’s coverage: Tech Start-Ups Follow the Money into Politics

Related: Voted Up on Forbes

The most common lament in this collection is from people who worked at the same company all their lives and now realize how boring they must seem. These people passively let their lives happen to them. One man described his long, uneventful career at an insurance company and concluded, “Wish my self-profile was more exciting, but it’s a little late now.”

The Life Report by David Brooks

I still can’t get this David Brooks column out of my head. The column describes a collection of essays written by the Yale class of 1942. In the essays, the alumni look back and recap the stories of their lives. Risk is a strong theme, here’s my favorite line:

Nobody regretted the life changes they made, even when they failed.

Read the full column here.

Related: Buridan’s Donkey

Someone has to be the new, great filmmaker, artist, scientist, author, etc. So why not let that someone be you? What’s different today than back then is that there is no clear path anymore. Lines are smudged, career trajectories are murky. But that’s also what makes it so exciting, don’t you think? You can create your own journey and become a trailblazer. I mean, is that a ridiculous thing to suggest?

Wise Words for The New Workforce

If I had a commencement address to give, this would be in it. It’s spot on.

Especially poignant: The line about smudged lines and murky career trajectories. It will only get more blurry as we go.

There’s zero correlation between being the best talker and having the best ideas.

mralexho:

- Susan Cain 

Ain’t that the truth.

You will be judged (or you will be ignored)

Which Would You Prefer?

I came across a great Seth Godin blog post that I think is worth sharing (and so, here I am, sharing it). The title is “You will be judged (or you will be ignored),” the rest of the post is quoted below. It will take a minute to read, and is well worth the time. Make it happen:

Those are pretty much the only two choices.

Being judged is uncomfortable. Snap judgments, prejudices, misinformation… all of these, combined with not enough time (how could there be) to truly know you, means that you will inevitably be misjudged, underestimated (or overestimated) and unfairly rejected.

The alternative, of course, is much safer. To be ignored.

Up to you.

Seth’s Blog: sethgodin.typepad.com

I’m a big believer in delegating, giving people lots of responsibility, maybe even more than they can handle. You don’t want a roster of order takers. Failing is OK. When you micromanage, you get people that don’t care.

Tumblr’s New EIC Talks About His Management Style

Chris Mohney, the new Editor in Chief of Tumblr, gives an interesting interview to Ad Week in which he’s asked about his leadership style. I like the answer he gives, quoted in full above, especially the last part about micromanagement:

When you micromanage, you get people that don’t care.

How true. 

fastcompany:

Quitting Is The New Mission Statement 
“Take this job and shove it” just doesn’t cut it any more. At a time when jobs are scarce, it takes spectacular courage to quit one. Maybe that’s why we’ve seen a recent trend of people leaving their jobs with a grand flourish. Today it was now-former Goldman Sachs exec Greg Smith, who scorched the firm on his way out the door with a New York Times op-ed titled, “Why I Am Leaving Goldman Sachs.” Yes, the new, smart way to resign now involves grabbing some attention from would-be next employers or patrons to your new startup, all while making the ex-boss think hard about the culture or direction of his business. That probably sounds about right to Generation Flux. And that’s why quitting is the new mission statement.

Yes. Greg Smith’s op-ed is not just a ‘screw you’ to Goldman, it’s also a (very) public act of dissent taken in order to inspire change in the firm. If Smith had his way, Goldman would start operating according to the instructions laid out in his final paragraph. His mission statement:
Make the client the focal point of your business again. 
Weed out the morally bankrupt people, no matter how much money they make for the firm. 
Get the culture right again, so people want to work here for the right reasons.
Quitting has always been viewed as the ‘active’ and ‘destructive’ method to show dissent in the workplace as opposed to the ‘active’ and ‘constructive’ method: complaining.  Perhaps FastCompany is on to something here. Quitting, in some cases, can be ‘active’ and ‘constructive’ too. 
I’m sure Goldman would have preferred the complaint route, but something tells me that Smith didn’t think that option would have done much good.
Related: Why I Left Google | How to Quit a Job Without Publishing an Op-Ed

fastcompany:

Quitting Is The New Mission Statement

“Take this job and shove it” just doesn’t cut it any more. At a time when jobs are scarce, it takes spectacular courage to quit one. Maybe that’s why we’ve seen a recent trend of people leaving their jobs with a grand flourish. Today it was now-former Goldman Sachs exec Greg Smith, who scorched the firm on his way out the door with a New York Times op-ed titled, “Why I Am Leaving Goldman Sachs.” Yes, the new, smart way to resign now involves grabbing some attention from would-be next employers or patrons to your new startup, all while making the ex-boss think hard about the culture or direction of his business. That probably sounds about right to Generation Flux. And that’s why quitting is the new mission statement.

Yes. Greg Smith’s op-ed is not just a ‘screw you’ to Goldman, it’s also a (very) public act of dissent taken in order to inspire change in the firm. If Smith had his way, Goldman would start operating according to the instructions laid out in his final paragraph. His mission statement:

  • Make the client the focal point of your business again. 
  • Weed out the morally bankrupt people, no matter how much money they make for the firm. 
  • Get the culture right again, so people want to work here for the right reasons.

Quitting has always been viewed as the ‘active’ and ‘destructive’ method to show dissent in the workplace as opposed to the ‘active’ and ‘constructive’ method: complaining.  Perhaps FastCompany is on to something here. Quitting, in some cases, can be ‘active’ and ‘constructive’ too. 

I’m sure Goldman would have preferred the complaint route, but something tells me that Smith didn’t think that option would have done much good.

Related: Why I Left Google | How to Quit a Job Without Publishing an Op-Ed

It’s not business, it’s personal

Another Seth Godin Gem

I really like Seth Godin’s blog post that follows the counterintuitive headline above:

It’s too easy to blame the organization and the system and the bottom line for decisions that a person would never be willing to take responsibility for.

Whenever you can, work with people who take it personally.

Perhaps I’m naive, but I think Godin’s right here. I hate the term “It’s not personal, it’s business.” At the end of the day, business is personal. The artificial line we draw between what’s acceptable in the world of business and what’s acceptable outside seems to be a license for us not to have to act like human beings.

On the bright side, the economy and the workplace are changing. And, while we may be experiencing some transitional pains now, I think Godin’s way of thinking is where we’re headed. If that’s the case, we’ll all be better for it.

Check out Godin’s blog at: sethgodin.typepad.com

How To Be A Turnaround Artist
My latest article in Fortune focuses on how to manage a staff you didn’t pick. The situation occurs pretty often in the workplace (pretty much every time a new manager takes over a group) and is critical. Lose the team and you’re likely to lose your job. 
The idea for the article was hatched while watching Jim Harbaugh, the coach of the San Francisco 49ers, in the middle of a crazy turnaround job. The 49ers went 6-10 the previous season, and were so bad that the coach at the time, Mike Singletary, lost his job.
Harbaugh took over this past season and, with a limited offseason due to the NFL’s lockout, led pretty much the same group of players to a dominant 13-3 record. The 49ers lost to the New York Giants in the playoffs, but Harbaugh was named the NFL’s coach of the year in a vote that wasn’t even close. 
As sneak peak, here’s some of the experts you’ll meet in the piece: 
Frances Frei, Harvard Business School Professor John Challenger, President of Challenger, Grey and Christmas Tom Davenport, Author of Manager Redefined and Ryan Rush, a manager who took over a team of 21 
Read the full article here: Inheriting another person’s staff: How to deal

How To Be A Turnaround Artist

My latest article in Fortune focuses on how to manage a staff you didn’t pick. The situation occurs pretty often in the workplace (pretty much every time a new manager takes over a group) and is critical. Lose the team and you’re likely to lose your job. 

The idea for the article was hatched while watching Jim Harbaugh, the coach of the San Francisco 49ers, in the middle of a crazy turnaround job. The 49ers went 6-10 the previous season, and were so bad that the coach at the time, Mike Singletary, lost his job.

Harbaugh took over this past season and, with a limited offseason due to the NFL’s lockout, led pretty much the same group of players to a dominant 13-3 record. The 49ers lost to the New York Giants in the playoffs, but Harbaugh was named the NFL’s coach of the year in a vote that wasn’t even close. 

As sneak peak, here’s some of the experts you’ll meet in the piece: 

Frances Frei, Harvard Business School Professor
John Challenger, President of Challenger, Grey and Christmas
Tom Davenport, Author of Manager Redefined
and Ryan Rush, a manager who took over a team of 21 

Read the full article here: Inheriting another person’s staff: How to deal