Leadership Lessons from Nebraska Football

Writer’s note: I have already seen numerous wonderful leadership lessons from the first four games, and I suspect that will continue.  This article will probably become a running commentary on what I learned during the season. Stay tuned.

My husband is a Nebraska football fan. That might just be a serious understatement.  For our 40+ years together, he anxiously awaits fall, and sits glued to the television for each and every game (unless they are losing so badly that he can’t bear to watch.) He devours every article on every move, and dissects the plays weekly with his son, another FANatic.

Back in the day, Nebraska was the pinnacle of successful college football. Over the last couple decades, not so much. They have brought in coaches, fired coaches, changed strategies, poached players, but have never revived their glory days. (more…)

Are you ready for ongoing performance management?

The past few years have put a spotlight on the one “human resource” process that is both the most important process, as well as the most hated. Everyone is jumping on the bandwagon to move from static, snapshot-based annual review to frequent two-way conversation. It’s the right time; with today’s operational and human complexities, we need to be communicating up, down and across to make sure that everyone is working toward the same end.

But this isn’t a simple “flip the switch and tell them to do it differently.”  A change such as this is major organizational change, and this kind of change needs a holistic plan, a purpose and goal, and a change process. We know the statistics: 70% of change initiatives fail (Google: 70% of change initiatives fail) (more…)

Employees don’t know if they’re performing correctly? Huh. That’s a problem…

infrastructureHave you ever heard the old saying “hope is not a strategy?” Hope may, in fact, lead to success or it may not. If it does lead to success, the chance of repeating the success isn’t very good unless you know exactly what you did to achieve it.

In my email this morning was an article from Mark Murphy of LeadershipIQ. I like his stuff; it’s research grounded and generally practical.  The research he presented this morning was a survey of 30,000+ employees who were asked to rate “I know whether my performance is where it should be.”  I guess it’s encouraging that almost 30% said “Always,” and another 14% responded “frequently.” But that’s still less than half of a humongous research sample.

So if over half of a group of employees are not sure if the work they are doing is meeting expectations or not, you have to ask the question, “Is it?” And if it isn’t, is it costing more than it should to duplicate work, correct mistakes or go down the wrong path? Probably. (more…)