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Stimulus Events That Can Trigger Employee Disengagement

Stimulus Events That Can Trigger Employee Disengagement

Employee disengagement has huge expenses for individuals and organizations. Employee engagement is indispensable to the health, well-being, and success of organizations and individuals as the work environment becomes leaner, more information-driven, and extremely competitive.

Employee engagement endures to capture the interest of practitioners and scholars, yet estimations are that between 50%and 70% of workers are not engaged. Disengagement has insinuations for profitability, productivity, safety, mental health, turnover, and employee theft.

'The 7 Hidden Reasons Employees Leave' by Leigh Branham (ISBN 0814408516) Though there may be multiple symptoms behind low employee engagement levels, one common culprit is a failure of companies to diagnose that the way people work is developing. From Leigh Branham’s The 7 Hidden Reasons Employees Leave:

  • Being passed over for promotion
  • Realizing the job is not as promised
  • Learning they may be transferred
  • Hiring boss being replaced by new boss they don’t like
  • Being assigned to new territory
  • Being asked to do something unethical
  • Learning the company is doing something unethical
  • Sudden wealth or sufficient savings to buy independence
  • Earning enough money (grubstake)
  • An incident of sexual harassment
  • An incident of racial discrimination
  • Learning the company is up for sale
  • Learning the company has been sold
  • Realizing they are underpaid compared to others doing the same job
  • Realizing they are not in line for promotion for which they thought they were in line
  • Realizing that their own behavior has become unacceptable
  • An unexpected outside job offer
  • Being pressured to make an unreasonable family or personal sacrifice
  • Being asked to perform a menial duty (e.g., run a personal errand for the boss)
  • Petty and unreasonable enforcement of authority
  • Being denied a request for family leave
  • Being denied a request for transfer
  • A close colleague quitting or being fired
  • A disagreement with the boss
  • A conflict with a coworker
  • An unexpectedly low performance rating
  • A surprisingly low pay increase or no pay increase

The costs of disengagement have not been calculated, though some statistics might begin to suggest on important economic reasons to address this silent majority. What makes it exceptional is the high level of employee engagement exhibited by its high performing workforce; the result of true enterprise-wide transparency and trustworthiness that is supported and promoted by all employees and people managers.

Disgruntled customers have a big impact on a business’s bottom line, which brings us to the most important reason employee engagement should be top of mind for executives.

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Posted in Management and Leadership

Tesla’s Elon Musk is a Snarky CEO

Books Recommended by Elon Musk

On the 02-May-2018 quarterly results call, Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla, snubbed Wall Street analyst who called his performance “bizarre.”

When Toni Sacconaghi, a senior sell-side equity research analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein, asked about the company’s capital expenditures, Musk responded, “Excuse me, next. Next. Boring questions are not cool.” When Joseph Spak of RBC Capital asked how many of those who’d reserved a Model 3 sedan have actually gone ahead with the reservation, Musk directed the call’s operator to switch to YouTube remarking, “These questions are so dry. They’re killing me.”

Prominent Tesla bear, Cowen & Co.’s Jeffrey Osborne, wrote a note where he declared that “Tesla’s earnings calls have always been one of the best free sources of entertainment out there, but this one was the over top [sic].” He added,

In one of the most bizarre earnings calls we have ever heard, Tesla refused to address analyst questions on capex, cash burn and other “boring bonehead questions” while providing commentary on “barnacle” like third-party contractors and anecdotes on an ineffectual “flufferbot”.

'Elon Musk' by Ashlee Vance (ISBN 0062301233) On the first-quarter call, CEO Elon Musk also promised a reorganization” this month. He said,

I’m feeling quite confident about hitting positive cash flow in Q3. This is not a certainty. It does appear quite likely in my view. We are going to conduct a reorganization, restructuring of the company this month and make sure we are well set up to achieve that goal. In particular the number of third-party companies we’re using has gotten out of control. We’re going to scrub the barnacles on that front.

Osborne had previously said,

The story keeps breaking down here in terms of the ability to hit overambitious targets from management … so the tone of the release last night certainly has been a bit watered down and I think they’re just starting to try to regain a little bit more credibility … but in general we just see continued execution delays, a lack of profitability over the next two to three years and, with Elon Musk’s world domination strategy, just with the additional factories he wants to build over about 15 to 20 billion dollars of additional capital that he’s going to need to build these battery and car factories in Europe as well as in China.

Tesla stock promptly dropped more than 5% in after-hours trading.

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Posted in Investing and Finance Leaders and Innovators

Earning the Right to Lead

Earning the Right to Lead

Becoming a leader within your organization is about more than just a title—it is about earning your right to lead. Leadership has changed dramatically over the past few decades. Leading with authority is no longer an effective way of getting results from your employees. Truly inspired results need to be earned.

Remember, you are not in charge. In order to build a sense of shared purpose among your employees—many of which come from wildly different backgrounds—you need to earn their trust. Demonstrate transparency, a willingness to listen, and be receptive to new ideas. Look at it this way: in earlier days, it was the employee who needed to earn the approval of his or her manager. Now the roles have been reversed. It is you, the manager, who needs to earn the approval of your employees.

It is not easy to put these words into action. Your leadership style is a direct reflection of who you are as an individual. You simply cannot change this with the flick of a switch. Reaching a leadership style that inspires trust among your employees requires practice and awareness. Take the time to learn more about yourself—understand your life experiences, and how they have shaped your leadership style. This simple action will go a long way in changing how you lead your employees.

Leadership is Influence

If leadership is influence, then influence is earned by respect. If you do not have the respect of people, you are not a leader.

  1. Leaders earn respect through integrity. Integrity is a concept of consistency of actions, values, methods, measures, principles, expectations and outcomes. It connotes a deep commitment to do the right thing for the right reason, regardless of the circumstances.
  2. Leaders earn respect through humility. Sincere humility is when a leader has an precise assessment of both his strengths and weaknesses, and he sees all this in the context of the greater whole. This leader is a part of something far vaster than he is. He understands that he is not the center of the universe. In addition, he is both grounded and unshackled by this knowledge. Identifying his abilities, he asks how he can contribute. Diagnosing his flaws, he asks how he can grow.
  3. 'The 21 Indispensable Qualities of a Leader' by John Maxwell (ISBN 0785267964) Leaders earn respect through dependability. Dependability is a significant trait that every leader should exemplify. It is a main building block in developing and maintaining trust, something every leader should wish and pursue. Dependable leaders are reliable and consistent.
  4. Leaders earn respect by living by right priorities. A heart-based leader knows his priorities they know what is urgent and what is not and they create their leadership around it. Explore best practices shared services leaders should employ to meet the demands of a changing environment.
  5. Leaders earn respect through generosity. Generous leaders communicate information willingly, share credit frequently, and give of their time and expertise effortlessly. What come across is a strong work ethic, great communication skills, and a readiness and ability to collaborate. Leaders and managers who are generous produce trust, respect, and goodwill from their colleagues and employees.
  6. Leaders earn respect through spirituality. Spirituality notifies their leadership practices by providing meaning and determination to their leadership role. They perceive and describe themselves as living out sincerely held personal morals of respecting forces or a presence greater than self. These leaders choose to be virtuous leaders in business.

These six areas produce respect. We earn respect through integrity, humility, generosity, spirituality, dependability, and living by priority.

Leadership is influence, but you cannot lead without these issues. They are the basis to build respect. When you have the respect of people, people will follow you anywhere.

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Posted in Management and Leadership

150 Baseball Quotes

150 Baseball Quotes “The designated hitter rule is like letting someone else take Wilt Chamberlain’s free throws”
— Rick Wise

“Nobody ever said, “Work ball!” They say, “Play ball!” To me, that means having fun”
— Willie Stargell

“Baseball is the only sport I know that when you’re on offense, the other team controls the ball”
— Ken Harrelson

“The pitcher has to find out if the hitter is timid. And if the hitter is timid, he has to remind the hitter he’s timid”
— Don Drysdale

“Trying to sneak a pitch past Hank Aaron is like trying to sneak a sunrise past a rooster”
— Joe Adcock and Curt Simmons

“I didn’t get over 1300 walks without knowing the strike zone.”
— Wade Boggs

“The strongest thing that baseball has going for it today are its yesterdays.”
— Lawrence Ritter

“Baseball is a lot like life. The line drives are caught, the squibbers go for base hits. It’s an unfair game”
— Rod Kanehl

“I’m convinced that every boy, in his heart, would rather steal second base than an automobile.”
— Tom Clark

“I don’t know why people like the home run so much. A home run is over as soon as it starts…. The triple is the most exciting play of the game. A triple is like meeting a woman who excites you, spending the evening talking and getting more excited, then taking her home. It drags on and on. You’re never sure how it’s going to turn out”
— George Foster

“When I was a little boy, I wanted to be a baseball player, and join the circus. With the Yankees, I’ve accomplished both”
— Anthony Standen

“Grantland Rice, the great sportswriter once said, ‘It’s not whether you win or lose, it’s how you play the game.’ Well Grantland Rice can go to hell as far as I’m concerned”
— Gene Autry

“Baseball is a ballet without music. Drama without words”
— Ernie Harwell

“When you’re in a slump, it’s almost as if you look out at the field and it’s one big glove”
— Vance Law

“Why does everybody stand up and sing “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” when they’re already there”
— Larry Anderson

“The difference between the old ballplayer and the new ballplayer is the jersey. The old ballplayer cared about the name on the front. The new ballplayer cares about the name on the back”
— Steve Garvey

“Every player, in his secret heart, wants to manage someday. Every fan, in the privacy of his mind, already does”
— Leonard Koppett

“Cardinal rule for all hitters with two strikes on them: Never trust the umpire.”
— Robert Smith

“Back then, my idol was Bugs Bunny, because I saw a cartoon of him playing ball—you know, the one where he plays every position himself with nobody else on the field but him? Now that I think of it, Bugs is still my idol. You have to love a ballplayer like that”
— Nomar Garciaparra

“Mental attitude and concentration are the keys to pitching”
— Ferguson Jenkins

“You know it’s summertime at Candlestick when the fog rolls in, the wind kicks up, and you see the center fielder slicing open a caribou to survive the ninth inning”
— Bob Sarlette

“The greatest thrill in the world is to end the game with a home run and watch everybody else walk off the field while you’re running the bases on air”
— Al Rosen

“I would be lost without baseball. I don’t think I could stand being away from it as long as I was alive”
— Roberto Clemente

“Playing without the fundamentals is like eating without a knife and fork. You make a mess”
— Dick Williams

“All good balls to hit are strikes, though not all strikes are good balls to hit”
— Dave Winfield

“Baseball is a harbor, a seclusion from failure that really matters, a playful utopia in which virtuosity can be savored to the third decimal place of a batting average”
— Mark Kramer

“A critic once characterized baseball as six minutes of action crammed into two-and-one-half hours”
— Ray Fitzgerald

“My stuff was all right, but it’s not about pitching good. It’s about winning. I pitched just good enough to lose”
— Greg Maddux

“It baseball is an American institution and more lasting than some marriages, war, Supreme Court decisions and even major depressions”
— Art Rust

“People like us are afraid to leave ball. What else is there to do? When baseball has been your whole life, you can’t think about a future without it, so you hang on as long as you can”
— Willie Stargell

150 Baseball Quotes “Basketball, hockey and track meets are action heaped upon action, climax upon climax, until the onlooker’s responses become deadened. Baseball is for the leisurely afternoons of summer and for the unchanging dreams”
— Roger Kahn

“Hello again, everybody. It’s a bee-yooo-tiful day for baseball”
— Harry Caray

“Baseball? It’s just a game—as simple as a ball and a bat. Yet, as complex as the American spirit it symbolizes. It’s a sport, business—and sometimes even religion.”
— Ernie Harwell

“Awards mean a lot, but they don’t say it all. The people in baseball mean more to me than statistics”
— Ernie Banks

“One of the beautiful things about baseball is that every once in a while you come into a situation where you want to, and where you have to, reach down and prove something.”
— Nolan Ryan

“Baseball is a fun game. It beats working for a living”
— Phil Linz

“Baseball is a man maker”
— Al Spalding

“Love America and hate baseball? Hate America and love baseball? Neither is possible, except in the abstract”
— John Krich

“It’s hard to win a pennant, but it’s harder losing one”
— Chuck Tanner

“If I would be happy, I would be a very bad ball player. With me, when I get mad, it puts energy in my body.”
— Roberto Clemente

“It’s no coincidence that female interest in the sport of baseball has increased greatly since the ballplayers swapped those wonderful old-time baggy flannel uniforms for leotards.”
— Mike Royko

“Though I like the various forms of football in the world, I don’t think they begin to compare with these two great Anglo-Saxon ball games for sophisticated elegance and symbolism. Baseball and cricket are beautiful and highly stylized medieval war substitutes, chess made flesh, a mixture of proud chivalry and base—in both senses—greed. With football we are back to the monotonous clashing armor of the brontosaurus.”
— John Fowles

“No game in the world is as tidy and dramatically neat as baseball, with cause and effect, crime and punishment, motive and result, so cleanly defined”
— Paul Gallico

“People ask me what I do in winter when there’s no baseball. I’ll tell you what I do. I stare out the window and wait for spring”
— Rogers Hornsby

“When they start the game, they don’t yell, “Work ball.” They say, “Play ball.””
— Willie Stargell

“Trying to get a fast ball past Hank Aaron is like trying to get the sun past a rooster.”
— Curt Simmons

“A knuckleball is a curve ball that doesn’t give a damn”
— Jimmy Cannon

“Baseball, to me, is still the national pastime because it is a summer game. I feel that almost all Americans are summer people, that summer is what they think of when they think of their childhood. I think it stirs up an incredible emotion within people”
— Steve Busby

“The great thing about baseball is that there’s a crisis every game”
— Gabe Paul

“The best way to catch a knuckleball is to wait until the ball stops rolling and then pick it up”
— Bob Uecker

“Baseball isn’t a business, it’s more like a disease”
— Walter F. O’Malley

“Every day is a new opportunity. You can build on yesterday’s success or put its failures behind and start over again. That’s the way life is, with a new game every day, and that’s the way baseball is.”
— Bob Feller

“Back then, if you had a sore arm, the only people concerned were you and your wife. Now it’s you, your wife, your agent, your investment counselor, your stockbroker, and your publisher.”
— Jim Bouton

“The place was always cold, and I got the feeling that the fans would have enjoyed baseball more if it had been played with a hockey puck”
— Andre Dawson

“Life is like a baseball game. When you think a fastball is coming, You gotta be ready to hit the curve”
— Jaja Q.

“Good pitching will beat good hitting any time, and vice versa”
— Bob Veale

“Well, boys, it’s a round ball and a round bat and you got to hit the ball square”
— Joe Schultz

“It’s a pretty sure thing that the player’s bat is what speaks loudest when it’s contract time, but there are moments when the glove has the last word”
— Brooks Robinson

“There are three things in my life which I really love: God, my family, and baseball. The only problem—once baseball season starts, I change the order around a bit”
— Al Gallagher

“The guy with the biggest stomach will be the first to take off his shirt at a baseball game”
— Glenn Dickey

150 Baseball Quotes “I don’t love baseball. I don’t love most of today’s players. I don’t love the owners. I do love, however, the baseball that is in the heads of baseball fans. I love the dreams of glory of 10-year-olds, the reminiscences of 70-year-olds. The greatest baseball arena is in our heads, what we bring to the games, to the telecasts, to reading newspaper reports.”
— Stan Isaacs

“The pitcher has to throw a strike sooner or later, so why not hit the pitch you want to hit and not the one he wants you to hit?”
— Johnny Mize

“Baseball is dull only to dull minds”
— Red Barber

“Kids are always chasing rainbows, but baseball is a world where you can catch them”
— Johnny Vander Meer

“Ninety feet between the bases is the nearest thing to perfection that man has yet achieved”
— Red Smith

“Progress always involves risks. You can’t steal second base and keep your foot on first.”
— Frederick B. Wilcox

“Don’t forget to swing hard, in case you hit the ball”
— Woodie Held

“Fix your eye on the ball from the moment the pitcher holds it in his glove. Follow it as he throws to the plate and stay with it until the play is completed. Action takes place only where the ball goes”
— Bill Klem

“With those who don’t give a damn about baseball, I can only sympathize. I do not resent them. I am even willing to concede that many of them are physically clean, good to their mothers and in favor of world peace. But while the game is on, I can’t think of anything to say to them”
— Art Hill

“Baseball is a game dominated by vital ghosts; it’s a fraternity, like no other we have of the active and the no longer so, the living and the dead.”
— Richard Gilman

“Life will always throw you curves, just keep fouling them off… the right pitch will come, but when it does, be prepared to run the bases”
— Rick Maksian

“Like those special afternoons in summer when you go to Yankee Stadium at two o’clock in the afternoon for an eight o’clock game. It’s so big, so empty and so silent that you can almost hear the sounds that aren’t there”
— Ray Miller

“Reading about baseball is a lot more interesting than reading about chess, but you have to wonder: Don’t any of these guys ever go fishing?”
— Dave Shiflett

“To a pitcher, a base hit is the perfect example of negative feedback”
— Steve Hovley

“Ninety feet between home plate and first base may be the closest man has ever come to perfection”
— Red Smith

“I ain’t ever had a job. I just always played baseball”
— Leroy Robert

“Players who commit errors need reassurance from the pitcher, who must harbor no grudges.”
— Roger Craig

“What does a mama bear on the pill have in common with the World Series? No cubs”
— Harry Caray

“You know you’re pitching well when the batters look as bad as you do at the plate”
— Duke Snider

“A baseball game is twice as much fun if you’re seeing it on the company’s time”
— William C. Feather

“Baseball is too much of a sport to be called a business, and too much of a business to be called a sport”
— Philip Wrigley

“Baseball is more than a game to me, it’s a religion”
— Bill Klem

“There is no room in baseball for discrimination. It is our national pastime and a game for all.”
— Lou Gehrig

“I never threw an illegal pitch. The trouble is, once in a while I toss one that ain’t never been seen by this generation”
— Leroy Robert

“With those who don’t give a damn about baseball, I can only sympathize. I do not resent them. I am even willing to concede that many of them are physically clean, good to their mothers and in favor of world peace. But while the game is on, I can’t think of anything to say to them”
— Art Hill

“Hit em where they ain’t.”
— Willie Keeler

“I could never play in New York. The first time I came into a game there, I got into the bullpen car and they told me to lock the doors”
— Mike Flanagan

“Pro-rated at 500 at-bats a year that means that for two years out of the fourteen I played, I never even touched the ball.”
— Norm Cash

“The great thing about baseball is that there’s a crisis every day.”
— Gabe Paul

“Catching a fly ball is a pleasure, but knowing what to do with it is a business.”
— Tommy Henrich

150 Baseball Quotes “Baseball is very big with my people. It figures. It’s the only way we can get to shake a bat at a white man without starting a riot”
— Dick Gregory

“Poets are like baseball pitchers. Both have their moments. The intervals are the tough things.”
— Robert Frost

“A baseball manager is a necessary evil”
— Sparky Anderson

“Baseball is 90 percent mental. The other half is physical.”
— Yogi Berra

“Nothing flatters me more than to have it assumed that I could write prose-unless it be to have it assumed that I once pitched a baseball with distinction.”
— Robert Frost

“You teach me baseball and I’ll teach you relativity…No we must not You will learn about relativity faster than I learn baseball”
— Albert Einstein

“Baseball is a game of inches”
— Branch Rickey

“The trouble with baseball is that it is not played the year round”
— Gaylord Perry

“Baseball fans love numbers. They love to swirl them around their mouths like Bordeaux wine”
— Pat Conroy

“Being with a woman all night never hurt no professional baseball player. It’s staying up all night looking for a woman that does him in”
— Casey Stengel

“When I was a small boy in Kansas, a friend of mine and I went fishing…. I told him I wanted to be a real Major League Baseball Player, a genuine professional like Honus Wagner. My friend said that he’d like to be President of the United States. Neither of us got our wish.”
— Dwight D. Eisenhower

“What we have are good gray ballplayers, playing a good gray game and reading the good gray Wall Street Journal. They have been brainwashed, dry-cleaned and dehydrated!… Wake up the echoes at the Hall of Fame and you will find that baseball’s immortals were a rowdy and raucous group of men who would climb down off their plaques and go rampaging through Cooperstown, taking spoils…. Deplore it if you will, but Grover Cleveland Alexander drunk was a better pitcher than Grover Cleveland Alexander sober”
— Bill Veeck

“You gotta be a man to play baseball for a living, but you gotta have a lot of little boy in you, too”
— Roy Campanella

“Baseball is like a poker game. Nobody wants to quit when he’s losing; nobody wants you to quit when you’re ahead.”
— Jackie Robinson

“The best possible thing in baseball is winning the World Series. The second best thing is losing the World Series”
— Tommy Lasorda

“Whoever wants to know the heart and mind of America had better learn baseball, the rules and realities of the game.”
— Jacques Barzun

“Baseball is a skilled game. It’s America’s game — it, and high taxes”
— Will Rogers

“I’d walk through hell in a gasoline suit to keep playing baseball”
— Pete Rose

“The clock doesn’t matter in baseball. Time stands still or moves backwards. Theoretically, one game could go on forever. Some seem to.”
— Herb Caen

“Baseball is a slow, sluggish game, with frequent and trivial interruptions, offering the spectator many opportunities to reflect at leisure upon the situation on the field: This is what a fan loves most about the game”
— Edward Abbey

“Say this much for big league baseball—it is beyond question the greatest conversation piece ever invented in America”
— Bruce Catton

“England and America should scrap cricket and baseball and come up with a new game that they both can play. Like baseball”
— Robert Benchley

“Little League baseball is a very good thing because it keeps the parents off the streets”
— Yogi Berra

“Baseball gives every American boy a chance to excel, not just to be as good as someone else but to be better than someone else. This is the nature of man and the name of the game”
— Ted Williams

“You owe it to yourself to be the best you can possible be — in baseball and in life.”
— Pete Rose

“When you step into the batter’s box, have nothing on your mind except baseball”
— Pete Rose

“It never ceases to amaze me how many of baseball’s wounds are self-inflicted”
— Bill Veeck

“Baseball is like driving, it’s the one who gets home safely that counts”
— Tommy Lasorda

“Next to religion, baseball has furnished a greater impact on American life than any other institution”
— Herbert Hoover

“Baseball was made for kids, and grown-ups only screw it up”
— Bob Lemon

150 Baseball Quotes “People who write about spring training not being necessary have never tried to throw a baseball”
— Sandy Koufax

“The saddest day of the year is the day baseball season ends”
— Tommy Lasorda

“That’s baseball, and it’s my game. Y’ know, you take your worries to the game, and you leave ’em there. You yell like crazy for your guys. It’s good for your lungs, gives you a lift, and nobody calls the cops. Pretty girls, lots of ’em”
— Humphrey Bogart

“Baseball is reassuring. It makes me feel as if the world is not going to blow up”
— Sharon Olds

“There are only five things you can do in baseball: run, throw, catch, hit, and hit with power.”
— Leo Durocher

“Baseball is almost the only orderly thing in a very unorderly world. If you get three strikes, even the best lawyer in the world can’t get you off.”
— Bill Veeck

“Baseball is the only major sport that appears backwards in a mirror.”
— George Carlin

“I see great things in baseball. It’s our game—the American game. It will take our people out-of-doors, fill them with oxygen, give them a larger physical stoicism. Tend to relieve us from being a nervous, dyspeptic set. Repair these losses, and be a blessing to us”
— Walt Whitman

“Baseball, it is said, is only a game. True. And the Grand Canyon is only a hole in Arizona. Not all holes, or games, are created equal”
— George Will

“Baseball is what gets inside you, it lights you up, its supposed to be hard. If it wasn’t hard everyone would do it. The HARD is what makes it great”
— Indian Proverb

“A baseball park is the one place where a man’s wife doesn’t mind his getting excited over somebody else’s curves”
— Brendan Behan

“The great trouble with baseball today is that most of the players are in the game for the money and that’s it, not for the love of it, the excitement of it, the thrill of it.”
— Ty Cobb

“Baseball wrong—man with four balls cannot walk”
— Indian Proverb

“I never thought home runs were all that exciting. I still think the triple is the most exciting thing in baseball. To me, a triple is like a guy taking the ball on his 1-yard line and running 99 yards for a touchdown”
— Hank Aaron

“There are three things you can do in a baseball game. You can win, or you can lose, or it can rain.”
— Casey Stengel

“Baseball is the only thing beside the paper clip that hasn’t changed”
— Bill Veeck

“Baseball serves as a good model for democracy in action: Every player is equally important and each has a chance to be a hero”
— Edward Abbey

“Baseball is the only field of endeavor where a man can succeed three times out of ten and be considered a good performer”
— Ted Williams

“Baseball is drama with an endless run and an ever-changing cast.”
— Joe Garagiola

“I think about baseball when I wake up in the morning. I think about it all day and I dream about it at night. The only time I don’t think about it is when I’m playing it”
— Carl Yastrzemski

“Baseball is a simple game. If you have good players and if you keep them in the right frame of mind then the manager is a success”
— Sparky Anderson

“Baseball is not necessarily an obsessive-compulsive disorder, like washing your hands 100 times a day, but it’s beginning to seem that way. We’re reaching the point where you can be a truly dedicated, state-of-the-art fan or you can have a life. Take your pick”
— Thomas Boswell

“More than any other American sport, baseball creates the magnetic, addictive illusion that it can almost be understood.”
— Thomas Boswell

“Baseball is an allegorical play about America, a poetic, complex, and subtle play of courage, fear, good luck, mistakes, patience about fate, and sober self-esteem”
— Saul Steinberg

“Baseball is like church. Many attend few understand.”
— Leo Durocher

“In baseball, my theory is to strive for consistency, not to worry about the numbers. If you dwell on statistics you get shortsighted, if you aim for consistency, the numbers will be there at the end”
— Tom Seaver

“Baseball is ninety percent mental and the other half is physical”
— Yogi Berra

“Love is the most important thing in the world, but baseball is pretty good too”
— Yogi Berra

“A baseball fan has the digestive apparatus of a billy goat. He can, and does, devour any set of diamond statistics with insatiable appetite and then nuzzles hungrily for more.”
— Arthur Daley

“Baseball hasn’t been the national pastime for many years now—no sport is. The national pastime, like it or not, is watching television”
— Bob Greene

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Posted in Music, Arts, and Culture

Marissa Mayer’s Office Hours at Google

'Marissa Mayer and the Fight to Save Yahoo' by Nicholas Carlson (ISBN 1455556610) For about 90 minutes a day, beginning at 4:00 pm, Mayer used to hold office hours at Google. She was a professor before she came to Google, and she kept office hours going. The much-vaunted “open office” for engineers, where bringing brownies increases a project’s chance of approval by 50%. Google’s Marissa Mayer cleared an hour and a half of her diary at the end of each day and staff could book an amount of that time by putting their name on a board in front of her office. This permitted her to supposedly fit a large number of very short meetings into a block of time where employees could come and talk to her about anything. Get-togethers which evidently emerged interesting product ideas counting Google News. A decent option perhaps than filling too much time up with the half hour/one hour blocks that managers tend to segment their calendars into, or to keeping an completely open door guidelines which might lead to excessively common interlude. Per this noteworthy anecdote from Marissa Mayer and the Fight to Save Yahoo by Nicholas Carlson:

Another Mayer habit that annoyed colleagues was one she picked up straight from academia. For many years at Google, Mayer insisted that if her colleagues wanted to meet with her, they had to do so during her “office hours.” Mayer would post a spreadsheet online and ask peopl~ to sign up for a five-minute window. When Mayer’s “office hours” rolled around in the afternoon, a line would start to form outside her office and spill over onto the nearby couches.

Office hours are socially-acceptable in an academic environment because the power dynamic is clear. The students are subordinate to the professor, who is usually their elder and mentor. But Mayer’s office hours were not just for her subordinates; they were also for her peers. So there, amid the associate product managers waiting to visit with Mayer to discuss their latest assignment or a class trip to Zurich, sat Google vice presidents—people who had been at the company as long as Mayer and in some cases held jobs as important as hers.

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Building Rapport Using the Mirroring Technique for Effective Communication

For customer service providers, it is just as critical to listen as to speak

Building Rapport Using the Mirroring Technique for Effective Communication In customer service, is it more important to be a good sender of information or receiver? For customer service providers, it is just as critical to listen as to speak. Is there an art to being a good listener? Yes. Does it come naturally? I think not. In fact, research indicates that we hear half of what is said, listen to half of what we hear, understand half of it, believe half of that, and remember only half of that.

That means in an eight-hour workday, you spend about 4 hours listening. You hear about 2 hours worth. You listen to 1 hour’s worth. You understand 30 minutes of that hour. You believe only 15 minutes worth. In addition, you remember just under 8 minutes worth.

How important are the nonverbal aspects compared to the actual words we use when communicating? Your words are about 7 percent of your communication, tone of voice 38 percent, and body language about 55 percent, and yet, most communication training centers on the use of words.

Often we fake attention because our thought-to-speech ratio. We can think five times faster than the other person talking can. Now you can do something productive with that extra lag time in your thought-to-speech ratio.

Leadership consultant Tom Peters notes: “Good listeners get out from behind their desk to where the customers are.” Do you give your full attention to the people who talk to you? If not, learn a powerful, technique that will improve your listening and help you gain rapport with anyone you meet. This technique comes from the science of neuro-linguistics programming (NLP,) developed by John Grinder and Richard Bandler. By incorporating NLP into the way we work with people, we can “read” people more sensitively, establish a positive relationship more quickly, and respond to them more effectively.

Mirroring is the Art of Copying Another Person’s Behavior

Mirroring is the Art of Copying Another Person's Behavior Mirroring, one of several NLP techniques, is the art of copying another person’s behavior to create a relaxed communication situation. We tend to like people who are like us. If we look like someone (and 93 percent of who that person is, is nonverbal), they will subconsciously say to themselves, “I like this person. They are just like me.” In addition, if we like someone, we trust him or her and want to do business with him or her. Think about the potential this has for promotions, building business, and building relationships and friendships.

Specifically, this is how you mirror: First, match the other person’s voice tone or tempo. If they talk fast, you talk fast. If they talk slowly, you talk slowly. When I speak in New York, I cannot speak quickly enough. If I am in southern Texas, I slow my pace down to match their pace. One way to help you match the other person’s tempo is to match the other person’s breathing rate. Pace yourself to it. Match the other person’s body movements, posture, and gestures. If the person you’re mirroring crosses his or her legs, you cross your legs. If the other person gestures, you gesture. Of course, subtlety is everything. You may want to wait several seconds before moving.

The process of mirroring is natural. You do it naturally with people you like and have built rapport with.

Morton Kelsey said it well when he said, “Listening is being silent in an active way.” If you think of it, if you rearrange the letters in the word listen, it is equivalent to silent. We would be more effective in customer service if we would listen more and talk less.

I hope that this listening technique will help you gain much wisdom and that as a result, you will have to repent very little.

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Posted in Education and Career Life Hacks and Productivity

Customers Expect Rewards in Exchange for Their Loyalty

'Customer Loyalty: How to Earn It, How to Keep It' by Jill Griffin (ISBN 0787963887) If you are over sixty, you may remember the thrill of filling S&H Greenstamps books and taking them to the redemption center.

That is how loyalty programs suck us in: we buy the things we always buy, but we get something extra. The more we buy, the bigger the reward. Today we expect loyalty programs to be part of our purchases, hence the popularity of frequent-flyer miles, supermarket discounts, merchandise rewards for credit card spending, and lower fees for maintaining higher bank balances.

But Loyalty Programs are Not Enough

You must offer a compelling value proposition and ensure that the customer’s experience is positive.

The financial value of a loyal customer is well documented. It costs a company to acquire (buy) customers with advertising, loss-leader items, and other incentives for initial purchases. If customers buy again, the company makes back its money. If they keep buying, more money is made. It becomes cheaper for the company to satisfy customers because repeat customers do not need as much support and understand the value of the brand. They even send new business. Therefore, companies need enticing ways of keeping customers.

You now have many options for incenting loyalty. You can offer discounts, provide points redeemable for free stuff, offer improved service (such as free shipping or fast turnaround), or priority treatment. As you look at your loyalty programs, determine which rewards appeal most to your customers—and then match the rewards to their desires.

Three Motivators for Loyalty

Three Motivators for Customer Loyalty Programs I see three reward programs, each supporting a different motivation for loyalty. Each motivation can be expressed positively or negatively:

  1. Reward/Greed. This is the “I get something for nothing” motivator. Flyer miles, and membership points are examples that appeal to people on a personal level. S&H Greenstamps recently reinvented itself as S&H Greenpoints (www.greenpoints.com). Their motto is “Earn them on the things you buy. Spend them on the things that make you happy.” You now register as a Green–points user and collect electronic points for shopping at affiliated stores or Web sites. You redeem your points from an online catalog of products.
  2. Philanthropy/Guilt. Some customers react more on a community level. These customers respond most positively to loyalty rewards such as donations to charity. A good example is the affinity credit card. I have accepted credit card offers from banks because a small donation in my name will be made to my alma mater. You can get affinity cards for your favorite charity. It is a painless method of philanthropy because you do not take anything out of your wallet; the vendors with whom you do business give the money.
  3. Love/Obligation (or Fear). This loyalty program is targeted at customers who want rewards to serve them as a family rather than an individual. These customers also want relief from the financial burdens of family obligations. A new company that has endorsed this motivation for loyalty is UPromise. Its loyalty program makes donations in their children’s names to tax-deferred college funds when purchases are made from participating companies.

Most companies have a mix of customers with different hot buttons. You can offer different types of reward programs to appeal to each type of customer.

Dangers of Outside Loyalty Programs

Customers Expect Rewards in Exchange for Their Loyalty Loyalty programs provide rewards separate from the brand of the company sponsoring the rewards. In addition, there are dangers inherent in promoting outside brands as a bonus.

  1. More expensive to fulfill. When you offer a product from a different company, you may pay less than its list price, but the cost is still tangible, and you do not control it.
  2. Loyalty to the reward, not the brand. The biggest danger of offering rewards that are not part of your brand is that customers become more loyal to the reward system than to you.
  3. Held hostage to your loyalty program. As a company offering rewards you are, in some way, being held prisoner by your rewards provider.

As appealing as loyalty programs may be, they are not enough to keep customers coming back. Unless the customer finds value in your products and finds it easy and pleasant to do business with you, no loyalty program will work. You must have a compelling value proposition independent of any reward system. Your customers must value you! The loyalty reward is just a bonus.

Identify the motivators and incentives that appeal most to your target audience and customers.

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Leadership Lessons from Katharine Graham

Katharine Graham, renowned publisher of The Washington Post, spent 30 years overseeing and enlarging her media empire. Yet the rigidities of being CEO never discouraged her from the core mission of journalism, and she showed her responsibility by her actions.

The best leaders know that you cannot just talk about priorities; you have to exhibit what you care about by taking action. You can show your priorities in five ways:

  1. 'Personal History' by Katharine Graham (ISBN 0375701044) Get out of the office and into your employees’ ecosystem. Graham spent time in the newsroom each day. Ben Bradlee, the editor Graham hired who directed the paper through the Pentagon Papers and Watergate dramas, said that Graham had “round heels for reporters.” For her, “writing the first draft of history” (journalism) was at the center of her company. Employees felt she recognized their work because she observed it as it happened. In addition, Graham intensified her understanding of jobs in the newsroom by her direct observation, by listening, and by asking questions.
  2. Be proactive in building competence and knowledge. Graham held lunches for reporters in her private dining room, and welcomed experts for briefings. Journalists coveted being invited to these luncheons, which permitted them to deepen their knowledge of both their subject area and their publisher’s mentality. Once Graham brought in a psychologist to discuss personality disorders, notwithstanding the sensitivity she must have felt from her husband’s manic-depression and subsequent suicide. Graham carefully questioned the psychologist, and gave her journalists permission to explore the subject.
  3. Show that you are willing to jump in when needed. Graham built her resources by adding news bureaus worldwide, and boosted editorial budgets and staff, but she always saw herself as an operational part of the team. She would eagerly call in tips she picked up at social occasions and take excellent and extensive notes of speeches. During a violent press operator’s strike, which nearly shut down the paper, Graham lived inside the Post building. She did everything from taking classified ads to stuffing newspapers in bags, getting ink on her designer dresses. She was undeterred, and after the strike, directed the paper to its greatest financial success.
  4. 'Katharine Graham: The Leadership Journey' by Robin Gerber (ISBN 1591841046) Stand up for your employees. One Sunday afternoon Graham heard that the Chinese government ransacked the room of one of her foreign correspondents and held the woman for questioning. Graham did not pick up the telephone or ask for a letter of protest to be written. She put on her heels and single strand of pearls and drove to the Chinese embassy, marching up to the door and insisting on a justification. Her actions were not lost on her reporters.
  5. Follow your core convictions—even in small matters. In writing about Katharine Graham, Robin Gerber tried to get an interview with Warren Buffett, who had been Graham’s friend and mentor. In a final attempt, she sent Buffett the draft manuscript with a note saying that she hoped he enjoyed it. Two weeks later, he called her and talked about Graham, her leadership, and his relationship with her. He told Gerber about an occurrence he felt she had gotten wrong and gave her a quote for the book cover. Why did the CEO of Berkshire Hathaway take time to talk to Gerber? He could have dictated a note about the error, or asked his assistant to call. It is because the legacy of his friend is important to him. Devotion to relationships, identifying outstanding CEOs, and sticking with them has been a characteristic of Buffett’s success.

Leaders show their priorities through their actions. Think about how you are connecting to your staff through what you do, rather than through what you say. Make your actions fit your company’s mission and others will follow your lead.

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How to Use Benchmarking as a Strategic Leadership Investment

Benchmarking in Strategic Management

Benchmarking is more than simply making a collection of statistical comparisons. If handled properly, the technique can be used to create significant efficiency improvements in your organization.

A company measures its performance against that of other companies to assess whether it standards are higher or lower.

Collecting snapshots of what that so doing, but failing to examine the reasons for differences in performance, and not using the data to identify and developing best practice.

Benchmarking in Strategic Management

There is little point in spending time and effort collecting comparative data for its own sake, or if managers use it is only to justify current standards.

There are five main stages to effect a benchmarking.

  1. Selecting aspects of performance that can be improved, and defining them in a way that enables relevant comparative data to be obtained—in effect, producing performance indicators that will make sense to other organizations.
  2. Choosing relevant organizations from which to obtain core or headline data
  3. Studying the state to improve possible opportunities for improvement.
  4. Examining the procedures of the best performing organizations to pick ideas that can be adopted or adapted to achieve performance improvements.
  5. Implementing any new processes.

'Benchmarking for Best Practices' by Christopher E. Bogan (ISBN 0070063753) In selecting performance indicators the call for in pieces of initial data collection, it is helpful to distinguish between input and output measures and, unpredictable, the place priority on the latter. It is often easier to define inputs and outputs. Examples of input measures include staffing ratios, per capita expenditure on training or, in manufacturing companies, the wearying proportions of labor, materials, and overhead costs.

The drawback with input measures is that they greatly provide an indication of the quality of outputs. Take, for example, the widely used indicator of response time to customer enquiries. This provides only part of the picture because it gives no indication of the quality of service. Apparently, good figures may conceal significant customer dissatisfaction, while longer response times may result in clients being delighted with the results.

Benchmarking for Strategic Leadership

Benchmarking for Strategic Leadership

Ideally, this practice involves high standards in both inputs and outputs. Indexes of customer satisfaction one form of output measurement. Some personal departments conduct surveys in which their international clients—the line managers—are asked to rate the quality of the various services provided by the Department. If other organizations conducting similar surveys can be found, these ratings can for part of a benchmarking study and may indicate areas where a change of procedures could lead to improvements.

There are two different approaches—genital and selective—are choosing organizations from which to obtain comparative data. The main purpose of the fourth month in is to produce a whole range of performance measures across an entire sector. Examples of general data sources include the government’s ratings of people performance in every primary school; the audit commission’s performance indicators for local authorities et cetera.

The state must be considered with caution. Misleading conclusions can be drawn from individual performance indicators when they are viewed in isolation.

Approach that is more selective is required when an aspect of performance and that requires attention has already been identified.

In this case, it is necessary to identify organizations of brought similar nature—preferably those with a reputation for effectiveness in the relevant activity.

With the topic-based benchmarking, it is possible to collect more data about a single issue than can be obtained from a general survey. It may also be feasible to ask but spends to supplement their answers by sending details of specific policies, such as copies of absence control procedures of performance appraisal guidelines.

Performance and Competitive Benchmarking

'Benchmarking The Search for Industry Best Practices' by Robert C. Camp (ISBN 1563273527) The purpose of obtaining benchmark data needs to be kept firmly in mind: identifying potential improvements in performance. Once such opportunities have been spotted, the more intensive aspects of benchmarking can begin.

The score beyond the study of comparative statistics and the documentation of other people’s procedures. They involve a detailed, on the ground study of the methods of high performing organizations. Understandably, this requires the full co-operation of the group concerned, though it is encouraging that many companies are willing to provide extensive information and facilities.

The organizations that have benefited from the suspect of benchmarking recommend the use of steady teams including staff from different functions and levels.

The final stage of the benchmarking process is the implementation of new systems. Here, it is important to recognize that the success of other businesses may be influenced by the motivational and cultural context in which their systems operate, as much as by the technical characteristics of the systems themselves. As a result, of the issues for steady teams to investigate is the nature of the homework environment—physical and psychological—in which best practice flourishes.

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The Intrapreneur’s Ten Commandments

'The Entrepreneurial Mindset' by Rita Gunther McGrath (ISBN 0875848346) Gifford Pinchot III, the creator of the word intrapreneur created 10 commandments:

  1. Come to work each day willing to be fired.
  2. Circumvent any orders aimed at stopping your dream.
  3. Do any job needed to make your project work, regardless of your job description.
  4. Find people to help you.
  5. Follow you intuition about the people you choose, and work only with the best.
  6. Work underground as long as you can – publicity triggers the corporate immune system.
  7. Never bet on a race unless you are running in it.
  8. Remember, it is easier to ask for forgiveness than permission.
  9. Be true to your goals, but be realistic about the ways to achieve them.
  10. Honor your sponsors.

Later Gifford Pinchot III added six more commandments,

  1. Ask for advice before asking for resources.
  2. Express gratitude.
  3. Build your team; intrapreneuring is not a solo activity.
  4. Share credit widely.
  5. Keep the best interests of the company and its customers in mind, especially when you have to bend the rules or circumvent the bureaucracy.
  6. Don’t ask to be fired; even as you bend the rules and act without permission, use all the political skill you and your sponsors can muster to move the project forward without making waves.

Gifford Pinchot - Intrapreneur's Ten Commandments Gifford Pinchot III is also the grandson of the first Chief of the United States Forest Service and the 28th Governor of Pennsylvania, Gifford Pinchot. The younger Pinchot has been distinguished for carrying on his grandfather’s work in environmentalism. In fact, Gifford Pinchot was an innovator of U.S. forestry and conservation and public official. With Theodore Roosevelt, Pinchot helped to found the Bull Moose Party in 1912. From 1923 to 1927 and from 1931 to 1935 he was governor of Pennsylvania. In his first term, he forced a restructuring of the state government and the establishment of a budget system. He settled a coal strike by mediation in 1923. Pinchot’s autobiography, Breaking New Ground, was published after his death in 1947.

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