Hiding in Plain Sight

Hiding in Plain SightHow often have you chuckled at your little kids as they ‘hide’ from you under a blanket, their big lump giving them away immediately?  Or under a table, where they can’t see your face but you can see the little legs and arms sticking out?

Children are not the only ones who try to hide in plain sight, oblivious to the gigantic clues they leave as to their whereabouts.  People do it at work, too – and when it’s a leader doing the hiding, it’s not nearly as cute as it is with kids. Continue reading

Assumptions: A Sometimes Faulty Shortcut

Assumptions: A Sometimes Faulty ShortcutIn the New York Times of December 29, 2016, a blind man wrote about his frustration with a law firm coworker who offered to make his coffee in the morning.  He was ruffled by his own assumption that she judged him incapable of doing this small task.  One day he confronted her:

“I appreciate your help,” he said testily, “but I can make a cup of coffee.  I do it every morning.” Continue reading

The Team at the Top

The Team at the TopA leader is one who, out of madness or goodness, volunteers to take upon himself the woe of the people.” – John Updike
Teamwork as a cultural norm is crucial, as described in last week’s blog post.  But it will never be embedded as a norm if the leaders at the top of the organization are not part of the team.  “We’ve got a great team,” said a bank executive.  But when irregularities in the company were uncovered, his official statement pointed to underlings who had failed to do their jobs well.  Contrast that with the observation of Rajeev Behera, whose Disney division produces game apps for handheld devices, where failure of a product to take hold is common: “Taking responsibility for a failure demonstrates confidence in your ability to move forward from it.” Continue reading

Teamwork as Culture

Teamwork as CultureLast week, Anne, the leader of a key division, suddenly became disabled with a serious illness.  She was too ill to even think about what was happening at work as she lay in the hospital.  As she improved, she began to worry about the deadline that had now passed for completing crucial work on a product rollout.  She flashed a text message to one of her team members to ask the status.  What she got back was from Frank, one of her colleagues in another division: “Got you covered.  All is completed and in order.  Peter and I jumped in.  Get some rest.  We’ll stay on top of it.” Continue reading