Once the words of our founding forefathers, today, “We the People” has taken on a completely different meaning in my life. In lieu of the recent “Occupy” activities that have been occurring, it really begins to showcase how powerful people, when united around a collective effort, can actually be.
While some of these activities were much before my time, including the Berkeley “sit ins” and equal rights marches for African Americans, it laid the foundation for what we are witnessing today – not just in America, but also all over the world. Ironically, it never surprises me how history has a way of repeating itself!
At some point in every manager’s career, there comes a time when you will need to terminate someone’s employment. Typically, this situation falls into one of two categories – a corporate layoff due to cost cutting / restructuring or letting an employee go for performance-related issues. Regardless of the reason, it’s a difficult situation that requires careful planning and execution, compassion, and, for legal reasons, brevity.
The challenge in letting people go is acknowledging the fact that it’s not personal and doing your best to remain cognizant of that throughout the process. Now, while I understand this is easy to “write”, I am very well aware of the fact that work becomes personal for many people. Further, for many people, some of their closet relations have formed through their work so, again when I say, it’s technically not personal, I recognize that it very much is.
Ahh… to be “golden” – what a great feeling! For those of you don’t understand the context, being “golden” is when you can do no wrong. Be it in your career or in your personal life – you basically have reached living bliss! Everything you touch – turns to gold! People love you! They want to be around you! It just doesn’t get any better!
All of us, at some point, have enjoyed being golden at some point. Note the past tense? That’s right – being golden isn’t, for many of us, a constant. It’s a state that we enter and exit at different points in time. Remember when Michael Phelps set all those world records for swimming? No – what you remember is his being in the news for possession of marijuana! Sorry Michael – not golden! Or how about Tiger Woods and the fact the he’s probably the greatest golfer ever? You get the point.
In fact, given today’s naturally stressful work environment, vacations are important to help get recharged so you can continue to push forward and climb the corporate ladder.
This is a question that I have given thought to repeatedly over the years. You have good, hard working people who join a good company and, over time, the relationship between the two changes. That doesn’t necessarily imply things are bad, but just different. The result, unfortunately in many cases, is that the real loss is felt by the company losing the talent and not by the individual losing the company because that prominent individual is very capable to securing a new position elsewhere.
This is clearly evident by the lack of good talent available in the market today and why, in many cases, there are bidding wars on the limited talent pool. If you are in Silicon Valley – I’d like to see you find a great software programmer – go on… find one that is just sitting idle waiting for your call!
Businesses are living, breathing entities. In fact, they are not that much different than the human body. Like the body, businesses have core functions (e.g. the equivalent of the “heart”) and they have supporting functions (e.g. the equivalent of “arms and legs”). Now, in the event of a negative incident, (e.g. an accident), the body’s focus immediately shifts from “business as usual” to “preservation mode” and it does so by harvesting a majority of the blood from other parts of the body to core functions so to ensure they remain active and functioning – even at the expense of its supporting functions. Why? Because the body knows that if it can’t keep its core functions operating, it’s a matter of time before death is its only option.
About ten years ago, Reed Hastings co-founded a small company in Los Gatos, CA (Silicon Valley) that would mail you DVDs. Ten years later, they are a force to be reckoned with and are disrupting how you watch TV and movies! With an IPO price of $15 (May, 2002), today their stock is trading at over $240/share and the company has a market cap of over $12B!
One reason for Netflix’s ongoing success is the company’s culture, which emphasizes performance, freedom, and responsibility. If you want an example of Employees First and Customer’s Second, search no more!
It absolutely goes without say that today’s business environment is ultra-competitive. Over time, brick-and-mortar evolved to click-and-mortar which essentially leveled the competitive playing field. Today, your new competitors may not only be located around the corner or in the next town over, but half the way around the world! In fact, technology advancements have created the new “self-serve” business models whereby customers no longer need to interact with an employee to seek out what they are looking for. For example, do you need a customer service rep to help you open a new account on Facebook or Twitter… or hundreds of other companies online? Read the rest of this entry