Hot Topic Friday: August 23

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Happy Friday! Here are my August 23 Hot Topics and how they relate to advancing culture or leadership.

Hot Topic 1: Hey Shareholders! You Are No Longer Everything. 

Source: The New York Times

What It’s About: Nearly 200 chief executives, including the leaders of Apple, American Airlines, Accenture, AT&T, Bank of America, Boeing, BlackRock and others representing some of America’s largest companies, issued a statement that redefines the purpose of a corporation. This NYT article claims, “No longer should the primary job of a corporation be to advance the interests of shareholders.” The group known as the Business Roundtable, declared companies must also invest in employees, deliver value to customers and deal fairly and ethically with suppliers.

Why It’s Important: Holy cow. What took these folks so long to arrive at this conclusion? DUH! Those of us committed to building great cultures and the importance of caring for all stakeholders have always known this to be true. However, better late than never as the saying goes. Now CEOS, let’s start doing stuff to show you mean it. (I wonder if Wells Fargo, Audi, Disney and other members of recent reported scandals signed it)? 

Hot Topic 2: Employee Happiness and Business Success. 

Source: The Economist

(Preface: I’m almost embarrassed for The Economist publishing this now. I had to double check that it wasn’t August 1960 versus August 2019. Seriously). 

What It’s About: A study by Gallup, covering nearly 1.9 million employees across 230 separate organizations in 73 countries found that employee satisfaction had a substantial positive correlation with customer loyalty, and a negative link with staff turnover. Furthermore, worker satisfaction was met with higher productivity and profitability. The research also showed that improvements in employee morale precede gains in productivity, rather than vice versa. 

Why It’s Important: My first dumbfounded reaction is, “No S%#t.” You mean Gallup has to gather data from almost 2 million workers to come to that conclusion? Our followers could have confirmed the same outcomes for no cost. Why do so-called leaders, executives and shareholders still need convincing? It’s like somehow The Business Roundtable referenced in Hot Topic 1, and the esteemed Economist had an epiphany within the same week. So here we are, approaching 2020, and maybe we’ve finally turned the philosophical corner on investing in PEOPLE and CULTURE for greater, sustainable results… Well at least while business is good and shareholders are happy. Thank goodness bots and machines are easier to manage. Oops, sceptical not cynical. 

My Weekly Wine Recommendation (Thanks to Vivino):

Flight & Feathers No. 37 Cabernet Sauvignon Rutherford Napa Valley 2017. 

[Picture and ratings provided by Vivino.]

And finally! Here’s Cecil’s Bleat of the Week!

“The beginning is the word and the end is silence. And in between are all the stories.” Kate Atkinson

Bye for now!

– Lorne Rubis

Incase you Missed It:

My latest Lead In podcast.  

My latest blog.

Season 3 of Culture Cast

Also don’t forget to subscribe to our site, and follow Lorne Rubis on Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter for the latest from our podcasts, blogs, and all things offered on LorneRubis.com.

An Advanced Organization’s Values Can Kick Butt 

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Hi, we’re back after a summer break! Thanks for joining us again. As always we’re sharing with you our most valued and authentic insights relative to culture and leadership. 

The Culture/Leadership Challenge: I keep an Enron values cube on my desk as a reminder of how hollow, empty and cynical organizations’ values can be. Enron, of course, was an energy company that reached dramatic heights at $90+/share in 2001 and disintegrated into bankruptcy almost overnight based on unethical leadership and systemic fraud. The infamous values cube beautifully captured so-called Enron values (like integrity), that were obviously anything but what the company really stood for. The western business world is populated by stated values. They are usually well intended, yet rarely well applied. At worst, they are symbols of contradiction and fuel cynical distrust among employees and stakeholders. 

What to Do About It: The main thing about declaring values is that they need to be a unique recipe and a non-negotiable guide for EVERY person’s core behavior in an organization. It’s not the quantity (people believe that there should be only three or four), because it’s not about recital similar to a 5th grade memory contest. It’s not simply a memory game. It is about a deeply held belief that the behavior associated with all the values is a system, and fundamental to the success of the business. It’s obviously not the only element of business success, however it is a vital component. The secret sauce is fully integrating the values into the soul of the institution, and to introduce them to help people become better human beings first and foremost. How can we resist investing in that which makes us better? People ask me if people bought into the 11 stated values of an organization I was previously at, and my answer is always “yes.” Every single value we declared and reinforced made us better as individuals AND as a group. Furthermore, it is important for people to recognize that consistently living a value is life long exercise. One is never “done” achieving the necessary self-awareness and emotional maturity to truly live the value set in the moment every day. We stumble and celebrate how much more consistent we become. The commitment is relentless, everyday learning at a very personal level. Leadership needs to set the example and reinforce this. Every employee needs to commit from the inside out. When one can execute on this, you really have done something important for the culture. 

Think BIG, start small, act now. 

Lorne 

One Millennial View: I mean, no one can deny that core values are important and crucial for all of us, and great organizations to possess. That doesn’t mean it’s not difficult, disciplined, and painstaking to uphold. As mentioned above, there will be times of falter, but if we don’t have values then what do we have? 

– Garrett 

Blog 996

Edited and published by Garrett Rubis 

Lead In With Lorne – Say ‘Thank You’ to a Career Friend From the Past

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Welcome to another Lead In With Lorne, we’re back! Thanks for letting us enjoy a bit of a hiatus, and speaking of saying “thank you,” this week we want to encourage everyone to say thank you to a career friend from the past. Someone has likely been there to help you bounce things off of in your career, and it’s a cool sentiment to let them know that hasn’t been forgotten. 

Enjoy it on the YouTube video embedded below, or audio listeners can hear it on SoundCloud now too. We hope it enriches your Monday!

Kindly subscribe to the YouTube channel and SoundCloud to make sure you start your week with a leadership story.

Lorne Rubis is available @LorneRubis on Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook.

 

Hot Topic Friday: August 16

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Happy Friday! Here are my August 16 Hot Topics and how they relate to advancing culture or leadership.

Hot Topic 1: Why Do We Worry Then Worry Some More?  

Source: The New York Times.  

What It’s About: UCLA Clinical psychiatrist and author, Jennifer Taitz, writes about the negative impact of waiting for the “other shoe to drop,” and how this way of thinking robs us of fully appreciating moments of joy. We somehow believe that thinking of the next potential bad thing better prepares us for the worst. This is a false narrative. The article outlines why this happens and what we might do about it. 

Why It’s Important: We need to recognize, welcome and embrace moments of joy. When we start worrying about what bad things could possibly happen before we fully soak in moments to relish, the less capacity we have for resilience. Two important worry antidotes to keep in mind include: 1. Cherishing our values more than counting “results” and comparing ourselves to others 2. Imagining life without this anxiety and visualizing living in this more desirable state. This is easier said than done, yet worth practicing. 

Hot Topic 2: 27 Years of Research Finds One Key Thing for Long and Happy Life

Source: Inc. 

Why It’s About: A study was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association by a team of University of Michigan researchers. The team analyzed data from the 27-year-old Health and Retirement Study and found that one thing led to people living longer. According to the article: “That one thing is inescapably interwoven with happiness, fulfillment, and maximum productivity at work: Working and living with a sense of purpose and meaning. The researchers found that those who had meaning and a sense of purpose (as measured by answers to questions from well-being self-assessments) lived longer lives than those who’d self-reported little to no sense of purpose and meaning.”

Why It’s Important: Both individuals and organizations require a sense of deep purpose to thrive. Yet too often, neither fully invests in the work required to establish purpose and meaning as an intentional driving force. Why is that? We consistently let activity and transaction lead us without really asking the hard questions as to WHY? Being self-aware and reflective is difficult, yet as the research confirms, it is so valuable. What about you? 

My Weekly Wine Recommendation (Thanks to Vivino):

Rainwater Cabernet Sauvignon Rutherford 2017. 

[Picture and ratings provided by Vivino.]

And finally! Here’s Cecil’s Bleat of the Week!

“Our ability to truly tap into our creative imagination so that we can do the things that we most want to do, or experiment with different parts of our self, is truly unique to us – and an alter ego helps to untap that.” – Todd Herman 

Bye for now!

– Lorne Rubis

Incase you Missed It:

My Lead In podcasts

My latest blogs. (Blogs returning Tuesday, August 20). 

Season 3 of Culture Cast

Also don’t forget to subscribe to our site, and follow Lorne Rubis on Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter for the latest from our podcasts, blogs, and all things offered on LorneRubis.com.

Hot Topic Friday: August 9

Abundance Accountability Friday Newsletter Personal leadership Respect

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Happy Friday! Here are my August 9 Hot Topics and how they relate to advancing culture or leadership.

Hot Topic 1: Hunting for Easter Eggs All Year. 

Source: The New York Times. 

What It’s About: Do you know what an “Easter egg” is in the tech world? It is an undocumented feature in a production, set in motion by a sequence of commands that nobody would hit accidentally. Software engineers over the years have occasionally built in surprises for the user, who have to hunt for them. David Pogue’s article in the NYT gives an interesting outline of this phenomena. Using Tesla as an example, Easter eggs include but are not limited to: “Romance Mode (the screen in the car displays a crackling fireplace as a mood-setting pop song begins to play), Santa Mode (your car’s icon on the screen becomes a sleigh, snowflakes fall, and the turn signal produces the sound of jingle bells); and what Tesla engineers call Emissions Testing Mode (you, the driver, can trigger the sound of flatulence emerging from any of the car’s seats).” Apparently Tesla engineers have made Easter eggs easier to find, yet their cars still contain Easter eggs that nobody has yet discovered. Kinda cool. 

Why It’s Important:  We could all benefit from using our creativity for more intentional fun. What if we explored applying the Easter egg idea in the work we do (not just software development) so that we might surprise people who use our services in a delightful way? I’m not sure how yet, but I’m planning to do that. We’re building a new lornerubis.com website….Hmm. 

Hot Topic 2: Big Learning from 10,000 Leaders.

Source: Inc. 

What It’s About: This Inc. article refers to lessons learned from conducting coaching sessions with more than 10,000 organizational leaders across 300 companies in 75 different countries. The reflective analysis noticed three qualities the most effective leaders have in common:

They have a willingness to improve their leadership skills.

They play a game worth playing in life.

They have a desire to elevate those around them.. 

This totally connects with my observation about effective leaders. 

Why It’s Important: While there is an overwhelming amount of leadership content in the universe, these common traits are worth reflecting on and are accessible to ALL of us. Great leaders are never ever “done.” They are constantly pursuing greater self awareness and are intentional learning machines. I find that they think BIG and play BIG. Most importantly, advancing as leaders in life and work become one in the same mission. And the very best always develop and elevate others in the most generous way. They literally never waste time putting down others. They do eliminate or avoid toxicity and always look to bring people forward. This is a simple article and there is something important we can really learn from it.   

My Weekly Wine Recommendation (Thanks to Vivino):

Badge Proprietary Red Santa Barbara 2016

[Picture and ratings provided by Vivino.]

And finally! Here’s Cecil’s Bleat of the Week!

“A meal becomes good by starting with quality instructions. It becomes great when you add a quality chef.”Erica Ariel Fox

Bye for now!

– Lorne Rubis

Incase you Missed It:

My Lead In podcasts

My latest blogs

Season 3 of Culture Cast

Also don’t forget to subscribe to our site, and follow Lorne Rubis on Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter for the latest from our podcasts, blogs, and all things offered on LorneRubis.com.

Hot Topic Friday: August 2

Abundance Accountability Friday Newsletter Personal leadership Respect

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Happy Friday! Here are my August 2 Hot Topics and how they relate to advancing culture or leadership.

Hot Topic 1: Leadership Trust Falls.

Source: Harvard Business Review

What It’s About: This article underlines the importance of all stakeholders’ trusting leadership. Leaders who violate that trust usually end up getting fired: A recent PwC analysis shows that in 2018, more CEOs were fired for ethical lapses than poor financial performance. The authors note that stakeholders evaluate leadership trustworthiness on the following dimensions — competence, motives, means, impact and earned legitimacy. Those who believe leaders haven’t come to power properly will be less likely to follow their direction.

Why It’s Important: When the trust scores of leadership are low, research confirms that organizations underperform. Of course, competence and judgment in decision making is critical. And it’s imperative that people see the action of leadership aimed towards the greater good rather than feeding selfish interests. The means to results must have integrity, and leadership has to be seen as driving positive impact. Legitimacy underscores well earned experience, especially when it comes to navigating the future. Contrary to popular myth, people are not as resistant to change as they are distrustful of leaders being able to maneuver through it. Consider leadership trust as one very important measurement in your organization’s success. 

Hot Topic 2: Transparent Insights from Old Navy’s New CEO

Source: Fast Company

What It’s About: This simple but insightful article gives us a glimpse into the human side of Old Navy CEO Nancy Green. She answers questions like, “What do you do when you have a free five minutes?” “What products have you recently you splurged on?” “What’s your necessary vice?” And much more. 

Why It’s Important: People like to see the personal side of a leader. There is a craving for authenticity and humanness from top executives. It is this vulnerability that contributes to the trustworthiness noted in the article above. In this case, I particularly liked the books Green recommends. I read a lot of books, and I’ve only read one on her Top Five list. I’m committed and inspired to read the other four: 

Winning from Within by Erica Ariel Fox. 

Shoe Dog, by Phil Knight

Imagine It Forward: Courage, Creativity and the Power of Change, by Beth Comstock.

The Mind of the Leader: How to Lead Yourself, Your People, and Your Organization for Extraordinary Results, by Rasmus Hougaard and Jacqueline Carter

Becoming by Michelle Obama.

My Weekly Wine Recommendation (Thanks to Vivino):

Jury Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Oakville 2017

[Picture and ratings provided by Vivino.]

And finally! Here’s Cecil’s Bleat of the Week!

“My number one goal as a thriller writer is to entertain you. But I’ve got a chance to not only entertain people, but have them close my book and be smarter having read it.”Brad Thor. 

Bye for now!

– Lorne Rubis

Incase you Missed It:

Monday’s Lead In podcast.

Tuesday’s blog.

Season 3 of Culture Cast

Also don’t forget to subscribe to our site, and follow Lorne Rubis on Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter for the latest from our podcasts, blogs, and all things offered on LorneRubis.com.