Hot Topic Friday: August 9

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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.

At the Lake, Will Return Shortly

Abundance Accountability Respect

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Dear readers, 

During this time of the year, Garrett and I like to take a short hiatus from our weekly blogs to refresh, refocus and cherish some much appreciated family time at our vineyard in Naramata… In fact, I just discussed my personal approach to optimizing a summer check-in in our latest Lead In With Lorne podcast

Please count on our blog (almost to 1,000 published!) and Lead In podcast starting up again mid-August. So we don’t get too rusty, we will continue with fresh Hot Topics every Friday, as well as all our normal social media updates and contributions. 

We hope you too are finding some time to soak in a little renewal time during these summer months. 

Think big, start small, act now, and renew well. 

– Lorne and Garrett 

Hot Topic Friday: July 26

Abundance Accountability Friday Newsletter Personal leadership Respect

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Happy Friday! Here are my July 26 Hot Topics and how they relate to advancing leadership or culture.

Hot Topic 1: The Fight Against Evil Companies

Source: The New York Times.

What It’s About: “It took me a while to realize how evil this company was.” That’s a quote by Ed Bisch, who lost his 18-year-old son, Eddie, to an OxyContin overdose in 2001. Bisch was an early crusader against the dangers of Oxy. Years later, the world now knows just how dangerous this drug and other opioids is. Purdue Pharma, the company that made OxyContin, is in legal and financial jeopardy . (Although most observers believe the owners, the Sackler family, and company will never adequately pay for the harm they’ve caused). 

Why It’s Important: Until 2018, Google had a motto that a lot of people appreciated: “Don’t be evil.” Dropping it has been controversial. The fact is that sometimes, when market power prevails and the money gets so big, greed and avarice can take over. That’s why Boards of Directors and executive leadership must invest in a strong culture, where both purpose (that betters humankind) AND profit, (that sustains and reasonably rewards stakeholders) are equal partners. I’ve never had a serious conversation with anyone who wants to sell their soul to work for a company whose products intentionally hurt people, regardless of how big the paycheck. 

Hot Topic 2: Closing the Joy Gap at Work

Source: Harvard Business Review

What It’s About: Prominent consulting firm AT Kearney conducted a major survey relative to the concept of joy at work. Why? With all the massive upheaval driven by exponential change, being able to create conditions for joy is strategically meaningful. Still, their findings “point to a pronounced ‘joy gap’ at work. Nearly 90% of respondents said that they expect to experience a substantial degree of joy at work, yet only 37% report that such is their actual experience.”

Why It’s Important: This is another argument for intentional culture development. The survey suggests the importance of three big JOY drivers: Harmony, Impact and Acknowledgement. This makes a lot of sense and connects to a number of my 10 Key Elements. Creating conditions for JOY to erupt is worth investing in. What are you doing about it? 

My Weekly Wine Recommendation (Thanks to Vivino):

Kent Price Venant du Coeur Napa Valley 2012

[Picture and ratings provided by Vivino.]

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

“The best way to win at a game of chance is to remove chance from the equation.”Daniel Silva

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.

3 Avoidable Screw Ups Organizations Make 

Abundance Accountability Respect

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The Challenge: Companies wonder why people get fearful at work. Management sits back and reflects: “Geez we’re top leaders, nice people, and still employees think we’re ogres. The CEO says: ‘I know these execs of mine and believe me, they care about people.’ The HR leader defensively notes: ‘If you look at the facts, we rarely fire people here. We likely should dismiss more. People make this ‘afraid’ stuff up. It’s fake news.’” Yet when you talk and really listen to people throughout the organization, three big fear inducing actions emerge that undermine these explanations: 

1. People disappearing from the organization. 

People say things like: “Does anyone know what happened to ____? Heck of a performer, I thought. Was here for 25 years. Heard they got escorted out of the building. Anyone know why?” 

2. Not having people’s back. 

You might hear: “You know what amazes me about this organization? When you do phenomenal things or even just normal great stuff, you never really get appreciation or acknowledgement. However, if you make a mistake everyone is all over you. And frankly, most bosses here rarely have your back. They are considered weak if they don’t fire you or trash your reputation after a mistake. They want risk takers and innovators. Ha, I’m just riding it out and hiding as long as I can.” 

3. A blaming versus learning philosophy. 

Another common refrain: “Well intended leaders throw out the ‘learning organization’ jargon. Most often it’s B.S. The real question is who can we blame versus what we’ve learned. The work we do is hard and mistakes will be made. Too often we become flame and blame throwers. The political art is to protect yourself. If you want to survive, save the learning philosophy for suckers.” 

What We Can Do About It. 

1. Make the leaving process a matter of dignity, transparency and respect. 

Unless people do something egregious, which is rare, make sure they leave the right way. Everyone exits an organization one day. And even when we simply just want someone different, make sure we are open, transparently explain circumstances, and treat people fairly. The idea of walking people out and cutting them off from the system is, in most cases, just plain dumb. How many people really sabotage or even want to? However, when people just disappear, the organization fills in the blanks. And the story created usually unsettles people. 

2. Have people’s back.

The best leaders never leave people hanging when things go wrong. They step up to protect their crew. They attack the process and problem, never people directly. When you know your boss will cover you, one does everything to honor that trust. When people are left out to dry, everyone around sees it and notes: “Whoa that could happen to me. So don’t ask me to stick my neck out.” 

3. Learn fast versus blame fast. 

When something goes wrong it is important to find out the cause and fix it. The principle of remedy first and then apply lessons learned is well known. Unfortunately, organizations do not apply the learning part well. Ironically, when bad things are swept under the rug, the unintended consequence is more organization angst.

Work on these three things and you will move the organization’s trust meter up and fear needle down.

Think BIG, start small, act now. 

Lorne 

One Millennial View: This is a pretty cool blueprint for how organizations can make some pretty big cultural changes in a swift matter of time. All that’s really asked here is transparency, decent communication, and basic consideration. Amazing how a simple thing can be such a big challenge. 

– Garrett 

Blog 994

Edited and published by Garrett Rubis

Zoom Out and Back For Bad Ass Greatness 

Abundance Accountability Personal leadership Respect

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The Challenge: There are a few issues I have with setting yearly business objectives in traditional ways. First of all, they are often incremental, even tepid. This is related to the management technique of “sandbagging,” usually related to ensuring individual bonuses are earned. The second is they can simultaneously lead to somewhere, yet nowhere. I hate “floaters” – things that have a beginning and end, yet do little to connect to a greater purpose. Furthermore, these goals can become rigid with people driving to just finish when the outcome is of little importance. Rather than consciously pivoting, because the context has changed, we stay in the rut until it ends.  

So What Do I Do About It? I like setting 10x goals that are based on zooming out years ahead in the spirit of becoming hugely aspirational. This stretches out everyone big time! So then when people come back to the present and determine steps towards these big goals, the yearly work is bolder and more meaningful. It is a bad ass way of working, and a lot more fun. I challenge you to try it. 

Think BIG, start small, act now. 

– Lorne 

One Millennial View: Who doesn’t want to have a bad ass way of thinking and approaching work and goals? I realize this is more of a challenge, but unless you’re working as a mattress salesperson, comfort shouldn’t be part of the experience. 

– Garrett

Blog 993

Edited and published by Garrett Rubis