Until a few weeks ago I never thought of connecting improv theater techniques, like what you might see on the show Whose Line is It Anyway? to coaching a team member. That changed when I listened to Alan Alda read his book If I Understood You, Would I Have this Look on My Face? . In this book Alda describes how he uses improv basics to teach scientists, professors, and doctors to relate and communicate better with their audiences, investors, students, and patients. Before I share how you might progress through a coaching session, let’s look at a few improv [...]
I lunched this week with a senior banker friend, who I used to work with many years ago. During lunch he shared a coaching challenge he is having that is the same challenge managers from several industries have shared with me – he has a younger commercial loan officer who is “okay,” but is not “stepping-up” – not trying to find larger loan customers and not taking responsibility for some things he should. Sound familiar to you? I suspected after talking with him that my friend was not a Connector Manager-Coach, but likely one of the other types of coaches [...]
If you played sports, I want you to think back to the best coach or coaches you ever had. If you didn’t play sports, think about the best manager you have had or have now. I’ll wait a minute – do it, I’m serious. Now, what was “it” they did that made you remember them? My “Mad Dog’ Coach I Remember. The one coach that stands-out for me was my high school football coach in Middletown, RI, the late Joseph “Joe” Magliocco, who we players referred to affectionately as “Mad Dog.” I was a military kid and my sister and [...]
Human behavior can make us flip sometimes. A few weeks ago when I was visiting our Rhode Island market I had interesting conversations with two of our team members. In the first one I learned that Dave, one of our Providence team members, was a part-time realtor. That by itself was not really notable, but what I learned next was. Dave told me that he specializes in being a “buyer’s broker”. When I asked him why, he said, “Because buyers are almost always happy after the closing and often invite me to their first house party. Sellers, though, are almost [...]
Photo by Toa Heftiba Yesterday in Church our Pastor gave a children’s message focused on gratitude. After asking the children what they were grateful for, she passed around a clipboard asking each of us to share something we were grateful for. I wrote down “meaningful work”, which I am grateful for every day. Since yesterday as I thought about all the stress in the world these days, I have reminded myself how really grateful I am for good laughs – something we have always had around our family’s Thanksgiving table over the decades. So this week I thought [...]
This holiday season I have been thinking about loyalty - loyalty to family; loyalty to friends; loyalty to co-workers and teammates, and loyalty to pets. I know what you are thinking, “Steve usually writes about human and leadership behavior, so why pets this time?” About two weeks ago Gordon, a brilliant and close friend of mine and many others in Portsmouth, passed away at the wise old age of 87. He lived alone out in the country and walked every day through his woods with his loyal black lab, Molly. That last day Gordon died of a massive heart-attack while [...]
So when I think about Ted’s hours of personal conditioning and work mostly for the benefit of Sagan, I see a great example of how to be a selfless teammate!
Today, many Americans are hooked on reality shows. I hear people talk about Survivor, The Biggest Loser, and the Apprentice as if the participants are members of their families. So I have a great reality show for you to think about, especially if you are leader. Here are your first two challenges. First Challenge. Your name is John Carver. You have been selected to lead 102 people on a journey to a far-off land you have never seen. The journey will take more than a month. Your people will be confined on a ship into a space about 90 feet [...]
Last week I was pleased to see the Boston Red Sox trade several of their expensive, all-star players to the Los Angeles Dodgers. Why was I pleased? Because I had stopped watching my favorite team and wanted a reason to watch again. I have wondered how such a talented group of athletes, several of whom won a World Series in Boston, became such a dysfunctional “team.” I also wondered why their management didn’t recognize and deal with the “dysfunctional” symptoms earlier. How to Detect a Dysfunctional Team. You can have talented team members assembled on the same team, but that doesn’t [...]
One business practice that GE developed under Welch’s tenure was a very thorough leadership assessment. A component of that assessment that is easily transferred to other industries is the 4Es of leadership – energy, energize, edge, execution.