Archive for February, 2009

I love my city!!!

February 28, 2009

Where in five hours (including travel time) on a Friday night can you . . .meet a colleague to wind up a deadline, eat an early dinner, and run into old friends and hear about the latest Cleveland Orchestra’s residency in Florida, drive down the street to a City neighborhood to attend an art opening featuring art by musicians, and then head downtown to the City’s best modern and contemporary art gallery to listen to public radio’s best interviewer being interviewed by Cleveland International Film Festival groupies.

The answer:  In Cleveland, Ohio.

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Accountability = Action and Outcomes

February 26, 2009

While everyone talks about accountability (or lack thereof) the conversation happens because accountability doesn’t.

Accountability means someone identifies a need, figures out how to address it, and does whatever it takes to meet the need.

You can’t be accountable if you don’t act. And you won’t act if you don’t know what you are trying to achieve.

Learn, Live Healthy, Prosper.

February 25, 2009

It seems like so much of what we want to be is simple.

But it is powerful.

Whatever our age, our status in life, our longings . . .

We all want to learn, live healthy and prosper, so let’s do it.

Now we can.

Change: A Simple Definition

February 24, 2009

While visiting Washington DC last week I was comforted by the professional, collegial and intentional manner of Federal staff.

Furthermore, I was energized by the approach to making change. Here are a few lessons to share:

1. Don’t reinvent the wheel (someone already did . . . a million times over).

2. Do integrate successful components of other successful efforts (just don’t try to duplicate them exactly).

3. Don’t think that everyone is on board with this change (just look at the Governors who openly refuse resources their constituents need desparately).

4. Do look to build partnerships and strategic alliances (start with those with common experiences, then branch out to those with common cultures.)

5. Accept change.

Headline: Economic Forecast – Chance of Change 100%

February 17, 2009

While reading an article in the New York Times today I was struck by the over-simplified perspectives of several economists on our current state of affairs. Those of us who are in the “managing change business” know that the chance of change is always 100%.

Predicting change is easy. Managing change is hard. Sustaining positive change can be done only with strong leadership.

Before partnership agreements . . .

February 14, 2009

there were unwritten rules for doing business. Community values and norms dictated how people did business with each other. A hand shake and a smile was all a person needed to feel comfortable that the person they were doing business with was trustworthy and transparent.

The events of the last year (several years in the making) now require a different approach. What was once thought to be intrinsic to our way of doing business with each other, must now take the form of an explicit communication of our values and principles.

What are your values and how do you live them daily? Stating your values and articulating them as operating principles is a good place to start. If we are to be accountable, we must start with defining for what we are accountable.

What gets measured gets done.

February 11, 2009

A while back Mark Smith talked about what gets measured gets done.
Today, now more than ever, what we (leaders) decide to measure is what will get done. The ongoing debate at the national level is more about what individuals want to be accountable for.

It is easy to fill a spending bill with funds for projects. And, yes, it is true, it is really hard to measure the success of job retention and creation activities. The fact of the matter is, it can be done if leaders want to measure it. I know.

A new day . . .

February 2, 2009

How often have we made this statement.

While every day is a new day that presents a fresh start and new opportunities, every day follows a day where lessons have been learned, dreams put forth and commitments made.

In leadership development we talk about the “sense of agency” leaders must feel and respond to if they are to be effective and successful leaders. Any leader who puts forth an agenda must first use themselves as the “agent” of change. Business as usual, fingerpointing, making excuses, or just doing the same old thing isn’t leadership or agency.

Choosing to be a part of the solution, not the Monday morning quarterback conversation, matters.