Posts Tagged ‘Management’

Today would have been Jerry Garcia's 71st birthday.  Had he lived to see this day, would the leader of the Grateful Dead continue to tour and perform as much as he did before his passing?  My guess is absolutely he would.  His former bandmates, all around the age of 70, are still going strong and touring the country like they were still in their 30's.

Mick Jagger is seventy and not slowing down

I am amazed at the touring and performance schedules of some of the legends of rock and roll.  Mick Jagger is older than my dad, yet while my dad has retired and slowed his pace, Mick continues to roll on and perform at a high level.

It seems that age is much less of a factor today than in the past in terms of determining success.  Some of the world's most valuable companies were started and are led by 30-somethings.  It is not unusual for a giant hedge fund to be run by a person that grew up watching reruns of the Brady Bunch, rather than someone that came of age during the 50's or 60's, or earlier.

30 something founder of Twitter, Jack Dorsey

At work, I am amazed at how much responsibility people in their early to mid 20's are given, and how successfully they handle the challenges placed before them.  When I started my career about 20 years ago (around the time that Jerry Garcia passed away, as a matter of fact), I was not afforded the types of opportunities that my younger colleagues are given.  Whereas in the past it was common to put in a decade of work to prove one's abilities before being given any real responsibility, that timetable has been compressed dramatically.

When we are young we are often in a rush to grow up.  My son is five years old and he has decided he is already too old for his little kid underwear.  He asked yesterday to go to the store to buy boxer shorts.

I am glad to see that young folks in the workforce are being given more of a chance to shine today.  And, I am equally glad that in the fields of entertainment, business, science and others, the idea of the typical retirement age has become a thing of the past.  End of Story

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No Asshole RuleAl Capone once said, “You get further with a kind word and a gun than you do with a kind word alone,” and as we come out of the recession, I often wonder whether the workplace will emerge with a more Capone-esqe, dog-eat-dog approach to doing business (although without the gun!) or whether it will be a more collaborative world where nice is necessary.

I’ve never been a great fan of business books but while browsing for vacation reading at JFK recently, I stumbled on “The No Asshole Rule.” The book, by Robert Sutton, discusses building a civilized workplace and surviving one that isn’t.

Luckily, I’ve had limited exposure to the type of people described by Sutton, but I know I am in the minority. Incivility in the workplace is rampant – a study referenced in the book said that 10% of people experience it on a daily basis and 20% were direct targets of incivility once a week.

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Last week, I posted a story about Generation Y, often referred to as the Millennials, and their feelings toward entrepreneurship. As you could probably tell, I'm quite sensitive to the way many GenYers play into the many generational generalities that exist for this group (having a sense of entitlement, the need to be constantly rewarded, etc.). Despite being a member of this demographic, I continue to find frustration in this group's inability to match the work ethic and modesty of previous generations.

Over the years, I have shared the below 60 Minutes segment with many colleagues and friends. It continues to be an interesting overview of this new era of professionals. I'll admit, watching it can make my blood boil as I want to scream from the mountains that we're not all like this. But I have to admit, all too often I meet professionals and current college students from this generation that exude the characteristics of the stereotypical Millennial.

So I share this with you and invite you to watch it and share your reactions within the comments . CJP

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I am a voracious reader of management books.  As a true believer that great managers are made, I consider myself a student of management, always striving to be better.  I have been reading Alan Murray's Wall Street Journal Essential Guide to Management.  It is a "core read" and provides critical tips and a terrific reading list (I am happy to report I've read about 80 percent of Murray's recommended management reads).  For avid readers of management books there isn't anything new here, but it’s a great compendium.  One of the best affirmations the book provides is its commentary on Human Resources.  Don’t get me wrong, the book DOES NOT suggest to do away with the HR department.  But what it does say is that employee engagement, and other essential parts of a great company culture, are often delegated to the "HR Shop" when they are really the responsibilities of managers.

What the heck is engagement anyway?  It’s getting employees involved in decision-making, it’s allowing them to voice their views, it’s the feeling that they are doing valuable and meaningful work, and that they understand the link between their contribution and the company's.

This week I will speak to 500 entrepreneurship professors at the USBE conference in Hilton Head.  I have been asked to tell my personal story and discuss CJP's Army of Entrepreneurs Model.  At its core, the AOE model was born out of a belief that employees want more - they want the thrill, freedom and rewards that come with ownership, or at least a version of it.

The PR agency business is rife with less-than-stellar managers and, in my view, outdated hierarchical structures.  Perhaps if there was less reliance on the HR department and more accountability on managers, the industry would benefit. CJP

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