July 13, 2006

Rocky and Spidey

Two cool trailers:

      Rocky (Depending on the ads this page may not be work safe)

June 02, 2006

The Secret

I just finished reading the book The Secret: What Great Leaders Know -- And Do by Ken Blanchard and Mark Miller. Everyone should recognize Ken Blanchard as the author of The One Minute Manager. This is another short read and it follows the same style as his other books. In this story he follows the day-to-day life of a fictional manager, Debbie, who is on the management/leadership fast track. Debbie is assigned a mentor who happens to be the CEO of the company and he shares his SERVE principal with her.

Great leaders SERVE their team. They:

     See the Future
Engage and Develop Others
Reinvent Continuously
Value Results and Relationships
Embody the Values

If you want more details on the five parts of the SERVE principal then read the book (borrow mine if you like). I took away two things that I think I need to work on. The first was how little time I spend just chatting with my team on a personal level. I don’t need to dive deep and become a close personal friend with each of them, but I definitely need to spend more time taking an interest in what they do outside of work. I’m genuinely interested; I plan to do better; And I think if I have a strong relationship with everyone they’ll know when I’m passionate about a goal and vice versa.

The second thing dealt with the interview process. I’ve already made a mistake or two in my hiring practices and those mistakes are painful. If I make a mistake and hire the wrong person that person becomes a liability and a complete drain on my resources. With each bad hire I have to spend precious time dealing with their inabilities when I should be focusing on the business and the customer. They recommend 4 interviews. That is 3 more than I ever do! They suggest that the candidate actually interview the manager. Give her a copy of your resume and your references and let her check you out. Spend time on the last interview trying to talk her out of the job and if she still wants it you’ve found the right person. To build a strong working relationship both parties have to be comfortable with each other and the only way to do that is to spend a significant amount of time with one another and one interview isn’t enough time.

So am I going to start interviewing each of my prospective candidates 4 times? Probably not face-to-face, but I can certainly collaborate with them in many other ways outside of the first interview (e-mail, IM, and of course a Google search) to get a better feel for how well they'll fit on our team.