"Frank's skill in asking the right questions is un-mistakable, and is at the core of his leadership philosophy.

The power of these questions cannot be underestimated, especially if you want to lead and not manage."
—John Cave
Westhaven Worldwide Logistics

If not otherwise stated—all postings © Frank D. Kanu. All rights reserved.

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Customer Bill Charge

WTH?

So—I am getting charged for being a customer?
Remember the fees for ensuring your privacy, Internet recovery fee, the unlimited “premium”?

If these companies would just be as creative with providing service as they are with inventing new fees!

Monopolies and pseudo monopolies lead to flexibility and innovation only when billing customers.

PS: I should add the negative interest rates.

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Life Work Balance

A recent meeting of the British Psychological Society enjoyed a talk from American-born British psychologist Sir Cary Cooper.

You won’t have needed to have read too many of my blog entries to know that Sir Cary’s subject—’Social media damaging our work-life balance’—and particular topic—’Mental capital and wellbeing at work’—are both close to my heart.
  • In his talk Sir Cary stressed the need for:
  • control or autonomy for employees in their jobs
  • management through praise and reward rather than fault-finding
  • manageable workloads and achievable deadlines
  • work life balance.*

*(funny how we all tend to put the word ‘work’ before the word ‘life’!)

Sir Cary highlighted the usual suspects. Long hours and their damaging effect on health, electronic mail overload and how the downside of email and social media now outweigh the benefits.

Finally, Sir Cary alluded to a John Ruskin (British social reformer) 1851 quote which I will reprise here:
In order that people may be happy in their work, these three things are needed: they must be fit for it, they must not do too much of it, and they must have a sense of success in it.

Don’t just take my word on these issues … eminent workplace psychology specialists are making the same points!


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Merry Christmas!

Too early you think?

Neighborhoods with Christmas lights up; since days stores display the holidays merchandise—even was greeted by jingles at one…

TV plays holidays season themed advertisement.

There you have it: Merry Christmas!

Don’t you miss the old days where things didn’t start until after Thanksgiving?


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Pink

Some folks need special approval to wear pink in honor of their loved ones that died of cancer; or display their respect in any other way.

That’s not leadership but micro-management at its worst.

Check the NFL or Hillsborough County FL

PS: My dad is a cancer survivor

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Distracted from Learning

Another student managed to get in the news after being suspended for highlights in her hair: “Other students are distracted from learning”

What really distracts from learning is the stupidity of “adult” bureaucrats running schools.

Any thoughts? Or are you too to distracted?



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Tomatoes

Here’s a riddle for you.

What has the Italian word for tomato got to do with your efficiency and that of your staff.

The Italian word for tomato is ‘pomodoro’. It has lent itself to a time management technique developed by self-styled innovator, developer and entrepreneur Francesco Cirillo. Mr Cirillo used a tomato shaped kitchen timer as a student …and his technique is based on setting a timer for 25 minutes ’slots’ or ‘pomodoros’. During these 25 minute slots you focus on the task or project in hand to the exclusion of outside stimuli (email, colleagues, phone calls and so on).

Given that this blog often focuses on the damage to concentration and productivity caused by too many distractions in the workplace with email as a prime example …I thought it important to suggest some solutions. Hence mentioning the Pomodoro Technique* …

…and desk treadmills!

Desk what, Frank?

Yep …researchers have found that people are more attentive if they walk while they work and more retentive**.

And, of course, given that sitting is the new smoking …a treadmill desk will get you on your feet and moving …

…so health benefits as well as efficiency!

* For more on the Pomodoro technique, get yourself a copy of ‘The Pomodoro Technique: Do more and have fun with time management’ by Francesco Cirillo.
** Study conducted in Canada led by Élise Labonté-LeMoyne.


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DNA profiling

If Captain James T Kirk was a great leader, he apparently might have been in possession of a DNA sequence specific to leadership qualities.

The sequence, known as rs4950, was discovered during research undertaken in 2012 by University College London’s Dr. Jan-Emmanuel De Neve.

rs4950 was found after analyzing some 4,000 DNA samples which were matched to career information.

Now… before you think your CEO recruitment searches have suddenly become a lot easier (you can see the line in the job ad now—’Applicants should send a swab of their saliva to…’) and much less expensive… the scientists involved in the research have emphasized that they still believe that leadership is an acquired skill. The research does suggest, however, that leadership is, at least in part, a genetic trait.

I wonder how Fortune 500 share prices would fare if CEOs had to declare whether they had rs4950 or not.

And we thought DNA profiling was just a threat to life insurance premiums!



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Captain James T Kirk

‘Was Captain James T Kirk a great leader?’

Yes, I have just put this question into a search engine and, no, I haven’t got too much time on my hands.

I just wondered whether it had crossed anyone else’s mind that this fictional character often exhibited good leadership qualities.

Well, with the number of ’search results’ at some 1,950,000, it seems that quite a few people have a view on my question.

Incredibly, the original Star Trek series was aired over three ’seasons’ from 1966 – 1969 and yet the style of leadership exhibited remains imprinted on many minds. I recall a leader who:
  • was happy to have a diverse team around him including a quite different second in command (Spock)
  • could manage the differences among team members to the best advantage of the all
  • would lead by example
  • was sufficiently charismatic that people would rally behind him
  • could be tough and make tough decisions when necessary
  • sought the opinions of others but was able to make up his own mind
  • was empathetic and sympathetic when this was called for
  • never forgot the mission and his role in it.

Sounds like a pretty good leader to me.

And he also did not mind the occasional grammatical lapse (’to boldly go’ – split infinitive!).



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