Walmart may not have been the first company whose pricing policies forced suppliers to send jobs overseas, but it was, for years, the one with the highest public profile. Yet, like so many things involving marketplace dynamics, the issues that attracted the most attention had to do with the wages and benefits that Walmart offered employees. It’s a subject that makes good press but, ultimately, bad economics. By contrast, with the impact of offshoring, though, it’s almost insignificant.

The Good

The manner in which you join the management team of a new organization results in you being branded. How you’re initially perceived at your organization can have material implications to your short and long term success. A mind set-based metaphoric example could be the first time you taste a new fruit: aroma, texture, size, shape, flavour, and overall desire for further purchase represents the subjectivity of being branded. One either likes or dislikes the fruit based upon these subjective measurements.

Succession planning. We think about it all the time, right? No? Never? Unfortunately, that’s the reality in many businesses – particularly smaller or family-owned companies.

According to the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM), “Succession planning is a means for an organization to ensure its continued effective performance through leadership continuity. For an organization to plan for the replacement of key leaders, potential leaders must first be identified and prepared to take on those roles.”

BlueSteps recently hosted an #ExecCareer Chat on the topic of executive-level productivity, featuring Andrew Kris, from Borderless, and Chris Swan, from TRANSEARCH.

Some of the questions asked included:

Meetings - ah, that bête noire of the corporate world! How many of us fret when called for meetings? Along with email, most executives view meetings as one of the most unproductive aspects of day-to-day life of the corporate world. Based on several years of reading on the topic and empirical experience of figuring out the best way of conducting meetings, here are a few tips to make them productive:

I’ve been lucky enough in my career to have had the opportunity to interact with Fortune 100 CEOs like Steve Ballmer, Sam Palmisano, Hank Greenberg, “Sy” Sternberg and others. I cannot offer a clear declarative as to how they became some of the top CEOs in the world. However, I do believe that I can offer some observed, shared traits of these top executives and others like them.

Nothing prepared me for managing people more than parenthood. It surprised me…probably as much as it may surprise you. But if you’re not a parent…it doesn’t matter. The concepts are simple, and they’re easy to use – whether you’re dealing with stubborn co-workers, troublesome staff members or bosses who make despots seem docile.

Early in my first career (in television), I worked with someone who excelled at telling me (and probably many others) that my work was “not right.” Yet, when I asked what was wrong, the person couldn’t tell me.

manager_communication“What’s wrong with it,” I asked.

“It’s not what I expected.”

“But it’s exactly what was outlined in the brief and the storyboard.”

“But it’s not right.”

“In what way?”

“It came out different.”

“Different how?”

“Not the same as I wanted.”

“What did you want?”

“Not this.”

“Well, then, what would you change to make it what you want?”

Great leaders don’t know everything…but they can find those who do.

People ask me for advice – regularly – about a ridiculous number of things. I wonder if they realize they’re asking me because I readily admit that I couldn’t possibly know about so many subjects. That doesn’t stop me from answering, however. I just don’t answer with solutions. Coming up with the solution is their job.

Conflict is something we all experience on a regular basis. Whether it is with the person that turned in front of you on the way to work, or it is the late meeting right before a holiday weekend that the CEO scheduled. If we deal with conflict so often, why aren’t we better at conflict management?