Hot Management Info for 2007

January – Statistics

February – Bad Boss

March – Wisdom Of The Ages

April – Get Off Your Duff

May – Dismal Meetings

June – Those Pesky Annual Evaluations

July – Soft Skills

August – Your Messy Desk

September – Screw Ups

October – Planning Conferences

November – The Age of Speed

December – Check Your Skills For The New Year


 

January
2007 – Statistics

Are You Prepared to Manage Generation Y?

Just as you’re getting used to dealing with Generation X, along comes the next demographic group. Generation Y, as some call it, is composed of those born after 1977. What are they looking for from their employers? Here’s how Generation Y college students answered one survey when asked what they wanted in their first jobs:

  1. A fun work environment
  2. Growth and opportunities
  3. Competitive salary
  4. A wide range of projects to work on
  5. Good benefits, including healthcare, profit sharing, and 401(k)
  6. Opportunities to learn and develop new skills, paid for by the company
  7. Travel opportunities
  8. Flexible work schedule

– Adapted from Understanding Y: Learn how to recruit Generation Y workers and how to make them stay, by Christine Luporter, on the WomenConnect Website

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February
2007 – Bad Boss

During my current series of teaching the Complete Management Course for Planning Directors, I offer half hour personal counseling sessions. Many of these relate to giving career advice to planners who want to advance and wonder how to best do it.However, recently a number of students have wanted to discuss problems with their boss or putting up with an incompetent manager. While I was in government, I tried for 25 years in various assignments to change my boss. What was my success rate? Zero. Things started to go better for me once I developed an approach to work better with the boss – even the SOBs.Jack and Suzy Welch in their weekly commentary in Business Week (February 5, 2007) address this same subject. The employees question was, should he go to the CEO to get some action on an incompetent manager – to break rank. Their answer:

“The answer is usually no – unless you have a big safety net or another job in hand. End runs backfire 80% to 90% of the time. Few bosses reward people who sneak around the organizational chain of command. Moreover, most companies are painfully aware of bad bosses and struggle to find a way to force them out. Shoving that point in their face won’t make you a hero; it will make you an annoyance.”

“If you dislike your boss so much that you are ready to burst, you really have only two foolproof choices: Wait it out or walk out. Most end runs only end you.”

While this seems like good advice, I was presented by a somewhat more complex scenario. In this case, it was not only a bad boss, but also a Planning Director who played favoritism to various friends in the development process. If the Planning Director was AICP, then he or she should be reported as violating the Code of Ethics. Under the new rules this could be done without revealing the name of the complainer. Additionally, if the subordinate was AICP, I believe the Code of Ethics would require the reporting. I would caution that documenting favoritism could be a bit tricky so care must be taken.

However, as clear as this seems, neither the Planning Director nor the staff subordinate in this specific case are AICP members. However, everyone, AICP or not , should practice personal ethics. Additionally, the Planning Director would appear to be violating conflict of interest laws both at the local and perhaps the state level.

Bottom line, if the violations are substantial, I believe the planner has no alternative but to report the situation up the line. Another approach might be to find someone else in the community to raise the issue or even make a confidential suggestion to the press. But, always keep in mind that the end product could be loss of a job. A good planner will need to decide where to draw the line in the sand. This sounds like one of them.

I hope some of our readers will chime in on this and relay other informational stories.


Reader Responses

Good article. One misconception though: An anonymous ethics complaint could be filed under the old AICP code as well as under the new code.Daniel Lauber, AICPLaw Office of Daniel Lauber

River Forest, IL

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March
2007 – Wisdom of the Ages

Don’t be afraid of the phrase, I don’t
know.

Today, employees will often know more than you do.

Never gossip.

Just politely say you are not interested.

No task is beneath you.

Pitch in. But, if you are a manager, don’t substitute
operational tasks for getting your management house
in order.

Share the credit whenever possible.

Don’t stand between the camera and the elected
official – or your boss.

Ask for help.

Help is always available and they will appreciate
being asked.

Keep your salary to yourself.

This is a no win proposition. Comparisons create
more problems than actual differences in salary.

When you don’t like someone, don’t let it
show.

Especially if you outrank someone. No need to burn
bridges. You may need to cross that bridge in the
future.

Let it go.

Be gracious and diplomatic and move on.

When you’re right, don’t gloat.

The only time you should use the phrase “I told you so,” is if
someone says to you, “You were right. I really could

succeed at that project.”

Edited from the Manager’s Intelligence Report

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April
2007 – Get Off Your Duff

In my consulting practice I am always amazed when planning directors tell me they haven’t done certain improvements since they are new at the job; having been the director for only a year or two. The world is moving too fast for that lame excuse.

If you want to see how it is done, take a look at what S. Gail Goldberg, the new planning director of Los Angeles has done in less than a year. I had the opportunity to study that department in 1991 and again last year. In less than a year’s time, Gail has already addressed many of the issues that have plagued that department for years and has other changes well underway. This includes major increases in staffing, assigning some dynamic new managers, deselecting others, launching many new plans and is in the midst of a total reorganization of the department to geographic teams. Most impressive to me is the new Mission, Vision and Strategic Plan that has been developed.

Mission

We honor our heritage and shape our future by partnering with all Angelenos to transform Los Angeles into a collection of distinctive, healthy, and sustainable neighborhoods –the tapestry of a great city.

Vision

We strive to create an efficient, effective and sustainable organization that becomes the focal point for planning in Los Angeles; a trusted resource that provides innovative solutions, engages with the community, nurtures staff, and cultivates leadership.

Strategic Plan

This mission and vision was followed by a four-point strategic plan. Each of the four points had three to six specific goals. The four points:

  1. Do Real PlanningThe Department of City Planning strives to become the City’s trusted and respected resource to shape the growth and physical form of the City. We will establish the value and importance of planning and balance the needs of the City as a whole with the needs of individual neighborhoods. We will advance public policy that ensures social equity, housing, services, and jobs.
  2. Build an Efficient and Effective DepartmentTo become an efficient and effective department we will foster a highly skilled and motivated staff. Our organizational structure will be flexible and responsive to the size and diversity of our communities. We will create quality services and processes that are simple, predictable, and consistent. We will allocate and adjust internal resources to ensure department accountability and success.
  3. Develop Innovative SolutionsThe Department of City Planning will be known as a national leader for its innovative planning and design solutions. The Department will foster a culture of creativity that advances the transition to a sustainable, livable City. The Department will engage in smart partnerships where collaboration and risk intersect for positive results.
  4. Engage the CommunityThe Department will ensure that all Angelenos are able to play an active role in shaping our communities and the future of Los Angeles. Our Department will become fully immersed in the communities for which we plan. We will actively reach out to all segments of our population and foster informed participation to more successfully plan great communities.

Reader Responses

The same goes for old planning directors. It is never too late to start. If you don’t, somebody else will. I honestly believe management, staff, and the community appreciates a director when he/she becomes an active partner for change.Michael GunningDirector of Development Services (Retired)

Corpus Christi, TX


The title was a meaningful message all by itself – but I enjoyed the rest as well. Many thanks!

Beckie Faulkenberry

Santa Rosa, FL


OUCH! That hurt. As a new planning director (January 1) I’ve used that excuse too – I’m new, etc. Now I realize that 3+ months have gone by in a flash. I have big plans, and if I want to accomplish them, I’ve got to get going. Thanks for the kick in the butt, and looking forward to seeing you in Philadelphia.Sarah S. More, FAICPTown of Oro Valley, AZ

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May
2007 – Dismal Meetings

How many of you simply have too many meetings that eat up your time?I’ve talked before about the standard one-hour-per-week staff meeting where the director pontificates for 55 minutes and then during the last five minutes, when everyone wants to leave asks for all that creative staff input that never seems to come. I’ve recently come across the opposite. A meeting where each section of the office describes what they are doing with little or no comment from the director and no overall direction for the department. Both of these are signs of staff meetings in trouble.A recent AMA article* caught my attention with some good tips. It states that managers and professionals spend an average of two days per week in meetings and 50% of that time is wasted on topics that are not relevant to them. The article suggests the three principles below to help out.

  1. TopicsToo many of the subjects discussed at meetings are only relevant to one or two individuals or a subset of the attendees. Run the discussions that involve everyone at the beginning of meetings. Thereafter, break into sub-groups or one-to-one sessions. If people are not involved, let them leave.
  2. ParticipationIf you don’t need participation, you don’t need a meeting. If all you want to do is present information or inform people about the latest development, than a meeting is the wrong means of communication. Send an email instead.
  3. ContentIf you don’t have compelling content, don’t hold the meeting. If you need to talk to a colleague or customer, invite him or her for a coffee break or lunch. Often these work better anyway and can be worthwhile.

For Good Meetings,

The Management Doctor

*Executivematters, AMA, April 2007 by Kevan Hall, author of Speed Lead

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June
2007 – Those Pesky Annual Evaluations

I am currently working with a number of planning departments that are focusing on organizational improvement, often after the appointment of a new director.

One of the first issues that arise is the lack of annual employee evaluations. Although the city or county requires these, they are either seldom done, late, or in some cases never done. However, before charging full speed ahead some caution is in order. Issues include:

  1. Most managers and supervisors don’t like to do them.
  2. Most managers and supervisors have poor counseling skills.
  3. The forms that many HR departments use are old fashioned and may actually be harmful.

The guru of management, Edwards Deming, suggested doing away with the annual evaluations. When I was still in government, I tried two approaches:

  • I suggested that everyone be scored “above standard” unless we were working on a termination. This allowed us to focus on the content of the evaluation in a positive way, rather than debating if we should have checked a higher score. I used to call this “Playing God.” This system worked well until the HR director discovered it and made us stop.
  • I then developed a self-evaluation form where the employees evaluated themselves. This worked well and you can see it in my ABZs of Planning Management book.

Employees want to be evaluated, but not in the destructive way practiced in much of government. Jack and Suzy Welch, who write weekly in Business Week, were recently asked, “How about just letting employees know when they are performing way under or way beyond expectations?” I like their response:

“With all due respect, we think it’s a terrible idea! Look, companies can’t win without great people, and you can’t develop great people without performance appraisals. Now, we’re not talking about elaborate forms and piles of paperwork. That’s way too bureaucratic. All mangers need to do is sit down with each direct report and share with him or her a single page that says, ‘Here’s what you do well, and here’s what you can do better.’ And that should happen not once a year but – brace yourself – three or four times, particularly with every
raise, bonus, or promotion.” *

Give it a try and let me know how it works.

The Management Doctor

* Business Week, February 26, 2007


Reader Response

I couldn’t agree more with your observations! If annual evaluations have to be done, then they should generally be affirmations of good work and where career building opportunities exist. In addition, merit pay should accompany outstanding evaluations.Michael A. Harper, FAICPWashoe County, NV

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July
2007 – Soft Skills

Someone once said that we hire people for what they know but fire people for who they are.

Now comes a new poll reported in the June Training Magazine.* “67% of HR managers say they would hire an applicant with strong soft skills whose technical abilities were lacking; only 9 percent would hire someone who had strong technical expertise but weak interpersonal skills. Why? The overwhelming majority (93%) of HR managers feel technical skills are easier to teach than soft skills.”

Soft skills ranged most in demand included:

· 87% Organizational skills

· 81% Verbal communication

· 78% Teamwork and collaboration

· 60% Problem solving

· 59% Tact and diplomacy

· 48% Business writing

· 45% Analytical skills

Take another look at your HR job specs for planners and compare them to this list. It may be time for a change.

*A poll of 300 administrative professionals and 400 human resource managers polled by HR.com, Office Team, and the International Association of Administrative Professionals.

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August
2007 – Your Messy Desk

Albert Einstein once quipped, “If a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, of what then, is an empty desk?” Though disorganization is negatively linked to chaos, confusion and bedlam, it is human nature for many people, not just slobs. Consider Einstein – his desk at the Institute for Advanced Study was in complete disarray, but he was successful at his job and won a Nobel Prize in Physics in 1921 – a sure sign that messiness can work for some people.

The book A Perfect Mess: The Hidden Benefits of Disorder – How Crammed Closets, Cluttered Offices, and On-the-Fly Planning Make the World a Better Place, authors Eric Abrahamson and David H. Freedman questions the common assumption that organization and tidiness are better than disorder and clutter. They contend that some degree of messiness is often preferred to strict order. Their reasoning: the cost of maintaining such order can be higher than the benefits gained from it. At a minimum, recognizing the benefits of mess can be a major stress reducer, the authors claim. Many of us are already operating at a more-or-less appropriate level of mess, but labor under the mistaken belief that we’re failing in some way because of it.

The authors offer an anecdote about two magazine stores in Manhattan: One store was thoroughly organized with a full staff and an electronic inventory- tracking system, while the other store was a mass of publications strewn about, with Interview magazine heaped next to copies of the Economist. Though the first store, being the neater of the two, had more customers, it is the second, messier store that remains in business. Abrahamson and Freedman point out that though the less orderly store may have sold fewer magazines, it actually made more money over the years because the store’s owner had avoided the costs of additional staff and a computerized inventory system.

They conclude, “Perhaps right now, somewhere in the world, a beaker has been over-turned, or a corporate brainstorm has been sparked by a random word, or two papers have ended up next to each other on a messy desk, or an impulsive politician is changing her position – and the results are going to lead us down a surprising new path.”

The Management Doctor believes in systems (Zucker Systems) and tends more toward the clean desk approach, but I hope this book can be a stress reducer for many planners.

* Extracted from Soundview Speed Reviews, May 2007

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September
2007 – Screw Ups

What do you do when you screw up? I’d like to know. There isn’t much information on this topic so it’s time to collect what we can find.The first problem of course is knowing that you screwed up. Unless you have clear performance standards or a clear strategy for serving each of your customers, and a feedback system, how would you know? Here are a few examples to start your thinking.

  1. Counter ServiceHave you set a performance standard and have a way to monitor it? Do you bring in extra staff when the wait gets too long? Customers in small and rural communities expect almost instantaneous service. In larger high volume communities you should try to see customers in no longer than 15 minutes.Now, what do you do when you screw up?

    Redwood City, California’s City Hall is next to a coffee house and when waits get too long they give the customer a chit to go next door for a specialty coffee or pastry.

  2. Application ProcessingI have worked with thousands of developers in hundreds of communities. They all want the same thing, timely processing of their application and consistent and clear reviews. You need to set a timeline performance standard for all applications, monitor how well you are doing, and when you fall behind, bring in extra staff or stand-by consultants to catch up. For consistency, you need to monitor those second reviews to see that staff is not adding new comments that should have been caught the first time.Now, what do you do when you screw up?

    How about taking the project out of sequence for the rest of the steps or refunding the application fee? The head of Pennsylvania’s Conservation Department said he would refund the fee and he would personally deliver the check to the applicant at a press conference where the staff member who screwed up would be present.

  3. City Council and Planning CommissionOne thing they normally want is a timely response and material delivered on time.Now, what do you do when you screw up?

    How about a phone call or delivery in the evening or on the weekend. Bring along a Starbucks or sweet roll just so they know you really care.

  4. Long Range PlanningCitizens are increasingly telling us that they are not happy with the communities we are creating. That’s why New Urbanism, Form-Based Codes and Smart Growth are becoming so popular.Now, what do you do when you screw up?

    Get off your duff and start doing some “real planning.” Your job is more than processing those applications. Fight for a decent long-range planning budget. Sell your ideas. Go ahead and stick your neck out. Getting fired at least once in your career is good for you.

  5. Even The Management Doctor Screws UpWe try not too screw up but as they say —- happens. I had a small $3,000 housing contract being handled by perhaps the best housing planner in the country. I lost track of it and discovered six months later that we had not billed the client. After billing them they said they didn’t get what they wanted. We offered to try to fix it but they said they no longer wanted it.Now, what do you do when you screw up?

    We said just pay us $2,000, they said $1,000, we settled. But, did this really meet our customer satisfaction goals? We decided to give a $1,000 donation to the community’s non-profit housing company. That got us closer to our goals.

What do you do? I’d like to know!


Reader Responses

Everyone makes an occasional mistake. When this happens in my office, we immediately take whatever steps are necessary to make things right. In my opinion the first step is to admit your error. Trying to “fix it” by postdating applications, etc. only compounds your problem. Be honest and truthful. Most folks only want to be treated fairly and have someone LISTEN even if they can not offer the solution. We will always strive to do our best. I feel that when mistakes are made, it is my responsibility to make sure the staff member (and everyone else) understands the correct procedure and the County’s policies. If they are not well trained that is my fault. I feel the buck stops with me, the department head. I can’t say that everyone who has come through our doors left happy but we do have a great reputation for being knowledgeable, friendly and helpful.Cathy AllcornDenton County Government Services


In a professional Planning Department environment, I would offer the following as far as what should be done “when you screw up:”

  1. Once the error is discovered, discuss it with senior staff so that they do not receive an unexpected surprise;
  2. If the resolution of the error is not straightforward, work with senior staff to internally determine the best course of action, remembering that elected officials, internal divisions, and the general public ALL view issues from often very different perspectives;
  3. If the error created an illegality, consult with the legal folks to fine tune the best course of action;
  4. Publicly acknowledge the error. (This does not necessarily mean you need to take out a newspaper ad or hold a press conference. “Publicly” just means that you are openly acknowledging the error-sometimes this is to one person-sometimes this is to the community at large.) Do not lie about, embellish, deny, alter, downplay, attempt to justify, or ignore the error. Remember that if your account of the error is discovered later to be “not quite accurate,” the error is likely to become a far worse problem. When you are at fault, the best policy is to accept responsibility for your role in the problem;
  5. Let the party affected by the error respond to the acknowledgment of the error. Even though you have already internally determined the best course of action, let the affected party have a chance to outline a solution to the error, if applicable. Sometimes that solution will be less costly or painful than the one you came up with internally, and yet quite appropriate for the circumstances;
  6. PROMPTLY correct the problem using the course of action that you internally established, modified, if appropriate, by the input of the affected party. Be transparent in your actions. Again-you are attempting to make things right-not cover anything up;
  7. Take the needed steps to correct any situations which might have initially led to the error. For example, if a process needs to be fixed, get it on the “list of projects to be completed,” and assign it an appropriate level of priority;
  8. Communicate the parameters of the error internally, as appropriate, so that others may learn from any mistakes and/or avoid making the same error;
  9. Managers and Department Heads (etc.) need to protect and support their staff members. This does not mean that a junior person goes unaffected by his/her error-the leader needs to work with that person to ensure that the problem is corrected properly, and, hopefully, to ensure that a similar problem does not arise again. But the leader does need to ensure that consequences affecting the junior person are fair, proportional to the error committed, and reasonable. Everyone makes mistakes. Sometimes an error needs only a simple apology to correct. Occasionally, a special concession may be in order (such as the partial or complete refunding of application / review fees). But rare is the occasion in which an employee should be harshly and publicly singled-out. I was surprised by the passage in the article that read:

    “The head of Pennsylvania’s Conservation Department said he would refund the fee and he would personally deliver the check to the applicant at a press conference where the staff member who screwed up would be present.”

    This seems to imply that the “guilty staffer” would suffer a rather nasty level of public abuse and humiliation, and I can’t imagine that the head of Pennsylvania’s Conservation Department would care to be treated in this manner in turn, if he/she was the one to make the error. Common sense, compassion, and fairness should determine the price that an error-committing employee should pay, and it should always be remembered that punishing an employee is not as important as solving the problem/correcting the error.

  10. Finally, the division between “personnel error” and “process error” should be kept in mind as well. In other words, did this error result from lack of caring or negligence, or did it simply result from a lack of training or a broken procedure/process? The difference matters when it’s time to resolve the problem!

David W. German, AICP

James City County

Williamsburg, Virginia

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October
2007 – Planning Conferences

I generally make it to the national APA conferences, but I am often on the road and miss the California conference. I did manage to make the conference this time and here are a few observations.

  1. Planners – Planners – EverywhereThere were an amazing 1,700 planners registered; the largest turnout ever.
  2. Jobs – Jobs – JobsVirtually every planning director I talked to had the same issue, they can’t find planners. This is particularly true at the mid-planner and supervisory level. I also find this to be true in my national travels, not just California. Wow! What a nice day to be a planner.
  3. Developing Leadership In Young PlannersThis session was filled with lots of students and new planners, plus a few seasoned old timers. The old timers want young planners to provide more leadership in their organizations; maybe because so many old timers were afraid to be aggressive and provide leadership in their own careers. On the other hand, the new planners say that their bosses are afraid of many of the new ideas and won’t listen to them. The good planners are going to migrate to the organizations that want to listen and do “actual planning.”
  4. Staff ReportsA group of Council members and Planning Commissioners said:
    • We like electronic staff reports.
    • Please furnish the exhibits in color.
    • Give us recommendations and get them up front where they are easy to see. But, also include a good discussion of the opposing view points.
    • Include good writing and clear thinking.
  5. Form Based CodesA standing room only session and clearly a hot topic. Many citizens are demanding this level of detail. Form Based codes will challenge your administrative practices and also highlight the lack of design expertise in so many planning departments.
  6. CPTEDDefensible space concepts have been around for a long time, but few communities seem to be using them. I am currently working in a high crime community. The instructor in this sparsely attended session said he had four police from that community in his training class, yet they never participate in the planning process. We need to re-discover these concepts.
  7. Global Warming and Sustainable DevelopmentThere were many many sessions on these topics and it is amazing how rapidly work is moving at the local level. For those of us in California, it may be because of the leadership of Governor Scharzenegger and the push by our new Attorney General, Jerry Brown. Planners should ride this horse as fast as possible.
  8. WEB 2.0Do you know what this is? I attended the session and am still not sure but I am certainly going to find out. Most of us with our web sites are stuck in WEB 1.0, the teenagers and young folks with their Blogs and Internet ties are heavily into 2.0. This new arena has great potential for planners – find out about it.
  9. AwardsThe Management Doctor was presented with an Honor Award by the Planner Emeritus Network. I like to think this was for all the outstanding work I have done and am still doing. However, it could be that I just outlasted everyone else. I started my first planning job in Bucks County, Pennsylvania 50 years ago. I think of myself as the Timex watch of planning with no intent to retire.

The Management Doctor

Reader Response

Congrats on the award! A Timex? Nah…see below…

Isn’t Photoshop great?! And with all the time managmeent skills you taught us in class, taking 5 minutes on a Friday for a mental break is now completely feasible!

Best Regards,

Marc S. Mylott, AICP

City of Columbia, SC

Energizer Zucker

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November
2007 – The Age of Speed

Many of you will lose patience with this article unless you can read it in less than five minutes. The comments below are taken from a new book, The Age of Speed by Vince Poscente and summarized in Soundview Executive Book Summaries, October 2007. Points include:

  • Speed is a fact of modern life. Yet many people and organizations let speed control them instead of the other way around.
  • 23% of Americans say they lose patience within five minutes of waiting in line.
  • Every time we speed up the time it takes to complete an unimportant task, we create the possibility of more time to spend doing what we feel is significant. We do want to smell the roses but not every experience holds deep intrinsic value.
  • Best Buy through its Results-Only Work Environment allows employees the freedom to decide where, when and how they work -as long as they get the job done.
  • Shifting your perspective of time from a focus on tasks and physical location to a focus on values can help you deal with the daily pressures common in the “Age of Speed.”

Poscente talks about four behavior patterns:

  1. ZeppelinsSee speed as a harbinger of impending doom; greater stress, more work, chaos. They’re blind to the world of options and opportunities that speed offers. They feel rushed, stressed out, not in control of their own lives. Their organizations may require five to 11 levels of approval for the simplest initiative.
  2. BalloonsAre happy individuals and successful organizations that don’t seek speed and don’t need to. They have chosen to live outside the “Age of Speed.” They float along; content to reach a general destination eventually and it usually works out well for them. They often inhabit niche markets
  3. Bottle RocketsMoving fast, but never managing to achieve anything of substance. They stay stubbornly focused on the wrong path.
  4. JetsEmbrace speed and actively pursue it, but unlike Bottle Rockets have outstanding records for reaching their destinations safe and intact. They harness the power of speed, turning it to their advantage.

A few tips:

  • You must have agility – flexible in thoughts and actions.
  • Avoid too much multitasking.
  • Allow the disruptions that add speed but avoid the ones that detract from it.
  • Keep your eye on your authentic purpose, whether it is personal, professional or organizational.
  • Reaching for speed itself is straightforward; the complicated part is finding the right places and the right ways to apply a fast, innovative touch.

Hoping you have a speedy but rewarding journey,

The Management Doctor

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December
2007 – Check Your Skills For The New Year

In a new book, Smarts1 , the authors help executives check themselves against 12 brain functions. Give it a try and find your weak skill areas to work on in the new year or celebrate your strong areas.
Areas Strong Areas Weak Areas
1. Self-restraint Think before speaking or acting Say the first thing that pops into your head and act before considering the consequences
2. Working memory Complete a task without losing sight of other commitments Sometimes absent-minded
3. Emotional control Manage emotions in order to achieve goals Overly emotional and sensitive to criticism
4. Focus Screen out distractions Difficulty in seeing things through to the end
5. Task initiation Begin without procrastinating Tough time getting started
6.Planning/prioritization Well-organized, efficient, and clear thinking Unsure about what’s important
7. Organization Create a schedule to manage work – a system Misplace or lose items – messy
8. Time management Punctual Fight fires
9. Defining and achieving goals Finish what you start Super at startup, but…
10. Flexibility Adapt to unexpected changes Change rattles you
11. Observation Self-reflective and impartial Can’t see big picture or read reactions to your behavior
12. Stress tolerance Unexpected obstacles are interesting challenges Worry about what might happen next

If you have 12 strong areas, 2008 should be great. Less than 8 and it is time for some introspective training. Less than 5 and you should try a mentor or job change.

These are the Management Doctor’s suggested scores — not the book’s.


1Taken from a review in MWORLD, Summer 2007.