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Stop Wasting Your Time In Meetings

Are the meetings you’re participating in productive? How do you know?

From the halls of corporate giants all the way down to the co-working spaces and coffee shops of startups and micro-businesses, a popular refrain can be heard: “Meetings are a waste of time”. Is that you? Well, most of the time, you’re right. They are. But that doesn’t say something about “meetings” as a whole, it only says something about the ones you’ve been having.

Meetings can be highly productive, crucial in fact, and even enjoyable. So, what makes a meeting (or any less formalized conversation, for that matter) “productive”?

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(Not) Career Coaching

First: I am not in the business of career coaching. Now, there have been many times when I examined my career, and many more when I have been with others through that journey. I have enjoyed the process, as have the people with whom I have shared the experience. We have produced the intended results. In every case, as I see it, the career that will be most satisfying will be one that occurs as a natural self-expression. And yet, for many people, the inquiry into what they really want to be doing has been a long and fruitless one.  

I have worked through the following process with at least two dozen people and we have found it valuable. Ultimately, what we are looking for has two parts: first, find that thing that you so can’t help but do that sometimes your friends wish you could; and second, figure out who wants to pay you well for doing that.   

A valuable frame of reference is that there are many job searches that are not career searches, and it is good to know the difference. If someone needs a job, then they need a job.  A job pays bills and supports life. Sometimes, looking for the perfect career is not the wise move. Sometimes one simply needs a job. Now, it won’t hurt a person to go through this process even if all they need is a job. Getting a job doesn’t mean that pursuing a career cannot be done, it is just that a job is often something needed with urgency, and this process is not that. A career choice can take time and it seems it is best done when urgency is not a factor.

There are two primary inquiries here. The first is the following greatness and passion exercise. The second is described below that and involves looking at the job market.

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A Conversation About Leadership, Part 3

This segment concludes this series on leadership…

Doug: I have been on both sides of the leadership scenario you describe and have had some victories and have made some pretty big mistakes. I remember one situation where I was new in a leadership position and had a substantial project to get done under great pressure. The people who were truly on my team allowed me both the freedom to ask a lot of them and the leeway to make mistakes. The challenge came with people who joined the team later, after the project had momentum.

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A Conversation About Leadership, Part 2

Doug: Great, so a leader is someone who produces extraordinary results and around whom other leaders emerge and for the moment we are discussing specifically leaders of teams of people rather than people who “lead themselves”. You mention the hurdles of producing the result and in my experience the hurdles are a critical part of the process.

How does a leader get a team of people, each of whom may have issues or challenges personally, through a process of producing the intended results?

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A Conversation About Leadership, Part 1

The following pages represent an ongoing conversation between, Allan Scherr and Douglas Hoffman. The subject is leadership. In this post and the ones that follow, we will be speaking about leadership both in terms of theory and in practical experience. We invite all comments and additions to the conversation.

 

Doug: Allan, I have been reading on Linkedin, conversation after conversation, attempting to boil leadership down to its simplest elements. And while I appreciate the intention, I am amazed at times by the diversity of reply.

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Mapping Your Way-It’s Never a Straight Line

The distance from San Francisco to Honolulu, Hawaii is roughly 2,400 Miles. Modern airlines being what they are, this is not a tremendously burdensome or risky journey. Clearly it is a trip undertaken casually by many and with little fear. And yet, if one misses Hawaii by say 10% and keeps flying, there is little likelihood of survival.

For most of us a 10% margin of error is far smaller than we tolerate in our business lives. Many organizations routinely miss objectives by margins much larger, and for most, this is considered du rigor.

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Reasons vs. Results

Bring to mind something that you’ve committed to regarding your business or work, and then haven’t fulfilled on. Take a moment to think of something specific. Ok, now why didn’t you fulfill on that? What had you not come through?… Read More »Reasons vs. Results