Liz's Latest Articles
In facilitating a client’s strategic planning retreat recently, one the the board members, known for having a healthy ego, kept pushing for a legacy event that would carry his name. This board member was more concerned with having his name on something than on developing or providing a valuable service to their members. As he started to pressure others to support his wishes, I asked, “What’s a greater legacy: Developing the one-time event you’ve been discussing — or — creating a program that will help drive your organization forward while benefiting thousands over the next several years?” No one needed much time to identify the answer.
This is more of a rant than an observation, but I’m seeing it more and more. This missing skill isn’t generation specific. It cuts across all generations and all industries. Leaders, your writing skills, or lack thereof, are one of the main reasons your teams are frustrated, confused, and disengaged, and why projects take longer and cost more than projected. Your team members don’t know what the heck you want them to do or what you’re trying to communicate. Your poor writing skills are costing your company money.
As I’m writing this, we’re approaching the end of a fiscal quarter. Because of that, my team and I have been watching our key metrics and our dashboards to see how close to our plans and budget projections we are. We’re watching the numbers more closely now even though we’ve watched them all quarter long. We’re watching them more closely now to determine which strategies to continue and which strategies to adjust.
This past week, I’ve had two colleagues share stories they’ve experienced directly or observed first-hand. Each tale provides insight into the decline in the quality of our workforce. Each involves a villain (i.e., actually the villains are really unwitting perpetrators, but they’re causing devastation), a direct victim, and an unintended victim.
As I finished a client’s strategy session report this morning, I kept thinking about how the CEO has changed over the past five years since we last worked together. He’s still brilliant, tenacious, out-spoken, aggressive, driven, blunt, and not politically correct -- Can you see why I like him? Yet he’s changed. He’s no longer afraid to laugh. And that change has caused a huge shift in how he and his senior staff interact, plan, work, produce, profit, and succeed.