Life and Light

Do you have anyone pouring life and light into you?  I’m talking about someone who gives you needed direction.  If you do, you’re a fortunate person.  You probably see things in work and life from a perspective of growth.  You would also be rare…rare because most are going it alone.  Most are relying on their skills and not their character.  I’ve written before about what happens with this type of lopsided development.  Namely, damage to organizations, families and life in general. 

When we have people willing to travel through life helping us we’re better able to see the need to change, which means learning.  Don’t be fooled, learning is not just for those in school.  Be a life-long learner…

The following are a few benefits of not going it alone:

  1. The trap of success without character, can be avoided.
  2. When (not if) the storms come you’ll have someone to help you make sense of the things that often don’t make sense.
  3. Your more likely to leave the graveyard poor.

Many thanks to Larcel McGhee who is one of a few who plays this role in my life.

Teams

I had the opportunity last week to ask a successful coach (football) about how you can know if you’re really on a team.  The question came up in a group of business leaders.  I told the coach about how common it is for organizations to throw the word "team" around.  My experience has shown that many spell team "I."  I thought if anyone would know about what makes a team a "real" team this guy would.

He responded that you can know its a real team when the members care more about others on the team, than they do about themselves.  By the way, this gentlemen helps The Ohio State University football team do great things.  Thought that we be important to note.

So, are you on a team or something else?

I Wasn’t Fired, I Was Retired

Welcome to twentieth century America business.  As this story from ABCNews.com communicates, executives are kinda guilty, so they’ve decided to retire. 

Isn’t the first step in fixing a problem admitting that you have one. 

I guess we’ve decided that character and ethics are a situational thing.  No wonder the majority of employees are disengaged.  Would you be engaged if top leadership acted in the way many of these "brilliant" people have?  Not to mention the kinda/sorta approach the organization takes in admitting wrong. 

United Healthcare’s stock rose after the announcement so I guess all is well. 

Not for a minute folks…

Wanted: New CEO

Now this isn’t meant to poke fun at CEOs, but wow!  Today is the day for many a resignation.  See this article from Bloomberg about McAfee and CNET.  Do you understand what the fuss is all about?  Hey, they just changed a few dates to make reality a little different than what it really was.

Not shocked here about the problem.  We (American Culture) have been playing this game of truth-lite.  You know what I mean…wink, wink, nudge, nudge.  But we are now seeing the results of this insane logic.  Sadly, the next group of executives (hopefully the ethical ones) are going to be so hamstrung by regulatory/legal scrutiny, not to mention employee cynicism, that getting on with the business of business will be very difficult.

Check-out my post on character and skills development.  It should be required reading for many executives.

Ends vs. Means

In my last entry I told you how dangerous it is for skills development to exceed character development.  This piece from Fortune illustrates the point. 

The end doesn’t justify the means!

What’s ironic here is that we’ve become a business culture that disagrees with the statement above.  When the cameras are rolling we espouse character, integrity and good judgment.  But when the lights go out we a apply our instincts (instincts not held in check by integrity equals bad behavior) or a "do what you’ve got to do" approach.  In the end, its pretty obvious what certain organizations really believe.

The question remains; what kind of legacy is this business culture creating?