The Key 12

     In preparing the curriculum and content for the ten week graduate class in Negotiation that starts tonight there's been little time for blogging and lot of other writing recently.  At the same time the presentation I've been preparing for another professor speaking at a conference in Berlin later this week ties into some of my more passionate themes though. Her topic is Generational Differences in Motivational and Organizational Commitment with some accompanying research examples and discussions of Daniel Pink's Drive and the Rodd Wagner and Dr. James K. Harter Gallup book 12: The Elements of Great Managing

     Both lead right into Jim Clifton's The Coming Jobs War.  Given the recent economic data on U.S. employment, the ongoing financial crisis in Europe, and the slowing of growth in many parts of the developed world, waiting for something to happen is a major mistake.  In trying to pay attention to Brain Rules and Presentation Zen I created the two graphics below for her PowerPoint. They work well for me at least. I also do that because of the sad state of desire to read among students and the general population over fifteen second news bites, Twitter (which I love) and "Can't I just watch the movie?  Why do I have to read the book?"  None of us who teach or have children have ever heard that before of course.

   I've posted the RSA Animate video from Dan Pink regarding Drive before and really look forward to his next book this fall.  Drive isn't some folly or new left field social business management theory. It's based on forty years of clear scientific research. Clear Scientific Research.
     Autonomy is very simply the desire to have some say in how, what and when we work. For those of us approaching a mythical retirement date we can now see to some degree, there is a desire to enjoy what life we have left on this earth and make a difference.  For Generations X, Y and the Millennials, its much more about freedom of choice, greater social purpose and their networks. Beyond autonomy though, to quote Dan: "Only engagement can produce mastery, essential to making one's way in the economy. The move to accompany profit maximization with purpose maximization has the potential to rejuvenate our businesses and remake the world."  We don't have to look very far in political and economic circles to see the lack of leadership requiring something to be remade.

     The 12 rules are full complete sentences of course, but I've shortened them for graphic purposes. I was fortunate enough to hear Dr. Harter speak at the Midwest Academy of Management conference on Positivity last October in Omaha, Nebraska.   It was a phenomenal conference, and yes I was bold enough to ask him to autograph one of my copies of the 12 afterwards because I use it in class and it was part of my presentation at the conference.  A quote from this must read for anyone leading an organization: People were neither created to fit corporate strategies nor have evolved to do so. The most successful managers harness the drive, virtuosity and spirit that comes with employing humans, even as they understand their inevitable chinks in the armor."   Notice the convergence between Pink and Gallup?

     I haven't created a graphic for Clifton's The Coming Jobs War yet, but here's an accurate quote:

Humans used to desire love, money, 
food, shelter, safety, peace and freedom 
more than anything else.  
The last 30  years have changed us.  
Now people want to have a good job, 
and they want their children to have a good job.  
Leaders of countries and cities must make 
creating good jobs their No. 1 mission 
and primary purpose 
because good jobs are becoming the new world currency."

    Yet with all this scientific expertise and knowledge, none of this changes the continual flow of data showing nearly 80% of working Americans in particular would leave their current job in a heartbeat if they could.  Mostly because of poor or abusive management practices (which is not leadership).  Additionally 75% of us are either not engaged in our work (we don't care about it at all); or are fully disengaged from our work (harming productivity of others).  That's not a Jack Welch clear out the bottom 10% annually kind of solution (which never really worked).  While my love of behavioral economics has gotten me some Klout recognition, I don't have any predictions about the global economy here.  After all, most of the real economists missed the ongoing global financial crisis in 2008.

     I do know that now more than ever, if we're leading an organization of any size, it's time to engage, learn, apologize where necessary, restore trust and faith, and fix the problems that lead to distrust, poor productivity, absenteeism and an unhappy workforce.  Here's a model you can use if you're not sure how to get started.  It doesn't matter to me how large the organization is or how materially
powerful the leader is either.  There is no aspect of leadership that does not involve trust and negotiation. Being an expert in the first leads to better outcomes in the second.  

     Listening to followers or employees tell us how smart and wonderful we are because we control the paycheck isn't leadership or even good management.  Admitting that no matter how wise and smart we are as leaders, we still don't know everything is a good start to building trust. Asking employees, followers and other stakeholders what they think will solve whatever opportunity confronts us is a major step towards increasing organizational learning and restoring trust.

    I do know that we need to solve the engagement well being crisis among the American workforce, or the economic crisis is going to last decades longer than it needs to. I for one don't have time to wait and see what happens without devoting significant energy to solving today what can be solved, while keeping as many fishing lines in the water as possible and continually scanning both the external and internal environments for innovation and opportunity.

 Ethics are nothing but reverence for life.  
This is what gives me the fundamental principle of morality,
namely, that good consists of maintaining, promoting and enhancing life,
and that destroying, injuring and limiting life are evil.
Albert Schweitzer


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