Gone are the days of regular rhythms for reviewing performance, plans, and strategies. Now, most leaders receive a constant stream of data about customers, operations, markets, competitors, and more. Here are three ways to handle the information free-for-all:
- Focus on a few key indicators. Don’t try to absorb everything. Pay attention to what matters and enables you to take action.
- Differentiate opinion from data. Don’t take one person’s word as truth. People may observe the same event and interpret it differently based on their own biases.
- Use information as a basis for dialogue. Take advantage of your team to help you sort through and interpret information. Ask for their thoughts on trends they see in the data stream.
Adapted from “Managing the Information Avalanche” by Ron Ashkenas.
Common wisdom is that the best managers are collaborative. After all, nobody likes to be bossed around. But that’s not true for rookie managers. New leaders who are perceived as having low status — because of their age, education, or experience — lead better when they tell subordinates what to do. If as a new manager you sense that your team doesn’t yet have confidence in you, you’re better off setting the agenda, establishing clear direction, and putting people to work on what you think needs to be done. Only after you have established your authority should you introduce a more collaborative style.
Adapted from “Why Bossy Is Better for Rookie Managers” by Stephen J. Sauer.
Mustering willpower is a struggle for almost everyone — and it’s getting harder. Today, more distractions make it difficult to focus on your goals. To keep yourself on track, try the following:
- Practice small. By reminding yourself to sit up straight, you train the same mental muscle needed to quit smoking or lose weight. Practice small exercises in self-control, and your overall willpower will benefit.
- Take on one task at a time. If you try to accomplish everything, you’ll likely give up on all of it. Instead, choose one thing to tackle. Once successful, move on to the next.
- Monitor, monitor, monitor. The more you track your progress on something (and ask others to help you track it) the more likely you are to stay on task.
Today’s Management Tip was adapted from “Faced with Distraction, We Need Willpower” by John Coleman.
If you ever want to delete your iCloud account, you can actually do it straight from your iPad. Go to Settings -> iCloud, and at the bottom, you should see a big “Delete Account” bar. Press it if you please; before your account is deleted, you’ll get one last warning before it’s gone for good.
Note: When your iCloud account is deleted, all iCloud data on your iPad will be cleared. The data still remains on iCloud and can be put on your iPad again simply by adding your iCloud account.
Have fun with your iPad!
People are more creative when they feel passionate about their work. Whether they are driven by interest, enjoyment, satisfaction, or a sense of personal challenge, they are more likely to take risks, look for multiple solutions to a problem, and seek out the best one rather than the easiest. These are the people you want on your team. Get to know potential hires as thoroughly as possible, even before you have an opening for them. Ask them why they do what they do, what disappointments they’ve had, what their dream jobs would be. Look for fire in their eyes as they talk about the work itself, and listen for a deep desire to do something that hasn’t been done before. When you talk to their references, listen for mentions of passion.
Adapted from “Talent, Passion, and the Creativity Maze” by Teresa Amabile and Steve Kramer.
More and more people are finding jobs via Twitter, Facebook, and other social media sites. These media aren’t changing how we look for jobs, they are simply rebooting the traditional habits of successful job hunters and making them easier. To boost your job search:
- Build a better network. You used to pester people for their business cards at conferences and mixers. Twitter offers a better alternative. Lots of recruiters, hiring managers, and industry leaders hang out on Twitter, swapping job leads and industry updates.
- Share evidence of your good work. Rather than dragging your portfolio to an interview, high-traffic sites such as YouTube and Pinterest can help you showcase your work. Recruiters increasingly prowl the web to look for the best candidates.
Adapted from “Smart Social Media Helps Jobs Find You” by George Anders.