In 100 Words: Work Your Craft Daily

August 1st, 2023 by Troy Schrock

Your craft is the technical work through which you produce value for others – external customers or internal team members.  It is also work you enjoy and gives you energy.  You may get tired, but this work doesn’t drain you.

What is your personal craft?  How much time do you work your craft each day?  How can you:

  • Fill your schedule with more of your craft?
  • Build support systems which facilitate smooth transitions into your craft and keep you in the zone?
  • Identify tools and processes which help you excel at your craft?
  • Develop your skills to improve in your craft?

“Real success is finding your lifework in the work you love.”  David McCullough

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In 100 Words: Honor the Craft

June 16th, 2023 by Troy Schrock

Every organization has between one and three technical crafts which spin its economic engine.  Leaders should ensure their organizations honor the craft and their craft workers.  How?

  • Spotlight excellence in the craft at an individual and collective level.
  • Help improve the tools of the craft to increase worker safety and efficiency.
  • Invest in the craft more broadly through associations or standards setting organizations.
  • Be a spokesperson for the craft throughout and outside your organization.

Your organization benefits as craft workers sharpen their skills and bring new perspectives, tools, and processes into your organization.

This helps guard your organization’s economic engine.

“We are all apprentices in a craft where no one ever becomes a master.”  Ernest Hemingway

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In 100 Words: Micro-managing is Not…

May 1st, 2023 by Troy Schrock

There seems to be confusion around what is micro-managing.  Everyone’s definition is unique to them.

I hear many people complain about being micro-managed when their manager is simply bringing accountability to expected behaviors, attitudes, actions, or outcomes of a given project or job.  People don’t always appreciate accountability.

On the flip side, I hear managers say they “don’t want to micro-manage” as a reason for why they don’t check in on the work of their reports.  Or, as a reason for not being more directive.

Employees need direction.  Managers should be directive.  Providing guidance and accountability is managing, not micro-managing.

“Management must manage!”  Harold Geneen

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When to Quicken Your Team’s Pulse

March 15th, 2023 by Troy Schrock

Your team’s pulse is the frequency of your team’s meetings.  There are two situations where leaders need to quicken their team’s pulse.

One is defensive – for fast, critical decision-making in dynamic or fluid environments.  Think crisis management.

The other is offensive – for accelerating important initiatives.  This will instill urgency around the few priorities which will best advance your organization.

It’s okay if the meetings are shorter.  The most important thing is connecting.  What happened since we last met?  What needs to be accomplished next?   What resources or decisions are required to move forward?  Go ahead, quicken your team’s pulse rate.

“Leadership is all about people. It is not about organizations. It is not about plans. It is not about strategies. It is all about people–motivating people to get the job done. You have to be people centered.” Colin Powell

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The Inexperience Tipping Point

February 1st, 2023 by Troy Schrock

Is your staff younger than ever?  Are more than 25% of your staff new in the last 30 months?  Are you seeing an increase in mistakes in service delivery or quality?

If so, you have hit the “inexperience tipping point.”  Your organization isn’t alone.  Many industries have seen greater than 50% of the workforce leave the industry.  Leaders are grappling with the results – a far younger, less experienced workforce.

Leaders can create a reverse tipping point and change the momentum.  How?  Slow down and train new staff.  Reinforce the basic why, what, and how of value delivery for your organization.

“Look at the world around you. It may seem like an immovable, implacable place. It is not, With the slightest push — in just the right place — it can be tipped.”  Malcolm Gladwell

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In 100 Words: The Great Fatigue

December 15th, 2022 by Troy Schrock

The challenging last few years are taking their cumulative toll on senior leaders – they are fatigued.  It’s understandable.  The market dynamics have been spectacular.  High market demand coupled with increasing employee turn-over.  Inflation combined with supply chain issues.

I see leaders counteracting these pressures by:

  • Re-prioritizing resources to only their current, best customers and vendors.
  • Resetting delivery timelines.
  • Slowing growth down to train new staff.
  • Guarding personal time for themselves and key leaders – for rejuvenation and whitespace thinking.
  • Increasing intake of inspiring, positive information.
  • Most importantly,… showing others kindness, patience, and understanding.

It’s important leaders remain refreshed and hopeful.

“Return to kindness.  Let it become your most important accomplishment.”  Bob Goff

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