Books that predict the future are interesting, although perhaps preparing for it, and creating it, usually provide greater returns.
Nevertheless, a new best-seller does just that. Jeanne Meister and Karie Willyerd recently published an HR-focused book, The 2020 workplace: How innovative companies attract, develop, and keep tomorrow’s employees today. (New York: Harper, 2011). I presented a synopsis of that book at the October First Friday Book Synopsis in Dallas, and it is now available at 15MinuteBusinessBooks.com.
Among the many predictions in the book is # 7 – “Job requirements for CEO’s will include blogging.” They state that: “The level of authenticity and concern that can be communicated through a CEO-level blog can’t be matched by press releases or blogs written by the public relations department….Hearing the voice of the CEO through his or her own writing, when it feels authentic, helps foster trust in an organization” (p. 220).
They suggest there are three major styles of CEO blogging: (1) deeply personal, (2) highly opinionated, and (3) product messaging.
If you live in the DFW area, you are well aware that the greatest example of the head guy being highly opinionated through blogs is right under your own nose. Mark Cuban is the Owner of the Dallas Mavericks, and popularized blogs before, during, and after his team’s basketball games. You could read his views on his players, the action, and his favorite target, the referees.
These blogs were highly popular, some of which demonstrate the problems associated with putting opinions in print. A number of the blogs led to huge fines imposed by the NBA, especially those that criticized referees. Ironically, in 2008, Cuban banned blogging from the Mavericks’ locker room. According to Deadspin: “Mark Cuban dislikes bloggers who aren’t him.”
None of that matters. I think that Cuban led the way. His blogging is highly visible. controversial, provocative, and interesting. Go to a game, concert, or even corporate meeting, and see how many people have at least one cell phone or other mobile device in their hand. Some are texting, some are sending e-mail, but some are also blogging. Cuban was the first of his type to do this.
And, if you believe this new best-seller, Cuban was ahead of his time.
What do you think? Let’s talk about this really soon!
As a choreographer, my task is to make the best possible work with the dancers I find in the room on any given day.
Twyla Tharp, The Collaborative Habit: Life Lessons for Working Together
It’s a broken record. Everybody knows it. If you have the wrong people in your organization, on your team, you are in trouble. You will not accomplish your goals. You will not take your organization to the next level. And I’ve read the books; I’ve quoted the findings, the recommendations. They all make sense.
Getting the right talent is everything. “Do you have the right people on the bus?” goes the mantra-like question.
Well, let me put it simply – until you get the perfect person to fill that all-important seat on your bus, that all-important slot on your team, there is a better, more realistic solution, and Twyla Tharp gives us the insight:
my task is to make the best possible work with the dancers I find in the room on any given day.
Twyla Tharp has worked with the very best (Billy Joel and his music; the music of Frank Sinatra; the dancing of Mikhail Baryshnikov, and a plethora of others), but she also has worked with many, many dancers who may not reach such heights in the reputation, or talent, department that these superstars represent. So, what does she do? She still churns out terrific work, because she views her task as this:
to make the best possible work with the dancers I find in the room on any given day.
Consider the lowly, seemingly lesser names of the Dallas Mavericks. OK, Dirk Nowitzki is a “superstar,” but his surrounding cast, the other members of the team? – Coach Rick Carlisle simply made the best possible work with the dancers he found in the room on this given day (in this season). And, lo and behold, they rose to the occasion, and they won it all. And, by the way, those lesser names – JET (Jason Terry), J. J. Barea, Tyson Chandler, Shawn Marion, the practically ancient Jason Kidd, and the entire team– they’re not so lesser anymore!
So, fantasize about that perfect team all you want to (while your team fantasizes about that perfect team leader!). But take a look around you. There are people with talent – great untapped talent – ready to go to work. Work with these people. They are the ones in the room on this given day. Work with them to do the best this group can do on this day.
Yes, it might be hard work to make this happen. “The best possible work” is never easy. But, give it your best shot with the people on your team now.
You might be surprised!