Requisite Reading

Because you are the killer app.

Does Executive Work Prevent Executives From Experiencing FLOW?

Flow, the psychological state of high-performance where one loses one’s self in the work one is doing, is something that we think people crave. Bioss International posits that when we have a job that challenges us just enough but not overwhelms — a job that “fits” — we experience flow.

But do we? Or more specifically, do the activities required of Executive Management prevent t…

Sometimes You Really Can’t Describe What You Do

Höckerschwan, White swan, Cygnus olor, Wild duck, Stockente, Anas platyrhynchos ginsheim-gustavsburg. (c) 2010 Vera Buhl, CC-BY-SA-3

I was really frustrated. I was trying to explain what a particular Work Swan — one of these people who are “hidden” high potentials, like Andersen’s “ugly duckling” — brought to the table and I just kept hitting a wall. I knew that this person brought a solid set of skills, but they were transformative. When you added him to a project, he changed the game. He didn’t deliver what you asked…

#1 Book That New Executives Must Read

KODIAK, Alaska (Sept. 27, 2011) The Naval Research Laboratory tactical satellite IV (TacSat-4) lifts-off from the Alaskan Aerospace Corporation's Kodiak Launch Complex aboard a Minotaur IV+ launch vehicle. TacSat-4 will have a unique highly elliptical orbit which augments current geosynchronous satellite communications and will support to tactical handhelds. (U.S. Navy photo by John F. Williams/Released)

You just got promoted into the Executive suites. You’ve been a manager for awhile now, with ever-increasing managerial responsibilities. You know how to manage that smaller group. But now you’re going to be running a full line of business, your own PL. You know how to manage 100. How do you manage 2,000?

Most business books have little to give the new executive other than platitudes that sound…

Top Two Features of Real Genius (it’s not giant popcorn bombs…)

Sand bucket on the beach of Punta del Este, Uruguay. David http://www.flickr.com/people/99255685@N00 (CC BY 2.0)

What makes up a Genius? Most of us in North America imagine the “geniuses” who come up with great new ideas as people who seem to have everything lined up, who don’t need anyone else because it’s their singular genius that makes the day. True brilliance shows in people who get everything done the right way, quickly and efficiently. They are born that way, ready to go.

The science writer B…

Read an extended exchange on Requisite Organization

Man refusing an offer of money. (Portrait of Edwin A. Finckel and Boyd Raeburn, Edwin A. Finckel's home, Greenwich Village, New York, N.Y., ca. July 1946, by William P. Gottlieb. From the William P. Gottlieb Collection [Library of Congress])

Almost a decade ago now, readers got into a discussion within the comments about Elliott Jaques’s Requisite Organization and management. Since the commenters included the illustrious Glenn Mehltretter of PeopleFit USA; my one-time writing partner, “APFG”, now an executive himself; and my long-time friends, “J” and “JmmJ” (then a plant manager and IT specialist, respectively; it’s not the usua…

A Decade of Requisite Organization: Celebrating 10 years of writing about the work of Elliott Jaques

Off shore oil rig by sunset (California). Via photoeverywhere.co.uk

In November 2013, I celebrated a decade of writing about Elliott Jaques. Let’s look back on the last ten years of articles, shifting ideas, and learning, and maybe see where things are going for the next decade.

In 2003, I lost what will likely be the most promising job I’ll ever have. It happened quickly, falling apart so that I couldn’t put it back together. I went looking for some answers…

WordPress Comments Out of Order: A Solution for Old Imported Posts

Analog Computing Machine in Fuel Systems Building Lewis Flight Propulsion Lab-NASA

When I started looking back over many of my older posts in my Wordpress site that I pulled in from the original sites, I noticed that the comments were often out of order. They weren’t reverse order, newest to oldest. They were simple in no order whatsoever.

Many people have had problems with the ordering due to a fault with the Reply To This Comment (or “threading”) feature. You had to go…

Top Reasons Why Your Resume Says “Career Stalled”

New York-to-Paris automobile race: [Automobile stuck in snow]

Have you ever considered that your career path is a lot like a movie? Film scholar Chris Simmons, a colleague of mine, lectured once on the massive blockbuster, Titanic. He showed how everything in its visual language spoonfed what the director wanted you to see, know and feel. The director made deliberate choices to make it easy for us as the audience to come along with his storytelling.

In Memory of George Reilly — colleague, therapist, management consultant, author and dearly esteemed colleague

Man in a storm sailing a small boat into the horizon

It was with great sadness that I learned that a dear colleague, George Reilly, had died at the beginning of November in his 75th year. He will be greatly missed: even though he received his biblical three score and ten, he leaves a hole. I wanted to take a moment to talk about his legacy in the management consulting, leadership development and psychotherapeutic counseling fields.

He also…

#1 Reason Why 360º Reviews are a Menace to Managers

Network hierarchy diagram.

360º review systems are often dissed by everyone except the people administering them. They’re so-called because they allow everyone in the organization around you — manager, boss’s boss, peers, subordinates and maybe even subordinates’ subordinates — to rate your performance.

And that’s the problem:

360º reviews get people to think of things you don’t do well, often for the first…

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