Tag: coaching

Working in the Wake: How Leaders Lose Their Focus


Dr. T.P. Hall was a part time teacher in my Executive MBA program. Retired from the Georgia State School of Business, T.P. (as he asked us to call him) was every inch the seasoned old man who clearly loved to share his accumulated wisdom. One afternoon, he abandoned his Power Point presentation and spoke to us directly.

And I will always remember his words of advice:

From Commodity to Transformation: How Selling Coffee Points the Way to the Future of Healthcare Delivery and Why it is So Hard to Get Right


In his 2006 book The Starbucks Experience: 5 Principles for Turning Ordinary Into Extraordinary, Joseph A. Michelli outlines how Starbucks takes a service (preparing coffee) and turns into an experience, a transformation that has not been without struggles and has proven difficult to maintain over time.

In the book, Michelli outlines the hierarchy of sales, showing that the highest margins are from those sales based on experience, using coffee as an example:

Commodity: Coffee beans.

Engaged Employees Come from Engaged Managers: Why the Job Description is Not Enough


In his 2015 article “Obsolete Annual Reviews: Gallup’s Advice,” Jim Harter at Gallup published what should have been headline breaking news. Based on the Gallup studies of the American workplace, only 50 percent of American workers strongly agreed they know what is expected at work. This figure has not changed significantly in the 2016 and 2017 reviews.

How on Earth can leaders expect their employees to execute their visions if half of their workforces are not sure of what is expected of them?

Most people want to do “good work.” But they need to understand the meaning of “good work.” If they don’t, frustration with unclear expectations can quickly lead to apathy. In short, unclear or conflicted expectations can lead to employees working just for a paycheck, instead of working for the organization. I can say from personal experience, as a customer and as a manager, those employees do not understand the value of customer service and are minimally productive.

Dumb Data, Blind Information, Enlightened Knowledge


For years we have heard that we must have data to make decisions. We are told, “You get what you measure”. The amount of data being collected today is greater than ever. Leaders and managers have all the data they could ever need to run their teams, departments, and organizations. And yet, we do not see a great transformation in management. What is going on?

Data says nothing. Mere facts are as mute as stones. Just as the geologist must pick up and examine those stones he finds; data must be reviewed, studied, and processed into information. Information is processed data that has meaning and is presented in a context. The number of clients seen in January was down, that is what the data shows. What it means, however, takes context, and more than the numbers spit out by the computer. It could mean staff were not as productive as needed, maybe the flu swept through the office, maybe the weather decreased client turn out. In short, only looking at the staff productivity, and taking nothing else into account, does not provide enough information to make decisions.