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Thursday
Feb192015

Meetings Are A Waste Of Time (Feb. 20, 2015)

What do horses and meeting attendees have in common?

 

 

 

Long Faces.


 

Executives spend 60% of their time in meetings*           

Next time you’re in a team meeting, take a moment to notice everyone’s expression and body language. Chances are there’s more than one long face at the table.


Do your meetings make root canal surgery fun by comparison? Are they like bumper cars where people verbally crash into one another? Do you champ at the bit because everyone in the room is complacent, which makes you become impatient? Or resentful? Or aggressive?  

 

If you answer yes to any of these questions, we should talk.


I teach startups and newly forming and existing teams how to run effective meetings -- meetings that are productive and energized. Some companies or teams are global and virtual, some are housed under the same roof, and many are multi-generational. One thing they all have in common is the desire for more effective meetings.

 

7 Guidelines for Super-Charged Meetings (no illegal doping needed)


1. Design your meetings to encourage collaborative problem solving, strategic decision-making, action planning, and/or celebrating recent wins – which, by the way, most do not.


2. Ensure the right people are in the room; invite only those who are essential.   


3. Identify your intentions before the meeting begins.  If you can’t, postpone the meeting until you can.


4. Seek agenda input from all participants in advance.


5. Distribute responsibility among attendees by assigning roles including decision maker (boss), timekeeper, scribe, agenda facilitator, and participant.  Rotate all non-decision making roles every few months.  

 

6. Start and end on time.


7. Review action steps at end of each meeting before the horses bolt from the barn; publish meeting notes within 24 hours.

 

Of course, running effective meetings is just one of many aspects of being a great leader. If you want to spur your leadership effectiveness forward by leaps and bounds, call me.

  

Best,

 

Andy

Andy Satter

Founder & CEO

Andrew Satter & Associates, Inc.

1 (845) 256-0995 (Direct)

andysatter@satterassoc.com

www.satterassoc.com

 

 *CBS Moneywatch

  

 

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Wednesday
Jan282015

Startup CEO's Are Like Martians

 

Why Lateral Thinking Works Well On Mars -- And On Earth.


Sometimes being the CEO of a startup is like being an astronaut stranded on Mars.

As a startup CEO, you’re frequently confronted with situations that require on-the-spot decisions that can have life-or-death consequences for your fledgling enterprise. For example, a slam-dunk deal may fall through at the eleventh hour and you have to lay off a third of your staff. Or your brilliant Chief Engineer departs unexpectedly and leaves your new software delivery in the lurch.

You’re often the only person who sees the entire picture and your company typically doesn’t have the cash or other resources to ride out a large and unexpected storm.

Sound familiar?  

Which brings me to Mars. 

 

Or should I say The Martian – a terrific novel by Andy Weir recently published by Crown.  

In a nutshell, a manned space expedition to Mars encounters a series of catastrophic events and one of the astronauts, Mark Watney, is left for dead on the Martian surface. But Watney is actually still alive – barely. (Btw, all of this is revealed on page one, so no spoiler alert here.) 

Much of this page turner, and I won’t tell you how it ends, explores how Watney uses his analytical and lateral thinking skills to extend his life in a hostile and unforgiving environment. And while this story unfolds on a planet 50 million miles away, there are parallels to what happens back here on earth.

So do yourself a favor and pick up a copy of The Martian, which, by the way, my book editor wife also loved. The book will inspire you to look at challenging situations and reframe them in new ways that may not be obvious. The Martian will also remind you to challenge your assumptions in anticipation of potential life-and-death business situations.  

And we all know that you don’t have to go to Mars to find those.

 

Look for my next post – “Texting Assumptions” – which explores how digital communication can impact a leader’s ability to assess people’s intentions.

Please "Like" us on Facebook and LinkedIn, follow us on Twitter. 


Best,


Andy 

 

Andy Satter
Founder & CEO
Andrew Satter & Associates, Inc.
1 (845) 256-0995 (Direct)

andysatter@satterassoc.com

www.satterassoc.com


Executive CoachingTeam Alignment, and Strategic Facilitation 

Tuesday
Jan132015

The Neuroscience of Achieving Your Goals (January 13, 2015)

We’re two weeks into 2015, and how are you doing with your New Year’s resolutions? Have you started on them? Do you even remember what they are? 
 
What if there were an easy way to achieve your resolutions?  
 
The British philosopher Derek Parfit states that we “are not a consistent identity moving through time, but a chain of successive selves, each tangentially linked to, and yet distinct from, the previous and subsequent ones.” Parfit believes that we relate differently to our current self than we relate to our future self, and that we unconsciously treat the latter as a separate person. Could it be that you actually made those New Year’s resolutions to someone else and not yourself?
 
In a recent Journal of Consumer Research article, researchers identified that the intentional manipulation of our perception of time can jump-start the process of taking the proverbial first step of achieving a resolution.  The researchers, Yanping Tu and Dilip Soman, report that research participants given short-term and immediate deadlines were more likely to take action than those participants given deadlines that were perceived to be more longterm. 
 
The researchers asked two different groups of Indian farmers to “set up a bank account and accumulate a certain amount of money by a deadline, offering extra money as an incentive. One group was approached in June, with a deadline of December that year. The second group was approached in July, with a deadline of January the next year.” 
 
The researchers report that participants with the June-to-December timeframe were more likely to achieve their goals than participants in July-to-January timeframe – even though they were given the exact same amount of time.  Why?  Because their deadline fell within the current calendar year and they perceived it to be more present.
 
Additionally, Tu and Soman found that people given the exact same amount of time to complete a task were “more likely to start working on a task whose deadline is in the current month rather than in the next...”
 
Finally, …”the researchers used two calendars, one with the same background color for the entire week, and the second with one background color for the weekdays and another for the weekends. Forty-two undergraduates at the University of Toronto were given a task on a Tuesday that needed to be completed on Saturday. Participants were more likely to begin the task when the week was shown all in one color than when it was divided into two colors.”
 
 Four tips to help you jumpstart your New Year’s Resolutions:

  1. Make sure you still care about the resolution.
  2. Break each resolution down into small and achievable chunks and assign short-term and immediate deadlines. 
  3. Color-code the next consecutive seven or fourteen days on your calendar. Make all of the days red or blue, for instance.  Start and complete working on your short-term deadline within that color/timeframe.  Note: You’ll want to repeat this process for resolutions that require ongoing efforts such as networking, writing that article, going to the gym, etc.
  4. Add additional resolutions into consecutive and color-coded calendar blocks as you successfully achieve older ones.

A famous proverb states that the hardest part of every new journey is the first step. Good luck and start stepping!


Best,

Andy



To learn more about our Executive CoachingTeam Alignment, and Strategic Facilitation Offerings, contact:

Andy Satter
Founder & CEO
Andrew Satter & Associates, Inc.
1 (845) 256-0995 (Direct)

andysatter@satterassoc.com

www.satterassoc.com

 

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Tuesday
Dec022014

Are You Consistently Consistent? (Vol. 1 - Oct. 2014)


Several years ago, a colleague and I had the good fortune to interview the former Chairman and CEO of one of the world’s largest banks while conducting research for a white paper on mentoring and leadership. During the 90-minute interview in his office, John (not his real name) told us that he considered consistency to be one of the most important qualities of effective leadership. By that, John meant that when you are the leader everyone watches your every move for hidden cues, and that how others perceive you at the office on Monday mornings should be similar to how they perceive you at the end of the week on Fridays. If you’re inconsistent, your staff (and sometimes your entire organization) can end up wasting enormous amounts of time and energy attributing inaccurate meaning to your behavior. A story John told during the interview illustrates this point.

One morning, John arrived at his bank’s worldwide headquarters in NYC and before he had even removed his coat upon stepping off the elevator on his floor, the rumor mill was swirling. One of his senior deputies immediately approached him and asked if he was about to announce some bad news. “Why would you think that?” John responded. "John, you had THAT look on your face when you just got out of your car. Everybody knows what THAT look means." John retorted: "THAT look that you're talking about is the look of a 58-year-old man who just threw his back out!"

As a leader, you often operate in a fishbowl.  Self-awareness of your executive presence and the impact you have on others is a critical leadership competency. Consistency builds the confidence of those around you and helps to eliminate unproductive distractions. I plan to explore executive presence in future posts. In the meantime, strive to be more consistent in your actions for two weeks and notice how your actions positively impact those around you.

Note: Copies of our white paper studies on mentoring and leadership are available on our website.  “Why More Senior Leaders Don’t Mentor?: And How They’re Mortgaging Their Company’s Future in the Process” is available online as a free download.

Please "Like" us on Facebook and LinkedIn, follow us on Twitter, and feel to share with friends and colleagues.

 


Best,

Andy Satter

Andy Satter
Founder & CEO
Andrew Satter & Associates, Inc.
1 (845) 256-0995 (Direct)

 

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Thursday
Nov202014

Executive Presence: Adult? Parent? Child? (Vol. 2 - Oct. 2014)


In my last post, “Consistently Consistent,” I wrote about the importance of leaders showing up in a consistent manner; in other words, who and how you are when you arrive on Monday morning needs to be who and how you are on Friday evening when you leave the office.  Consistency of leadership helps your team and company keep an even keel.  Will your company hit choppy water or an occasional squall? Of course. But at least everyone aboard your ship will have confidence that the person at the helm probably isn’t going to do something stupid or irrational or unpredictable that will end up wasting precious time, money, morale, and momentum.

Effective leaders have high executive presence.  They speak with conviction and engender confidence in those around them. One of the CEO’s or senior leader’s most important jobs is to present a consistent and truthful picture internally to his or her team and company, and externally to customers, shareholders, and regulators.  I respect leaders who are optimistic and describe the glass as half full – as long as it contains approximately fifty percent liquid. 

Transactional Analysis, or TA, is a simple and elegant three-part model that describes the behavioral framework of individuals interacting with each other, and my clients have found this model useful as they consider their actions with boards, peers, customers, and subordinates.  Developed in 1957 by Dr. Eric Berne, TA describes three different ego modes or states from which we all operate at one time or another: Adult, Parent, and Child.  


Berne, who was trained as a psychoanalyst and went on to write the best selling book “Games People Play,” recognized that we all unconsciously assume one of the three different ego states while interacting with each other, and that the most productive interactions with adults usually occur when both individuals operate from the Adult state. 

Think about this for a minute.  We all know leaders who operate in Parent state and are then surprised when subordinates follow in the Child state. Three complaints I hear frequently from clients like this are that their staffs lacks initiative, require too much hands-on involvement, and take too much time to complete assignments. Everyone, leaders and subordinates alike, experiences a lot of frustration in relationships like these.

Right about now, you might be asking yourself: What’s the connection between TA and executive presence?  Simple.  Effective leaders typically lead from the Adult state and resist the temptation to lead from the Parent state, especially when a direct report attempts to transfer accountability from him or herself to you.  At the end of the day, would you rather put the monkey onto your own back or teach your team accountability for their actions and deliverables?
 
Look for my next post – “Texting Assumptions” – which explores how digital communication can impact a leader’s ability to assess people’s intentions.

 

Please "Like" us on Facebook and LinkedIn, follow us on Twitter, and feel to share with friends and colleagues.

 


Best,

Andy Satter

Andy Satter
Founder & CEO
Andrew Satter & Associates, Inc.
1 (845) 256-0995 (Direct)

 

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