Green Key Blog

News for the way you work

The Lessons Presidents’ Day Teaches

February 17th, 2014

presidents dayGeorge Washington’s life gives testimony to the fact that great leaders can accomplish great things. Abraham Lincoln’s life is testament to what great things can be accomplished through persistence and determination.

They were men of very different backgrounds. Washington was born into southern colonial gentry. A brash, even impetuous teen, he succeeded at nearly everything, rising to lead the victorious revolutionary army and finally, to become the first president of our new nation. Read the rest of this entry »

The 5 Rules for Working and Living

January 22nd, 2014

Forbes has an article headlined “Star Power: 5 Rules for Boosting Your Value in the Workplace.” It could just as easily have been called “Rules for Living.” Written by author Rodger Dean Duncan, the five ‘rules’ are anything but remarkable; your mother could have — and probably did — offer you much the same advice. “Listen,” your mother would say, “You might just learn something.” Duncan obviously did listen and learn, as his version is nearly identical: “Listen to learn, not to judge.” What makes his rules especially valuable are the real life examples he uses to illustrate how applying them  — or not — makes a big difference for businesses as well as individuals. If, as you read through his list, you recognize yourself, keep reading until the end. His last rule may be the most important of all: “Be willing to change.” Forbes

Do the Hard Things and Be Amazing

January 16th, 2014

The hard thingsYou have to lead when no one else is following you yet. You have to give more than you get in return right away. You have to care more about others than they care about you.  You have try and fail and try again.

“You have to do the hard things. The things that no one else is doing.”

When you do, you will discover “the difference between living a life of mediocrity or outrageous success.”

A few weeks ago we posted Amy Morin’s much lauded and widely circulated list of “What It Is That the Mentally Strong Don’t Do.” Now comes business consultant Dan Waldschmidt, managing partner of Waldschmidt Partners, with his own list of the hard things ordinary people do that make them extraordinary.

“Do the hard things,” Dan says. “You might be surprised at how amazing you really are.”

What If You Threw Away the Employee Handbook?

January 6th, 2014

Netflix HR slidesWhat if you cut in half your company handbook? What if the handbook mostly required “adultlike behavior” on the part of employees? What if your company travel policy was a mere five words long: “Act in (the company’s) best interests”?

Chaos. Uncertainty. Inconsistency. Anything goes. You name it.

Now let’s eliminate the bureaucracy of the annual (or semi-annual or quarterly) performance review. Suppose we also eliminate Performance Improvement Plans. And for good measure, we’ll eliminate the annual performance bonus. If you want stock options, we’ll take the cost of them out of your pay.

If you’re wondering what crazy kind of company would do those things, look no further than the TV. The company is NetFlix. Read the rest of this entry »

What It Is That the Mentally Strong Don’t Do

December 19th, 2013

13 things mentallyAll of us know at least one person who “has it all together.” Not someone who is “keeping it all together,” but someone who has the mental and emotional strength that is admirable, if not downright inspirational. Writer and psychotherapist Amy Morin compiled a list of the things the mentally strong don’t do. Rather than a proscriptive list most of us would find impossible to follow, her’s is a 13 point list of what the mentally strong avoid. Thankfully, she doesn’t claim that 100% perfection is required. We are all human, after all. That may be why Morin’s list has so resonated with readers that it has been posted and commented on tens of thousands of time since first being published on LifeHack. The path to mental strength Morin paves lies in not dwelling on the past, but learning from it, and not wasting energy on things out of our control. The mentally strong don’t feel guilty if they can’t please everyone all the time; saying no is part of life, as is accepting change. Forbes

The Lesson of the Failure Wall

December 16th, 2013

Failure Wall“Failure is, really, no big deal,” says Jeff Stibel.

“Really!’ you may be thinking, which is a so very natural reaction for those of us who are haunted by our mistakes. “What did I do wrong,” is one of those mental exercises that we as a species engage in much more than asking ourselves, “What did I do right?”

Industrial and organizational psychologists, to say nothing of the world’s most successful figures, tell us we learn more from our failures than we do from our successes. Read the rest of this entry »

Peter Drucker On What It Takes To Suceed In A New Job

September 27th, 2012

“When I have a new assignment, I ask myself the question, ‘What do I need to do now that I have a new assignment, to be effective?’ Every time it’s something different.” So wrote Peter Drucker, America’s most famous management consultant. His comments  appear in a provocative column on how to succeed in a new assignment. Written many years ago, his observations about management are every bit as fresh and  relevant as when he was Clarke Professor of Social Science and Management at Claremont Graduate University. Why do so few people succeed when promoted or when they take on a new job? “They continue in their new assignment to do what made them successful in the old assignment and what earned them the promotion.” Human Resources IQ

The Extraordinary Boss And How To Be One

April 30th, 2012

Are you an extraordinary boss?

That might as well be one of those rhetorical questions, since who would answer ‘No?’ Truth is, most of would fall into the average group. We’re pretty good at some things; not so good at others.

But business writer and sales guru Geoffrey James has a different take on what it means to be “average,” and “extraordinary.” In a recent post on Inc., James lists eight “core beliefs” of extraordinary bosses. Drawn from his years interviewing countless CEOs (including, presumably, many who are merely “average”), James paints a stark picture of the difference between average and extraordinary. Read the rest of this entry »