The company I had been working for in an executive leadership role relocated to another city. My family and I decided that we would not move. I took a position with a company as a junior manager in a very unhealthy environment. Every level above me had very little experience and no leadership/management training. Trying to use my experience, coaching and training was not being accepted. Coaching up one level is not always an easy task, but coaching up two or three levels seems like an impossible feat. I used my life-long team building skills to keep my team and those around me as healthy as possible. This was very successful but did very little to give me the support I needed to deal with senior management. My wife, who is a very effective manager and leadership coach helped me focus on the big picture and cope with the day-to-day while other fellow MSB colleagues coached me to draw from all the qualities that make me an effective leader, coach, and person. My wife and I were reminiscing not too long ago and came to a realization that all that we experienced leading into and during these events were preparation for the position that I hold today.
Is there a book that you’ve been recently reading? What book is on your bedside table or in your briefcase?
I am a very active person, up early to exercise, and in the evening if I sit, I’m out like a light. So, I don’t get a chance to read many books. The books that I have read in the last year or two are:
- Long Walk to Freedom by Nelson Mandela
- Letter from Birmingham Jail by Martin Luther King, Jr
- ITIL Foundation Study Guide
- ADKAR: How to Implement Successful Change in our Personal Lives and Professional Careers (in preparation for major implementation)
I have recently started listening to audible books from my favorite author Anne Rice.
Any new apps or websites that you go to?
My daughters recently turned me on to Snapchat, which is proving to be an incredible resource to keeping in touch with them while they are away at college.
How do you get ready for a meeting?
I am an avid Lencioni follower, and one of my favorite books that I have read at least five times is Death by Meeting. I would like to say that I approach every meeting with structure, but the truth is I only interject when the meetings are unhealthy or when my help is solicited. The one thing I try to do most of the time is to arrive early and prepare myself for the meeting. Usually, I am no different than anyone else running down the hall to the meeting room while talking on the phone dealing with an issue.
Please express an opinion or thoughts on technology in the workplace.
I have been in the technology field for more than 25 years in many different specialized areas. For the sake of brevity, I feel for any company to be able to grow and thrive for the employees, shareholders, customers and the world, technology has to become a part of the core fabric of the workplace. It remains a division along with all the others and this has to change. Let me explain…you need technology for successful financial practices. You need technology for successful marketing practices, for successful HR practices, research and development, etc., etc. Technology is the tool that enables us to be experts and really great at anything we do.