Executive Matters

December 2002

"KNOWLEDGE IS THE ANTIDOTE TO FEAR." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Knowledge is what AMA is all about--knowledge about management best practices and trends, about the global world of business, what to do about the board and the bored--and most important of all, self-knowledge. To help members forge fearlessly ahead into 2003, we arm you with the following bits and bytes of knowledge.

REMINDER!! LAST CHANCE TO PARTICIPATE IN AMA's "SURVEY ON THE JOB OUTLOOK FOR 2003."
Help us look into the future by taking part in this timely research. Please act now--survey data will be collected only through December.

In This Issue

COMMUNICATING THE VISION

TAKE THE AMA MEMBER CHALLENGE. (YOU MAY START OFF THE NEW YEAR BY WINNING A FREE AMA SEMINAR!)

EXCLUSIVE AMA MEMBERS-ONLY INTERVIEW WITH ANDREA R. NIERENBERG, "THE QUEEN OF NETWORKING"

ATTENTION MANAGERS: AVOID THESE SIX NEGATIVE LISTENING HABITS

SELF-ASSESSMENT: DEALING WITH IRRITATING PEOPLE

MEETING THE CHALLENGES OF LEADERSHIP--A NEW REPORT FROM THE REUTERS BUSINESS INSIGHT SERIES

TEN WAYS TO REWARD EMPLOYEES IN A DOWNTURN

SALES SECRETS ARE REVEALED AT AMA CURRENT ISSUES FORUM


 

red dotCOMMUNICATING THE VISION
Steven Robbins, entrepreneurial coach with VentureCoach.com and co-designer of Harvard Business School's Foundation module, says the key to effectively communicating an organization's vision to its employees is to show them how the vision relates to their everyday reality. Here's how:

  • Involve people in creating the vision. Collecting feedback from employees--while constructing the vision--generates long-term buy-in.
  • Walk the talk by being public and being visible. A vision becomes real to the extent that it drives decision-making. When top managers adopt a new vision, it means they begin to make decisions differently: which projects get the money, which employees are rewarded and recognized for acting in accordance with the vision, which items are priorities, etc.
  • Accompany the change in vision with a change in process. If people hear about a new vision and it's business-as-usual when it comes to their jobs, it won't make much of an impression. Make sure that you think through changes the vision implies and make those changes as you share the vision.

red dot TAKE THE AMA MEMBER CHALLENGE. YOU MAY START OFF THE NEW YEAR BY WINNING A FREE AMA SEMINAR!
Congratulations to our November FREE seminar winner, Jim Cobb, of S.P. Richards Co. in Richmond, VA. Mr. Cobb answered all five AMA Member Challenge questions correctly and was then chosen at random from the total number of respondents who answered all of the questions correctly. If you haven't yet taken us up on the opportunity to win a FREE AMA seminar, what are you waiting for? Here's how it works: Simply answer all five AMA Member Challenge questions (based on current business events) correctly and complete the entry form. (The seminar must be from 1-4 days in length and held in the U.S. only. Multi-unit programs and meeting #1534 are excluded).

red dot EXCLUSIVE AMA MEMBERS ONLY INTERVIEW WITH ANDREA R. NIERENBERG, "THE QUEEN OF NETWORKING"
and author of an information-packed new book, "Nonstop Networking." Here it is--everything you've always wanted to ask about networking--straight from the queen herself!

According to Nierenberg, there is good networking and bad networking. She tells AMA: "You've probably seen negative networking taking place at weddings, parties and other events: people put everyone around them on the spot by forcing their cards into their hands, trying to sell their business and get new clients. Some people will let everyone know that they're looking for a job and even send blast e-mails blatantly asking for help with their job search."

Networking has gotten a bad reputation because:

  • People rush around to make new contacts to collect names.
  • They fail to make a personal connection when following up with these contacts.
  • They focus on quantity rather than quality--when quantity overrules quality and is taken to the extreme, it becomes "networking abuse."

red dot ATTENTION MANAGERS: AVOID THESE SIX NEGATIVE LISTENING HABITS
Want to become a more effective manager? If you can't listen well, you can't lead well. According to "The Emotional Intelligence Activity Book," by Adele B. Lynn (published by AMACOM), six negative habits are often at the root of one's inability to listen. For example, there's "the Interrupter," who doesn't allow the speaker to finish...doesn't ask clarifying questions or seek more information from the speaker, and in effect, shows little concern for the speaker.

red dot SELF-ASSESSMENT: DEALING WITH IRRITATING PEOPLE
At a loss on how to deal with those people who just seem to work on your nerves? Take this fun quiz and learn how to stay in control. Your responses will lead to a set of suggestions for things you can do to help your irritating co-workers modify their pesky behavior.

For example, how would you deal with "Complaining Connie," for whom every day is too hot or too cold, every job too hard or too easy, every co-worker a schemer or a fool, etc.?
Would you:

  1. Change jobs to get away from her
  2. Tell her you are sick of her complaints and wish she'd just shut up
  3. Convince her to take her complaint to the boss

red dot MEETING THE CHALLENGES OF LEADERSHIP--A NEW REPORT FROM THE REUTERS BUSINESS INSIGHT SERIES
The Reuters Business Insight Report on Leadership examines the latest research on the subject, including the changing requirements for selection and development of leaders. Reuters conducted extensive interviews with thought leaders, market leaders and practice leaders to determine the state of leadership today.

When asked, "What issues are having the greatest impact on today's boards of directors?" respondents said that boards are most concerned with:

  • Globalization
  • Corporate governance accountability
  • More active boards
  • Greater control of board mechanisms
For several years the trend has been towards smaller, more active boards with more external independent directors (particularly in the U.S. and U.K.). The preference has been for active, rather than retired executives and for executives with limited external commitments.

AMA Members receive up to a 25% discount on all Reuters Business Insight Reports: Leadership, Human Capital, Businesses as Schools, The Changing Role of the Chief Technologist and Global Organizational Design. The reports are available in either hard copy or electronic versions.

red dot TEN WAYS TO REWARD EMPLOYEES IN A DOWNTURN
Due to tighter budgets, many employees are working harder, for less money and with fewer resources. Fortunately there are plenty of low- or no-cost ways to motivate and reward good people. Here are a couple of suggestions:

  • Give time off: Time away from work to take care of personal business, spend a little extra time with friends and family, or just stay at home and watch soap operas, is a great way to recognize employees. It doesn't matter if it is a few hours or a full day; the opportunity to get away from the stresses of the office makes it a valuable reward. Those who get time off will return refreshed and grateful for the recognition that they received.
  • Increase employability via training. Maybe you can't provide job security, but you can offer career security via training to keep managers and employees abreast of the latest management and technological skills and developments. You'll see a return on investment in subsequent job performance--and the employees' commitment to you as someone interested in their professional development.
For more ways to reward your employees, go to www.amamember.org/smallbiz/2002/sept_01.cfm

red dot SALES SECRETS ARE REVEALED AT AMA CURRENT ISSUES FORUM
Angelo Valenti, a pioneer in executive coaching, urged the audience at AMA's November 13 Current Issues Briefing to make marketing a top priority for their organizations, no matter what kind of business they are in. He shared his successful strategies for customer retention and acquisition at a value-packed presentation held in AMA's New York Executive Conference Center. Valenti's #1 "secret strategy": "Your company must think like a marketing company. If it doesn't, you need to change your mindset. Remember, you can't have a business without customers." Click here for a complete report and summaries of other Current Issues Briefings.

SPECIAL SAVINGS OFFERS FOR MEMBERS: REGISTER FOR ANY SESSION--AND BRING A COLLEAGUE, TEAM MEMBER, DIRECT REPORT, OR EVEN YOUR BOSS--FOR 25% OFF.
Anyone registered or registering for any AMA seminar that takes place between now and June 30, 2003 can bring a companion to that session for 25% off the applicable member or non-member price. Savings range from $300 to $1000 and more. Call 1-800-262-9699 for full details.

SAVE UP TO 50% ON SELECTED AMA SEMINARS
As a benefit to members, AMA is making "Last Minute Seating" available. Upcoming choices include "Management Skills and Techniques for New Supervisors," "Fundamentals of Human Resources Management" and "Managing Your Communications Mix for Better Bottom Line Results." Space is limited and seats go fast, so act now and take advantage of these outstanding training opportunities. Click here for a complete listing of available "Last Minute Seating" seminars.

UPCOMING EVENTS IN 2003:
"Tear Down Those Silos: Creating Cultures of Collaboration," Friday, January 24, 2003, AMA Executive Conference Center, New York, NY Is a "silo" mentality undermining your organization's success? Join author Karl Albrecht and other experts to learn how to settle the turf wars that stand in the way of optimal performance and how to create an atmosphere of open dialogue and knowledge sharing. Members $396; Nonmembers $495. For details and registration information call 1-800-262-9699.
"HR and The Law Conference," March 26-28, 2003, Palm Springs, CA This three-day, multi-track conference for senior HR professionals will feature a keynote address by Dr. Steven R. Covey. Presented by the Council on Education in Management and endorsed by AMA.

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EXECUTIVE MATTERS is a monthly newsletter created exclusively for Executive Members of the American Management Association, 1601 Broadway, New York, New York 10019. Editor: Florence Stone

Copyright 2002: American Management Association. Material in this issue may be quoted free of charge provided the following reference is given: 'Source: American Management Association,' http://www.amanet.org/, 800-262-9699.

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