Executive Matters

November 2002

"WHEN THE ONLY TOOL YOU OWN IS A HAMMER, EVERY PROBLEM BEGINS
TO RESEMBLE A NAIL."
- Abraham Maslow

What's the state of your professional tool kit? Do you have access to every available tool you'll need to tackle the complex array of problems and challenges you'll face in the ever-evolving world of business? Our goal at AMA is to provide our members with a well-stocked toolbox from which executives, managers and support staff can choose the appropriate tools to successfully meet any given business challenge that comes their way.

TAKE PART IN AMA'S SURVEY ON THE JOB OUTLOOK FOR 2003
What is the outlook for your organization's overall workforce in 2003? Will jobs be added or eliminated? Will raises, bonuses and commissions exist or face extinction? Help us look into the future by participating in this timely research. We'll share the results with you.

In This Issue

"WORKING WITH AMERICANS."

TAKE THE AMA MEMBER CHALLENGE.
TEST YOUR BUSINESS NEWS KNOWLEDGE
YOU MAY WIN A FREE AMA SEMINAR!

CHECK OUT THE FUNNIEST JOKE IN THE WORLD

LEARN THE SWEET SECRETS OF "INNOVATION LEADERS"

GO BEYOND CHARISMA

TIPS ON MANAGING TODAY'S ANGRY WORKFORCE

LATEST AMA RESEARCH

REPORT FROM AMA'S CURRENT ISSUES BREAKFAST BRIEFINGS

DOING IN BUSINESS IN CHINA


 

red dot"WORKING WITH AMERICANS."
American ex-pats Allyson Stewart-Allen and Lanie Denslow have put together an "instruction manual" for non-Americans on how to deal with that odd species, the "Americanis Managerius." Read our exclusive interview with the authors of this witty new book for some surprising insight into how our foreign colleagues really see us. We've also included a sneak-peek sample chapter from the book.

red dot TAKE THE AMA MEMBER CHALLENGE. TEST YOUR BUSINESS NEW KNOWLEDGE--YOU MAY WIN A FREE AMA SEMINAR!
Congratulations to our October FREE seminar winner, Brenda Brown-Paul of Lockheed Martin, Washington, D.C. Ms. Brown-Paul 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. It's easy and fun. YOU could be the winner!

red dot CHECK OUT "THE FUNNIEST JOKE IN THE WORLD"
Oui! Si! Da! It's the "Funniest Joke in the World!" And we're not kidding-- this is based on serious research. Psychologist Dr. Richard Wiseman of the University of Hertfordshire, England, has just released the findings of his extensive research into the funniest joke in the world. (It was a tough job, but somebody had to do it.) Click here to see if it makes YOU laugh!

red dot SEVEN SECRETS OF "INNOVATION LEADERS"
If you want to lead your company to the top, the first step is to foster a culture of innovation. According to Stephen M. Shapiro, author of "24/7 Innovation: A Blueprint for Surviving and Thriving in an Age of Change," there are seven secrets to fostering innovation in your company. Here are a few:

-Encourage a culture of tension. Although tension is often thought of as undesirable, it has been discovered that debate and discussion unleash creativity in an organization.

-Buy expertise that you do not already have in-house. Outside help can help you surface and challenge assumptions that may be invisible to the rest of the organization.

-Communicate clearly, continuously and repeatedly. Remember the "Rule of 50s." The first 50 times you tell people something, they don't hear you. The second 50 times you tell them the same thing, they don't believe you. Only during the third 50 times do they begin to listen.

red dot GO BEYOND CHARISMA--SIX "C" WORDS THAT HELP DEFINE A GREAT LEADER
Thomas R. Horton, a former president and CEO of AMA, discusses six "must-have" attributes of a great leader--character, course, capabilities, communication, collaboration and credibility. On "collaboration," he writes, "The sharing of information is only a start in collaboration. More important is the sharing of power. By retaining too much power, a leader diminishes others and creates a variety of problems--from simple time management to succession planning. But by sharing authority, a leader helps build a team."

red dot TIPS ON MANAGING TODAY'S ANGRY WORKFORCE
Recent studies reveal that the growing numbers of overworked, overwrought employees has resulted in increased incidents of anger in the workplace. This anger takes the form of verbal abuse, damage to office technology, physical violence and even murder in the workplace. Because intervention by an Employee Assistance Program may come too late, experts advise companies to train managers to identify stress-related behaviors that could evolve into violent behavior. Here are some other tips on dealing with this serious problem:

-Review hiring processes. Check references and conduct background checks on applicants.

-Create a threat management team, with participants from human resources, security, the EAP and legal counsel, to create a specific plan of action to be taken if a threat is reported.

red dot LATEST AMA RESEARCH: ADMINISTRATIVE PROFESSIONALS SAY THEY HAVE MORE RESPONSIBILITIES AND MORE WORK THAN EVER, BUT STILL DON'T GET ENOUGH RESPECT
The results of AMA's Fall 2002 Administrative Professionals Survey show that 76% of respondents have taken on more responsibilities over the past year and 65% have more work than before. A year ago, only 48% thought their workload had increased. When asked what challenges they face in improving their performance, 36% cite a lack of respect in the workplace and 52% say they are most challenged because of budget restrictions. 56% say that more training would help them improve their performance.

Other findings relating to changes over the past year include:
-41% say security has been tightened
-23% work longer hours/more days
-19% are less secure in their job
-37% have more stress

red dot REPORT FROM AMA'S CURRENT ISSUES BREAKFAST BRIEFINGS "Crisis Planning One Year Later: Have We Done Enough?" Most businesses are no better prepared for a crisis post 9-11 than before, according to Jon Goldberg, Executive Vice President of PR21 Inc. At a recent Current Issues Briefing, Goldberg urged companies that have not yet implemented crisis prevention/management plans to act immediately, even if they take only rudimentary steps toward emergency preparedness. He warned, "It's no longer a question of if we face a crisis, but when." Click here for complete program summary.

Another recent Current Issues Briefing: "Leadership Lessons from--Guess Who?--Billy Martin." Michael DeMarco, author of the book "Dugout Days, Untold Tales and Leadership Lessons from the Extraordinary Career of Billy Martin," presented 11 leadership lessons that today's executives can learn from Martin, including: "Clearly state the goal for the team and the individuals you're leading," "Approach each person differently," "Have the courage of your convictions" and "Be loyal."
Click here for complete program summary.

red dot DOING BUSINESS IN CHINA
AMA's special one-day Current Issues Forum, "The Business Opportunities and Pitfalls in Today's China", will be offered at AMA's Executive Conference Center in San Francisco on December 3, 2002. AMA members: $795; Nonmembers: $995.

LOOKING FOR A TERRIFIC GIFT FOR A STUDENT? AMA INTRODUCES ITS NEW STUDENT MEMBERSHIP
Now students can enjoy full Executive Member benefits, including preferred pricing, our monthly newsletter, our quarterly journal, MWorld and access to the Members-Only Website, for only $95 a year. Click here for details and to apply.

SAVE UP TO 50% WHEN YOU REGISTER FOR SELECTED SESSIONS OF SOME OF AMA'S MOST POPULAR SEMINARS.
Choices include "Critical Thinking," "Strategies for Developing Effective Presentation Skills," and "Interpersonal Skills" Click here for a complete list. Space is limited, so act now.

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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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