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The PeopleCap Playbook

Timely insights and actionable people strategies for leaders.

#21 Culture Decision

In their first baseball tournament of the Spring, my son’s team found its way into the Championship Game. Late in the game, we had runners on first and second. We needed to move the runners around, but stealing was out of the question. Their catcher was throwing everyone out.

#21 came up to bat. He had gotten on base every at bat during the entire tournament, and this was his chance to remain perfect. The coach gave him the green light; but he didn’t swing for the fences. He laid down a beautiful bunt. Continue reading “#21 Culture Decision”

Herb Kelleher is the Boss.

On a recent trip, I flew Southwest Airlines and read a great article by Matt Crossman in the in-flight magazine eulogizing Herb Kelleher, Southwest’s long tenured and beloved CEO who passed away in January. The article describes Herb’s leadership style and the legendary culture he created at Southwest.

If you follow our blog regularly, you’ll be familiar with our description of culture: “Culture is the boss when the boss is not around.” Herb Kelleher embodied this saying. Continue reading “Herb Kelleher is the Boss.”

What We’re Reading: Blitzscaling

If your company is growing rapidly, then this book is for you!

Blitzscaling is loosely defined as the playbook for “building a dominant world leading business in record time.” Most importantly, Blitzscaling requires prioritizing “speed over efficiency in the face of uncertainty.”

Blitzscaling is not for everyone. We’re talking hypergrowth and first mover advantage here. It’s not for those who crave work life balance or modest market share. This is the winner-take-all model that companies like Amazon, Google, Facebook, and Apple have built. Continue reading “What We’re Reading: Blitzscaling”

Get in the Rink

I can’t roller skate. Never learned. While roller skating isn’t a skill I need regularly at this point in my life, the reason I can’t roller skate is important.

When growing up, it seemed like every birthday party was at Skateland. Every. Single. One. I couldn’t skate; and so every time, I sat at the tables outside of the rink and watched everyone make fools of themselves – slipping and falling. Some kids were so bad, they had to have a walker to hold them up. I wasn’t about to make a fool out of myself, and I stayed safely on the outside. Continue reading “Get in the Rink”

Receiving Feedback is Humbling

people in audience

I have been working for months on the content for a 4-hour workshop to help executives lead effectively in a talent-driven economy. This past week, I had the opportunity to conduct the workshop with three consecutive groups of key leaders – totaling about 55 people. At the end of the workshop, the group leader asked each member to provide feedback on what went well and what I could improve. So, by the end of the week, I had stood in front of 55 people each of whom told me something negative about my presentation or my delivery. My self-esteem was in the toilet. Continue reading “Receiving Feedback is Humbling”

You Can’t Leave without Telling Me!

Recently, I was out of town facilitating a Board/CEO retreat. The retreat was incredibly productive. Everyone willing to put tough issues on the table and candidly discuss them. At the end of the retreat, strained relationships had been strengthened, expectations had been clarified and agreed upon, and there was an understanding and appreciation of the value each member of the Board could bring to the CEO. There was an enthusiasm, cohesion, and excitement in the group that hadn’t been present for months. To say that I was riding high would be an understatement. Continue reading “You Can’t Leave without Telling Me!”

No Short Cuts on a Ladder

Recently I attended my first wedding as a “friend of the Groom’s parents.” I’m happy to report the wedding circuit redux is as much fun as the first time around but with less responsibility. (I didn’t have to wear a bridesmaid’s dress or write a toast!) In between the first dance, the cutting of the cake and the dance floor favorite, “Twist and Shout,” the conversation among the parents of 20-somethings turned to child’s career plans.

One common theme from this group of highly accomplished professional parents was this: Our kids from the on-demand generation may not fully understand that the road to success is long. Continue reading “No Short Cuts on a Ladder”

Don’t Let Your Team Sink

image by mellin paulo bernardo
image by mellin paulo bernardo

How We Miss Each Other Based on Differing Interpretations of Shared Experiences

When I coach teams struggling to build trust and get on the same page, I’ve started asking a new question: “What is the pressure on you and where does it come from?”

Over time I’ve learned that in many types of relationships we miss each other, just barely, due to misinterpretation of a shared experience – like ships passing. Continue reading “Don’t Let Your Team Sink”

NACD Nashville: Compensation as a Strategic Lever for Boards

Meg enjoyed being part of NACD’s Nashville Panel on Tuesday, October 16, 2018, to discuss the expanded role of Compensation Committees in managing culture and talent.

NACD and Lipscomb University’s Dean Institute for Corporate Governance & Integrity in Nashville, TN had an interactive discussion on the board’s evolving role in compensation oversight, including:

  • The latest in compensation trends from Deloitte’s recent latest report
  • How compensation can drive both short – and long – term value creation
  • Compensation’s role in cultivating a vibrant corporate culture
  • Risks of various compensation approaches

For more information about NACD, click here.

Leading an Investor-Backed Company

 

puzzle pieces

Growth is a double-edged sword. Success provides the opportunity to grow. Growth is a reward for hard work and success. And yet, growth is hard. It often requires a new focus, new leadership, different skills, and possibly a new structure. As CEO, you are tasked with building a new, larger company while continuing to run the company that currently exists. The downside to growth is that it comes with significant risk; because so much has to change, you can’t just go back to the way things were if the change is not successful. In many ways, growth is an all or nothing endeavor – it is critical to get it right. 

This dynamic becomes even more complex when the growth is backed by investors who join your Board. Continue reading “Leading an Investor-Backed Company”

Get on Board | “People Management: How to Lead a Board with Confidence”

Featuring Meg Crosby & Katie Spencer

When: Friday, October 26, 2018 from 12-1:30PM. Lunch included, and free to attend.

Where: Lipscomb & Pitts Building (2670 Union Avenue Ext), Memphis, TN 38112

Topics:

Overseeing ED Performance Doesn’t Have to Be Painful: Let’s face it, it’s tough to effectively oversee the performance of the Executive Director. And yet, it’s a vital function of the board to ensure successful leadership of the organization. Don’t wait until problems arise. Join PeopleCap to learn how to establish a proactive system for performance oversight based on partnership, trust, and feedback that will help your ED and organization reach their full potential.

The Board’s Role in Talent Development: Great talent is hard to come by and non-profits find themselves with the added disadvantage of limited budgets. How can the board help grow the team’s skills to increase impact, develop future leaders, and support the retention of key talent without stepping on the toes of the ED’s daily management responsibilities? PeopleCap will walk you through strategies to develop your organization’s talent without breaking the bank and in support of the leadership.

Continue reading “Get on Board | “People Management: How to Lead a Board with Confidence””

People Drive Results

People drive results. They are the key ingredient for achieving nonprofit mission impact or its greatest impediment. If people are not performing at their highest potential, the organization isn’t either.

The buck stops with the ED. An Executive Director’s primary responsibility is to realize mission impact – primarily through other people – board, employees, volunteers, etc. Great leaders know how to mobilize, engage and grow their people to unlock their potential and maximize impact. Continue reading “People Drive Results”

Performance Management is Evolving: The New Paradigm

paradigm shift key on keyboard

The necessity of developing talent is at an all-time high; yet, prehistoric performance reviews roam free – devouring hours of productivity and lowering morale without having any meaningful impact on organizational performance. Most HR departments don’t believe annual performance evaluations provide accurate data, and many managers and employees simply dread the process. In a study by Mercer, 95% of managers reported being dissatisfied with their performance management process and 90% of heads of HR did not feel their system provided accurate information. Continue reading “Performance Management is Evolving: The New Paradigm”

Good Governance Gets You Through a Crisis

Last week, I got a call from a non-profit in crisis. Trouble inside the organization spilled over into the board room when frustrated employees began calling board members to complain about the Executive Director. Because the Board Chair had not been evaluating the Executive Director annually, he was caught off guard by the sudden negative feedback and became very defensive.

As the issue heated up, the Board Chair, unequipped or unwilling to deal with it, abruptly resigned. Though the by-laws provided for a full complement of officers to carry on in the absence of the Chair, the board had not been abiding by those by-laws and did not have anyone in place to assume the role. When an emergency meeting was called, only a handful of members showed up, signaling a systemic lack of engagement. Continue reading “Good Governance Gets You Through a Crisis”