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Dr. Holly Latty-Mann's Blog

Archive for February 2010

Toyota- a Leadership Crisis

  Posted by Dr. Holly Latty-Mann on February 24th, 2010    No Comments

Oftentimes our leadership failures are not life-threatening, but when they are, as in the case of Toyota’s response to the multiple reports of accidents from sticking accelerators, it only adds fat to the fire.  I have encountered only one life-threatening situation on the job during my life span.

During my internship at a large, prestigious training hospital, I had a patient whose surgery left her worse off than had she never had the surgery. Because the mishap landed her on a respirator for six months flat on her back, the mistake in her family’s eyes was indeed life-threatening.  I overheard them talking one day, saying, “If we don’t soon get an explanation and apology, we’ll sue!” A week later, the family spoke openly about how much they appreciated the sincere apology and honest admission of a misplaced incision. “It was a human mistake,” they conceded.  Still, I imagine there are times when apologies and explanations are given to harsh, unforgiving ears. Humanistic leadership is a two-way street.

Once we hear CEO Toyoda speak before a Congressional hearing, how will we respond? I have a notion that we’ll see a more timely response to future accident reports, assuming Toyoda offers a transparent account of where he and his team failed the public and how the enactment of new policies will preclude a similar future public outrage.  This may be exactly the crisis Toyoda himself needs to start him on a path of more enlightened leadership.

William George, Harvard Business professor wrote his take on the crisis Toyota is currently experiencing in a recent blog post this week.  To read the full story, click here.  George details Toyota CEO Akio Toyoda‘s actions of hiding and avoiding the true problems have created a leadership crisis for his company.  It’s too soon to tell how long a recovery make take or how successful that recovery will be for Toyota.  To help Akio Toyoda, George offers his advice, based on his recent book, 7 Lessons for Leading in Crisis.

How do you feel Akio Toyoda handled himself and the media during this challenging time?  What did he do that was good; what should he have done differently?

Undercover Boss Learns Lessons Cleaning Toilets

  Posted by Dr. Holly Latty-Mann on February 17th, 2010    No Comments

Want to learn what your employees are really thinking?  Go undercover.

CBS has created a new reality show, Undercover Boss,  in which the CEOs of large companies, go undercover as an entry level new employee to learn how the front line employees experience work.

Not a fan of reality TV?  BNET author, Steve Tobak, isn’t either, but he watched anyway and learned a great deal.  Tobak writes, “Now, my initial impression of the concept was “nice idea on paper, train wreck in practice.” I’ve seen CEOs in the trenches; it’s not a pretty sight. Trained in problem-solving, they tend to hone in on what’s wrong: incompetent employees, their “good intentions” botched by middle management, their grandiose plans failing in practice.

The show begins with Larry O’Donnell (pictured), president and COO of Waste Management — a $13 billion company — telling his senior leadership team that he’s going undercover to find out what effect their aggressive cost-cutting and restructuring is actually having in the field.”

Miss the episode?  Watch the full show here.

Tobak goes on to write about the experience O’Donnell had while undercover and the update since he taped the show one year ago.  Check out the follow up interview here.

Would you be interested in going undercover at your company?  What information would you learn?  As leaders, we need to know how the decisions made at the very top effect the front line employees.  We can’t lose sight of the daily operations for our team, or we will wander off course. Contact Us and we’ll be happy to discuss how we can help you go undercover and collect valuable information for your company that will help you as the leader!

The Leadership Trust® is a behavioral science firm specializing in both leadership and organizational development as well as all aspects of performance management, placing special emphasis on emotional intelligence and self-awareness. We personalize all workshops according to the wellness needs of our participants and those whom they impact, and we customize all consulting services to meet organizational goals based upon comprehensive assessments as needed. Our ultimate mission is to contribute towards a kinder, gentler world through the growth of the human spirit.

Picture courtesy of BNET.

Olympic sized Leadership

  Posted by Dr. Holly Latty-Mann on February 11th, 2010    No Comments

As the 2010 Olympic games approach, we invite you to watch the games with a new perspective- as a leader.  The opening ceremonies are a great example of what it looks like when great resources-human capital– of different kinds, different backgrounds, and different origins come together to achieve a common goal.

Olympic coaches and successful leaders are both familiar with performance management.  As a leader, that is our job.  We are responsible for getting all the pieces of our organization to fit together cohesively for the success of everyone.  We are tasked with developing our resources-  our human capital– to the best of their ability, so they can compete in the marketplace for us.  Much like the Olympic athletes have undergone many years of training, we too, should put in the time for our employees to develop and to grow in their skills so they are at their best.

So let’s all watch the 2010 Olympic games with a new appreciation for what it takes to be a good leader!  To learn more about the 2010 Olympic games, visit the official website.

A Daily Dose of Laughter

  Posted by Dr. Holly Latty-Mann on February 4th, 2010    No Comments

One of our program graduates, Lance Ekum, Jungle of Life blog author,  was telling us about a unique change movement he learned and participated in to help boost energy through laughter.  The creator of The Levity Project, Katie West, has started a movement of positivity!

She describes The Levity Project as “a social movement to foster buoyancy, laughter, play, and freedom as the new paradigm in social design.  We engage in public acts of levity in which people gather in a flash setting to en-lighten the energy of a public place and those within it.  They are designed to foster a sense of lightness and connection to all who are present.

The goal is to bring people together who see themselves as agents of change toward creating a an upward spiral of positivity in our world.  We want to  create a deeper understanding that joy, play, laughter, and freedom are integral to individual and collective success.”

We visited The Levity Project website and loved the videos of the project in action!  Check out the website to learn more.

You can also read Lance’s Blog where he interviews Katie about her passion for laughter and choosing to be positive.

How do we bring this into the workplace?  Mike Shoemaker, author on Social Earth blog has a great perspective of who builds the fun company culture in the corporate world- the leaders.  In his recent post “What Could Corporate America Possibly Teach the Social Sector about Organizational Culture?” Mike tells how he was pleasantly surprised to learn that corporate America doesn’t always mean drones and robots, but can also mean a sense of community and openness.  Mike says, “Most of all, always remember that senior leadership drives org culture.  Lead by example. Do good work, but don’t forget to have fun.”