Category Archives: Uncategorized

Risk tolerant?

In his book The Growth Dilemma, Ami Kassar has a series of questions to evaluate how risk tolerant you are in your business. If he gave you $1 million, would you invest it in your company or put it in mutual funds? >

Bored v. Busy

It seems like it was a common refrain 10 years ago that everyone was bored. Perhaps that came from living with teenagers.  Now everyone complains that they are too busy. >

Winners and losers

The steel and aluminum tariffs to be imposed in 2 weeks are a shining example of how decision making from the top creates winners and losers that may have truly unpleasant consequences. >

Change it up

As much as I advocate getting into good habits and routines to be more effective at work, I notice that creativity comes when I change it up. Is that true for you, too? >

Wisdom Circle

Do you have a wisdom circle – a group of wise friends or advisors who tell it to you straight and hold you accountable to being your best self? What would it look like if you did? How bout this? >

Add more charity

While driving home from Pilates this morning, we passed the caravan returning the fallen firefighter, Cory Iverson, to his home in San Diego from the Thomas fire in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties. It is so devastating to lose a life. 8300 firefighters have been deployed.18,000 structures are threatened.This fire is now the largest we have seen in California. How can we help? >

Jobs and skills not matching

Jobs are going vacant and skilled/educated people are unemployed. Whatttt? Or should I say, why?Are jobs and skills not matching? Who is supposed to address this?

We say that you must have a college degree to get a good job and when the young people amass a mountain of student debt to get them, they discover they aren’t trained for the available jobs. No surprise that there are few good jobs for the high school graduates where they used to get them – in  the manufacturing sector. The only jobs around for those without college experience are in the retail or service sector at or near minimum wage.

Why is there a mismatch in manufacturing? Low skill manufacturing jobs have gone overseas and taken a lot of the auxiliary jobs with them. That would be the tool-makers, the machine makers and repairers, and  the packaging designers and manufacturers.

Manufacturing jobs that remained in the US are higher skilled. Automation has driven productivity increase and today’s manufacturing employee has to program the computer to operate the machinery. They can run 1 to 3 lines by themselves. These jobs now pay an average of $26.75 nationwide* and they go unfilled because applicants don’t have the computer skills to run the machines.

Doesn’t it seem obvious that companies will have to hire differently? Test applicants for aptitude and the right attitude. Don’t just interview. Then, do the training yourself.

Here are other steps I have seen companies make: partner with local community colleges and trade schools to get training for your people..Post jobs at the technical schools. Get to know the guidance counselor at your local high school.The state of California will reimburse a lot of that training.

If you are looking for people who can analyze and write well, who have complex reasoning abilities, look for college graduates and then, yes, you will have to train them.

This week, assess what training your workforce needs. What can you teach internally to improve the skills of the people you have? Long term employees know a lot that could be part of “How we do things around here training”. In addition, many Vistage Members have regular “lunch and learn”s where the staff picks the topic. Sometimes it is a TED talk or a youtube video. All it costs you is the food for lunch.

*ITR On the road blog

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Self-Awareness and Leadership

Self awareness is one of the most important leadership competencies yet it is not often the focus of a conversation until there is a misstep. Subordinates have sayings about it, some of the more polite ones being “the bull in the china shop,” “too much information,” or  “won’t let it go”. >