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How To Save An Hour A Day (video)

Do you ever wish you had 25 hours a day to get things done? These days thanks to layoffs and cutbacks, many of us are doing the jobs of 3 or 4 people. It’s overwhelming and disruptive on so many levels. But now there might be a way to gain the upperhand on Mr. Time. Michael Heppell, a best-selling  author who has advised Microsoft, RBS, WH Smith and Britian’s National Health Service, just released a new book called  ‘How To Save An Hour A Day’. In an informative interview with the UK’s Daily Mail, Heppell not only gives some free advice and tips, but he also guarantees his methods will save you an hour a day because if you are not satisfied his website offers you a way to get your money back.

We’d love to hear what you think of “How to Save an Hour A Day” , so read the article or check out the video below and if you decide to pick up the book, try out Heppell’s tips and give us a holler if they actually work.


Funny Leadership Cartoon of the Day 5.12.11

Our Cartoon of the Day comes from The Joy of Tech and it takes on the question: How is Microsoft going to market (and possibly screw-up) Skype?

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Tech CEO Report Card

As a leader you want to be liked, or if you can make it happened…loved. If you can get and keep people on your side they tend to spend more time working and less time huddling in cubicles. quietly but passionately complaining about the boss. With this concept/desire in mind, the ever vigilant folks over at have just released a employee-generated report card for the CEO’s of the 12 largest tech companies. From Google’s much loved but soon to be ex-CEO Eric Schimidt (96%) to Microsoft’s not-so-adored Steve Ballmer (40%) the list gives us a decent snapshot of how these organizations are faring from the inside out. If your like me and you want to get a head start on next year’s Tech CEO Fantasy League draft, check out the entire list and anaysis at

p.s. I am not sure there is an actual Fantasy League for CEOs, if there is please send me the link

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Can’t Change Leadership Without Changing Culture

Leaders changing leadership within a company without changing culture is like shuffling a deck of cards. No matter what, you are left with the same players and one game to play. The players should not be the focus. It should be the game. Here’s an article from about a recent attempt to reshuffle the deck over at Microsoft, without dealing with the culture first. Will it work? Only time will tell.

Microsoft’s CEO Is Said to Extend Management Shake-Up

photo: Todd Klassy
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Leading a Can-Do Culture: The Management Challenge of the Day

In today’s New York Times, David Brooks astutely points out that the challenge for GM is cultural, and not simply structural or financial. He notes:

On Jan. 21, 1988, a General Motors executive named Elmer Johnson wrote a brave and prophetic memo. Its main point was contained in this sentence: “We have vastly underestimated how deeply ingrained are the organizational and cultural rigidities that hamper our ability to execute.”

On Jan. 26, 2009, Rob Kleinbaum, a former G.M. employee and consultant, wrote his own memo. Kleinbaum’s argument was eerily similar: “It is apparent that unless G.M.’s culture is fundamentally changed, especially in North America, its true heart, G.M. will likely be back at the public trough again and again.”

In the final analysis, the challenge of leadership for our times is creating if not refocusing on our notion that we can accomplish things.  Leaders have to take the responsibility for communal and organizational culture.  Before anything else, they have to focus on the sense that we’ve regained our sense of cultural momentum, that we’ve overcome inertia and hesitation has been left behind.

Have you heard, “We have a can-do culture?” Or, “We have a culture that stays on top of things?” Sometimes momentum is a question of your ability to ingrain the culture of the group into the individual. In some organizations, you walk in and you immediately have the sense that they can run with the ball and go the distance. Such a culture is one of “drive.” Consider firefighters. Theirs is a culture full of tradition. They reinforce expected behavior through the stories of the heroic deeds of their brethren, by recounting pivotal events, important people and their actions. They tell and retell stories that subtly and not so subtly communicate how a firefighter is supposed to engage in that organization and that build a sense of belonging among its members. Firefighters take action and extraordinary risk because of their strong sense of mission.  As a result, their focused drive saves lives. The most effective leaders of firefighters are able to sustain momentum by using the firefighter culture to inspire and deliver outstanding commitment and superior performance.

Imagine two groups with comparable resources. One group shows results, while the other can’t seem to get anything done. They start a lot of projects, but they finish nothing. They don’t have the capacity to go the distance. Sure, they may listen to the same CEO give the same call to action. But when it comes to implementing an agenda or demonstrating superior results, even though the teams have similar talent, a similar organization, “the B team” somehow falls short. Their agenda goes unfulfilled. You’ve seen plenty of examples of this. The new product launch, which was so highly touted, turns into a money pit. The reorganization that was supposed to improve customer satisfaction results in customer confusion. The rollout of a performance management system gets stuck in meeting paralysis. The best-laid plans become some of the worst-laid eggs.

In many of these cases, the X factor is cultural momentum. Using value and purpose, the leader of the “A team” created a sense of belonging, commitment, and collaboration among the group’s members. People relate to others in the group. They relate to the group as a whole. In a real sense, they define themselves in relation to the group and/or the initiative. This is the foundation of cultural momentum that will get this team through adversity.