Leadership & Management

quote-the-crafts-of-leadership-and

Managers, use that ‘You’re a Fraud’ voice in your head to become a better leader

Did anyone out there wake up this morning convinced that today was “The Day?”

The day they discovered you don’t know what you’re talking about?

I did.

Fact is, I wake up on many mornings feeling that way. And I’m not alone. Whenever I ask a group of managers whether they ever start their day with a crisis of confidence, they overwhelmingly say yes.

And when I ask them what they would most like to take home from the seminar or workshop, increasing numbers of them — no matter how experienced they are — say they would like to be more confident.

Ah, insecurity. It isn’t enough that managers have to deal, every day, with unpredictable news developments and wave after wave of change. They also have to deal with that little voice inside their heads that say, “You’re going to mess this up.”

One way to deal with the fear is to just live with it, taking comfort that many creative people suffer from insecurity. Read more

Tools:
0 Comments

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

feedback-250

9 ways to make your feedback more effective

It's not just about giving feedback, it's how you give the feedback. (Flickr photo by Greg Anderson Photography)

It’s not just about giving feedback, it’s how you give the feedback. (Flickr photo by Greg Anderson Photography)

Newsroom managers who come to Poynter often return home with a new determination: To give their staffs more feedback.

That’s a good thing, because feedback happens to be what their staffs need most from them. Positive or negative, feedback is the fuel that we all need to improve our work.

But as with so many worthy resolutions, the secret to success lies in the execution.

A colleague recently told me a story about delivering feedback to someone who turned out not to be receptive. The meeting did not go well. That got me thinking about how many factors can influence the way our feedback is heard and responded to — and how many of those factors we can control. Read more

Tools:
0 Comments

Friday, July 17, 2015

boss-250

Managers, here are 5 expectations your boss has for you (and doesn’t always talk about)

Flickr photo by thinkpanama

Flickr photo by thinkpanama

On the day you accepted your manager’s job, you and your boss almost certainly had a talk. The subject: What the boss expects from you.

No matter how good that initial talk was, however, it might have failed to provide you with the road map you need to succeed. And that’s true for two reasons:

  • Too many bosses fail to update their expectations on a regular basis.
  • And second, the boss often fails to mention—or adequately stress—some expectations that are very important.

The failure-to-update problem is critical. (Here’s my recent column on just how critical.) The business is changing fast, and your job is changing with it. If you are to succeed, you need a clear understanding from your boss about what your role entails, and that understanding needs to be updated with every change in your responsibility. Read more

Tools:
0 Comments

Friday, July 10, 2015

leader-250

What journalist’s skill do the best bosses employ? They talk with people.

Great leaders make the time to talk with their staff. (Flickr photo by John Santerre)

Great leaders make the time to talk with their staff. (Flickr photo by John Santerre)

When I look back at the columns I’ve written over the past 10 years, a consistent theme emerges:

Bosses need to talk with people.

That would seem pretty obvious, especially for newsroom managers. After all, journalists know their success depends on how well they talk with people.

And when I ask journalists–managers and their staffs alike–about the bosses they most admire, they use descriptors like “great listener,” “accessible” and “collaborator.”

But clearly, many managers have not carried that skill set into their supervisory jobs.

Listen to their staffs:

“She never leaves her office.”

“I wish someone would give me some feedback.”

“No one ever sees him; he’s always in meetings.”

I was on a track to be just that kind of leader—maybe without knowing it. Read more

Tools:
0 Comments

Wednesday, July 01, 2015

resolutions-100

Enough dieting: Try this midyear resolution to improve your leadership

It's time for a check up on your New Year's resolutions. (Flickr photo by Jeff Golden)

It’s time for a check up on your New Year’s resolutions. (Flickr photo by Jeff Golden)

Hard to believe, but this week marks the beginning of the second half of 2015. Six months have passed since many of us resolved to improve ourselves in some way—eat smarter, exercise regularly, spend more time with the family, stop reading email 24/7.

How are you doing with all that?

Yeah, me too. Well, our intentions were good.

So let’s try again. And while it might not be traditional to add resolutions at the halfway mark, let me suggest one that could help you be a better manager, almost overnight.

Make fewer assumptions.

It’s ironic, I know, but journalists (whose work seeks to challenge assumptions with facts) are no different from other professionals when it comes to making assumptions about all manner of things. Read more

Tools:
0 Comments

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Screen-Shot-India-250

Making partnerships work: How a team of 50+ international reporters investigated and exposed the World Bank

Michael Hudson, a senior editor with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, was project editor for ICIJ’s World Bank investigation.

At a military camp in a violence-stained region of Central America, a Honduran Army officer informed Sasha Chavkin that he knew the reporter’s itinerary – where Chavkin was going and the people he planned to interview. When Chavkin asked how he had acquired this information, the colonel said simply: “Yo soy un militar.” (“I am a military man.”)

Justin Kipkorir displays some household items destroyed along with his home. Kipkorir said Kenyan forest rangers raided and destroyed the house weeks earlier. (Photo by Tony Karumba /  GroundTruth)

Justin Kipkorir displays some household items destroyed along with his home. Kipkorir said Kenyan forest rangers raided and destroyed the house weeks earlier.
(Photo by Tony Karumba / GroundTruth)

In Kenya’s western highlands, rifle-toting officers from the Kenya Forest Service confronted Anthony Langat and Jacob Kushner as the Nairobi-based reporters tried to interview indigenous peoples who claimed forest rangers had burned them out of their homes. Read more

Tools:
0 Comments

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

bogo-100

Leaders, want to increase the impact of your decisions? Shoot for ‘two-fers’

(Image created by Deposit Photo)

(Image created by Deposit Photo)

The other day I was in the supermarket, critiquing the blueberries, when I noticed the price: buy 1 pint, get 1 pint free.

That’s what I call a “two-fer” — two for the price of one. (I bought two pints.)

Later I stopped by the local convenience store for coffee and another sign caught my eye: buy any breakfast sandwich and get the second free.

Another two-fer. (In an unusual show of restraint, I paid for the coffee and fled.)

The whole “two-fer” thing got me thinking about some of the best leaders I’ve known and how they regularly turn the fruits of one good decision into something more – often something even more important.

They know how to get two-fers. Read more

Tools:
0 Comments

Monday, June 15, 2015

carroll-250

5 things John Carroll taught me about great investigative projects

John Carroll speaking in this 2003 file photo. At middle is Todd Merriman, who was the senior editor/news of The San Diego Union-Tribune, and Kathleen Carroll, right, executive editor of The Associated Press. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)

John Carroll speaking in this 2003 file photo. At middle is Todd Merriman, who was the senior editor/news of The San Diego Union-Tribune, and Kathleen Carroll, right, executive editor of The Associated Press. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)

When John Carroll visited me and Poynter in January 2013, he was a trim, vigorous retiree in his early 70s. So the news Sunday morning that he had died of a degenerative brain disease, diagnosed earlier this year, hit me hard.

On reflection, among many generous mentors, John may have been the most important to me. As the obituaries noted, he had uncanny skill at commissioning and editing big investigative projects, which won multiple Pulitzers for four different newspapers.

I don’t know that John ever gave a full “how-to” account of his approach, but here are five principles that stuck with me gleaned from the time I worked for him at the Philadelphia Inquirer and conversations later in our careers. Read more

Tools:
0 Comments

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

api-lean-model-250

API has a new take on innovation — ignore the tribal nature of news organizations at your peril

One model was for a single-subject news website shows the staffing structure of the site. Rather than present the team in a typical org chart, they use concentric circles to show that each group is connected. (Image from the API report)

One model was for a single-subject news website shows the staffing structure of the site. Rather than present the team in a
typical org chart, they use concentric circles to show that each group is connected. (Image from the API report)

News organizations have become more “tribal” than ever, according to a pair of new reports from the American Press Institute, and effective innovators must work with that reality rather than try to bulldoze change through.

At news organizations, Jeff Sonderman, deputy director of API and co-author of the report, told me by phone, a frequent problem is that “we come to the same building every day, but we may not really be working toward the same goals.”

Knowing the need for change or even being willing to change are no longer the big issue, Sonderman said, “but how to do it, how to make it work and stick is.”

The API report identifies reporters as one tribe. Read more

Tools:
1 Comment

Monday, Mar. 23, 2015

11046517_10152896705008409_216542543713879194_n (1)

Lessons from women in leadership in Europe: Speak out, innovate and do your homework

At journalism school, a Serbian colleague was advised to spend time in the kafana (a traditional local cavern) to source the best news stories. At the newspaper she later worked for, editors would start the day with coffee and a shot of raki. Eventually, she left after she hadn’t been paid for three or four months. Her experience maybe bubbles down to societal and cultural details; suffice it to say, she’s no longer in journalism.

In the European Union – which comprises 28 countries on the continent, not including Norway, Switzerland and most of the former Yugoslav nations, like Serbia – more women than men go to journalism school. A 2013 report from the European Institute of Gender Equality (EIGE), which has done the most comparative data fieldwork in this field, emphasized that for at least two decades, women outnumbered men at university level and in practice-based journalism programs. Read more

Tools:
1 Comment