How to manage work you don’t understand


Is it OK to not understand the work you manage?

Many people think that as a manager you need to understand the work not only as well as your reports, but even better.

They believe that if they are going to be credible with their team, they have to prove they are the smartest one. Read More

Why Succession Planning Doesn’t Work

Successful Succession

I’m a huge believer in succession planning. But so often, it doesn’t work.

Even when a company talks about succession planning, when there is a big job to be filled, the company goes outside.

I find it interesting is that many companies do one of two extremes when it comes to succession planning:

1.  Read More

Avoid this mistake if you want to reach the executive level sooner

Collecting all the Cards

Often when I talk to people who aspire to become a general manager they will tell me that they are striving to get experience in every function to prepare themselves.

This is a mistake that I refer to collecting all the cards…

I’ll get experience in Marketing, and Product Development, and Supply Chain Management and Customer Service, and on and on…then I’ll be ready and qualified to become a General Manager or CEO.
Read More

Imagined power vs. Real power and respect


real or imagined power

People often ask me if it was hard for me to go from running really large organizations to having my own (implied — “much smaller”) company.

This was never an issue for me because I always maintained a psychological distance between the power of my role, (managing a $1B+ global business, multi-hundred-milion dollar budget, and thousands of people) and my own personal power. Read More

The hidden cost of asking a question


cost of a question

A simple question…

One time when I was running a large organization at HP, I asked my financial analyst partner, “What is the current headcount in my organization?”

He said “How accurate an answer do you need?”

I said, “What do you mean?”. Read More

What your employees need to hear from you


regular updates
Last week I wrote about the importance of information sharing across an organization. If you missed it it’s a very important idea.

This week I want to share one more example, specifically about an executive’s responsibility to share information with the team — and the value of doing so. Read More

A key way to reduce business risk that many leaders miss


sharing

Late last year, I had a big AHA I want to share with you.

Here’s where it came from…

When I do strategy execution work with executive teams, I typically begin with an assessment phase where I talk with people across the organization at multiple levels. Read More

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