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A message from Executive Leader Coach Dave Kinnear.
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dbkAssociates, Inc. Home of the Executive Leader Coach

May 2019


Dear Friends and Colleagues

I decided to enroll in a short four-session course on writing. The course leader sent the class the title of the book he intended to use in the course. So, as you might expect, I went right to Amazon to download the book to my Surface, which I use for lots of things including reading books on the Kindle app for PCs.

Much to my frustration, this book is not offered in electronic format. What? That’s right, only available in paperback. How inconvenient. I am so spoiled by electronic books. Electronic books are easy to carry, can be read on multiple devices, are easy to search for words and phrases, and, more importantly, easy to annotate and underline.

Now I’m “stuck” with this old fashioned paperback book. I will have to waste time looking for things I thought important enough to underline. I know I will frustrate myself searching for specific passages when engaged in the interactive homework. Moreover, I will have to look up words I don’t understand on another device instead of simply highlighting a word and then selecting “Dictionary” from the drop-down menu as I do in the Kindle app. So it’s back to the dark ages.

I find this situation particularly amusing since the way most folks write today is on a PC. It is highly likely that those writers are using a word processor with automatic spelling and grammar checking. So why is it a book on writing isn't also providing modern reading formats (electronic and audio)? I guess I will have to muddle along, try to remember the good old days, and make the best of things.

I know, from conversations and surveys, that printed books are still popular with a majority of readers. My wife continuously reminds me that I’m not a typical human being when it comes to finding and adopting new technology. I try to keep that in mind. However, I don’t know why an author doesn’t make their work available in all formats—Paperback, Hardback, E-Book, and Audio Book. Today, if I were going to limit myself to one form, it would be E-Book. However, that’s just me.

Continuous Learning
It’s a bit of a stretch, but I believe the common thread in this month's newsletter articles is continuous learning. The first article, “Never Really Ready,” is not only about updating and learning but continuously practicing. The military teaches us that we always want just a bit more time to prepare for inspection. There is still room for improvement. However, at some point, we have to do the work.

The second article, “Hire for Attitude,” points out that we want to hire for values and cultural fit. We can teach the necessary skills for technical competency. So again, continuous learning is what is in store for all of us. Moreover, that’s fine since mastery is one of the motivators employees need to stay engaged (the other two are autonomy and purpose).

The third article is “A Learning Model.” In it, we explore how we progress from Unconscious Incompetent to Unconscious Competent. It’s a long journey of continuous learning with serious practice discipline.

Finally, in the Nullius In Verba column, I discuss my thoughts around how we might want to change our education model to account for the fact that we have no idea how to prepare young people for the workplace. We don’t even know what skills will be needed as technology disrupts how we work.

On the Economy
California is still the largest manufacturing state in the U.S. Purchasing managers expect overall manufacturing activity to expand this quarter over the first quarter (from 61.2 to 63.3). The worries are still focused on the “trade wars” as the administration attempts to negotiate better deals with our global trading partners. Metal Fabricators are suffering under the high price of aluminum and steel.
While the international markets look soft, domestic sales are expected to increase in the second quarter. Overall, the immediate future looks healthy for California. However, the economy toward the end of 2019 and into 2020 seems a bit less bright. We will need to be vigilant.

So there you have it! Another newsletter is "in the can."

Enjoy!

Best Regards,
Dave Kinnear
Executive Leader Coach
Vistage Chair

Never Really Ready

I’m told that “No combat-ready unit ever passed inspection.” They know they cannot be “fully ready.” The point here is that there is always room for improvement. So once the “big things” are being done to expectations, we move to the smaller tasks to perfect them. Or, perhaps, we set the bar a bit higher for the big things.

There is a continuous improvement at all levels of the organization, and all to achieve the overall mission of the unit.


[Read the full post . . .]

Hire for Attitude

In a recent speech to a group of business leaders, Peter Salvati, CEO of DPR Construction, said that he makes sure his team “Hires for attitude, trains for skills." And of course, he does the same when he is hiring or promoting his leadership team.

To my way of thinking, attitude is pretty close to the same thing as values when hiring people. What we are saying is, "Will they fit into our culture?" Moreover, as the graphic reminds us, everything—including culture — is based on values.

[Read the full post . . .]

A Learning Model

Years ago, when I was studying martial arts, I became aware of a learning model. I’m pretty sure many, perhaps most, of you are also aware of that model. It goes like this:

In the beginning, you aren’t aware of how difficult a task might be. In the Dojo, the Sensei makes things look easy. But then, it’s your turn to try to perform. You are an Unconscious Incompetent at that point. But as you struggle to perform up to even one-tenth of the Sensei’s performance, it dawns on you that you are totally incompetent. You are now a Conscious Incompetent.

[Read the full post . . .]

Nullius In Verba

Education

I’m struggling a bit with my thoughts on how to prepare people, especially our young people, for the work world ahead of us. Indeed, some necessary skills will be required. But which ones? It is next to impossible to predict what “jobs” will exist, let alone what skills will be needed.

[Read the full post . . .]
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Here's what's new in the reading stack!

Things might get a bit thin on this reading list. I now have two books to read that have nothing to do with leadership, managing, neuroscience or business. However, I have also started On Grand Strategy by John Lewis Gaddis. Not sure how long it's going to take to read all of this, so, as I said, things may get to be a bit thin in this column for the next one or two newsletters!

Local Events

 

ENP Institute


Hispanic Chamber & ENP Forums Golf & Mix

by OC Hispanic Chamber of Commerce & Executive Next Practices Institute
May 29, 2019 3:00 PM PDT
Monarch Beach Golf Links 50 Monarch Beach Resort North Dana Point, CA 92629

Register Here

Tech & Employment


AI Isn't Replacing Workers; It's Picking up the Slack. Here's How.

The university pipeline is not graduating nearly enough knowledge workers to fill even the present demand. Maybe all those robots could help.

A recent study from the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco showed that the U.S. labor market is “at or beyond its full potential.” While that might be good news for the economy, it’s not for the tech companies still out there, searching desperately for qualified talent.

Research firm Korn Ferry predicted that companies in technology, media and telecom will face a talent shortage of 1.1 million by 2020. By 2030, that number will grow to 4.3 million, the report said; and the result will be intense competition for a dwindling pool of tech professionals. The same survey showed that insufficient staff is already holding back digital transformation at 54 percent of companies surveyed.

Skilled coders, of course, won’t materialize out of thin air. So, instead of hoping that traditional recruiting tactics will solve their mounting talent shortage, companies should consider a new approach -- one that looks for alternatives to the human talent companies will always need but may have to struggle mightily to find. That approach: artificial intelligence.

When AI is a human equivalent

I’ve seen the effects of talent shortages firsthand during my career in app development. It’s something my own company has struggled with, in fact. Unfortunately, I think the outlook is even worse than the numbers imply.

[Read Full Article Here]

Articles

from the leadership and business gurus
via the
ELC_CA Twitterverse!
Many companies have a set of values and company policies. However, very few companies educate leaders about ethics and encourage leaders to discuss ethics with their teams. http://bit.ly/2KXnIO0
When we’re anxious, we spend too much time and thus too much money trying to hurry up what we’re about to find out anyway. http://bit.ly/2VcG95v
You can make assertiveness easy. It’s not as tough as you think. What stops many people from being assertive is overthinking it. http://bit.ly/2VpTWWw
If you want people to love working for you, it’s important that you keep them happy. Many studies and workplace reports show that employee happiness has a direct tie to the bottom line. http://bit.ly/2KUhVZL
Control is something we all want, and most leaders think a lot about control. Many of the big leadership questions revolve around control and who has it. Does control come from one's position? http://bit.ly/2Vjldtp
A Pew Research study found that Americans are roughly twice as likely to express worry (72%) than enthusiasm about a future in which robots and computers are capable of doing many jobs that are currently done by humans. http://bit.ly/2KY12gQ
There are two kinds of marketing, and the gap between them keeps widening. You’ll need to choose. http://bit.ly/2VcBd0o
Every day, people around the world become leaders for the first time. They think they know what challenges await them. They’re right about some of them. http://bit.ly/2Vc8cC7
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Dave Kinnear, Executive Leader Coach
Dave Kinnear
Vistage Chair, CCE-Board Certified Coach, Certified Veteran Development Coach, and
 Executive Leader Coach
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