The Layoff

This case remind me that tons of enterprise lay off their employees because the global economic crisis in early of 2009. I remember AIG, IGT, Citibank, Home Depot, Starbusks…laid off their employees to reduce thier cost. Right, layoff is the fastest way to reduce cost, but it also causes many problems. When a company decides to enforce layoff, they should know what kind of result will happen. In my opinion, there has no best way for layoff because it causes different influences and problems. When I heard which company did layoff in early of this years, I would think they must had problems now, and maybe they cannot survive from this crisis. Layoff definitely will cause stockholders or investors to have negative evaluation for the company.

In this case, he provided some way to decide how to do layoff.

1. First in, Firs out. To layoff start with middle management because they are not too far from retirement age and it also a good way to get rid of the deadwood. However, it also could cost you huge fine for lawsuit.

2. Rank-and -Yank. using  a performance-based layoff  like eliminate the lowest 10% in the performance evaluation. It sounds pretty good because it could get rid of some unproductive employees; however, can the performance evaluation really evaluate which employee is good and which is bad? Besides, we also have to think about that it may cause people competitive and scared all the time.

3.Last in, First out. To layoff the newest employees is the easiest way for layoff because the company does not need  to pay people a lot of severance. However, based on HR’s view-point, it will cause company throw good people out of work and shout to their customers. Layoff will hurt morale, and then hurt customers, finally, hurt their stockholder and investors.

4. Lose a Unit. saving money by shutting down or selling out some business beside the core business. It could refocus what is most important in their strategy. However, it also mean you have to give up the opportunity of development.

All of ways for layoff can save cost, but it also causes different kind of problems. I don’t think there has the best way, and I think what we have to discuss is how to avoid this situation before we face it.

Level 5 leadership

I love this article. It shows the level 5 hierarchy, and the most interesting thing for me is the top of the hierarchy neither talent nor communicate skill, it is the attitude – personal humility plus professional will. I think it means for a good leader, it not only need to be highly capable individual, contributing team member, competent managers effective leader, but too important need to have the attitude of personal humility and professional will.

I love the concept of “Humility + Will = Level 5.” For my own experience, one of my supervisor was really good at this, and that also caused that many people respect and support him. He is a really intelligent person, but he always desired to learn everything new. I remember when he was just been a supervisor, he ask a mechanic to tought him how to fabricate all of furniture in the store. First, not all of people want to learn that because that  make you look dirty. Second, mechanic usually not tought other people how to do their work because that is their skill and advantage. Third, my supervisor learned that because he think it can help him to understand more about our company. Frankly, because of his personal humility, one of our mechanic tought him all of skill, and that mechanic became very support him and gave him different opinions and suggestions in his professional field. I think his attitude is a very good leadership behavior,and he already build the trust among us.

However, such as the case of “good to great, or just good,” it also use the statistic data to analyze what is the leadership’s character, and it also started with the fact and then find the caused. It is wrong to use the result to find the reason, and it’s like the professor said “bus stuff.” To get the right people on the bus, and kick the wrong people out of bus. We can use statistic data to analyze problems, but we can’t mislead this data to get the wrong analysis.

How a Marine Lost his command in Race to Baghdad

In our class, we talk about what difference between leader and manager. A manager will do things right, and a leader will do the right thing.  How a leader to do the right thing? It may have to break rules, or may threaten your career. In this case, Col. Dowdy lose his military career because he fails to complete a mission, disobeys a direct order, breaks the rules of war. Men versus mission, in which he favored his men. Did he do the right thing? If he did the right thing, why he lost his career? In my opinion, he did the right thing because he put his men first and it will get the trust from his men. I think it is what a leader do. However, in this case, he was fired because he put his men’s welfare above his mission. To do the right thing may have to break rules, and it’s why he is a leader, not a manager. A leader will take a risk to do the right thing, but manager will not. It doesn’t mean manager unimportant, but just difference work.

For Lt. Withers Act of Mercy Has Unexpected Sequel

Like the last article, it also talk about leadership and what a leader will do. In this case, John Withers didn’t follow the order and keep two men in his place. He had known it was especially important for blacks to follow orders in an army; however, he took  the risk to help two men to live. Why he want to break rules and help them? Why he didn’t follow the order like others? I think it is what a leader do. A leader do the right thing, and John Withers know these two men cannot live just because the environment in war-time situation.  These two men have right to live, and John Withers is the only one can help them. In addition, he not only saved their life but taught them how to live. He let them use their ability to earn money, and keep them being positive. Therefore, when he left, they already could live by themselves.

I think about what will I do in this situation, or will I do the same thing like John Withers? I think it will be hard to find what is right when you do any decisions. You will not know does it is really accurate and worth to take a risk. Like the last article, the leader who do the right thing but lost his career. I don’t really know could I do the right thing like a leader, but I think if I have same situation like John Withers, I will prefer to save those two men if I can.

New Wine, Old Bottles

This article talks about servant leadership, which the Greenleat Center has created and implemented so successfully. Humility is essential to implement servant leadership.

The concept of servant leadership are used world-widely, but like the author said most o executives take “new wine” concept and mix it with “old bottle.” So, how to implement servant leadership? In the tree steps that the author mentions, I think the most necessary step is to build relationships of trust. Building relationships of trust is never easy, but if trust is build, there will have strong power to benefit all of organization like a win-win situation.

Trust can make win-win situation. Take my own experience for example, one of my English teacher work really hard on teaching us, and she really want her student can improve English greatly. Because of her effort, I believed she can help me improve my ability, and I did every extra work that she provided. She told me she feel more energy to teach student when she saw a student who is striving to learn, and I also told her I get what I want in her class and it is worth to take her class because she knew what I want and she could provide it to me. She built trust between us, and I think we also get what we want and achieve win-win situation.

Good Leadership Requires Executives To Put Themselves Last

What is good leadership? From the story of Col. Dowdy, John Withers to Michael Leven, I can tell all of them will put themselves last and there men of employee first. In an organization, most people would not put themselves last, and they may even deceive other to get a promotion.

To be a leader, you must should have follower. If you want to have follower, you must have to build trust among you and your followers. So, how to build trust among you and your followers? I think you have to know what they want, and let them know you will take care of them. I think it is just like servant leadership that  you must have to build relationships of trust. If you take care of your followers and put them at fist, they will believe it is right and worth to follow you. So, I do agree a good leadership requires executives to put themselves last.