Transitioning to Leadership with Bob Selden

Transitioning into Leadership - Bob Selden with Jon Rennie

I have the pleasure of chatting with Jon Rennie, host of Deep Leadership podcast about leadership - what is it and how can one learn to be a leader?

“Leadership is a People Business”, is the philosophy of this leadership podcast from Jon Rennie. It’s real-world, actionable advice from Jon as well as his expert guests. As a former Cold War Submarine Officer who spent 20+ years leading businesses in Corporate America before starting his own manufacturing business, he knows that leadership matters!​

One of my reasons for being involved with this particular podcast, is that . . .

Positive Performance Management
Positive Performance Management

Is there a better way to manage performance?

I’ve railed long and hard throughout my career about the ineffectiveness of performance reviews. Managers have said to me, “But, Bob – We need performance reviews to make sure everyone is meeting their objectives”. I see nothing constructive about an annual pay and performance review. It's a mainstream practice that has confounded me for years.

The alleged primary purpose of performance reviews, is to enlighten staff about what they should be doing better or differently. Unfortunately, they’re often used and seen negatively – sometimes by both managers and their people.

Some years ago, a good friend, the late Shaun Saunders, wrote a great piece that I believe sums up what many see as the problems of traditional performance reviews.

It’s taken 14 years!

It’s taken 14 years!

After 14 years, my latest book is about to launch. “Gee”, you might say, “that’s a long gestation period”. And of course you’d be right! Why so long? Well, a couple of reasons . . .

The idea of a book on leadership first came to me when I was asked to give a presentation to the marketing students at the Beijing Institute of Technology. The year was 2008, and I’d been invited to Beijing by the publisher of the Chinese edition of my first book, What To Do When You Become The Boss: How new managers become successful managers.

As an aside, it was a bit scary, presenting to a couple of hundred students of whom I was told, only about twenty percent spoke English. Of course I had an interpreter. However, if you’ve ever presented to an audience the majority of whom do not speak your language, you’ll know that one of the challenges is pausing after every few sentences for the local interpretation – it does kind of interrupt the flow.

Three generations in one room - Family Business Central
Three Generations In One Room

Three Generations in One Room

I often reflect at how amazingly blessed I am to work with incredible families who are working to build a solid legacy for both the business and their family. Families come in all shapes and sizes; we often get two generations in a room discussing succession planning. However, every so often we get three generations in one room to discuss their family business – and this is a very special event.

The main reason we get the family together is around developing and writing a family charter. We meet with the senior generation first as there are often things they need to decide before we bring in the wider family. Once those decisions are made, we get the whole family in. This could include kids as young as 15-years-old, who handle themselves with amazing maturity. 

What’s in a word?

What’s in a word?

Negative advertising elicits an unintended emotional response.

My wife and I recently moved to Palmerston North on the North Island of New Zealand. It’s a beautiful place, but has one downside – an inferiority complex.

Palmerston North doesn’t seem to have a great reputation in the eyes of the rest of the country, and I couldn’t see why.  “Being from Palmy” (as it’s colloquially known) was not something to be proud of apparently. Mostly when I heard the word “Palmy”, particularly from outsiders, it was either spoken in a negative tone or followed by a critical remark about the place.

Our local Council, in its wisdom, decided . . .

The disappearing bank – where did it go?

The disappearing bank – where did it go?

I just read a wonderful (and disturbing) piece by journo Virginia Fallon in the local paper who tells of losing her credit card at the beach. After seeing that the bank in her town was closed (in fact empty), she rang the hotline and was told (very nicely) to “just pop into your local branch and they’ll get a new one for you”. Trouble is, Virginia’s local branch is now over 90 minutes’ drive away!

Why are all the bank branches disappearing off the streets? Have they perhaps been effected by Covid?