Rhythm Blog | Accountable Leaders & Teams

by Patrick Thean and the Rhythm Team

A CEO's Guide to Finding Hidden Disease in Your Organization

Tiffany Chepul Thu, Sep 20, 2018 @ 11:00 AM

You go to your doctor every year for a physical, but you rarely do this for your business. As you prepare your team for Annual Planning, it’s a great time for your annual check-up!

Do you feel like there might be some underlying issues as to why your team consistently falls short on execution? Or, that holes in your strategy might be contributing to things just feeling “off” at your company?

We work with hundreds of companies to help them find and address gaps in their strategy and execution using the Think-Plan-Do methodology.

The Impact of Education on a CEO's Career [Infographic]

Guest Blogger Thu, Sep 13, 2018 @ 11:00 AM

Written by Meredith Wood, Editor-in-Chief of Fundera

As the CEO, you’ve either started and cultivated your own company, or worked hard to climb the ranks. Maybe you’re not the CEO, but another chief-level executive. Regardless, you’re held partly accountable for the success of the company. Looking back, can you distinguish a single action that led you to this position?

It’s possible that you took the traditional route: graduated high school, attended college, received an undergraduate degree, landed a full-time job, and even pursued another degree or two. Maybe you drew inspiration from Bill Gates and Steve Jobs, deciding that dropping out of school was the only way to pursue your passion. You might even have a degree from a prestigious Ivy League university.

Mastering a CEO's Most Important Skill: Listening

Jessica Wishart Wed, Sep 12, 2018 @ 11:00 AM

If you are a CEO or founder, you’ve likely gotten where you are today because of your ideas - you are probably passionate about your company or industry and have gained a lot of experience and wisdom that make your insights incredibly valuable. Which is why what I am about to suggest can be so difficult for many top executives - as the CEO, your most important job may be to stop talking and just listen. I’m not suggesting that you should sit on your best ideas forever or that your contributions aren’t the most important ones in the meeting. Perhaps they are… but that’s missing the point.

How to Manage Your Time Effectively as a CEO [Infographic]

Jessica Wishart Thu, Sep 6, 2018 @ 11:00 AM

CEOs are being pulled in a million different directions by several important constituencies. They have to answer to direct reports, employees, investors, customers, partners, vendors, industry groups, community stakeholders, and in some cases politicians and the media as well. And, that's not including family, friends, and significant others.

Even the most extraverted CEO will come to find the job exhausting, especially since so much of it involves the need for the CEO to have carefully thought through strategy and people decisions. When are you supposed to have the time to think about the future of the business when you're in meetings all day? Not to mention, when are you supposed to sleep?

Recently, Harvard researchers conducted a detailed study of how CEOs are spending their time, both at home and at work. The results are interesting.

Are Employee Motivation and Engagement the Same? (Infographic)

Alicia Croke Mon, Sep 3, 2018 @ 09:00 AM

Recently, I started on a journey to be healthier and more active. As I was running on the treadmill last week, I thought to myself, "Are motivation and engagement the same?" There are quite a few times when I am at the gym motivated but not necessarily engaged with what I am doing. I am motivated to run a mile, but my mind could be engaged a million miles away. 

As an employer, you want your workforce to be both engaged and motivated. With employee engagement at around 32.6%, it is important to know the difference between engagement and motivation.

Why Personal Productivity Can Only Get You So Far

Jessica Wishart Thu, Aug 30, 2018 @ 11:00 AM

I like to think of myself as a highly organized and productive person, and I like reading about and experimenting with tips and methods for improving my productivity and time management skills. Truthfully, however, being personally productive can only get you so far - it’s only one piece of the puzzle for most of us. While being effective and personally accountable to accomplishing your top goals may be all you need as an entrepreneur or freelance worker, if you work in an organization (either as a leader or an individual contributor), you may be as personally productive as humanly possible and still not be effective.

Don't Let Dumb Rules Blow Up Team Accountability

Liz McBride Thu, Aug 23, 2018 @ 11:00 AM

During World War II, a Chief Petty Officer of the Royal Navy was called on by his Captain of the HMS Stork to explain why their ship sustained damage but, unlike other Royal Navy ships, did not blow up after a direct hit from an enemy submarine torpedo.

The Chief Petty Officer admitted he failed to follow the standing orders that the depth charges be armed with detonators. He continued to explain to his Captain that to avoid the risk of charges imploding during enemy fire, he and his crew were trained and ready to arm the charges with detonators within a matter of seconds. After all, large barrels full of high powered explosives are innocuous without installed detonators to set them off.

The CEO's Roadmap to Organizational Alignment Bliss

Jessica Wishart Wed, Aug 22, 2018 @ 11:00 AM

Alignment can be elusive for even the smallest start up companies, never mind mid-market companies that have multiple divisions, departments, or business units, different locations, new acquisitions, or remote employees. The more successful you are in growing your company, the more complex your organization becomes, and the more challenging it is to communicate effectively and attain alignment. And, as the CEO, aligning your company to succeed starts with you. According to an article in Harvard Business Review by Oxford University’s Jonathan Trevor and Barry Varcoe, "Large, diversified, and geographically dispersed enterprises, in whichever sectors they compete, require the greatest amount of strategic effort by their leadership to be aligned.”

What do I mean by alignment? An article in IndustryWeek quotes Fred Smith, Chairman of Federal Express, as saying “Alignment is the essence of management,” and goes on to say that “Alignment reflects an active ownership on the part of team members, not simply the absence of disagreement… Alignment is an agreement on the goals of the organization and on the process of allocating resources to achieve these goals.” The HBR article I mentioned earlier describes alignment in this way: winning through a tightly managed enterprise value chain that connects an enterprise’s purpose (what we do and why we do it) to its business strategy (what we are trying to win at to fulfill our purpose), organizational capability (what we need to be good at to win), resource architecture (what makes us good), and, finally, management systems (what delivers the winning performance we need). 

Do You Have An Accountability Problem? [Assessment]

Cathy McCullough Thu, Aug 2, 2018 @ 11:00 AM

Most clients I’ve worked with say they understand the key role accountability plays in making a company operate more efficiently (and therefore more effectively). They see the relevance of accountability and its place in the bigger scheme of things. And the research backs up what they think. Performance cultures have higher levels of personal accountability and as a result, they also have higher levels of overall company performance, employees feel a higher level of commitment to their jobs, and employee morale is higher (U.S. Office of Personnel Management).

As leaders focus on defining their core business strategies, as they work to clarify the company’s longer-term vision, as they encourage innovative thinking and more, they dream of empowering their people to do the work that needs to be done to accomplish the company’s overall strategic intent. 

Be a Better Leader by Clock Building vs. Telling Time

Jessica Wishart Wed, Aug 1, 2018 @ 09:00 AM

“Having a great idea or being a charismatic visionary leader is ‘time telling’; building a company that can prosper far beyond the presence of any single leader and through multiple product life cycles is ‘clock building’” (Built to Last, p. 23).

In their research for Built to Last, Jim Collins and Jerry Porras made a surprising discovery: the visionary companies they studied weren’t a platform for a charismatic leader to make his or her mark or a vehicle to bring an amazing product to the world.  It isn’t about creating a product or a leader; the company itself was the ultimate creation, and the leaders and products were in the service of making the company great, not the other way around.  Collins refers to this concept as Clock Building vs. Telling Time; it is building something that can endure over time rather than striking while the iron is hot only to have the business fizzle out as times change.