A One Day Special Session (and More?) Preview

Today, the Indiana General Assembly reconvenes to pass five bills; four had been through the entire process during the regular session that ended on March 14 and were ready for final passage.

To use a basketball metaphor to describe the situation with these bills: The ball was still in the shooter’s hands when the shot clock went off. And the bills to be taken up in the special session will substantively be the same bills that were making their way down court in the final minutes of regulation. The only other bill is a technical corrections measure to reconcile inadvertent conflicts in language of bills that passed – i.e., two bills amending the same section of the code, but with slightly different wordage. Such technical corrections bills are routine.

As we reported last month, there are two tax administration bills. House Bill 1316 – the one to update Indiana with the federal tax reform changes – is both significant in effect and time sensitive. Failure to pass this legislation would greatly complicate 2018 returns and be of substantial consequence to Indiana and its taxpayers. Meanwhile, Senate Bill 242 includes a number of provisions the Indiana Department of Revenue sought to improve tax administration.

The remaining two bills are in the education realm: one addressing school safety issues and the other involving state oversight of financially distressed school systems – often regarded as the Muncie and Gary schools bill. There are lingering disagreements attached to the provisions of the latter legislation (testimony was heard earlier this week by the Legislative Council), and it will reignite debates that were had during the regular session. But it is expected that the time allotted for rehashing these debates will be limited.

Given the timeframe, there is little for legislators to do except formally act on the five bills. That leads us to the question: Will they in fact get all their work done in a single day? Probably so, once they suspend most of the rules that would, if applied, serve only to prolong the proceedings.

Separately, it appears there is some other significant business to be conducted by the Senate while they are all in town. Rumor has it that the following day (May 15) will be devoted to some serious internal politics. That would be the selection of a new Senate Pro Tempore to replace the retiring Sen. David Long (R-Fort Wayne). Talk is of a “binding straw poll” seeking to lock members into a statement of who they intend to support when a formal vote is taken in November, after the fall election. Senators Rod Bray (R-Martinsville) and Travis Holdman (R-Markle) are the acknowledged frontrunners for the Senate leadership post.

#BizVoiceExtra: SMWC’s 3+1 Degree

Anna Madden

Anna Madden will graduate from Terre Haute’s Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College (SMWC) with both her bachelor’s and graduate degrees.

That’s not unique – most schools offer graduate degree programs. What is more unusual, however, is that Madden will get both of those degrees in just four years, with the SMWC 3+1 accelerated degree program.

(We’ve got more coverage on other accelerated degree programs around the state in our new edition of BizVoice. See the story for more here.)

It was because of a short walk to class with Dr. DJ Wasmer, professor of business and business department chair, that Madden decided to change majors to business and pursue the 3+1 degree.

The benefits, in her perspective: Getting her master’s degree earlier puts her ahead of the competition coming out of school, and the cost savings for an accelerated degree are well worth the rigorous program.

The compressed timeframe was also appealing to Madden.

“My parents were pushing me to do a master’s, but I wasn’t really interested in doing it. I hate that six years of time; I’m eager to get into everything. That’s part of my personality. In four years I’ll have two degrees and be able to study abroad. It’s a win-win,” she adds.

At SMWC, the Masters in Leadership Development (MLD) is the graduate degree piece, which was started in 2007. The 3+1 accelerated program currently is available for business majors, but the MLD program is open to anyone and can be completed in a year’s time. It contains two tracks: organizational leadership and not-for-profit leadership.

Wasmer notes the accelerated program is tough.

“They carry heavier loads and do all the same work as you would do in four years; it’s just compressed. It’s demanding, but it’s doable,” he says.

The challenge is enticing for students like Madden.

“This is awesome. I love the idea of pushing myself harder,” she exclaims.

“I think this program is difficult and challenging, but I have not seen this amount of attention and appreciation (from the staff) anywhere else. It’s so achievable with their help.”

Wasmer adds, “We want to graduate people that can think, emphasize critical thinking skills, emphasize creativity, problem-solving skills, which includes quantitative reasoning.”

Dr. DJ Wasmer

The MLD degree is available online, as well as in person in Terre Haute and Indianapolis; any undergraduate degree can be enhanced with an MLD, not just business majors, Wasmer notes.

“Leadership is essential to our educational enterprise here; one of our core values. We try to graduate leaders who will effect positive change, whether it’s in their community, their workplace, through their religion,” he says. “Leadership is not just for business people. We try to infuse it in everything we do and all the opportunities.”

To learn more about the program, visit www.smwc.edu/academics/departments/business-leadership/31-leadership-development/

SMWC is also featured in our new edition of BizVoice, along with three other private Indiana institutions of higher education, highlighting unique campus programs or offerings. See that story here.

10 Gifts Great Leaders Give

Kris Taylor of K Taylor & Associates in Lafayette authored this holiday post as part of her Evergreen Leadership program. The “gifts” apply no matter the time of year.

I’ve worked with great leaders, mediocre leaders and one or two really poor leaders. I’ve done my work, to the best of my ability, with all of them. I’ve learned from all of them. Yet in reflecting back, the really great leaders gave me many great gifts.

These are the gifts that last over time. They are not very tangible but are always present. They’re gifts that altered the way I saw myself, or my situation, or the world around me – gifts that stuck, that keep on giving.

 I am eternally blessed by and grateful for these gifts.

  1. Confidence in my abilities, my potential, my judgment and my integrity
  2. Wisdom by sharing freely their truths, experiences and knowledge
  3. Mentoring and coaching to guide me to a better place, always challenging, at times seeing more in me than I could see myself
  4. Opportunities to test my skills and learn new ones, ones that pushed me further than I was comfortable with at the time
  5. Support for when I failed myself or others
  6. Unconditional respect even at my worst times
  7. Perspective and vision, especially when I wallowed in my narrow view of the situation
  8. Courage to do the things that are right, but not necessarily easy
  9. Focus on results insisting that I follow through, do what I was charged to do and to find ways to overcome the inevitable obstacles
  10. Navigation through the organization, helping me learn how these people in this place get work done

My challenge is this: rather than giving “things” this year, which of these 10 gifts might you give at work? At home? In your community?

Happy 25th Anniversary, Kevin!

The Indiana Chamber of Commerce has had just seven executive leaders throughout its nearly 100-year-existence (the Chamber was officially formed in 1922) in our drive to fulfill our mission to “cultivate a world-class environment which provides economic opportunity and prosperity for the people of Indiana and their enterprises.”

President and CEO Kevin Brinegar, in the role for 15 years and celebrating his 25th anniversary with the Chamber yesterday, has been part of major policy and legislative accomplishments during his time at the helm of the organization. A few to mention include: observance of Daylight Saving Time, Right to Work, a preschool pilot program, numerous tax reforms, and most recently, needed investment that will ensure adequate transportation infrastructure funding for the next two decades.

Brinegar’s anniversary comes just two days after our 28th Annual Awards Dinner, where he was presented with a Sagamore of the Wabash by Gov. Eric Holcomb. The award for distinguished service is his second; the first was presented in 1992 by then-Gov. Evan Bayh.

During an Indiana Chamber staff meeting, Brinegar received a commemorative photo collage signed by the Chamber’s staff. We also celebrated with cake!

Kevin Brinegar

Brinegar discussed being presented with the Sagamore of the Wabash and said all current and past staff members of the Indiana Chamber made the award possible and have worked tirelessly to move public policy forward in Indiana and make it a top tier state and a leader across the nation.

Thank you for your hard work on behalf of our staff and the state of Indiana, Kevin. Congratulations on 25 years!

Leaders Don’t Do These Things

Credit to Kris Taylor (a Lafayette-based consultant, coach, teacher, speaker) for this simple but powerful blog post that we recreate here. The headline and the 10 points:

What a Leader is NOT

Actions speak louder than words … but these words all describe actions that you would never see a true leader do:

1. Blame others

2. Whine and complain

3. Lay low or hide

4. Make excuses

5. Give up when the going gets hard

6. Demean or belittle others

7. Be complacent

8. Hog the spotlight

9. Gossip

10. Do what is easy versus what is right

Just Pick Up the Phone, Please!

A recent CareerBuilder survey has some interesting numbers related to generational differences in the workplace. It focuses on communication and work styles, hours on task and career paths.

The one (of several) that jumps out for me is the fact that no one — no matter their age — wants to use the telephone anymore. As some of my co-workers can attest, this really bothers me. When a 30-second direct conversation (preferably in person but the phone will suffice in many instances) can replace many, many e-mails, why do people insist on hiding behind the keyboard?

There was the time I banned my team from using e-mail at all for internal communications. Maybe a bit extreme, but the point is valid — talk to/with people, not at them.

Anyway, here are the survey results. Some are revealing, while others confirm common perceptions.

Communication Styles

While a majority of both age groups expressed a preference for face-to-face communication, evidence of a small digital divide exists. The phone, however, has fallen out of favor across the board.

How do you most like to communicate at work?

· Face-to-face: 60 percent (ages 55+); 55 percent (ages 25-34)

· E-mail/Text: 28 percent (ages 55+); 35 percent (ages 25-34)

· Phone: 12 percent (ages 55+); 10 percent (ages 25-34)

Perspectives on Career Path

Younger workers tend to view a career path with a “seize any opportunity” mindset, while older workers are more likely to place value in loyalty and putting in the years before advancement.

You should stay in a job for at least three years:

· Ages 25-34 – 53 percent
· Ages 55+ – 62 percent
 

You should stay in a job until you learn enough to move ahead:

· 25-34 – 47 percent
· Ages 55+ – 38 percent

Similar contrasts were found when looking at promotions:

You should be promoted every 2-3 years if you’re doing a good job:

· Ages 25-34 – 61 percent
· Ages 55+ – 43 percent
 

Hours Working

Younger workers are more likely to log shorter hours than workers 55 and older.

Work eight hours or less per day:

· Ages 25-34 – 64 percent
· Ages 55+ – 58 percent

Older hiring managers are more likely to arrive to work earlier than younger managers but less likely to take work home with them.

Arrive earlier than 8 a.m.:

· Ages 25-34 – 43 percent
· Ages 55+ – 53 percent

Leave by 5:00 p.m.:

· Ages 25-34 – 38 percent
· Ages 55+ – 41 percent
 

Work after leaving the office:

· Ages 25-34 – 69 percent
· Ages 55+ – 62 percent
 

Younger workers are more open to flexible work schedules than their older counterparts.
Arriving on time doesn’t matter as long as work gets done:

· Ages 25-34 – 29 percent

· Ages 55+ – 20 percent

Work Styles

Different generations take a much more distinct approach to workplace projects. Younger generations are more likely to want to plan rather than “dive right in” to a new initiative.

I like to skip the process and dive right into executing:

· Ages 25-34 – 52 percent
· Ages 55+ – 66 percent

I like to write out a detailed game plan before acting:

· Ages 25-34 – 48 percent
· Ages 55+ – 35 percent
 

However, there is one area where older and younger workers see eye-to-eye: Approximately 60 percent of both groups prefer eating alone during lunch hour, as opposed to dining with their co-workers.
 

Butler to Offer Leadership Workshop Oct. 21 Featuring Brad Stevens

Butler University is hosting a workshop on values-based leadership Oct. 21. Here is the agenda for the event, and you can register here:

The topic of Values-based Leadership is one that by its nature invites personal reflection as well as an exploration of values and culture in the broader organization. This day-long workshop will provide opportunities for active discussion, stimulating presentations and observation of The Butler Way at work during basketball practice. This highly interactive day will include the following:

  • Welcome by Butler’s incoming President, James Danko. President Danko has a strong personal and professional interest in values-based Leadership.
  • Facilitated table discussions regarding leadership values. This will include self-reflection as well as guided discussions of team and organization values and culture that impact performance.
  • Discussion of our core values and beliefs as leaders.
  • A summary of leadership research and its impact on organization performance.
  • A framework for values-based Leadership, organization values, culture and performance.
  • Real world examples of values-based Leadership including a local business example.
  • The roots and evolution of The Butler Way: it encompasses more than basketball.
  • The Butler Way at work in the University’s sports programs, especially basketball.
  • The opportunity to watch the men’s basketball team in a live practice session.

Leadership Lessons from “Mad Men”

Even if you’re not a top-level executive who once stole a deceased man’s identity to build a new life for yourself, you can likely relate to at least one character in "Mad Men" or at least the hit show’s fictional advertising firm. As this season wrapped up, Fast Company gleaned some leadership lessons from the program’s key characters. Here’s an example:

Roger Sterling, Jr. – Sr. Partner, Head of Accounts

The best that can be said of Roger’s work this year is that he managed to avoid having a third heart attack. It wasn’t entirely his fault that the company lost Lucky Strike, which accounted for more than two-thirds of its billings. But Roger committed a grave leadership sin when he decided to keep the bad news to himself, let the other partners learn about it via the Mad Ave grapevine — then lied about flying down to Raleigh to patch things up.

Roger has been distracted and petulant, focused more on his memoirs and his disastrous affair with Joan than the account which was, so far as we can tell, his sole responsibility. Let’s not even mention the racist outburst that nearly scuppered the company’s chance at the Honda account. Had he not been so entitled, he might have seen that American Tobacco was bound to consolidate its accounts over at BBDO someday. The most damning judgment on Roger came from his old partner Bert: “You didn’t take yourself seriously, so neither did they.”

LESSON: No matter how bad the news is, share it with your fellow leaders. They can handle it better than you alone.

What the Trapped Chilean Miners Can Teach Us About Leadership

33 Chilean miners stuck in the ground for months. There aren’t many fates that could seem more dire — or depressing. But to date, most footage of these men shows them in remarkably positive spirits, at least relative to the situation. Scott Eblin’s Next Level Blog examines how leadership has played a role in this, and what executives can learn from it:

Here’s some of what we can learn from the miners:

Leaders share the role:  You might assume that the miners’ shift supervisor would take over the sole leadership role. Yes, Luis Urzua is organizing work assignments for the crew,  assisting with the plan to get out of the mine and ensuring that no one eats a meal until everyone’s food has been sent down the shaft. He has not, however, taken on every leadership responsibility for himself.  The oldest miner on the crew, Mario Gomez, has taken the leadership role of attending to the spiritual and mental health of the men. He is consulting with psychologists on the surface to monitor the psychic health of his comrades.  Yonny Barrios has taken the lead on ensuring the physical health of the crew by drawing on six months of nursing training he took 15 years ago. Barrios is administering tests and health screenings to his friends on behalf of the doctors monitoring the situation above ground. What a beautiful and impressive example these men are of leaders who share the work of leadership.

Leaders leverage their gifts:
  Each of these three miners along with others on the crew are drawing on the gifts of their life experience and interests to ensure the well being of the unit. Someone I respect recently pointed out to me that you know you’re in the right leadership role when your heart and body and not just your head tell you it’s the right way for you to contribute. That’s more likely to happen when you’re leveraging your gifts. My guess is that Urzua, Gomez and Barrios feel that kind of alignment with the leadership roles they’ve assumed.

Leaders keep the whole person in mind: 
Every organization has a bottom line. In the case of a mine rescue, the bottom line is getting the miners out alive. It’s one thing, though, to bring the men out in relatively good physical health. It’s another to bring them out with their mental, spiritual and emotional health intact. How fortunate they are to be led by men who recognize those needs and have organized everyone to consistently attend to them. What difference would it make to the health of our organizations and the people in them if every leader approached their work with such attention and care to the whole person? It’s pretty breathtaking to consider, isn’t it?

UPDATE: OK, may have been a tad ambitious on the positive commentary as it seems their situation is finally starting to get to them, but… the leadership lessons are still valuable.

Billy Joel was Right; It’s a Matter of Trust

When the economy improves, do you expect your staffers to stay put? According to a new survey from Deloitte, many American employees may be searching for greener pastures. The reason? Lack of trust in leadership. You’d be wise to make sure that’s not the case at your company. The New York Post writes:

Just wait until the recession is over.

One-third of American workers claim they will look for a new job once the economy gets better, according to a survey released today.

A whopping 48 percent of those who want to change jobs are mainly motivated by a loss of trust in their employers, according to Deloitte’s fourth annual "Ethics & Workplace Survey."

“With lack of trust and transparency factoring into the employment decision of roughly half of the respondents who plan to job hunt in the coming months, business leaders must be mindful of the importance of both on talent management and retention strategies, as well as the bottom line impact,” said Sharon Allen, chairman of the board at Deloitte.

Forty-six percent also said a lack of transparent communication from their organization’s leadership was the reason why they were not happy at work.

“The survey shows that trust and flexibility are critical in today’s workplace," said Allen.

After all, you can’t go the distance, with too much resistance … and so forth.