Category Archives: Management Musings

Assessing Leadership — The Purpose in Leadership Inventory


Justin Irving’s research has done much in the way of advancing the field of servant leadership.
Great work, Justin!

Purpose in Leadership

Researching, Steve Hanna, Flickr Researching, Steve Hanna, Flickr

The inaugural edition of the journal Servant Leadership: Theory and Practice came out at the end of August. I’m grateful to have an article included in the August 2014 issue of the journal. My article is focused on the development and initial testing of what I’m calling The Purpose in Leadership Inventory.

In this brief post, I’m providing a link to the full article followed by a brief overview of what leadership variables are measured by the instrument.

The Development and Initial Testing of the Purpose in Leadership Inventory:
A Tool for Assessing Leader Goal-Orientation, Follower-Focus, and Purpose-in-Leadership

Why Was the PLI Created?

The Purpose in Leadership Inventory (PLI) was created for two audiences.

Leadership Researchers: First, the PLI is designed for researchers in the field of leadership studies. Developing new instruments to measure leadership variables is one of the keys to ongoing advancement…

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Can You Really Measure Servant Leadership?


As a field of study, servant leadership is in its infancy. I see this in teaching servant leadership courses at the graduate level and I see it in co-editing servant leadership’s newest academic journal, Servant Leadership: Theory & Practice.

On the Practice side, I get excited when students so authentically drip servant leadership from their very DNA that I know, “Hey, There is a servant leader who is changing lives and making the world a better place.”

On the Theory side, I get giddy-like-a-school-child when epiphanies of new angles for scientifically examining servant leadership dance in my head.

As an example from last night’s graduate class conversation, we realized an academically legitimate and relatively simple manner in which organizational-level servant leadership outcomes can be measured.

It starts with Robert Greenleaf’s well renowned “best test” of servant leadership:

“Do those served grow as persons? Do they, while being served, become healthier, wiser,  freer, more autonomous, more likely themselves to become servants?…” (R. Greenleaf, 1970)

If, indeed those served by a servant leader grow as persons and become wiser, freer, more autonomous and more likely themselves to serve, then at least the following 3 propositions can be made.

Proposition 1) Servant leadership rolls downhill. That is… if I do my job as a servant leader then I will develop servant leaders who will, in turn, develop servant leaders.

Proposition 2) Given Greenleaf’s “best test” and assuming Proposition 1 is true, then it follows that leadership succession will be more effective in organizations with a culture of servant leadership than in organizations without a culture of servant leadership. &,

Proposition 3) Given Greenleaf’s “best test” and assuming Proposition 1 is true, then it follows that leadership succession will be more effective in organizations with servant leaders in the top management team than in organizations without servant leaders in the top management team.

Difficult to administer? Absolutely. Impossible to administer? Not nearly. It would not be a difficult task for an academic to set up a study and borrow or build instruments to test the foregoing 3 propositions. Sounds publishable. Even more exciting, though…

Sounds like a small step forward in the growth of servant leadership as a field of study!

© 2014, Dr. Phil Bryant, SPHR

Dr. Bryant is an Assistant Professor of Management at Columbus State University, co-editor of Servant Leadership: Theory & Practice, and co-author of Managing Employee Turnover.

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Your Company’s Top Talent Is Likely Among the 17%


http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/capital-business/wp/2014/03/07/a-snapshot-of-how-fierce-the-competition-for-talent-really-is/

Find out what to do about Managing Employee Turnover before you lose your top talent.

© 2014, Dr. Phil Bryant

Dr. Bryant is an Assistant Professor of Management at Columbus State University and co-author of Managing Employee Turnover.

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Envy or Emulate the 1 Percent?


Billionaire Tom Perkins stated that the top 1% – in terms of wealth – are being persecuted like the Nazi’s persecuted Jews. His fellow billionaire, Sam Zell, stated that “The 1% are being pummeled because it’s politically convenient to do so.” He claims that the top 1% work harder.

John Aziz, in an msn.com news article, points out that the top 1% wealth holders accumulate that wealth through capital gains (mostly through stock options and stock price increases). Aziz concludes that: “They have the financial, educational, and social capital to accumulate an income without having to work so hard.”

Financial Capital is money that is used to generate income or make an investment. (See the financial-dictionary)

Educational Capital is education that is useful for generating income or making  investments. (derived from the definition above)

Social Capital is the network of relationships between individuals, groups and entities. (google search for “define social capital”)

I don’t know any billionaires, but I’m the son of a multi-millionaire. What have I learned from my dad?

Financial Capital – He started with no money. He grew up in a two bedroom, one bath home. His parents rode the bus to their daily jobs. He worked in high-school to support the family and worked his way through college. Over time, though, he leveraged educational and social capital into financial capital.

Educational Capital – He had no ivy league education. Having worked his way through the local commuter college though, he knows the value of a good education. Later he earned a masters degree to signal for my sister and me the importance of education.

Social Capital – My dad started with very little social capital. Who could his mother possibly meet waiting tables at the Green Beetle, or his dad down at the local lighting store? This is where his journey to the 1% began, though. He knew the value of having strong relationships. He knew that social capital goes well beyond “who you know.” He always knew that his employees worked with him, not for him. He treated everyone with kindness and true respect. On weekends he’d work on our house or in our yard side-by-side with the man who’d walk through our neighborhood looking for a day job; on weekdays he’d work side-by-side with the governor-future-president and Fortune 500 CEOs. They were equal in his eyes. And so he built the social capital necessary to later build financial capital.

Did my dad work hard? As Aziz points out, its very difficult to measure how hard one works. I can tell you this. My dad worked just as hard as his business partner who experienced multiple stress-related heart attacks during their ride up the ladder-of-wealth.

Did he work long hours? You bet. He likes to say he works 1/2 days, sometimes the first 12 hours and sometimes the last 12 hours. But it seems he used to work all 24. During the years that he was building his business, he never vacationed. Oh, we sometimes went on vacation, but he always worked while on vacation. Conference calls, teleconferenced meetings, emails, reading, researching, networking, writing, etc. We often “vacationed” where he had local offices.

After building his business for over two decades, working long and hard and smart, his team led the company through its initial public offering (IPO). He had built the social and educational capital necessary to generate the financial capital to scratch his way into the very bottom of the top 1%.

Advice to the reader:

Educational Capital – Get a college education if you can. A college education can be expensive, though. If you cannot afford a formal education, educate yourself. Read sound business books by authors such as Victor Claar, Jim Collins, Peter Drucker, and Malcom Gladwell.

Social Capital – Build strong relationships and treat everyone you meet with an equal level of respect and kindness.

Financial Capital – If you have it, use it wisely. If you don’t have it, build it by leveraging educational and social capital. Then, use it wisely. There were things my dad (and I) could have done more wisely to build upon his (our) growing financial capital. To be honest, we were ill prepared in the beginning. Our lack of financial savvy and wisdom cost us together, tens of millions of dollars. Today, having fallen from the top 1%, though financially comfortable, my dad works every day to ensure that no checks bounce … except maybe the last.

© 2014, Dr. Phil Bryant

  Dr. Bryant is an Assistant Professor of Management at Columbus State University and co-author of Managing Employee Turnover.

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Earn 10’s of Thousands MORE $DOLLARS!


A well crafted resume – one designed to rise to the top of the stack – may earn you TENS OF THOUSANDS OF $DOLLARS MORE than an average resume.

Here’s why.

The best positions at the best companies often attract hundreds of resumes. Of these, usually no more than 10% are granted an interview. If your resume does not stand out over more than 90% of competing resumes, you lose. You lose $Dollars in time and in salary.

You lose $Dollars in time…  The more resumes yours stands out over, the more interviews you will have, and the sooner you will receive a job offer. The difference could be a matter of months. If you are looking for a job in the $36,000-$48,000 pay range, a couple of months translates to a loss of $6,000-$8,000. 

You lose $Dollars in salary, too. The less attractive jobs, by definition, will attract fewer resumes. Only for these jobs does the average resume stand a chance at an interview. They’ll probably interview at least three candidates. If only ten resumes are submitted, your resume only has to be in the top 70%. If the position is even less attractive and only 5 resumes are submitted, your resume has only to be in the top 60% (the bottom 40%). Almost by definition, these less attractive positions are expected to pay lower salaries. A less attractive position in a field known to pay in the range of $36,000-$48,000 may pay closer to $36,000. The more attractive position may pay closer to $48,000 — translating to a $12,000 loss per year!

In just 14 months an average resume has cost up to $20,000! After 24 months, over $30,000!

Might it be worth just $100 to have a professional review and rewrite your resume?

Contact me via the form below if you are ready to save  TENS OF THOUSANDS OF $DOLLARS.

© 2013, Dr. Phil Bryant

  Dr. Bryant is an Assistant Professor of Management at Columbus State University and co-author of Managing Employee Turnover.

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Does Your Resume Do You Justice?


As an academic, I’ve noticed that much of academic writing is valuable for other researchers, but far less valuable for managers and business people. As a business writer, it’s always been my goal to produce material that people in business find important and useful. I cannot describe the intrinsic reward I earn whenever I get positive feedback from a business person who has enjoyed my work.

That’s why, in addition to my “real job,” I have been offering resume writing services “on the side.” And that’s why the following quote from an actual client was so great to read:

“If any of you are looking for someone to design a professional resume, see Doc Phil. Seriously. I thought he was exaggerating when he stated it was great, but that actually was an understatement.”

My exact words to him before I handed it over were a quote from Adrian and Mickey in Rocky III: “It’s beautiful. Definitely a thing of beauty.”

Let me know if you want me to transform your resume from a simple document into a “thing of beauty.”

© 2013, Dr. Phil Bryant

Dr. Bryant is an Assistant Professor of Management at Columbus State University and co-author of Managing Employee Turnover.

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Internal Upward Mobility


I was asked recently to review a resume’ for a friend. She is aspiring to a higher position with the company for whom she now works.
I reviewed the resume’ and offered some improvements.
But the meat of the advice I gave her follows:
“It would be an upward internal move – one of the hardest to do. These moves are usually planned out well in advance from a career perspective rather than from an opportunity recognition perspective.
Internal upward mobility has more to do with relationships and how they are managed than with the way the resume’ looks.
People here know you and they have already formed perceptions and opinions of you. The way you’ve managed those perceptions and opinions over time will determine your internal upward mobility. 
If an internal candidate earns this position, and I hope it is you, she will earn the position based not on her resume’, but on her relationships.”
As for the resume’, I took the liberty to make some changes – all deletions. The reason was to highlight what needs to be highlighted. With resume’s, when too much is highlighted, nothing is highlighted.

© 2012, Dr. Phil Bryant

Dr. Bryant is an Assistant Professor of Management at Columbus State University and co-author of Managing Employee Turnover.

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