21st Edition — June 30, 2019
“The foundation of learning is reading. I don’t know a smart person who doesn’t read.” Naval Ravikant, the CEO and co-founder of AngelList.
1. Compensation Philosophy
Jennifer Briggs is an ESOP expert, a former HR chief, and a national thought leader on compensation issues. I first learned about the concept of compensation philosophies from Jennifer as that topic never comes up in the small business world I’m immersed in.
Hewlett-Packard was ahead of their time in the 1940s and 1950s when it came to compensation and sharing their profits with all employees. HP’s compensation philosophy was clear and periodically improved as needed.
After reading The HP Way by David Packard, I was curious if I could find any public information about their current bonus packages. I hit a home run when I found their 2019 Compensation Discussion and Analysis. It’s a great read. The compensation philosophy for executives can easily be modified for all employees too.
2. Is There an Influencer You Follow Who Should Write a Book?
Naval Ravikant should write a book. He’s the CEO and co-founder of AngelList.
He’s been interviewed by many of the podcast heavyweights you may listen to. For now, you can follow his line of reasoning at his blog, Naval. I especially like his message entitled, Read What You Love Until You Love to Read.
3. Do You Have a Portfolio of 30-second Answers?
Shu Hattori is the author of The McKinsey Edge, and he recommends we have a 30-second answer for everything. My biggest takeaway with his suggestion is knowing the question before it’s asked and then being prepared in advance for a response.
Incidentally, I do not suggest applying the 30-second answers with our significant others. Yes, I’ve been trying it on my wife.
4. The Book to Give to Self-Absorbed People
Do you know or work with others who seem to monopolize the conversation and never ask questions? Such people should read Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence Others. That’s the obvious pick. One of the books I re-read periodically is Robin Dreeke’s It’s Not About Me: The Top 10 Techniques for Building Quick Rapport With Anyone. I recommend this book frequently and encourage sales managers to give this to new-hires, even experienced reps.
“The main objective in all engagements is simple; the person you are engaging must leave the conversation and interaction feeling better for having met you.”
Change the last two words to ‘chatted or visited with you’ as the author’s advice should apply to any conversation. The young men and women you are mentoring will hopefully grow in their communication skills after you give them a copy.
5. Homework Assignment
Does your company have a compensation philosophy? If it does, do you agree with it? If not, how would you modify it?
If your company does not have a compensation philosophy, what would you include in such a document? Here are a few questions to consider –
1. Do you pay below, at, or above market value?
2. What is the split between fixed and variable pay?
3. How do you determine variable pay?
4. Does variable pay include the short-, mid-, and long-term?
5. How do you address entitlement in this discussion?
I know it’s easy to complain about compensation, but try building a philosophy around employee pay, and you understand the frustrations and challenges CEOs face with this topic on a daily basis.
Thank You Very Much
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Take care and have a great week. Always be learning.