Articles by Justin Locke

People Skills 101: Anger Management

(I wrote this article a few years ago, and I am amazed at how much it applies to current events–jl) When we talk about management fundamentals, this can refer to managing other people, or it can refer to managing your own life. In either case, when you are talking about managing, you are really talking […]

Healing vs. Achievement

While giving a recent acceptance speech at a BAFTA award ceremony, actress Kate Winslet shared an inspiring message: Don’t listen to the people who hurt you, shame you, and belittle you.  Believe in yourself and follow your dream.  She ignored the people who insulted her, and made it to stardom.  So can you. This advice is […]

Time to Measure The Efficiency of Emotional Energy

Can we develop processes that will lead to more efficient use of emotional energy? One of the goals of a successful enterprise is to achieve greater “efficiency.” As any aficionado of Toyota Lean thinking will tell you, greater efficiency leads to greater profits. And of course our lives are now filled with emphasis on greater […]

The Dark Side of Improvement-ology

In the rush to offer “content,” social media has become a veritable tsunami of advice on how to improve just about everything, be that a process or yourself. These books, articles, classes, seminars, webinars, workshops, and videos all sound wonderfully helpful and well-intended, but, as Gerald Weinberg said, “There’s always a trade-off.”  One should be […]

Finding Top Talent Without College Degrees

The next time you post a job opening, you might want to think twice before automatically including a requirement for a college degree.   You may think that this is a suggestion that you lower your standards.  Actually, it’s an invitation to raise them. Requiring a degree may save you sifting through unqualified riffraff, but it […]

Diagnosing Emotional Un-Intelligence

The New York Times and Forbes Magazine recently published articles about “Emotional Intelligence” and its applications in the world of work. Social scientists disagree about the exact nature and validity of Emotional Intelligence, and, as the Atlantic Monthly points out, no “people skill” is good or bad but that intention makes it so.  But if […]

Leading a Horse To Water: Too Much Training Within Industry

For those of you who are not familiar with TWI, a.k.a. Training Within Industry, well, have you ever seen those WWII era posters lionizing Rosie the Riveter? The collective ability of Rosie and her many colleagues to manufacture tanks and B-29’s at an astonishing rate was one of the main reasons why the Allies won […]

Koping With The Kool-Aid

Presumably you know what “Drinking the Kool Aid” means, but if not, let’s just say it refers to people who blindly and unquestioningly accept a given dogma or belief. For those of us who have not drunk the Kool-Aid (or are at least reasonably certain of same), there is a never ending problem in life: […]

In Management, Stupidity Is An Advantage

We live in a world laced with smartism, i.e., a universal presumption that being smart is better than being stupid. But in the modern work world, at least in management, it is better to be stupid than smart. Realizing that this goes against everything you have ever been taught, here are just a few of […]

In Management, Nothing Is Fabulous

Peter Drucker, and many others, have often used symphony orchestra conductors as a metaphor for the role of a CEO/leader in the corporate world. That said, in all the many daily lists, blogs, and tweets regarding “what great leaders do every day” and the many “attributes of a great leader” articles, there is one management skill […]

There Are No “Almost Great” Leaders

Once upon a time, I had the extraordinary privilege of playing for some of the greatest conductors in history. But before you tsk-tsk me for self-aggrandizement, let me also say that I once had the not-so-extraordinary experience of playing . . . for some of the worst conductors in history too. Many were just dull […]

Does Management Advice Actually Work?

So I was getting a root canal last week and I asked the doctor if they were going to use a checklist. “After all,” I said, “as everyone knows, Atul Gawande’s Checklist Manifesto showed that the use of checklists dramatically reduces the chances of medical error, like maybe root-canaling the wrong tooth.” She replied, “Atul who? […]

The Limits Of Lists For Leaders

If you read any books or articles about improving management and leadership, you may have noticed that many of them feature a list of actions for you to take in order to achieve better results. To give you just a few examples, there are the seven characteristics in Collins’ Good to Great, Covey’s Seven Habits of Highly […]

The Industrial Revolution, Renaissance 2.0 … And You

For many years I paid my rent by producing fund-raising videos for hospitals. I had several clients who kept using the phrase “patient-centered care.” For example, they would say, “Our new cancer care facility is built on a model of ‘patient-centered care.’” Now I will freely admit I am not the brightest bulb in the […]

The Invisible Mastery Of Leadership

When I was a teenage bass player, to be honest, I wasn’t very good. I mean, I could play a handful of pieces reasonably well, but that was only because I played them over and over again. If you gave me a new piece of music, uh-oh. I had to start from zero in figuring […]

The Craft VS. The Art Of Leadership

I think it’s fair to say that I am an expert, or at least, very exper-ienced, in the realm of arts education. Since leadership is an art form of sorts, I thought I would weigh in with an artistic perspective on leadership and management training. When people talk about “arts education,” most of the time […]

Are You Numbing Your Workforce?

There is a classic TedTalk featuring Brené Brown, in which she points out that “we cannot selectively numb emotion.” In other words, if you are numbing yourself emotionally to something that bothers you, you have to numb yourself on all other levels as well. Back when I was a young professional bass player, I was all too […]

The War On Authenticity

(Editor’s note: The following article discusses the recent #TChat event: “Authenticity Is An Inside Job That Starts With Self” –  Click here to view the recap of this event.  Did you miss out on last night’s #TChat event? Stay tuned for the #TChat Recap!) A recent TalentCulture “TChat” on Twitter addressed the topic of “Authenticity.” “Authenticity” […]

Power: The Dark Side of Leadership

I have a little confession to make. I find power to be delicious. For most of my life I have worked as a kind of modern-day impresario. I produced events and media, everything from promotional videos to chamber music concerts to recording sessions with full size symphony orchestras. I was a one-man HR office; I […]

What Truly Motivates People? Is It Money, Or Something Else?

Dan Pink’s book “Drive: the Surprising Truth about What Motivates us” has thrown a major monkey wrench into how we think about motivation. For years it was assumed– and it certainly seems logical to believe– that the best way to motivate desirable behaviors was to offer cash rewards. But it turns out that there is considerable […]