Dear Mark and Mike,
I’ve been a regular listener to both Manager Tools and Career Tools for years now, and I wanted to thank you for all of the practical advice. Since I’m a professor in a College of Education, I find that your tools and tips transfer into academe much better than many – including some of my colleagues! – might predict. Your philosophy behind your tools, especially, has transferred directly for me and has been invaluable. Let me tell you about a couple of my successes:
I’ve used the Meeting Introduction Tool now twice with groups of faculty and administrators. They love it! What I’ve found most interesting after each time I’ve used it is it’s the Deans or other administrators who have asked me where I got it and for permission to use it. Of course, I told them to check out Manager Tools.
I’ve got several doctoral students whom I advise, and I’ve adapted one-on-ones for them. Though you eschew adaptations of your techniques, I took the “communication bucket” notion, relaxed the structure a bit and meet with each one every two weeks. I relaxed the structure because, with dissertation students, I have somewhat of an inverse circumstance to a corporate manager. These folks are working on their own projects and need my help and advice rather than them working on a corporate-mandated project that I oversee. So they’re in charge. They have responded enthusiastically to regular meetings with me both in terms of the attitudes about it and in terms of their productivity. I also, as you would have predicted, benefit from being much better informed about each of those projects.
I also advise them all to be listening to you, especially to Career Tools. I point them particularly to your reference management podcast because it adapts quite well to academe.
Finally, the bit of your philosophy that has bolstered me personally the most is the “do what is effective, regardless of how you feel about it.” Given the autonomy that professors enjoy and the way that can be abused, I wish more of my colleagues understood that.
Thank you for all your work! It makes a daily difference in my work life, even in a College of Education!