Strategic CIO // IT Strategy
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5/30/2014
10:25 AM
David Wagner
David Wagner
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Pizza & Leadership: 4 Lessons

If you want to be a good leader, treat your team members in a way that makes them want to buy you a pizza. Allow us to explain.

If you're reading this during lunch, you might find it useful for two reasons: You might get free pizza out of it, and you could learn to improve your leadership skills.

A Stanford research team recently examined social media sites, particularly the Reddit community Random Acts of Pizza, to determine successful strategies for inspiring altruistic behavior in online communities. What does this research have to do with leadership? Leaders in every line of work need to inspire altruistic behavior at times in order to inspire their teams.

According to Harvard Business Review, organizations with a higher level of employee enthusiasm report 22% higher productivity than their less-involved counterparts. Such companies also can be more innovative, more collaborative, and more successful than those that have low employee-morale scores.

[IT admins aren't happy with their jobs. Read IT Pros Stressed Out, Looking To Jump Ship.]

Think of it like this: You might have the power to order your team to burn the midnight oil to finish a project, but you know that the project will be more successful if your team is happily participating. Where does the pizza fit in? It doesn't hurt to order some for your team the next time you work late, but it's more than that.

The Random Acts of Pizza community on Reddit is devoted to giving pizza to people in need. People who are struggling, financially or otherwise, tell the community why they need help and hope that a kind community member will send them pizza based on their pitch. The pizza requesters on the site range from students seeking a midnight snack to the long-term unemployed fighting to make ends meet.

The Stanford team examined the posts from various perspectives, including politeness, length of post, wording, gratitude, and time of post, to see which communication strategies worked best. What they found out serves as a primer for more than how to nab free pizza. It's a guide for IT leaders who want to boost morale by appealing to their workers' sense of altruism.

Try incorporating these four lessons next time you need your team to go the extra mile:

1. Show evidence of need.
Successful pizza requests usually explain the need in detail (lost jobs, hungry kids, unexpected bills), according to the Stanford study. The longer the request, the more likely it was to be fulfilled. It also helped to add pictures, especially if they were of hungry kids or of cars needing to be fixed.

This shouldn't be surprising, and yet it's easy for leaders to hide behind seemingly arbitrary concepts, such as deadlines, rather than explain

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David has been writing on business and technology for over 10 years and was most recently Managing Editor at Enterpriseefficiency.com. Before that he was an Assistant Editor at MIT Sloan Management Review, where he covered a wide range of business topics including IT, ... View Full Bio
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Gigi3
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Gigi3,
User Rank: Ninja
11/17/2014 | 3:37:57 AM
Re: Nice comparison, but ...
" yes, but in small city where I live delivery service always late :)..."

Batye, I think for Pizza and certain other brands, there are certain time frame with in which its get delivered in hot condition. Otherwise its free.
Gigi3
100%
0%
Gigi3,
User Rank: Ninja
11/17/2014 | 3:36:16 AM
Re: Nice comparison, but ...
" yes, but it moving towards the change... - positive change for good..."

Batye, may be who know; it can be in either of the way.
nomii
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nomii,
User Rank: Ninja
11/10/2014 | 11:04:27 AM
Re: Nice comparison, but ...
"how I see it my friends changing the way they thinking... as whole country changing - slowly but changing towards normal way... how I see it..."

@Batye I am not sure how should I take it but I am curious to know why these practices started at first place. I am curious to know that were these practices came into existance immediately or they have taken some time?
nomii
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50%
nomii,
User Rank: Ninja
11/10/2014 | 10:59:06 AM
Re: Nice comparison, but ...
"but it started happening in Canada... as offer delivery guys can of soda they worried to accept it :) I just do not want them to be thirsty during hot days... and I appreshiate timely delivery... but  they worried to accept it..."

@Batye can you be more specific that how a delivery guy consider a can of soda a bribe and why some one is offering that in a bribe?. Can you please be more elaborative thanks.
batye
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50%
batye,
User Rank: Ninja
11/10/2014 | 9:45:05 AM
Re: Nice comparison, but ...
@Gigi3 yes, but it moving towards the change... - positive change for good...
batye
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50%
batye,
User Rank: Ninja
11/10/2014 | 9:43:58 AM
Re: Nice comparison, but ...
@Gigi3, yes, but in small city where I live delivery service always late :)...
batye
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50%
batye,
User Rank: Ninja
11/10/2014 | 9:43:57 AM
Re: Nice comparison, but ...
@Gigi3, yes, but in small city where I live delivery service always late :)...
Gigi3
100%
0%
Gigi3,
User Rank: Ninja
11/10/2014 | 8:54:29 AM
Re: Nice comparison, but ...
"but it started happening in Canada... as offer delivery guys can of soda they worried to accept it :) I just do not want them to be thirsty during hot days... and I appreshiate timely delivery... but  they worried to accept it..."

Batye, that's the normal way of prompt services. 
Gigi3
100%
0%
Gigi3,
User Rank: Ninja
11/10/2014 | 8:53:39 AM
Re: Nice comparison, but ...
"how I see it my friends changing the way they thinking... as whole country changing - slowly but changing towards normal way... how I see it..."

Batye, it won't happen in one or two days. May take decades for any change in a billion populated country.
batye
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50%
batye,
User Rank: Ninja
11/3/2014 | 3:41:28 AM
Re: Nice comparison, but ...
@Gigi3 how I see it my friends changing the way they thinking... as whole country changing - slowly but changing towards normal way... how I see it...
Page 1 / 14   >   >>
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