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.

the reason certain work needs to get done by a certain time. For example, "We need to get this done by the end of this week, or a factory will sit idle and people will get laid off," is a much more effective message than telling employees, "We have to get this in next week, because the project is three weeks behind schedule."

2. Show gratitude.
The study showed that of 19 types of politeness measured (such as saying "please," greeting people, deference to social standing, and apologies), only one showed a statistical impact on success rates: gratitude. Too many leaders don't bother saying thank you and mistake the paycheck for thanks enough. A little gratitude goes a long way toward making employees feel valued.

3. Be positive.
Not surprisingly, posts on a site where people ask for food tend to be negative and sad. Surprisingly, the Stanford study found that the posts that conveyed optimism and a positive attitude were more successful in getting a pizza than the downers. Sometimes, less "needy" individuals (like those asking for pizza for a birthday party, for example) had better results than those expressing great need. When it's time to rally your troops around a project or work event that you know they aren't going to like, try emphasizing the good news instead of the bad.

4. Be one of the gang.
The Stanford study showed that members of the Reddit community were more likely to help those who they thought were like them in some way. It's easy for leaders, especially those high up the ladder, to assume a persona that lifts them above the group. If you do that, be prepared to have it backfire at key moments of need unless you can also cultivate some aspect of "sameness." It works even better if you are actually able to relate to your employees. Even if you can't, do your best to cultivate a personality your team can relate to.

It should be easier for a leader to inspire a team than it is for people to get perfect strangers to buy them pizzas. You have the advantage of personal contact, a built-in understanding of why a team member might need to deliver at a given moment, and significantly more access to what makes them likely to get involved. But you also have the handicap that your behavior is monitored 40 hours (or more) a week by your team. If you want to be a good leader, you might want to consider treating your team members as if you always want them to buy you a pizza. Maybe they will. If they don't, at least they'll be more likely to work hard for you.

What inspires you at work? Which leadership traits have you found to be least effective in your IT organization? Tell us all about them in the comments section below.

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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
10/9/2014 | 1:34:32 AM
Re: Nice comparison, but ...
"but Indian gov is on the right path, with bright future do you agree ???"

Batye, hope so. Let's wait and see.
batye
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batye,
User Rank: Ninja
10/8/2014 | 12:14:08 AM
Re: Nice comparison, but ...
but Indian gov is on the right path, with bright future do you agree ???
Gigi3
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Gigi3,
User Rank: Ninja
10/7/2014 | 4:27:28 AM
Re: Nice comparison, but ...
"Education and true freedoom is a right way to better gov. and better economy... please correct me if I'm wrong... but India economy is do grow at good pace... as Indian gov. trying hard to get right people in right places..."

Batye, right people at right place is important. If everyone works in right mode; there won't be any need for bribe or gifts. Now Indian government has introduced certain rights like "Rights to Information", "Right to get service" etc to enhance the responsibility & deliverability of government employees.
Gigi3
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Gigi3,
User Rank: Ninja
10/7/2014 | 4:23:21 AM
Re: Nice comparison, but ...
"But, rewarding coworkers by buying pizza or donuts doesn't really fall under "devious favors", I don't think. "

Stacey, rewarding within the company or department wont comes under the purview of bribe. But when it takes from external peoples for a favor, it becomes bribe.
batye
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batye,
User Rank: Ninja
10/1/2014 | 12:55:32 AM
Re: Nice comparison, but ...
@Gigi3 thank you, I'm not saying all Russians gov. offices are bad... it just under this bad regime... office people follow each other... as they do not know any better way... 

if you have right educated people in place - thing do improve... as let say India after Indian gov. run hard program to convince Westen Educated youth to go back to India... and spend money to bring people back... things in India gov. offices did improve... and it a big step... towards new right way... - How I see it... (my best friend Dripen now is back home... but he did spend 10 years in Canada... and he have good ideas about right way of life...) Education and true freedoom is a right way to better gov. and better economy... please correct me if I'm wrong... but India economy is do grow at good pace... as Indian gov. trying hard to get right people in right places...
StaceyE
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StaceyE,
User Rank: Apprentice
9/30/2014 | 1:49:15 PM
Re: Nice comparison, but ...
@ Gigi3

I am sure there will always be instances of individuals being devious in the work force, or doing favors for others, and even illegal activity. There will be individuals who do these things by choice and there will also always be people who unknowingly or unwillingly are made a part of these activities. But, rewarding coworkers by buying pizza or donuts doesn't really fall under "devious favors", I don't think. 
Gigi3
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Gigi3,
User Rank: Ninja
9/30/2014 | 2:46:43 AM
Re: Nice comparison, but ...
"I do tip service people... - but it's my choice... - No one demand my money... - like in Russia...but in Mother Russia - where I must give and have no choice... Not a right way... - in my books... as We are born free... but in Russia under KGB/Putin rule corruption is a way of life..."

Batye, giving gifts voluntary and somebody asking for gifts are very different. The first one is a reward for their service and the second one is a bribe to get the things to be done. In fact the second one is in a sad thing which can spoil the entire office ecco sytems.
batye
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batye,
User Rank: Ninja
9/26/2014 | 12:15:40 AM
Re: Nice comparison, but ...
in Russian gov. offices, when I enter I always play stupid Canadian :) and never let them know I do speak Russian... while I wait - I listen... hard work of drinking coffee and gosip about each other... and waiting for you to bring gift with envelope - thank you card with money inside...  - give me the rest... I do hope one day to see Russia adopt American way of life... and American values... I'm not saying North American way of life is a best one... but for me it normal/proper way of life... - How I see it... but for now for poor Mother Russia - Putin way of life is corraption to the bone... plus killing political oposition... or invading Ukraine...

ps:in Canada - I do give gift (Tim Horton prepaid coffee card) to my postman, ups/fedex/purolator delivery man  during holiday season for they hard work with my delivery/mail..- but in appreciation... and it my choice to give...

I do tip service people... - but it's my choice... - No one demand my money... - like in Russia...

but in Mother Russia - where I must give and have no choice... Not a right way... - in my books... as We are born free... but in Russia under KGB/Putin rule corraption is a way of life...
Gigi3
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Gigi3,
User Rank: Ninja
9/25/2014 | 8:04:44 PM
Re: Nice comparison, but ...
"yes, but they call it gift for they hard work... go figure... :("

Batye, i dont know......it has to be compensted by rewards
batye
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batye,
User Rank: Ninja
9/19/2014 | 2:00:01 PM
Re: Nice comparison, but ...
yes, but they call it gift for they hard work... go figure... :(
Page 1 / 12   >   >>
Transformative CIOs Organize for Success
Transformative CIOs Organize for Success
Trying to meet today’s business technology needs with yesterday’s IT organizational structure is like driving a Model T at the Indy 500. Time for a reset.
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