Monthly Archives :

October 2011


Leadership PayReel

(I’m turning over this week’s post to Lisa Cobb, Payroll Supervisor at PayReel.  See you next time!  AB)

Last week I attended a Leadership Certificate Program in Washington D.C.  What I took away from the three days is how true leadership differs from good old-fashioned management.

Our instructor, Martin Armstrong, is retired military and served time in Afghanistan.  He is currently a Senior Director at Time Warner Cable in North Carolina.  He was full of stories … which reminded me of someone back at the office, but I won’t mention any names (Alva Brown).  Martin shared stories about great leaders that have impacted his life both in and out of the military.

Day one, we learned about the different leadership styles and discovered where we fit in.  We discussed the weaknesses that each style can exhibit and were given tools to help build on our personal weaknesses.  It was great to learn that I actually have a leadership style!

Day two, we split into groups and built the old index card, paperclip, and tape tower.  My group won … of course!   Unfortunately, the prize was more index cards, paperclips, and tape.  It was really interesting to see how different groups of people go about accomplishing (or not accomplishing) the same task. And it was fascinating to see how leaders emerge.  It made an otherwise goofy exercise somewhat poignant.

The final day was full of topics.  Evidently, I felt like I hadn’t received enough attention that day, so I volunteered for a role play exercise.  Turns out, I was the lucky individual who had to call an employee in to discuss a very awkward issue …  body odor.  This exercise reminded me how much “fun” being a leader can be.  Even so, I couldn’t wait to get back and practice some of my newly acquired skills … not that body odor is a burning issue at PayReel.

So, what is the difference between being a leader and being a manager?  I guess the moral of Martin’s stories was that to manage is simply to enforce policy.  To lead is to take a stand for the success of your employees and teammates.  Sometimes that involves following the rules … sometimes that may involve changing them.

Anyhow, before heading back to Denver, I was able to spend the weekend with one of my daughters who lives in D.C.  We hit the National Zoo, shopped, and ate too much.  It was perfect!

Freelancers: This ain’t your father’s career track!

Freelancers: This ain’t your father’s career track! PayReel

I hear so much about changes in hiring practices … Fewer full-time positions, more project –oriented, “we’ll call you when we need you” jobs.  Funny thing is many young, culturally diverse people coming into the workforce don’t necessarily want to be anchored to a single employer.  They certainly aren’t looking for the 8-to-5, half-hour-lunch, 2-week- vacation gig their parents coveted.  These workers, in some circles referred to as “millennials,” are not looking to belong to one company, but to networks in which they can explore and thrive.

Boredom is the true enemy of the emerging workforce … and after a steady diet of MTV and Halo 3, employers have their work cut out for them to keep these expressive, gifted, and demanding people engaged.  The folks at Google sure seem to have it figured out (e.g. free meals, all the Xbox you can play, etc).  But those of us without Google-sized budgets will have to get even more creative.  Yes, the workforce *is* evolving, and those of us looking to harness the skills and creativity that come packaged as 20- and 30-somethings need to adapt.

Please recognize, though, that it’s not just an age thing.  Anyone living in Texas, California, and Arizona can attest to the existence and growth of the new “minority majority.”  In the 1990’s, corporate diversity programs were popular because they made sense from a social responsibility perspective.  Today, access to top talent (and the competitive advantage that comes with it) means your company’s culture has to support the complete assortment of A-Player packaging.

Just one last comment on the age thing … You may be wondering how long you can continue to ride those older, reliable baby boomers.  Well, consider this:  An AARP-sponsored study of 1,500 workers age 45 to 74 showed a whopping 69% plan to continue working, in some capacity, beyond their retirement age … some because they have to, but most because they want to.

I think that makes us lucky!


PayReel’s clients, who are some of the biggest companies in the world, are constantly immersed in the chaos of producing multimedia content or executing live events. PayReel makes sure they have the right contractors at the right time in the right place, and that everyone gets paid properly. And, most importantly, they handle every last detail perfectly while making sure their clients think nothing of it. Relax. We got it.