Blog Archives

Articles for general consumption by the main audience of the blog, CEOs and business leaders

Working in Sync – with Whit Mitchell

We can judge education and points of wisdom by their impact on long term success. If you were to go back to 11 of your clients 25 years later, what would you find? How would they remember you? That’s what

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How to Give Daily Performance Feedback

A manager at a call center asked me: My direct reports are asking for daily recognition. How can I do that most effectively? I consider “recognition” to be “positive performance feedback.” The best managers give daily performance feedback, often in just

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How to Add Positivity to your Team

I often talk about what leaders can do. What about followers?  If you’re a team member and you’d like to add positivity to your team, what might you do? First Build Relationships In order to build relationships with your peers

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How to Tell if you are a Compassionate Boss

I coach CEOs and business owners on “Becoming a Best Boss” — and a key skill is compassion. I was asked: “What are the ways that you can tell if you’re truly a compassionate person? What are the common traits?” The

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Is This Employee Right? (Re: the Employee is Always Right)

In response to Why Your Employee Is Always Right, a reader writes in: We are a tutoring centre. Everyone works 5 days a week, and sometimes must work a few hours on a 6th day. These extra hours are called OT

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Selling Pot in Washington State, and How to Predict the Future by Journaling

Experience is mandatory. Learning is optional. Today’s headlines include the news that Washington State is legalizing the recreational sale of marijuana. How should a leader — or aspiring leader — handle such a potentially disruptive event? By learning from it.

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How to Ask your Efficient Friend for Help

My client Mick has a friend he admires — Jo. They’re both solo professionals, both lawyers, with adjacent specialties. They refer work to each other and don’t compete directly. Jo is a monster of efficiency. When they compare results, Jo

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Social Media’s Next Era: Attack of the Robin Sages

Today I got two more Linked In requests from fake personas — Robin Sages. Named after the 2010 experiment by Thomas Ryan, these are fake social media profiles designed to encourage linking and divulging valuable information. The version on Linked

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Not Knowing Communication Styles can Sabotage your Work

Jim walked out of a recent meeting with his promising, smart new teammate, Jill, seething with frustration. “I can’t tell which Jill will show up — Jeckyll or Hyde,” he spluttered to his coach. Jim’s gestures were sharp, fast slashes at

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Constructing Better Customer Experiences via Story

The other day, a service business attempted to give me free money. Halfway through the process, I decided I didn’t trust them. They lost me as a customer, probably forever. Here is an analysis of what went wrong, and how

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Don’t Reorganize — Instead, Fix the Fundamentals

E-Book PDF: Open in New Window | Download (480.8KB) Portlanders will vote on the creation of a new water district in May, potentially wresting control of water from the City Council. In other words, a reorg. It’s not just voters

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Two Ways to Become a Best Place to Work

Your company can start to become a best place to work with two simple improvements. These two fixes, research for the Oregon Best Places to Work award shows, have the greatest impact on workers’ job satisfaction. Have a Purpose Employees at

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Car Ignition Recalls and Lean Product Design

Auto recalls come and go. The current recall is for ignitions. Previously it was, I believe, floor mats. Next it’ll be turn signals, or perhaps fuzzy dice. (My tone here is light, however let’s not forget that faulty ignitions and

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Life Liberty and Property are the Future Present and Past

As I look at current events in Syria and Ukraine, and talk to young adults, I realize how fragile our freedoms are. Life Liberty and Property When our forebears spoke and wrote about “Life, Liberty and Property” they were really

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Flight 370 and Scenario Planning – How to Handle the Unexpected

As the world watched the unfolding mystery of Flight 370, and the seemingly inept response by various officials and agencies, the wise manager or leader should feel worried.  (The horrible mud-slide in Washington State is even closer to home, for

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