Blog Archives

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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Stop Putting People First – Put Profit First

Strategic execution requires that you stop putting people first (in the wrong way).  Profit must come first. I will pause while you gasp in horror. If you “put people first” in the wrong way, you’re harming them, yourself, the rest

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Three Strategy Insights for Small Business

Good strategy lets you outmaneuver your bigger competitors. Bad strategy can sink your business. Here are three insights you can use to harness strategic thinking and planning for your small business: Have a Strategy Kernel Build a complete strategy from

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Creating a CEO Calendar

Create and measure success, month by month, with a CEO (or Executive) Calendar. Being a CEO (or manager or front line worker) typically means having more things to handle than you can actually pay attention to.  Most humans can track

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Leader’s Bookshelf

Effective leaders are constantly learning. To help you keep learning, here are five of my favorite books, old and new, for growing a CEO’s or a manager’s capabilities. Pick one up to read over the holidays, or on your bus

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Three Mandatory Meetings

  Good meetings are the nerve centers of a good organization.  Here are the three meetings every organization should have – and how to make yours better. Meeting 1 – the Daily Huddle Duration: 5 to 15 minutes. Purpose: Prepare

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Leading isn’t Coddling – How to Manage Someone who Can’t say “No”

“Aren’t I coddling him?” asks Sara, my client.  I’m coaching her on handling her emotionally explosive subordinate, Joan, who a week earlier had erupted in a fit of yelling, then had dropped her ID card on Sara’s desk and gone home.

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If You Will Lead – with Doug Moran – Nov 25,2011

Tom discusses leadership and character — and historical examples and lessons — with returning guest Doug Moran, who will share examples from his new book “If You Will Lead.” Doug is an expert on building character and the influence of character on l…

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Mentoring Best Practices

Mentoring is a crucial way to improve the leadership and management skills of your people.  I’ve been involved in a lot of different mentorship programs, most of which have failed despite good wishes and intentions on all sides. My Toastmaster’s

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Profitable Transitions – with Jim Grew

Transitions are dangerous times for any business – not just when a firm is bought or sold, or when there’s a new CEO – and they are also times of tremendous opportunity. One person who excels at turning transitions into

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Dealing with Difficult People

CEOs have to deal with difficult people all the time — and sometimes they themselves are the difficult ones. What are some proven ways to deal with difficult people? To find out, I interviewed Pamela Cournoyer, founder and CEO of Communicate with CLAS…

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Hiring "A" Players

Several clients are hiring and it’s time to share some guidance on how to hire “A” players.First, how are we doing right now? Not well. The typical business, when they rate how well their people perform their job functions, finds that they have perha…

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Setting HARD Goals

Most of us set plenty of goals, but very few of them get achieved. For example, 85% of New Year’s Resolutions fail within 3 months. To truly achieve our goals we need to radically change how we set them, says Mark Murphy in Hard Goals : The Secret to…

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Power of High Standards

If you have time, read this excellent (long) article on the power of high standards, by David Maister.Here’s a key quote, from his study of 5,500 people in 139 offices around the world.Nine factors account for more than 50 percent of all profit differe…

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Managing Customer Credit

CEOs are wrestling with managing customer credit. Many CEOs are having to work closely with their CFO or Controller to manage customer credit — to protect their own firm while not damaging relationships with key customers, and to ensure each piece of …

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