Blog Archives

How to Use Assumptive Goal Setting

Setting good goals is awesome — it can energize you and your team to achieve great things. One of the hardest parts of goal setting is overcoming your own, and your team’s, fears and internal limitations. One simple mental trick lets you

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What Should you Optimize? Define Good Work

One of the most common, and tragic, causes of poor work performance is that everybody assumes the definition of Good Work is obvious, so nobody ever seeks explicit agreement on what it is. When the boss doesn’t define Good Work, things

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When Business is Great, What Should I Be Doing?

A CEO asks, “I’ve got my business running smoothly. My managers handle all the work. I’m doing strategy and vision. What else should I be working on?” My answer: You’re looking for a new challenge, or a new level of

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What Makes Someone a Great Manager?

(Originally posted at Quora.com under What makes someone a great manager?) The truly great manager or supervisor — someone I call a “Best Boss” — will achieve two simultaneous goals: They will make you feel emotionally safe. They will push you to

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How to Tackle a Stretch Assignment

The question was, paraphrased, how do I handle a promotion I’m not ready for? My prior boss left, now I have his role, and I get asked to do things I don’t understand how to do. I feel frustrated. I

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How to Show Confidence

(326 words, approximately 2 minutes to read) The question was: I have been accomplishing quite a bit in my role and moving up the ranks quickly. I love my job and am proud of the work I do. Sometimes my

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How to Reflect in a Daily Journal

For the manager who wishes to become a Best Boss, there is no learning without reflection. Yet I sometimes find clients or potential clients who are unwilling or unable to reflect or journal. This inability prevents coaching and learning from

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How to Eliminate People Problems

Most of us who manage people, will have people problems. Yet most of the things we identify as “people problems” are not. They’re systems problems. Here are the five systems problems you must address in order to eliminate people problems.

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Your Service Quality Journey and the 95 Method – with Tripp Babbitt

Most of what we call management consists of making it difficult for people to get their work done. – Peter Drucker I interviewed Tripp Babbitt, host of the new Deming Institute podcasts and author of an excellent free e-book, The

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Coming Aboard as a New CEO – with Mitch Pisik

One of your must vulnerable — yet important — times as a leader is when you’re first starting. How might you come on board quickly and effectively, whether as a CEO or in any other role? I interviewed Mitch Pisik,

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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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Out of Crisis – Stop Fighting Fires

What if being in chaos was optional? What if crisis, or chaos, or “firefighting,” or feeling behind schedule, behind the press of constantly emerging problems, could be stopped? It can.  It’s simple.  It’s not easy.  Here are your three steps

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How to Get More from a Staff Member

Whether you’re a CEO or a front line manager, you should always be trying to get more out of the people who report to you. (As a worker, you should always be looking for ways to contribute more and increase

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Start Benchmarking in Five Minutes

The hardest part of starting to track your performance is to just start. So, just start quick and dirty. It’s worth it — you’ll dramatically boost your odds of achieving your goals by spending 5 minutes setting up benchmarks. My

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Four Steps to Faster, Better Strategic Planning

For ten years, Jill struggled to make a profit. At over $8 million in sales, her specialty call center should have been providing her with annual profits of 8-12% or between $640,000 and a million dollars. Instead she paid herself

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