Blog Archives

How to Help Your Staff Solve Their Own Problems

Here’s how to help your staff solve their own problems. At a recent talk to HR Directors, I asked if they saw leaders trying to solve every problem, instead of delegating to and empowering staff. Every head nodded. Every single

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How to Write your Boss a Thank You for their Leadership

I’m often asked how to thank a boss or a team leader for their leadership. It’s simple and easy, if you follow the right steps. It’s also fraught with peril. Do it wrong, and you can come across as an

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Out of Crisis – Stop Fighting Fires

E-Book PDF: Open in New Window | Download (342.3KB) 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

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How to Best Include People in Decisions

Tim walked out of his team’s weekly meeting in a daze. It was supposed to be a routine meeting. It turned into a debacle. Five minutes in, Susie had hijacked the meeting to blurt out a litany of complaints she

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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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Mandatory Corporate Fun

I was asked, “Some employees resent ‘forced fun’ outings. Is there a better way to help team members connect? What are some examples of innovative ideas for teams to connect?” If you really want your team members to connect, there

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Six Steps to Solving a Problem

Paula and her boss Sue were driving each other nuts.  (As their coach I got to see it up close.) Paula needed to hire more staff.  Her “reasonable” proposal got “shot down” by Sue, who sent it back with a

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How to Harness Visual Leadership

Smart people in a hurry become stupid. (Or at least act stupidly. My work with busy executive teams tells me that this phenomenon is universal — and I see it in myself daily.) When we need our busy co-workers and

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When is Anger Okay in the Work Place?

When is anger okay in the work place? Never. Anger is so seldom acceptable — it’s so rare for it to be non-harmful — that I start by saying it’s never okay. Contrary to my counterpart at NURA, who suggests

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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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Evaluating Staff Performance, Redux

It’s the end of Q4 and leaders are once more pondering staff performance evaluations. Most people evaluate too little too late. Here’s how you can get way, way ahead of the curve for 2013. As I’ve mentioned before, you’ll make

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How to Participate in a Meeting

I always hear how much meetings suck.  (If you lead meetings, you’ll find detailed guidance on making your meetings better here, here, and here.) But what if you’re not leading the meeting — what if you’re just suffering through it?

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How to Pick Good Metrics

For every leader who loves numbers, there is a skeptic. They both have points — without measures, we cannot tell how we are doing, yet many metrics seem arbitrary or measure the wrong thing.  Meanwhile, often the right goals seem

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How to Manage your Boss

My friend Michelle has been thrust into a no-win situation at work.  She asked me how to best “manage up” — i.e. how to manage her boss — to salvage the situation.  Here’s what to do and what not to

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How to make your Team more Strategic

CEOs often have senior leaders who don’t “get a seat at the strategy table.” These are usually Directors or VPs who oversee support functions — this happens most notoriously with directors of HR and IT. It’s a tremendous lost opportunity,

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