Year: 2008

Good habits get built slowly, strand by strand and thread by thread, into mightly cables. Good habits will lead you to ever greater success.A good habit for self improvement is to journal at the end of each day. The way to make it an even better writ…

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How do you work with a direct report or colleague who has limitations on their ability to perform — shy, or nervous, or afraid to perform some of their job duties?It can be hard to respect another person’s reluctance to do something we find easy — I’…

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Leaders need to help their followers be productive and enjoy their work. One key element is to match the follower’s skill level to the challenge that you’re presenting to them.As you drive down the freeway in many parts of the US, you’ll know when you…

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The most memorable form of teaching — and leading — is through storytelling. Every major world religion has a text that includes stories, fables, or parables. Every follower of a great leader has a story they would love to share with you, about how…

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Why does an approach like “Work the System” work so well at improving results, improving morale, speeding up results and cutting costs?It’s simple. When you follow an approach like “Work the System” you have to simultaneously do these things:Tell peop…

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From the Wall Street Journal, an idea for a better performance management tool than the much despised performance review:The alternative to one-side-accountable, boss-administered/subordinate-received performance reviews is two-side, reciprocally accou…

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I was reading an excellent book on business operations titled “Execution” — and I was struck by something I have seen in other management books that was stressed even more strongly in this one: the importance of robust, deep, honest dialog, especiall…

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A friend relates this story from early in his career:Those leaders who can admit their mistakes — at least to themselves — have an edge.About 1961, I was a display ad rep for the Coos Bay World, which is a daily newspaper. We had a coupon days. The…

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Unquestionably, Tiger Woods is the best golfer in the world today. If you’re a golfer and he offered to coach you, you would jump at the chance.In fact, any golfer in the world would love to be coached by Tiger Woods. There’s only one golfer in the w…

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A client in the construction industry has tried to get his staff to perform at a higher level — he wants them to follow procedures. One of those is, he wants all staff to be at the morning briefing on time, each with a written plan for the day.His pe…

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I have several doctors as clients. One of them has an email signature that includes a quote I know is popular among doctors: The art of medicine consists in amusing the patient while nature cures the disease.-Voltaire, French Philosopher (1694-1778)Th…

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(Updated 8/16)In the news we have this report about a huge failure of Netflix’s internal computer systems.In brief, the video-rental firm was unable to ship customer orders for two and a half days. Netflix announced rebates to affected customers that …

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I just re-learned the power that leaders have when they pay attention. The pattern I saw unfolded thusly:At the gym I tried out one of those dance aerobics classes. I’ve got a strong ego and no pretense of being good at dance aerobics, so I didn’t ca…

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A client is wondering how to handle a key employee whose work is often sub-standard, and who — according to himself — is never at fault. Each time there’s an unsatisfied customer, it’s because the customer is unreasonable, or the tools didn’t work, o…

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To recap – we’ve visited Bob’s construction firm and analyzed its strengths and weaknesses. His people have good technical skills (construction, estimating) and poor communications practices. Weak points included data entry, and mis-communication duri…

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