Archives for August 2013

5 mistakes leaders make when delivering bad news

Perhaps the one thing in the universe that travels faster than light … is bad news. And the one thing that can be worse than hearing bad news is delivering bad news. Every manager has to do it at some point. If you enjoy delivering bad news, click this link. For the rest of us, being able to deliver bad news with just the right blend of genuine empathy and finesse is what transform … [Read more...]

Einstein’s theory on building better employees

Einstein said that "if you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough." Now he, of all people, should know. He was 443 pages into his paper titled On the Relativity Principle before he finally mentioned his most popular  equation, E=mc2. Now that took some s'plaining. So then, simple IS in the eyes of the beholder. But let’s bring this discussion back to earth, or … [Read more...]

Grab success by the horns – in 30 seconds or less

Few skills are more important in this age of info-overload than delivering a knock-out elevator speech - on demand. You have got to have one. You have 30 seconds. Go! Summing up the unique aspects of what it is that you do - in a way that excites others - is a fundamental skill, whether you are raising funds for the local soup kitchen, speculative capital for a risky start-up, or just … [Read more...]

5 key rules for leading from the middle

Let’s face it, most people lead from the middle, or at least they try to. Since there is typically just one seat AT THE TOP in any given organization, others who aspire to leadership MUST do it from somewhere in the pack, right? In that same vein, even the phrase “middle-managers” is a bit misleading because it includes everyone in a position of authority who is NOT the CEO. The other … [Read more...]

4 words to lead by – ‘What do you think?’

All too often we fall into the trap of thinking leadership is about making decisions, directing a team and monitoring results. Managers should have all the answers and toss them out freely to anyone within earshot. Now that’s wrong-headed, but you don’t have take my word for it. Instead, here’s a story that makes the point. J.W. “Bill” Marriott Jr., Chairman of the Board of Marriott … [Read more...]

7 Mark Twain quotes to make your career

Most good managers and leaders are adherents of Mark Twain, to some degree, whether they know it or not. It's quite possible you may only know him as a famous figure from the past, and have never even read one of his novels or musings. But that’s OK. You probably follow him (and agree with him) anyway. His wit and insights have endured, trickling down through the generations and shaping … [Read more...]

What are your biggest (little) workplace annoyances?

What really annoys you at work? What gets on your nerves - sometimes before it even happens - like the heat of arthritis when you sense a rainstorm coming? Oh sure, there are the classics, like BMWs; that is, bitchers, moaners and whiners. But what else? Little workplace annoyances The workplace is chock full of all manner and sizes of petty annoyances. Small annoyances are like … [Read more...]

4 generations at work: Keys to keeping the peace

Much is made of the generation gap - gaps really - and how they impact communication at work, and ultimately morale. But at the end of the day, people really are just people, right? I mean, are we making too much of it? Perhaps not, the experts tell us. Today’s workplace is more diverse than ever with differing genders, sexual orientation, nationalities, political ideologies, religious … [Read more...]