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...]

4 things all good managers should do well

A salesman, an intern and their manager happen upon a genie. “You each get one wish,” the genie tells them. "I want to be on a beach in Tahiti," the intern blurts out - and in a flash she's gone. "I want to stand atop Mount Everest and survey the world,” says the salesman - and poof – he's gone, too. "Looks like you're next," the genie says to the manager. "I want those two back in … [Read more...]

5 dumb ways managers kill loyalty every time

If loyalty means being faithful to a goal, then let’s just stipulate right now that today’s workplace is a den of infidelity. Careerbuilder.com said its survey showed 76% of full-time workers, while not actively looking for a new job, would leave their current workplace if the right opportunity came along. MetLife's  survey of workplace loyalty found employee morale at a seven-year … [Read more...]

5 warning signs your humility needs a tune up

Some days you can't get away from this humility stuff. Especially humility at work. Consider this actual  job description for a  Senior VP for Corporate Communications/Global.  (We'll leave the firm anonymous.) The super-human skill sets outlined in the four-page posting were other worldly, 24/7, across all abilities, levels, platforms and aspects of social and business life. There is no … [Read more...]

Communication lessons from the Land of Oz

You’re searching for the perfect movie when you come across this blurb: Transported to a surreal landscape, a young girl kills the first person she meets, then teams up with three strangers to kill again. Ugh, you think, “am I really up for another heart-stopping, crime-thriller about a murderous millennial?” No? Good, because this is  actually a real-life teaser for the 1939 All-American … [Read more...]

Employee problem solving: Maybe you’re the problem!

An employee has a problem and comes straight to you, as well he should. After all, problem-solving is your gift. You've seen it all and done it all, so you have just the solution. Step-by-step you lay it out there,  exquisite in detail -- exactly what to do, how and when. Another employee problem solving job well done! Um, not so fast, maestro. The fact is, today’s busy managers aren’t … [Read more...]

Caution: Introvert-infested workplace ahead

How many introverts does it take to change a light bulb? Ok, ok, I promise. No introvert jokes. But let's face it, convention tell us people who are more extroverted have more outgoing personalities, are able to cultivate and manage strong external business relationships and revel in hyper-communication and media attention. They feed off other people, and these days, people are … [Read more...]

How you can get what you want … 90% of the time

Whoever first said “flattery will get you nowhere” probably  flunked Psychology 101. Flattery can help you get what you want most the time! It is one of the most successful forms of manipulation. Time-tested, ego approved. The flip-side is that flattery can -- and will -- be used against you, sometimes when you least expect it. Even the most careful managers and leaders are all … [Read more...]

What the Masters golf tournament tells us about good decision-making

Making good choices is not a one-and-done event. It’s more like a way of life, a philosophy in the craft of leadership. A key to good decision-making consistently is remembering that good choices can’t be made by habit. The Masters golf tournament, playing out this week in Augusta, GA,  provides an excellent example of exactly what that means. Golf is very different from most sports in … [Read more...]

The truth about bullying: It’s rarely obvious

By now most people have seen (or heard of) the video of Rutgers University ex-basketball coach Mike Rice Jr. abusing his players. He beans them with basketballs, shoves them around, calls them names and belittles their skills in front of others. Lovely! Thankfully, Rice was dismissed. But for those of us who concern ourselves with sound management practices, we are left to wonder: Why do so … [Read more...]