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Leadership Tips, Vol. 118

Adopt an inviting stance ... Take some advice from Dave McGhee.

Dig to discover a key employee’s travails

“I’m glad I didn’t bring him into my office to discuss his declining performance. Employees can get defensive and scared when that happens.”

So I started sending my team a weekly motivational email ...

A few years ago I began the habit of getting up earlier and writing in my journal, taking the time to be reflective, appreciative, and grateful. I gradually felt compelled to share these positive and uplifting stories that I had discovered with others. I decided to start by sending a weekly email to the thirty people on my team at Acceleration Partners. The email was originally called “Friday Inspiration,” and I sent it out each Friday morning to the whole company.

Keep talking—you just never know

Asked how he convinced his friend Warren Buffett to turn over most of his billions in an enormous donation to the Gates Foundation years ago, software pioneer Bill Gates said he never brought it up.


The future is now

Remember the face time

Today's Leadership Tip

If you're experiencing doubts about your ability to become or remain a leader, it might be time to take the mirror test. It's brutally simple, and for some, enlightening and liberating. In a quiet room, stand in front of one for a full 60 seconds—but not in a business suit, or anything that presents yourself as a professional. Instead, just be completely yourself. Empty your mind. Look yourself in the eyes and think of just one question: Do I see a leader? Hold your gaze and block out conscious thought. As time stretches out, a gut feeling may well come on strong one way or the other.


Q: I’m 56 and I recently hired a 28-year-old. He was about to send out a press release, but I happened to see it first and fixed a sloppy mistake. All he said was, “Good catch.” No apology, no acknowledgement of his error. Overall, he’s a good worker. But if he’s unwilling to take responsibility for his work, how can I supervise him effectively?

Chronic negativity frequently starts with only one or two employees, but it can quickly infect an entire department. Don't let things go too far—learn how to put a strategy in place to combat negativity. Watch this webinar to learn specific strategies for combating negativity in your group and promoting more positive attitudes. Watch the video now.

Project management training, advice and wise counsel can be found anywhere. Fair less is written about leading projects. This short article won’t put much of a dent in the balance of that writing — project management vs. project leadership, but it will illuminate five key lessons that I have learned from personal experience, as well as coaching and observing others.

Because harassers sometimes go to great lengths to hide their behavior, you need to expand your professional network to include likely targets.

Q: “Are applicants required to tell a potential future employer that they were terminated from their previous job? If so, how should this be done?”