Articles

It’s not the policies, it’s the people

February 10, 2021
In his final speech to his employees at Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company, retiring chairman and CEO James D. Ericson spoke about the pride and enjoyment he felt in helping the company develop multiple, intertwined strengths in products, sales, and finance. Then he told the following story of how those strengths were put to service for a customer.

Get the next generation ready before you need new leaders

February 10, 2021
You can’t wait until next year to start training next year’s leaders. Without a good strategy for development, your organization will run into trouble when succession becomes an issue. Ask these questions to build your leadership bench.

Before promoting, ask these questions

February 10, 2021
Not everyone is cut out to be a manager. Before promoting a talented employee to a management role, ask the person these questions and watch his or her responses carefully.

Say ‘No’ and feel guilt-free

February 10, 2021
You can’t please everyone all the time—which means you’d better learn how to turn down requests from employees, peers, and business associates. Refuse graciously by following these guidelines.

Leadership Tips, Vol. 0321

February 10, 2021
Celebrate the team’s victories along the way … Stop the meeting stragglers … Diversity of opinion is a great way to solve problems

Penalty flag on the office decor

January 13, 2021
Q: I’ve been a Washington Redskins fan for most of my life, and my office shows it—posters, helmet, throw-rug, etc. Now that we’re returning to the office, I’m wondering what my employees will think if I don’t remove the “Redskins” motif, now that the team dropped the offensive nickname. I’d like to keep all my memorabilia. What would you do?

Before rejecting an idea, ask 2 questions

January 13, 2021
Let’s say an employee presents an interesting idea for changing a departmental procedure, but your first impression is that it won’t work. Hold off slamming the door on the idea. Instead, take a few minutes or schedule some time later to investigate the idea with its originator—you may end up with an idea you can use.

Teach new supervisors to navigate these tricky danger zones

January 13, 2021
When you have new supervisors to train, you need to educate them on the possible legal pitfalls to avoid. To help them—and your organization—avoid a legal quagmire, guide them through these eight common danger zones.

Make sure messages are understood

January 13, 2021
Communication in the workplace is a two-way street. Both you and your employees have important responsibilities when communicating with each other, whether you’re talking one on one, exchanging emails, or leaving and responding to voicemail messages. Here’s where your duties lie.

3 tips to build an A team

January 13, 2021
Successful teamwork depends on good leadership, but it also requires the right kinds of people. When assembling a team for a special project, a task force, or a new department, keep these tips in mind.