Ask "Z"

If you can’t say something nice …

January 9, 2020
Q. I’ve been watching my boss botch move after move for a few years now, and it’s tough not to get swept up in the talk at work about his errors. I’d like to play devil’s advocate, but what argument can I make in defense of such a poor leader?

Haters gonna hate, askers gonna ask

January 9, 2020
Q. Lately, many of my employees have been asking me what I think are inconvenient questions. This is causing me to fire back with a snide remark, rather than a constructive answer. What can I do?

Time for an adventure?

December 13, 2019
Q. Did you ever take some time away from the job, or between jobs, to embark upon a personal quest of some sort? I’m pondering how a truly epic journey might change my life (even if it hurts my career).

Hold that holiday message to the staff

December 13, 2019
Q. I’m not sure what to say to the staff at the start of the holiday party this year, and I’m always nervous in front of that many people (about 500). We didn’t have a good year at all … any advice?

To tweet or not to tweet?

November 7, 2019
Q. What sort of advice do you give leaders about their personal use of social media?

Leadership by watching, waiting

November 7, 2019
Q. What is the biggest mistake you see leaders making today?

It’s OK to lose the Battle of 4:00

October 10, 2019
Q. I can sense my staff fading slightly toward the very end of the day. Their productivity flags starting at 4:00. How do I counter this?

Homework should stay in school

September 12, 2019
Q. I noticed a lot of companies assigning business books for employees to read and discuss, so I tried it here, and everyone seems unenthused. Have I latched unwisely onto a fad that doesn’t have a lot of merit?

The first clue was the due date March 32nd

August 8, 2019
Q. For years, I’ve set phony deadlines for my project teams. I build in a buffer, but they don’t know that. Lately, they’re starting to suspect I’m forcing them to make a false deadline. Should I level with them?

Open office, open mutiny

August 8, 2019
Q. Two months ago our office switched to an open office plan, which was partly my idea. And guess what? Everyone pretty much hates it. How do I salvage this situation when reverting back to the old way would shine so much light on my bad decision?