Ask "Z"

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?

Say goodbye to yesterday

July 11, 2019
Q. Since last fall I’ve made a few big decisions that backfired for our organization. I’m starting to doubt my ability to lead. How can I regain my edge?

Oh, these people…

July 11, 2019
Q. Over the years I’ve become more annoyed by certain idiosyncrasies in others: fidgeting, casual tardiness, whispery voices, terrible grammar, etc. Little things like this make me seethe. How do I snap out of it?

That age-old struggle, work/life balance

June 13, 2019
Q. I find it very difficult to overcome the feeling that all my hard work is causing me to miss too much of my children’s lives. Any advice?

Too much mind, not enough substance

June 13, 2019
Q. Through my entire work career, I’ve always felt I’ve never gotten the credit for an intelligence I believe I possess. Am I deluding myself? Is it strange to feel I’m smarter than everyone else in the room?

’I’m sorry! I’m so so sorry!’

May 9, 2019
Q. I blurted something a little hurtful to a colleague recently; it wasn’t an offensive statement so much as sharing a secret I should not have. I apologized but it obviously didn’t take. What should I do now?

How much does a résumé lie matter?

April 11, 2019
Q. Recently, it came to light—only to me—that one of our star employees lied on his résumé six years ago to get the job. Our organization has a zero-tolerance policy on dishonesty, so I’m in a real bind here. This person’s production is really off the charts. Any advice?