Management Practices

Enough with the big, hairy goals

July 9, 2010
There’s no denying that “big, hairy goals” are essential. But Bob Sutton, author of Good Boss, Bad Boss, believes the best bosses don’t spend much time thinking or talking about them. Here’s why:

Larry Ellison finds an oracle of success

July 9, 2010

Flush with success, Larry Ellison took Oracle Corp. public in 1986. But his management team was young and inexperienced. By 1990, the database management software developer posted its first loss. Soon after, it teetered on bankruptcy. Ellison saw the need for drastic change.

Leadership Tips: Vol. 710

June 14, 2010
Think meditation is “too soft” for hard-core leaders? Think again. The U.S. Navy teaches “holistic leadership” … Make wise use of limited new-hire funds by screening interviewees with this question: “What’s the toughest feedback you’ve ever received and how did you learn from it?” … Brainstorming sessions may not be the best way to generate the best ideas …

Yahoo recharges in up and down cycles

June 14, 2010

Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz knows that everything runs in cycles. So, she advocates accepting that your current up cycle will lapse into a down cycle. Deal with it. Use it to prepare for the next up cycle in these two ways:

Leadership follies: 13 ways to let them know you’re boss

June 14, 2010

Are your employees too happy? Too satisfied? Are you tired of being pestered with ideas for saving time and money, improving morale or making work more rewarding? Here’s how to deal with those happy little people:

Managing your former peers

May 28, 2010
In case you missed it, The New York Times recently profiled the new CEO of Xerox, Ursula Burns. The article, and her quotes within it, focused on one of my favorite topics: leadership transitions. There’s a lot of valuable perspective and advice in the article, but I want to pick up on one particular aspect: How do you handle it when you move from being a member of the team (no matter how big) to the leader of that same team?

Focus on what needs doing, not where

May 27, 2010
This past winter during a snowstorm in Indianapolis, Michael Reynolds sat by his fireplace and listened to the mayor urging workers to “leave early” or “stay late” and avoid a crazy rush hour. The whole thing struck him as quaint. That’s because Reynolds’ company, SpinWeb, is a ROWE, meaning Results-Only Work Environment, which focuses exclusively on what needs to get done, not when or where, as long as it’s done right and on time.

Backing off layoffs

May 25, 2010

A growing body of academic research suggests that firms incur big costs when they cut workers. Beyond the obvious costs of severance and outplacement, there’s also a morale and productivity toll on remaining employees. Consider following the lead of companies that have avoided layoffs:

Leadership Tips: Vol. 410

April 12, 2010
Manage your company’s reputation by starting a two-way dialogue with consumers … Follow the recipe of Jordan Zimmerman, founder of Zimmerman Advertising, to increase productivity … Be more innovative by spending at least 15 to 30 minutes per day jotting down questions that “challenge the status quo” in your company or industry, recommends Brigham Young University Professor Jeff Dyer.

Costco knows how to treat people

April 12, 2010

At Costco, Jim Sinegal, who co-founded the warehouse retailer in 1983, is always praising his people and treating them well. For one thing, Costco laid off no employees—zero—during the recent recession. And 86% of Costco employees receive health care and benefits, even though half of them work only part time.