Motivating

Offer them emotional guidance

May 17, 2010
The day after friends, colleagues and family members died in the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the World Trade Center, Mark Loehr asked his people to come to the office. Not to work, but to share their thoughts and feelings about what had happened and what they should do about it. In a crisis, people look to leaders for emotional guidance.

Make praise personal

May 14, 2010

David Brown finally admitted that his employee-of-the-month program, while easy, wasn’t working. The perfunctory $25 gift card, e-mail and mention on the intranet just weren’t doing it for anybody. People needed some genuine thanks. Brown, founder and president of Datotel, now sets aside part of his morning phone call and weekly meeting with managers to praise excellent work.

Nice guy, terrible leader

March 12, 2010

How do managers miss out on ideas that might turn them into leaders? Here’s one scenario, as relayed by a midlevel federal employee: “My manager is not a mean person. Outside of work, he’s really nice. But the way he manages has sucked the morale out of our office …” With some changes in behavior, this manager could invigorate his staff. Here’s how:

Leadership Tips: Vol. 310

March 12, 2010

Do you have the latest must-have CEO accessory? Aflac president and COO Paul Amos II is among the leaders benefiting from a chief of staff … Motivate a team to produce the desired results by providing them with feedback that goes beyond “what?” “when?” “who?” and “how?” Ask “why?” more often. It’s well worth it, even when time-consuming, says executive Terry Starbucker, who pens the TerryStarbucker.com blog.

10 warning signs of low morale

January 11, 2010

Without you realizing it, low morale can creep into your organization. Check every day to make sure people stay in tune. Here are 10 sour notes to listen for:

3 secrets behind drive

January 11, 2010

Daniel Pink, author of Free Agent Nation, explores three things you can do to keep your staff motivated and productive:

Unwonk your mission statement

December 11, 2009

Mission statements can be valuable if they articulate real targets. Otherwise, they sound too much like a corporate Hallmark card. Consider Microsoft’s big goal of “A computer on every desk and in every home, all running Microsoft software.” Or Amazon’s goal for the Kindle: “Every book ever printed, in any language, all available in less than 60 seconds.” Both statements do something crucial: They quantify the goal.

How Franklin planted seeds of his message

December 11, 2009

Everyone knows that Ben Franklin was an inventor and a statesman. Not everyone knows that he was an innovative farmer. When Franklin tried to persuade his neighbors one spring to spread plaster among their seeds to yield a better crop, the neighbors scoffed. Then, he sent them a message …

Ritz-Carlton aligns 38,000 employees

December 11, 2009

When leading a luxury brand, success hinges on aligning every employee behind your mission. At Ritz-Carlton, president Simon F. Cooper uses a communication tactic called the “lineup” to ensure all 38,000 employees are on the same page. It’s a 15-minute meeting during every shift.

5 lessons from $5 Footlongs

December 11, 2009

You’d think it would have been easy for Miami Subway franchise owner Stuart Frankel to win everyone over to the $5 Footlong, right? Not so fast, my friends. Even though he was raking in the dough, Frankel had to work hard to convince the top brass at Subway that the $5 Footlong was the way to go. Here are five lessons for anyone who is trying to convince senior leadership to take a good idea and run with it.