Motivating

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:

Mission statements: the good & the bad

June 14, 2010
Had your fill of vague, boring mission statements? As the name suggests, mission statements only have to state a mission. Simple, right? Sometimes, simple is hard. Here are four steps to a passable, if not great, mission statement:

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:

Stories we tell ourselves

May 31, 2010
Stoke another person’s internal motivation not with more money, but by understanding and supporting her “story.” When trying to get to “yes,” start by asking yourself what story that person is trying to tell about herself. Then make sure your request is playing the right role in her story.

Preserve the power in your words

May 30, 2010
In J.D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye, protagonist Holden Caulfield runs across an obscenity scribbled on an elementary school wall and tries to rub it out so that young children won’t be exposed to its ugliness. The scene is memorable for a couple of reasons …

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.

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: