People Management

Humbled, a CEO learns to listen better

October 25, 2012
Soon after John Heer joined North Mississippi Health Services as CEO in 2004, he decided to improve how his leadership team managed their employees. They evaluated each other on several qualities. In Heer’s case, his lowest rating was for listening. As a result, he began keeping “a listening log.”

How to deliver critical feedback that sticks

October 18, 2012
Effective leaders often say they prefer to earn employees’ respect than to befriend them. The test comes when these bosses need to dish out criticism. To express criticism that sinks in, take these three steps.

What leaders do

October 2, 2012

“If you look in the mirror and don’t see plenty of flaws, you’re delusional,” says tech consultant Steve Tobak. “And companies are entirely made up of imperfect people, just like you.” Still, he says, some leaders “more or less” know what they’re doing.

Stop the communication overkill: leadership tips

September 27, 2012

Here are three words of advice to communicate well: Make it count. Sending mass emails or holding un­­necessarily frequent meetings can test employees’ patience and distract them from higher-priority work.

Manage your managers, not their staff

August 29, 2012
This season, the Washington Nationals have stood at or near the top of their division because they have a skipper who knows how to lead: Davey Johnson.

Get better at doing nothing

August 24, 2012
The most successful leaders delegate almost all their regular work to their staff, which allows them to facilitate and orchestrate everyone else’s performance. But “doing nothing” is hard for people who have risen through the ranks for their ability “to do.” Two ways to get better at it:

4 ways to leverage your leadership

August 20, 2012

Observation and feedback are essential to your role as a leader. How to make sure you keep paying attention:

Can you keep a secret?

August 17, 2012
Here’s one skill no one will teach you that can make or break your career: the ability to keep a secret.

Tell ’em you’ve got their backs

August 17, 2012

Let managers know you’ll back them up—and then actually back them up. The most important thing you can say: “I will fight for you …”

You owe them an honest critique

August 8, 2012

If you give somebody a bad grade without explanation, that’s not acceptable, says Laura Yecies, CEO of online storage service SugarSync. Yecies fights the impulse by reading every performance review—not so much to see if she agrees with the assessment but to check whether the manager is being thoughtful.