People Management

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 …

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?

Are you missing the ‘Why’?

May 17, 2010

You’re frustrated. You carefully explained what needed to be done, in detail, gave the deadline and even suggested interim deadlines. Yet, the result was underwhelming. What happened? You answered four questions for your team: Who? What? When? and How? But you didn’t say Why.

10 reasons your people hate you

May 14, 2010

Here’s a thought. Actually, here’s a dare from leadership blogger Mike Figliuolo in “10 Reasons Your Team Hates You (They Just Won’t Say It To Your Face).” Send this list to your employees. Tell them to circle any that apply to you. Take the top two and fix them.

Robert Kennedy, standing tall

April 12, 2010

On April 4, 1968, presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy stepped to the microphone in a poor neighborhood in Indianapolis and stunned the crowd with the news that the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. had been shot and killed. The sheriff had tried to persuade Kennedy to cancel his appearance, saying it was too dangerous to address an African-American crowd. Kennedy refused.

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.

Help your people ‘own’ their jobs

March 12, 2010
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Where’s the trust in leadership?

March 12, 2010

Why doesn’t the public trust CEOs? Consumers are slightly more confident in business honchos this year, compared to last year, reports the Edelman Trust Barometer. But CEO credibility still remains low, and the survey suggests at least one reason why:

4 e-mail don’ts

March 12, 2010

We’re not the e-mail aficionados we believe we are. Too many of us rush, miss chances to build relationships or forget to convey key information. Here are four mistakes to avoid: 1. Don’t use vague subject lines. 2. Don’t bury the news. 3. Don’t mash everything into a paragraph. 4. Don’t cut it short.

Give your staff permission to disagree

February 12, 2010

Pay attention to how you sound in response to being questioned or contradicted. If your people get the slightest whiff that agreement is what you prefer, that’s what you’ll get. To fight that possibility, take these steps: