People Management

Better writers make better hires

October 22, 2010

When everything else is equal, hire for writing skills, say the folks at productivity software company 37 Signals. Here’s why, when you have equally worthy candidates, you should go for the better writer:

Innovative leadership: Manage lightly, produce precisely

September 13, 2010

The secret to new product innovation? Keep the boss away. A study by The Nielsen Company of 30 large consumer packaged-goods companies found that those whose managers kept a light touch generated 80% more new-product revenue, compared to those with heavy management involvement.

Give people their moment in the sun

September 13, 2010

Astrophysicist Jesse Greenstein was the first to correctly describe the nature of quasars, co-discovered cosmic radio noise emanating from our galaxy and proved that stars in globular clusters have fewer heavy elements and thus predate the sun. As a boss, though, Greenstein was perhaps even more stellar.

Fighting the good fight

September 13, 2010

Good bosses fight as if they are right and listen as if they are wrong—and teach their people to do the same. Pixar director Brad Bird—who worked on “The Incredibles” and “Ratatouille”—could serve as a poster child for that sentiment. He understood that a big part of his job was to create enough trust so people could fight over decisions.

First, get others on board

September 13, 2010
Before you try turning your organization around, make sure leaders throughout the ranks are fully on board. Without their support, you may not achieve the performance goals you seek.

Keep them ‘on task’

September 13, 2010

An expert on study habits offers the P-Q-R-S-T method you can use to help your employees concentrate on a task. Start by acting as though you’ve got a box of parts from an office supply store to assemble. The right way to go about it is methodically, not intuitively.

What rating would they give you?

September 13, 2010

How many times have you used an employee’s performance review to find out how your performance is? Dan Rosensweig, CEO of Chegg, starts the conversation with the employee this way:

What kind of leader are you?

September 13, 2010
Research conducted decades ago still offers insights into how leaders operate. Kurt Lewin’s 1939 study of leadership styles led the researchers to establish three basic types: 1. Authoritarian. 2. Participative or Democratic. 3. Delegative or Laissez Faire.

Want to create fear? 7 rules

August 18, 2010
Thanks to the readers of my blog, I’ve collected an excellent list of things to do if you’re a leader who wants to create a culture of fear in your organization. Not that the readers and commenters are suggesting that you actually do these things. With the idea in mind that a good way to learn leadership is to do the opposite of what really crappy leaders do, here is an edited list of readers’ suggestions:

Do you cover them or climb over them?

August 13, 2010
Robert Townsend, former CEO of Avis Rent A Car, could be a poster child for the kind of boss who shields his employees, enabling them to do their best work. Here are two examples from “Do You Have Their Backs? Or Just Your Own?”