When Does Being a Jerk Matter?

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So we’re approaching the end of the year, the time when we reflect on what we’ve done during these past 330+ days and what lies ahead. If you’re a leader, you’ll likely also reflect on what your team has done during these past 330+ days and what lies ahead for them. In particular, you may ask yourself, “Do I have the team needed to accomplish our 2019 objectives?” And so, here are 3 quick questions…

You’re Not Alone: Everyone Fakes It Sometimes.

Congratulations!  You got that promotion!! That job you had your eyes on for so long is finally yours.  What a rush!  Your partner/spouse is thrilled!  Your parents are thrilled!  Even the dog seems happier to see you when you come home.  Life. just. couldn’t. get. any. better. So why do you feel so much like a fraud? And why are you worried people will find out you don’t quite know what you’re doing? Answer #1:…

Give Them the Gift of Experiences

This past Christmas, my wife and I decided not to give gifts to each other. For previous Christmases, we each had said “no more gifts”, but one of us would ultimately violate the mandate and end up buying the other something. Well this year we each said, “No more gifts”, and we actually kept to it. Instead, we “gave” ourselves several dinners out, just the two of us, during the…

Who’s More Lost: You or Your Luggage?

The man beside me at the counter was irate.  He didn’t yell, but you could see by the expression on his face and by his body language that he was incredulous. We had been promised by the gate agent in Newark that our carry-on bags, which they required us to check at the gate, would be available to us in Atlanta.  The flight out of Newark was more than 2…

What’s Your Story? Why Should Anyone Care?

For many of us, 2010 did, and 2011 will, involve a change in leadership. We either did get, or we will get, a new boss. And with any change in leadership, there’s an attendant change in security. To varying degrees, the new boss is an unknown entity. Sure, we may know something about him/her. But what will it mean for me personally, as one of his/her direct reports? Am I…

Four Easy Ways to Empower Your People

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“Empowers” is one of those words mediocre consultants just love. You can drive a bus through the breadth of its all-encompassing definition: “Mary/Bob Leader, as your trusted consultant, I can unequivocally state that you need to empower your people more.” The consultant beams, and reflects silently: “Most impressive. Can I take the afternoon off now?” “Empowers” is right up there with “leverage” and your daily horoscope: we all have a…

Are You Paying the Price for Your Slow Burn?

Nothing like an economic crisis to bring latent leadership issues to the forefront. If you were grooming and “weeding” your people during the good times, chances are you’re doing better than other leaders during these challenging times. If you weren’t focused on the quality of your people during the good times, changes are your suffering extra now. As companies have pared back on staffing levels, leaders have assumed greater responsibility…

Real Leaders Don’t Watch Movies

“I’m king of the world!” “Show me the money!” “You can’t handle the truth!” “Greed, for lack of a better word, is good.” “Go ahead, make my day.” Memorable quotes from memorable films. Love ’em or hate ’em, movies of all types end up in our collective consciousness. In reviewing a list of movie quotes recently, I was impressed by how just one short phrase was all I needed to…

Real Leadership Development:You Know It’s Not Easy; It’s a Struggle.

As many readers know, I don’t have a whole lot of respect for “how-to” books on leadership and management.  I think they often convey a false sense of hope, in that by reading this book and following the author’s process, tips, advice, best practices, etc. you too will become the leader or manager you’ve always wanted to be (or that your organization needs you to be). Like I’ve said before,…

Now More than Ever, Offer One Hand to Shake and One Throat to Squeeze

Today more than ever, companies are looking for leaders. Not the kind to fill management or leadership vacancies. They’re looking for employees, whether or not they have people under their direction, to step up and demonstrate a greater ability to contribute. They’re looking for people to lead in terms of what they bring to the table each and every day. In a different time, one might have argued that this…
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