What you see is what you get – measuring your response to others

What good is it? Often the mantra of the obsessively practical or the hopelessly cynical, a “what good is it?” response typically indicates disgust, disappointment, or disdain, maybe all three. Obsessively practical leaders seem to become well, obsessed, with efficiency. Every act, every task, every intention, indeed every suggestion is qualified by its practical contribution … Read more…

Stuck in 1st gear – is the impediment to progress you?

It happens easily enough and usually innocently enough. You start a business or organization then endure what is often a long and expensive learning curve. Along the way you learn…you learn a lot. You discover the competencies and incompetencies of those working with you. You learn how to manage cash flow challenges. You learn the … Read more…

3 types of confidence leaders must measure

On the Velocity Channel I watched a reality show about a classic car restoration shop in Canada. In the episode I saw, the owners of the shop had hired an apprentice mechanic. After a few months on the job they considered him worthy of increased responsibilities, so they gave him a project to manage. As … Read more…

Leadership’s happy family – Vision, strategy, & tactics

One non-profit agency operating in Africa opened restaurants as part of its fund-raising strategy. A charitable organization working on the African continent developed a focused vision and successfully imprinted it upon those who worked in the organization both in the US and in Africa. The board and the organization’s director turned their attention to the … Read more…

The principle of risk management

Let’s say for the purpose of this article that you have a position open and a slate of applicants who possess approximately the same list of qualifications, what do you do? You start looking at qualities. Certain qualities are important in almost any job but particularly critical when working in a service industry or in … Read more…

The principle of promissory note

You see them too if you ever scan the listings. I am talking about the jobs sections of Craigslist. You can make thousands of dollars working for an unnamed company whose application address is a blind one. This is a common theme of mine. The setting was a private school. The newly installed headmistress faced … Read more…

The principle of foreign exchange – 6 mistakes motivators make

In the first article in my Flipping the Switch series, I wrote about a sales manager frustrated with a top performer on his team (article here). The problem came about because the sales manager and the salesperson in question were after two different things. The article immediately before this one (the Principle of Positive Balance) … Read more…

Flipping the Switch – 7 demotivators

Motivation can often be very fragile. It is usually much easier to demotivate than it is to motivate. Acknowledging that motivation is almost always intrinsic, that it originates within a person and that effective leadership and management can ignite the engine, this series would be incomplete if I did not give some mention to the … Read more…

The Power of Example – two reasons why it is imperative that we practice what we preach

“He that gives good advice, builds with one hand; he that gives good counsel and example, builds with both; but he that gives good admonition and bad example, builds with one hand and pulls down with the other.” Francis Bacon You can get to the top of our profession and game by being conniving, ambitious, … Read more…

6 Bases of Power – the nine characteristics of a Principle-Centered leader

I raised quite a firestorm a few years ago when I wrote an article called “Cardboard Elvis.” (You can check it out here.) It discusses the disparity between charismatic leadership and principle-centered leadership. They are not mutually inclusive nor are they mutually exclusive. The article explains that while society in general is attracted to charismatic … Read more…

6 Bases of Power – Transactional

The desire for an answer  is on everyone’s mind but seldom expressed early on. Every job applicant wants to know how much. Every employer wants to know how little. The question? The applicant wants to know how much will I get paid? The employer wants to know how little can s/he pay and still get … Read more…

3 Ways to really piss off your associates and employees – When power is abused and misused

Matt was a high-volume sales associate in a large retail store. He sold custom-built products that required a significant amount of time to prepare estimates and proposals. On one Thursday evening he was working  alone at his desk in his department when the manager from another department in the store came to Matt and asked … Read more…

The work ethic and common sense of Elbert Hubbard

He started out a dedicated socialist although what he meant by socialist as defined in his own writing would not be what the word generally is understood to mean these days. When describing himself as a socialist he said… “I believe in every man working for the good of self; and in working for the … Read more…