The Principle of Good Faith

Back when I wrote a series called Power Plays, one of the articles dealt with the practice of authority (read it here). I made the following points within that article: Authority is both delegated DOWNWARD and awarded UPWARD. You authorize someone for a particular job. They grant you authority to oversee and hold accountable. When … 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…

Flipping the Switch – 7 motivators every effective leader and manager knows well

Effective leadership is the process of persuasion and example by which an individual induces a person or group to take action that is in accord with the leader’s purposes. It is the art of letting people have your own way. Remembering the motivators specific to generations detailed earlier in this series, here are seven general … Read more…

Flipping the Switch – Motivation vs Manipulation

The department manager stepped up to the sales desk, dropped a file on it, and said to Phil the salesman, “Take care of this right now.” Phil objected, “We have already discussed this customer. She has refused to comply with local zoning laws. We cannot proceed with this because she won’t do what has to … Read more…

Flipping the switch 7 – GenYer’s – 7 trends that affect work and 6 things you can do about it

It’s always risky to make generalizations about a demographic and the tendency to rely on stereotypes is all to tempting. But each generation is shaped by the dynamics in which it lives. Millenials have never known a world without computers. Methods of communication and choices by which that communication are possible have always been there … Read more…

Flipping the switch 6 – Gen Xers

Generation X is the little cohort that could. Born between 1965 and 1980, this group numbers only 46 million. Having grown up as latchkey kids, they learned independence and resilience which manifests itself now as independent and resilient employees. Writes Jay A. Conger, professor of organizational behavior at the London Business School and a research … Read more…

Flipping the switch part 5 – boomers part 2

Like every generation, Boomers bridge the attitude gap between the old and the new. In the first article about Boomers, I listed the first two motivators – the importance of feeling important and the autonomy to make decisions. In this post I’ll list the last three. 3. Future goals – the promise of tomorrow. I … Read more…

Flipping the Switch – the art of motivation part #1

“Leadership is the ability to establish standards and manage a creative climate where people are self-motivated toward the mastery of long term constructive goals, in a participatory environment of mutual respect, compatible with personal values.” Michael Vance The four teenagers sat around the table, voices excited and movements animated as they played a board game. … Read more…

4 Lessons from a meddling boss

The hour was late, quite late in fact, somewhere around 8 p.m. The office had technically been closed since 5 but I was still there working with two volunteers. I was tasked with the job of preparing registration packets for the 1300 or so incoming guests at a conference. The sponsoring organization had contracted with … 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 – Coercive

There was a time when this type of power was common. It is the first resort of bullies, manipulators, and thugs. It is the last resort of everyone else. The Business Dictionary defines it as “Authority or power that is dependent on fear, suppression of free will, and/or use of punishment or threat, for its … Read more…

Power Plays – 3 motivators that really do work

Graham was a salesman of specialty products with a proven record of success. His many, many years of experience had yielded a high degree of confidence in himself and in the products he sold and an advanced level of competence in his craft as a personable, trust-inspiring, responsible salesman. The retail company for whom he … 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…