Why leadership training programs fall short

The American Society for Training and Development reports that U.S. businesses spend a whopping $170 billion on leadership training programs.  They largely fail or at the very least fall way short of the expectations set for them. Why? Because you do not train leaders; you develop them. Training does have its place. We can train … Read more…

Leadership Challenge #1 – The Customer Service Fail

You are the owner/manager of a retail department store. Your store is busy so high sales volume also means a lot of returns. One of the new employees is tasked with handling the checkout register and for restocking items as they are returned when checkout traffic permits. The employee has gone through the company’s orientation … Read more…

Power Plays – Getting the job done

A friend once remarked that “It is amazing how much you can get done if you just do it.” A look at a jobs offered column on line or in a newspaper will inevitably turn up several with the qualifier “Must be a self-starter.”  Why? Because you hire people to extend your reach, multiply your … Read more…

5 ways to make your important sales quotas, annual projections, and other vital numbers completely worthless.

He had one of two nicknames which I had given him and I used one or the other depending on my mood. He is the sales manager of a large retail outlet at which I worked for two years on my way to retirement from working at large. (I have since “retired” but powered up … Read more…

Management 101 – Part 4 – Control

The first three installments in this series covering management’s most basic principles addresses Planning, Organizing, and Training. Once those have been done, or more realistically, once those are being done, the final principle is that of controlling action. If nothing is moving, the first challenge is to get things moving in an orderly manner. One … Read more…

Management 101 – Part 1 – PLAN

POTC – the four elemental components of any effective management strategy I am still in Uganda and will be for several more weeks. It is my privilege to be training some new managers as they make the transition into the realm of those who lead others. I am well aware of the Peter Principle which … Read more…

9 tasks of leadership – Task # 1 = Envisioning Goals

The following is list of the activities effective leaders pursue. It is not a list of items to schedule throughout the day. The precise things you do should support the 9 tasks. Sound confusing? Well, it is easier demonstrated than defined so let’s step in. Task #1 – Envisioning Goals The challenge of keeping the future … Read more…

How to Multiply Your Effectiveness – 2 critical assessments you must make

Jeff does not enjoy performance appraisals. His lack of enthusiasm for the task stems not from any reluctance on his part to scrutinize and identify strong and weak places in his staff’s performance nor does it arise from apprehension over the need to make corrections if needed. Indeed, Jeff’s lack of enjoyment comes from his … Read more…

How to light a fire under almost anyone without getting burned – part 2 – Four Reasons Why We Work Alone.

Four Reasons Why We Work Alone. First, We Find It Too Daunting to Release Responsibility to Others.  We have an  intuitive understanding of our ultimate objectives and the things that need to be done in order to reach those objectives. Often the people to whom we would release responsibility don’t. Our natural instincts, insight, and … Read more…

How to light a fire under almost anyone without getting burned – part 1

When your circle of concern is greater than your circle of ability. Robert’s second floor offices are crowded with papers, files, memos, phone messages, charts, and project plans. On his belt hangs a smart phone. A secretary in a front office handles the business telephone, which rang a dozen times in the few minutes I … Read more…

Immutable law of leadership #2 – cause and effect

Effective leaders understand both causes and their effects and are capable of dealing with both. In an earlier post I used a story of a manager at Disneyland who encountered a late night situation with tired horses and large crowds of people. You can read about it here. The immediate concern was the safety of … Read more…

How we learn – and what you should do to get the most out of what you need to teach

“How to Light a Fire Under People Without Getting Burned,” one of the seminars I offer, demonstrates the art of multiplying your efforts through others. I sometimes conclude the seminar with a role-playing exercise where each participant must list the tasks he or she presently does that could possibly be done by someone else, then … Read more…