How to light a fire under almost anyone without getting burned – part 1
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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...
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4 necessary qualities of incentive
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4 necessary qualities of incentive

A major big box home improvement store recently changed the incentives program they use to compensate their sales staff. In the not-too-distant past, salesmen were given bi-weekly (that’s when the paychecks were issued) commissions and bonuses based on personal sales. What happened to or with another salesman did not matter. Each earned what each earned....
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Immutable law of leadership #2 – cause and effect
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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...
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3 immutable laws of leadership – Part 1
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3 immutable laws of leadership – Part 1

Part and parcel with the three essential skills of effective leadership - 1) Understand the times, 2) Know what to do, 3) Command action, are three immutable laws. Skills and laws are built around and support each other. Immutable Law #1. A=A, a thing is what it is independent of the perceiver. (There is another condition which...
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Laws of leadership – getting to know the ropes
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Laws of leadership – getting to know the ropes

When a new sailor arrived on board, he had to learn how to tie knots and which rope hauled up which sail. After which of course they would know the ropes. It is an expression used in all kinds of settings these days, but the principal applies especially well here. When I graduated from college,...
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Essential Skill #3
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Essential Skill #3

“Leading is easy, the hard part is getting people to follow.” Yogi Berra    Ok, so you can accurately read the circumstances and the people in them, have a clear concept of what has to be done, and can confidently articulate why it needs to be done. Can you get anyone to cooperate with your...
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Essential skill #2 – Know what needs to be done and what to do next
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Essential skill #2 – Know what needs to be done and what to do next

Michael Vance, former creative consultant for Walt Disney, tells this story. One late summer night, he was walking down Main Street USA in Disneyland in Anaheim, California. It had been a busy day and the street was filled with guests making their way to the exits. At the same time, a team of draft horses...
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Effective leadership essential Skill #1 – Understand the times
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Effective leadership essential Skill #1 – Understand the times

You just have to know what’s going on while it is going on. You have to have some grasp of why it is happening, and you need to understand the implications of what it means for you and your team! You cannot get where you want to go if you do not know where you...
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4 ways to get clutter out of your in-box and off your desk
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4 ways to get clutter out of your in-box and off your desk

Every professional soon discovers that his or her name resides on dozens, maybe hundreds of mailing lists. Not only does the normal flow of correspondence find it way to you, so does tons more: catalogs, flyers, sales offers, opportunities to win $10 million, newsletters, magazines, newspaper clippings, contracts, receipts, bills, memos, notes, legal documents, and...
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When to use email, how to use email, when not to, why
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When to use email, how to use email, when not to, why

Email is fast, easily filed and retreived, simple to reply to. It has replaced written correspondence in nearly every situation. It makes communication possible and expedient between distant centers and it is relatively reliable as a record of converstations because most email programs will notify you when your message has been received and read. But...
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