Management Skills: Focus on Success

During tough times work can feel like a lot of effort without a lot of results to show for it. As a manager, I've fallen victim to a seemingly common trap –– focusing on my team's failures, shortcomings and missteps rather than on anything positive. I ask them at meetings, "What are we doing wrong?" … Continue reading Management Skills: Focus on Success

Management Schizophrenia

Early in my career I had multiple manager personality disorder. I was respectful attentive John around my manager. John the comedian with my peers. I was authoritative with my direct reports and still someone else with customers. Trying to be what I thought others wanted me to be led to a kind of management schizophrenia. Consciously … Continue reading Management Schizophrenia

Love/Hate: The New Balance of Management

In my last post I talked about how management challenges are a lot like long distance running.  New Balance shoes brilliantly branded the running experience in their ad campaign "Love/Hate, the New Balance." Anyone who's ever been out for a long run knows exactly what they mean. Running is easy to hate. It's hard work, … Continue reading Love/Hate: The New Balance of Management

Leadership Lessons From Lincoln

I just finished the Abraham Lincoln biography, “With Malice Towards None,” by Stephen Oates. While one biography certainly does not make me an authority on such a complex man, I did take away some leadership lessons. The work humanizes Lincoln, showing readers he was capable of mistakes just like the rest of us. At the … Continue reading Leadership Lessons From Lincoln

Three Resolutions for Better Performance in 2011

Since New Year’s is a time for reflection and goal setting –– two of my favorite things to do—I thought I’d share my plans to improve as a leader in 2011. Few people make resolutions that become real habits. Most diets and exercise plans won’t last through 2011, but can we create lasting leadership habits? … Continue reading Three Resolutions for Better Performance in 2011

The Dark Side of Email

Email, text messaging, and social media messaging are some of the greatest technological innovations of our time.  But there is a dark side to these communication tools.  One that destroys time and creates trouble for the unscrupulous user.  Here are some of my tips to keep the dark side of professional communication at bay. Time: Set aside … Continue reading The Dark Side of Email

Internal Customer Service

When you are a customer, how do you judge customer service?  Quality.  Value.  Speed.  Help with resolving your problems.  I like to think of associates as customers of the management team.  How would your direct reports rate your management "product"? Quality Training that helps the associate make meaningful progress. Feedback and coaching that lets them … Continue reading Internal Customer Service