Leaders and the “Little People”

As election season rolls around and campaigning for public office ramps up (does it ever leave?) most of us dust off the decision matrix by which we choose the candidates we’ll vote for. For some, it’s simply a matter of whether there is a donkey or an elephant next to the candidate’s name. ...

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You Know My Name… Use It

Twice in the last month when approaching the hostess stand at specialty restaurants inside high end hotels, I’ve been greeted immediately not by the words, good morning, hello, or anything like that, but by a request for my name and room number. In each case, at the end of the meal, I was asked ...

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When the “Right Stuff” Gets Snuffed by the “Vision Thing”

Quick… What is the mission of space shuttle Atlantis that launched from Florida’s Kennedy Space Center yesterday? What has been the program goal of the prior 134 space shuttle missions (launched at about $1.5 billion/copy) over the last 30 years? What has been the goal of America’s space ...

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The Third Day… Knowing When It’s Time to Leave

My father and grandfather were both fond of using the expression, “House guests, like fish, begin to smell after three days.” They didn’t just mouth the words, though. Each paced his visits to make sure that he didn’t darken anyone’s doorstep longer than three days. Similarly, invitations to ...

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A Manager’s Second Greatest Contribution

I’ve long maintained (no original thought here) that the most important thing a manager, any manager does is make decisions about who does and does not wind up on the payroll. That is especially the case in an environment where there simply are no spare parts, ‘er humans, and each person’s ...

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Make Employee “Stay Interviews” a Part of Your Engagement Strategy

From time to time we are asked by the editors of Workforce Online to respond to reader questions. Recently, we were asked to respond to a question about using “stay interviews” as part of an employee engagement strategy. I thought the answer might be of interest to you. Dear ...

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A Culture of Professionalism

On their ESPN show, Mike & Mike in the Morning, radio and TV personalities, Mike Greenberg and Mike Golic had an interesting debate recently about the obligation of professional athletes to perform as professionals, both in the presence and absence of leadership. As a canvas for their ...

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We All Like to be Made to Feel Special

Tuesday evening, I hosted an executive coaching client for dinner and a Memphis Grizzlies game at FedEx Forum. Our dinner server was a fellow by the name of Ben, who has waited on me at most, twice before. As we were being seated, Ben approached and said to my guest, “My guess is that Mr.... ...

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Rent-a-Dummies vs. Fully Engaged, Responsible Team Players

In a prior life as a corporate HR executive, I was known on occasion to use the term “rent-a-dummies” in reference to temporary agency help. My use of the term had a lot more to do with the no strings, obligations, or loyalties nature of the relationship than any IQ disparagement. Still, it was ...

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Skin In the Game

Whether in business, sports, or communities at large, people, all of us, perform better, a lot better, when we have skin in the game. Contrary to what we’ve seen of late with bogus bonus schemes that provide executives with nothing but upside potential (AIG rings a bell), I’m talking about the ...

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