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A Management Myth Busted

on Dec 18 in Leadership tagged by

For years, management classes have been teaching students that it is the leader’s job to motivate people, and for years, leaders have been attempting to do exactly that—with mixed results. Sometimes the tactics and tricks were successful; sometimes they were disastrous. Continue reading “A Management Myth Busted” »

Managing Individuals: One Size Does Not Fit All

on Nov 16 in Leadership tagged by

In a recent article, “World’s Simplest Management Secret,” Geoffrey James argued that management books have it wrong since they tell you to manage “people.” When in reality, you can only really manage individuals, and individuals are unique. The trick he shared is to ask each individual how they like to be managed. While his suggestions of customizing your dealings with each person are good, his assertion that “The only way is to ASK” how a person prefers to be managed is not true.

A good personality assessment will also provide insights into understanding the unique aspects of each individual and keys to managing him or her. By knowing how to approach a person to maximize communication, provide help/support, and engage cooperation, you can maximize your effectiveness as a leader. By understanding each person’s learning needs, trust requirements, decision-making style, and intrinsic reward system, you can minimize frustration and needless upsets. Finally, by matching the job description to what kinds of work each person actually enjoys doing, you ensure engagement, productivity, and peak performance.

When you eliminate the guesswork in what makes a person tick, you are able to flex your leadership style and be effective with every person. Because it is not a “one-size-fits-all” world, using tools to customize your dealings with human beings is not only smart, it’s essential.


on Nov 02 in Personality tagged by

When your needs are not met, you may feel let down and disappointed. Sometimes, you unconsciously undermine yourself by failing to communicate your needs to other people. Because you feel your unmet needs, you may assume that others know where you are coming from. For you, it is so obvious that you may proclaim: “Well, that goes without saying!”

Ultimately, by failing to communicate your needs, you set up conditions where you are neglecting or even working against yourself, which can lead to miscommunication, frustration, or anger. When others fail to recognize and honor what you must have, you may experience a “needs” jerk reaction. As you react, others don’t see your needs; they see your reactive jerk. To avoid being reactive, remember to proactively:

  1. Take time to self-nurture every day; do what you need to do for yourself.
  2. Communicate what you need to others.
  3. When you have concerns, verbalize them as concerns.
  4. Take your temperature by asking: “What am I feeling about _____?”
  5. Be positively selfish so that you may be selfless.

The Fear Factor

on Sep 24 in Leadership tagged by

A clear vision and organizational alignment are major concerns for leaders grappling with change and maintaining competitiveness. Establishing and articulating a coherent picture of the future is a challenge in itself, but then leaders must engage the capital resources (including human) to achieve it. While many things can block engagement and create distractions, one that often rears its ugly head is fear. Fear is evoked when people perceive they have no control over their situation, and once unleashed, it creates a negative downward spiral, making recovery difficult. Continue reading “The Fear Factor” »

Are Quiet Work Places More Productive?

on Sep 14 in Workplace tagged by

In her recent article, The Link Between Quietness and Productivity, Roberta Matuson described an amicable competition between two teams of friends (aka “the clamming wars on Cape Cod”). After each find, Matuson’s team celebrated by cheering loudly. Conversely, her husband’s team quietly raked clams. To her surprise after they tallied their totals, the silent team amassed considerably more clams. This fact caused her to reflect upon the correlation between personal productivity and silence, and to articulate five advantages of being quiet as follows: Continue reading “Are Quiet Work Places More Productive?” »

Who Do You Think You Are?

on Sep 06 in Personal Development tagged by

“Your beliefs become your thoughts. Your thoughts become your words. Your words become your actions. Your actions become your habits. Your habits become your values. Your values become your
― Mahatma Gandhi

We all have beliefs and thoughts about ourselves. We have ideas about what we do well and what we don’t do well. We have opinions about how we look, what we should and shouldn’t do, and how we should or shouldn’t be. We have beliefs about our strengths and weaknesses and whether they are good or bad. Continue reading “Who Do You Think You Are?” »

Do You Have an Adult-Wannabe Leaving for College?

on Aug 24 in Personality tagged by

Have you ever experienced a teenager who occupies an adult’s body and yet has the emotional maturity of a five-year-old? Perhaps, you wondered, “What is wrong with this person? Why doesn’t she ‘get it’ and grow up? Why is he so annoying? Or, why am I even thinking about this?” Continue reading “Do You Have an Adult-Wannabe Leaving for College?” »

In Order to Succeed, We Must Permit Ourselves to Fail

on Aug 03 in Personal Development tagged by

Learning is a way of life, and when we allow ourselves to stop learning, we halt our own development. For some of us, trying new things is hard. We may not always get it right the first, second, or one-hundredth time we try something new. When this happens, we end up feeling defeated. No one likes feeling like a loser, so we may give up and quit trying. However, learning and failing are in close collaboration, and it’s inevitable that in order to learn and get it right, we must fail. Continue reading “In Order to Succeed, We Must Permit Ourselves to Fail” »

Surviving A Bad Leader

on Jul 27 in Whiteboard Quick Tips tagged by

At one time or another, everyone has experienced a less than stellar boss. While it is unfortunate and often demotivating, it can be survived and the lemons of life can be made into lemonade. If a bad leader is transient, it may be possible to hunker-down and wait for the unhappiness, incompetence, or idiocy to pass. However, if a bad boss is there to stay, a longer-term strategy may be required. Here are some tips on coping with and surviving a bad leader…

Job Seekers: Do You Know the Company’s Culture?

on Jul 18 in Personal Development tagged by

Looking for a job is stressful. And in today’s economy, finding a job seems almost impossible, so when you add the two (looking & finding), it is easy to understand why most people will accept any job offer they are given. However, accepting a job position that isn’t the right fit for you will not accelerate your career and will leave you feeling frustrated and dissatisfied. In a recent article, Bill Barnett discusses why a company’s culture matters when choosing a job. Continue reading “Job Seekers: Do You Know the Company’s Culture?” »