Seven key steps to getting out of your team’s way

Early in the year I wrote about my personal vision to create better, happier workplaces and my commitment to focus on the management behaviors that lead to ideal workplaces. In the first blog post I shared the benefits of and best approaches to positive reinforcement. This week we’ll look at getting out of your team’s way. Yes, you read that right. People are happier when they have a leader who […]

 

The Feedback Fallacy

The debate about feedback at work isn’t new. Since at least the middle of the last century, the question of how to get employees to improve has generated a good deal of opinion and research. But recently the discussion has taken on new intensity. The ongoing experiment in “radical transparency” at Bridgewater Associates and the culture at Netflix, which the Wall Street Journal recently described as “encouraging harsh feedback” and […]

 

Why Visionary Leadership Fails

Visionary leadership is widely seen as key to strategic change. That’s because visionary leadership does not just set the strategic direction — it tells a story about why the change is worth pursuing and inspires people to embrace the change. Not surprisingly, then, science and practice have a very positive view of visionary leadership as a critical leadership competency. Why Visionary Leadership Fails

 

To Improve Your Team, First Work on Yourself

A colleague and I were recently meeting with a CEO and his leadership team, observing them as they discussed how to improve their annual planning process. As the team of ten explored their current process, the conversation got heated. The team had been talking for 45 minutes, but it wasn’t clear who was leading the discussion or what their objectives were. Many comments were off-topic, and they were not getting […]

 

A rocker’s guide to management

In his languidly titled autobiography, “Life”, Keith Richards tells a story that captures something about the workplace culture of the Rolling Stones and his decades as the band’s guitarist. It’s 1984 and the Stones are in Amsterdam for a meeting (yes, even Keith Richards attends meetings). That night, Richards and Mick Jagger go out for a drink and return to their hotel in the early hours, by which time Jagger […]

 

CultureLab

Garry Ridge is the President and Chief Executive Officer of the WD-40 Company, a billion-dollar business with a 93% employee engagement index. Garry Ridge on CultureLab

 

If Humility Is So Important, Why Are Leaders So Arrogant?

A recent management column in the Wall Street Journal appeared under the appealing headline, “The Best Bosses Are Humble Bosses.” The article reported that humble leaders “inspire close teamwork, rapid learning and high performance in their teams.” It even reported that one HR consulting firm is planning to introduce an assessment to identify personality traits that include “sincerity, modesty, fairness, truthfulness, and unpretentiousness,” inspired in part by what two psychology professors […]

 

Find Purpose in Even Your Most Mundane Tasks at Work

More and more companies are embracing the idea that they might have a purpose that goes beyond their balance sheet, one that makes the world a better place in some way. Perhaps you’re proud to count your firm as one of them. But a noble corporate mission can feel quite distant from the realities of everyday working life. How are we supposed to feel a higher sense of purpose amid […]

 

5 Questions Leaders Should Be Asking All the Time

The best teachers all have at least one thing in common: they ask great questions.  They ask questions that force students to move beyond simple answers, that test their reasoning, that spark curiosity, and that generate new insights. They ask questions that inspire students to think, and to think deeply. 5 Questions Leaders Should Be Asking All the Time

 

“We Need People to Lean into the Future”

For years, Walmart seemed to understand exactly what its customers wanted. It developed complicated consumer analytics and used that data, along with relentless pressure on suppliers, to become a retail powerhouse that sold practically everything at the lowest possible prices. “We Need People to Lean into the Future”