Leaders Help People see People as People

Let’s start with an example: Aaron was annoyed with his boss, Craig. So annoyed, in fact, that Aaron went over Craig’s head and complained to Craig’s boss, Annette. “Craig’s always breezing in and out. Never listens. Doesn’t have that ‘open door’ policy he brags about. And really tunes me out when I tell him about … Read more

Leaders Know that True Kindness Beats Niceness

I live in Iowa, and a term that gets floated a lot is “Iowa Nice.” As time goes on, though, it gets used ironically as much as it gets used sincerely. I think that’s because “Nice” doesn’t always equal “Kind.” Some leaders need to be reminded that giving positive you’re-on-the-right-track feedback is important and motivating. … Read more

Leaders Value Human Interaction

One of my favorite management experts, Mark Horstman of Manager Tools, likes to say, “Email is for the convenience of the sender.” In The Advantage, Patrick Lencioni advocates “cascading communication.” The idea is simple. Members of the executive team agree on a common and consistent set of messages that they will in turn communicate to … Read more

Leaders Watch Out for Doubt and Fear

Angela Franklin, the President of Des Moines University, spoke at 90 Ideas back in September, and urged leaders to acknowledge the power that doubt and fear can have over a team. The techniques she recommends are based in part on “The Butler Way.” The Butler Way is the idea that selflessness and commitment to the … Read more

Leaders Pay it Forward

At 90 Ideas, Tej Dhawan started off with a key idea: Give first. He was mostly talking about the ethic in the start-up community, how entrepreneurs help each other out as a habit. A great Iowa example is EntreFest, an annual program for entrepreneurs with dozens of sessions led, pro bono, by entrepreneurs who are … Read more

Leaders Measure More than the Average

When Mary Coffin of Wells Fargo spoke at September’s 90 Ideas event, she shared this nugget: Measure more than the average. She pointed out that when we take measurements, we do a lot of looking at trends and averages and norms to make decisions. But averages only tell us so much. We also need to … Read more