A Leadership Dilemma: When is it Time to Fire?

This is a question I’ve tried to handle more than once, but I have a big disclaimer: I don’t hold HR certifications, and I can’t give legal advice. But I can share some thoughts that have been helpful to others. Most managers are working managers. And as such, sometimes they lose sight of the more … Read more

Leaders Help People Tolerate the Intolerable

A recent question: “How do you tolerate intolerable situations or people?” One of the toughest choices at work is to figure out which issues are worth addressing and which to simply live with. There is no black and white solution to these types of situations. It requires some discernment, because everyone has a different tolerance … Read more

Leaders Follow the Best Advice Lou Holtz Ever Heard

Recently, I had the chance to hear legendary football coach Lou Holtz deliver a keynote address. He’s best known for turning around the Notre Dame football program, and one of my favorite factoids about that process is that he removed player names from the backs of jerseys, to emphasize “team” rather than “individual hero.” As … Read more

More Thoughts on Leaders Managing Up

I heard Suzanne Lemen, the principal of Dynamic Corporate Solutions Incorporated, speak at the HR Florida conference in August 2018, and she had some good thoughts on managing up. I’ll present them in bullet points, but they seem to fit two major themes: 1) Ask questions of your manager 2) Have a deliberate strategy for … Read more

Watch for Signs of Previous Bad Leadership

Recently, I chaperoned a large group trip for a bunch of teenagers—over 300 of them. I had to keep track of about 35 of them myself, and punctuality was the most pressing issue of the trip. If any one person was late for the bus or the meeting point, it held up all 300. While … Read more

Things Successful Leaders Avoid Saying (Part 12)

Effective communication avoids misunderstandings. It can also clear up existent misunderstandings. In our quest to be understood, we may accidentally slip into using one of these versions of a potentially manipulative accusation: “You misunderstood me.” “You must have misunderstood me.” “You don’t get it; you’re not listening.” “If you really heard what I said, you’d … Read more