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

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

Own Your Tough Statements

There are certain words and phrases that can get us on the defensive before we even know what the topic is. One of the big ones is “No offense, but…” And related cushions followed by the word but. Remember that people on tight teams can handle tough talk. It’s okay for you to deliver tough … 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 Encourage Thinking “A Step Above”

In a recent address from Dana Wingert, the Des Moines Chief of Police, he emphasized the value of everyone in an organization thinking a rank or position above themselves. The guiding question is this: “How would my boss handle this, and what are his/her expectations?” A few examples: When you’re assigned a project, execute it … Read more

Leaders Develop Everyone

At the Business Record’s “90 Ideas in 90 Minutes” event from September 2017, Miriam De Dios of Coopera made a case for organizations of any size to implement “Personal Development Plans for All.” Most organizations do some kind of development plan for people in, or preparing for, leadership roles. But what if everyone had a plan? People on … Read more