Blog

19
Feb

Managing the Competition Between Intuition and Worry

Last week, I was in conversation with a colleague about whether to hire a new digital media manager. I said, “My intuition is to sign the agreement, but I’m worried that she’ll skip out the minute something better comes along.” “What is the difference between intuition and worry,” he asked. That posed an interesting distinction that we all tend to

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13
Feb

Smart Decision Making Requires Emotional Intelligence

How’s your emotional intelligence? You know – Those qualities that include self-awareness, empathy and the ability to persuade others. The decision makers I’ve interviewed over the past 30 years all display various forms of these three attributes. They tie this emotional intelligence in with their intuition and understanding of context. This formula enables them to make the thoughtful choices that

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5
Feb

Balancing the Tension Between Rules and Reason

What would you do if one of your employees tackled someone on company property? That was the decision facing Best Buy recently. Tyler, a security guard for one of the company’s stores in the Sacramento area, witnessed a police officer get knocked down by a fleeing suspect in the store’s parking lot. Tyler ran across the lot and tackled the

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29
Jan

If You Don’t Want Them to Think – Don’t Blame Them If They Don’t

I was grabbing lunch in Bismarck, ND, at one of those large chains that has touch-screen ordering kiosks. When I had completed and paid for my order, the system offered me three options – no receipt, a paper receipt or an electronic receipt. I chose paper since I would need it for reimbursement. But then nothing happened. No receipt emerged

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7
Jan

Are You Comfortable with Being Uncomfortable

You know the feeling . . . the nervousness, the cold sweats, the clammy hands, maybe even an eye twitch . . . when you have to making one of THOSE decisions. Maybe it’s approaching someone you find intimidating. Perhaps it’s a presentation in front of your boss and peers. Maybe it’s committing to a new job when there’s the

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12
Dec

Slow Down and Make Your Best Decisions

You hear people say it all the time – “I’m just sooo busy!” Yes, we all make more decisions these days. But are they the decisions that really count? In reality, most of these choices have little, if any, effect on our long-term outcomes. But then there are the decisions that can impact our job, our relationships or our pocketbook.

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4
Dec

Stretch Your Decision-Making – Reap the Rewards

“How often do you solve a problem that is almost beyond your capabilities?” A mentor posed this question to me 25 years ago and it has inspired me ever since. When I initially reflected on what he had asked, I was a bit flummoxed. My business was going well. I had the respect of my colleagues. I seemed to have

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28
Nov

Parents – Let them Go!

A recent article in The Wall Street Journal explained the phenomenon of “Bring Your Parents to Work Day,” in which employees’ parents spend the day wandering around the office watching their offspring and colleagues write memos, answer e-mails and the other tasks required of their jobs. The enthusiasm for this, of course, is not shared by everyone. “It’s almost like

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6
Nov

The Value of Making Illogical Decisions

My parents hammered into me the value of being a good consumer. One of the principles I heard over and over was, “Be thrifty. Don’t pay for something you’re not really going to use.” So, when the following situation arose recently, I was a little befuddled. Last year, my wife and I “cut the cord.” In other words, we tried

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31
Oct

Do You Really Need a Rule for That?

One of the joys of my job is interviewing a wide diversity of people every year. They generally range from CEOs to front-liners. While you might think senior people would provide the best insights, there are times when someone who doesn’t know how to filter their comments says something that strikes at the heart of an issue. Such was the

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