Blog

27
Feb

How a Top Leader Organizes Her Time

Recently, I had the opportunity to interview Laurie, the chief operating officer for an organization of 12,000 people. While time management wasn’t our topic, she began to describe how she works as a part of our conversation. “I divide my days into 15 minute chunks,” she said. “I typically work from 8AM to 6PM everyday, so I have 40 chunks

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20
Feb

Stay Interviews from the Millennial Point of View

One of the more recent fads in HR circles has been the so-called stay interview. In other words, meeting with top performers to discuss their concerns and aspirations in an effort to keep them on the job. As the economy gains momentum and the skills gap continues to grow, employee churn is becoming a significant cost. But I have to

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13
Feb

How Presence of Mind Adds to the Bottom Line

My wife and I just spent a wonderful week in Hawaii, a chance to relax and reflect. Of course, my mind is never far from the topic of decision making. The first night we were there, Wendy discovered the clothes iron in our room wasn’t working. She called the hotel’s front desk to ask for a replacement. Five minutes later,

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25
Jan

Stop Multi-tasking and Boost Your Productivity

Juliette thinks she’s a master at multi-tasking. She responds to e-mails, checks Facebook, talks with passing colleagues and does her “real work” all at the same time. But she’s exhausted by the end of the day. She woke up twice last night remembering she forgot to submit a report. She almost caused an accident texting her boss about a customer

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3
Jan

The Essential Secret to Good Judgment

I visited with a senior leader from a Fortune 100 company last month. At one point, he said, “My dad used to say, ‘Good judgment comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgment.’” While I was amused by his simple characterization, it dawned on me that this glib little insight contains the essence of why some people are better decision

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21
Dec

Systemize Decisions to Boost Performance

Dr. Daniel Levitin, writing in his book The Organized Mind, discusses the behaviors of what he call HSPs, or Highly Successful People. One characteristic these individuals share is their practice of implementing systems that save time and improve their personal performance. Top salespeople, for instance, learn that if they can respond effectively to the ten most common customer objections, their

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14
Nov

Interviewing for a Skill Set You Don’t Have

“How do you interview for a skill set you don’t have yourself?” I was asked this question the other day by the owner of a machine shop with 50 employees. While this is a common dilemma for small business owners, most every manager faces it at one time or another. Over the past 25 years, I’ve seen a variety of

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22
Oct

I Don’t Care What You Know Until . . .

I don’t care what you know. I care about how you think. That’s been my guiding philosophy for hiring over the past 20 years. It didn’t come at first. But time has a way of showing how to adjust your methods. It’s easy to be impressed by the resume, the experience, the rapport or the way someone answers questions. But

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7
Oct

The Secret Truth About Dishwashing

Dishwashing is a chore that most people try to avoid. There are even jokes about guys eating out of anything that will hold food just to skip this mindless task. But Bill Gates says he likes it. Yes, that Bill Gates. A couple of years ago, Gates mentioned that “I do the dishes every night — other people volunteer, but

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30
Sep

Decision Making and Expectations

For years, I’ve asked those in my audiences if they tell stories. Predictably most hands go up. Then I ask, “How many of you tell stories that get better every time you tell them?” That gets a sure-fire laugh. Sadly however, I would argue that many, if not most, of those stories are about a bad experience. Have you ever

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