Tag Archives: leadership

The R in HR Doesn’t Stand for Rah-Rah

Every year—right around the holidays, actually—some HR buzzword starts to irritate me.  The rock in my loafer this year is the word “engagement.”  This is because so many seem to confuse it with the word “appreciation.”  And when you confuse the two, the result is wasted time and money. Engaging employees is on everyone’s mind […]

Seven Ways to Prevent Passive-Aggressive Behavior in the Workplace

These days, outright aggression in the workplace is rare.  However, passive-aggressive behavior—in the form of scapegoating, blaming and denying—can be common.  We HR folks know this to be true.  We also know passive-aggressive behavior slows productivity and is responsible for many workplace ills.  So how do we prevent it? Insist upon open lines of positive communication. […]

Are We Using “Bad Fit” as an Excuse?

I think we might be tossing the phrase “bad fit” around too much.  Lately, I’ve been hearing it used as crutch for all sorts of issue.  And it’s time we step back and question whether or not we’re using “bad fit” as an excuse to avoid managing performance. Let’s first explore what a “bad fit” […]

How and Why to Write Recommendation Letters that Get Results

Anyone in a leadership position needs to master the art of writing a superb letter of recognition.  After all, we are in positions to develop others.  I’ve seen over and over that the best and most successful leaders are committed to the success of those they’ve mentored, taught or worked with side-by-side. I’ll first say, […]

How to Take a Real Vacation and Mean It!

In a couple of weeks, I’m taking a vacation.  And this year, for the first time in a decade, I plan on taking a real one.  For those business leaders out there whose vacations are only defined as not being physically on site, you’ll understand what I’m saying. Given this, it’s ironic that I am […]

Do Industries Have Natures?

A friend of mine, who’s one of the best in his field, is being replaced at his company by a friend of the new director.  When my friend asked why, the HR Director told him, “It’s just the nature of our industry…you know how it is.” So not only is he losing his job, there’s […]

The Mad Scientist of People Management

Old ways are hard to shake.  This is a hard truth in business despite every applicant claiming to be “an agent for change.”  On a recent Freakonomics podcast, economist Steve Levitt discussed how disinclined people are to say “I don’t know.” He talked of one company that continued running paper insert ads even though they […]

Why “You Don’t Have to Like Each Other–You Just Have to Work Together” Is the Biggest Lie We Tell Our Staff and What to Do About It

During exit interviews, employees list “the people I worked with” as the most common reason they enjoyed working at a company.  On the other hand, they often indicate that it was a person or a group of people who caused them to leave.   The conclusion is obvious:  whether you like or dislike your co-workers is […]

The Best Leaders are Alchemists

A zillion books and training materials exist to help you determine what your natural leadership style is while also describing all the other leadership styles out there. It’s sort of like astrology.  Some of us are Scorpios.  Some of us are Capricorns.  Only rather than using our birthday, our leadership styles are determined by quizzes […]

The Fish Rots from the Head Down: Why and How to Manage Management

Sure, people will leave your company if they have better or more profitable opportunities.  They’ll also leave if they don’t fit into the workplace culture.   What I’ve mostly seen, however, are people jumping ship because of poor management.  But losing star employees isn’t the only reason a company should make managing management a top priority.  […]