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Accountability is a Team Sport, not a Private Affair


Accountability is like resuscitation for employees who have checked out. But sadly, some are afraid to use it. I remember the first time I did CPR on a real human being. I was terrified. For a moment, I forgot how. I had all this training.  I had even trained others. I was even a freshly minted EMT.  And I was about ready to soil my pants, terrified that I might do more harm than good. And then I remembered back to something that one of my trainers told me.  It's gruesome, but it's true. "If you're … [Read more...]

Mastering Delegation, The Fire Hose of Productivity

Fire Hose

Sadly, I did not coin the phrase “drinking from the fire hose” – that is, experiencing a pace of productivity so exhilarating and empowering yet potentially overwhelming unless you know how to control it.  Not surprisingly, though, I have a story about delegation that was both exhilarating and involved a fire hose. One of the more colorful jobs I recall from working myself through school was with a Fortune 100 manufacturer of construction equipment.  There, I was assigned to Cecille, the head of security, and a … [Read more...]

Making Business Resolutions Happen


We are at an interesting time.  A struggling economy is forcing many businesses into creative action to improve their position right at the turn of the year, a time when many naturally resolve to improve and do better any way. While this double whammy of introspection still hasn’t inspired everyone to new levels of action and success, in my own practice, I have definitely noticed an uptick in leaders pulling out all stops and resolving to make 2009 a growth year despite conventional wisdom. So what are your … [Read more...]

A Micromanager’s Guide to Trust, Teamwork, and Communication


The unavoidable truth is micromanagement makes us feel better and that’s why we do it.  Like the nicotine in a cigarette, it calms the nervous manager, providing information and visibility into situations where it would otherwise be lacking.  We gain our “hit” of easy information, our twitching eases, and we can move on to something else for a while. The problem is that just like the nicotine in cigarettes comes laden with a cadre of things that will kill you, micromanagement too carries a host of cancer-causing … [Read more...]

Sabotage Your Business in Ten Easy Steps


The nice thing about cars is they’re predictable. Every model has its own quirks that tend to act up like clockwork, and any mechanic worth his salt can tell you what to look for.  I remember my 1987 Honda Accord (an otherwise exceptional vehicle) had a body joint below each tail light that, as if on cue, rusted out… right along with every other 1987 Honda Accord in the exact same spot. It’s the same with businesses.  Businesses tend to have very common cracks and crevices that expand and contract as the … [Read more...]