A core aspect of management is communication. So of course, most managers find a way to screw it up. They hold back important feedback. They fail to provide a meaningful vision or strategy. And they struggle to communicate expectations, setting people up for failure. Instead of helping people grow, they let them stagnate.
Lou Solomon, writing for Harvard Business Review, reported that 69% of managers are uncomfortable communicating with their employees. The biggest surprise about this statistic is how low it is.
Over two-thirds of managers, likely well-paid and well-trained professionals, are uncomfortable with an essential part of their jobs.
I’m Hoping You Can Learn from My Mistakes
I turned 38 years-old today. Looking back on a myriad of past mistakes and bad decisions, here’s my birthday present to anyone interested — 38 lessons that I wish I’d learned much earlier in life.
No company openly tells you that they have a toxic culture. They don’t advertise that their employees are unmotivated, their customers are dissatisfied, or their leadership has less trust than Ellen DeGeneres.
And yet you need to know this. In today’s world, culture remains our best sustainable advantage. Others can copy a service or reverse-engineer a product. But few can replicate a high-performing culture.
If you’re evaluating a prospective employer, considering a new supplier, or deciding on a potential merger, you need to understand a company’s culture. Or you’ll end up living with the results.
While few companies actively advertise…
Don’t Leave it to Chance.
Have you ever had one of those days where everything seems to go wrong? Every problem leads to another. Nothing you do works out.
On these days, even the smallest tasks seem impossible. Every problem becomes insurmountable. Every action seems to lengthen the distance between you and your goal. Morale plummets and you start looking for any excuse to give up.
Then there’s the other side. Those days where everything goes your way. Every obstacle is manageable. Problems seem to work themselves out on their own and there’s no end to the possibilities.
No Polyester Jackets Required
One of my first jobs was selling candy bars door to door. It was as close as you could get to indentured servitude in the 1990s.
I hated every minute of it. I don’t know if you’ve ever had to sell candy bars, but these had the unenviable combination of being overpriced and tasting like chalk. Trying to convince people to buy a product I hated didn’t go over well. My half-hearted pitches and pleas for support landed on deaf ears and closed doors.
I ended the time with one clear takeaway — I was not…
5 Areas that Deliver 10x Results
“The supply of time is totally inelastic,” wrote Peter Drucker. “No matter how high the demand, the supply will not go up. There is no price for it and no marginal utility curve for it. Moreover, time is totally perishable and cannot be stored. Yesterday’s time is gone forever and will never come back. Time is, therefore, always in exceedingly short supply.”
Time is the universal constant. We all get the same amount and our success as leaders often comes down to how well we choose to use it. What we choose to prioritize…
Or At Least Stop Providing Such Bad Advice
As managers, one of our primary jobs is to offer advice. Its unfortunate then, that most of that advice is bad.
It’s not intentional. Most managers want to give good advice. They want to give people the right answers and helpful guidance. Yet it rarely has the intended effect.
In BlessingWhite’s latest Coaching Conundrum study, they found a distinct difference between those offering coaching and those receiving it. Managers tend to believe that they’re offering coaching much more frequently — and to a greater effect — than those on the receiving end…
Leading Change is More Than Showing People Facts.
In 1846, Ignaz Semmelweis could have saved countless women and children from terrible deaths. He could have, but ultimately, he failed.
At the time, large numbers of women and newborns were dying from childbed fever, an incredibly painful disease that led to fevers, painful abscesses and an irreversible descent into sepsis and death — all within 24 hours of childbirth. Vienna General Hospital, where Semmelweis practiced medicine, had two maternity wards — one staffed by male doctors, the other with female midwives. …
Protect Your Priorities, Because No One Else Will
I struggle to say no. I’m supposed to be better at it. I know that it’s important. I know that if I don’t stay focused where it matters, everything suffers as a result. I know this. So do you.
But I still struggle. I agree to take on more responsibilities. I take on more requests and sign up for aggressive deadlines. Before long, it becomes unsustainable. I then need to choose between ignoring half of my work or doing a poor job on all of them. Yeah, not great.
Or at Least, Procrastinate Less.
“Only put off until tomorrow what you are willing to die having left undone,” said Pablo Picasso. And yet, this is exactly what we do. We procrastinate every day. We delay doing what we know we should. We fill our time with mindless busyness over what will make a real impact.
I delay paying bills. I put off inspecting the car or updating the registration. My lawn is in a perpetual state of neglect.
There’s no mystery here. I don’t like doing these things, so I don’t do them. I put things off because I’d…
I might be a top writer. It depends on the week.