The Recipe for a Great Team: 12 Key Ingredients

what makes a strong team

12 Key Ingredients to High Performing Teams in the Workplace   It’s well understood that good teams get the best results.  Sports provide a great analogy for this: we are all familiar with those underdog teams that pull together when it matters most and make a championship run.  Everyone on the team does his or her part and they motivate each

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The Worst Things a Boss Can Ever Say

how to be a bad boss

10 Real Quotes from Bad Bosses   As managers, if it seems like our employees are watching our every move and closely listening to our every word, it’s because they are.  In particular, the words that managers and business leaders say are very important.  It’s not about being politically correct or about being nice, but it is about how a manager’s words and statements are interpreted by their

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What is an Internal Customer?

internal customers definition

The Difference Between Internal and External Customers   Several years ago, I was asked a very simple question: “Who is your customer?”   Perhaps I was naïve, or maybe just ignorant, but I replied to the simple question with an equally simple answer: “The people who pay our company money for our products and services.”  He clearly expected my response, because the

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6 Management Lessons We Get Each Fall

What we learn from the Fall season

As the air begins to cool and the days start to get shorter, we begin to see the first stages of fall settle in.  For some, it’s a welcomed sign; for others, it may mark the end of a great summer.  But for everyone, the arrival of the fall season is inevitable and simply part of life.  And with the

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The Top 5 Challenges Facing The Modern Manager

managers resource handbook

Analyzing The Challenges Faced by Managers in Today’s Organization   Over the past few weeks, I’ve been part of a significant hiring binge by my firm as a result of some corporate restructuring activities. Having interviewed candidate after candidate, I’ve found the process of filling 20 new positions to be extremely fast-paced, if not frantic, considering the importance of the

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Budget Planning: Tips for How Managers Need to Approach Their Budget

managers resource handbook

Planning Your Budget If you are a manager whose responsibilities include maintaining a budget, I feel your pain. I’m pretty sure that the one thing that brings managers of all types together is the universal pain, headaches and aggravation introduced by budget planning. As I near the end of my own budget planning cycle, in preparation for next year, I

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Are Your Goals Centralized?

managers resource handbook

  Why Goal Setting for Managers Must Centralize Purpose   Ever feel like you’re on an island in the office? You know, everyone seems to be battling for their own needs and there’s a constant demand for your help, but rarely an offer of assistance in return? Having experienced it myself first hand, I think it’s fair to say that

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5 Simple Ways You Can Promote Cultural Awareness At Work Today

managers resource handbook

  I often overhear business travelers at the airport talking on the phone, characterizing their imminent journey as “I’m headed to Asia” or “I’ll be in the Middle East next week.” I know I’ve done it as well because let’s face it, sometimes it’s just easier to say that rather saying something like “I’ve got 3 days in Tokyo, 3

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Answering These 5 Questions Will Guarantee You a More Convincing Presentation

managers resource handbook

    We’ve all sat through presentations. Some were good, some were not-so-good, and some were mind-blowing and memorable. Aside from theatrics and amazing magic tricks, there are few very basic things you can do ensure your presentation is solid, sound and convincing to your audience. If you can answer these five questions for your audience, you can guarantee yourself

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Is Organizational Friction Killing Productivity?

Conflict Between Teams

    Today’s business environment is competitive, fast paced and full of organizational congestion.  We have specialists, technicians, analysts, controllers, planners, schedulers and researchers. There are functional teams in finance, programs, sales, engineering, manufacturing, quality assurance and human resources. The management challenge in this climate, though, is how to get all these groups – all these people – to work

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The Importance of Asking Questions to Coach Employees

managers resource handbook

              EDITOR’S NOTE: Be sure to down our 8-page Coaching Through Questions Guideline and Managers Coaching Worksheet template from the Tools and Templates page! As managers, one of our primary responsibilities is to mentor and coach employees. Granted, a lot of mentoring and coaching takes place in short spurts by the water cooler, or

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Depth Vs. Breadth: How to Choose Development Assignments for Employees

managers resource handbook

    Developing employees is one of the most important aspects of managing people. Employee development can be directly linked to succession planning, team performance, and employee engagement and retention. Choosing the right assignments for employee growth is therefore critical to your management success. I often like to think about an employee’s development needs in terms of depth and breadth.

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The Four Levels of Ownership and Accountability

Ownership and Accountability

    I frequently talk to my employees about ownership and accountability. In a typical busy office environment, we are constantly getting interrupted and distracted. It seems we get so busy that we forget the conversations we have in the hall between points A and B. We make promises, vow to follow up, and tell fellow employees “I’ll take care

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Your Signal Strength: Communication in Business

managers resource handbook

                      It was a game I played as a youngster; we called it ‘telephone.’ It was the game where students sat around in a circle whispering a message into the ear of the person beside them. When the last person got the message, he or she would say the message

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5 Ways To Overcome Your Fear of Managing Employees Older Than You

Overcome the Fear of Managing Older Employees

    I first began managing other people in my mid 20’s. I worked at a Fortune 500 company with over 150,000 employees and was given a small team to lead. Of the five team members, most were close to me in age, and whom I had few concerns as their supervisor. Then there was James, who was in his

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Should Managers Apologize?

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    A hot-tempered conference call had just ended. I stepped out of my office to get some fresh air and get a drink of water. At the water cooler I ran into a peer, a fellow manager, who had also been on the conference call. “Wow, that was intense” she said. “Yeah. I don’t get why he just won’t

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What Dial Up Internet Can Teach Us About Managing Change

DIal Up Internet Iteration

            If you are old enough to remember the early days of the internet, you have probably blocked out memories of alien sounds emerging from your modem and the tapping of your fingers as you waited for a single page to load. I remember how pages would load up just a few lines at a

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Process Overload and Its Impact on Business

managers resource handbook

  How a Business Reduced Its Competitive Advantage Through Process Overload   The old risk and reward adage in business suggests that the higher one’s risk, the higher the reward will be.  Like a game of poker, high risk maneuvers can pay one back significantly if successful.  But high risk scenarios can also be severely detrimental should one fall down

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A Simple Strategy That Will Help You Hire More People

business case to hire a more expensive employee

Overcoming the Frustration of Being Under Staffed   How many times have you seen a colleague ask for more resources?  After all, their team was very busy and they could really use some more people.  You’ve probably witnessed that discussion more times than you can count.  Now, how many times have you heard the person they were asking – their own

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The Power of Incremental Progress

Take Small Steps To Reach Big Change

Every year, companies establish goals and objectives for their business.  Some firms may plan further out – as far as 5 years – in order to obtain a certain sales targets and other corporate metrics.  Unfortunately, many businesses stop there and lack a strategy for how they will actually achieve the goals.  As a result, the lofty numbers on the

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