November 2017

  • Deconstructing Delegation

    Delegation may be among the most misunderstood and mishandled of all supervisory responsibilities. Ask any employee and you’ll hear stories of managers throwing tasks “over the wall” with little or no direction or support. At the other end of the continuum is the criticisms of leaders who can’t let go and end up limiting their careers by insisting upon doing everything themselves. It’s rare to hear of the Goldilocks delegator who does it “just right.”

  • Work Like an Artist: An Artist’s Guide to Success as An Entrepreneur

    Artists are fantastic at overcoming obstacles in their work. Why? Because, to artists, obstacles are a necessary ingredient in the recipe that will lead them to success. They’re waiting for the bumps in the road, and when those bumps arrive, artists have the tools necessary to surmount those rough patches sometimes even turning them into gold.

  • How Morale Changes as a Startup Grows

    When we think about startup cultures, we imagine ping pong tables, kegerators, and Nerf guns. More importantly, we envision an esprit de corps that drives employees to happily burn the midnight oil to build the next big thing. However, this startup cultural utopia invariably hits a rough patch for about 70% of startups in years three to four, regardless of how happy the team was before. We call this the “cultural chasm.”

  • Should CEOs Respond When Employees Complain About Them Online?

    Many leaders expect to be challenged by employees in the privacy of their offices, but there are greater risks when it happens online, in public. Others may pile on, a CEO’s response may be taken out of context, and comments may live on in perpetuity. A CEO’s personal reputation, which is one of a company’s most valuable assets, may be at stake.

  • Why the Millions We Spend on Employee Engagement Buy Us So Little

    Organizations are spending hundreds of millions of dollars on employee engagement programs, yet their scores on engagement surveys remain abysmally low. How is that possible? Because most initiatives amount to an adrenaline shot. A perk is introduced to boost scores, but over time the effect wears off and scores go back down. Another perk is introduced, and scores go back up — and then they fall again. The more this cycle repeats itself, the more it feels like manipulation.

  • Why Do We Spend So Much Developing Senior Leaders and So Little Training New Managers?

    During the last five years of my corporate management career, I had a great deal of leadership development. Along with many other executives, I attended talks by noted management authors, I went to (often lengthy) team-building exercises, and I participated in discussions on different leadership styles. It was OK — extremely insightful at times, moderately interesting at others, but it often kept me away from the demands of everyday management.

  • What to Do When a Colleague Excludes You

    The negative effects of bullying and harassment and other aggressive behaviors in the workplace are becoming better known, but another, quieter form of torment is actually far more common: ostracism. Research indicates that a full 71% of professionals experience some degree of exclusion or social isolation in a six-month period (compared to the 49% that experience harassment, for example).

  • Don’t Give Up on Unconscious Bias Training — Make It Better

    There’s a growing skepticism about whether unconscious bias training is an effective tool to meet corporate diversity goals. Critics of such training contend that it doesn’t visibly move the needle on diversity numbers, and can even backfire.