Follow the Leader – How to Find Great Leaders

This is the second blog in a two-part series.

In my last blog on leaders, I pointed out how you can be a boss — as in someone who people report to — without being a leader, meaning someone who you want to follow. But what if you’re not in a leadership position yet? If you’re still a “follower,” you may wonder if your boss is the right person on which to model your own strategy and decision making. But

Signs of a Leader (Hint: They might not be the boss.)

This is the first part of a two-part series. Next time: how to find leaders worth following.

It’s a simple question, but perhaps not an easy answer – what are the signs of a leader, as opposed to just a “boss”? Are you just someone people report to? It’s different to head up a team on an organisational chart, to put in performance reviews and assign work to people. Yes, you’re the boss.

But being a leader isn’t really about any of that. You can be a leader even

Personal Resolutions are a Choice. A Professional Legacy is a Decision.

Happy new year!

People have different opinions about New Year resolutions. Some people seem to downright relish the idea of assessing where they are at the beginning of a new calendar year and setting out goals to improve themselves. Others emphatically embrace the idea that the best way not to fail to keep a resolution is to not make one in the first place. I think many of us are somewhere in the middle. But even if you are in the no resolution camp, I think we all benefit from thinking about our professional legacy.

If generations solve problems differently, how do they find solutions together?

A few years ago we were having a debate at the office about how to approach problems. That’s a wide statement, of course. But the conversation was not about how to solve any issue in particular. The discussion focused more on a certain template to our processes, and how that presupposed other things. How we identify problems, whom we assign the resolution to and why we choose one person over another. Like so many things, these decisions are partly determined by our generational perspective. But generations solve problems differently. So do older decision makers need an overall reset?

Second in a two-part series. This is the second of two posts about how to use 360-degree feedback. Last time we discussed why this method of assessing performance is problematic. This time: better ways of using 360-degree feedback effectively in individual business relationships.

Everyone has been at a music concert, or listening to a lecture, when someone steps up to the microphone and instead of a human voice there’s nothing but that horrible screeching sound that tries to pluck your eardrums out of

Why Using 360-Degree Feedback in Performance Evaluations Gets Poor Marks

First in a two-part series. This is the first of two posts about 360-degree feedback in performance evaluations. This week we discuss why this method of assessing performance is problematic. Next time: better ways to use this feedback to improve individual business relationships.

Someone asked me recently about performance evaluations, specifically, whether 360-degree feedback in performance evaluations was useful. The argument in favour of them is that by getting a feedback from not only your manager, but also your direct reports, internal clients, external clients, peers and . . . whomever else you can

X Marks the Top – How Gen X is Driving Change in Organisations

Jeff Bezos is, at the time of this writing, the wealthiest person in the world. Born in 1964, Bezos is on the cusp of Baby Boomers and Gen X. Some say Gen X started a year or two later, so you can find whichever definition you want to claim him or not. But you can’t deny the changes Amazon has brought to consumers and businesses, and Bezos aside, you can’t deny that Gen X is driving change in organisations more generally. The founders of Google were both born in 1973. Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook, was born in 1969. Jack

“Press”ure Points: The Bias in Media Coverage of Women CEOs

An article in 2016 about then-Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer focused on a sample version of Mayer’s CV, put together by resume-creation company, enhancv. In other words, this was not Mayer’s own actual CV as written by her; this was a promotional product made by an organisation in the business of selling resume-writing services. Nonetheless, the article went on to point out statements in “her CV” as flaws or warnings about Mayer’s less successful professional decisions.

The article then used a quote from Mayer from eight years prior — about her cupcake baking — as early

It’s Lonely At The Top — Why Women CEOs Face More Shareholder Activism

It’s been widely reported that among the FTSE 100, there are more CEOs named David (nine), than CEOs who are women (seven). The problem, of course, is not David (any of them), but Goliath – in this case, not one massive adversary but a number of challenges faced only, or disproportionally, by female CEOs. For example, women CEOs face more shareholder activism than their male counterparts according to an article in the Journal of Applied Psychology. But why?

Shareholder activism is usually a sign of lack of confidence in management, and management’s ultimate leader, the CEO. Assuming shareholders are

High-Performance Employee Burnout: the Cost and the Cure

Let’s face it – everyone loves a rock star employee. Companies are thrilled to have employees who not only meet, but exceed, deadlines or sales goals or budgets.

As long as there aren’t interpersonal or other management-related issues, employers will usually reward these workers with bonuses or promotions, or at worst, let them run on auto-pilot. But there’s a potential downside with an “ain’t broke, don’t fix it” attitude toward these workers – the risk of high-performance employee burnout.

To prevent a rock star from becoming a one-hit wonder, it’s imperative that employers try to identify and prevent burnout.

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