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Don’t Kill with Kindness: 4 Leadership Best Practices for Bosses

When directing and disciplining employees on the job, what approach is correct to get the best long-term performance?  Are you better off being a friend or a tyrant?  Shoot for respected and we’ll call it a day.  Read on to learn why on the job it can be cruel to be kind, and four best practices to get what you want from employees. Read More…

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Outgoing Voicemail Messages That Get Results

So why am I writing about Outgoing Voicemail Messages?  A while ago I published an article in various periodicals and online venues like AOL called “Leaving Voicemail Messages That Get Returned.”  Judging from the email I have received and how many websites have replicated that content, I came to the conclusion that this is a hot topic and republished that article in my SmartBlog post and online.  It makes sense to me to now share a follow-up on the use of voicemail, this time the proactive use of these hated systems in order to field incoming calls. 

You see, people have long hated speaking voice-jail because they know darn well they will be banished to digital purgatory, never to have a return to their calls again.  He who didn’t read my first historic (gimme’ some profs) article has become fed-up and won’t leave a message, either calling back when he can bug you in person or giving up entirely.  But this isn’t what you want, is it?  You’re an expert communicator, not a call screener who hides behind voice-veil.  You want the caller to leave a message that gets down to business quickly and makes responding easier than a closest to the pin contest against Tiger Woods.  Read More…

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The Weak Manager Litmus Test—How to Become a Great Leader in Business

How do you identify a weak manager?  Ladies and gentlemen, the Peter Principle is alive and well in American business today.  Many managers get promoted, but few know how to become a great leader in business. 

It seems the biggest sole contributor to obtaining a position in management is to be completely devoid of people and communications skills.  I know, that’s harsh, but that’s the way it is in many companies that I see today.  Being selected as the Chosen One at a company is great for the new manager, especially for his wallet, but it can have a devastating effect on the organization.  Productivity drops off to near nothing, employee morale goes to hell, and retained earnings evaporate under your very eyes.  Management tracks a lot of data and issues a stack of memos like they were born for the job, but they couldn’t lead an army of fire ants to a picnic held by the American Crumb Association.  The managers are weak in the leadership department, and chaos ensues.  What’s really scary is that these traits occur just as much in established managers, people firmly entrenched in their positions and riding it out until they get their gold watch.

Here is the 5 point litmus test to spot a weak manager, a leader in name but not in deed.  Read More…

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Leadership Sand Traps: Tips from the Links to Build Leadership Skills

What a wonderful day in central Florida it was.  The sun is shining, a woodpecker gently taps on a nearby cypress tree, and I’m standing on the first tee at Diamondback golf course, ready to light up the scorecard by shooting in the low eighties.  I use a three iron and stealthily launch a perfectly placed shot in the center of the fairway.  This is going to be big.  My next effort is a four iron, safely landing 75 yards from the bunker-guarded green on this short but hazardous par 5.   Suddenly the heart palpitations are fast and furious, my palms begin to sweat, and I’m feeling the heat because two people I’ve never seen before who my partner and I were paired with are awaiting my magnificent approach to the green.  I skull the sand wedge into the woods, and suddenly the little setbacks that every person who has ever played this game has faced start to loom larger and larger.  I make it off the course alive four and a half hours later—sweat under my arms, sand in my shoes, and expletives escaping my lips about the 110 I just regurgitated on this beautiful landscape.  The flight back to Pennsylvania and more comfortable, wide-open terrain cannot leave soon enough. Read More…

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