Let’s have a real conversation about being a hands-on manager

OK, so putting aside any squeamishness you might have about the terms “hands-on,” let’s talk about one of the most understood challenges in the workplace. Many managers can’t seem to get their thoughts around the idea of “micromanaging,” and they are so afraid of being a micromanager that they fall back on the old b***shit… Read the full article >>

Let’s Have A Real Conversation About Total Ownership

When I am stuck in traffic in Seattle, which happens more frequently than I’d like, it’s easy for me to experience frustration with “the way things are.” Sitting in traffic is a huge challenge. It’s unproductive and wasteful and very stressful. While I can dream about a world in which I could drive everywhere at… Read the full article >>

Let’s have a real conversation about difficult people

So here’s a question I frequently hear from clients: OK Jim, I hear what you’re saying in theory – that people need to have a certain level of maturity and emotional intelligence to be good bosses or good employees for that matter. But MY boss (or just as often, MY employee or MY co-worker) lacks… Read the full article >>

Let’s Have A Real Conversation About Giving Yourself Too Much Credit For Your Good Intentions

Let’s break leadership down into three areas: Recognition Intention Action   Recognition This is where you pay attention to what’s going on around you. You could call this analysis or observation. It is where you begin to notice things in the largest context possible – what does what I’m seeing tell me about our business… Read the full article >>

Let’s have a real conversation about the hard work of relationships at work

Good relationships are hard work. Rewarding, yes. Worthy of my best efforts, yes. Fulfilling, meaningful, fun, yes. But sometimes I feel we ask too much of one another. The deep dive into a relationship can become a land of scrutiny and convoluted efforts to avoid challenge or offense. It can be wasteful to spend too… Read the full article >>

Let’s have a real conversation about helping people grow

Here are some variations on a theme I’ve heard from clients a thousand times over the years: I don’t know why I should have to tell my employees to show initiative. I don’t know why I should have to tell employees to show up on time for meetings. I don’t know why people don’t come… Read the full article >>

Let’s have a real conversation about losing a customer and gaining your mojo

Years ago, I was in a commissioned sales position with a paper distribution company. And when I say commissioned, I mean the 100% – no guaranteed income type of commission. It was early in my sales career, about a year in. Money was still tight, we were raising young kids, I was trying to make… Read the full article >>

Thinking through termination

When an employee isn’t performing, there are usually many contributing reasons, and one of the most important jobs of a leader is to find those barriers to performance and remove them. If we never fire anyone, we are probably naïve. Even the best leaders make mistakes, and in most businesses, there are changes that occur… Read the full article >>

Let’s have a real conversation about change and pain

Our society seems bent on eliminating pain – physical, psychological, or otherwise. This is an encouragement for you to experience pain in your professional life because, without it, I just can’t trust that you’re doing anything significant. The process of creating change is commonly shaped like the letter “U.” When we make changes in our… Read the full article >>

Let’s have a real conversation about quitting your job.

I’ve quit a few jobs over the years. I think I reasoned it all out pretty well when I did. I’ve never regretted my decision. But I know people who have drifted in their career, wandering from employer to employer looking for one that would “get them” and open up space for their talents to… Read the full article >>