Tag Archives | Leadership

Orchestrator or Autocrat?

This weekend’s Wall Street Journal contained an article by former Chrysler and General Motors executive Bob Lutz called “Life Lessons from a Car Guy.”  Lutz believes that different kinds of organizations require different kinds of leaders.  A loosely-connected conglomerate like General Electric requires a leader with vision and portfolio management skills; investing/divesting lines of business,…

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Your Brain at Work

Most of us view work as a kind of economic transaction: people exchange labor for financial compensation. Depending on the job, increased quantity of labor (number of hours) or increased quality of labor (bonus or promotion) results in increased compensation. However, there is an increasing amount of research that shows that we are motivated not…

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The Poison of Power

There is an old saying that power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. It’s a catchy phrase that might be true. Researchers have shown that power – even artificial power – causes people to change their behavior. Stanford Professor Deborah Gruenfeld describes, When people feel powerful, they stop trying to ‘control themselves.’ What we think…

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7 More Tips For New Managers

After the discussion around my 7 tips for new managers, I decided to add a few more: 8. “Do unto others” Treat employees the way that you would want to be treated.  Never ask an employee to do something that you wouldn’t do yourself. 9. “Turn chickens into pigs” During bacon and eggs breakfasts, the chicken…

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Mentor or Sponsor?

Mentors, take note. You might not be doing your job. A 2008 Catalyst survey of 4000 high-potential men and women who graduated from top MBA programs revealed that women were paid nearly $5000 less in their first post-MBA job, had lower-level positions, and reported significantly less career satisfaction. (For more findings, see the HBR article “Women…

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The Solitude of Leadership

In an article entire Solitude and Leadership, William Deresiewicz delivered this stinging indictment on the state of leadership in America: Why is it so often that the best people are stuck in the middle and the people who are running things—the leaders—are the mediocrities? Because excellence isn’t usually what gets you up the greasy pole….

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Culture eats strategy for breakfast

A little more than six months ago, I took a new role with a group that was described as in need of a “turn-around” and an “updated strategy and direction”. I was urged to introduce a new mission/vision, strategic objectives, and revised key performance indicators. Given my performance management background, this seemed like a reasonable…

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