Archive | September, 2011

12 Signs You’re a Great Boss

It's pretty easy to spot a bad boss, but what are the distinguishing characteristics of the great ones?  That's the question I was asked to answer in a column for The request came after an editor saw the recent "100 Ideas for Great Bosses" series we published on   How might I take all those ideas and find the best of the best within?  The result became "Do You Have the 12 Signs of a Great Boss?" I hope you enjoy it! It was fun to share the ideas with the Forbes readership and offer links to our Poynter columns, our iTunesU podcasts, and of course, tell more people about the upcoming publication of "WORK HAPPY: WHAT GREAT BOSSES KNOW."
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Great Bosses Boot Camp in New Orleans

I  had a terrific time leading a day-long "Great Bosses Boot Camp" in advance of the Excellence in Journalism 2011 convention in New Orleans.  The room was so packed, we had to add tables to accommodate people.  I'm always impressed at the commitment of managers to learn more about how to help people grow. This was a diverse group, representing TV, radio, online, the military, non-profit organizations, college professors, and even people from Angie's List and AARP.  How's that for a interesting cross-section of managers? Whenever I teach, I start with the assumption that there's an abundance of wisdom already in the room, and it's my job to integrate it into my presentations.  I can't imagine conducting a session for managers that isn't interactive and gives them plenty of opportunities to teach each other. In this workshop, we covered Ten Things Great Bosses Know, did a master class on feedback and how managers can improve and increase it. We spent time on handling tough conversations and managing the boss. At the end, we did a lightning round in which everyone chimed in with an idea and action they're taking home.  My sincere applause to the managers who could have spent a lovely day in New Orleans sightseeing on the day before a convention kickoff, but went to Great Bosses Boot Camp instead.  
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Teaching Leaders in New Orleans!

I'm headed to New Orleans this weekend.  On the agenda: a full day "Great Bosses Boot Camp" for managers from a diverse group of organizations.  The folks registered for the workshop come from newspapers, TV, radio, online, government organizations, the military, and more!  What they have in common is that their work involves communication and that they want to become better bosses. We'll pack a lot into the day.  Here's what's on the agenda:
  • Ten Things Great Bosses Know
  • The Secret to Performance Management: Feedback
  • Tough Conversations, Good Results
  • Managing Up - for You and Your Team
While in New Orleans, I'll be doing some custom training for a media group's leaders and also teaching a "Great Bosses" session during the convention. This is the first year that the Radio-TV Digital News Association and the Society for Professional Journalists have teamed up for a convention.  I think it's a wise idea for them to join forces, and I'm delighted to help with this teaching.  As I wrote about my recent trip to Denver and the APME convention, managers in media organizations are dealing with extraordinary change and challenge these days.  Training has often been the first victim of budget cuts, even as managers need to have better skills than ever before. It's one of the reasons I'm so excited about next year's release of "WORK HAPPY: WHAT GREAT BOSSES KNOW."  It will be a workshop-in-a-book, with practical guidance for individual managers or teams who want to be more successful leaders.  And while I often teach media leaders, the leadership lessons apply to managers in every field. Time to go pack for New Orleans!
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Denver, Leaders and Feedback

This week I'll be spending time in Denver at the Associated Press Managing Editors and Photo Managers conferences.  I'm teaching a "Master Class on Feedback" to both groups, as well as doing one-on-one coaching with editors.  I am always impressed with the innovative and resilient spirit of these managers.  They are leading people through historic, some times chaotic changes in the industry.  They are involved with new products, new technologies, and new relationships with consumers through social media and interactivity. They are doing it all with reduced staffing levels and tight budgets.  How's that for challenge in times of change? They understand that today's media environment needs more than just managers, it need demands leaders.  My feedback session is designed to help them discover opportunities in their busy days to upgrade the quality of the feedback they provide to staff. We know that feedback is absolutely critical to employee motivation and development. We also know it is routinely in short supply in most workplaces. My APME and APPM sessions will provide a small sample of the information in "WORK HAPPY: WHAT GREAT BOSSES KNOW."
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100 Ideas to Help You Be a Better Boss

We've now posted 100 Great Bosses podcasts to iTunesU! Since early last year, we've had over 5 million downloads. That number amazes me!  To celebrate podcast number 100 (and the pending book "WORK HAPPY: WHAT GREAT BOSSES KNOW"), I've written a series of columns for, called "100 Great Boss Ideas."  We posted 25 ideas each day for four days.  I hope you enjoy the tips and thoughts.  Most of all, these columns prompt some good discussions in your workplace. Here's a link to the first 25 ideas. Here's a link to ideas #26-50. Here's the link to ideas #51-75. Finally, here are ideas #76-100. But don't think if you've read the 100 ideas, you've read the book. No way! I'm happy to tell you the book will contain much more -- including self-diagnostics and quizzes to help you both assess your current skills and strengths as a leader, as well as information on how to get the best from your staff.  Think of it as a workshop in a book -- one that's fun, interactive -- and above all, practical and truly helpful.
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