Archive | July, 2012
In "WORK HAPPY: WHAT GREAT BOSSES KNOW", I explore the impact of the words managers say. Sometimes bosses don't even realize how powerful an offhanded comment can be. Your words can make someone's day or persuade them they are worthless. You can make rules you never knew you made. You can also do damage to your own reputation if you don't truly think before you speak or don't notice your employees' reactions to things you say. There are also things you shouldn't say at work, beyond the obvious ones your HR department warns you about. I recently was asked by Forbes. com to write about things you shouldn't say. These the far more common things that managers proclaim -- that can keep people from being happy at work. They can also get in the way of a manager's success, perhaps without you knowing it. Here's a link to the Forbes.com column called "Talking Yourself Into Trouble, Boss: Things Not to Say at Work."
I'm looking forward to a great evening of conversation about leadership and management on July 24th, when I speak at the Grafton, Wisconsin public library. A great friend of mine works at this library. She's a former employee who's the kind every manager hopes to hire - talented and a team player. Debbie invited me to do a reading from the book and take questions from the audience and I was delighted to say yes. This is what visitors to the library's website (click here) see when they log on. The event is at 6:30pm. Hope to see you there!
The Penn State story is a nightmare, first and foremost for the young victims of Jerry Sandusky. The former assistant football coach was convicted of multiple counts of sexual abuse of boys. Compounding the tragedy, an independent investigation commissioned by the university found that the top leaders at Penn State covered up the wrongdoing over a long period of time. These were leaders who appeared to all the world to be men of strong values. In the end, according to the investigation, they placed protecting the reputation of the organization above all else. Sadly, the same thing could happen where you work, if the conditions are right. In my latest column for Poynter.org, I list 8 ways your own organization may lose its moral compass, setting the table for the kind of leadership and ethical meltdown experienced at Penn State. Click on this link to take you to the column and accompanying podcast.
To get to be a great boss, you need to master one of management's top challenges and responsibilities -- having tough conversations. The reasons for them vary, from negotiations to negative feedback on performance to the daily disappointments that happen in the workplace. What do you say? How do you say it? Your approach to these conversations makes a critical difference. It's especially important to learn how to respond when the other person in the conversation says or does something that could derail things. I call them the 4 D's. They are: denial, deflection, disruption, and dumping on the boss. I take a look at each of these, and provide tips on how to respond, in this column on Poynter.org. Just click here and you'll be taken to the column and its companion podcast.
This is a copy of the July 1 Best Seller list from "The Straits Times," the English-language newspaper published in Singapore. "WORK HAPPY: WHAT GREAT BOSSES KNOW" is enjoying a spot in the top ten! In fact, this message came today from Hachette: "Wanted to let you know that our export edition of Work Happy is making its third appearance this week on the (Singapore) Straits Times best seller list." Third appearance! I would love to know the story behind the book's popularity in Malaysia. I had received a message a few weeks ago from a journalist in Singapore, an alum of a seminar, telling me the book was selling well. I thought she was just being nice! If you'd like to see what the "Straits Times" publication looks like, here's a link to its website. The "Straits Times" Facebook page says it is "Malaysia's most widely-read newspaper." The Facebook page alone has nearly 54,000 "likes." By comparison, the "WORK HAPPY: WHAT GREAT BOSSES KNOW" Facebook page just broke the 450 "likes" mark. Clearly, I should be reaching out to Malaysia. Then I might find out from folks there why the book has developed its following.
I'd like to stamp out a particular, time-honored management saying. It's one that I think does more harm than good. I wrote about this troublesome mantra today in my "What Great Bosses Know" column on Poynter.org. The saying is well-intentioned, but I argue that it's actually an invitation to an unhappy workplace and unhappy employees. Okay, so I've kept you in suspense long enough. What's the phrase I'm challenging? It's one I know you've heard and may even have said: "Hire good people and leave them alone." If you'd like to check out my arguments against it, here's a link to the column and podcast on Poynter.org. I'd love your feedback. Are there other management bromides that you'd like to see go out of use?