Tag Archives: book

How to Be the Boss Employees Love

The most important thing leaders do is help other people succeed.  That's a given in my teaching.  I also teach that leadership is personal.  You can be an inspiring, brilliant, courageous leader -- and you will enhance all of that by sincerely caring about the people you lead. You show that by treating them as people, not just producers.  You find out the "secret sauce" to connecting with and motivating each one.  You remember that on day's like Valentine's Day, special things just might be going on in their lives.  You're happy for them -- and try your best to make sure that today, of all days, their work and life are in harmony. Valentineposter  
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Video: How Volunteering Can Be a Path to Management

Recently, I was interviewed by Poynter.org's Anna Li about establishing your leadership credentials, even before you are a manager in an organization.  Because I was promoted to management at a fairly young age, Anna wanted to know what got me on the radar as "management material."  Here's my reply:



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Paperback Edition – Now on Store Shelves!

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Take the Great Bosses Quiz!

ThnxBoss Are you an aspiring great boss?  Or perhaps you've already been told by staff that you are one of the greats.


If so, good for you!  In either case, here's a chance to see if you know the answers to ten questions related to what great bosses know.  I drafted this quiz with a combination of serious purpose and a little fun.  The questions are multiple choice, and there's really only one right answer for each one.


So, let's see how you do.  The  ten questions are below -- along with a link to the correct answers along with lots of other resources for you on each of the topics in the questions.


The Great Bosses Quiz:


1. The most effective feedback from managers to employees is:

a. Serious and scary

b. Specific and sincere

c. Sweet and sour

2. Emotional Intelligence is:

a. Essential to effective leadership

b. A touchy-feely waste of time

c. An unreleased single by Hall & Oates

3. Micromanagers are:

a. Shorter than average managers

b. Rarely appreciated by staff and likely to impede employee growth

c. Beloved by all

4. Managers who are good coaches for staff know their most important tool is:

a. The question

b. The whistle

c. The deep breathing exercises

5. Everyone likes money.  But it’s important for managers to understand that motivation involves much more than extrinsic rewards like cash.  Especially important are intrinsic motivators such as:

a. Envy, greed, sloth and gluttony

b. Happy, Sleepy, Grumpy and Dopey

c. Competence, autonomy, purpose and growth

6. When managers apologize, they:

a. Sound like wimps

b. Should spread the blame around

c. Gain respect for holding themselves accountable

7. Performance management succeeds when supervisors:

a. Set clear expectations and priorities and provide ongoing feedback

b. Leave employees alone to figure things out

c. Use fear and humiliation to keep people on their toes

8. Change initiatives often fail because of:

a. Employees who are too lazy to change

b. Bad luck

c. Ineffective leadership regarding the education, emotion, motivation, collaboration and communication involved in change

9. To build a strong, cohesive team, managers should:

a. Emphasize shared values and goals, build trust and reinforce cooperation

b. Order people to get along or else

c. Identify enemies in other departments and gang up on them

10. People become great bosses by:

a. Strategically sucking up to powerful people

b. Getting an MBA from an impressive school

c. Using their values, skill, power and influence to help others succeed


Think you have the right answers?  Click here to the full column on Poynter.org to find out!


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Countdown to the Paperback Edition Release!

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How Can I Find Low Cost Management Training?

WGBKiTunesUIn a tight economy, training budgets can be among the first casualties. That leaves learning opportunities limited for many managers or aspiring managers. I suspect it's among the key reasons we've had over 9 million downloads of the "What Great Bosses Know" podcasts since I began posting them to iTunes U in 2010.

Interestingly, the stats we receive on those downloads indicate that the podcast listeners come from across the world.  In fact, only about half of the downloads come from the United States. Clearly, the desire to be a great boss is universal!

The podcasts are free, and that certainly adds to their appeal. But what I hear from listeners is that they appreciate several things about them:

  1. The practical topics. I share tips about issues that managers face each day.
  2. The brevity.  Typical episodes run between 3 and 5 minutes. I've been told by listeners that I often ride to work with them in their cars, or jog along with them on a run. The concise episodes work well for busy people.
  3. The optimistic but realistic advice. I think management can be a challenging, frustrating and often lonely endeavor. But because I also believe management can be an absolutely joyful mission as leaders help others do their best work.
This is a link to the podcast library on iTunes U. FinalCoverArtIt was the success of the podcasts that persuaded me to build on them and develop the book, "WORK HAPPY: WHAT GREAT BOSSES KNOW." It has become a management training guide for individuals and teams in such diverse areas as medicine, municipal management, libraries, IT, and media organizations!

DifficultconvojgMy favored form of management training will always be face-to-face, so it can involve customization and coaching for each participant. I know from evaluations of the many workshops I lead that people truly value the ability to get individualized feedback.

But if that's not a reality for you today, feel free to take advantage of the "What Great Bosses Know" podcasts and the book "WORK HAPPY: WHAT GREAT BOSSES KNOW."

WHFBpgYou can also check out the book's Facebook page, where I curate and share worthwhile readings on leadership and management and update it regularly.

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What Can Veteran Bosses Learn from the Newest Managers?

Jill&EvilTwinI love working with new managers, because they are such eager learners.  I recently spent a week with twenty-one newly promoted bosses. This was a diverse group in age, gender, ethnicity, and geography.

At the end of the seminar, I mentioned to a colleague how energized I was by the group.  There was an optimism in the room that was undeniable.  It was a special mindset -- refreshing in these days of downsizing, changing demands and tight budgets.  The more I thought about it, the more I was inspired to write, so I could encourage veteran managers to recapture an essential part of the new manager mindset.  Here's a link to that column and podcast on Poynter.org.

Hope you enjoy it!  Let me know what you think.

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Three Secrets of Happy Employees: Jill Geisler’s Interview for Entrepreneur.com

Gwen Moran, a columnist for Entrepreneur.com, recently contacted me to talk about "WORK HAPPY: WHAT GREAT BOSSES KNOW" and the lessons it holds for improving workplaces.  From that interview, she developed a useful list of tips for managers who want to improve quality and productivity, by making the workplace better for employees.  I like the way she synthesized some of the many pages of advice from the book into three key ingredients to a happy workplace:
  1. A supervisor who cares
  2. Sincere and specific praise and feedback
  3. A supportive and fair workplace culture
Here's a link to Moran's full column, "Three Secrets to Happy Employees" and my advice for developing those key ingredients.  Of course, to really know how to make it happen, I think you just have to read the book.  Keep leading, friends.        
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Listen: Arrogant Bosses & More! Jill Geisler’s Interview on WKSU’s Regina Brett Show

Are you an arrogant boss? What if you work for one?  That was the core of the conversation on the Labor Day edition of the "Regina Brett Show" on WKSU, the Ohio NPR station.  I appeared on the program with Professor Stanley Silverman of the University of Akron, who has recently published research on the problems caused by arrogant bosses.  I was asked about a good number of aspects of "WORK HAPPY: WHAT GREAT BOSSES KNOW" -- including the "Evil Twin" problem many bosses face.  We also discussed the "20 Questions about Your Boss" exercise in the book that helps people do a better job of managing their bosses, both the great ones and those who, unfortunately, rank high on Dr. Silverman's arrogance scale.  Here is a link to the program's web page, where you can hear or download the program.
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Listen: KQED Radio Interview with Jill Geisler on Good and Bad Bosses

KQED radio in San Francisco is one of the country's most popular NPR member stations.  One of its signature programs is "Forum" with host Michael Krasny.  On Thursday, August 24, I spent a delightful hour discussing the joys and challenges of management and leadership with Krasny and callers.  We discussed the skills and values of bosses, both bad and good.  We took  calls from listeners asking for advice.  Later that night, at a book signing in Palo Alto, several attendees told me they were drawn to the event because of what they heard and learned while listening to Forum that morning.  This is a link to the audio of the show, along with a summary of the conversation. This shot was taken after the program.  With me are my friend and San Francisco host Dawn Garcia, Deputy Director of the Knight Fellowships at Stanford, then right are Raul Ramirez, News Director of KQED and Forum host Michael Krasny.   
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