Tag Archives: “What great bosses know”

Northwestern University Profiles Jill Geisler’s New “Q&A” Podcast

Northwestern University's Medill News Service featured a story on my new podcast for leaders. Many thanks to reporter Yunfei Zhao for asking good questions and weaving lots of sound with the pictures. You even get to see our dog Tugboat, who likes to listen in (or sleep) while I record podcasts in my home office. Here's the video story:



You can download the podcast series from iTunes U by clicking on this link.



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Jill Geisler’s New Podcast for Leaders on iTunes U!



Loyola University Chicago and I have just launched my new podcast for managers and aspiring leaders - focused on leadership, communications and integrity in these fast-paced and changing times.


Q&A: Leadership and Integrity in the Digital Age is available on iTunes U, the academic side of iTunes. Click here and a link will take you to the podcast home page on iTunes U, where you can subscribe. There are 20 episodes as we launch and I will be adding to the collection regularly.


Each podcast tackles one question important to leaders - with practical advice that can be put to use immediately. Here are some of the topics in the collection:


1. How Will This Podcast Help Me Be a Better Leader?


2. Should Managers Be Facebook Friends with Staff?


3. What Forms of Communication Work Best During Change?


4. Should Leaders Ever Lie?


5. How Can I Build a Personal Brand without Shameless Self-Promotion?


6. How Can We Fight Burnout in an “Always-On” Culture?


7. What Does “Transparency” Really Mean for Leaders?


8. Should I Check the Social Media Posts of Job Candidates?


9. Is “Ability to Multi-Task” a Valuable Skill?


10. What Is the Best Medium for Communicating an Apology?


Want a sample of the podcasts? Here's episode one:



As you may know, my first podcast series: "What Great Bosses Know" has been downloaded millions of times. I'm delighted that the leadership at Loyola, especially the Dean of the School of Communications, Don Heider, invited me to build on that popular collection with this fresh series. Hope you enjoy it!



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May You Work Happy – and Lead the Way in 2016!


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My CJR Column: Managing from a Distance

CJR July2015 Each month, the editor of the Columbia Journalism Review does a Q&A with me about leadership and management topics. This time, the focus was on how to lead a team when you're not located where they are working. While she was asking about reporting teams in the field, the advice can also work for bosses in many other lines of work. Here's a link to the column.



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A Guide to Assessing – and Improving – Your Organizational Culture

FreshLookatCultureYou may have heard variations of the phrase "culture eats strategy." Some say it's eaten for breakfast, some for lunch. No matter. The real meaning is that whatever the brilliant initiative you may have dreamed up for your group, it will fail if the culture doesn't sustain it.


Culture trumps all. It's one of the key things I teach to managers. Right now I'm helping a friend, a leader who's been asked to help others understand how he changed a culture. He's supposed to teach it in a workshop, but needed insights into how to do more than tell some stories. You see, what he's done was so instinctive to him that it's been like breathing. He knows he does it, but can't necessarily describe the intricacies of the infrastructure behind it all.


That's why I helped him break his success down into smaller parts, so others can see the many decisions, the points of entry, the continuous effort and reinforcement in a variety of categories that have to take place to create and sustain a successful culture. The list you see on this page is the framework I gave him, and now he's happily filling in the important details.


AssessingYourCultureED I'm also working with an organization that wants to strengthen its culture in key competitive areas, so I am using the same assessment tool I developed for my friend.


Out of all of aspects of culture, do you know which one I believe is the most overlooked but essential?


It's "assumptions."  I learned that from applying the ideas of organizational culture expert Edgar Schein, who says culture is comprised of artifacts (the things we see), espoused values (the things we talk about) and assumptions. It's those assumptions, which are like the hidden part of an iceberg, that are the foundation of the culture, and often hardest to identify and change.  Assumptions are beliefs so commonly shared that people don't even talk about them -- they just act on them.


AssumptionsIt's what new employees encounter when they think they know an organization -- after all, they heard about its values, goals and products in the hiring and orientation process -- and then discover things that are a way of life, but were never mentioned.  Like: "Never turn down an overtime assignment or you'll be seen as a low performer." Or: "The Finance department is especially powerful here. Line managers tread very carefully around those folks." Or: "Lots of company decisions and relationships evolve on golf courses."


Unless you surface the many assumptions in organizations, ask why they exist and if they still should -- and people are willing to have those conversations -- then culture will remain at status quo.


Feel free to use my infographic as a checklist to assess your organization's culture. First, ask yourself what it is you WANT your culture to be: entrepreneurial, innovative, customer-centric, social media-friendly, diverse, ethical, collaborative, nimble - you get the picture. Take any of those and then go down the list of cultural elements.


CultureBreakfastAsk yourself and your team lots of questions about each of those categories. For an even more effective exercise, put people into small groups to go over the list, then see how consistent the answers are. It will be a good indication of the strength of your culture, for better or worse. It will give you guidance on what you need to do to make certain your strategy and your culture join each other for breakfast every day!


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My New Column on CJR

CJR-logo I'm happy to share this news. I've accepted an invitation from the Columbia Journalism Review to do a monthly column on leadership and management issues. The editor, Liz Spayd, poses questions to me and I provide advice.


Here's the interesting thing: Although the publication is written about journalism and the audience is people who are interested in media issues, the management issues are universal.


CJR Column For example, check out the first column. Liz's questions focus on startup cultures, integrating staff with new technical talent into a traditional team, and whether charisma can be taught or learned. You can click here to go directly to the column.



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Busy Week Ahead!



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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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Thought for The Day: Collaboration Matters!

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Become a Better Leader in One Day – November 15!

SixthJudicialCircuitCt2013That might sound like a bold promise -- but I mean it!  Our one-day Great Bosses Boot Camp on November 15 will help you develop key management and leadership skills.


We pack a lot into one day because we focus on the topics managers tell us are most important to their success -- some of their biggest challenges that deal with performance management.


Who's welcome at the Boot Camp?  Managers from all professions: Business, government, education, non-profits; If you are responsible for the work of other good folks, you're a good fit for this class.  Here's a link to info and applications.  And there's a bonus: Everyone who takes part in the class gets a copy of WORK HAPPY: WHAT GREAT BOSSES KNOW.




The second bonus: It will take place in a fun and interactive environment at Poynter's wonderful campus in St. Petersburg, Florida.

We'll cover the feedback, motivation, tough conversations, managing time and priorities -- and how great bosses do it right!

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