Leaders: When Being Nice Isn’t Nice at All

LeadersLong gone are the days of the cold blooded business executive sitting behind his expansive mahogany desk, twirling his moustache as he dreams up new ways to torture and terrify his underlings.

Ok, that might be the Hollywood version of the mean CEO, but business today has definitely changed.

Most leaders are encouraged to be human – to engage with staffers at every level, walk through their corporate offices mingling, even participate in staff parties or other events.

That type of ‘level playing field’ atmosphere certainly makes for a pleasurable work environment, and probably places your organization on the list of “top spots to work”.

Can Leaders be Too Nice?

But can you be too human? Too nice? And could you be setting yourself up for trouble by playing the jocular nice guy with your teams? Read more

Giving Credit Where Credit is Due

CreditHarry Truman once said, “It is amazing what you can accomplish, if you don’t care who gets the credit.”

And while there’s a lot of truth in that statement, the reality is, most people like to be recognized for the hard work they do.

We’ve all faced experiences at one point or another in our careers where someone else took credit for our work. Perhaps your manager got the public recognition for a project you did 75 percent of the leg work on. Or, you were part of team effort to accomplish a major task, and somehow, one team member ended up being congratulated just a little more heartily than the rest.

When employees are regularly over-looked, and not given credit where it is due, eventually they’ll stop working as hard. They will have learned that giving 110 percent isn’t really worth the effort. At best you’ll end up with sub-standard output. At worst, you will lose good employees as they look elsewhere to be rewarded for their knowledge and experience.

And you don’t want either of those thing happening in your organization.

Sachin H. Jain wrote about this issue in a recent post for Harvard Business Review. He has led teams in in government, academia, clinical medicine, and the private sector, and as such has devised his own set of rules to help manage ‘giving credit where credit is due’.

Here are his top three: Read more

What People Look for in Great Leaders

great leadersLeadership is a popular topic of discussion and analysis in business books, and at seminars, and conferences. As a business owner, focusing on improving your leadership style and delivery is important, but it’s helpful to look first at what people are actually looking for in great leaders.

In a recent post on LinkedInToday, Marillyn Hewson, chairman and CEO at Lockheed Martin, does just that, looking at the leadership classroom of the U.S. Military to see what characteristics of leadership they find most important, especially during times of change and uncertainty.

Quoting Tom Rath and Barry Conchie’s 2008 book “Strengths Based Leadership,” Hewson calls out four things that individuals expect from great leaders: Stability, trust, compassion, and hope. Read more

Five Ways to Grow Your Business without Adding Resources

grow your businessAs a business leader, you know and understand the value of doing more with less: Focusing on productivity and efficiency, while keeping costs down and profits up.

In a recent post, Gregory Kennedy, vice president of marketing at Tapsense and Entrepreneur contributor, provides five tips to help you grow your businesses without piling on additional resources. Read more

Six Steps to Salvage an Unproductive Day

unproductiveIn the life of a business leader, there will be unproductive days.

Despite our best efforts to stay ahead of the uncertainties that come with running a business, occasionally everything seems to go sideways.

Unproductive days are never welcome. They can negatively affect your organization’s success, rattle your self-confidence, and elevate stress levels when deadlines are looming.

In a recent Entrepreneur post, contributor Lisa Evans shares six steps (with insights from productivity experts Peggy Duncan and Les Taylor) that you can take to rescue an unproductive day. Read more

Six Habits of Remarkably Likable People

habitsThe beginning of the year always provides business leaders with an opportunity to think about setting goals, and also change bad habits, and rededicate themselves towards professional development.

For some, that means increasing their likeability factor: Being liked and respected in their organizations, and among their peers and colleagues.

In a recent post, contributor Jeff Haden examines six habits of likable people, and how they succeed in setting everyone else at ease.

Read more