Workplace Wisdom

14 Apr 2014

Why You Have to Deal with the Problem of Role Clarity

Organizational life can be confusing, what with changes in job roles or organizational structure, turnover in management or peers, or even the positive circumstance of company growth. But in too many companies, middle managers are expressing great frustration about their lack of role clarity. And unfortunately, even senior managers sometimes make the same complaint. What do these managers mean? They say they can’t figure out how to move forward on complex projects, or don’t know who has authority over certain […]

25 Mar 2014

How to Give Employees a Sense of Direction

Most employees want to know where their leaders are headed before they’ll follow with energy and enthusiasm. When they can’t tell where you’re going or how you plan to get there, they’ll feel like they’re being left to wander — or even being abandoned — and they’ll become disheartened or disillusioned. So if you’re the leader, how can you get everyone on a single path — not in lockstep, but headed in the same general, purposeful direction? The Leadership Compass […]

09 Aug 2011

Are You a Better Leader Than a Four-Year-Old?

I have a four-year-old friend: a rather strong-willed, loving, and declarative little girl. The summer camp she attends is also quite declarative — about what constitutes correct behavior, and how the children should handle any interpersonal difficulties. The camp’s stance is so clear, in fact, that the four-year-old has internalized it and acts on it. She demonstrated its merits recently when she quelled a skirmish that had broken out between two boys. “Back up!” my little friend commanded, standing in […]

16 Jun 2010

What’s Your Catchphrase?

I was working with the president of a financial services company the other day. Our conversation moved quickly and easily over multiple, diverse topics, including a couple of new ways to motivate his sales force, techniques for probing more deeply into clients’ needs, and tips for letting people know that he disagreed with their views without using the truth as a weapon. I like working with him because not only is he very intelligent as many business owners are, but […]


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