Five Interruptions NOT to Avoid: Why Some Distractions Are Important

Five Interruptions NOT to Avoid: Why Some Distractions Are Important

"One way to boost our will power and focus is to manage our distractions instead of letting them manage us."—Daniel Goleman, American author and psychologist Imagine a completely distraction-free office, where you can focus totally and productively, where no one ever calls you, chats outside your office in the hallway, plays their music too loudly, or pops in for a quick question. Imagine a place where you could spend hours upon hours single-tasking to your heart's content, churning out work by the barrel-load. Wouldn't that be heaven? I’m thinking NO. Oh maybe for a time, but it gets old. Unless you're a solitary worker with no communications with others (a rare occurrence in this era), social interaction remains a must. Although I'm a big believer in warding off most dis … [Read more...]

Sidestepping Micromanagement: How to Follow Up Without Being a Pest

Sidestepping Micromanagement: How to Follow Up Without Being a Pest by Laura Stack #productivity

"Management is about arranging and telling. Leadership is about nurturing and enhancing." --Tom Peters, American business writer. If you've attained a management position, then you've certainly learned that you must delegate some or most of your work, to avoid being overwhelmed by your responsibilities. No single manager can do everything he or she is ultimately responsible for. Having responsibility for something doesn’t mean it’s your job per se—you just need to make sure it’s done. Take Merck's Roger Perlmutter. He’s in charge of the R&D Division that manufactures new drugs. He doesn’t invent the drugs. But he makes sure they are invented by people who focus on nothing else. His job is to cut out the fat that slows their production. When he took his position in 2012, he dismissed … [Read more...]

Employee Loyalty: How to Create and Maintain a Loyal Team

Employee Loyalty: How to Create and Maintain a Loyal Team by Laura Stack #productivity

"I'll take fifty percent efficiency to get one hundred percent loyalty." —Samuel Goldwyn, American movie mogul. To paraphrase Forrest Gump, loyalty is as loyalty does. In recent years, some business leaders have bemoaned the death of old-fashioned employee loyalty, as workers realize that technology has freed them from some workplace restraints. Many have also decided they can get farther faster by jumping from one company to another, rather than by working their way through the hierarchy of one organization. This is unfortunate, but it represents a natural evolution of the workplace. Conditions have changed drastically in the past several decades. Given global competition, the lingering Great Recession, and shareholder demands for greater value, most companies can no longer guarantee l … [Read more...]

The Managerial Bulldozer: Removing Obstacles to Your Team’s Success

The Managerial Bulldozer: Removing Obstacles to Your Team's Success by Laura Stack #productivity

"Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome." -- Booker T. Washington, inventor. "Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goal." Henry Ford, pioneering American automaker. In my upcoming book Execution IS the Strategy (Berrett-Koehler, March 2014), I emphasize the fact that, for all intents and purposes, leaders can no longer legislate strategic execution or plan too far into the future. Rigid strategies quickly become stale in the current business arena, and binding our front-line team members to them may result in consistent failure. A more effective solution? Empower individuals to take ownership of their jobs, so they can use whatever strategy works best in the … [Read more...]

The Good Manager: Building Your ROI by Building Your Team’s

The Good Manager: Building Your ROI by Building Your Team's by Laura Stack #productivity

"Vision changes a 'transactional manager' into a 'transformational leader.' While a manager gets the job done, great leaders tap into the emotions of their employees." -- Brian Tracy, American motivational guru. "Employees are the most valuable asset that any organization has. In the past managers said 'jump" and the employees said, 'How high?' Now, the managers are jumping with employees." -- Jacob Morgan, American business writer. During the past generation or so, something unusual has happened in business: managers have evolved from the boss to a team player. Figuratively, they are still in charge, of course, but leaders realized they got farther by being in partnership with their employees. They act more like a visionary facilitator, rather than a strategy imposer. Why? By … [Read more...]