Interview with Meeting Genius

Wanted to share a recent interview with Meeting Genius. We chatted a bit about my latest book, SuperCompetent and discussed the speaking business. Read the interview here: … [Read more...]

Do You Have Time for Social Networking?

"Social media isn't the end-all-be-all, but it offers marketers unparalleled opportunity to participate in relevant ways. It also provides a launch-pad for other marketing tactics. Social media is not an island. It's a high-power engine on the larger marketing ship." -- Matt Dickman, American marketer and blogger. "Networking is not about hunting. It is about farming. It's about cultivating relationships." -- Dr. Ivan Misner, American author. "The most successful marketer becomes part of the lives of their followers. They follow back. They wish happy birthday. They handle problems their customers have with products or service. They grow their businesses and brands by involving themselves in their own communities." -- Marsha Collier, American speaker and business author. Networking—the … [Read more...]

How Leaders Can Get More Done Through Others: How Micromanagement Can Kill Productivity and Creativity

How Leaders Can Get More Done Through Others: How Micromanagement Can Kill Productivity and Creativity

If you want to destroy worker initiative, blast a hole in productivity, and scribble the bottom line with red ink, there's no better way to do it than by micromanaging your employees. Keeping workers on tight leashes and constantly interrupting them ruins their ability to find thoughtful, profitable ways to do their jobs, and it wastes your valuable time as well. True organizational productivity requires engaged, informed personnel willing and eager to work toward the organization's mission and vision. And it all starts with a simple concept that's amazingly hard for some people to implement: trust. Learn to Trust This can be a tough sell, especially if you've built your organization from the ground up. It's your baby; you know all its quirks, and it can be hard to trust even … [Read more...]

Brand You: The Basics of Personal Branding

"Life is one big pitch, so you'd better start practicing." -- Dan Shawbel, personal branding expert "What's a brand? A singular idea or concept that you own inside the mind of the prospect." -- Al Ries, coauthor of The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing "All of us need to understand the importance of branding. We are CEOs of our own companies: Me, Inc. To be in business today, our most important job is to be head marketer for the brand called You." -- Tom Peters, American business writer Back in 1997, Tom Peters articulated a concept that had been around for decades: "Brand You." In an influential article in the magazine Fast Company, Peters argued that it's no longer enough to be quietly talented and hardworking in order to get ahead. While skills remain crucial, he noted, success in the … [Read more...]

Office Productivity: How to Handle a Micromanager

"Micromanagement is a personality aberration of insecure individuals." -- Susan K. O'Brien, organizational specialist "One micromanager can do more damage to an organization than termites in the foundation of a house." -- Eric Boehme, IT professional "Micromanagement doesn't just suck the life out of the workers, it sucks the life out of the manager, too." -- Wally Bock, leadership expert In recent months, I've received a flurry of responses to my articles about the evils of micromanaging. This doesn't surprise me: according to the latest statistics, a whopping 75-80% of American workers have suffered under micromanagers at some point. One- third of us have changed jobs because of them. My previous work on the subject has focused on the negative aspects of micromanaging, and why you, … [Read more...]

Business Productivity: For Executives – Attitude

"It is your attitude, not your aptitude, that determines your altitude." -- Zig Ziglar, motivational expert "Whether you believe you can or you believe you can't, you are right." -- Henry Ford, American industrialist Your Attitude is your state of mind toward the world around you—the precious combination of motivation, drive, and proactiveness that help define who you are. If you want to succeed in the workplace, you need to ensure that the sum of those factors is positive, so that your Attitude can pull you forward, rather than drag you down like an anchor. You must be willing to look beyond (or around or under) the expected, and take steps toward achieving what you find there. Not only will such an outlook help you achieve the improbable on a regular basis, it'll help you get through … [Read more...]

Business Productivity: Micromanagement

Know what'll kill employee engagement deader than a doorknob? Micromanaging. Even if you start out with an office full of bright, innovative people, looking over their shoulders and correcting them every step of the way will eventually grind them down. Before long, you'll have a collection of disengaged grumblers who either can't wait to get out from under your thumb, or who just hunker down and don’t do anything, in hopes that it'll soon be over. That's because when you micromanage someone, you're practically shouting in their ear: "You're incompetent! I can't trust you to do the tiniest thing right!" Now, how would that make you feel? If you're a micromanager, you may not realize it; you may just think you're detail-oriented and want to be sure that your employee does everything … [Read more...]

Productivity Management: The Chirpy Cheerleader

"Save the cheerleader, save the world." -- An often-repeated phrase on the NBC-TV series Heroes. "In the early days, I didn’t have the money to pay decent salaries, so I didn’t get good people. I got nice people, but I didn’t get good employees." -- Louise Hay, self-help author Recently, I introduced you to my Productivity Management Matrix, a quick way of categorizing your team members that compares an individual's competence with their level of work engagement. When constructing the matrix, I realized that workers tend to fall into four basic types, which I call Campers, Cheerleaders, Defectors, and Productives. Last time, I described Campers: the low-performance, low-engagement chair-huggers who come to work for one reason and one reason only: to get a paycheck. This time, I'll … [Read more...]

Critical Tips for Successful Team Execution

Over time, individual teams and whole organizations tend to establish a standard pace. This pace can easily become unnecessarily lethargic. The trick is to regulate the pace, keeping it as high as possible without provoking burn-out. Executing at a brisk pace keeps your team energetic and fresh. Here are ten acceleration strategies that can help you and your team pick up the pace. 1. Identify an “enemy.” 2. Break the decision gridlock. 3. Develop contingency plans and work-arounds. 4. Set the bar higher. 5. Establish momentum-building milestones. … To read the rest of the list and a description of each accelerator, click here: to visit Linkage’s Leadership Blog. © 2010 Linkage, Inc. All Rights Reserved. … [Read more...]

Time Management: Gracefully Refusing Requests

What do you do when you have the perfect plan set up for the day, then everything and everyone tries to blow up your plan? Part of that could be your fault. Perhaps you’re responding to e-mails as they're coming in or otherwise wasting time. But the other part is no fault of your own. You need to learn some language, verbiage, and techniques to use when someone asks you to do something not on your plan. If you’re thinking, “This is just not that important right now,” you need to know how to decline gracefully. Certainly there are some things that are worth stopping what we’re doing and handling; however, there lots of things that aren't important and don't qualify to be handled immediately. One of the things you can do is always negotiate a due date with the person as they make a … [Read more...]