So what is the difference between leadership and management? In my mind, they are not interchangeable. Leadership is about people. Management focuses on resources and processes. But, the great leaders are adept at both. These posts focus on how leaders can become better managers. My intent is to share some of my ideas on how leaders can better manage.

Salary and Bonus: What Are They For?

For Effort Or For Results?

“I worked hard this year!  I deserve a bigger bonus!”  I heard this complaint almost annually in 15 years in various sales leadership positions.  Sometimes it was a valid complaint.  Most of the time it wasn’t.

I like people who are competitive and driven to win.  In sales, I looked for those traits in everyone I hired.  Unfortunately, I found that drive often gave people an unrealistic perception of what they deserved.

“You receive a salary for effort.  You get a raise and/or bonuses for results.” Continue Reading…

New Year’s Goal Setting – A Simple Model

Qualify Your Brainstorming Ideas

What are my priorities for this year? What accounts and what goals should I focus my efforts on? The time is now to ask these questions. Do not wait until after the holidays.

I sat in many, many strategy sessions for individuals, small teams and large organizations. They can be a beat down or very productive and energizing.

Somewhere along the way I picked up a tool that helped me clear through the clutter of brainstorming sessions and simplified my action planning. Continue Reading…

Be Careful What You Measure

It's a win!

I believe every one of us needs to keep score of how we are doing.  We need to know if we are achieving our stated goals.

But, be careful! What you measure becomes your master.  I see leaders and entire organizations mastered by what they measure.  Often this is not a good thing.

Many leaders and organizations measure the means of reaching admirable goals and lose site of the end — the goal itself.  The result are teams characterized by bureaucracy, micro-management and mediocre results. Continue Reading…

Coaching – Encouragement Versus Praise

Applaud Results

When someone does something well, a good coach jumps on the opportunity to praise them.  Praise is a great motivator.  But misplaced praise can demotivate.

Making people feel good about themselves in a vacuum doesn’t work.  In my past, I fell into the habit of always praising people.  It hurt their performance and our relationship.  Continue Reading…

Taking Over After A Bad Leader Has Left

A Nosedive!

Craig’s boss left the company suddenly due to an ethics issue. Now Craig was leading the team. The team had been on a down hill slide for a while. But now, both performance and attitudes were in a nosedive.

“How can I turn it around, Dave? People are angry, hurt, and wondering about their futures. I feel the same way, but now I’m in charge! I’ve got good people, but they are beaten down. Customers are heading to the competition ever since they heard about the ethical issues of the last guy.” Continue Reading…

What Happened To The Person I Hired?

The Slide To Mediocrity

It had been 12 months since I hired Tracy.  During the interview process she wowed me with her passion and drive to succeed.  I wasn’t just moderately hopeful for her.  I thought she would be doing my job some day!

But 12 months later, that person was nowhere to be found.  Tracy turned out to be very average – average work ethic, average skills, and average results.  She did her job and that was about it.  I rarely saw the passion and drive that made me hire her.  Continue Reading…

Performance Reviews Vs. Performance Reveals

Performance Review or Reveal?

A lot of people do not like performance reviews.  Many times it is the anticipation of bad news that can cause anxiety in the individual.  The fear of the unknown can overwhelm people.

That’s the problem.  Nothing that is discussed in a performance review should be unknown.

That is why they are called performance reviews – NOT performance reveals! Continue Reading…

Interviewers Need Better Questions

Is this really the best candidate?

“Tell me about yourself.” “What is your definition of teamwork?” “What’s your biggest weakness?” These are old interview questions that rarely improve an interviewer’s chance of finding the best candidate.

Some interviewers have not changed their interview questions for years, or they are using the questions they were asked when they interviewed years ago.

It is time for a change!

Continue Reading…

Three Distractions That Defeat A Good Plan

Most Plans Work.  It's The Execution

The Zone, Body For Life, Atkins, South Beach, and Vegan are all different eating plans I have employed to lose weight. They all worked too. That is, they worked as long as I executed the plan!

I’ve spent many hours in conference rooms developing business plans. Some companies will take three months out of 2014 to plan for 2015. Very few businesses or business people ignore planning.

But, some businesses thrive and some just survive. Was it truly a better strategy that made the difference or just better execution? Continue Reading…

New Hires- 5 Keys To A Good Start

Put The Odds In Your Favor

Now what?  After reviewing a stack of resumes, phone screenings, multiple interviews and reference checks, I have hired the best person out there for the job.   What’s next?

I could do nothing, roll the dice and hope my new hire reaches the potential I see in them.  Or I could eliminate chance and put the odds in my favor.

Continue Reading…

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