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.

Good People Can Be Bad Hires

Good Person - Bad Hire

“Dave, you are not the messiah of wayward sales people.”  My boss had a way of being direct – sometimes with a sting.  She knew me and my desire to help others.  I didn’t like the delivery, but she was right.

The problem was, once again, I was hanging on too tight to someone who was not making the grade.  He was not meant to be in sales, and I refused to accept it.

This is a repost from April 2013

Continue Reading…

Hire – Work Ethic, Humility, Integrity, Maturity

Hiring Character

Skilled workers are available.  In this economy, there is always someone available who can do the job.  Skill and competencies are not hard to find or to hire.

Character is a different story.  As I have worked with oil and gas companies, large integrated medical systems, large regional banks and Fortune 50 companies, I see the same pattern repeated over and over again.  We hire skilled people that we end up firing for character issues.  Continue Reading…

The 4 Word Response To Angry Emails

How Not To Respond

Email is a terrible way to communicate.  There are multiple studies showing about 50% of all emails are misinterpreted.  My experience and your experience probably support that fact.

I have received angry emails from my customers, my peers and my leaders through the years.  They can make me both angry and frustrated.  Unfortunately, the way I choose to respond to those emails usually escalates the emotions involved.

We all have a choice in how we respond to these messages.

I have reposted this from December 2012 due to recent questions from some clients on effective communication.

Continue Reading…

Focus Requires Elimination

Diffusion of Effort versus Focus

If everything is a priority then nothing is. I sat in hundreds of meetings in the twenty years I spent in the corporate world where we discussed our need to focus.

The irony is we developed new areas for focus at each meeting, but we never eliminated a thing from our to do list. We just kept adding and adding and adding….

Mr. Miagi told young Daniel to “Focus, Danielson.  Focus.”  I heard it and believed!  But the question that The Karate Kid did not answer was – How? Continue Reading…

Mistake Proof Equals Growth Proof

Growth Prevention

All real growth comes from mistakes.  My son did not go from crawling to running a few months later without falling down.  When he learned to walk, he fell after one step and got back up.  He fell after 2 steps and got back up again.  This pattern continued until he was running full speed through hallways of our home.

Every kid learns to walk in close to the same way.  They fail, fail, and fail again until success finally comes.  They are not afraid of mistakes.  But something changes in us as we age.  Our willingness to fail in order to get what we desire wanes.  Fear of making a mistake takes over and we stop growing.

I often say that a tree that stops growing, starts dying.  It is the same with an individual or an organization.  Yet I see people trying to mistake proof their lives or their companies and they wonder why they feel like stuck where they are.

I am taking 30 days off to work on other projects.  This was a popular post from 2012. Continue Reading…

My Un-Resume: I Didn’t Call HR

My Un-Resume

It was nuts!  I had all the documentation and evidence I needed to fire her, but I was being investigated! She claimed I created an unfair work environment.

This woman skipped work and lied repeatedly.  I got reports of her sleeping with some customers and unprofessional behavior with others.

Her actions created a schism within my team.  I had multiple reasons to fire her, but I was being investigated! Continue Reading…

Hire and Fire For Values – Part 2

Fire For Values

It takes a lot of work to fire someone these days.  Our friends in the legal profession have made the process of firing employees incredibly time consuming.  For some leaders, this process is a disincentive for doing the right thing.

When a leader  allows a low performer to stay, that leader is failing.  In the same way a leader who keeps a person who displays disdain for the organization’s values due to this legal disincentive is failing as well.

Hiring For Values (previous blog) is a critical first step for leaders who believe in the values they claim.  An equally important step is being willing to Fire For Values as well. Continue Reading…

Hire and Fire For Values – Part 1

Fire For Values

Why does one person get hired over another?  Why does one person get fired over another?  Performance is a good reason.  Values are an even better reason.

A hypocrite is someone who says one thing but does another.  Therefore an organization that claims values that they do not demonstrate is hypocritical and so is its leader.

One way to demonstrate the importance the leader places on the organizational values is to have the courage to hire and fire people based on the leader’s proclaimed values.  Today, Part 1 focuses on Hiring For Values. Continue Reading…

My Un-Resume: My Agenda vs. Their Needs

When Is It Time To Throw Out The Agenda?

I powered through my agenda for the meeting.  The meeting addressed everything I felt was important to cover from my vantage point.  I walked out satisfied and fulfilled.

The problem was I was the only one feeling that way.  From the team’s perspective, the meeting left too many issues unaddressed.  They left more frustrated than when the meeting started.  I had failed my team. Continue Reading…

I Should Have Hired Jeff!

Can I Still Call Jeff?

He sat across from me for 90 minutes.  He demonstrated drive, humility, sales skills, and the character I love to hire.  The problem was his background.  I was hiring for a high-end medical sales position.  But, he was selling dumpster pick-up service to restaurants.  I really liked Jeff.  But I hired someone else because Jeff didn’t fit the mold.  I made the wrong decision.

This blog is reposted from March 2012.  It received a lot of attention when I first posted it.

Continue Reading…

Page 1 of 41234»