Beware of the Bad Apples You Keep

Why don’t you just fire her? That’s the first question any leader hears when they complain about the bad apple on his/her team. It’s so simple, really. If someone’s behavior is disruptive and is distracting the team, they should be released so they can find a better mutual fit. But, in the real world, it’s often much more complicated than that. There are hundreds of reasons why leaders choose to keep a bad apple. At worst, some managers keep bad apples because they lack the courage to confront the behavior. … Read More

The Golden Rules of Email

What would we do without email? Email allows us all to connect, coordinate, share, and document in an instant. It also opens a world of opportunity for misunderstanding and confusion. While email often helps us work more efficiently, it can also derail progress when the tone of an email is unclear. The recipient spends hours poring over every word trying to analyze the intent; meanwhile, the sender had no hidden agenda or intentional subtle wording. Every word we type in an email matters. Each word will be read, analyzed, discussed, … Read More

The HOW Can Matter More than the WHAT

I grew up in a baseball family. My brother played, my father coached, and my mother was the team scorekeeper. My mom loved being the scorekeeper because it kept her away from the stands where all of the parents were second guessing the coach (her husband) and critiquing his communication style. You see, my dad was loud. His directions and feedback were loud and clear not only on our field, but 2-3 fields away. One player’s mom asked my mom how she tolerated my father yelling at the kids all … Read More

Five Signs You’re a Toxic Leader

There are so many scapegoats available these days that it’s easy to explain away any undesirable outcomes in business. We blame low sales on a flat economy and lack of marketing budget. We bemoan reduced training budgets and believe they are the reason for stalled career advancement and staggering employee disengagement. As turnover rates increase, we accuse Millennials of being entitled, arrogant and disloyal. But at what point do we stop pointing fingers and start identifying trends? Remember, people leave managers, not companies. The toughest trend to spot is the … Read More

The Art of Delegation

There truly is no “I” in team, unless of course, you are terrible at delegating responsibility; in which case you actually are a team of one by choice. Delegation is critical to being a successful, healthy leader, yet it’s one of the most challenging aspects as well. As we progress in our careers and take on leadership responsibility, we build more and more confidence in our own abilities. Additionally, we see how we have out-performed our coworkers, which leaves us less confident in their abilities. When this happens, it becomes … Read More