Is self-employment really for you?

If you want to thrive as your own boss you need to be prepared to sell yourself every day

Is self-employment really for you?Have you dreamed of being your own boss? Most of us probably have. We think about the flexibility and freedom it offers. We wonder how much more income we would retain if we simply contracted out our services. We imagine what it would be like to be our own boss. That picture of three-day weeks…

Why you need a psychologist in the boardroom

It's time boards gave serious and strategic consideration to how they can accelerate and maximize their effectiveness

Why you need a psychologist in the boardroomI'm preparing to facilitate a board strategy retreat and the project has sparked thoughts about bringing a psychologist into the boardroom. “Let me be clear, I don’t do strategic planning,” I stressed when I got the call. The chair assured me they weren't looking for a strategic planning expert. They wanted someone who is really good…

How to use the ‘Rule of 3’ to make better hiring decisions

Striving for three final candidates allows hiring committees to keep an open mind, test for fit and plan for imperfection

How to use the ‘Rule of 3’ to make better hiring decisionsIn The Secrets of Great CEO Selection, Ram Charan advises hiring committees to keep an open mind, test for fit and plan for imperfection. One of the organizations I'm involved with just concluded a chief executive officer selection process so this topic is fresh in my mind. A key lesson I learned is how important it…

Your guide to unsticking your team’s potential

How to deal with three team-member dysfunctions that can get in the way of team effectiveness

Your guide to unsticking your team’s potentialThe 'team' is probably the most complex and irritating relationship in an organization. As individuals, we seem to be able to work with most people one-on-one, perhaps in groups of threes, and also as an entity of hundreds and even thousands. Where we struggle most is when there is a medium-sized group of us clustered…

4 sure-fire ways to reduce productivity in your organization

Our simple 4-step plan to reducing productivity and watching your business go down the drain

4 sure-fire ways to reduce productivity in your organizationA lack of productivity is actually a serious concern because the more it costs us to produce something the less competitive we are in the global marketplace. And the less competitive we are leads directly to fewer jobs, diminished earning power and a lower standard of living. The usual explanations as to why we struggle with productivity…

3 situations when team interventions won’t work

Before jumping head-first into a team building session, ask yourself if it really going to resolve the issue

3 situations when team interventions won’t workLeading a team requires a skill set that is completely different from that of managing direct reports, the people who work directly under you. I have worked for leaders who were great at galvanizing a team but really ineffective one-on-one, and amazing bosses who were terrible team leads. Actually, most of the people I’ve worked…

Six mistakes people make when they start a new job

25 per cent of people who move into a new job will fail. Paying attention to these six common mistakes will help make sure you are not one of them

Six mistakes people make when they start a new jobWhat happens when leaders take on new roles or responsibilities in their company? 'Onboarding' – the process of acquiring, accommodating, assimilating and accelerating new team members, whether they come from outside or inside the company – has focused almost exclusively on employees who join from the outside. But there is usually a lot more internal…

A leader’s main job is to manage chaos

A leader provides his team with vision, values and guidelines critical to helping people make the best possible decisions for the company

A leader’s main job is to manage chaosA leader I met with once said something that has stuck with me. "Most people are trying to do what they believe is in the best interest of the organization. The trouble is they may not have the same point of view on what that is. And that leads to chaos." As an example, take the…

The world needs fewer leaders and more good managers

Management is the infrastructure that allows a leader's vision to become a sustainable reality

The world needs fewer leaders and more good managersBusiness and management guru Henry Mintzberg made the argument a few years ago that businesses are asking for trouble because of their penchant for separating "leaders" from "managers" and placing leadership in a superior role over management. We are suffering, in other words, not from a lack of leadership, but from the absence of good management. Mintzberg believes that, while…

6 steps to fast tracking your culture building efforts

Tackling culture requires the same approach you apply to any other business problem: What is your goal? Where are you now? What is your plan to close the gap?

6 steps to fast tracking your culture building effortsI once sat with a small group of business owners who wanted to talk about culture. For each of them, culture ranks as one of their key human resource worries – how to shift their culture in a meaningful way, or maintain a culture they see as critical to success. One of the advantages –…

How to curb your inner Donald Trump

And stop sucking all the air from a room

How to curb your inner Donald TrumpDonald Trump may be a caricature-like and extreme example of someone who can't help but steal centre stage, but such people lurk everywhere. We have all worked on a team or sat in a room where someone dominated the conversation to such an extent everyone else started to fade into the background. Maybe you are…

Five ways you can practice kindness at work

By being kind, we give those around us hope and inspiration

Five ways you can practice kindness at workMindfulness is the new hot trend in organizational effectiveness, with employee programs popping up in innovators like Google and stalwarts like General Mills (Why Google, Target, and General Mills Are Investing in Mindfulness, Harvard Business Review). The demonstrated benefits of mindfulness practices, such as meditation, are mounting. As good and important as mindfulness is (I…

Perfectionism is a form of theft

Attempting to make everything perfect steals time from your clients, your employer, your family and yourself

Perfectionism is a form of theftFor her entire career, Phoebe has really struggled with how to manage her time. She has a great attitude and the quality of her work is first-rate, but it seems to take her twice as long as anyone else to bring a project to completion. Recently she moved into a new role, replacing someone who…

Changing behaviour starts with a look in the mirror

Radical change, or change to appease someone else, rarely sticks

Changing behaviour starts with a look in the mirrorJerry started smoking when he was in Grade 5. Over the course of his life he has tried many times – once when his uncle died from lung cancer – to give it up. Then, one morning, at the age of 37, Jerry woke up feeling like an old man. He stubbed out his cigarette,…

5 sure-fire ways to destroy organizational excellence

Building and sustaining organizational excellence requires exceptional people dedicated to the task

5 sure-fire ways to destroy organizational excellenceA blog from a couple of years back by marketing guru and all-round provocative thinker Seth Godin entitled The fruitless search for extraordinary people willing to take ordinary jobs took me back to a boardroom conversation about executive pay. Every company has a ‘compensation philosophy’ that it uses to guide how it sets the pay…