The biggest mistake most small business owners make

We need to develop systems of hiring and monitoring our employees to ensure we have the right people

The biggest mistake most small business owners makeBob was frustrated, stressed and upset. One of his key employees, Keith, had just left to start his own business and had taken another staff member with him. I wasn’t surprised. I’d been working with Bob for several months and had met Keith several times. My impression wasn’t favourable and I had discussed this with…

The painful – and necessary – lessons that losing teaches us

Losing gives you greater clarity and insight, adds a little humility, and builds resilience

The painful – and necessary – lessons that losing teaches usI’ve been called a loser more than once. Often it’s by my kids, who don’t like some stupid joke I just played on them. But I’ve also made a bucketful of mistakes in my time on this Earth and have lost everything from money to employees to elections to friends. I’ve even lost the trail…

5 tips to help ensure your next meeting is a success

The logistics behind planning a meeting are just as important as the content so always ask your meeting participants for their feedback

5 tips to help ensure your next meeting is a successContent is king. The room in which you experience that content is queen. If you doubt that, you haven't met a bad room situation. Or, you haven't asked others their opinion about meeting logistics – or listened when they said something. Believe me, people express their opinions about meeting logistics. Over an 18-month period, I…

Adding the human element to virtual communication

From email to phone calls to video conferencing, how to manage what you project to make the best leadership impression

Adding the human element to virtual communicationBeing perceived as a leader is the essence of leadership presence. While most of my coaching focuses on helping leaders enhance their presence in face-to-face encounters, I also realize that a different set of skills is required for projecting leadership presence when communicating virtually. Communication mediums run a spectrum from lean to rich. A lean…

Five things your business could learn from Starbucks

Customer service, exclusive products, ambience, pricing and systems are all important to the coffee giant – and you

Five things your business could learn from StarbucksMy wife Margaret likes Starbucks but when I ask her what she likes about it, she can’t quite put her finger on just what it is. She tells me that the coffee is good (I don’t drink coffee so I wouldn’t know) but I have friends who say that McDonald’s coffee is even better. She…

How leaders project charisma

Any leader can be perceived as more charismatic if he or she practices and improves a few basic skills

How leaders project charismaLet's face it, in business dealings, charisma counts. A lot. And charisma is as much about body language and impression management as it is about issues and substance. I've seen many qualified people get passed over for promotion (or lose a sale or fail an interview) simply because they couldn’t project a sense of professional…

How to avoid an onstage meltdown

Four tips to ensuring your onstage appearance doesn't end in disaster

How to avoid an onstage meltdownStuff happens. But when it does, especially to a high-profile individual at a major event, you can bet the whole world will know about it seconds after it happens. One incident that come to mind involved Elton John, who stormed off the stage during a Vegas gig last year after a fan jumped on stage…

Take your values off the walls and display them in the halls

Values must be integrated into processes, policies and organizational behaviour before they become tangible

Take your values off the walls and display them in the hallsA sales manager read an article about his company’s refusal to deal with any country where under-the-table money was part of the negotiation process. He circled the article and wrote the words “Right on!” in the column, and mailed it to his CEO. The attached note said: “I’m proud to work in a company whose…

Your business might be losing money on first impressions

Many companies spend more fixing their mistakes than setting up the systems that could prevent them

Your business might be losing money on first impressionsI want to tell you three stories about first impressions that happened in one recent week. First, my friend Freddy was mad. Freddy took his wife’s car into a dealer and had a terrible experience. The worst thing for the dealer was that it was Freddy’s first time dealing with them. If they were trying…

We need to reset capitalism before we dig a deeper hole

Milton Friedman was wrong. Paying attention to other stakeholder interests is not a diversion, it's management's job

We need to reset capitalism before we dig a deeper holeThe National Post's Terence Corcoran is a celebrated champion of free markets. In his latest post, “Milton Friedman is right, profit is a company's only purpose,” he champions one of the most controversial principles in global capitalism. Corcoran's primary fear is that “a long list of academics, consultants, business leaders and politicians – many of…

Five radical strategies to excel at collaboration

Working easily and fluidly with others is simply how things get done in the 21st century

Five radical strategies to excel at collaborationThe ability to collaborate with others is a must-have skill to be successful in work. It doesn’t matter if you’re a project manager, a self-employed editor or the chief financial officer, part of your success is probably going to hinge on how well you can work with colleagues. Our work world is a complex system,…

Sweet music for business: setting goals and reaching them

Establish ways to be accountable and do the same for your staff and the benefits will follow

Sweet music for business: setting goals and reaching themDo you play your guitar at work? In 1988, business was so slow that I would go to my office at the back of our store, close the door, take my guitar out, put my feet up on the desk and start strumming. While it was soothing for the soul, it wasn’t very productive. After…

Tom Higgins: leadership truths from football to business

The CEO of the Canadian Football Academy talks about why team building, leadership and motivation are so important

Tom Higgins: leadership truths from football to businessTom Higgins is CEO of the Canadian Football Academy and a former coach in the Canadian Football League. What is the Canadian Football Academy and what does it do? Higgins: The CFA was born of an idea between me and Tony Fasano. We wanted to promote youth football in a positive, safe and skilful way.…

Creating The Next Face of (business) Leadership

Ann Marie MacDougall of LeaderBoom talks about preparing the next generation for the high-pressure global business arena

Creating The Next Face of (business) LeadershipAnn Marie MacDougall is president of LeaderBoom Inc. What is LeaderBoom and why was it created? MacDougall: LeaderBoom is a results-oriented firm launched in 2012 that provides just-in-time customized leadership development programs and advisory services designed to empower and accelerate performance in individuals, teams, organizations, and communities. We do this by integrating fresh insights mined through…

Ten questions to power up your “Leadership Presence”

Leadership presence is far from mysterious. At its core is a set of practical skills that you can learn, employ, and improve

Ten questions to power up your “Leadership Presence”I was once asked to coach a senior-level manager from a technology firm in Silicon Valley. I learned that this man’s work was of the highest calibre and that his advancement had (up to this point) been fast-tracked. But now his career was stalled. When I asked why this high performing manager needed coaching, here’s…
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