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. I learned how important it is to enter the…

When is it OK to tell lies at work?

When asked if it was ever okay to lie at work, most people said 'yes!', but only under certain circumstances

When is it OK to tell lies at work?We tell all sorts of lies at work. We flatter, exaggerate, omit, and mislead – primarily to avoid punishment, make ourselves look better, control information, or protect others. Some of our workplaces lies trigger feelings of anxiety, guilt, or remorse. But there are other lies that many of us feel justified in telling. As background…

How to ace a job interview in 7 seconds

Seven powerful ways to make a positive first impression

How to ace a job interview in 7 secondsThe interviewer looks up as you enter the room for a job interview. Now count slowly to seven. In that amount of time, you will have been evaluated – and decisions will have been made about your credibility, trustworthiness, confidence and competence. According to research at New York University, you've got just seven seconds to make…

Is self-employment really for you?

If you want to thrive as your own boss, 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 companies can’t be honest with their employees

Doublespeak protects a company's image

Why companies can’t be honest with their employeesYou're summoned to your boss's office and told that you've been "selected out." Strange words. What do they mean? "Selected" sounds positive. But "out"? That's clearly a negative and confusing word. Together, both words are perplexing. An optimist may interpret it as sort of a promotion. A skeptic is worried. The term "selected out" is…

Hoarding information a collaboration killer

Collaboration is also intrinsically inspiring because it has an emotional payoff. People like being part of a winning team

Hoarding information a collaboration killerSome years ago, when I was speaking to a group of executives about change leadership, the topic of collaboration came up. On a whim I asked, "How many of you are totally comfortable sharing information with others in your organization?" I was astonished when, out of an audience of about 200, only three hands went…

Don’t blame the food industry labour shortage on COVID-19 alone

We need more economic participation and educators need to value the food industry as a viable career path

Don’t blame the food industry labour shortage on COVID-19 alone“We’re hiring” signs are everywhere, particularly in the food industry. Some people blame overly-generous employment insurance programs that keep many highly capable individuals in their homes. Others point to a younger generation not willing to work, or they blame a fear of COVID-19. Rumours of ageism have also emerged to explain why we’re seeing more…

Painful lessons in effective leadership

The mad and the bad have no place in any organization

Painful lessons in effective leadershipI had just joined a factory in England’s industrial heartland and my new Managing Director – let’s call him Neil – was five foot two, 240 pounds of explosive malevolence. He was an ex-purchasing director whose winning formula was to squeeze his miserable suppliers into penury, and he was honing his approach with his new…

Changing behaviour starts with a look in the mirror

Radical change, or change to please 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,…

How to keep meetings positive and focused on the outcome

Strategies you can use to avoid the swamp of unproductive meetings

How to keep meetings positive and focused on the outcomeDo your days feel like one unproductive meeting after another … and another? Have you noticed how often people get bogged down in the same issues you talked about the last time you got together? You ask yourself: “Why are we going over the same ground again and again?” Somewhere between the positive intentions that people start with and a…

Why you can’t fake your feelings

If you try to fake how you really feel, your audience won’t buy it

Why you can’t fake your feelingsI was once asked by a Senior Vice President of Human Resources to work with a leader whose micro-management was limiting her team’s effectiveness. When I met with the client (let’s call her Judith), she was effusive with her praise – going on and on about how much she had heard about me and how…

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…

How unforgettable leaders inspire loyalty

Inspiring loyalty takes leaders with insight into the human heart and sensitivity toward the hopes and aspirations of others

How unforgettable leaders inspire loyaltyThink loyalty is dead? Think again. Loyalty may not look like it did 25 years ago – when companies offered career-long employment and workers unquestioningly followed orders – but loyalty is far from deceased. Loyalty is an intrinsic human characteristic based on emotional attachment that can be tapped, nurtured and developed. Inspiring loyalty takes leaders…

Emerging from the swamp of dysfunctional business relationships

Anyone who tells you that they have a magic bullet, silver or otherwise, for complex and systemic problems belongs in a travelling fair

Emerging from the swamp of dysfunctional business relationshipsAs I looked round the room at my executive team, the acid in my stomach got worse. Dave, our Operations VP, was convinced that Erica from Finance was out to get him: ‘you watch what happens at the end of the quarter, she squirrels the provisions away and makes me look bad, she wants to…

The world needs fewer leaders and more good managers

Management is responsible for turning a leader's vision into reality

The world needs fewer leaders and more good managersBusiness and management guru Henry Mintzberg argued 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…