Why bosses screw up and what to do about it

There is no concrete set of skills necessary to be a boss

Why bosses screw up and what to do about itMention the word "boss," and we immediately think this person has some special abilities or training. When bosses make bad decisions, we're horrified. But we're also amused and pleased at the same time because it demonstrates they're human after all. Whatever your job, there is a curriculum, agenda, rules or protocols that prepare you for…

5 sure-fire ways to improve employee engagement

Stop focusing on measuring it and just do something about it

5 sure-fire ways to improve employee engagementQuick, on a scale of one to five, how excited are you by your job, your boss, and the organization you work for? If the pollsters are right, chances are you answered a three or less. According to a swath of recent surveys, employee engagement is at an all-time low. The culprits of old –…

Wrestling with your “Dark Side” and winning

Having shortcomings is not the problem – as humans we all have them. The problem is not knowing what they are

Wrestling with your “Dark Side” and winningThere is no question that we need to align people with jobs and situations that play to their strengths. There is nothing more powerful than leveraging what people do well: it builds engagement, accelerates projects and initiatives, and significantly increases the likelihood of personal and organizational success. Besides, who wants to spend their life working at…

A strong leader understands employee behaviours

Understanding, analyzing and dealing intelligently with employee behaviours is a key to good leadership, increased productivity and higher profit

A strong leader understands employee behavioursAmerican actress Mae West is quoted as saying, "The best way to behave is to misbehave." That may have worked for Mae West, but it won't work on the job. Most companies want behaviour that inspires productivity, performance and, of course, profit. Behaviour can be broken into five categories: 1. Behaviour is observable. An employee…

Are you listening to the wrong people? 

How to reduce the chances of making a decision you’ll regret somewhere down the road

Are you listening to the wrong people? A recent column of mine was inspired by the political maelstrom created by the SNC-Lavalin affair. A month has passed, the storm continues to swirl, and I’m inspired again to draw on this situation as a leadership learning opportunity. There have been no shortage of ‘What were they thinking?’ moments as this scandal has unfolded,…

Collaborative leadership from A to Z

No leader, regardless of how brilliant and talented, is smarter than the collective genius of the workforce

Collaborative leadership from A to ZCollaboration has become an essential ingredient for organizational success (perhaps even survival). And as organizations move toward more collaborative cultures, a new leadership model is emerging. That leadership model replaces command and control with trust and inclusion. The leader’s role is to encourage team members to see themselves as valued contributors, to help them build…

Avanti Software helps companies build better workplaces

David Owen Cord and Amin Lalani of Avanti Software talk about assisting companies in executing and improving people management

Avanti Software helps companies build better workplacesDavid Owen Cord and Amin Lalani are co-CEOs of Avanti Software. What is Avanti Software and what does it do? Lalani: Simply put, Avanti exists to help Canadian companies build better workplaces. We do this through our all-in-one, Human Capital Management (HCM) software-as-a-service (SaaS). Our integrated, end-to-end platform helps businesses find, engage, schedule, manage, pay…

Three golden rules for business consultants

How to build and maintain relationships critical to being an effective consultant

Three golden rules for business consultantsI have a routine I try to follow each morning. I take a shower, do 20 minutes of yoga stretching, pour myself a cup of coffee, and sit down to read something that centres and inspires me. A little Seneca, thoughts from a Buddhist teacher, a chapter of Eckert Tolle. This morning, I opened Oriah’s…

Think leadership is logical? Think again

Think again. No one makes decisions based on pure logic

Think leadership is logical? Think againI once asked the CEO of a technology company how his employees were dealing with a proposed change. “We’ve presented all the facts,” he replied. “But it would be much easier if people weren’t so emotional!” In the business world, we are taught to approach organizational challenges objectively and logically. We quantify everything we can…

7 steps to effective performance management

Why do we always blame the manager for failed performance management? Doesn’t some of the accountability rest with the employee?

7 steps to effective performance managementRecently I found myself commiserating with a friend over a failed performance conversation. She was frustrated by the fact that while she was trying to provide one of her direct reports with some much-needed feedback, her team member was just not listening. I, too, have had the experience of dealing with a tone-deaf direct report.…

Why some people lead while most choose to follow

10 recommendations for a modern leader-follower relationship

Why some people lead while most choose to followIf you don't have followers then, let's face it, you are not leading (regardless of your title). Naturally Selected: The Evolutionary Science of Leadership, first published in 2011. seeks to answer the question of not only why some people lead but why most choose to follow. Taking an anthropological view of leadership styles through modern…

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…

Help! My boss is a hopeless nincompoop

Learning to adjust could be a career-enhancing experience. Incredible as it seems, your boss's ineptitude could be a blessing

Help! My boss is a hopeless nincompoopUnqualified candidates wind up managers every day. Imagine how qualified employees feel when passed up for plum promotions? In a perfect world, the best candidates quickly climb organizational ladders. But it's not a perfect world and unqualified candidates wind up with great jobs for all the wrong reasons. Heading the list are cronyism (never underestimate…

Why employees jump ship

Employees don't quit their companies; they quit their bosses

Why employees jump shipContrary to popular belief, low salary is usually not the primary reason for quitting a job. Statistics predict that most career-builders won't be working for the same company a decade from now. They're likely to have at least two more jobs. Even though frequent job changes often have a lot to do with variables beyond…

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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