Communicate Upward

Communicate 1As managers, we need to encourage each of our employees to keep us informed about what is really going on in our companies, both the good and the bad.  We need to be kept in the loop about the larger issues, possible challenges, and problems that our employees are facing.

This upward communication does not happen enough for several reasons.

First, most of our employees just assume that we know about everything happening in our companies. Continue reading

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Write It Down

write it down -2I have previously written about the fundamentals of communication: The Three Keys of Communication. The focus of that blog was about how we can better communicate with our teams and others by:

  • Keeping the message simple
  • Repeating repeating repeating the message
  • Ensuring that our audience clarifies and confirms our message.

But, these three keys are often not sufficient.  When giving specific directions or instructions, we need to ensure that the people with whom we are communicating write our message or request down on a piece of paper or make a note on a phone or computer. Continue reading

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Continuous Improvement and Lean

Continuous improvement for cavemenDriving continuous improvement throughout our organizations is fundamental to short and long-term business success.

Continuous improvement requires daily improvement in everything that we (and our teams) do…even when we are too busy!

  • Are we better today than we were yesterday?
  • Will we be better tomorrow than we are today?

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Remind…Don’t Teach

reminder cartoonA fundamental task of a leader is to train and develop his or her team.

This often involves coaching and teaching the team on the strategic, operational and leadership skills that are required for them to reach the next level.

Unfortunately, many leaders spend a lot of time teaching their team only to have it wasted as the team turns off.

“This is nothing new.  I already knew that.”

“Why is he lecturing us again? Does he think that we are stupid and don’t already know this?

Continue reading

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8 Ways To Be As Smart As We Can Be

My Brain Is FullTo do our best in business, we need to be as smart as we can be.

Alas, I do not have any tremendous insight or magic elixir to make myself or anyone else be smarter.  Sorry.

What I do have are several suggestions on how we can take fullest advantage of the intellectual capacities that we do have.

  • Be Healthy and in Good Physical Shape: Being sick, out of shape or dealing with chronic pain makes it more difficult to be smart. We do not have a clear head and are often focused on what is ailing us.

Continue reading

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The Five Whys of Follow-Up

temppicture1When General Dwight D. Eisenhower was first elected President in 1952, then President Harry S. Truman remarked:

He’ll sit here, and he’ll say, Do this! Do that! And nothing will happen.  Poor Ike [nickname for Eisenhower].  It won’t be a bit like the Army.  He’ll find it very frustrating.

As leaders, we have all encountered the same frustration.  We clearly ask someone to do something.  And it does not get done.

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10 Ways to Really (and Truly) Be Organized

blog1With all the meetings, E-Mails, objectives and communications in a typical company, staying organized is a never-ending task.

Yet, there are a few fundamentals to follow to ensure that you stay organized and focused on the most important tasks each and every day.

  1. Delete, delete, delete: delete everything but the essential. If this makes you nervous, then place what you should delete in one simple “Holding” folder that you delete every month.  Deleting is crucial so that you do not have to wade through irrelevancies to find what you are looking for.  As has been said:

The key to finding a needle in a haystack is to have a smaller haystack. Continue reading

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