Two Years Out…and Still in Orbit!

Tomorrow (July 26, 2011) will be the two-year anniversary of the Build Best Bosses blog! My first post featured a picture of a rocket being launched into orbit. When I started out my goal was to write short, digestible pieces that will help my readers build themselves into their employees' "best boss ever" and also populate "best bosses" throughout their organization. This goal has never changed. I have settled on publishing a weekly post because, I suspect, that is all people want to read, … [Read more...]

Article: What to Do When Your Team Gets "Stuck": 7 Ways to Get It Moving Again

There is no question about it. A team can be a powerful vehicle for accomplishing a major project, guiding a unit to superior performance, or bringing together diverse perspectives to solve a pressing problem Have you ever been a member of a smooth functioning, high performing team? Those of you who have, no doubt, harbor fond memories of how energizing it is and how great that rush of pride feels when you achieve great things together. The best teams, including certainly that great team you … [Read more...]

Book Review – Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us

  by Daniel H. Pink Riverhead Books, 2009 ISBN #978-1-59448-884-9 In his new book Dan Pink accomplishes two outcomes really well: He consolidates some major social science research around human motivation into clear, straightforward discoveries He challenges the current thinking and practice in the vast majority of our organizations. The Great Debate Am I motivated in my work primarily through what I receive from the organization and the key players around me or through the … [Read more...]

Book Review – The Practice of Adaptive Leadership: Tools and Tactics for Changing Your Organization and the World

  by Ronald Heifetz, Alexander Grashow, & Marty Linsky Harvard Business Press, 2009 ISBN #978-1-4421-0576-4 Dealing with change and problem solving–these tasks are at the core of what leader/managers do. But there are two distinctly different types of challenges that precipitate change and bring on problems for managers. The authors of this enlightening book lay these out right at the beginning: Technical challenges – problems that can be pretty clearly defined and can be … [Read more...]

Book Review – Leadership From the Inside Out: Becoming a Leader for Life

  by Kevin Cashman Berrett-Koehler, 2008 ISBN #978-1-57675-599-0 At the point our body and our senses (eyes, ears, touch, etc.) meet the world lies a crossroads. At this very point we experience a constant, two-way flow from the… Outside in–situations, actions and events in their environment Inside out–how we feel, interpret, process these situations and decide on our response Kevin Cashman talks about this intersection as it applies to leaders. On the one hand, a leader’s … [Read more...]

Article – Down the Slope and Up Again: Seven Strategies to Lead Your Team through the Recession

by Ian Cook and Scott Campbell Wherever you look, news about the economy is bad. Layoffs abound. Pfizer, a pharmaceutical giant, recently announced 8,000 job cuts. Home Depot, the biggest home improvement retailer in the U.S., said it will eliminate 7,000 jobs. Even the State of California is letting 20,000 go. The economy lost 2.6 million jobs last year, the most since 1945, and it shows no signs of improving in 2009. Large companies are hemorrhaging. General Electric Co., a bastion of the … [Read more...]

Book Review – Influencer: The Power To Change Anything

by Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, David Maxfield, Ron McMillan & Gareth Jones McGraw-Hill, 2008 ISBN #978-0-07-148499-2 If you are like me, and like most of the managers we all know, you have a default strategy for influencing people around you. You TELL them what they should do! You SHARE your wisdom and advice, often drawn from experience in similar situations. Your SUGGESTIONS are frequently spot on and brilliant. There is only one problem, say the authors of this excellent … [Read more...]

I Haven’t Blogged About Dan Pink Lately

For those who haven't been keeping up on recent business and management books, Daniel Pink came out with an absolutely great book, Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us. I mentioned it briefly in a blog post last Fall before it came out. Then, in February, I wrote a book review of it. Now, here's a recent interview Dan had with that lays out some of the key points from his full tome. Dan has assembled some truths about the human being and his/her endeavors that … [Read more...]

Book Review – Why Should Anyone be Led by You?: What it Takes to be an Authentic Leader

  by Rob Goffee & Gareth Jones Harvard Business School Press, 2006 ISBN #1-57851-971-3 People want to be led by a person, the authors contend, not by someone with a fancy job title or a manager who has amassed a vast chunk of organizational turf. Employees will choose to follow only a real, live, breathing human being who reveals at least some of their humanity, values, personality and, yes, vulnerability. This is an intriguing point-of-view and one with which I agree. If … [Read more...]

Article – Want Greater ROI From Your Meetings? Six Questions That Will Make The Difference

First there’s the suffocating volume of e-mails. That’s complaint number one. But the next biggest gripe I hear from my clients is that they are spending way too much time in meetings. Do any of these comments ring true about meetings where you work? too long no agenda (or, if there is one, we don’t follow it) rambling, we get off topic a lot little is actually decided could have just circulated a memo the boss does all the talking no follow-through on commitments made I can … [Read more...]