Monthly Archives: June 2016

How Many Chances to Cheat?

I took my undergraduate degree at the University of Virginia, where we took the concept of honor, and the Honor System, very seriously. UVA is highly regarded for its strict (and completely student-run) honor system, with one sanction for students found guilty of an honor violation: expulsion. The idea behind that was simple. When a […]

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Hiring Superstars vs Growing Them

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If South Park’s underpants gnomes were talent management leaders, their organization’s talent strategy might look something like this: All too often, companies look for superstars whom they can steal away from others and put to good use. The problems is, this often does not work out so well for the superstar or their new home. […]

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Creativity’s Return on Investment

Return on investment, or ROI, is a standard yardstick for measuring the effectiveness, and efficient use, of your resources. “What do we get back for every dollar we put in?” is a typical way of knowing if you are getting your money’s worth. When your inputs are physical in nature, it’s not that tough to […]

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Positional Authority vs The Other Kind

If you’re in a leadership position you have a certain kind of authority; for the sake of discussion, let’s just call it “positional authority.” By virtue of your job title you have the authority to get things done, and also the responsibility to use that authority to make sure those things get done. That is, […]

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Do Your Job. It’s Just That Simple.

I have been in the professional world for 28 years, and during that time about 8 of those years have been spent in positions where it seemed my job was to do someone else’s job. I hate that. If you are making your employees do that, then they probably hate it, too. And they may […]

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Know What You’re Doing Before You Criticize

As much as we want to be supportive in the workplace, when an employee is messing up, we need to let them know it. While we can try to do it in a positive way that improves their performance, it’s still normal to get frustrated by an underperforming team member. However, if you are going […]

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An Affinity for Groups

An article a few years ago in Forbes noted the changing nature of what used to be called “affinity groups” but are now known more often as employee resource groups. If you are in a large company, or if you would like your SME to become a large company someday, the value of these groups […]

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Admitting Failure

It’s not always failure that holds you back from doing your best work. Sometimes, it’s success. How so? Well, by focusing only on your success you will not see where you can improve, and you might miss out on new opportunities because they do not fit into your “this has always worked before” paradigm. As […]

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No Irony, Please

“Do as I say, not as I do” is annoying when it comes from parents. When it comes from your leadership, it can be more of a problem. The interior design firm with ugly office space. The software developer using outdated technology. The human resource consultants who can’t seem to manage their own human capital. […]

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Friction Slows You Down

Friction is how you slow your car, so you can bet that friction will slow your workplace, too. By “friction,” we are not just talking about bad feelings and awkward silences between people, though that is certainly one form of it. What we mean instead is anything in your working environment that slows down the […]

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