The Moral Crisis of Firing an Employee
May29

The Moral Crisis of Firing an Employee

It’s not that he didn’t work hard; in that respect, he was a model employee. It’s just that someone else could do his job better. Even if he could summon up the ability to perform at his dead-level best every single day, he’d still fall short of what I needed from his position. So, I decided to make a change. And that’s what threw me into a moral crisis. The employee in question — we’ll call him Doug —...

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The Legacy of a Mentor: A Guiding Principle that has Shaped My Life
Jan04

The Legacy of a Mentor: A Guiding Principle that has Shaped My Life

For the past 16 years, I’ve worked for an incredible leader. He taught me about business and how to think big. He showed me how to inspire people to come up with solutions to seemingly insurmountable problems and to never give up. He became a mentor to me. Two weeks ago, Greg Anderson retired. I’ll miss our regular conversations. Our brainstorming sessions.  Yet, part of him will remain with me because he has instilled in me a...

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When an Employee Gives You an Ultimatum
Nov06

When an Employee Gives You an Ultimatum

Nearly every leader will be confronted with an employee who threatens to quit if he doesn’t get his way. It’s difficult to overstate how vital it is that you handle this situation correctly. It’s a seminal moment. Your response to a direct challenge of your leadership impacts everyone on your team, not just the person who gave you the ultimatum. I want to assume that the employee’s grievance is not legitimate. That’s a big...

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7 Common Mistakes New Leaders Make (and How to Avoid Them)
Aug21

7 Common Mistakes New Leaders Make (and How to Avoid Them)

Before you were promoted, you looked into the manager’s office and wondered, “What does she do all day?” But then you moved into the corner office. The enormity of the job hit you between the eyes. Your knees buckled. Self-doubt set in. And that’s when the mistakes began. When I was just 28 years old, I became the general manager of a St. Louis radio station. When I informed a client of mine — a local dentist — of my new...

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Your Most Effective Weapon in Dealing with Conflict
Jul22

Your Most Effective Weapon in Dealing with Conflict

An insecure leader is quick to fight. But a sign of real strength is a person who avoids unnecessary battles. There were about a dozen trophies arranged in a corner of his office. Each was about 4 feet tall, which explains why they were standing on the floor rather than on a bookshelf. Atop each trophy was a figure of a man in a karate gi delivering a high kick. Nearly all of them had a brass plate that read, “Grand Champion.” I...

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The Secret to Managing Employees When They Blow It
May13

The Secret to Managing Employees When They Blow It

At the sparklingly naive age of 28, I became the general manager of a radio station. Before the ink was dry on the press release, I became Exhibit A for every boneheaded mistake a young manager could make. A book should’ve been written. One may have been. Looking back, I think most of the mistakes I made came from fear of confrontation. I feared the actual process of confronting an employee but also — and perhaps more so — the...

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