Taking Action

Saying When Enough (Advice) is Enough

So here we are again on the cusp of the new year.  One slippery six week slope to 2014.  Another spin around the sun officially starting on January 1. We will soon read all sorts of advice about how to set our New Year Resolutions, how to avoid letting yet another gym membership go to…

Don’t Slam People’s Fingers in Your Open Door Policy

Have you ever had a leader or associate mention that if you ever needed them, their door was always open? And it was. But it turned out later, they were never in there. Or, they were in there, but they were always busy, maybe because they were studying spreadsheets or some other stimulating thing. Or,…

Autonomy or Accountability? 5 Ways to Use Honey Instead of Vinegar to Motivate Employees

Last week I met with a group of sales managers for a national retailer that is doing very well.  Turnover is low.  Same-store sales have been outpacing their peer group for five years.  Quarterly and annual financials have been excellent. The question they were asking was, “How do we keep our people motivated?”  I asked…

Not All Goals Are Created Equal

I’ve just returned from the 5th International Conference on Self-Determination Theory.  The remarkable and often mind-blowing research on motivation that was shared and debated by 500 scholars from more than 38 countries will be impacting our world over the coming years.  But there are also little tidbits you can put into application immediately. For example, even…

Employee Engagement–What’s Love Got To Do With It?

In a recent post for the Harvard Business Review blog, editor Gretchen Gavett reported the latest Gallup research on employee engagement.  In the article, Ten Charts That Show We’ve All Got a Case of the Mondays, we learn—again—that the majority of the U.S. workforce is woefully disengaged and has been for many years.  We read—again—that…

Leaders should remove barriers … sometimes they make them worse

Would you recognize an esox lucius if you saw one? Commonly called the Northern Pike, it is a 25-40 pound freshwater game fish. If you observe it in an aquarium, you realize quickly that this animal is the consummate carnivore. Its predatory style is to suspend itself very still in the water until a potential…