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…

3 Activities to Build Virtual Team Spirit

The more that virtual teams become our normal way of working, the more we realize how difficult it is to build the positive relationships so critical for team success.   A face-to-face meeting for team building is best, yet most teams can’t afford that luxury. So how do you build team spirit when you can’t have…

3 Ways People Cope–Instead of Flourish–at Work

“Not looking out for the emotional well-being of our people hurts individuals and organizations in terms of increased illness, stress and disability claims—not to mention the opportunity losses of productivity and creativity,” explains motivation expert Susan Fowler. Surprisingly, when Fowler talks with leaders about what is motivating them on their current tasks and responsibilities, people…

The High Price of Money (a five-question happiness quiz)

Consider these five statements. True or False? Money cannot buy you happiness. Money may not buy happiness, but it will buy things that make you happy. The more money you have, the happier you are. Seeking wealth, status, or image undermines interpersonal relationships and connectedness to others. Pursuing money or other materialistic values results in…

Are you only half the leader you could be? See if you have this limiting self-belief

In their latest post for Fast Company online, management experts Scott and Ken Blanchard share that, “One of the big mistakes we see among otherwise promising managers is the self-limiting belief that they have to choose between results and people, or between their own goals and the goals of others. We often hear these people say,…

3 Ways to Put Life Into Deadly Virtual Team Meetings

Ever had this experience as a virtual member of a face-to-face team meeting? You dial into a conference phone. You can’t hear what people are saying. You can’t see the documents, slides, or whiteboards people are referencing, and there is no easy way for you to get the group’s attention to ask a question or…

Four Considerations in Building Trust with Millennials

“Toto, I’ve a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore.” ~ Dorothy, The Wizard of Oz Judy Garland’s line from The Wizard Oz could appropriately capture the feeling of many leaders when it comes to managing Millennials in the workplace – it’s a whole new world! Millennials, or Gen Y (born 1982-1995), are rapidly becoming a…

A Glimmer of Hope: When Leaders Get It Right

I just arrived back from beautiful Fujairah—one of the northernmost emirates in the UAE—where we held the final module of six in a 15-month leadership development curriculum for a global technology company. The total program included modules around personality, values, organization vision and alignment, leadership style, high performing teams, change management, and motivation—the gamut. This…

The Not So Shocking Truth: 3 things to stop doing that undermine Optimal Motivation

“Shocking! This is shocking.” The manager was responding to a slide on the screen that declared: As a manager you cannot motivate anyone. “Shocking,” he exclaimed again before I could put up the second part of the slide. I asked the obvious question, “Why is this so shocking?” His reply: “My whole career I have…