Your Admin is Terrible? Ask Madeleine

Dear Madeleine, I am a senior leader in a large commercial services organization. I spent many years learning how to make good use of an assistant and I’ve always made sure I had a great one. Over the last few years, the company has been reducing the size of the administration group and I have…

The Power of Clear Expectations—Identifying What and Who

Who? What? Where? When? Why? How? Each of these one-word questions can push organizational leaders and their team members toward the clarity they need to achieve success. In this post I’d like to focus on who and what. When leaders set clear expectations, outcomes are much more likely to hit the mark. And it’s just…

Dealing with a Difficult Employee? Ask Madeleine

Dear Madeleine, I manage a large team of graphic artists for a popular online magazine. A few of my people are employees who do other tasks for the magazine, but most of my artists are independent contractors. On the whole, they are professional and easy to work with—but a couple are simply a pain in…

The Two Sides of Servant Leadership

When people hear the phrase servant leadership, they are often confused. These folks think you can’t lead and serve at the same time. Yet you can, if you understand that servant leadership consists of two parts: A visionary/direction, or strategic, role—the leadership aspect of servant leadership; and An implementation, or operational, role—the servant aspect of…

Taking a Top-Down, Bottom-Up Approach to Leadership

Leadership works best as a partnership, with managers and direct reports working together toward achievement of company goals. It requires strong skills in goal setting, diagnosis, and matching for both manager and direct report. But most organizations only focus on one half of that partnering equation, says Susan Fowler, a senior consulting partner with The…

5 Important Coaching Techniques Every Leader Should Practice

More and more organizations are looking for their managers to use coach-like behaviors in conversations with their direct reports. Here are five of the most important techniques coaches use in their conversations with clients. Consider how these techniques could help the managers in your organization be more coach-like in their communication style. Be fully present.…