Can’t Take a Vacation? Ask Madeleine

Dear Madeleine,  I am a leader who is conscientious, caring, and committed. Now, at the middle of my career, I find myself becoming a bit resentful of working long hours. I am constantly in danger of losing my PTO and yet the stress of preparing to be off work, along with the avalanche of work…

Are Your People Phoning It In? Ask Madeleine

Dear Madeleine, I am a staff manager at an academic institution. Of my eleven direct reports, seven have been with the University for more than thirty years and the rest have also been here for a long time. They are smart and capable and very good at what they do, as they should be—they have…

Feeling Overwhelmed? Ask Madeleine

Dear Madeleine, I’m not sure what my exact problem is, except that I am in a constant state of overwhelm.  I have a wonderful job that I love, with a great boss who gives me plenty of challenging opportunities and always has my back.  My employees are all excellent and hardworking.  I have a lovely…

Need More Time? How Recurring One-on-One Meetings Can Help

This Coaching Tuesday guest post is from Blanchard network coach Antonio Estrada. I recently coached an ambitious sales person with ten direct reports after he attended a three-day Managing People workshop customized for his employer by The Ken Blanchard Companies. This leader was very busy, working an average of twelve hours a day. Due to…

The Top Three Mistakes Good Managers Make

What are the biggest mistakes good managers make? That’s the question I asked 130 of our Blanchard executive coaches for an article I was working on. Because many of the coaches at first didn’t notice the distinction of good managers, I got a lot of responses about managers who put themselves first, who are inconsistent,…

Tough Decision? 3 ways to get moving

Lately I’ve been trying to make a few choices. For example, I’ve been wrestling with either working on my income tax or getting out those pesky holiday cards—which one should I start on first? This morning I had to decide whether I should get up early and run a couple of miles, or stay in…

Leadership as an Experience in Humanness

At the beginning of my career, desperate for experience, I took whatever job I could in my field. Fortunately, my first manager treated employees and customers like gold. Luck struck twice when I was hired by yet another wonderful manager. Regrettably, subsequent managers provided the “opportunity” to witness appalling treatment of both employees and customers.…

Leaders, Are You Listening for Explanations or Excuses?

Stop for a moment and consider the last time either you or one of your direct reports missed a deadline. What happened? It’s likely you were asked, or asked for, an explanation. When the explanation was given, how was it received? If it was not well received, do you feel that ANY explanation would have realistically been…

The Not-So-Simple Art of Making Introductions

Patrick has been a high performing member of his organization for nearly 10 years. Recently, a member of his company’s Human Resources department, Elizabeth, was giving a tour to a couple of new hires and was introducing them to existing employees. When they stopped at Patrick’s department, Elizabeth introduced the new hires to Bruce, whose…