Blog

23

August

Refuse To Let Your Meetings Suck

I work with a team that has amazing meetings.  All the time.  Every meeting.  And do you know how they do it?

They make a commitment at the beginning of every meeting that everyone there will do whatever it takes to accomplish something HUGE in the meeting.

Think about it for a second.  If you’re going to spend your precious and valuable time meeting, why would you be satisfied with just an average outcome?  Too many times we find ourselves stuck in meetings where the outcome really isn’t that big

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22

August

Great Scorecards Answer a Simple Question

One of the most important things we help leadership teams do is build great scorecards.  Just as in golf, a scorecard tells a big story in a small space.  By looking at your golf scorecard you can quickly see how you played a round, where you did well and where you struggled.  By adding up the numbers on the card, you know whether or not you played up to your expectations.

In business, though, we want a scorecard to do more. We don’t just want to know how we did, we

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28

July

Do You Have Someone in Your Organization You Could Not Live Without? Fire Them…….

Is there someone on your team that you absolutely, positively, cannot live without?  Someone who is so good at what they do that you’re willing to tolerate any kind of behavior because you so fear what would happen if he or she weren’t around to do their magic?  If so, here’s what you do.

You fire them.

That’s right.  You take your “the world will end if we don’t have this person” and you show them the door.  If you don’t, you’re a hostage.

My friend Bob Johnson at The Pinnacle Corporation tells

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27

July

Task Management

How many times have you begun the day with a small set of priorities that you want to accomplish, only to find that by the end of the day that you had totally forgotten about them and none of them got accomplished?  It’s a great practice to have your most important daily tasks identified, but too often that exercise pays no dividends because we launch ourselves into the chaos of a day and lose track of what those critical few things are.

Prepare yourself for a low-tech high-impact solution,

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25

July

The critical question when setting great goals

The critical question when setting great goals

The easiest thing in the world to do is to set a lousy goal.  You’ve probably done it before, and if you manage people you’ve almost definitely seen it happen.

What makes for a lousy goal?  Ambiguity and generalities.  See if any of these “goals” sound familiar:

Increase sales
Reduce returns
Improve on-time production

The potential list goes on and on and on.  And the common theme is that it’s impossible to tell just by looking at the goal exactly what you’re going to get when the

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20

July

Three Ideas for Managing Your Underperforming Sacred Cows

I had a great conversation yesterday with a group of CEO’s who were wrestling with a thorny problem.  Each of them had people on their teams that just weren’t getting the job done, but the CEO’s felt powerless to do anything about it because each employee in their own way was a “sacred cow”.  Some were family members.  Others were long-time employees nearing retirement.  All were valued and popular as people, but none of them had the horsepower to be successful in their respective business roles.

Let’s face it, sometimes there

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30

January

The Recipe for Ending the Endless Conversation

BoredSome people have no problem ending a conversation.  Once they deem the conversation over they walk away, slam down the phone, turn back to their computer, or do any number of things that the more genteel among us might consider rude.  And most of the time, rude is bad.

So if you’re trying to keep Rude You under control, how can you extract yourself from a meeting or business conversation with someone who might not be done talking, even though you’re done listening?  You follow this simple recipe.

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14

July

Master Your Email Inbox with One Simple Rule

If you’re like so many people, your email inbox is one of the most serious time sucks – and energy sucks – of your day.  Ask yourself:

Do you leave your email inbox open all the time on my computer screen?
If not, do you check your inbox incessantly to make sure that nothing new has arrived?

If you’re guilty of either then you’re wasting time every day and kidding yourself about your true effectiveness.  Worse yet, you may be playing right into the hand of those nagging feelings of being overwhelmed.  Here’s

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05

July

Lower ratings aren’t always bad news

I run a lot of meetings, and if you think it’s easy to run a good meeting, think again.  Running an effective meeting is hard work, and one of the tools I use to stay on my game is an end-of-meeting rating.  At the end of most meetings I facilitate the group rates the meeting on a scale of 1-10.  It isn’t just a grade for me – it’s a grade for all of us.  High grades mean that we had a great meeting.  Usually the grades are high.

But not

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23

June

Seven rules to guide your thinking

Hi, my name is Jeff, and I’m a lawyer.

That’s the way I introduce myself in the Lawyers Anonymous 12-step meetings, anyway.  I don’t practice law anymore, but I did for many, many years.  Recovery is a slow road.  One day at a time.  Okay, I sometime relapse into using esoteric Latin legal jargon.  I even occasionally skim law-based blogs and magazines.  So sue me.

In a great article in a recent edition of Texas Lawyer, Dallas attorney Mike Maslanka wrote

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