Monthly Archives: August 2016

Be Confident, Aware and Realistic

I’ve been talking about the new economy for 8 years now, yet I still see some leaders waiting (hoping) for the business world to get back to how it used to be. I also am starting to witness some small business leaders jumping onto every bandwagon that comes along, trying to catch the next big wave. The one thing that has remained constant in business for the last 100 years, and will remain constant for the next 100 years, is the necessary balance of growth and stability.

Be confident, aware and realistic. Hyper-aggressiveness can cause recklessness and it’s easy to have the business run off the rails. How many times have we heard of a wreck occurring when the driver slides off one side of the road, only to over-correct and ditch the car on the other side of the highway? Over-aggressive business leaders in today’s climate can cause the same whiplash crash for their businesses. Flashy and first isn’t always the best. When you balance confidence with realism, incremental, solid growth will happen, and steady growth is more sustainable.

Sure, there are shooting stars that come out of nowhere (Angry Birds, Foursquare, Pokemon Go,) but they tend to flame out just as quickly. For example, how many people are still playing Candy Crush these days? Be careful to invest your time, effort and resources into a balance of optimism and realism. This will create the sustained growth you seek.

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3 Ways You Could Be the Bad Boss

In the last couple of weeks, I have witnessed bad boss behavior with incredible frequency. When businesses fail to properly train and develop management, they create a cascade of bad habits passed along to the next level down, and then the next level, and so on. Good management skills are not an innate skill; they must be developed.

Consider reminding or retraining these three skills I frequently see lacking:

Mutual respect – The bad boss will publicly question and ridicule employees in front of other employees or customers. When this happens, production, commitment and initiative will decline, while frustration, negative reactions, and anger will increase. The more social media takes over our communications, the more emotionally sensitive we become, especially the younger people who are being molded by social media.

Demonstrating mutual respect not only creates a positive interaction with the employee, but it sets the tone and trains others to demonstrate the same respectful behavior.

Keep your distance – It’s good to have a positive relationship with your employees, but the bad boss loses the understanding of when leadership crosses the line to friendship. Being friends with those you manage will create tougher decision making and actually can cause the manager to lose perspective. As parents become blind to the mistakes or bad habits of their children, the same blindness will happen when the manager tries to manage those he or she values as personal friends.

Lead by example — The bad boss tries to set higher expectations than she personally will live up to. It’s very difficult to be respected as a manager when you are disappointed in a person’s lack of follow up and yet you are not following through on your own commitments. Expect cool behavior when dealing with upset customers? How are you demonstrating your skills when dealing with an employee who has you upset?

You are the lid. The least you demonstrate is typically the most you will be able to expect from your employees. Where are you setting the bar? Let your actions speak louder than your words.

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