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Leading In A Broken System

“By Paul LaRue, of The Upwards Leader”

Years ago one of my leadership team asked me why a certain attendance policy at our company was in place.

I explained to her what the rationale was, and her reply was “Well, that’s stupid. That needs to be changed.” Slightly taken aback, I asked her what she meant by that. She explained that the way the policy was written allowed the staff to abuse it. She said that if it was more stringent there would be less infractions. Our organization at the time had a poor track record of employee attendance issues, exacerbated by rules that employees easily worked around. In the two years I had been aboard, our attendance track was the best in the company and benchmarked with others in the industry; however most of the other departments had poor compliance in this area at best.

Nonetheless, there was a real issue here and my day supervisor was expressing her frustration with the process. This presented me with a wonderful teaching moment for her leadership career. I paused and quickly dove in.

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5 Things That You Shouldn’t Put On Your Resume


Your resume’s primary function is to convince the employer that you should be interviewed for a job.Your resume should hence contain statement of facts about your employment history, education accomplishments and skills — written in such a way as to make an employer take notice. We’ve seen numerous job-seeker resumes, talked with employers and other experts and now provide you with the five things you should never have on your resume.

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Think Positive and Achieve 

“By Naphtali Hoff, of Smart Blogs on Leadership”

“If you think you are beaten, you are. … If you want to win, but think you can’t, it’s almost a cinch you won’t. … Success begins with a fellow’s will. … The man who wins is the man who thinks he can.” ~ Walter D. Wintle

When Ford CEO Alan Mulally was president at Boeing, it was widely expected that he would be made CEO after a decade of successes at the company, which included shepherding of the aircraft maker through a vibrant recovery following the heavy impact of 9/11.

Understandably, Mulally was devastated when Boeing passed him over for the top job. But he refused to harp on the negative because, as he said, “a bad attitude simply erases everyone else’s memory of the incredible progress achieved.” Why become “the bitter guy” and tarnish his great progress, he thought, when he could remain in everyone’s eyes as a proud, successful leader? He took the high road and was promptly recruited by Ford to re-ignite the automobile manufacturer.

One of the biggest challenges for leaders, particularly newer ones, is to remain positive in the face of inevitable setbacks. So many things happen that can derail us from what we are trying to achieve, such as changing market conditions, weak sales figures, low worker productivity or morale, and more.

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What Companies Gain from Providing Free Lunch to Employees

“By Daniel Gross, of Strategy+Business”

One of the defining characteristics of tech and media companies is coming under fire: the provision of free food, drinks, and snacks.

Faced with rocky public markets, some venture-backed technology companies are dialing back on the amenities they provide employees, including free lunches and dinner. Shareholder activists also look to in-house cafeterias as a potential way to trim fat. Eric Jackson, an investor who has been critical of Yahoo, charged that the company is spending US$450 million annually on employee food. CEO Marissa Mayer has countered that the total was more like $150 million.

To a degree, analysts and critics see the provision of quinoa salads, cappuccinos, fruit bowls, and pistachios as just another sign of once-hard-headed companies growing soft, coddling millennials by providing them with the comforts of home in the office.

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Moving Beyond the One-Man Show: Investing in the Right People

“By John Maxwell, of The John Maxwell Co.”

Last week I wrote in The Limits of a One-Man Show that a leader who doesn’t share his or her vision, influence, and momentum with others will see all three diminish over time. I learned that lesson at Hillham, and it’s one I’ve never forgotten. It is absolutely essential for any leader to find capable women and men to mentor and invest in for the future!

But that raised an important question in several comments on the post: how do you know whom to invest in as a leader? So I decided to set aside my original topic for today and answer the question in this post.

In my book Developing the Leaders Around You, I devote an entire chapter to identifying potential leaders to develop. To me, this is the primary responsibility of any leader, and it’s also one of the most challenging tasks leaders face. It’s crucial to get it right.

So what should you look for when you’re recruiting people to your side? Here are the five key areas I believe you should focus on:

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Ten Things Never To Do On LinkedIn

“By Liz Ryan, a Contributor”

You could think of LinkedIn as a huge database or a research tool for job-seekers and business-developers. LinkedIn is certainly both of those things. You could think of LinkedIn as an online public square where people can post billboards about themselves and their services.

You could also think of LinkedIn as a networking event that happens online and goes on forever. When you’re thinking about your interactions on LinkedIn in the context of a live networking event, you’ll quickly see that there are certain networking overtures that are more polite than others!

You don’t want to be viewed as or labeled a rude networker, so be careful not to overstep the bounds of politeness on LinkedIn. Here are ten things never to do on LinkedIn:

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3 Lies That Can Shipwreck A Leader

“By Scott Cochrane, of”

“The water should be deep enough here.”

Many a ship’s captain has believed that lie, and many of their ships have ended up stranded on a sandbar or dashed against a reef.

In the same way, there are lies that leaders are tempted to tell themselves every day. And some of these can shipwreck their leadership too.

In my experience these are some of the most dangerous lies a leader can ever tell themselves. Start believing these and you could easily find your leadership dashed on the shore.

“I got away with it last time. I can get away with it this time.”

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A 5-Step Process For Delivering Tough News

“By Gwen Moran, of”

Maybe an employee’s work has been subpar lately. Or your coworker is really botching a client interaction. It’s the dreaded moment when it’s time to tell someone a hard truth—and they’re not going to like it.

Before you dive in, you’ve got to consider the situation, says CEO adviser Mindy Mackenzie, author of The Courage Solution: The Power of Truth Telling with Your Boss, Peers, and Team. Telling someone a hard truth to help them get better means that you care enough about that person to do so. It may not always be your place to share something that might be painful or upsetting, but if you have a relationship in which you’re invested, then you owe it to the person to be honest, she says.

Telling someone a hard truth to help them get better means that you care enough about that person to do so.

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2 Things Organizations Must Do To Win The War For Talent

“By S. Chris Edmonds, of”

Is your organization a great place to work?

To know for sure, you’d need information like the percentage of employees that are highly engaged and highly productive, information about the degree to which employees trust their bosses and peers, information about whether employees’ ideas and efforts are consistently validated, and information about how many talented, engaged employees leave your organization every month.

What drives talented people to join your organization or to stay with your organization? Lazlo Bock, senior vice president of Google’s people operations, said in a recent Business Insider interview that pay and perks — like free gourmet meals, services like child care and dry cleaners on campus, etc. — are nice, but they don’t “actually retain people or even attract people.”

Bock continued, “People don’t stay for the money!” Over a third of Google’s first 100 employees still work for the company even after making quite a haul in Google’s initial public offering.

According to Bock, the two reasons that people are attracted to and want to stay with your organization are:

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7 Tells You’re On The Brink Of Losing Your Team

“By Dorothy Dalton, of”

The stats on the level of engagement in all organizations come out overwhelmingly against the boss. 66% seems to be a standard figure for disengaged employees, so let’s work around that. It starts with the top employee who can bail fastest and more easily than the others. Then it trickles downwards, so that means losing your team will be the next step.

The top performer’s departure can blind side you. They are the best for a reason. Part of that is they are tapped into the market and bring their best selves to every situation. Very often their exit will be discreet and sudden. You can rightly be shocked, although some would say that even that might indicate that you are not in touch as you might be. But for the others, there are a multitude of tells that let you know you are losing your team, they are restless and out there testing the market. This might be as active candidates, or actively passive candidates, driving traffic to themselves and raising their visibility.

Whether you have your head in the sand or the clouds, unless you get on the ball, it will trickle down the ranks, until eventually you will be stuck with a team that will not be top calibre.

Multiple departures is a sign that you have a cultural issue which needs addressing urgently. Becoming tuned into the tell tale signs that you are on the brink of losing your team can help you take pre-emptive action.

So how do you know you are losing your team?

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