Figuring out the rules of optics

April 25, 2011

As a leader, how you act—and how people react to how you act—matters. For proof, look no further than the public reaction to AIG executives whining about restrictions on their bonuses. In boss land, how you behave and how things look is more important than almost anything else. It’s called the rule of optics.

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How to tell your story & make an impact

April 22, 2011
Behind every great business endeavor is a great story. “If you really want to create fans of your business who will become apostles and advocates for you, you have to use a narrative,” says Hollywood producer, executive and entrepreneur Peter Guber.
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Spreading ideas across an organization

March 31, 2011

Few senior executives know how to enhance the productivity of knowledge workers. The reason? Knowledge workers rarely involve clear-cut tasks or measurable performance metrics. As a result, companies settle for scattershot investments in IT and training, without knowing whether they make people more effective.

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Wow your customers the Ritz-Carlton way

March 30, 2011
As customer satisfaction scores continue to decline, take a page from the Ritz-Carlton playbook to motivate your team and to improve the service you offer your customers.
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Holbrooke’s secret: People first

March 28, 2011
Getting abducted in wartime makes life more difficult for U.S. diplomats, so when journalist David ­Rohde was taken hostage by Taliban, he expected U.S. envoy Richard Holbrooke to be furious. Instead, Holbrooke expressed relief. “It is so good to hear your voice.”
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The 2-minute speech warm-up

March 25, 2011

The most important two minutes of your speech occur before you take the stage. Practicing nonverbal cues, or body language, will “optimally configure your brain to deal with a stressful situation,” says Harvard Business School professor Amy Cuddy.

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Forget carrot-and-stick motivators

March 24, 2011

To get better results, companies don’t need better managers, says Daniel Pink, author of Drive. They need more radical autonomy among employees. The old carrot-and-stick approach is failing, he says.

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How deep is your bench?

March 21, 2011
Here’s hoping you don’t run the one in five organizations that are utterly unprepared to cope with the sudden loss of key leaders. In an American Management Association survey, 1,000 senior managers and executives say their companies sorely lack bench strength.
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‘Do I need to be on Twitter?’

March 17, 2011

That’s the question Steve Cunningham hears often, as the head of a digital mar­­keting agency. His reply? The true power of social media is in doing things that are worth talking about. He mentions two companies known for creating buzz in social-media circles: Zappos and Apple.

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5 signs you’re a bad boss

March 16, 2011
Experts say many leaders are clueless about how they come across to employees. Five signs you may be one of them: 1. You send one-word e-mails. 2. You rarely talk face-to-face with employees. 3. Your employees are out sick. A lot. 4. Your team works overtime but still misses deadlines. 5. You yell.
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