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To Succeed as a First-Time Leader, Relax

Being handed the opportunity to step up to the plate and be the leader on a project for the first time can be an exciting and scary opportunity. What do I do? How do I do it? What’s the best course of action? Etc. etc. David Brendel writes for Harvard Business Review about the process he uses in his executive coaching practice as a guide for first-time leaders to succeed. Finding a Calm Pulse You ...

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The 5 Elements of a Strong Leadership Pipeline

Having a strong financial pipeline is what every company wants to attain, correct? Well, to do so you must have a strong leadership pipeline. They are directly correlated, according to John Bersin in an article for Harvard Business Review. He addresses five elements of tackling this successfully from a study he conducted involving over 2,000 companies. Enabling Leadership Reliably The first element is culture. Every member of the team must feel the freedom to lead ...

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Connect Agile Teams to Organizational Hierarchy: A Sociocratic Solution

This article was co-authored by Pieter van der Meché and Jutta Eckstein. Many agile teams suffer from the mismatch of agile and organizational leadership with the latter being reflected by the organizational hierarchy. Based on self-organization and iterative processes, the teams run into trouble with the top-down steering of their environment. Consequently, very often agile proponents believe that a supportive agile organization should be structured without hierarchies. This is the reason why several companies in ...

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How to Minimize Bureaucracy as Your Business Grows

Slowly but surely, you can dismantle the bureaucracy in your business one tactic at a time. In an article for Intuit, John Boitnott discusses the tactics at your disposal. The first of them is to avoid segmentation of the workforce; get people involved in various aspects of the business so that they are not utterly dependent on other people for certain work to proceed. Always be looking to reduce how many levels of approval must ...

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Men in Groups Make Extreme Decisions

A typical comedy movie premise is that a group of guys make increasingly extreme decisions together, resulting in a mess as seen in The Hangover. According to Harvard Business Review, the scientific reality may not be too far off from that. Hristina Nikolova and Cait Lamberton share research demonstrating that men and women make different decisions in groups. The Testosterone Tornado As a rule, individual people of either gender are prone to the “compromise effect.” ...

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Accountability Can Have Positive Results

“Accountability” has some oppressive overtones to it, which is too bad considering it should just be a natural part of business. The U.S. Office of Personnel Management offers some pointers for how accountability is a good thing. For instance, when everyone embraces accountability, it inspires more employee participation. It generates higher employee morale that they are taking real ownership of their work. The trick with accountability is to broach the subject of it with these ...

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Tired of Being Let Down? Ways to Increase Accountability

In an effort to be liked or simply avoid conflict, we might be going too easy on people when they let us down at work. But there is a difference between making mistakes and just not respecting obligations. In an article for Forbes, Margie Warrell shares tips for making people shape up and take accountability for their actions. In the first place, be direct about what it is you want and expect from employees—you cannot ...

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5 Steps to Hold People Accountable

When employees do not live up to their obligations to you, they both disappoint you and damage the business. Raw feelings result. In an article for Harvard Business Review, Peter Bregman shares five tips for introducing more clarity, which in turn heightens accountability. First, there must be clear expectations in place about the outcomes you want to see and how success will be measured. These details do not have to be exclusively dictated by you; ...

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Making Your Boss Happy Is Not Your Job

Job security is important. Nobody ever wants to worry about where their next bank deposit will come from. One of the most direct ways you might seek to ensure your job security is through making your boss happy. But no matter how this decision is viewed, the underlying logic is fundamentally flawed. If you treat making your boss happy as an end goal in itself, you are jeopardizing your career. The Motivation to Please Getting ...

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Creative Genius: Tapping the Edison Within

Ever wonder why some people seem so darned creative? The answer is because they, like you, see problems every single day. Something breaks too often. Something seems too difficult when it shouldn’t be. A solution is missing. In the classic television series Star Trek, Captain James Kirk actually sums up the sentiment of many when he says, “Genius doesn’t work on an assembly line basis. You can’t simply say, Today I will be brilliant.” (Episode: ...

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