Thanksgiving – a time to encourage the heart

The Thanksgiving holiday is a great time to look back and think about our interactions with colleagues, family and friends. Not many of us count the times we say thank you, but this may be the day to do just that. Read more

How to be more productive at work

How effectively are you managing your own personal energy? The defining mantra in the modern workplace is, “More, bigger, faster.” More information than ever is available, we are expected to juggle more balls than ever and get more done in less time. Managing your energy levels in this environment may be the key to success. Read more

Small rewards for workers go a long way

Meet Khalid Mahmud, factory manager for National Foods, Pakistan’s largest maker of spices and pickles. He has a few things to teach us about reward and recognition. Companies across Pakistan’s industrial heartland are struggling to cope with rising insecurity, incessant power outages and government corruption and inefficiency. Read more

Top five practices of exemplary leadership

“Describe a time when you were at your best as a leader.” That was the first assignment we received from Barry Possner, co-author of The Leadership Challenge, at a recent leadership workshop. It set the foundation for a rich conversation about how leadership is personal and reinforced the need to create a relationship if you want to entice others to want to follow you. Read more

Making business planning as much fun as summer vacation

For the past few weeks I have been planning our summer vacation. I somehow, against her better judgment, convinced my wife to join me (with our two dogs) for a month-long RV trip throughout the western U.S. The planning process shed some new light on how to approach business planning with the same vigor and excitement. Read more

Don’t serve the founder of Starbucks Peet’s Coffee

I had a chance to attend the Los Angeles leg of Howard Schultz’s national book tour launching Onward: How Starbucks Fought for Its Life without Losing Its Soul. I’m a big admirer of Schultz’s leadership style and corporate vision. Read more

Hot (or cold?) sales incentives

Fargo, ND as a sales incentive trip? In the WINTER? You betcha. Well, not really — more of a “disincentive trip.” MSNBC reported that the company that makes Hot Tamales candy “offered its sales team an all-expenses-paid trip to Hawaii if it met its annual goals, and a trip to the nation’s arctic tundra if it didn’t.” Read more

How to steal your competitors’ top people

Geoff Colvin, Fortune senior editor, has an extraordinary breadth of knowledge on the most vital issues facing business and the economy. Top business leaders confide in him. For obvious reasons a top CEO did not want to be named when in late 2008 he said “Any CEO that is not panicked about the economy, should be.” Colvin now sees opportunity. Read more

Don’t be too busy to say thank you

Does it ever seem to you that “all you ever needed to know you learned in kindergarten?” Saying “thank you” is one of those important life lessons. In the overstressed, busy world where many of us live and work, sometimes, saying thank you may not seem a high priority. Read more

4 myths managers believe

A couple of weeks ago, I shared a blog post about Larry and his staff who wanted to wear flip-flops to work. It was the tale of a manager who forgot to listen to his people. But many colleagues have since commented on the reluctance of some employees to speak up. I am here to tell you that you have the ability to stop the silence. Read more