Sometimes you need to fire someone

Sometimes you need to fire someone

Most people are fine with the idea of firing someone for egregiously terrible work or when they’re discovered to be lying about their qualifications. The well-situated dictators out there are often in a position to enact their mercurial tempers and bully people around with the threat and maybe actualization of “off with their head” style firings. Back in the real world, I’ve seen leaders struggle with how to deal with team members who have problematic behavior that doesn’t align with the organization’s culture or more subtle signs that someone needs to go.

When to flex and when to be flexible

When to flex and when to be flexible

I talk with leaders who are on the struggle bus about wanting something from their people and not getting it. It could be something simple like a weekly update or more involved like engaging in positive communication with the team. Whatever the thing is, the leader is getting frustrated and usually asks “why can’t they just do this simple thing?”. There are two basic reasons.

Reigniting Motivation: Choice

Reigniting Motivation: Choice

Have you ever been frustrated or mystified by someone telling you “I had no choice” when it seemed pretty obvious that they made about 100 choices leading up to that moment? Or how do you feel about hearing the old saw: there just are no good options? If there truly were no choices to be made life would be quite a bummer and evaporating motivation would be understandable and unavoidable. Choice can be a powerful motivator.

Reigniting Motivation: Purpose

Reigniting Motivation: Purpose

One of the very worst aspects of motivation is when it leaves you mid-project and you still have a long, long way to go.

Dealing with a sucky boss: the micromanager

Dealing with a sucky boss: the micromanager

You may be struggling along with overly detailed instructions for your tasks or every communication including another thing for you to “consider adding” (which is code for: do this or your work will be rejected) or maybe you feel the eyes looking over your shoulder and every piece of your work scrutinized with comments....here's how to save your peace of mind.

Reigniting Motivation: Mastery

Reigniting Motivation: Mastery

Developing expertise is satisfying and intrinsically motivating. Daniel Pink calls this motivation due to learning “mastery.” When starting something new, mastery is easily noticed because new skills are immediately needed and new roles are learned and developed. The steep learning curve is motivating as long as the learning challenge is complemented by sufficient ability and resources to rise to the challenge.

Team Building vs Team Development

Team Building vs Team Development

“Stop Wasting Money on Team Building” a Harvard Business Review title screamed at me. “Most corporate team building is a waste of time and money” was the terse opening line of this article from Carlos Valdes-Dapnea. At this point my blood pressure probably (definitely) skyrocketed and my mind was already racing to provide an eloquent counterargument (more likely a sputtering aggressive beat-down) in response to this shot across the bow.

Building Positive Team Culture

Building Positive Team Culture

Here's a guest blog I did for the Rose City Rollers! Derby athletes train all the time. All. The. Time. On skates. Off skates. They train to acquire and improve individual skills and to enhance team performance. When it comes to the individual athlete, we often talk about mental toughness and the ability to perform under pressure.

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