Nick Kuvakos

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How the '90/10 rule' can help you make fewer, smarter decisions

The ability to delegate tasks is essential for managers, especially when it comes to decision-making. Delegating not only helps managers focus on …

One of the hallmarks of a truly great boss has nothing to do with vision or work ethic

In a perfect world, managers would spend all their time encouraging, coaching, delegating, and communicating openly with those who work for them.<p>But here in the real world, there will always be employees who lack the skill or the will to do their jobs well. They show up late. They shirk. They …

4 Ways to Help Different Generations Share Wisdom at Work

<i>“The world is more malleable than you think and it’s waiting for you to hammer it into shape…That’s what this degree of yours is — a blunt instrument. So, go forth and build something with it.”</i> — Bono, singer for U2, 2004 University of Pennsylvania commencement<p>Right now, commencement speeches are …

4 Questions Great Managers Ask Their Employees Every Week

The prerequisite for setting the stage for these questions to be asked (and answered) is transparency. Therein lies the problem for most bosses.<p>Readers of my column in management roles will often write to me asking about what they can do to improve their relationships with employees. It's not that …

Employment

CEOs Should Think Like Founders, Not Just Managers

In 2001 the list of companies with the highest market caps was dominated by blue chips. General Electric, Microsoft, ExxonMobil, Walmart, and CitiGroup — all were businesses led by managers who were experts in efficiency and optimization and who grew their businesses by making them work better than …

11 things you can do today to be more respected, productive, and impressive at work

The path to professional success is long, and often winding. It's a combination of working hard, pursuing your passions, and meeting the right people.<p>But there are steps you can take immediately to get closer to your goals. Below, Business Insider has collected a bunch of quick and dirty strategies …

Coffeemakers

Stop Trying To Be Friends With All Your Coworkers, And Do This Instead

These five simple habits can help you build and sustain great working relationships, without having to befriend every single person in your office.<p>For anyone who’s ever had an office job, two things are pretty obvious. On the one hand, it’s important to have friends at work. Those relationships …

The 8 Rules of Leadership by Jack Welch

Leadership is best taught by example. Follow these eight indisputable rules directly from the playbook of the former head of GE.<p>Leadership is all about growing others. It's about your team and its welfare. It's about your direct reports and their performance.<p>Leadership is a tough act. It's a daily …

Leadership

The Best Managers Do These 6 Key Things Differently

Giving people credit after a job well done isn't a sign of weakness.<p>Effectively managing others is both a science and an art, just like programming or playing an instrument. Based on personality and past experiences, some people tend to naturally be stronger at leading and inspiring others. That …

Executives Fail to Execute Strategy Because They’re Too Internally Focused

Experts have opined for decades on the reasons behind the spectacular failure rates of strategy execution. In 2016, it was estimated that 67% of well-formulated strategies failed due to poor execution. There are many explanations for this abysmal failure rate, but a 10-year longitudinal study on …

Do You Have The Courage To Change How You Lead?

If there’s one constant to doing business in today’s global environment, it’s that things inevitably change.Of course, when it comes to change in …

Leadership

How to Make the Right Connections When You Don’t Already Have an “In”

Developing a robust network is critical to your professional success. After all, it’s often your primary source of business opportunities and referrals. But what if you don’t know the right people who can help you?<p>Perhaps you’re new to your field, or you’ve changed locations – but regardless of the …

The Key Asset in the Pursuit of Excellence

The attainment of excellence is a common goal among growth-oriented people. To have the ability to perform a skill at a much higher level than others …

The Best Companies Know How to Balance Strategy and Purpose

Most companies have articulated their purpose — the reason they exist. But very few have made that purpose a reality for their organizations.<p>Consider Nokia. Before the iPhone was introduced, in 2007, Nokia was the dominant mobile phone maker with a clearly stated purpose — “Connecting people” — and …

Guiding Principles for Closing the Gap Between Strategy Design and Delivery

Every CEO or leader knows that strategy design, coupled with excellence in the implementation of that strategy, is central to an organization’s sustainable growth and prosperity.<br>Yet most strategic initiatives fail to deliver, and they do so at great cost in time and resources. In a new global …

Good Strategy Execution Requires Balancing 4 Tensions

Putting strategy into practice is notoriously difficult. In our experience, the primary obstacle to strategy execution is a failure to balance the inherent tensions that characterize any major execution effort. Successful strategy execution calls for skillful orchestration of sometimes opposing …

Is Execution Where Good Strategies Go to Die?

Execution is an odd word. On the one hand, it means “the carrying out of a plan or course of action.” On the other, it means, “the carrying out of a death sentence.” When leaders “execute a strategy,” they usually mean the former — putting an idea into action. But those efforts all too often end up …

What Mentors Wish Their Mentees Knew

The mentor-mentee relationship is a tango between a more senior person and a junior one. Just as in dance, coordination and orchestration between parties is necessary for grace and success. And while we and others have written about what makes the ideal mentor, comparatively less attention has been …

Leadership Comes From the Bottom. A lesson for all gymnastics professionals and administrators.

It is fitting that on my gym’s anniversary of opening USA Gymnastics has just announced the hiring of a new CEO/President. <b>Ms. Kerry J. Perry</b> will …

Leadership

Many Strategies Fail Because They’re Not Actually Strategies

Many strategy execution processes fail because the firm does not have something worth executing.<p>The strategy consultants come in, do their work, and document the new strategy in a PowerPoint presentation and a weighty report. Town hall meetings are organized, employees are told to change their …

How Coca-Cola, Netflix, and Amazon Learn from Failure

Why, all of a sudden, are so many successful business leaders urging their companies and colleagues to make more mistakes and embrace more failures?<p>In May, right after he became CEO of Coca-Cola Co., James Quincey called upon rank-and-file managers to get beyond the fear of failure that had dogged …

Jeff Bezos

Why Everyone Should See Themselves as a Leader

<b>Sue Ashford,</b> a professor at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business, breaks down her decades of research on leadership—who achieves it, and how a group grants it. She explains that the world isn’t divided into leaders and followers. Instead, it’s a state that everyone can reach, …

7 Breakthrough Steps to Shed Negative Habits

You want to stop procrastinating, running solely on adrenaline and getting defensive about criticism. You know these things hold you back. You don’t …

The 1 Toxic Personality Trait No Business Should Tolerate

Here's why one insecurity-driven characteristic undermines everything your company is trying to achieve.<p>Passive-aggressive behavior is toxic just about any way you slice it. By definition, people use it to express a variety of negative emotions without being direct. For example, a …

The Most Effective Way to Keep Star Employees From Leaving

For starters, let's look at what the best companies on the planet do.<p>Gallup has been tracking employee engagement over the past 17 years, and its research reveals that roughly 30 percent of U.S. workers are considered "engaged" in their jobs.<p>Translation: They are inspired by, involved in, …

Why Do Employees Stay? A Clear Career Path and Good Pay, for Starters

Employee turnover is expensive. Replacing an employee who quits costs, on average, 21% of their annual pay. While it’s tempting to dismiss turnover as a fact of life in today’s fast-moving job market, new research shows otherwise. Many reasons employees jump ship are surprisingly simple, and …

The 3 Simple Rules of Managing Top Talent

The general view in business is that top-end talent is highly sensitive to and motivated by compensation and that big monetary rewards are key to their management. There is a grain of truth to this — but only a grain. In my 36-year career, I haven’t met a single person truly at the top end of the …

22 Things I Wish I Knew When I Was 22

<b>1.</b> Confidence is built on accomplishments.<p><b>2.</b> Failure is the foundation of success; the more you fail the more you will succeed. Do not fear failure.<p><b>3.</b> No amount of schooling or research is a substitute for experience.<p><b>4.</b> Overall happiness and success is built on discipline.<p><b>5.</b> You are as good as the …

Selfies

A Better Way to Set Strategic Priorities

Smart leaders understand that their job requires them to identify trade-offs, choosing what <i>not</i> to do as much as what <i>to</i> do. Grading the importance of various initiatives in an environment of finite resources is a primary test of leadership.<p>To meet this challenge, leaders often turn to rank ordering …

Why Excellent Leaders Question with Intent

Questions for questions sake will lose your team and deplete your credibility. Here's how to initiate purposeful inquires.<p>Plenty of books are filled with lists of questions, but asking questions without a clear objective is like playing the question lotto. Very occasionally you might get lucky and …