Sepinare Lenkoe

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How Philosophy Makes You a Better Leader

The goal of most executive coaching and leadership development is behavior change—help the individual identify and change the behaviors that are getting in the way of, and reinforce the behaviors associated with, effective leadership. But what about the beliefs and values that <i>drive</i> behavior?<p>The …

Boards Are Terrible at Their Most Important Job

The chief responsibility of any board is management of the senior executive. Yet a recent Bridgespan Group survey of nonprofit CEOs found that nearly half (46%) got little or no onboarding help from their boards. As one executive put it, “The board essentially said, ‘We’re glad you’re here. Here …

When Fighting with Your Boss, Protect Yourself First

Have you ever felt like your boss is out to get you? Maybe you’re paranoid. But then again, maybe not. There are a lot of bad bosses out there, leaders who aren’t stupid but lack emotional intelligence. Their self-awareness is strikingly low, they’re clueless when it comes to reading people, they …

4 Things You Thought Were True About Time Management

I don’t know anyone who doesn’t struggle with how to make the most of their time at work. How do you stay on top of an overflowing inbox? How do you get work done when your day is taken up by meetings? How can you get through a continually expanding to-do list? How do you even find time to make a …

Insurance Isn’t Safe from Digital Upheaval

Today, almost every industry is vulnerable to the effects of digitization and to what Accenture calls “Big Bang Disruption.” In Big Bang disruption, rule-changing innovation leads to the creation of entire product lines (or the destruction of whole markets) essentially overnight, with disrupters …

When Two of Your Coworkers Are Fighting

People disagree at work. That’s a given. But what if there’s an all-out war between two of your coworkers? What’s the right way to respond? If the people fighting are your direct reports, you have a duty to intervene, but what if they’re your peers? Should you play the role of peacekeeper? Or …

Start with a Theory, Not a Strategy

Well-crafted strategies are road maps to places that yield competitive advantage and generate value for the firm. But once you’ve arrived, they don’t take you anyplace else. That’s a problem for companies under continual pressure from investors to find <i>new</i> sources of competitive advantage.<p>I recently …

Managing Two People Who Hate Each Other

Managing people is never easy, but when the animosity between two of your direct reports escalates to the level of hatred, how do you minimize the drama and keep your team on track? Before you call for a professional mediator, remember that this is a fundamental part of your job as a manager. If …

Get Over Your Fear of Conflict

Most of us have some resistance to conflict. Instead of addressing issues directly, we try to be “nice” and end up spending an inordinate amount of time talking to ourselves or others — complaining, feeling frustrated, ruminating on something that already happened, or anticipating something that …

How to Negotiate with Someone More Powerful than You

<i>HBR STAFF</i><p>Going into a negotiation with someone who holds more power than you do can be a daunting prospect. Whether you are asking your boss for a new assignment or attempting to land a major business deal with a client, your approach to the negotiation can dramatically affect your chances of …

How To Be Happy At Work

“The way we’re working isn’t working,” wrote Tony Schwartz and Christine Porath in a recent New York Times article entitled “<i>Why You Hate Work.</i>” The article goes on to tell the sadly familiar tale of today’s typical workplace—lack of engagement in what people do, massive impediments to doing their …

Amazon's Wholesale Slaughter: Jeff Bezos' $8 Trillion B2B Bet

<b>Forget the delivery drones and TV deals. Jeff Bezos’ stealthy foray into the unsexy world of B2B distribution is likely his most disruptive move yet — and it has an $8 trillion swath of the economy running scared.</b><p>In recent months global Internet retail behemoth Amazon.com has green-lit six new …

3 Myths That Kill Strategic Planning

In its simplest form, strategic thinking is about deciding on which opportunities to focus your time, people, and money, and which opportunities to starve. One of history’s greatest strategic thinkers, Napoleon Bonaparte summed it up this way: “In order to concentrate superior strength in one …

Is It Better to Be Strategic or Opportunistic?

<i>I spoke with contributor Don Sull, who teaches strategy at MIT and the London Business School, about the tension between scholars who put sustainable competitive advantage at the center of strategy and those who argue that some industries are changing too quickly to allow for sustained performance.</i> …

The 7 Innovation Secrets of Steve Jobs

“The cure for Apple is not cost-cutting; the cure for Apple is to innovate its way out of its current predicament.” Steve Jobs made that bold statement when he returned to Apple after a 12-year absence. Apple was close to bankruptcy. We all know what happened next. Steve Jobs launched one …

How to Manage Someone You Don’t Like

Everybody complains about incompetent bosses or dysfunctional co-workers, but what about irritating direct reports? What should you do if the person you manage drives you crazy? If the behavior is a performance issue, there’s a straightforward way to address what’s irking you — but what do you do …

As You Start Your Career, Focus on People Skills

All across the country, this year’s soon-to-be graduates are revving up to start their careers. You may be one of them. You’re already thinking about what you’ll do when get into your new position. You’re smart and energetic, and you’re eager to commit both of those attributes to moving ahead. But …

Stop Procrastinating…Now

It seems that no one is immune to the tendency to procrastinate. When someone asked Ernest Hemingway how to write a novel, his response was “First you defrost the refrigerator.” But putting off tasks takes a big hit on our productivity, and psyche. Procrastination is not inevitable. Figuring out …

How to Discuss Pay With Your Employees

Talking about money with your employees can be uncomfortable. Even when you’ve got good news to share — a generous bonus or a well-deserved promotion — assigning a number to the value of someone’s work is tough. It’s especially difficult if you’re not the one calling the shots (most managers don’t …

When to Reward Employees with More Responsibility and Money

Managers who want to recognize employees for good work have many tools at their disposal. One of the more traditional ways to reward a top performer is to give her a promotion or raise or both. But how can you know whether someone is truly ready for the next challenge or deserving of that bump up …

High Frequency Trading: Threat or Menace?

There’s a wonderful scene (one of many) in Michael Lewis’s new book, <i>Flash Boys: A Wall Street Revolt</i>, in which John Schwall, then the head of product management at RBC Capital Markets in New York, decides one day in 2011 to figure out how stock trading had evolved into a high-speed, unfair race he …

Why Good Managers Are So Rare

Gallup has found that one of the most important decisions companies make is simply whom they name manager. Yet our analysis suggests that they usually get it wrong. In fact, Gallup finds that companies fail to choose the candidate with the right talent for the job 82% of the time.<p>Bad managers cost …

How To Use Color Psychology To Give Your Business An Edge

Whether you’re wondering what color to paint the office, or you’re looking to redesign your retail space, the colors you choose can increase your chance of reaching your goals. Color greatly influences human emotion and behavior. If you’re hoping to make your workers more productive, or you want to …

Want To Increase Sales? Target Your Existing Customers

We tend to forget about our existing customers, and when we do, it is always to our detriment.<p>Yes, of course, gaining customers and/or market share is inevitably a goal of every marketing campaign and communications effort we undertake.<p>But as you go about crafting those efforts, make sure you are …

Diagnose Your Customer Culture

What happens when you deliver poor customer experiences and get complaints? You might ignore your customers — or worse, blame them — and lose them for life. Or you might fix their problems and earn their loyalty. What you and your employees will do depends on your customer culture.<p>In truly …

The Right Way to Answer “What’s Your Greatest Weakness?”

Thomas Jefferson once said that “honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom”. Though truth-telling abounds in grade school platitudes, it seems scarcer the older we get. But this decline in honesty — let’s call it <i>dishonesty</i> — isn’t necessarily innate. Dishonesty can be taught. In my …

The Big Lie of Strategic Planning

All executives know that strategy is important. But almost all also find it scary, because it forces them to confront a future they can only guess at. Worse, actually choosing a strategy entails making decisions that explicitly cut off possibilities and options. An executive may well fear that …

Strengthen Your Strategic Thinking Muscles

Have you been told that you need to be more strategic? Whether through 360 feedback or after a failed promotion attempt, being told that you aren’t strategic enough really stings. Worse is when you try to clarify what “more strategic” would look like and get few tangible suggestions.<p>Being more …

The Biggest Bet Ever: Soros, Paulson and Cooperman Take On Adelson Over The Future Of Gambling In America

In November George Soros, John Paulson and Leon Cooperman, three of the most successful hedge fund managers ever, quietly participated in a rights offering and became major shareholders in Caesars Acquisition Co., a spinoff from casino company Caesars Entertainment that has ownership in Caesars’ …

Don’t Sit on Customer Feedback

When you are driving a car, you get a steady stream of feedback from the road, from other drivers, from the dashboard gauges, and from the car itself. You know how to interpret the feedback and respond to it in real time, such as slowing down when the road feels bumpy. You may also begin observing …