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In the topic 'Serving, Influencing & Leading Upward'


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Leaders Don’t Wait, They Initiate

Last month’s issue featured an exchange I had with a reader on Dealing with Stupid Busy Leadership Teams Overloading Their Organization. I wrote that strong leaders like George who refuse to be victimized by undisciplined senior leaders have three choices. Paul, “a first level manager,” e-mailed to tell me about a “fourth option I’ve used […]

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Dealing with Stupid Busy Leadership Teams Overloading Their Organization

I had an exchange of messages with a reader about my blog post Stupid Busy: Is Your Leadership Team Overloading Your Organization? The reader, who we’ll call George, wrote, As a middle manager who is on the receiving end of this, you are hitting the nail squarely on the head. Unfortunately, there is no way […]

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5 Ways to Deal with a Bad Boss

Bad bosses can be deadly. One 15-year study found that when employees had a difficult relationship with their boss, they were 30% more likely to suffer from heart disease. Perhaps really bad bosses have lower coronary disease because their hearts are seldom used! If you have ever said, “My boss makes me sick!” you might […]

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Upward Leadership: 7 Tactics to Influence Your Boss

One of the most read articles on our web site is “Bad Boss: Learn How to Manage Your Manager“. Upward leadership is a crucial and often underdeveloped skill. Many people give far too much power and control to their boss. If they’ve won the “boss lottery” and report to a great leader, work life is […]

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Halloween Tips for Dealing with a Scary Boss

Ghosts, goblins, and zombies are scary. But working for a bully boss can be terrifying — like living with a creature from the black lagoon. If we allow ourselves to be a victim of a horrible boss we could even end up in an early grave. Most bad bosses aren’t evil. They’re often good people […]

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Lead Your Boss to Build Support for Your Development

A highly productive component of The Extraordinary Leader development approach is the Importance Ratings section of the feedback report. This is where each set of raters — including the participant being assessed — are asked to identify the four most important competencies (of the 16 Differentiating Competencies) for their role. What’s especially useful is comparing […]

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This Just In…Kissing up to Your Boss Doesn’t Work

Last month Zenger Folkman issued a press release in honor of National Boss Day. Not realizing there was such a day (does that say something about me as a boss?), I looked it up. I learned that it’s celebrated on October 16 in the United States and Canada as “a day for employees to thank […]

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Are You a Servant Leader? Whom Do You Serve?

Recent Client work with culture change, service/quality improvement, safety, and leadership development has led to discussions of values, intentions, and drivers of behavior change. Do you see people as “human assets” to be “motivated” toward your goals? Do you strive for a win/win alignment of helping people get what they want from work while the […]

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Thoughts That Make You Go Hmmm on…. Servant Leadership

For gardeners like me, June in Southern Ontario is the peak of the season. Everything is lush, green, colourful, and fragrant. All the hard work of spring preparation and last year’s perennial planting is now paying off. “Servant Leadership” is the theme of the June issue of The Leader Letter being published tomorrow. So here’s […]

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Reconnecting with Jack Zenger as Guest Blogger: “The Motivation Myth That Won’t Go Away”

Jack Zenger is one of those very special people whose work and personal relationship has had a big impact on my career. And he’s a wonderfully warm human being and all around nice guy. As co-founder and president of California-based Zenger Miller, Jack and his organization developed outstanding leadership training programs that my previous company, […]

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Supervisors and Managers Playing The Blame Game and Make Themselves Transparent

After reading one of my articles entitled “Leaders Take Responsibility for Their Choices” along with a comment from another reader, Heather Bruce posted these reflections: “I agree with Don’s email and the article in our very human tendency to find something or someone to blame! I have found over time that asking myself: ‘what outcome […]

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Strong Leadership Means Using Persuasion More than Position Power

www.connectitnews.com has been posting a series of my articles on their site. Recently they ran this one: Many Managers Disempower Themselves Many managers unwittingly believe that leadership only comes down from the top. They give away their power by believing that they don’t have any. Read the whole article here. After reading this article, Herb […]

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Dealing with Toxic Bosses

In what may be a sad sign of our times, I recently received two e-mails from new web visitors/subscribers inside of a few days asking for advice on dealing with a toxic or bad boss. I have written quite a bit about upward leadership and dealing with a bad boss. One of my more comprehensive […]

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Refusing to be Victimized by a Bad Boss

Following are selected excerpts of a series of e-mail exchanges I had with a reader of my books and articles. It’s a great example of having the self-esteem, and mustering the courage, to do all you can to change your job situation (some of those details have been left out of this summary). And when […]

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Dealing with a Bad Boss

I wish I had a sure-fire formula for changing the boss! It’s one of the common questions I get during my leadership development workshops. If this is your issue, I think you have these choices: 1.Do nothing and hope things get better. 2.Work around your boss and try to avoid him/her as much as possible. […]

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When Senior Management Doesn’t Set Clear Strategy and Goals

Greetings Jim, I am responding to your call to share my experience in putting up with the moose (see “When Personal Candor Doesn’t Fit the Culture” from May 2008). Recently, my CEO found the time of his convenience to summon us all for a management retreat. Heads of business units from different parts of the […]

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Leading Change from the Middle

Recently I was working with a Client struggling to bring about cultural change in her organization. Senior managers were paying “passionate lip service” to the organization’s core value, but their actions clearly conveyed that “hitting the numbers” ultimately trumped all other behaviors. Unfortunately, this is an all too common situation. This HR professional was reinforcing […]

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