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Manager vs. Leader…What Really Is The Difference?

Manager vs. Leader…What Really Is The Difference? The business world needs both great leaders and great managers, but most people don’t do both well.   The tables below summarize the major differences between managers and leaders, taken from a book called “The Leader Within” by Ken Blanchard.   As you read the list of qualities and attributes, ask yourself which ones you lean towards naturally.     Given the characteristics above, we see that the term manager typifies the more structured, controlled, analytical, orderly, and rule-oriented side of the spectrum. The leader side of the spectrum connotes a more experimental, visionary, unstructured, flexible, and impassioned side. Using the DISC behavioral chart below, it would seem that the introverted styles (Steadiness and Compliance) would correlate with management while the extroverted styles (Dominance and Influence) would tend toward more leadership qualities.     Is that the answer then? Is it that simple? Ahhh, if only human behavior was... Read More

Managers…Are You Stingy With Praise?

Quick! Think of the best coach, manager or teacher you’ve ever had. Now think of some of the characteristics that made them the best. Chances are they were knowledgeable, good communicators, and great at giving constructive criticism. But I also bet they were good at giving praise. And if you happened to think of the worst coach, manager, or teacher you ever had, they were probably stingy with praise. Sincere praise is so meaningful, I can still remember the two best compliments I’ve ever received. One was from a complete stranger with no agenda. The other was from two business owners I worked for. I had been working at their company for about six months when they asked me to lunch. They took me to Horizons at Woodcliff, one of the nicer restaurants in the Rochester, NY area at the time. While we were waiting for our lunch to... Read More

Mean Girls – in the Workplace?

In the past month, I’ve had two clients contact me with almost the exact same problem. A female employee, newer to the job, was quitting or had quit because of two other women in the office excluding them, not supporting them, and essentially, being mean. I have to admit hearing the stories took me right back to school where there always seemed to be a group of girls who were very cliquish. If you were in with them, great! You probably had an easy time of it. If you weren’t, your school experience could have been like a nightmare. Because of our cyber-world, bullying among kids has gotten much increased attention. But what is happening with otherwise, very capable adults, acting like children in the workplace? Without going too much into the psychology of the characters in this scenario (though there is clearly a perpetrator, victim, and savior) and... Read More

How To Handle Stinging Criticism

Usually when I publish an article or blog post, I get very positive feedback.  Everything from “you go girl” to “that was exactly what I needed to hear.”   However, once in awhile someone will react badly to something I’ve written and take the opportunity to let me know about it and usually not in such positive terms.  These are some actual emails I’ve received:   “It’s sad to see what you’ve become.” (from a former friend who shared the same religious upbringing as me) “You are preoccupied with success and money.” (from a reader who accused me of using money-mongering quotes) “Your marketing has gotten too SPAM-like for me.” (from a colleague who asked to be unsubscribed and yet has since re-subscribed)   I’ll be the first to admit that these criticisms sting.  Ironically, years ago I washesitating publishing a newsletter for this very reason. I was so afraid... Read More

Layoffs – How to Avoid Adding Insult to Injury

This week, I borrow some great advice from Joseph Grenny, co-author of “Crucial Conversations.”   Q: Dear Joseph, Our company probably has layoffs coming up. Some employees will lose their jobs, and most remaining employees will have to take on extra work to keep things going. Some of our employees have been in the same position for more than 20 years.   The “you are getting laid off” conversation is stressful, with potential for silence and/or violence, as well as wrongful termination lawsuits. Our attorney advises that the less said during those conversations, the better.   Our administrators are really dreading these conversations. Do you have any advice for them? ~ Bad News   A: Dear Bad News, Let’s be clear—getting laid off is horrible. It fills the laid off person with uncertainty. It throws a family into turmoil. It makes people doubt their worth and capacity. It spreads... Read More

7 Signs that a Pink Slip is Coming!

7 Signs that a Pink Slip is Coming! It was my first ‘real’ job and after only nine months and one quick promotion, I thought I would be there forever.  To say I was blindsided when I was “let go” is an understatement.  I was beyond shocked.  I never saw it coming. I spent the rest of that day wandering around in a fog.  I kept going over and over the whole nine months and wondering what I had missed. Well a couple more “lay-offs” in my professional career and I started to realize that there are always signs when you’re about to be fired.  I noticed it with other people – I just wasn’t aware of when they were happening to me. So along with a few excerpts from an article on msn.com, I want to share with you what I think are the top seven signs that a pink slip might be coming. 1 –... Read More

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