It’s okay to be funny in the office. In fact, I think a sense of humor is critical to success in life and work. But at work, you’re a leader, not a comedian. You don’t have the same latitude as a stand-up comic on stage. And to confuse the two can be costly. To sort through the [read more]
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Every company has two different sets of rules: the official rules written in the policy manual, and the unspoken rules that everyone actually follows. A classic example is working hours. Company guidelines might say that quitting time is five o’clock. But if everyone else works till six and looks at you funny when you leave [read more]
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A friend of mine we’ll call Tom was a partner at a big consulting firm. One day, he showed up at one of his client’s offices and heard this: Sorry, Tom. We’re going to have to cancel your retainer—at least for a little while.” Now, to a consultant, those are about the worst words you [read more]
The post The Monthly Challenge: How to Solve Tough Problems and Build Collaborative Teams at the Same Time appeared first on Paul Smith | Cincinnati, Ohio.
In the late 1990s, Titleist had a 75 percent market share of the golf ball market among the best golfers in the country (those with a handicap of 15 or less). But that only represented about 5 percent of golfers. It only had a 20 percent market share among the other 95 percent of golfers. [read more]
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Is it a good idea to share your most personal struggles, thoughts, feelings, and stories at work? Tom Gartland thinks so. Tom is the former CEO of the Avis Budget Group, and the author of a new book called Lead with Heart: Transform Your Business Through Personal Connection. Tom joined me on my podcast this [read more]
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Are certain leadership styles more prevalent than others in among Presidents of the United States? Which Presidents fit into which categories? What attributes of leadership do those types have? How can we find out which type of leader we are? And how can knowing that help us be a better leader? Those are the questions I [read more]
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It’s 6 A.M. in Queretaro, Mexico, about 130 miles north of Mexico City. Most of the residents are just waking up. But one woman is already dressed and has visitors in her kitchen. No, this isn’t the time of day nor type of guests she usually entertains. These are senior executives from the Kellogg Company [read more]
The post In-Home Research: What a 6am Breakfast in Mexico Taught the CEO of the World’s Largest Cereal Maker appeared first on Paul Smith | Cincinnati, Ohio.
Here’s a situation that happens far more often than we’d like to admit. What do you do when you’re told to give a presentation that you just don’t believe in? It usually happens to a midlevel manager who’s told they have to deploy the latest corporate mandate. Now they’re stuck in between the executives issuing the [read more]
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A leader’s skills, character, and values become clear only when they’re tested in challenging times. Those also happen to be when our skills and character are most likely to grow. I recently had a chat with Sara Mathew, former Chair and CEO of Dun & Bradstreet, about a couple of harrowing and humbling experiences that put her leadership to the test, [read more]
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Professional comedian and self-described “humor engineer” Drew Tarvin recently completed a nomadic tour of the U.S. performing in all 50 States. His book The United States of Laughter: One Comedian’s Journey Through All 50 States details his funny, harrowing, and poignantly insightful experiences in each State. I recently caught up with Drew and asked him to share his experience in [read more]
The post 3 Bad Jokes and 1 Important Lesson in Courage from Comedian Drew Tarvin appeared first...
As a storytelling coach, I’m often asked, “Do my leadership or sales stories have to be true?” My perhaps surprising answer is, “No, they don’t. You can completely make up a story you tell at work, but only under one condition. And that condition is that you tell your audience you made it up. Otherwise, [read more]
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TIDE HAS BEEN the number one selling brand of laundry detergent in the United States since soon after its introduction in 1946. The main reason for that is that the chemists and engineers at Procter & Gamble are committed to improving the cleaning formula year after year. In the late 1990s, one of the improvements [read more]
The post One Question That Led to an Innovation Breakthrough for Procter & Gamble and Can Do the Same for You appeared first on Paul Smith | Cincinnati, Ohio.
“Over 70% of people are uninspired, disengaged, and passionless at work” – That’s according to author and speaker Scott Mautz. Scott joined me on my podcast this week to talk about how to change that. He shared the results of his work in that area from his new book Find the Fire: Ignite Your Inspiration [read more]
The post Finding the Fire at Work: What We Can All Learn From the World’s Most Grueling Athletic Competition appeared first on Paul Smith | Cincinnati, Ohio.
I recently had the chance to visit with performance coach Cort Dial, author of the book Heretics to Heroes: A Memoir on Modern Leadership. He shared the story of a fascinating but tragic incident early in his career that led him to develop a very different leadership philosophy. It’s always more exciting to listen to [read more]
The post “How Did We Kill This Man?” A Management Nightmare that Led to a Better Leadership Philosophy appeared first on Paul Smith | Cincinnati, Ohio.
“Be slow to hire and quick to fire.” That’s the conventional wisdom in human resources. Take the time to make sure you’ve got the right candidate before making an offer. The result is a lengthy process that starts with a detailed online application and multiple rounds of interviews spread out over weeks. Some companies even [read more]
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In July of 1999, the New York Times and CBS conducted an interesting survey. They asked, “Of people in general, how many do you think are trustworthy?” The average answer was 30 percent. Then it asked, “Of people you know personally, how many do you think are trustworthy?” The average answer shot up to 70 [read more]
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This week my guest is Victor Prince. He’s a leadership trainer and author of the books, Inside the Box and Executive Farm. My last discussion with Victor was about lessons from the 2009 presidential inauguration. And I spoke previously with his co-author, Mike Figliuolo, about their book, Inside the Box. But today, Victor joined me to talk about [read more]
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None of your problem-solving skills as a leader will work when the problem you’re facing is a problem you don’t even know you have. Before you can solve problems, of course, you have to identify them. Below I share a simple but highly effective way to do that. And the best way to explain it is [read more]
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When Ray Brook’s flight landed at Portland International Airport on Monday morning, he headed straight for National Car Rental where he had a reservation. He had a meeting with a customer in 30 minutes and a full schedule of visits to warehouses and distribution centers for the next four days. But when he tried to [read more]
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There’s an endless amount of advice available for how to give tough feedback effectively, but very little on how to receive it well. One person who learned how the hard way is Gail Hollander. Gail has been in the advertising business for 25 years, and has worked in several of the most prestigious agencies in [read more]
The post Tough Feedback? Talk to My Agent. Receiving Performance Feedback Like a Pro appeared first on Paul Smith | Cincinnati, Ohio.