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]
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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.
Ever heard the advice, “You really need to love your job”? It’s usually offered unsolicited by an overconfident boss who thinks the rank and file will find it inspiring, or somehow turn their drudgery into a rewarding experience. Does it work? Of course not. You can’t order people to love their job. That just gives [read more]
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I once hired a consultant, and the first thing out of his mouth was a lie. Seriously. I brought him in to lead a 3-day long-term strategy session for my business unit. When he kicked off the first day of meetings, he introduced himself and started into a story about an experience he had at the [read more]
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Sometimes living up to your company’s values requires more than just knowing what the right thing is and wanting to do it. In those cases, a little creativity sometimes helps. Here’s an example that will hopefully give you some ideas for how to respond when you’re in your own pickle of a situation. Martin Nuechtern [read more]
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In early 2001, the stock market was still reeling from the dot-com bubble and burst a few months earlier. The economy was uncertain, and even many traditional companies were in turbulent times. Procter & Gamble was one of them. It had been less than a year since the company’s stock had lost nearly 40 percent [read more]
The post BusinessWeek on Bounty: A Case Study in Turning Bad Headlines into an Agent of Change appeared first on Paul Smith | Cincinnati, Ohio.
Most business school professors know their students can learn a great deal from the practical experience of local business leaders. Dr. Art Shriberg at Xavier University was one of them. He regularly invited senior executives from local companies to speak to his students. And with nine Fortune 500 companies headquartered within a few miles of [read more]
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Every company has them—Corporate Values Statements. Sometimes they’re called Company Values and Principles, or simply What we Believe. But values are only words on a piece of paper until they’re tested. That is, until someone is put in a difficult position of choosing between doing the hard right or the easy wrong. The easy wrong [read more]
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My podcast guest this week is Jathan Janove, who stopped by to share three fascinating stories from his new book, Hard-Won Wisdom: True Stories from the Management Trenches. Today, Jathan is an organizational consultant, management blogger, and contributor to HR Magazine. But he spent 25 years as an attorney litigating some fairly salacious workplace problems, which we’ll [read more]
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