• Don’t send your pitchers to batting practice.
  • Don’t send ducks to eagle school.
  • Don’t try to teach penguins how to fly.
  • Don’t try to teach a pig to sing.

What do these all have in common?

They’re all about taking the focus off of weaknesses.

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Here’s a scenario every leader faces from time to time: a top employee whose work is mission critical to your business comes to your office and announces his or her plan to leave. Not on vacation. Permanently. This person is a top performer whose departure would leave a significant hole in your business. What do you do?

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At the beginning of a fresh, new year, there may be no better advice to managers and leaders than this:

Invest in Your Own Growth

Other people have likely invested in your personal and professional development. You have reaped the benefits of their teaching, training, coaching, advising and mentorship. But as your career progresses and as you take on greater leadership responsibilities, there are fewer people investing in you – and more people looking for you to invest in them.

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The only constant in business is change.

On the Managing to Make a Difference podcast, we’ve been talking about how managers can make a difference in the face of organizational change, and our latest podcast might be the single topic that makes people most uncomfortable taking action on people issues.

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You want to be a rising star in your company, but your meteoric rise can peter out, literally, if you get Peter Principled. The Peter Principle states that people get promoted to their level of incompetence because their promotions are based on their performance in the current role, instead of on their potential to excel in the next role.

To keep growing on a steep trajectory and avoid getting stalled out by the Peter Principle, find ways to start taking on some of the responsibilities of the next level and see how they fit with your strengths before you ask for that promotion. Here’s a checklist of things you can be doing to ‘try on’ the next level and see how it fits:

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