What do you do when a trainee won’t learn?

You’ve been training a new employee. And they’re stuck. They can’t seem to pick up the details, they can’t absorb the next step, they can’t “get it right,” they’re clearly stressed and unhappy – and so are you! You’ve tried everything you know how to do. Speaking privately with them. Role-playing. Asking questions to find out what they do understand – …

gljudson Leadership

The dangers of over-delivering

“Under-promise and over-deliver.” It’s a common principle, especially in consulting and other service businesses. But – as we discussed in last week’s Empowered Leadership group meeting – sometimes over-delivering isn’t such a great idea. As a prime example, I recently had a conversation with a woman who routinely got middle-of-the-night phone calls because she had become the go-to person for …

gljudson Leadership

How much time does it take to grow a new leader?

A follower asked a great question on an “Ask Me Anything (about leadership)” post on my Facebook business page. “How do you balance the time devoted to leadership development versus running the business/department?” There’s a sneaky assumption embedded in the question that training and development is separate from running the department. But leadership development is part of running the business, …

gljudson Leadership

Stop flinging candidate spaghetti against the wall!

As a hiring manager, you know what I mean by that. Even if you don’t want to admit it. But I’ll give you an example. A client was convinced – as in, 100% certain, no question – that he couldn’t find great employees in his industry and geographic location. He felt that the specialized requirements of the job just weren’t possible …

gljudson Leadership

Where’s your power?

Power. It’s a tricksy concept, isn’t it? Kind of uncomfortable for a lot of people. As a leader, you have power. You might be a new manager with just one person reporting to you. You have power. Actually, you have power even if no one reports to you. We all have power. It’s how we use it that matters. Or …

gljudson Leadership

Are you scary?

You might be more scary than you think. A recent Harvard Business Review article cites research indicating that although 66 percent of survey respondents said they were “never” or “rarely” scary to their employees … that wasn’t necessarily their employees’ experience. Simply by virtue of your title, you may appear intimidating to your team – even if that title seems relatively …

gljudson Leadership

Are you ready to WIN? (and that’s NOT what you think!)

I am not a fan of long hours, hustle-at-all-costs, and burnout. Been there, done that, and I don’t even want to see the T-shirt! Yet I’ve attended plenty of meetings where the team was exhorted to “crush it,”  “kill your numbers,” “beat the {unreasonable} deadline,” and so on. Frankly, even typing those terms makes me feel slightly ill. So when …

gljudson Leadership

Is leadership bad for you?

According to workplace research giant Gallup, 70 percent of the variance in employee engagement is directly attributable to management. Translating that to plain English: if you’ve got a good manager, you’re more likely to be happy, engaged, and productive than if you have a bad manager. Aye-aye, Captain Obvious! Like many research studies, this is hardly surprising. I think we’ve …

gljudson Leadership

That ostrich in the office – is it you?

Is there an ostrich in your office? Maybe it’s you? And what in the world am I talking about? Risk More specifically, hiding from risk. (For the record, ostriches don’t really stick their heads in the sand. But you get my point.) Risk management and risk mitigation are key skills for leaders at all levels. Yet they’re seldom discussed and …

gljudson Leadership

How do you reward?

Several years ago, I read a fascinating book called Punished by Rewards: the trouble with gold st★rs, incentive plan$, A’s, Praise, and Other Bribes by Alfie Kohn. The basic premise is that, as the back-of-the-book blurb summarizes, “people actually do inferior work when they are enticed with money, grades, or other incentives. The more we use artificial inducements to motivate people, …

gljudson Leadership