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

How do we fix leadership?

This is a follow-up post to an article I wrote on LinkedIn last week asking “Where’s the Future of Leadership?” How can we improve the working lives and careers of all employees and support bottom-line results? It’s a simple question, and it has a simple answer: we need to develop the skills and confidence of first-line managers and leaders. And …

gljudson Leadership

Should work be more fun?

Do you bounce out of bed every morning, eager to get to work? Congratulations, if so. And if so, I’ll hazard a guess that either you have a great boss, or you work for yourself.  (Or maybe both, eh?) But for a lot of people – an awful lot of people – work isn’t much fun at all. I’m not talking …

gljudson Leadership

Do you believe Gallup?

A few months ago, Gallup came out with a rather stern report called “State of the American Manager: analytics and advice for leaders.” (You can download a copy here.) In it, they basically claim that yes, indeed, the old saying “Leaders are born, not made” is true. I quote: They go on to say that two out of the remaining nine …

gljudson Leadership

Why be a leader?

If you don’t want to be a leader, then don’t. Seriously. Find some other way to excel in your profession, career, and life. Leaders who don’t enjoy leading – what with the stress, endless subjective gray areas, and quirky people – aren’t ever going to be good leaders. More to the point, they (not to mention the people on their teams) …

gljudson Leadership

Does your team depend on you … a little too much?

I was talking with a colleague recently about the “mom” (or, of course, “dad”) factor in leadership. Teams look to their leaders for guidance and direction, and that’s obviously necessary. But like any good thing, there’s a flip side when it becomes TOO MUCH of a good thing. And that’s what happens when, for any number of reasons, the individuals …

gljudson Leadership

Is there such a thing as BAD leadership?

A leader is someone who inspires people to take action. Leadership is the skillset or tools they use to do so. There are variations, of course. The thought leader We’ve all known someone who doesn’t actually have an official leadership or management role who nonetheless is the pivot point for their team, the one everyone goes to with questions, the one …

gljudson Leadership

Why don’t they KNOW already?

Your team member just celebrated their one-year anniversary with the company. High-fives and congrats all round. And then the next day, or maybe a week later, you discover they’ve made an absolutely elementary mistake. Confronted with the situation, they just look blank. “I didn’t know that!” is their best explanation. Why didn’t they KNOW THIS ALREADY? It’s such a basic, …

gljudson Leadership