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Leadership strength doesn't m

The most counterintuitive leadership tip? Leaders, stop doing what you’re good at.

Playing to your strengths as a leader doesn’t make you a good boss – in fact, it can make you a bad boss. Here’s why. Of all the leadership tips to be a good manager, “leaning into your strengths” has got to be one of the most frequently cited. “Do what you’re good at. Focus… Read the full article ...

How to prepare for a one-on-one meeting as a manager

The 4 things you should do to make the most out of your next 1-on-1 meeting. You’re not prepared. Or at least that’s what employees think when it comes to one-on-one meetings. In a recent survey we conducted of 1,182 managers and 838 employees, we found 36% of employees believe their manager is only “somewhat… Read the full article ...

The leadership mistake you’re likely making? Being nice.

Why being nice as a leader backfires — and what to do instead. Leaders, stop being so nice all the time. I don’t mean to sound like an asshole. But when it comes to leadership, it’s true: Prioritizing “being nice” keeps us from being good leaders. Now I’m not advocating for us to be mean. Disrespectful or dismissive… Read the full article ...

Stop asking these 4 questions during your one-on-one meetings

If you’re wondering why your one-on-one meetings tend to feel unfruitful, these questions might be the culprit. Looking at the clock. Staring into the distance. Short, nondescript answers. A CEO recently told me how he’d frequently see this body language from an employee during their one-on-one meetings. Flat. Disinterested. Preoccupied. It felt lousy to witness, but… Read the full article ...

14 questions to ask an underperforming employee during a one-on-one meeting

When an employee is struggling, here’s what the best managers do. Someone’s slipping. You see it. You feel it. You’re not on the same page. You desperately want to pull the person up, but you’re not sure exactly how. Do you encourage them? Switch them off the project? Change how you’re leading them? You’re now facing… Read the full article ...

12 signs you’re becoming the bad boss you always dreaded

How to know when you’re no longer being a good manager No one sets out to become a bad boss. Yet, slowly but surely, it’s easy to become the bad manager we all dread. Times are stressful. You’re trying to make things happen. You notice your team isn’t as engaged as they should be. You can… Read the full article ...

The 3 best uses of an effective leader’s time

What makes a good leader? Look at how you spend your time. Time is the one constant we are all given. No one gets more or less of it than anyone else. As leaders, it’s how we spend our time — what we choose to prioritize, and what we choose not to do at all — that reveals what’s important… Read the full article ...

How to deliver negative feedback well: The 4 things that good managers do (that bad managers don’t)

A simple framework to help give tough feedback to a coworker. The most common question I get asked by a manager who doesn’t want to become a bad boss is: “How do I give negative feedback to a coworker?” Giving honest feedback is the most deceptively difficult thing for a manager to do. A survey of nearly… Read the full article ...

New managers, here’s how to run your first team meeting

How to approach your first meeting as a new manager (it doesn’t have to be as daunting as it feels!) It happened: You’re a new manager now. Perhaps, it’s the first time you’re leading a team. Or you’re taking over a new team as a manager. Either way, that first meeting as a new manager is… Read the full article ...

Delegate outcomes, not activities.

When it comes to delegating, invite your team into both the thinking and the doing. Do you consider yourself “a doer”? That person who enjoys doing the work, fine-tuning the details, meddling in the weeds of how it’ll all work? Then you probably have trouble delegating as a leader. I know I do. For so many… Read the full article ...

The most surprising principle of good leadership? Don’t be busy.

If you’re busy as a leader, you’re doing it wrong. The best leaders seem to be the busiest. If you’re busy, you’re getting a bunch of stuff done: You’re tending to your team, you’re making stuff happen. Being busy as a leader is a good characteristicRight? Well, quite the opposite. Being busy as a leader is… Read the full article ...

The 3 Ways Leaders Can Influence Company Culture

How do you help create the positive workplace culture you’re looking for? Start here. “How do you actually influence company culture?” This is the big, hairy question I often get asked by CEOs, managers, and employees alike. I recently posed it at the end of the piece, The 3 Key Elements of Company Culture — And Why They… Read the full article ...

The 3 Key Elements of Company Culture — And Why They Really Matter

Let’s look past the buzzword and define the key elements of organizational culture.   “Culture” has become the ultimate buzzword these days. Everyone wants to “improve their company culture.” I see the word frequently littered across the headlines of countless articles, book titles, and conference talk topics. Leaders also seem to talk about it all… Read the full article ...

The 8 best questions to ask during a one-on-one meeting

What should you put on your next one-on-one meeting agenda? These one-on-one meeting questions should be a part of every manager’s toolkit. That one-on-one meeting is scheduled on your calendar this week. So, what should you talk about? As a manager, executive, or business owner, this is one of the most recurring and perplexing situations… Read the full article ...

The 25 best icebreaker questions for team-building at work

Our most popular get-to-know-you questions for work, based on four years of data. If you winced at the word, “icebreaker,” I don’t blame you. Get-to-know-you questions and games tend to feel cheesy. We’ve all been victim to a terribly trite icebreaker with coworkers that made us roll our eyes. I know I have. However reluctantly, you… Read the full article ...

7 ways to prepare for an effective one-on-one meeting with your manager

Got an upcoming one-on-one meeting with your manager? Consider a few of these tips in preparation for it. Many managers say flat-out that their biggest frustration is when employees are not prepared for a one-on-one meeting. Yikes, really? Over the past four years, I’ve heard countless managers, CEOs, and business owners say a version of this… Read the full article ...

8 things leaders of remote companies do differently

If you’re thinking of going remote, here’s what successful leaders of remote companies do Earlier this month, I spoke with a CEO who’s looking to transition her company to become remote in the upcoming year. I could tell she was hesitant — perhaps even nervous about it. She’d never run a remote company before. She asked me:… Read the full article ...

The 10 qualities of a good leader

What I’ve observed from effective leaders and tried to keep in mind as a CEO these past few years “This is somewhat terrifying.” I remember thinking this when I became the CEO of Know Your Team back in January 2014. Sure, I’d started two companies beforehand — but one was with close friends, and the other was by… Read the full article ...

Don’t want to be a bad manager? Stop feeding Shit Sandwiches

One of the most popular methods of delivering difficult employee feedback is, well, shit. Here’s why and what you should do instead I recently ran into a friend who mentioned how she uses the Shit Sandwich to deliver feedback. If you’re not familiar with it, the Shit Sandwich is a technique for delivering feedback popularized by… Read the full article ...

How to have an honest one-on-one meeting with an employee

Here are six ways to get employees talking about what they really feel (and not what they think you want to hear) “I can handle the truth. I’m pretty tough, Claire.” My CEO at the time told me this during our one-on-one about five or so years ago. The year was ending, and he wanted to know what the… Read the full article ...

Unlock honest feedback from your employees with this one word

Consider using this one word in your next one-on-one meeting A few years ago, a CEO told me how she was struggling to get honest feedback from her board. No one seemed willing to be critical or give her pointers on things she could improve. After every board meeting, she would turn to them and… Read the full article ...

What is company vision? A picture of a better place

The importance of company vision (and how to figure out yours) Earlier this year, I was asked to advise an entrepreneurship class over at the Northwestern Law School here in Chicago. Students pitched business ideas to a panel of mentors, including myself. We were then asked to give feedback on these ideas. The first team of… Read the full article ...

The four questions to ask every single employee for feedback

Based our research, these are the essential employee engagement questions for managers that we’ve found to be most effective. Getting good feedback starts with asking a good question. Ask a good question and you’ll discover that there’s a part of the business you’re neglecting, or an issue you weren’t aware of. A specific, thoughtful question… Read the full article ...

What to remember when you’re the boss

Don’t inadvertently become a bad boss. When you’re the boss, there’s one important thing you need to remember: you’re the boss. This means that, whether you like it or not, there’s an inherent power dynamic in every interaction you have with your employees. You’re the person your employee is least willing to go to about a… Read the full article ...