Want To Know What Motivates Your Staff? Just Ask Them.

It's probably easier to see now, but you didn't start your business just to make money. You did it to feel something - independence, a kind of freedom and control over your life, to be able to do it your way. And you "re-earn" that freedom with every headache and heartache that comes with being a business owner. But while there are certain things only an owner can feel - good and bad - there's a version of that freedom that each and every one of your employees wants for themselves. And you have more power than you know to give it to them.

Topics: Managing Employees

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Don't Forget ... You're the Coach For Your Team

As a business owner, do you also think of yourself as a coach? Embracing this part of your role - to help your people grow while your company does - is more important than ever before. Because even if they don't always say so, everyone on your team wants the same thing: to feel that their work mattered today, to you and to them.

Topics: Managing Employees

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Work With Family And Friends? It's Not The Time To Talk Turkey

Working with people you have personal relationships with can be a wonderful thing. And it often doesn't turn out that way. It can easily get 'complicated' when you're trying to juggle two kinds of relationships with the same person. And while it's easy enough to say 'just be yourself', we all know that when it comes to relationships, and how easy it is to burn bridges, it's better to think it through first. Here are some ideas to try out as you head into the holidays.

Topics: Managing Employees, Leadership

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Are You Talking To Me? The Three Kinds Of Working Relationships

There are infinite possibilities for titles and positions in your business, but there are really only three kinds of relationships between any two of them. And understanding the dynamics of these three relationships - which are, more than anything, power dynamics - is critical to the professional development of your staff, the long term health of your business culture, and the personal sanity of everyone involved. The work here is intimately tied to having a well conceived org chart, as you seek to bring out 'hidden' dynamics in your company culture before they turn toxic.

Topics: Managing Employees, Company Culture, Leadership

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Send This Email To Solve Any Customer Service Problem

What are the three most popular customer service complaints you get? Behind each of those complaints is a system in your operations that's either broken, or was never created in the first place. Fixing those underlying systems is the key to turning complaints (which people tell their friends about) to rave reviews (which people tell their friends about).

Topics: Managing Employees, Company Culture

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Transform Your Company Before Dinner: Fire Your Supervisors

You need your managers doing real managerial work, and real managerial work has nothing to do with being a supervisor. Real management is about designing and building systems, and mentoring people - which is a very different thing than supervising them.

Topics: Managing Employees

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Is Your Management Style Killing Productivity?

It takes a while for obsolete ideas to die off. There's one that I'm surprised to see is still very much in circulation. It's a management philosophy that's responsible for most of the dysfunction that exists in the business world. It goes like this:

Topics: Managing Employees

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What If Nobody Worked For You?

That's actually how it is. No matter how many employees you have, not one of them works for you - they work for themselves. They're simply not in it for your reasons, they're in it for their own. This is the best possible news and at the same time seems like a management paradox.

Topics: Managing Employees

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How Not To Care

A See-Through Strategy

The business world is very confused about something incredibly simple. Caring. Have you noticed how much “caring” everybody is doing these days?

Topics: Managing Employees, Leadership, Values

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