Why You Need an Oddball on Your Team

What does an outsider do for performance? Make it better. Bring an outsider into your next team meeting or group project. The person doesn’t have to hang around long — he doesn’t even have to be knowledgeable about your industry or the task at hand. The key is to find someone who possesses a different perspective or set of talents from that of your group. This diversity creates greater team synergy, which leads to creativity ...

Why Procrastination is Healthy

Yes, you read it correctly. For some, procrastination is not only natural, but also healthy. Some individuals naturally strive in an atmosphere of drama and urgency, even crisis. They are at their best in the eleventh hour, when they can think on their feet and fly by the seat of their pants. These persons naturally avoid finishing things far ahead of schedule…how boring is that?? They are either drawn to, or create an aura of excitement by pushing against the deadline. (I must stress ...

What Woodshop Taught Me About Life

I am certainly no craftsman. But, I do know the cardinal rule of staining wood (thanks to high school woodshop) – go with the grain. A beautiful piece of wood can be ruined if the stain is forcefully applied against the natural flow of the wood. A simple 90 degree adjustment is the difference between success and failure: a showpiece of artistry or a scrapped piece of wood. Unfortunately, many individuals feel they must go against ...

Why You Need to Tell the Truth About a Doomed Project

I once came across a “Crap” ink stamp online and had to laugh. Truthfully, it would be a really good thing to have around. A lot of wasted time, energy, resources and money could be saved if people were willing to call a doomed project what it is…crap. It takes courage to halt a project in the middle, and even more so near the end. But part of being productive is recognizing when an effort ...

The Secret to How I Predict Performance

Have you ever wondered why the individual with the great résumé fell apart after she was hired? Why two employees get along well outside of the office, but always conflict inside the office? Or how someone consistently excelled in one position, yet failed after a promotion into another? Unfortunately, these scenarios are common to most organizations and aggressively thwart productivity, efficiency, and morale. But perhaps most troubling is that these situations also leave us scratching ...

The Solution to Your People Problems

Which is better? A hammer or a pick-up truck? It depends if you want to haul wood or drive nails. You can haul wood with a hammer. You can drive nails with a pick up. But, why would you?? A lot of poor performing teams already have the right tools…but those tools are misused and energy is put in the wrong places. Faced with a tough economy, or simply the day-to-day craziness, many business owners ...

Do You Suffer From Decision Fatigue? Here’s How to Fix It.

Decision fatigue is real. You aren’t crazy for feeling like “What’s for dinner?” is a monumental question. You only have so much mental energy, and – like most people – your daily demands are more than using it up. You may be running the team meeting or coordinating the PTA group with ease in the morning, but feel like your brain is a useless blob by evening time. Here are 4 ways to ward off ...

How to Create Company Values that Inspire

Company values? Check. Wait. Not so fast. It’s become a modern day requirement for companies to have stated values…and for good reason. Well conceived value statements perpetuate a culture that is cohesive, inspired, and attractive to outside talent. Simply having a list of idyllic words framed in the company lobby, however, doesn’t fulfill the requirement. To keep you from the pitfalls of well-intended company values gone bad, follow these important do’s and dont’s: DON’T choose ...

Hire Your Complement, Not Your Clone

When questioning a job candidate in an interview, how do you determine what is a good or a bad answer? By what standard are your measuring the candidate’s responses? If the standard is you (how you would answer the question, how you would solve that problem, how you would take on that opportunity), then you are jeopardizing your organization’s success. It is a natural human bias to think that my way is the right way. Dangerously, most people carry ...

How to Get Control of Your Email

Email is a horrible time sucker. The gravitational pull of the email black hole is greater than that of the sun. The sad truth: we’ve all wasted hours of our lives in an inbox. Many say the remedy is to “simply” ignore the email; save the litany of messages to the end of the day. Here’s the problem: I can’t make that work. As many times and ways that I’ve tried to compartmentalize email into ...

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