Three Rules for Firing People

I did executive career counseling long before ‘You’re fired!” became a meme. That’s how I got to thinking about how end of a job is similar to the end of life. Having made this connection, three guiding principles came into focus. They are: Maintain a ‘least restrictive’ environment. This means allowing the dying person the latitude to do what they need or want to […]

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To HR, with Love

So you are searching for a manager who is a “big picture visionary with great attention to detail” – or at least that’s what the hiring manager told you. No problem… since I don’t have to recruit for you. But I’m feeling this obligation to let you know why this job description bullet point won’t work.  This is the work equivalent […]

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The Ten Commandments of Coaching

I get accused of making pronouncements a lot, but I’m okay with that, because the accusation is so often followed by a plaintive sigh, quickly followed by ‘if I had only done what you said…’ Then I get told a sad, and thoroughly unnecessary, tale of miscommunication, misdirection, and just plain misery. That’s the frustrating […]

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Eulogy for Job Descriptions

Ok, not all of them. Just the ones that ask for characteristics that don’t co-exist in normal human beings. Many years ago, I spoke at a conference and got a great question. (This was rare at the time.) It was from from a man who hired sales people. He wanted to know if he really […]

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First, Fire the Leaders

Another week, another crop of downsizings, and with few notable exceptions, HR people are telling me how they’re choosing the leaders over the non-leaders as the keepers.  And I’m groaning inside. Has anyone figured out how companies run when everyone’s a leader? For one thing, no one’s willing to make the coffee. For another, the […]

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Dear Sales Leader, Please Answer ASAP

What does your sales support staff do for you? Fill out forms, route paperwork, fax, make you coffee? If all you’re thinking about are tasks, you’re missing the most important reason for having great support people: increasing your productivity. If you’ve chosen your sales staff well, they are the creative equivalent of an active volcano. […]

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