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“You cannot expect to perform at a high level unless people are personally engaged.”

Doug Conant is the former CEO of Campbell’s Soup Company.  When he assumed that position in 2001, he says the environment at Campbell’s was “toxic.”  One third of his 20,000 employees were looking for jobs elsewhere.  He and his team attacked the problem with a strategy of “employee engagement.”  […] Continue Reading…

 
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How to Make Money and Do Good

According to Adam Smith, credited with being the Father of Modern Economics, “If you continue to operate in your own self-interest, you will do the best good for society.”  That sentiment was echoed by American economist and free market champion, Milton Friedman, who said, “There is only one social […] Continue Reading…

 
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When was the last time you fired someone too soon?

Most managers will tell you that the toughest part of their job is firing someone.  It’s an inevitable part of the job, but that doesn’t make it any easier.  Of course, we’re not talking about firing someone due to unethical behavior, unlawful acts, or willful acts of disobedience.  Those […] Continue Reading…

 
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A few questions every entrepreneur ought to ask.

In 2014, Inc. magazine published an article titled, “100 great questions every entrepreneur should ask.”  Some of the questions were submitted by best-selling business writers such as Jim Collins, Patrick Lencioni, and Peter Drucker, while others were submitted by a variety of business educators, business leaders, and business owners.  […] Continue Reading…

 
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Unlimited paid vacation? Are you kiddin’ me?

Some companies, both here and abroad, are experimenting with unlimited vacation, or “discretionary time off” as it is known in HR circles.  And we’re talking about paid time off, not unpaid leaves of absence. Sounds crazy, doesn’t it?  What’s to prevent someone from heading for the beach and never […] Continue Reading…

 
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“Why Do Smart People Fail?”

Decision-making and leadership are two CEO skills inextricably entwined.  It’s true that you can be a world class decision-maker and still be a lousy leader . . . that is, you can be a great decision-maker but still have other behavioral characteristics that disqualify you as a great leader.  […] Continue Reading…

 
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“Change with the world – or it will change without you.”

Kristin van Ogtrop is the editor of Real Simple, a monthly lifestyle magazine for women.  In a recent edition of Time magazine, she wrote an opinion piece entitled, “There’s a difference between a boss and a friend, and that’s as it should be.”  In it, she bemoans a lot […] Continue Reading…

 
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“Hire the best, fire the rest” (Part 2)

In our previous post, “Hire the best, fire the rest,” we talked about the “topgrading” concepts espoused by management psychologist Dr. Brad Smart. In his book, “Topgrading: How Leading Companies Win by Hiring, Coaching, and Keeping the Best People.” He forwards the idea that, any employee the company hires […] Continue Reading…

 
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“Hire the best, fire the rest”

Brad Smart isn’t a household name . . . at least, not in my household. But he holds a PhD in management psychology and is the author of “Topgrading: How Leading Companies Win by Hiring, Coaching, and Keeping the Best People.” In that book, Dr. Smart advocates a system […] Continue Reading…

 
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A good customer/supplier relationship is essentially a partnership

Life is all about relationships, not the least of which are business relationships. We must build relationships with business peers and advisors, with employees, with our vendors and suppliers, and of course, with our customers. But what sort of relationship do we enjoy with our customers? While many like […] Continue Reading…

 
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