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“A company’s culture is defined by what it tolerates.”

All companies have a culture.  In some cases, the culture is one that has been carefully constructed and nurtured, in others, the culture has evolved haphazardly over time, but either way, a culture is present, and it is defined by what it tolerates.
Think of IBM in the early days.  […] Continue Reading…

 
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“Let people accomplish your objectives their way.”

Where systems or processes are concerned, it really is essential that everybody use them uniformly.  Imagine an assembly line.  Each station on the line must perform its function in a very precise way, each and every time, or stations further down the line won’t be able to do their […] Continue Reading…

 
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“We hire for skills and fire for behaviors.”

That’s true isn’t it?  We were excited about our new hire.  He had worked at some great places, been trained in the exact systems and processes we need, and impressed us as someone who is diligent and efficient.  This was going to be a marriage made in heaven.  Unfortunately, […] Continue Reading…

 
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“Progress always involves risk, but you can’t steal second base and keep a foot on first.”

“Change with the world – or it will change without you.”
There is always risk with change, and in general, the greater the change, the greater the risk.  But you know what?  There’s also risk in not changing . . . arguably even greater risk.
Changes in the business world are […] Continue Reading…

 
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“The best ideas for improving a job come from those who do it every day.”

 
Absolutely true.  If you want to know where there is waste in your organization, ask your people.  They know where it is, but they won’t tell you unless you ask.
At a medical practice that has a number of offices, we asked the staff for “time wasters”. . . activities […] Continue Reading…

 
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“Never let the urgent crowd out the important.”

As small business people, we spend a lot of our time putting out brush fires.  When we arrive at work in the morning, we probably have in mind the things we hope to get done during the day.  But five minutes later, our best customer calls with a problem […] Continue Reading…

 
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“As managers, we have to get out of the behavior modification business.”

We can help people with skills . . . to improve old ones or learn new ones.  But it’s just about impossible to change their behaviors in any meaningful way.  Yet we continue to waste time trying.
Take the example of Bill, ace IT guy.  He’s an electronics genius.  There […] Continue Reading…

 
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“If you listen closely enough, your customers will explain your business to you.”

Your customers don’t have to do business with you.  They have many suppliers from which to choose, but they have chosen you.  Why?  What is it about the product or service you offer that brings you customers and keeps them?  You think you know why your customers have chosen […] Continue Reading…

 
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“A decision is an action an executive must take . . . “

For owners and managers, decision-making goes with the territory.  We can’t escape it.  It’s an important part of the job.  Even if an executive presides over an inclusive, democratic decision-making process, he or she must still make sure that process is effective and efficient and doesn’t lead to grid […] Continue Reading…

 
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“One of the greatest challenges as a manager is how to delegate so effectively that once you have gotten the monkey off your back, your employees don’t return it to you . . . with instructions for its care and feeding.”

An important part of leadership, delegation, is growing the people who are under the leader’s care.  It takes time and it takes effort, but it’s the only way to develop a strong, effective team.
Picture this.  You’ve just given one of your direct reports an important assignment.  Soon the direct […] Continue Reading…

 
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