In early 2002, I was the general manager of Nelson Books, one of Thomas Nelson Publishers’ fourteen divisions. In eighteen months, we had gone from number 14—dead last—to number one in terms of revenue growth and profit margin. I felt great. I was proud of myself and my team for the results we’d achieved. That […]
How to Keep Employees Engaged
Keeping good employees engaged is essential. Here are 3 strategies to ensure employees feel seen and connected to the business mission.
Why We Have a 6-Hour Workday
Constraints around the workday contribute to success. Here is what we’ve learned having a 6-hour workday—and why we’re sticking with it.
One Simple Way to Motivate Your Team
Boosting your team’s morale can be as simple as intentionally noticing and affirming your team members’ everyday contributions.
How to Beat a Burnout Culture
In 2013, the Romanian hacker Marcel Lazar cracked open email accounts belonging to the members of George W. Bush’s family. Lazar found paintings by the former president of animals, still life, even some self-portraits. Lazar released the images to the media, many people were surprised to discover Bush’s hobby. They need not have been. Presidents […]
4 Things Your People Need to Win at Work
Good leaders know that you’re only as strong as your team. Businesses thrive or fail based on your team’s ability to execute the organization’s mission and goals with skill, precision, and passion. Companies today lob everything from free gym memberships to unlimited vacation days at their most qualified applicants. But putting the right people in […]
Just Enough Cook
Steve Jobs was a virtuoso. Using technology and design, he changed the way we think about computers, phones, music, and movies. Tim Cook, by contrast, comes off as a boring technocrat. Jobs’s chosen successor as CEO of Apple is good at keeping the global supply chains for the company’s products going, which sounds like great […]
More Manager, Less Micro
“How’s it going?” The query sounds warm and innocuous enough coming from a friend or sibling. But to an early-career employee the boss just-two-minutes-ago assigned a task, it can be a stark signal that you’re probably working for a micromanager. The greeting often conveys that you’re answering to an OCD-ish, down-to-the-minute-details kind of boss, one […]
A Culture of Rising to the Challenge
Building an internal culture that loves a challenge is not just a good thing for businesses to do. It is actually essential if that company is going to grow. Employees that are never pushed or challenged grow bored, and surveys have reported that a stagnant work environment is the number one reason that workers look […]
4 Steps to Foster Creativity
Creativity is not some remote and solitary island. Each day, from the studios of legendary visual effects outfit Industrial Light & Magic to the conference rooms of ad agencies to the mission control rooms of NASA, teams of people come together to conceptualize, develop, and realize innovations in everything from movies to public policy. Yet […]
How Do You Change Organizational Culture?
Most leaders would like to change their corporate culture, but they don’t know how. In this post, I outline six steps.
Why Great Customer Service Is So Important
Customer service is a double-edged sword. Get it right and you can make loyal, lifelong customers who sell your products for you. Get it wrong and you can find your business in real trouble. The Wrong Way to Do It My friend Frank gave me an example of the exact wrong way to do customer […]
What My Dog Trainer Reminded Me About Leadership
Recently, my wife bought me a Labradoodle puppy. I had wanted one ever since my daughter got hers. My grandson named him “Charlie Brown,” since his fur was a beautiful chocolate brown color. Though he was born in January, we didn’t get to meet Charlie until last week. He spent the first eleven weeks at […]
How Penguin Leadership Will Change Your Team Culture
This is a guest post by Sean Glaze, a team speaker and motivator. You can check out his blog, and follow him on Twitter. If you want to guest post on this blog, check out the guidelines here. What do penguins have to do with leadership and changing your toxic team culture? More than you […]
Leadership Question #8: How Do You Encourage Others to Communicate Your Core Values?
In my answer to Michael’s previous question, I emphasized the formal ways in which we communicate our values at Thomas Nelson. I talked about hiring practices, new employee orientation, rewards and recognition, and annual reviews. All of these are important, but, as I suggested at the end of the post, they are probably not the most important.
Leadership Question #7: How Do You Communicate Your Core Values?
“How do you or other leaders in your organization communicate the ‘core values’?” Unless values become behaviors, you only have a set of platitudes. Unfortunately, these platitudes will ultimately create cynicism when smart people realize that your behavior doesn’t line up with your words. At Thomas Nelson we rely on six methods to communicate our values.
Leadership Question #5: Where Do the Great Ideas Come From?
Where do the great ideas come from in your organization? The short answer is anywhere. They can come from at least four sources. More important, there are specific things you can do to ensure your organization nurtures and harvest’s the best ideas.
Shift the Drift
Every stream has a current. Throw a twig or a piece of paper into the water, and it will drift with the current. This is natural. It is simply the way things work. Organizations are similar to streams. They too have a flow.