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Entries posted by kent.wilson

‘Failing forward’ is often the best option

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In this new year of resolutions and new beginnings, make it your goal to fail more often. Who knows, it might actually be the best thing you can do. Research has shown that most people who succeed in business, and in life, have done so by making failure their friend. But in today’s world that… Continue Reading ‘Failing forward’ is often the best option

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Four questions employees want answered

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Supervising people is a thankless task. Anyone who has supervised employees knows that directing the performance of others requires patience, skill, and courage. People come to work with all of the messy stuff of life, including their own expectations and demands. And as business becomes more complex, and management styles more involved, it is hard… Continue Reading Four questions employees want answered

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The Five Whys

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There is one enduring principle of business: problems will occur, things will break, and sh*t happens. When problems do appear, the temptation is to blame others or external events. But the root cause often lies closer to home. When trying to solve a problem, it helps to begin with the end in mind (the presenting… Continue Reading The Five Whys

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Successful negotiation skills

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We all negotiate — all of the time. We negotiate with our employees, with clients, with salespeople, with our children, with car dealers, and on and on. Most of what you read on negotiating skills makes it sound like you have to be a certain type of person to be a good negotiator. But the… Continue Reading Successful negotiation skills

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What do you think is the chance that in the next 12 months customers will raise the bar and demand more from companies they do business with? And what is the chance that during this same period our employees will expect a raise after so many years of cuts and salary freezes? The result will… Continue Reading Competitive advantage begins with customer focus

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Is there a leader in the house?

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Who will be the leaders of tomorrow? Will one or more of your own children be leaders in their sphere of influence? When our children eventually leave home, we want them to be equipped to succeed in life and to have the confidence and skills to live in the adult world. There are no guarantees… Continue Reading Is there a leader in the house?

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You can throw away your job description

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If you are a leader in a company or organization and have a detailed job description, throw it away. Job descriptions are useful for employees who need to understand the specific aspects of their job and responsibilities. But what person in leadership has ever been able to actually follow a specific list of duties and… Continue Reading You can throw away your job description

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Embrace open-book management style

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Open book management is not a new concept, but most businesses executives are still hesitant to embrace it. That trend is changing, however, starting with top performing companies. 83 percent of the 2010 Top Small Company Workplaces honored by Inc. Magazine open their books to employees. Many have been inspired to do so by the… Continue Reading Embrace open-book management style

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Hiring new or replacement employees is not an easy or inexpensive task. Hiring for excellence is a fine art that Dr. Pierre Mornell calls “an incredibly expensive people-reading game.” And yet, in spite of the numerous pitfalls and complicated people-reading skills that hiring requires, most managers approach hiring far too casually. There is certainly no… Continue Reading Ten overlooked principles for hiring excellence

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Don’t wait to make hard people-decisions

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A recent poll was taken of business executives where they were asked to list the most significant challenge they faced in leading their organizations. Overwhelmingly, the No. 1 challenge that more CEOs listed above all other challenges was “waiting too long to make people decisions.” Almost every executive is familiar with the adage, “Hire slow… Continue Reading Don’t wait to make hard people-decisions

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