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Bruce Tulgan
Bruce Tulgan is internationally recognized as the leading expert on young people in the workplace and one of the leading experts on leadership and management. Bruce is a best-selling author, an adviser to business leaders all over the world, and a sought-after keynote speaker and management trainer.

Since 1995, Bruce has worked with tens of thousands of leaders and managers in hundreds of organizations ranging from Aetna to Wal-Mart; from the Army to the YMCA. In recent years, Bruce was named by Management Today as one of the few contemporary figures to stand out as a “management guru” and he was named to the 2009 Thinkers 50 rising star list (the Thinkers 50 is the definitive global ranking of the world’s top 50 business thinkers). And on August 13, 2009, Bruce was honored to accept Toastmasters International’s most prestigious honor, the Golden Gavel. This honor is annually presented to a single person who represents excellence in the fields of communication and leadership. Past winners have included Stephen Covey, Zig Ziglar, Deepak Chopra, Tony Robbins, Ken Blanchard, Tom Peters, Art Linkletter, Dr. Joyce Brothers, and Walter Cronkite.

Bruce’s most recent book is IT’S OKAY TO MANAGE YOUR BOSS (Jossey-Bass, September 14, 2010). He is also the author of the recent best-seller IT’S OKAY TO BE THE BOSS (HarperCollins, 2007) and the classic MANAGING GENERATION X (W.W. Norton, 2000; first published in 1995). Bruce’s other books include WINNING THE TALENT WARS (W.W. Norton, 2001), which received widespread acclaim from Fortune 500 CEOs and business journalists; the best-seller FAST FEEDBACK (HRD Press, 1998); NOT EVERYONE GETS A TROPHY: HOW TO MANAGE GENERATION Y (Jossey-Bass, 2009); and M!ANAGING THE GENERATION MIX (HRD Press, 2006).

Many of Bruce’s works have been published around the world in foreign editions. Bruce’s writing appears regularly in human resources, staffing and management journals, including a new regular column in TRAINING magazine called ‘Sticky Notes’ and a regular column in the New York Enterprise Report. His writing has also appeared in dozens of magazines and newspapers such as the Harvard Business Review, BusinessWeek, HR Magazine, the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and USA Today. As w!ell, his work has been the subject of thousands of news stories around the world.

Before founding RainmakerThinking in 1993, Bruce practiced law at the Wall Street firm of Carter, Ledyard & Milburn. He graduated with high honors from Amherst College, received his law degree from the New York University School of Law, and is still a member of the Bar in Massachusetts and New York. Bruce continues his lifelong study of Okinawan Uechi Ryu Karate Do and holds a fifth degree black belt. He lives in New Haven, Connecticut with his wife Debby Applegate, Ph.D., who won the 2007 Pulitzer Prize for Biography for her book THE MOST FAMOUS MAN IN AMERICA: THE BIOGRAPHY OF HENRY WARD BEECHER (Doubleday, 2006). More information at

Entries by Bruce Tulgan

10 Signs That the Jerk at Work Might Be You

(0) Comments | Posted March 13, 2015 | 12:01 PM

What usually ensues in my seminars is a lively discussion about what it means to 'act like a jerk' at work. Most seminar participants agree that it's pretty easy to know when somebody else is acting like a jerk -- we know it when we see it. The real challenge...

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Employees in Creative Roles Deserve Strong Managers Too!

(0) Comments | Posted February 24, 2015 | 9:20 PM

What if the nature of the employee's job is to be creative and innovative? This requires that an employee be willing to take risks and make mistakes. Should you still manage that employee closely? Should you still tell him what to do and how to do it? Should you still...

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When to Fire the Stubborn Low Performing Employee

(0) Comments | Posted January 22, 2015 | 11:00 PM

In December I posted on Ability, Skill, or Will?, how to deal with the most stubborn persistent employee performance issues. If an employee fails to improve his/her performance despite your regular coaching and putting him on warning, at some point, you simply have to follow through. Whether and...

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How Will You Manage in 2015?

(0) Comments | Posted January 6, 2015 | 11:41 AM

It's the beginning of a brand new year --- New Year's Resolution time! If you want to have much better results on your team this year, make a resolution to become a much better boss. Maybe you've already made that resolution. Maybe you are ready -- eager even -- to...

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Ability, Skill or Will?

(0) Comments | Posted December 18, 2014 | 11:45 AM

Some employee performance issues stubbornly persist even when the manager has been diligent in addressing them with regular high structure, high substance communication. At that point it is important to take a step back and ask yourself if you are missing something. Have you properly diagnosed the problem? Do you...

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What Employees Want and How to Give It to Them

(1) Comments | Posted October 31, 2014 | 10:55 PM

You want to be generous and flexible with your employees. Why wouldn't you? Everybody is working harder. Everybody is under more pressure. Everybody needs more than what they are getting.

If you are the boss, one of the most important parts of your job is taking care of your people....

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Do Bosses Need Their Own Day?

(0) Comments | Posted October 16, 2014 | 12:12 PM

October 16 is National Boss Day. Do bosses really need their own day?

Over the last 20 years, my company has asked hundreds of thousands of bosses about the challenges they face every day when it comes to managing people. What have we learned? In short, managing...

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"Becoming the Boss" a Q&A with author Lindsey Pollak

(0) Comments | Posted September 29, 2014 | 11:21 AM

For this post I am highlighting a terrific new book by my friend and fellow Millennial workplace expert Lindsey Pollak. Lindsey's new book, Becoming the Boss: New Rules for the Next Generation of Leaders is a thorough and highly readable roadmap for the next generation that is flooding into leadership...

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What If Your Boss Really Is a Jerk?

(0) Comments | Posted August 27, 2014 | 2:28 PM

Earlier this month I had the privilege to conduct a webinar for Accounting Today and Accountingfly on the topic of Developing Superstars: A Playbook for High-Potential Young Talent and the People Who Manage Them. (The webinar is available on-demand here). As always, at the end of the presentation...

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The Challenge of Coming From the Outside to Take Over an Existing Team

(0) Comments | Posted July 21, 2014 | 5:54 PM

In my last post I shared "Management Challenge #1" from my forthcoming book, The 27 Challenges Managers Face: Step-by-Step Solutions to (Nearly) All of Your Management Problems (Wiley/Jossey-Bass, September 2014), the challenge of moving from peer to leader. In this post I look at the flip side challenge, "Management Challenge...

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The Challenge of Moving From Peer to Leader

(0) Comments | Posted June 19, 2014 | 12:07 PM

My forthcoming book, The 27 Challenges Managers Face: Step-by-Step Solutions to (Nearly) All of Your Management Problems (Wiley/Jossey-Bass, September 2014), is based on 20 years of workplace research, including interviews, surveys and focus groups with hundreds of thousands of managers in organizations of all types and sizes. Despite the diversity...

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Can You Be a Hands-On Manager in a Hands-Off Culture?

(0) Comments | Posted June 4, 2014 | 2:17 PM

Sometimes managers tell me, "This organization is very conservative. We don't believe in confrontation. We don't like to rock the boat... So the culture is very hands-off management." Just as often managers tell me, "This organization is very progressive. We let employees do their own thing. We don't like to...

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Most Managers Don't Realize They Are Caught in a Vicious Cycle

(1) Comments | Posted May 19, 2014 | 4:06 PM

One important and fascinating new finding from our recently released Under-management Epidemic Report, shows that, while nine out of 10 managers are in fact under-managing, most of them don't know it! Five out of 10 managers think they are doing an "excellent" or "very good" job managing their...

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Getting Rid of HR Is a Poor Substitute for Doing HR Right

(1) Comments | Posted April 9, 2014 | 3:47 PM

There is a great article in today's Wall Street Journal about companies that have decided to get rid of their HR Department altogether. It is a very thought provoking piece. Still, the real business takeaway should have been that the problem with HR is usually not HR. The problem is...

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Team Meetings Are Not a Substitute for One-on-Ones

(0) Comments | Posted April 8, 2014 | 12:40 PM

I am often asked, "What about team meetings? You put so much focus on one-on-one meetings between managers and employees. When is it OK to substitute team meetings for one-on-ones?"

First, team meetings are never substitute for one-on-ones. There's no place to hide when the manager is looking one employee...

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Managing Employees to Manage Themselves

(5) Comments | Posted March 25, 2014 | 4:54 PM

I am often asked whether there is a danger that providing too much oversight and engaged management will keep employees from developing their ability to manage themselves. The answer is no. In fact, the only real way to help employees get better at managing themselves is to manage them well....

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Managing Superstars

(0) Comments | Posted March 10, 2014 | 12:27 PM

I frequently get asked about managing superstars. Countless fortunate managers have said, "I have some employees who are so talented, so skilled, and so motivated that all I really want to do is get out of their way. How do you manage a superstar?"

Even superstars need to be managed....

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When Is Enough, Enough?

(0) Comments | Posted February 6, 2014 | 2:44 PM

In this series of blog posts I am addressing the most frequent questions we hear about the challenges of being a highly engaged effective manager. In my previous post I discussed how to kick off a management relationship. But what about the other end of the spectrum? When...

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How to Be an Effective Manager

(0) Comments | Posted January 24, 2014 | 11:04 AM

One of the most frequent questions I get about being a highly-engaged hands-on manager is "What is the best way to start out, at the beginning of a management relationship? Is it better to start off being hands off and then gradually become more hands on? Or is it better...

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