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Managing People

You Can't Do It All by Yourself

Ron Ashkenas | Posted 04.03.2012 | Business
Ron Ashkenas

In my experience, there are plenty of people who prefer to work on their own without input, help or even interaction with others. Sometimes it's appropriate, however, most of the time, working in isolation just doesn't work.

Can a Consultant Become a Manager, or a President?

Ron Ashkenas | Posted 02.22.2012 | Business
Ron Ashkenas

Let's look at several characteristics of successful consultants and determine whether these would be the same or different for successful leaders. Here are three such characteristics.

Use Office Politics to Your Advantage

Ron Ashkenas | Posted 02.15.2012 | Business
Ron Ashkenas

It's easy to use office politics as an excuse for a lack of achievement or an outlet for your frustration. But it may be a lot more effective to use politics as a way to get things done.

You're Probably a Micromanager

Ron Ashkenas | Posted 01.31.2012 | Business
Ron Ashkenas

While many people complain about being micromanaged, very few think of themselves as micromanagers. But if nobody is a micromanager, then who is doing all the micromanaging?

The 'No Whining' Rule for Managers

Ron Ashkenas | Posted 01.30.2012 | Business
Ron Ashkenas

Given these basic human dynamics, most of which are unconscious, it's often easier to talk to colleagues about what somebody else is doing wrong. At worst we'll get sympathy. At best, we'll convince someone else to take care of the problem.

Why People Micromanage

Ron Ashkenas | Posted 01.22.2012 | Business
Ron Ashkenas

Over the past few decades I've worked with hundreds of managers, and many complain that they work for micromanagers. But strangely, I don't recall anyone who ever admitted to being one.

Managing Former Peers

Ron Ashkenas | Posted 01.16.2012 | Business
Ron Ashkenas

Sometimes a promotion can suddenly change your relationship with co-workers from "peer" to "boss." It's not an uncommon scenario. However, when this happens it often creates an awkward and uncomfortable set of dynamics, and there's no blueprint for how to manage them.

Let's Value People as an Asset, and Bring Financial Statements into the 21st Century

R. Paul Herman | Posted 04.09.2012 | Business
R. Paul Herman

People are generally classified as expenses on the income statement and liabilities on the balance sheet -- not as an investable asset. Thus, when CEOs seek to increase profit, they cut costs -- like people -- rather than investing in assets -- like people -- that can appreciate.

Reorganizing? Think Again

Ron Ashkenas | Posted 12.27.2011 | Business
Ron Ashkenas

while managers love to engineer reorganizations, most managers (and their people) hate to be reorganized. So before you pull the lever, it will be helpful to ask yourself two questions.

Once Upon a Time: Corporate Version

James M. Lynch | Posted 12.11.2011 | Business
James M. Lynch

This commitment-light management style is not only dis-empowering for the employee, it's debilitating for the owner or manager who, after promises aren't kept or tasks remain undone, feels like 'I'm the only one who cares around here.'

Use Office Politics to Your Advantage

Ron Ashkenas | Posted 12.09.2011 | Business
Ron Ashkenas

No matter what your company, you've probably encountered organizational politics. One of the most frequent complaints that I hear from managers is how...

Should Management be a Popularity Contest?

Donna Flagg | Posted 12.03.2011 | Business
Donna Flagg

I'll tell you this; you can't compare the results between work that people want to do versus when they feel as though they have to do it.

The Art of Asking Questions

Ron Ashkenas | Posted 11.17.2011 | Business
Ron Ashkenas

There are three areas where improved "questioning" can strengthen managerial effectiveness, and it might be worth considering how you can improve your skills in each one.

Learning Not to Compete

Ron Ashkenas | Posted 11.15.2011 | Business
Ron Ashkenas

What if beating the competition was no longer the most significant key to success? How could we turn off our competitive nature, or use it only at the right times?

Keeping Great People With Three Kinds of Mentors

Anthony Tjan | Posted 10.18.2011 | Business
Anthony Tjan

Few firms think as carefully about mentorship as they should. So for most companies, a wake-up call on the basics of mentorship is in order.

How to Manage Difficult People

Donna Flagg | Posted 09.24.2011 | Business
Donna Flagg

If you're a manager, then you know what it is to have a problem employee and are probably also familiar with how difficult he or she is to handle. It ...

You Can't Dictate Culture -- But You Can Influence It

Ron Ashkenas | Posted 09.05.2011 | Business
Ron Ashkenas

Most senior managers struggle with culture because it's so difficult to define. Even less tangible than a "soft" concept, culture is more like a cloud: You know it's there, but it's nearly impossible to grasp.

When Managing Complexity, Less Is More

Ron Ashkenas | Posted 08.07.2011 | Business
Ron Ashkenas

All of us have a tendency to take on additional work, lose focus, and feel overloaded -- whether we work in the C-suite, at a desk, or on a shop floor. The key is not to repeat that pattern by adding more work.

For Your Consideration: The Twin Qualities That Made Oprah One of TV's Best

Inder Sidhu | Posted 07.23.2011 | Business
Inder Sidhu

You're probably aware that Oprah Winfrey signs off this week as the host of TV's top-rated daytime talk show. As her show wraps, it's worth taking a moment to consider what made Oprah so successful and how it applies leaders like you.

Job Available: No Experience Preferred

Ron Ashkenas | Posted 07.20.2011 | Business
Ron Ashkenas

If you are looking to dramatically transform your organization then you might want to consider the idea of bringing in managers who don't fit the traditional mold.

Make the Weekend Last All Week

Ron Ashkenas | Posted 05.25.2011 | Business
Ron Ashkenas

Many people feel a tension between their jobs and their lives. But what can managers do to blur the self-imposed distinction between the workweek and the weekend?

For Successful Collaboration, Think Outside the Box

Ron Ashkenas | Posted 05.25.2011 | Business
Ron Ashkenas

If managers want to succeed in today's organizations, they are going to have to redefine their limits and go beyond their traditional comfort zones.

10 Mistakes Even Good Managers Make

John Shore | Posted 05.25.2011 | Business
John Shore

Managing people is the most difficult thing any professional person ever does. It's incomparably difficult.

De-Cluttering Your Organization

Ron Ashkenas | Posted 05.25.2011 | Business
Ron Ashkenas

Just like me, most organizations are pack rats, accumulating goods and people that lose value over time. Why is it so hard for us to throw things out?

Why We Secretly Love Meetings

Ron Ashkenas | Posted 05.25.2011 | Business
Ron Ashkenas

What seems like wasted or unproductive time for many managers is actually fulfilling important personal and organizational needs.