What’s Your Trace of Toxicity?

Last week I met with two of my favorite Haas Business School young alumnae. They both work for a large company whose name I will not reveal. The company is again on the most recent list of Fortune magazine’s “100 Best Companies to Work For” with a blurb that would make you say, “Wow, I’d like to … Continued

Who Authorized You?

I am in the middle of an experiment in the course I am teaching to Masters in Public Policy students at Berkeley. I share this for two reasons that I hope you will find value in, and which I will explain in the 2 numbered paragraphs below. First, the experiments: I have long subscribed to … Continued

What They Forgot to Tell Bosses but Bosses Need to Know

I led a workshop last week in San Francisco for the Institute for Management Studies, and I was reminded again about how bosses can make their people miserable. This is about how not to do that! Among the 40 or so participants there were about six ghosts, managers the participants had left behind at their workplaces, … Continued

Managing Big Egos – 2 Big Secrets Because One is not Enough

I have never enjoyed reading the work of people who write like they know everything. I have always resisted following people who acted like they were superior. Because I don’t trust people with big egos. I suspect you’re similar and share two secrets for managing these problematic people. We think of people who have big … Continued

Old Male Authority and Best Self Leadership

Friends, The great John Tenbusch, master teacher, philosopher and maybe part madman, would grit his teeth so hard you could hear the grinding from the last seat in room 214 of University of Detroit High School. Through clenched jaw he would growl, “Damn it _____ [insert terrified frosh’s name here]. I didn’t teach you that.” … Continued

Folks are Restless

Friends, The last month has been reminiscent of a time 40 years ago, in the late 60s when all hell broke loose. Powerlessness and acceptance of injustice were cast aside, as people took to the streets in the U.S. and around the world.  In 2010 we saw a foreshadowing of this renewed restlessness when the … Continued

Cough it up, buddy – Another lesson in managing mistakes

Cough it up buddy – another lesson in managing mistakes Friends, I spent a lot of time working a room of 120 people, as they were doing assignments to assess and strengthen their leadership practice. And I found myself in crazy disbelief at how backwards some organizations and supervisors seem to be. Two incidents stood … Continued

Of Skinner, Pavlov, and My Mistakes

Of Skinner, Pavlov, and My Mistakes Friends, In last week’s “Reading for Leading,” I introduced a series on managing, and in particular balancing the need for constructive criticism with the need to support and energize employees. As an initial point I suggested this critical distinction: What we say is quite frequently not what they hear. … Continued

Two Resources for Dealing with the Bad Boss

 Two Resources for Dealing with the Bad Boss Friends, Last week I wrote about how we unfairly take shots at authorities, and on the other hand how authority figures foolishly and frequently shoot the messenger.  Today I’m writing specifically for those who report to a boss they really can’t stand (or for those who know … Continued