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People Management

With some employees, it isn’t a matter of ability, it’s a matter of attitude. And while you can’t control someone’s horrible personality, you can decide how you’re going to respond. Use these scripts and strategies to confront problem employees and effectively manage employee discipline so you can bring motivating back to the forefront of your workday.

The first rule of people management is not to let one bad apple spoil your whole bunch. Difficult people can put a strain on the productive members of your team.

Make the most of your human capital. Browse our articles on the good, the bad and the ugly of People Management…

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Rich Combs, executive chairman of Power Distribution Inc., a supplier of electrical switching equipment for data centers, says his experience working with Teamsters on a start-up at McDonnell Douglas taught him the value of tight interaction.
In late 2011, Susan Andrews came up with a bold campaign to spur innovation across Citigroup, a global financial firm. As head of innovation for the company’s Citi Ventures unit, Andrews decided to use social media to turn 263,000 em­­ployees in 97 countries into innovators.
Ivar Kroghrud sees himself as “chief ironing officer.” In his 13 years as CEO of QuestBack, he spent much of his time ironing out employees’ problems. He’s now lead strategist at the Oslo, Norway-based firm, which provides feedback management tools.

When Barry Tarasoff was research director of Schroder Wertheim, a Wall Street investment firm, he sought to hire en­­gaging, reasonable analysts who were friendly and easygoing. This may sound basic. But in many Wall Street firms in the 1990s, cutthroat competition and ruthlessness reigned.

Meet your future C-suite execs ... A cautionary tale on change ... A thumbs-down on meetings.
Many would-be leaders claim to crave honest feedback. But when they get it, they ignore it or even take offense. For many CEOs, there’s a cost of asking for input: having to take it seriously.

Douglas Conant, founder of Conant­Leadership and chairman of Avon Prod­­ucts, offers four tips for being a conscientious leader and in­­spir­­ing the people who work with you to become better versions of themselves.

For decades, management experts have praised Jack Welch as a model leader. The former CEO of General Electric was famous for firing the lowest-rated performers every year, causing employees to compete with each other to retain their jobs. John Mackey, co-CEO of Whole Foods Market, rejects that approach.
Bill Kanarick has always enjoyed asking questions—and it has served him well. He’s senior vice president and chief marketing officer of Sapient Corp., a global services company based in ­Boston.
“As business leaders, we do a really good job of telling people what they do wrong, and a really bad job at telling them what they do right,” says Bill Sims, author of the new book Green Beans & Ice Cream.
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