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Fred Abrew, 62, became CEO at Equitable Resources Inc., a Pennsylvania
utility company, after nearly 40 years of climbing the corporate
ladder. He served as CEO for three years, leaving in 1997 with a
“golden parachute” worth $1.35 million. We spoke with Abrew about his
steady ascent to the top:
You can’t teach courage. But you can set an example and support your employees’ efforts to succeed in the face of adversity.
Advice on how to handle these sticky situations at work...
You love your job—at least 80 percent of the time. But you dread certain aspects of it and wind up dwelling on what you hate.
If you notice your otherwise fine manager getting careless or making
bad judgments, indirectly raise your concern by admiring a time when
the boss didn’t take shortcuts.
When you’re finished explaining what must get done, ask employees, “What’s your first move?”
You can ask your staffers to do something, but that doesn’t mean they’ll do it
Change never lets up. And convincing your staff to embrace constant change keeps getting tougher.
When you’re making deals, what you say doesn’t matter as much as what you see and hear.
Years ago, as a smartass newcomer to the corporate world, my favorite
joke was defining a manager as the person who sees visitors so everyone
else can get the work done.