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Leaders & Managers

From the nitty gritty of daily management to addressing your aspirations of leadership, this section for leaders & managers tells you how to make strong leadership decisions, build effective teams, delegate and stay above the everyday management muddle.

Get tips, strategies, tool and advice on: performance reviews, preventing workplace violence, best-practices leadership, team building, leadership skills, people management and management training.

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If you’re fed up with an employee’s poor performance, don’t just criticize or demand better work.
Moods come and go, in yourself and others, but that doesn’t make you a helpless bystander. Without fanfare, you can control your own attitudes and handle fluctuating moods in your bosses and employees.
Job candidates often ask, “When are you making a decision?” Don’t give a narrow time frame.
Once you ask an employee a delicate or uncomfortable question, keep quiet.
To get your employees to write more organized memos, ask them to number their main ideas and insert bulleted supporting points.
You don’t always need to hire high-priced trainers to teach your employees new skills. You may be the most qualified instructor.
When staffers try to stall or delay making tough decisions, resist the urge to step in and make the hard call.
A federal district court in Minnesota recently decided that menopause is not a disability covered under ADA.
Most time-management books coach readers to set priorities and make lists. Jeffrey J. Mayer digs a bit deeper and offers more substantive advice on organizing your workday—and your attitude.
While managers with chronically short fuses rarely get ahead, you can still let your temper flare on occasion to send a message. The key is to control your emotions even when you’re angry, and to behave naturally so that you’re not performing an act.
If you’re preparing slides for a big presentation, designing a promotional mailing or looking for ways to spruce up your company’s Web site, get your staff involved in hunting for vivid graphic images.
If you repeatedly chastise well-intentioned workers who make mistakes, you can breed an afraid-to-do-anything mentality.
You’re waiting for an employee to complete a big assignment. You hit all the basics when giving instructions: You gave him clear directions, answered any questions and then left him alone to get to work. Now you’re worried the task won’t get done on time because you have not heard any updates and the deadline’s approaching.
Q. For seven years, I’ve worked for a small construction company. To ensure advancement, I attended college at night to get an accounting degree. My boss recently told me that I have not stepped up to the plate to make any real contributions.
Q. I find that co-workers and even a few bosses are forming a negative perception of my abilities, after a period when they seemed perfectly happy with my contribution.
When U.S. Commerce Secretary Ron Brown and some senior executives died in a plane crash a few years ago, I remember thinking, “Those CEOs better have good succession plans.”
The way you prepare a budget for your department reveals much about both your work habits and outlook. By tracking variables with care and making sound assumptions, you can impress higher-ups with your number-crunching prowess. But if you allocate resources poorly or permit too much flab, you can lose credibility.
As the boss, you figure some of your staff will covet your position. Maybe so. But it’s also surprisingly common for managers to envy an employee who possesses certain strengths or charisma that they lack.
Jack Stack is the president and CEO of SRC Holdings Corp. in Springfield, Mo., a rapidly growing industrial firm with 1,200 employees and $140 million in revenues. Stack came to SRC in 1979 as a plant manager of International Harvester after 11 years of management experience.
Advice on how to handle these sticky situations at work...
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