How to Deal With Difficult People? Be Ruthless

Once again, you can’t control other people. You can only control your own reaction to them.

How to Deal With Difficult People? Be Ruthless

The Top Three Mistakes Good Managers Make


We are problem solvers. That is how we become managers / leaders. But that’s not always the right response when you’re the manager

Originally posted on Blanchard LeaderChat:

Word "Good" jigsaw puzzle pieces isolated on whiteWhat are the biggest mistakes good managers make? That’s the question I asked 130 of our Blanchard executive coaches for an article I was working on.

Because many of the coaches at first didn’t notice the distinction of good managers, I got a lot of responses about managers who put themselves first, who are inconsistent, or who simply don’t take the time necessary to be clear about expectations. The narcissists, the bullies, the lazy, the petty, the dictators, the volatile, the jerks—we’ve all had at least one boss that fits the bill there. These are the people who become horror stories at the dinner table and who cause stress-related illness in others.

But these were not the people I wanted to write about. There is already a great deal of literature about terrible bosses.

I was focused on the mistakes good managers make. The person who works as hard…

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Explore, Dream, Discover…

Originally posted on Changes I Need:

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Do not fear the risk, the failure or the peoples’ opinion. Your dreams are your own. Make them come true.


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5 Signs That You Should Quit Your Job Today

Making the decision is hard, especially if it feels like we’re giving up or failing. Sometimes things won’t change no matter what you do.

5 Signs That You Should Quit Your Job Today

The Myth of Time Management

We can't really manage time

We can’t really manage time

We can’t and don’t manage time.  The first time I read that from David Allen I had to put the book down and have a think:

  • you don’t manage five minutes and wind up with six;
  • you don’t manage information overload – otherwise…the first time you connected to the Web…you’d blow up; and
  • you don’t manage priorities, you have them.

What we manage is our focus (HOW we spend our time) and energy

So with this in mind, I present to you the three books on “time management” that make the most sense to me. These are not books on how to use Microsoft Outlook to be more efficient. Frankly I feel like those kinds of courses that often end up teaching people to do useless work faster are more of the “blaming the victim” mentality.

These are books on getting the right things done and still having a life.

I do them all a disservice by skimming only one or two ideas from each, but that’s enough for now. If you want more, go read them yourself. I suggest you read them in order presented here (going from simplest to sophisticated), but that’s up to you.

“Eat That Frog!” – Brian Tracy

Big Idea: Do the most important, hardest, least pleasant, or most procrastinated task first. Getting that done gives you energy and motivation for the rest of the day

This is based on the Mark Twain quote “Eat a live toad first thing in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day”. It doesn’t sound very appetizing. But by doing so you release stress, gain momentum, and are free to do what you want for the rest of the day. And actually do the stuff you need to get done. If you have more than one frog, eat the biggest ugliest one first. If you can’t decide which that is, pick the one you’ve been putting off the longest.

“Getting Things Done”  – David Allen

Big Idea: Keep all your commitments in one place, review them regularly. If a task would take less than two minutes to do, just do it right now.

As you scan everything that’s coming at you, decide if you’re going to file it (for reference), give it to somebody else (delegate it), forget (trash) it, or do it. If  it’s going to take less than two minutes then just do it now. The effort of tracking it is going to take more than two minutes of your time anyway. Otherwise put it on your calendar (because it has a deadline) or on your to-do list (because it doesn’t matter when you do it).

Here’s the secret sauce: keep your system up-to-date. Having a system is useless if you don’t use it on a regular basis. This is the stress many of us feel when we’re overwhelmed – your brain trying to remind you of all the things you’re supposed to keep track of. And it’s not very good at it. So it makes your life miserable.

If everything’s in one place, in a trusted system (you review it regularly) your brain can shut up about what it thinks it’s forgotten. Now you can focus on actually getting things done.

“The Effective Executive” – Peter Drucker

Big Idea: Put your ladder against the right wall.

You can be the fastest ladder-climber in the world, but if your ladder is leaned against the wrong wall, then your ability to climb ladders is wasted. Likewise all that frog eating and getting things done. Think about your strategy and consequently what you’re going to spend your time on, and you’ll be an effective executive.

There’s so much more in this book, of course. It’s one of the most practical books by the most influential management theorist and practitioner of the last century. I learn something new on every page every time I read it. Some other topics he covers:

  • effective executives know where their time goes
  • they focus on contributions and results
  • they build on strengths instead of trying to fix weaknesses
  • they do first things first (and second things second if at all)
  • they make effective decisions (and he describes in great detail what that looks like)

So, here are your undergrad, graduate, and post-graduate courses in time management and effectiveness. Have fun.

No Excuse……..


Some things may be out of our control. How we react to them is not…

Originally posted on Changes I Need:


Don’t blame your failures on others. You are solely responsible for everything that happens with you – success or failure.


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The Future of Loyalty Programs Is Changing

It’s always been about the balance between making it easy for ourselves (the business) and easy for our customers. Keeping track of “points” is easy for us. Guess who gets the edge if that’s all we do? The other businesses who are doing more…

The Future of Customer Loyalty Is Not ‘Buy Nine, Get One Free’

Coaching Tuesday: Learning from Your Mistakes


Lacking accountability in your organization? Think about the example you set first.

Originally posted on Blanchard LeaderChat:

Try, Fail, Try Again Till SuccessIt’s inevitable: we all make mistakes, hard as it is to admit it. And it’s agonizing when we realize our actions may have had a negative impact on our boss, clients, colleagues, friends, or family.

In the world of coaching, we know that how one responds to a mistake is as important as what one learns from it. Here are three guidelines along with coaching questions that may help you manage your response or coach someone in your organization through a mistake.

  1. Own up. What have you done to be accountable? What apologies have you made? The key is to avoid defending the mistake. An explanation can be useful, but it must come with total ownership—throwing someone else under the bus is not advised. Avoid the “whyne” and stick with the facts. Yes, it’s hard, but it’s a values-led decision to take responsibility.
  2. Learn something. What did you learn from…

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Succession Planning – Do It

It's good to be king, sometimes

It’s good to be king, sometimes

More and more as I work as a consultant, I see that the pivot point for many companies is when they summon the courage to fire somebody. Anybody. Hopefully they’re firing the right people, but that’s less important than the act. Because it gives them the courage and the positive feedback (people notice, behaviour changes) to make other changes. Changes that they need to move forward and grow.

Here’s a simple, open-source 9 box system for succession planning. There are many good tools out there. Pick one. Use it. No matter how big your company.

Switching to Slow Mode

Slow Motion…because doing one thing at a time, and getting it done, is faster that moving between a whole bunch of little things quickly. Again, as often, self-awareness and catching yourself doing that unhelpful thing is the key to change and getting better every day…

The Brain’s Fast Mode