The Damage Caused by Entrenched Incompetence

Sleazy guy two thumbs up

I had a depressing encounter the other day. After working a short time with an organization, it became pretty obvious that their inside public relations person was a disaster. She’d been at the organization a long time and had strong relationships with various leaders. She seemed decent enough with one exception: She was terrible at her job. I mean really terrible. Honestly, I asked a number of people she worked with, and not a single person could tell me anything she’d actually accomplished in the past few years. No PR strategy, no press releases, no social media campaigns, no media connections, nothing. So I asked the next obvious question: “Why doesn’t she get fired?”

Is Your Office Inspiring?

Business Startup

You spend at least a third of your life there. You’re there for most waking hours. It’s where you work most closely with other people. And yet, it looks plain, uninspiring, and probably outright depressing. Your surroundings have more of an impact on your creativity and productivity than you may think. That’s why you need to be more intentional about your

You Need a Productivity Breakthrough

to do list

OK – I admit that I have a fetish for to do lists. Not that I’m that detailed, but I love working with apps that help me sort and organize my to do lists. My two favorites are Things and Wunderlist. I’m a big fan of David Allen’s “Getting Things Done” concept, but I have one big problem with it: I’m a big idea person, so I’m always coming up with things I should do, films I should make, client tasks, and more. So I looked at my to do list recently and it had

Stop Hating Your Job and Start Redefining It


Before you totally give up on your miserable job, just remember that jobs are often not as inflexible as we think.  The written job description for your position is mostly likely a document that was created years ago and hasn’t changed much even though technology is radically redefining the workplace today.  Here’s a few suggestions before you give up and resign – or perhaps worse – accept that nothing will ever change:

When To Stop Talking


For some reason, I’ve been meeting a lot of people who don’t know when it’s time to stop talking.  Most of the time they’re meeting me after I teach, or it’s an interview, and I know they mean well, but it’s driving me nuts.  Obviously, they’re nervous, and most people talk when they’re nervous.  Plus, I think they feel an obligation to pitch themselves and simply don’t know when to stop.  I keep looking for openings to jump in and change the subject or bring the conversation to a halt, but with some folks, that’s nearly impossible.  So here’s my advice: 

Be Careful When Employees Recommend People for Jobs at Your Organization


A new study called “Tainted Recommendations: The Social Comparison Bias” reports that when an employee recommends someone to hire or promote, they might be hurting your company in order to boost their self-esteem.  The study found that employees tend to recommend people who they know can’t outperform them at tasks they feel they are good at doing.  It was the same thing with picking partners for team projects.  The majority picked a partner who wouldn’t

Finding the Cause of the Office Jerk

Sue Shellenbarger recently wrote in the Wall Street Journal about dealing with office jerks and tyrants.  We’ve all seen it – probably way too much.  But the interesting thing about Sue’s approach was to look at how family problems in childhood often create these office monsters.  For instance, the guy in meetings who’s always pushy and loud, may have been raised in a large family where being pushy and loud was the only way to get any attention.  She also made a good point about how to solve the issue:

How to Be Welcomed into Higher Level Meetings

One of the biggest frustrations I hear from employees at organizations we work with, is that they don’t get invited into high level meetings.  They feel decisions are made at these meetings, but they have little or no input.  I understand how they feel.  When I was working my way up, I was always trying to get into higher level meetings.  But the point is, most employees don’t get invited for a few simple reasons.  In most cases, it’s not because they don’t have good ideas.  In most cases, it’s a value issue.  If you’re an employee, here’s a few thoughts that will help you get

Governor Mark Sanford: Email is Not Your Friend

One of the most surprising revelations to come out of the Mark Sanford sexual affair with a woman from Argentina is the exposure of their romantic email correspondence.   Let me be very clear:  When you type an email, once you hit “SEND,” you’ve lost control of that message.  You have absolutely no idea where it will end up, who will read it, and how it might be used against you.  Attorneys will tell you that in a legal case, the first thing the other side demands

Dealing With Control Freaks – Is There Help?


Matt Villano, writing in The New York Times has created a very insightful article on dealing with control freaks. In my experience, one of the greatest challenges facing the leadership of churches and ministries is the control freak. It presents itself in different ways – sometimes a dictator, sometimes a micro-manager, and sometimes a detail freak – but almost always, it’s someone who can’t delegate, doesn’t trust employees, and wants to approve everything. The result is an atmosphere that suffocates vision, stifles motivation, and blocks real progress. Maybe Villano’s article will give you some ideas and suggestions that will help in your daily struggles with the control freak in your office: