Steve El-Hage

If you want to quit because you want to do something else or it’s not for you anymore, that’s a good reason. People aren’t going to work at your company forever. But if you’re quitting because the environment is driving you crazy, as CEO that’s something I can control and shape.

Jeffrey Pfeffer

If you have technical skills without influence skills, you’re not going to go anywhere cause you can’t get anything done. If you have influence skills without technical skills, you may go places but you’ll get the wrong things done. So you really need both.

Sebastian Leape, Jinchen Zou, Olivia Loadwick, Robin Nuttall, Matt Stone, Bruce Simpson

Purpose answers the question, “What would the world lose if your company disappeared?” It defines a company’s core reason for being and its resulting positive impact on the world. Winning companies are driven by purpose, reach higher for it, and achieve more because of it. Competitors wonder where they can get some of that magic and how they might sprinkle it on.

Molly Graham

When assessing a low performer, the most important set of exercises to run through are: What is this person’s job? What is expected of them? Do they know that? And then once they do, do they have the desire and the energy to fix it? Then you can go to them and clearly explain, “Here’s what’s expected of you. Here’s what you’re delivering. And here’s … [ Read more ]

Molly Graham

Most people can be exceptional and perform way better than they are today, under the right set of circumstances. And so the question for managers is whether those circumstances can exist in the role that that person is currently in, elsewhere in the company, or if it’s just not a fit at all.

Molly Graham

When I was managing a team I didn’t have tons of expertise in […] I first started with: Do people’s roles make sense? Do they know how they fit in? How they align to the business? Then the second piece is, do they know what’s expected of them? Do they know what success looks like? 80% of the time when I go into a team … [ Read more ]

Maya Townsend, Elizabeth Doty

Change champions need to draw out others’ opinions about the reasons their hunch won’t work as a starting point for problem-solving and design. By treating the potential downsides and limitations of an idea as legitimate, rational concerns, people can work together to design solutions that both achieve intended goals and preserve what the organization wishes to safeguard while building commitment to implementation.

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So-called resisters have … [ Read more ]

Robert Rosenberg

As CEO, you are the Communicator in Chief. The responsibility for aligning all the various constituencies in the organization behind company strategy falls primarily to the CEO, but it doesn’t stop there. Just when you think you have communicated clearly to all parties, go back over your message again and again. You cannot make your point too clearly or check back enough times to make … [ Read more ]

Eric J. McNulty

One important step that leaders can take is to explicitly acknowledge the circumstances in which either competition or cooperation is most likely to achieve the desired outcome. Then, as a leader, you can examine your organization’s structures, processes, and protocols to see if they align with the intended competitive or cooperative behaviors. Where there is dissonance, correct it.

Brian Spisak

Agile and transient teams are the emerging norm. Organizations have learned to hire cooperative and empathetic individuals who can work well in teams, yet their so-called leaders still construct highly competitive environments (for example, by encouraging teams to compete over scarce resources).

Randall Kempner

Many studies show that women are as good as, or better than, men at being businesspeople, and they are more likely to reinvest their earnings in long-term assets like education, health care and housing for their families. Gender inequality is a steep tax on global prosperity.

Daniel Ek

A great meeting has three key elements: the desired outcome of the meeting is clear ahead of time; the various options are clear, ideally ahead of time; and the roles of the participants are clear at the time. … I think that’s the single largest source of optimization for a company: the makeup of their meetings. To be clear, it’s not about fewer meetings because … [ Read more ]

Jon Katzenbach, Chad Gomes, Carolyn Black

Feelings are messengers of needs. Meeting needs unlocks positive feelings and energy; neglecting needs does the opposite. By integrating business objectives with meeting people’s needs, companies can make sure the strong wind of a positive emotional force is at their back. Emotions and feelings bring our needs — human requirements for survival — to our attention and strongly move us toward meeting them. 

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Our feelings … [ Read more ]

Jason Fried

If your company makes four products, it really makes five. If it makes 12, it makes 13. Even companies that make just one thing actually make two.

The secret product? The company itself. Your company is a product. Who are its customers? Your employees, who use it to do their jobs.

Since your company is the product that makes all of your other products, it should be the … [ Read more ]

Thomas J. Watson Jr.

[If] an organization is to meet the challenges of a changing world, it must be prepared to change everything about itself except [its] beliefs as it moves through corporate life.

Crawford H. Greenewalt

The corporation, like society itself, is a congregation of human beings and, like society itself, it prospers to the extent that the relationships it maintains are fruitful, harmonious, and mutually beneficial.

Eric Hoffer

An autonomous existence is heavily burdened and beset with fears, and can be endured only when bolstered by confidence and self-esteem. The individual’s most vital need is to prove his worth, and this usually means an insatiable hunger for action.

Eric Hoffer

Where self-advancement cannot, or is not allowed to, serve as a driving force, other sources of enthusiasm have to be found if momentous changes, such as the awakening and renovation of a stagnant society or radical reforms in the character and pattern of life of a community, are to be realized and perpetuated.

Eric Hoffer

Self-doubt is at the core of our being. We need people who by their attitude and words will convince us that we are not as bad as we think we are. Hence the vital role of judicious praise.

Eric Hoffer

It is better to be bossed by men of little faith, who set their hearts on toys, than by men animated by lofty ideals who are ready to sacrifice themselves and others for a cause.