Recent Posts

How to fix an incompetent direct report

Dave was a small business owner.  His business, like many, had been hit hard by the recession.  Doing business the way it had been done before just wasn’t going to work anymore.  He needed to change his business model, how he approached his customers, his processes, etc…   And with that, his people needed to change.  […]

3 ways to stop a sabotaging direct report

If you’ve ever had the unfortunate task of managing a saboteur, you know how tricky and dangerous it can be. “But wait, Brandon,” you say. “What do you mean by ‘saboteur?’ I thought saboteurs cut wires, plant bombs and generally mess up stuff?” Yep, you got it. While a corporate saboteur might not plant the […]

“My direct report is dysfunctional”

It was my fourth call with Theresa in a week and I was beginning to feel like I was in the movie “Groundhog Day.”  Theresa’s direct report, Steven, had been causing her headache after massive headache.  “Steven just doesn’t get it,” she blurted.  “What’s the latest this time?” I asked.  Like each of our recent […]

How to ensure post meeting commitment and follow-up

Ken was part of the leadership team at a large public university.  And every week, the senior leadership team would meet to discuss “strategic initiatives.”  The meetings didn’t bother Ken all that much.  What bothered Ken was the complete lack of action after the meetings.  No one on the team ever did anything when the […]

3 things you must do before every meeting

It is sad, really.  Every working day, the majority of us suffer from worthless and painful meetings that should have been avoided.  These are those meetings that, with a little bit of intentionality, could have been scrubbed dysfunction-free.  So what kinds of meetings am I talking about?  Consider these particularly “dirty” gatherings that could have […]

“Death by meetings”

Manuel stared blankly at his calendar.  It was a Wednesday, the middle day of the week in the middle of a typical month.  9:00am – meeting, 10:00am – meeting, 11:00am – meeting, 12:00pm –working lunch meeting, 1:00pm meeting, etc…  It was 8:37am and shortly Manuel was going to start another day that comprised of nothing […]

I work with Frankenstein

I love the image of Frankenstein: a big, slow moving uncommunicative monster that lumbers along in the world. More often than not, he’s gentle and non-threatening, stopping to pet the occasional kitten. The big theme with Frankenstein is “misunderstood.” You can’t really understand him and as a result he is easy to misinterpret.  When misunderstanding does […]

My coworker is a ghost

Sometimes the problem with coworkers isn’t what you see, it’s what you don’t see that becomes the issue. When you want them to be there, they aren’t. When you try to find them, you can’t. To make matters worse, in some cases these “ghost” coworkers make such a lasting impression when the do materialize, others […]