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By Izzy Gesell | Monday, September 29, 2014

Become a Better Leader — with Improv Theater Skills

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Becoming an effective leader is a challenging undertaking. Trying to map a success route from the myriad overlapping or contradictory leadership theories is like being on a journey where your GPS changes its mind every few miles.

But what if I told you that you can improve your leadership skills by practicing the skills used in improv theater?

It’s true. And I’m going to show you how.

By Mike Figliuolo | Monday, September 15, 2014

Not ‘Just’ an Employee: Treat Your Team as Individuals

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People want to be treated like people, not like cogs in a big machine. It’s incumbent upon you as a leader to see them as individuals. It’s for that reason that I hate the use of the word “just” in front of anyone’s title.

“He’s just an analyst.”

“She’s just a cafeteria worker.”

“I’m just an administrative assistant.”

No one is just anything. The phrase is demeaning and pejorative. We’re allpeople—we simply happen to have different responsibilities.

“Just connotes that someone is worth less than someone else, as if that just” someone has a defect. One of the most powerful leadership skills I’ve seen and used is valuing everyone’s contributions equally.

By Mike Figliuolo | Monday, August 18, 2014

Attention, Leaders: Does Your Team Trust You?

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As leaders, we manage hundreds of tasks every day. But in the swirl of all that activity, one thing is often ignored until it’s too late: building trust with your team members.

Trust is key to effective working relationships—yet trust seems harder than ever to earn and easier than ever to lose.

What causes a team not to trust its leader? You. Yes, you. If you’re unpredictable, then your team doesn’t know what to expect from you.

By Todd Dewett | Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Shape Your Reputation at Work

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You are in control of how others perceive you. There’s a lot you can do to influence how others view you—and you should. You have to take this topic seriously because your reputation is your most vital career asset.

Let’s be clear. I’m not talking about mere impression management; managing impressions is often just a rarified version of acting. In this week’s tips, I’ll address something more fundamental and enduring: how to develop executive presence and earn respect.

By Todd Dewett | Wednesday, June 04, 2014

Push Your Limits—and Know Your Strengths

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Self-improvement is not a mystery; anyone can do it. You may have to take on goals that are a little beyond your capability. It might hurt and you might fail—but most people don’t. Instead, they find that a life worth living is a life fully explored.

If it’s time to start pushing your personal boundaries—to find out if you’ve truly reached your potential—then watch my first Management Tip this week, on self-improvement.

By Todd Dewett | Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Hiring and Ramping Up Employees

Hiring and Ramping Up New Employees

When it comes to hiring people and bringing them into the team, most companies have a lot of room for improvement. Assuming we attract the right candidates, we still need to know how to vet them. Here’s the rub: Most people making hiring decisions have never been trained to interview effectively.

Interviews often become weird sessions wherein the interviewer dominates and pontificates too much. Often, it’s a dry, highly structured box-checking affair that complies with the process while failing to correctly assess the candidate.

By Todd Dewett | Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Supporting Creativity

Supporting Creativity

This week’s tips address one of my favorite topics—and one that’s vital to your career: creativity. Anyone can become a subject matter expert, and just about anyone can learn to make sound decisions. But it takes a bit more dedication and bravery to hone your professional creativity.

This week’s first tip focuses on your personal creative ability. Bad news: You’ve grown up and forgotten that once upon a time you were a creative genius. All kids are. It’s amazing how life used to be nothing but imagination and possibilities.

By Todd Dewett | Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Managing Ethical Dilemmas

Managing Ethical Dilemmas

Decision making is difficult enough when you’re dealing with everyday issues. When you add in ethical considerations, the difficulty jumps to another level. How to handle it is the focus of this week’s first tip.

Here’s the truth: Life isn’t black and white. It’s gray. Whether you like it or not, you’ll run into occasional spots where you’ve got to make a decision, but knowing right from wrong won’t be as crystal clear as you wish it were.

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