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Go to Lunch and Clean Out Your Inbox

By: Jim Bruce
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Today’s Reading, “Go to Lunch and Clean Out Your Inbox,” was originally written as a weekly reflection by Stephen Kemp.  Stephen is the Coordinator for Help Desk Services at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign’s College of Veterinary Medicine.

How to Handle Surprise Criticism

By: Jim Bruce
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Today’s Reading, “How to Handle Surprise Criticism”, focuses on feedback that comes as a surprise, even as a shock, from out of nowhere, about an issue you haven’t even perceived.

In this piece, Peter Bergman, speaker, writer, and consultant on leadership, says that to take such surprise criticism productively, you need a game plan.  He goes on to say that as you listen and your adrenaline begins to flow, you need to pause, take a deep breath, and:

Accountability: What Do You Owe Your Direct Reports

By: Jim Bruce
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Today’s reading is a short essay, reproduced below, by Roger Schwartz in his newsletter Fundamental Change.  He makes two significant points that caught my attention:  First, accountability is a two-way street.  Not only do your staff have accountability to their manager, but the manager, you, have accountability to them.  And, second, all feedback needs to be timely.  Said differently, it becomes stale very rapidly.  Schwartz suggests that if you have not given the feedback within a week of observing either something good that needs to be recognized or something ineffective that needs to b

How to Stop the Blame Game

By: Jim Bruce
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Today’s reading “How to Stop the Blame Game” is by Nathanael Fast, assistant professor of Management and Organization at USC’s Marshall School of Business.  It appeared in the May research blog of the Harvard Business Review.

Fast points back to the recent “grilling” of three oil company executives by U.S. Senate committees.  He noted that the executives “fell over each other in attempts to shift the blame.” And, that “No one was impressed.”

Is Your Leadership Developing or Diminishing?

By: Jim Bruce
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A few weeks ago Angela Bell from the University of Iowa shared Dan Bobinski’s article “Is your leadership developing or diminishing?” with her cohort and now I’d like to share it with everyone.

As Bobinski, a training specialist, author, and president of Associates at Leadership Development, indicates, too many leaders easily get caught up in the immediate and forget, or neglect, the important.  

Give Feedback with Video

By: Jim Bruce
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One of my sons acquired a new Flip MinoHD digital camcorder just before Thanksgiving.  This gave all the family ample opportunity to appear in living color and HD.  And, as I watched myself later on the video, I realized that what others were seeing was not what I necessarily expected or, in many cases, wanted them to see.

How Team Leaders Show Support – or Not

By: Jim Bruce
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For today’s Tuesday Reading, we turn to a Harvard Business School Working Knowledge Q&A – “How Team Leaders Show Support – or Not”– with HBS faculty member Teresa Anabile.

Though from 2004, the findings remain valid.  Professor Anabile’s research points to two key concepts for leaders who want to gain their staff’s confidence:

1.  Perceptions of team leader support are more positive when the leader

     - gives timely feedback

     - support the team member’s actions and decisions

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