poor_performance

What does a leader do when stuck with a poor performer?

The change of command was over and as the new commander I would soon be meeting my new staff. Truth was, I had been the operations officer, the second-in-command, and knew the staff fairly well. I also knew that I was inheriting what I was certain was the worst secretary in the US Air Force.  As the new boss, by gosh, I was going to do something about that! I…

mistakes-of-bad-leaders

How to be an Assertive Leader

In a recent interview on CNBC, Indra Nooyi, CEO of PepsiCo talked about a meeting with Steve Jobs where Jobs told her “If you really feel strongly about something — if you don’t like something people are doing — throw a temper tantrum. Throw things around, because people have got to know that you feel strongly about it.” For some reason that worked for Jobs, but such childish behavior is…

feed-your-troops

Feed Your Troops First – Leadership 101

A sign in the office of a general I worked for in the Pentagon read “Feed Your Troops First.” The sign wasn’t behind the General’s desk or on a side wall where everyone could see it. Instead, he had placed it on a support pillar facing his desk where he could see it throughout the day as a constant reminder of what was obviously important to his leadership philosophy-taking care…

influence_dominos

The Unintentional Leader

Early in my military career I was taught that a unit will take on the characteristics of its leader. A sloppy unit will likely have an unkempt leader at its helm. A unit known for “bending the rules” will most likely be led by a person of questionable ethics. Why is this? Bob and I came across a working definition of leadership the other day, “positively influencing others to accomplish…

dont_motivate

Did You Cause Motivation or Just Behavior Change?

Jack was always late for work. His supervisor, Bill, spoke to him about it, documented formal counseling sessions, and explained that Jack would lose his job if he didn’t start showing up on time. Each time Bill spoke to him Jack improved, but only temporarily. Bill was quite upset when he finally came to me requesting that Jack be fired. We discussed the situation and Bill commented that Jack used…