What Customer Complaints May Really Mean

Customers complain. It’s a fact of business life. Sometimes they have a valid complaint, but often they’re just cranky, having a bad day, or upset because they can’t find what they’re looking for. Whatever has set them off, they are likely to take it out on an employee. But if you are hearing a lot of complaints, especially if they are not targeting a single employee, they’re telling you something…

Shhh…It’s a Secret

Do you keep information from your team? How much should you share with them? It’s a topic that always generates lively discussion in our workshops. Many leaders lean toward sharing minimal information; or at least sanitized information. I’ve always appreciated bosses who will tell me what’s going on. I remember years ago during a major multinational military exercise, our commander sent an intelligence analyst to give us lowly aircraft mechanics…

A Difficult Subject

In a recent leadership workshop, we had deep discussion about diversity. Participants were looking for answers to an issue leaders face that seems to have no good answer. The conversation centered on two questions: how should a leader view diversity and why does this seem to be such an explosive and often no-win situation? That’s a difficult subject and even such a discussion can be fraught with danger. But it…

Absence of Punishment is a Reward in Itself

That’s a saying I learned back in my days in the old Strategic Air Command (SAC). It reflected a culture that existed at one time in the military: the no news is good news style of leadership. In reality, most of the leaders I worked for back then didn’t really subscribe to this leadership theory, but there was still a culture in the larger organization that made this statement at…

What You Don’t Know Is More Than You Realize

Business owners often complain that they don’t know about everything happening in the business. It’s s a truth many leaders don’t realize: the higher you go, the less you know! For various reasons, the more senior a leader is, the less he or she knows about what is going on in their organization. Sure, they’re well versed on the day-to-day operation of the company, and they probably have a broader…