Dealing with Toxic Team Members

In workshop discussions concerning conflict management, inevitably the subject of dealing with “toxic” individuals comes up. I maintain that if you have toxic individuals on your team, you normally don’t have a conflict problem, you have a values problem. We’ve talked about workplace culture before but, in my experience, few things destroy attempts to build a positive culture more than allowing toxic behavior to go unchecked. That old adage my…

Maintainer

I Want to be on That Team

Employee engagement is a concept that gets a lot of press these days. Leaders wring their hands about low levels of engagement and experts offer all kinds of actions and formulas that will fix the problem. All that angst isn’t really necessary, as engagement is a pretty simple concept. Few people are looking for brass bands and constant strokes. They just want to feel that what they do is important…

Team

Know Thy Team: Why Leaders Should Learn Who Their Team Members Really Are

My wife gave me a DNA kit for Christmas. It’s pretty simple. You spit into a tube and mail it in. In a few weeks your results come back telling you where your ancestral roots most likely trace. I found that my roots are solidly in the British Isles with just a trace of a few Scandinavian and western European countries thrown in for good measure. In spite of my…

Hope is Not a Strategy: But it is Important

Hope is not a strategy. You’ve probably heard that before and it’s certainly true. We can’t hope success into existence. Hoping will not accomplish goals. Hoping bills get paid doesn’t pay the bills. Those accomplishments require positive action. To be successful, we must actually do something. Hope is not a strategy, but it is essential to your team. Your team needs to believe there is hope for the future. They…

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…