Tag Archives: Leadership

Don’t Raise the Bar; Find People Who Jump for Love of the Sky

Our guest speaker from the HR department made a tactical error one December evening in 1988: she thought she was asking a rhetorical question. “Isn’t there a place for mediocre coworkers in a large organization?” “NO!” we roared in unison. … Continue reading

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Delegation Versus Abdication

I’ve long preached the three Ds of paperwork: as soon as something comes in; do it, delegate it, or ditch it. Otherwise, your creativity wilts under the shadow of a towering in-box. The second D trips up a lot of … Continue reading

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Strong Leaders Choose Choice

Knee-jerk critics of organizational democracy typically misrepresent a self-governed workplace as some sort of directionless commune. Yet, as I point out in E Pluribus Kinko’s, strong leadership is a key prerequisite for the kind of democracy we encouraged. We wanted … Continue reading

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10 Suggestions for a More Democratic Workplace

E Pluribus Kinko’s: A Story of Business, Democracy, and Freaky Smart People, discusses the unusual company culture that helped Kinko’s grow and profit for thirty years, and how the loss of that culture contributed to the company’s decline and eventual … Continue reading

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Competencies of Branding

The four competencies of leadership, as described by USC professor Warren Bennis, also apply to branding, which, when you think about it, is a form of leadership. Bennis codified the four competencies in a 1984 essay, taking care to note … Continue reading

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Of Managers and Kings

In Andrei Codrescu’s novel Wakefield (Algonquin Books, 2004), the title character travels the country as a de-motivational speaker. Companies hire him to depress employees so they will do as they are told and stop disrupting the company with incessant innovation. … Continue reading

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Partnership Ethos and the VP of LOVE

Early last year, I ghostwrote an article praising Amazon.com and Zappos.com, but the client declined to run the column.  Too bad, because when Amazon announced it was purchasing Zappos, my client would have looked either prescient or in the know. … Continue reading

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