Fresh Look – If you’re politically skilled, delegate

A new study shows that politically skilled leaders tend to delegate decisions more than their unskilled colleagues.[1] Does this make sense? Indeed it does. Think about it, politically skilled leaders are active networkers, and by virtue of these connections, they…

Fresh Look – Contacting subordinates after hours

When employees are contacted by their bosses at home, they often have a negative reaction. While this may not be serious if the boss-subordinate is good or the electronic message is positive, it is important to be sensitive to several…

Fresh Look – Weasels, Mercenaries, Sandbaggers, and Parasites

No manager I know expects his employees to be productive every second they are at work. This is realistic. One survey of over ten thousand employees shows that employees only work 75 percent of the time.[1] The biggest time wasters…

Fresh Look – Managing others as though they have a life

In my last post, I commented on the voluminous research on work-family conflict as it relates to senior managers. In passing, I referred to the role supervisors play in the fulfillment of each employee’s role as family member as well…

Fresh Look – Do you value employee inputs? Don’t worry, be happy!

Speaking up to a boss is a political event, and it is unlikely to occur in high political organizations.[1] However, if you are a boss who wants your people to open up to you, there is hope. A new study…

Fresh look – managing with email and text messages

Email/texts are efficient ways of communicating. Some managers send out 80% of their communication with their subordinates with emails and texts. The research evidence calls this practice into question. Consider the following. 1. Media richness theory suggests that messages that…

Have an employee you think may quit?

When faced with these suspicions, many of us resort to looking for signs that the employee is about to leave. For example, we may look to see whether she has updated their LinkedIn account with qualifications, skills, and competencies. But…

Engaged employees in political situations

As some of you know, I am an avid classic movie fan. My favorite director is Akira Kurosawa who created such films as Rashomon, The Seven Samurai, and Yojimbo. In 1952, he made Ikiru, the story of a dying man…

Are you ranked or stacked?

Some people are. I can remember working with Lockheed during an era when every supervisor or manager had to rank order all his/her subordinates according to their performance. This “stacking” was presumably used to distribute rewards and determine lay-off decisions….

Bringing political antagonists together

How should you handle a confrontation meeting between two of your people engaged in a political struggle. A new study indicates that you should be a “hard ass.” Openly confess your annoyance at having to intervene and be equally tough…