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Dan McCarthy

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Common Sense and Promoting Your Boss

Sunday June 1, 2014

What is "common sense"? Can it be learned, and if so, how? Read here to find out.

You'll find lots of great advice on how to get promoted, and more on how to deal with a lousy boss. But did you ever stop to consider that it's in your own best interest to help your boss be more successful? Read here to find out why.

Visioning and Brainstorming

Tuesday May 27, 2014

Meetings can be horribly painful or a source of energy, creativity, and breakthrough ideas.

Here are two new articles that will help you improve your meetings. The first is a long one, and gives you a comprehensive blueprint for designing and leading a session to align your team around a shared vision.

The second article is guaranteed to improve your next brainstorming session.


When NOT to Hire a Coach and Leadership Lessons from Horrible Bosses

Monday May 19, 2014

I'm pleased to introduce executive coach and writer Beth Armknecht Miller. Beth has been a regular guest blogger at my Great and I've asked her to join me here at About Management & Leadership as a regular guest. Beth will be contributing one article per month, and I know you'll enjoy her tips and wisdom as much as I do.

Read here for Beth's advice on when NOT to hire an executive coach.

We often get stuck working for some really horrible bosses. While it can be a painful experience, at least we can learn some valuable leadership lessons. Read more for my top 10 lessons.


There Are No Excuses for Not Developing Your Employees.

Saturday May 10, 2014

Transcript of the "Warhawk Matt Scott in Nike 'No Excuses' Commercial":

"I'm too beat. I'm too slow. Too big. I ate too much for breakfast. I got a headache. It's raining. My dog is sick. I can't right now. I'm not inspired. It makes me smell bad.

I'm allergic to stuff. I'm fat. I'm thin. It's too hot. I'm not right. I've got shin splits. A Headache. I'm distracted. I'm exerting myself too much. I'd love to really but I can't, I just can't. My favorite show is on.

I've got a case of the Mondays. The Tuesdays. The Wednesdays. I don't want to do this; I want to do something else. After New Years. Next week. I might make a mistake. I got home and I feel bloated. I have gas.

I got a hot date. My coach hates me. My mom won't let me. I bruise easily. It's too dark. It's too cold. My blister hurts. This is dangerous. Ahhh sorry, I don't have a bike. I didn't get enough sleep. My tummy hurts. It's not in my genes. I don't want to look all tired out. I need a better coach.

I don't like getting tackled. I have a stomach ache. I'm not the athletic type. I don't want to get sweaty. I have better things to do. I don't want to slow you down. Do I have to do this? As soon as I get a promotion. I think I'll sit this one out.

Man, my feet hurt."

What's your lame excuse for not investing in your employee's development? Read more to see if yours is on the top 10 list.

Once you've made the smart choice to grow your employees, you'll want to use the GROW model to coach them using these 70 awesome questions. Read more.

Trust and Open Communication

Saturday May 3, 2014

Remember the movie "What Women Want", with Mel Gibson as the title character (Nick Marshall) who suddenly acquires the ability to hear the inner thoughts of all of the women in his life? It was an eye-opening experience, to say the least, and it ended up improving Nick's relationships with his employees, daughter, and the woman he ended up loving.

What if as a manager, you could read the thoughts of each of your employees? While that may be a scary thought, there are some things they may be thinking that you really DO want to know. Read more.

Of course, just knowing what women were thinking wasn't enough to enable Nick to straighten out his important relationships. In fact, initially, it backfired on him and made them worse. It wasn't until he was able to establish a foundation of trust and open communication that things began to improve.

Read more to find out how to do the same with your employees.

Developing Yourself, Your Team, and Your Successors

Tuesday April 29, 2014

Today's post is all about development. Developing yourself, developing your successors, and developing your team.

Your first development priority as a leader is to develop yourself. Sound selfish? Not really. As a leader, people pay more attention to what you do vs. what you say. If you talk about the importance of continuous learning, and try to get your employees to improve themselves without improving yourself, you'll come across as hypocritical.

The message will be "development is important for you, but I don't need it". A leadership development best practice is to start with an Individual Development Plan (IDP). Here are a couple of samples to get you started: Individual Development Plan (IDP) Samples for Busy Managers.

Once you are "practicing what you preach", you can begin to work on How to Build a Winning Team, which starts with investing in your team's development.

Last, but not least, it's never too soon to start thinking about your own successor. Why? Read Why Every Manager Should Create their own Succession Plan to find out not only why, but how to do it.

About.com has a new Management expert!

Saturday April 26, 2014
I'm Dan McCarthy, and It's my pleasure to join the team of About.com Expert Writers and to be taking over the Management page.

I've been managing people, developing and coaching managers, writing, consulting, and speaking about leadership and management for over 25 years. You can take a look at my full bio here.

While the Management site has been inactive for a while, you'll now be seeing regular posts, articles, and a weekly newsletter. Please sign up for my free newsletter, and follow me on twitter at: @greatleadership.

You can email me at management@aboutguide.com with any requests for topics. I love reader feedback and requests, and will do my best to incorporate your suggestions into this site.

I'm really excited about this opportunity, and look forward to building a community of managers and aspiring managers that are committed to learning.

Here are a few of my initial articles that I hope you'll enjoy:

Tips for New Managers: Part 1

Tips for New Managers: Part 2

A Proactive Approach to Tough Feedback

10 Ways to Ignite Employee Performance

The Top 10 Performance Appraisal Blunders a Manager can Make

Leaders Aren't Infallible

Thursday January 16, 2014
And they don't have to be infallible. It's okay, even expected, for leaders to make mistakes on occasion. But there are certain things leaders have to have. The have to have a vision and they have to have confidence.

Three events today. Unrelated except that all three involved leaders. Two good. One bad. It was so obvious that the key was confidence.

First, as a leader, you have to have a vision. It doesn't matter whether others can see it or not. But most importantly, you have to have confidence and you have to show that confidence. It is critical that your followers - and your opponents - see that confidence. If you are confident of reaching your vision your followers will follow you there, even if they can't see the vision yet. And your opponents will hesitate, at least slightly, and that will give you the advantage you need.

So if you're a leader, or want to be one, stand up tall, lift your chin, quiet your nerves, and be confident. Be a leader.

Here's more on Leadership.

Older Workers Take Jobs From Younger

Friday January 10, 2014
With the economy still struggling, we all know it is true that older workers take jobs from younger workers. The problem is, according to the Associated Press, that there are no facts to back it up. In fact the opposite is true.

There are not a fixed number of jobs, so one worker or one group of workers staying employed does not limit the opportunities for others. We all thought women entering the workforce would diminish the number of jobs for men. What we saw, of course, was that more jobs were created because of the increased labor available. The same is true for older workers remaining in the workforce longer.

"There's a lot of things economists say that people don't get and this is just one of them", says Jonathan Gruber, an economist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Read the article to understand it better.

And since older workers are staying in the workforce longer, many are taking jobs below their career peak. Younger managers who find themselves in this situation will need to know How To Manage Older Workers.

Keep Your Workers Working During Flu Season

Thursday January 9, 2014
The H1N1 virus, called the swine flu, is back. This time it is hitting young adults and the middle-aged harder than the normal seasonal flu. In part, this is because the very young and older people are more likely to get the flu vaccine. Since the H1N1 appeared first in 2009 many of those who were vaccinated have immunity to this year's variant. Since the flu is hitting the working age population hardest, it will have a more pronounced effect on businesses this year. Here's what you need to know and do to protect your employees and your business from the effects of the H1N1 - Business Planning For A Swine Flu Epidemic.

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