Are superstars worth the pain?
Once in a while, as a manager, you will be fortunate enough to have a team member who is a superstar. These people are not just above average, they are vastly better. They are smarter, more driven, highly focused, and they get far more work done than the rest. It […]
Help Me, Help My Boss
Recently, a good friend of mine told me the story of a sick performance review and reward system. I mean “sick” as ill, broken, maybe even sickening — not “sick” as the youth today refer to something really cool. The system bases rewards on the performance feedback from those around […]
Leadership Lessons from the “No” Meeting
A good friend of mine is part of the senior management team for the Boeing 787 “Dreamliner” project. As a student of project management, I love to catch up with him every now and then to discuss this unbelievably complex endeavor. While I’ve been up-close-and-personal to tremendously large and complex […]
Quick, Cut the Good People
New Yorker – April 30, 2007 The current issue of the New Yorker has an interesting article this week entitled “It’s the Workforce, Stupid!”. The article highlights the short-sidedness of companies that layoff huge portions of their workforce in an effort to appease Wall Street and other critics. Using the […]
Proud Member of the Cult of Buffet
As I noted in this post, it’s annual report season again. I just opened my Berkshire Hathaway annual report and once again was not the least bit disappointed. The Berkshire report confirms, as it does every year, why I am a card-carrying, stock-owning, unabashed member of the Cult of Warren […]
The Art of the Annual Report
It’s annual report season again, and with it comes the flood of plastic wrapped envelopes to our mailbox that carry the once-a-year bounty of glossy, over-polished, and saccharin manifestos from publicly traded firms. This is “the art of the annual report”. I look forward to this flood, it offers insights […]
The A-Rod’ing of Executive Pay
Today’s Wall Street Journal observes “Limits on Executive Pay: Easy to Set, Hard to Keep”. It is just one more sign that as long as executives are rewarded for the wrong things, their pay will continue to spiral out of control. It’s the “A-Rod’ing” of executive compensation. In case you […]
How do I get in the door?
In the world of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) to me, one of the most frequent is “how do I get a job at Microsoft?”. If I had a dime for every time I’ve been asked it, at parties, on the street, and especially when I post comments on the internet, […]
Testing By Any Other Name
likebetter.com I’ve written about testing of employees before (see here and here), and it seems like a topic that just won’t go away. The other day, I made a comment on Matt Mullenweg’s blog about hiring and age discrimination and such. This prompted an email from someone on the cutting […]
How Not To Fire People
Once again, I’m going to risk taking this blog into the political realm by discussing a current political controversy. But, I promise, the emphasis here is not on the who, or the why, but rather the how. Alberto Gonzales, the United States Attorney General, is in a lot of hot […]
How do I fire someone?
If you’ve been following along with me, you know that I’m a huge fan of clearing dead or diseased wood from your organization. Nothing rots an organization more effectively than people who don’t carry their share of the load, or who complain all the time, or are jerks. These people […]
How Good Is Your “Saydar”?
A key component of being a good leader is being able to speak to the team in a way that is engaging, informative, and motivating. Certainly, understanding the objectives, marshaling the resources, making good, timely decisions, and getting the job done are important aspects of leadership. But I was reminded […]