Business meeting with salespeople

Motivation is Overrated

When a CEO asks me how to better motivate his or her employees to change, the focus is on the wrong thing. Motivation can get a person started, but only discipline can see him or her through to an outcome.

Continue reading

Empathy Trumps Projection

Empathy Trumps Projection

Projection and empathy are not the same thing, but they are often confused. Empathy is the ability to understand how someone is thinking, whereas projection is presuming a person thinks like you. Be careful not to project when it is empathy that you intend. Continue reading

Business man walking inside building.

Change First, Culture Later

If you are a leader seeking rapid change in your company, forget about culture. Culture will take care of itself. Focus on new ways of doing things. The genesis of a new culture results from a change in behavior, not the other way around. Change the way people do things. Culture change follows as a result.

Continue reading

Business person reading book

The Best Educate Themselves

“I am reading every book by Peter Drucker I can get my hands on.” That’s what Tsukuba International School Principal, Shaney Crawford, said to me nearly nine years ago. Never before, nor since, has any salaried manager or company CEO ever told me anything even remotely similar even though this is precisely the type of self-education that most ought to be doing. When Shaney Crawford asked me to serve on the school’s board, I immediately agreed.

Continue reading

Business people shaking hands and building relationships

Your Best People Build Relationships

Good employees are responsive to customers. Great employees innovate ways to build relationships. In a world where outstanding customer service is frequently the norm, it is customer relationships that count.

Continue reading

A businessman pressing an Empowerment button on a transparent screen.

Empowerment That Counts

Empowering people can be motivating and serve as a boon to your business’s results, but only if you do it right. However, nothing engenders cynicism more than pro forma exercises in prima facie empowerment. Too frequently, I find ham-fisted attempts of managers at making people feel empowered, often at the behest of some kind of edict issued by HR managers who are oblivious to the damage they cause.

Continue reading

man and woman look at the city

Ignore Prognosticators of Doom

There is no percentage in fear of the hypothetical, no matter how reasonable a hypothesis might sound. Anyone can prognosticate doom about anything someone doesn’t like for whatever reasons. The impossible is only something no one has done yet. 

Continue reading

Leader holding up employee who stands out from mediocrity and tradition.

No Tradition in Mediocrity

If you have ever heard someone use the adjectives traditional Japanese to describe an uninspiring manager, the moniker is only half-true. Only by replacing the word traditional with mediocre can you accurately reflect reality. There is nothing traditional about mediocrity in Japan, just as anywhere else in the world.

Continue reading