If Everyone Owns the Task, No One Owns the Task

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A group of people can own an outcome. A group of people can own a responsibility, or even a set of responsibilities. But a group of people can't own a task. Tasks with no owners are orphaned, and they suffer from having no owner. If a group of people own a task, then no one owns … [Read more...]

The Advantage of a Hunter Culture

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This post was written as part of the IBM for Midsize Business program, which provides midsize businesses with the tools, expertise and solutions they need to become engines of a smarter planet. I recently attended a conference where a consulting firm shared some of their … [Read more...]

How You Are Causing Your Own Urgent Problems


Work that is both urgent and important feels great. It commands your attention, and because it is urgent, it feels good to rush towards the sound of the guns. Because the work is important, there is no denying that it deserves your full attention. And when you complete urgent … [Read more...]

You Can’t Change People (On Tigers and Stripes)

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One of the biggest problems businesses face is managing and motivating employees. But this isn’t the real problem. The real problem is hiring people that need to be managed or motivated in the first place. Managers see a problem in the employee’s background, or they identify … [Read more...]

Me Management: You Have the Same Time as Everyone Else

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There is no such thing as time management. There is only “me management.” You have exactly the same time as anyone—and everyone—else in this world. Your day contains 24 hours, just like everyone else’s day. Your week contains seven days, just like everyone else. There is nothing … [Read more...]

Fight It Out, Then March

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Great sales organizations argue. They are comfortable with conflict. Like any family full of brothers and sisters, the fact that they love each other doesn’t get in the way of a good argument; it makes a good argument possible--and almost a certainty. Sales organizations that … [Read more...]

On the Value of Taking Shortcuts

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A little over a week ago, I was fortunate enough to get to spend some time with Chris Brogan. We had coffee in the morning. Then, both of us finding ourselves free later, we had dinner. A couple times during our conversations, we talked about shortcuts. Chris put out a newsletter … [Read more...]

Take It Easy (And Other Bad Ideas)

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There are some seemingly harmless statements that I hate to hear people say. The message is bad, and believing them is a recipe for failure. “Take it easy.” How many people do you know that are working so hard that they need to “take it easy?” Most people would do better by … [Read more...]

A Little Pain Now Or a Lot of Pain Later (A Note to the Sales Manager)

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It’s difficult to fire people. It’s difficult to do something that you know is going to cause another human being pain. Which is why you should do everything in your power to make certain it is truly your last resort. And you should make sure no one is ever surprised that they … [Read more...]

Overboard: Dealing with Those Who Refuse to Pull the Oars

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I think that a rowing team is a great metaphor for business teams. You are all in the boat together, and you need all to pull the oars, everyone doing her part. To do your very best work, you need everyone’s efforts to be aligned and synchronized. But what if someone decides … [Read more...]