The one thing you can stop doing that will have immediate results.

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Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash

As soon as I sent the text message in response, I knew I had made a mistake. It was a relatively simple question, but I had fired off my answer a few seconds after receiving the query.

The moment I hit send I wished I could take it back. I didn’t misspeak or fall victim to autocorrect. I didn’t put my foot in my mouth or offer poor advice. My employee asked a simple question and I immediately responded with how she should proceed.

My mistake was offering my own advice instead of asking for her thoughts. What could have…

How to balance action and observation in the midst of a pandemic

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Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

I have watched more webinars in the last 4 months than during my entire life up until this point. I would guess the same is true for you. It seems like this has been one of the default responses for most people during this pandemic.

Along with webinars, I have heard the word “pivot” more frequently now than ever before. The two are related, I think. When the pandemic hit and our communities shut down, business as usual was no longer viable. Companies needed to pivot, to move in a new direction, if they were going to survive. …

In case you missed it, we had some great stories this past week at Management Matters. Whatever challenge you’re facing, we’ve got the resources to help you through it!

Navigating Tensions at Work as a Leader

If your workplace doesn’t have tension, you might be a self-employed team of one! Tension and strained relationships keep us from doing our best work- find out how you can take active steps to navigate these circumstances.

The Higher You Climb, the Less You See

Do you remember what it was like to be an entry-level employee? The candid conversations, the “oh, shoot, I…

Personal Development

3 Tips to help you succeed when you feel overwhelmed

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Photo by Todd Quackenbush on Unsplash

“Make sure you have 18 grams in the basket, tamp with 30 pounds of pressure, pull the shot for 27 seconds, or stop when the liquid appears consistently gold in color.”

I was completely lost but still trying to scribble notes as quickly as I could. Day one of a new adventure was off to a rocky start. Tuesday was my last day at a very stable, enjoyable job. Here I was on Wednesday, questioning my sanity. What had I done?

It started almost a year earlier. An old college professor of mine, Steve, had a crazy idea to launch…

In case you missed it, we had some great articles posted this week, full of practical advice to help you become an even better manager.

If you’re anything like me, it’s tempting to think my leadership improves just by reading the right things. If only that were true! As much as I like to click over to the next article as soon as I finish the current one, I’ve found that sometimes, I need to let an idea marinate. …

Three simple rules to transform your meetings from a waste of resources into a valuable return on investment

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Photo by You X Ventures on Unsplash

Poorly executed meetings are a drain on your resources. Think about how many meetings you had last week. How many people were in those meetings? How much time did you spend there? You can use this quick cost calculator to find out how much money each meeting is costing you.

Meetings don’t just cost money. They cost time as well. Every hour that you and your team spend in poorly planned meetings is time that can’t be spent advancing the goals of your organization.

When I was younger, I suffered through many ineffective meetings. I would look at the agenda…

Lead others the way they want to be led

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Photo by LinkedIn Sales Navigator on Unsplash

The golden rule tells us to treat others the way we want to be treated. There is a lot of wisdom in the statement, but the platinum rule takes it a step further. Treat others the way they want to be treated. It’s a subtle but significant difference.

Following the golden rule as a leader is good. Following the Platinum Rule is even better.

Leading others the way you like to be led is a default position for most people. If you prefer communication via email, chances are, that’s the way you’ll communicate with your team. If you like a…

If you don’t know each one, you might end up driving aimlessly

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Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

I learned how to drive before smartphones with GPS were commonplace. If I wanted to go somewhere new, I needed to do a little homework first. Do you remember the routine? Find the address, look it up on a map (or later, MapQuest), and then either plan your route or print out the directions. It was laborious, but it was a necessary process if you wanted to arrive at your destination.

Imagine hopping into your car, planning to visit a friend who had just moved 8 hours away. You’ve never been to his new house, and you didn’t get directions…

Practical advice for navigating tough talks

Three women engaged in conversation.
Three women engaged in conversation.
Photo by Tim Gouw on Unsplash

Fight or flight. It’s the classic human response to threatening (or potentially threatening) situations. The blood starts pumping faster, the adrenaline kicks in, and you get ready to stand your ground and fight or turn around and run.

This reflex can be incredibly valuable to alert us to physically dangerous encounters. Unfortunately, it isn’t very well equipped to tell the difference between a physical run-in and a verbal one.

Our defense mechanisms get triggered just as easily in verbal confrontations as physical brawls. For anyone trying to create space for healthy dialogue, this is a problem.

How many times have…

Hiring for fit sets you up for long-term success

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Photo by Ross Sneddon on Unsplash

If you’re in any sort of leadership position or building your startup, it’s a problem you’ll face sooner or later. How do I make sure I hire the right people for my team?

The typical process for hiring goes something like this: create a job description for the position you need to fill, post the opening online, then start sifting through resumes.

Resumes are designed to make the hiring process easier. They give you a snapshot of someone’s professional career. They can be really helpful in narrowing down your applicant pool.

But there’s a problem. Anyone with any semblance of…

Matt VanGent

CFO and nonprofit leader. Writing about things that help you succeed personally and professionally. Leadership coaching available:

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