Managing the Albert Haynesworths

With the new NFL season upon us, I had the opportunity to write an article for the Washington Post about how Washington Redskins coach Mike Shanahan has so far bucked the prevailing trend in…

Fostering Creativity in the Workplace

I read an article recently (ABC News) that reported on what the magical number of emails a person can “stand” a day before they feel overloaded: 50 emails! That is not the number they receive, only…

OOPS #10: The Budget Process

Managers learn the budget game quickly or they don't survive.  Ask for more than you need in the hope that you will get just what you need.  Learn why this wastes time and money and what to…

Employees Have Spoken…Fear and Failed Leadership Prove Disastrous in Safety

Finally, we hear the truth! In a July 21st  NY Times article, "Workers on Doomed Rig Voiced Concern About Safety" results of a confidential survey completed by employees in the weeks…

Words, Just Words

I was asked the following question on the blog: “People talk about the difference between transactional and transformational leadership behaviours. Is this something you could blog about, the…

Should Performance be Measured Daily?

A recently published book on the topic of annual performance reviews was brought to my attention this week.  It’s getting quite a bit of press and while I haven’t read it, from one of the…

Drive Me Crazy, Part 2

This Pink thing keeps resurfacing.  He has a new video on YouTube that uses some real neat white board technology that is attracting attention.  Unfortunately, the message on the white…

Managing People for Maximum Performance

For more than two decades, I have been leading a two-day seminar for the Center for Management Research in Cambridge, MA.  The session has always been a popular one, particularly for executives…

OOPS #9: Overvaluing Smart, Talented People

Many companies waste a lot of time and money trying to find and hire smart, talented people. The knowledge and technology exists today to create a high performing workplace with the people you have…

Do Behavioral Economists Really Understand the Behavior Part?

Someone just sent me a YouTube video of Steven Levitt, co-author of Freakonomics, speaking to 1200 business leaders in London in 2007.  The YouTube video is titled, “Why Incentives Don’t Work."…

Safety Leadership: Who's Accountable?

Recent events in mining, oil production, and even drug manufacturing uncover costly and more importantly deadly mistakes. Understanding the laws of behavior and applying them to environments where…

What IS Behavior-Based Safety?

For the past few months, I’ve been working on a safety leadership book with my colleague, Judy Agnew and it really got me thinking about the evolution of behavior-based safety. I began writing about…

The Wrong Spirit

Apparently the executives at Spirit Airlines are not familiar with the research of Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky. They demonstrated years ago that they way you frame choices impacts people’s…

OOPS #8: The Sandwich

The sandwich method of correcting performance is probably the most common way that managers are taught to deal with poor performance.  It is called the sandwich method because criticism is…

Two Weeks is Here: ADI Launches New Web Site

Guess what? After many months of hard work by many people, we have given birth to a brand new website. The website was done in cooperation with What’s Up Interactive. They were great to work with and…

Ask Aubrey: Unions and Performance Feedback

Q: I was recently promoted to a supervisory position at a federal agency where it is against the Collective Bargaining Agreement to discuss "performance standards" or "numbers" with employees.…

Celebrity Apprentice: Does the Donald know leadership?

Watching the new season of NBC's reality show Celebrity Apprentice got me thinking "What does The Donald know about leadership?" Read my latest Washington Post column on the subject.

OOPS #7: "You Did A Good Job, But..."

The meanest, most contemptible kind of praise is that which first speaks well of a man and then qualifies it with a "But," --Henry Ward Beecher (1813-1887)