The Energy Business

For a couple of years in the mid-1980s I tried my hand at being a stockbroker. The job didn’t line up with my background as an English major, but the bull market at the time attracted me with its promise of fat commission checks. To build my book of business, I sometimes joined one of … Continue reading The Energy Business

The Unpleasant Business of Firing People

For managers, few things suck more than firing an employee. Terminating a member of your staff is a strangely intimate and perilous action; and all but the most calloused individuals dread having to take such a step. Even though you may feel absolutely certain your decision is right for the company, the team, even the … Continue reading The Unpleasant Business of Firing People

Making a Good Business, Brick by Brick

Until embarrassingly late in life, it never occurred to me how much my upbringing affected how I ran my marketing communications business. I was a Presbyterian minister’s fifth and last kid, but because I went into marketing, I didn’t see a lot of obvious connections between his world view and the gritty world of business … Continue reading Making a Good Business, Brick by Brick

Hire People, Not Your Imagination

Countless times, I’ve been my own worst enemy when hiring. That’s because I spent too much time hiring what I wanted to see in a candidate instead of what I saw. A lot of managers do the same thing, resulting in turnover, wasted money, and internal strife. Assessments and standardized hiring processes help, but as … Continue reading Hire People, Not Your Imagination