What Great Bosses Know

Managers: 4 things to check before the year ends

As the year winds down, it's a good time for managers to step back for a little review and reflection. I suggest that you check areas that are time-sensitive as well as those that are timeless leadership responsibilities and opportunities. You're busy, of course, so I'll keep the list concise: Look at your budget. Is there any use-it-or-lose-it money … Read More

How to manage a 'newsroom star' and keep everyone happy

This is the core message of my teaching: The most important things leaders do is help other people succeed. So what happens when they indeed succeed, and in a really big way? What's your responsibility when a member of your team builds a massive fan base, wins coveted awards, or rakes in high revenues for your organization? Congratulations, You get … Read More

Be a Better Listener in 3 Minutes

I work with managers and non-managers alike who want to become better at listening. I've read books on it, written columns, and teach sessions on the essentials of the skill. And then I met journalist E. S. Isaac of India and got a better education on what it means to truly listen. During a dinner conversation before … Read More

Four ways to be seen as a leader, even when you're not in charge

In the past few years, I've worked with organizations as they identify and train emerging leaders. The goal is twofold: to let promising people know their contributions are valued and to increase their chances of success if they're promoted to management. So, what does it take to be considered an emerging leader? What are these people doing that sets them … Read More

5 reasons managers are addicted to "fixing" - and how to recover

I admit it. I'm a recovering fixer. Show me a piece of copy and my fingers get itchy. I crave contact with a keyboard, with a gnawing urge to tweak someone's writing a little -- or maybe a lot. Then I remind myself of the pledge I took years ago: "Remember, Jill. Sit on your hands. Coach, … Read More

So what the heck IS a good management style, anyway?

There are no perfect managers. Not Jill Abramson. Not Dean Baquet. Certainly not Jill Geisler when she ran a newsroom, and she's now a leadership teacher, for heaven's sake. Every manager has strengths and challenges. And on any given day, you, as a boss, will disappoint someone. You hire and promote people while rejecting others. You accept and … Read More

And you thought the AP ruckus was just about style

Read Poynter's Storify of reactions to the AP Stylebook "over"/"more than" revision, and you get a quick class in change management, especially about the emotional impact of change. I’ve always taught leaders that change involves two key challenges: learning and letting go. This time, for legions of teachers, editors, and grammar fans, it’s about unlearning. It’s about changing … Read More

Why employees resent a 'Bigfoot Boss'

Great bosses often have big talent, big ideas and big reputations for excellence. But here's what I've learned: Even when those respected leaders are larger than life, they have remarkably small feet.  Said another way: They don't "Bigfoot" their employees. They don't stomp like Sasquatch on their colleagues' ambitions and successes. Employees resent "Bigfoot Bosses" because they are takers. Read More

How will you score on the 'Great Bosses Quiz'?

I know there are many managers who aspire to be great bosses. So, I've developed a little quiz to see if you're well on your way. Read the 10 questions, then select from the multiple choice answers. I hope the correct ones will be obvious to you and the others might bring a smile. You'll find the correct answers at … Read More

When managers fumble: 5 tips for repairing your reputation

We customarily think of managers as the men and women who pass judgment on the performance of others. But managers are evaluated, too. It may come in the form of annual reviews, employee surveys or union grievances. They may get feedback from conversations with colleagues and staff.  And from those interactions, even good managers … Read More