How to Consisently get the Best from your Employees

It’s every manager’s desire to have employees who are highly motivated, productive, and cooperative. Employees who give their all for the company, their boss, the customers and their co-workers every day. Although it may be an unattainable goal, managers can make great strides toward achieving these objectives.

First You Must Have Employees Capable of Extraordinary Performance

It all begins with the recruitment and hiring process. High performance organizations have a careful, methodical process to find, develop, and retain the best people. They realize the negative implications that a poor hiring decision can have on workforce morale and organizational performance. These managers also recognize the time, effort and cost involved in monitoring poor performers, correcting misbehavior, disciplining, documenting and ultimately discharging problem workers.

The Relationship

Think of it as a relationship. In every relationship the participants want and expect something from each other. The best relationships are based commonality of goals, mutual benefit, support, trust and respect. It’s when one party fails to uphold their part of the bargain that the trouble begins. Good managers know this and expend considerable effort developing the relationship. You know the standard advice: Support and defend your employees; criticize in private, praise in public; maintain professionalism; don’t condone betrayal; have clear expectations and open lines of communication; express concern and tolerance; and, value the other and recognize the importance of the relationship.

Lead by Example

Talking the talk; walking the walk comes to mind. The manager must be considered trustworthy, dependable, and fair. In the absence of one or more of these character qualities the relationship will suffer. When the relationship becomes adversarial, confrontational, suspicious, or damaged in other ways both the manager and her employees will suffer. And so will the organization and its outcomes. The manager must make special efforts to model the behavior she wants her staff to emulate. Lazy, inconsiderate, undisciplined, unfair managers will not enjoy the respect of their employees and will not inspire the employee’s best efforts. Perhaps even worse, the manager will lose respect and be viewed as a hypocrite. It definitely is a “do as I do” world, because we’ve all learned how cheap talk really is. Words mean little without corresponding and consistent actions and behaviors.

Valuable Tips

Leadership is a journey, a process, and requires a relationship with those you will lead. In summary, then, here are the basics:

–Make sure you hire only the best employees

–Have high expectations for performance and attitude

–Work hard to develop a positive, productive relationship with your staff (don’t be a tyrant)

–Be supportive of your subordinates

–Develop your employees’ skills, attitudes, competence and confidence (coach and mentor)

–Model the behavior you want to see from your employees

–Acknowledge and reward superior effort and results

–Enjoy and celebrate the results of your efforts and the team’s accomplishments

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Bites of Business – Review

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10 Tips to Wake Up your Creative Mind

We’re all creative. Our individual creativity is present to greater or lesser degrees, but we all have the capacity to be more creative. Creativity is a force which enables us to develop and expand our concepts, come up with innovations, recast old ideas, and problem solve. This creative capacity is important to your physical and mental health, your business success, and financial well-being. Here are some tips to wake up your creative abilities:

1. FRESH EYES – Look at things with a new perspective, child-like without all of the baggage of preconceived notions and past experience. This is a powerful way to increase your creativity. It will take practice to limit your inclinations to judge from prior experience and past practices.

2. EXERCISE – Yes, physical exercise will help awaken your mental capabilities as well. Often while engaged in exercise you will find that you will come up with new ideas, and as your physical well-being improves your mental acuteness will too.

3. REST – Just like exercise, rest is also important. You will be less creative when you’re exhausted, tired or burnt-out.

4. VARY YOUR ROUTINE – Take a different way home. Don’t go to the same restaurant every Friday. Cultivate variety and spontaneity.

5. PUZZLES – Mental exercise is important. Often puzzles, video games, or other challenges will stimulate your creative “juices.”

6. QUESTION EVERYTHING – Ask yourself why? Preconceived ideas, standard approaches, and thinking you already know the answers are counterproductive to creativity.

7. MEDITATION – Some people have the ability to meditate, clear their mind, and reduce stress through this practice. Try it.

8. DISCIPLINE – A disciplined mind does not mean a rigid one. Scatter-brained, unable to focus individuals do not exude creativity, and if they do come up with a creative thought it will soon be lost in the disarray and confusion of their thoughts.

9. CONNECT – A variety of experiences, friends, associates, and activities will help you develop an alert, expansive, and creative intelligence. Piggy-back on existing concepts. You will not know or understand the applicability or usefulness of inspirations without connections.

10. DON’T GIVE UP! – Discouragement and setbacks are common and to be expected. “Throwing in the towel” will only result in failure and continue a negative cycle. Who knows? – Your next idea may be your best one.

Copyright © 2010, Dr. Ben A. Carlsen, MBA. All Rights Reserved

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Think You’re Devalued and disposable?

Check out this link

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One of my recent articles (A Favorite)

A Good Manager Is “Tougher Than A Nail!”

To be effective, a manager must be tough. This doesn’t mean that he or she can’t be pleasant, congenial, supportive, caring, etc., but toughness is required. A weak, undisciplined, wishy-washy individual without direction, strength and convictions just won’t “cut it” in today’s tough business environment.


Most of us are familiar with the term: “tough as nails!” It implies that someone has strength, fortitude, decisiveness, resiliency, durability; mental and physical toughness. Nails are generally used in construction. They’re used to build things. They hold things together. They can be “beat on” and survive. They’re made of steel!

Just like nails, managers can hold things together, with toughness and durability, and just like a nail; an excellent manager can be beat on, or bend, typically without breaking.


As we know, a manager must plan, organize, lead and control people, activities, and resources in order to achieve results. This is a baseline. If these management requirements are not fulfilled consistently, with determination, the manager’s efforts and intentions will result in marginal accomplishments or failure. This is where toughness comes in.

It’s easy to get discouraged, rest on your laurels, give halfhearted efforts, play political “games,” serve as a functionary, duck the tough issues, make yourself look good, or lack conviction, but these attitudes and behaviors are counter-productive. It’s tempting to give in to these inclinations and easy to feel overwhelmed. However, gather your inner strength, and don’t indulge these attitudes for too long, or you will be sorry, and your business and reputation will suffer.


Remember the lowly, humble nail, and how it contributes to structure, organization, accomplishment and progress. Your job as a manager is not only to emulate the best qualities and functionality of this simple piece of steel, but to be even tougher. You have intelligence, regenerative capacity, and can learn from experience. You can be tougher than a nail!

Copyright © 2010, Dr. Ben A. Carlsen, MBA.

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In this space I will be posting information and links of interest to businesspeople, business students and entrepreneurs.  We’ll be starting in the next few days.

In the  meantime, I will again plug my new book:  Bites of Business

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