I recently did a workshop for a group of CEOs at which the Chair asked the participants, "What single piece of wisdom have you learned about managing people?" Here are some of their responses:

  1. Don't try to manage more than seven reports at a time.
  2. Be firm, but fair.
  3. Focus on the problem and not the person.
  4. Never look a gift resignation in the mouth.
  5. Be direct; people want the truth and nothing but the truth.
  6. Tap into the company's informal communication network.
  7. Don't take things personally (one of Don Miguel Ruiz's Four Agreements).
  8. Never take sides.
  9. Listen (can you listen to someone for five minutes straight without any interruption, criticism, or judgment?).
  10. Be slow to hire and fast to fire (a popular topic in the workshop!).
  11. Bear in mind that a decision driven by emotion, is not driven by logic (or, as I like to say, if it doesn't make sense, don't try to make sense out of it!).
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