Are You a Good Boss?

A recent episode of The McKinsey Podcast focused on how a boss has a direct impact on health, happiness, and productivity. Now that’s quite a bit of influence when you think about it!

Tera Allas, McKinsey’s director of research and economics for its UK and Ireland office summarized the research. Happiness on the job is the second most important factor (after health and mental health) for overall life satisfaction. And an employee’s relationship with the boss is pivotal to job happiness.

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Take a Snapshot

The first quarter has come and gone and if you haven’t already done so, it’s a good time to take a snapshot of what’s going on in your business. After all, if you’re not paying attention, who knows what direction things will go for the rest of the year?

The end of the first quarter marked the end of a full year of operating under sub-standard conditions. Many companies have been in survival mode, with a focus on what can be done to keep the status quo.

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Overcoming Blind Spots

Have you ever noticed when someone seems clueless about how he is perceived by others? This inevitably results in breakdowns in communication, especially from a person who isn’t aware of the problem.

Keep in mind that people want to communicate effectively. After all, they’re not sitting at their desks thinking about how they can be a bad listener in the morning meeting!

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State of Workplace Morale

People seem to be chomping at the bit to “return to normal”, even though things are still far from normal. Economic good news, wider spread access to vaccines, and more variety in activities than we’ve had in a year have all contributed to this yearning.

Zeroing in on some of the economic news: last week the Labor Department reported that job openings surged to a two-year high and the March jobs report indicated that 916,000 new jobs were added in March.

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Spring Inventory

One of the consequences of working remotely during the pandemic is that some of your management skills may have eroded. Although you may have picked up some new ones, some of your old standbys may have atrophied.

Spring is the time for renewal, so why not use this time to take inventory of your skills? Everyone is different, so here are some questions to start your thought process. Chances are that these ideas will generate others that are unique to you.

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Wellbeing and Engagement

Gallup recently published an article, “The Wellbeing Engagement Paradox of 2020.” They report that in contrast to more normal times, the somewhat inverse relationship between wellbeing and engagement diverged in 2020, creating new challenges for leaders.

Not surprisingly, many Americans view their wellbeing as more distressful. The myriad pandemic related personal issues from isolation to stress to worry, as well as external factors, such as social justice issues all contributed.

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Do I Have Your Attention?

Good leaders know the importance of being present and listening well. Over the past year, these attributes have been further challenged since we haven’t been face-to-face. And the big change came when most conversations and meetings morphed into video.

We talk of “Zoom fatigue” as a general term applying to all video encounters. This is a real syndrome and it has multiple facets. For one thing, we’re staring at others on screen, which is looking at pixels which becoming tiring. It’s also not “normal” to be looking at everyone – and yourself – all the time, which would not be happening if we were in person or on a teleconference.

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One Year Out

A year ago today, COVID-19 was declared a pandemic by the head of the World Health Organization. Since then, there have been both losses and successes that we have faced in all areas of our lives.

I’m sure you’ve been thinking back over the year from different perspectives. For our focus here, I invite you to reflect on how your leadership has evolved in the face of the uncertainties the pandemic presented. Here are some questions for reflection:

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A Moment of Joy

On Tuesday we received the great news that vaccine production was going to be accelerated and that most adults in the U.S. are likely to receive their vaccines by the end of May. It was a moment of hope, one that was shared excitedly among family, friends, and colleagues.

The next day, I learned about an extraordinary man, Gurdeep Pandher, a resident of Whitehorse, Yukon. Pandher received his first dose of the vaccine on Monday and celebrated by doing a traditional Punjabi Bhangra dance on a frozen lake.

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2 Down, 10 to Go

Well, I hate to give you the news, but we are rounding the corner to complete the first two months of 2021. Is it my imagination, or has this arrived sooner than expected?

Time is obviously relative and depends on everything from your workload to family responsibilities to personal projects. The more you juggle, the more challenging it can be.

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