Being the Boss in Brussels, Boston, and Beijing

Cultural differences in leadership styles often create unexpected misunderstandings. Americans, for example, are used to thinking of the Japanese as hierarchical while considering themselves egalitarian. Yet the Japanese find Americans confusing to deal with. Although American bosses are outwardly egalitarian—encouraging subordinates to use first names and to speak up in meetings—they seem to the Japanese to be extremely autocratic in the way they make decisions. As a Japanese manager living in the United States and working for Mitsubishi put it: “I couldn’t figure out how to adapt my approach from one day to the next, because the culture was so contradictory and puzzling.”

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Org redesign: start with a blank page

Embrace change, contended Greek philosopher Heraclitus, because it is “the only constant in life.”

In today’s workplace, companies are in a nearly constant state of organization change – whether it’s a large-scale makeover or a shakeup of departments or geographies – McKinsey research finds. And if they aren’t continual, the redesigns emerge in faster and faster intervals.

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Leaders, Stop Avoiding Hard Decisions

Too many leaders avoid making tough calls. In an effort not to upset others or lose status in the eyes of their followers, they concoct sophisticated justifications for putting off difficult decisions, and the delay often does far more damage than whatever fallout they were trying to avoid. In fact, hard decisions often get more complicated when they’re deferred. And as a leader gets more senior, the need to make hard calls only intensifies.

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How to Establish Values on a Small Team

Developing your corporate values early in your company’s history can have a lasting and positive effect on your organization and its culture, and it’s easier to do when your team is small. After all, it’s much easier to steer a four-person speedboat than a 2,000-person cruise ship. Once your team grows larger, it may be challenging to reach consensus around what your values should be.

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Use This Equation to Determine, Diagnose, and Repair Trust

Anne Raimondi was stumped. Two people she managed weren’t getting along, and it was really impacting progress. In her private conversations with each of them, they had the same goals and wanted the same things. But in the room together, they’d disagree on everything. They’d quibble over the smallest things, avoid spending time together, and jump to assuming the worst about each other, even though they were ultimately on the same team.

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7 Reasons Your Sales Team Isn’t Hitting Its Goals

Goals are important in sales. Group sales goals help the team understand the big-picture vision for the company’s future, while individual goals help inspire each team member to do what they must to be a productive part of the team.

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