Nathan Magnuson

6 Questions To Foster Greater Team Resilience

Nathan Magnuson

No one has gone untouched in 2020. But it hasn’t just been the COVID-19 pandemic that has impacted each person, it’s the repercussions. Work instability, financial hardship, rapid pace of change, family lifestyle adjustments, isolation and loneliness.

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The Size of Your Hope

Nathan Magnuson

I had a conversation with one of my entrepreneur friends this past week. Ryan had big plans for a new software release, but needed to put the project on pause to sort out some of the final details. To bridge the time gap, he took an interim CEO role to help turnaround a small company. Then COVID-19 hit and disrupted everything. “I’m not quite sure how we’re going to make payroll next month,” Ryan told me, taking inventory of his options.

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5 Questions You MUST Ask Your Young Professionals if You Want to Engage Them

Nathan Magnuson

What’s the quality of your conversations with your young professionals? More specifically, what questions are you asking them? In my new book Stand Out! , I share that young professionals today are the leaders of tomorrow. The reason is a matter of simple mathematics. When the Baby Boomers retire, there won’t be enough Gen X’ers to take their places. Ready or not, it’s time for young professionals to prepare to lead. The question isn’t if.

Leadership Lessons from My Time in the Military

Nathan Magnuson

It’s been over a decade since I returned from a year-long Army deployment to Iraq. It’s been over six years since I finished my military obligations altogether. Even though I’ve all but forgotten my initial trip to the recruiter’s office, some things will stick with me for life. From time to time, I’m asked how my military experience informed my leadership. Here is a small sample of my lessons learned. Taking care of business in Kirkuk, Iraq, 2008.

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How Businesses are Managing the New Reality of Work: A Paycor Survey

We wanted to know how COVID-19 impacted businesses and their workforces. Did they need government funds? How many workers did they layoff or furlough? Are employees working from home now? How’s team morale? And perhaps most importantly, what are their plans for the future? This guide offers a pretty good idea of how business leaders are feeling, what keeps them up at night, and what approaches they’re taking to solve problems. Download the guide to see all the survey results and where your organization might stand comparatively.

Easy Button Leadership (EBL)

Nathan Magnuson

In my book Ignite Your Leadership Expertise , I wrote that leaders make life easier, less complicated and more fun for those around them. When I first drafted those words several years ago, I’ll admit they felt a little cheesy. But over the years, I’ve come to realize their merit all too well. “Leaders make life easier, less complicated and more fun for those around them.”

What I Believe About Leadership

Nathan Magnuson

Several years ago I interviewed with a large leadership development consulting firm. Things were going as expected until the office president threw me a curve ball by asking for my point-of-view on leadership. I was stumped. I had many ideas on what good leadership looked like but I didn’t have my own original model. Fortunately, I shared someone else’s POV I appreciated and was able to satisfy the president with my answer. These days, my point-of-view on leadership keeps growing as I grow.

3 Ways to Pursue Productive Failure

Nathan Magnuson

My new book Ignite Your Leadership Expertise is available for pre-order on Amazon.com. Both the soft cover and ebook versions will be available on October 16. Winston Churchill declared, “Success is going from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.” ” He wasn’t the only leader who recognized the reality of failure on the journey to success. Late Chick-fil-A founder Truett Cathy admitted, “When you fail, you have to start all over again from a lesser position.”

The Cost of Unclear Expectations

Nathan Magnuson

I’m told that one quote preachers try to live by is, “If it’s foggy in the pulpit, it’s cloudy in the pew.” ” In other words, as the leader and communicator, if you’re unclear about any part of your message, it’s a sure bet everyone else is as well. You don’t have to be a preacher to risk setting unclear expectations. If you’re responsible for performance outcomes of any kind, unclear expectations could be your biggest kryptonite.

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5 Phrases Successful Leaders Use

Nathan Magnuson

There’s incredible power in language. Words don’t merely convey ideas, they can change the course of history. The words you use as a leader matter too. Here are some simple but powerful phrases that set great leaders apart from the rest. “We” (not “me”). Leaders should think and communicate with inclusive language, as Coach K is fond of saying. It’s not “my” team, it’s “our” team.

Top 10 Posts of 2018

Nathan Magnuson

The seventh year of the Everyday Leadership blog has come to a close in 2018. Here are the Top 10 works (not just posts this time!) from the year. (By By the way, you can view all my past Top 10 posts as well.). Ignite Your Leadership Expertise. My first book Ignite Your Leadership Expertise was published earlier this year! The book shows how to grow your expertise in leadership while also growing trust with the people around you. Nine Ways to Be the Boss Everyone Wants to Work For.

COVID & the Future of Work: Insights from Paycor’s C-Suite

In Paycor’s newest report, our Chief Executive and Group Leaders consider how your clients will recruit, manage their workforce, optimize benefits, and foster employee experience in the new normal of 2020 and beyond. For actionable insights and tips download and share our guide with your clients!

Respond to Crises with Clarity and Confidence

Nathan Magnuson

What happens when you find yourself in the midst of a crisis situation? Do you freeze up? Jump into action? Sit down to create a plan? What if you’re the person in charge? It’s the leader’s job recognize when stakes are high and respond appropriately. We don’t need to look far to see harsh criticisms of leaders with underwhelming responses to crises that occurred on their watch. If you find yourself in the midst of a crisis you didn’t create, welcome to leadership.

Should I Focus on My Strengths or My Weaknesses?

Nathan Magnuson

If you have goal to grow as a leader, you’re on the right track. If you have a plan of how to do it, you’re doing even better. But where have you put your focus? Many leaders choose to focus their development energy on areas they think (or have been told) are their weak areas. But is that really the best strategy? If you’re going to invest the effort into becoming a stronger leader, it pays to make sure your focus is in the right place. Identify Your Strengths.

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Give Them Something to Believe In

Nathan Magnuson

Recently retired Kansas State football coach Bill Snyder famously crafted 16 Goals for Success which he used with his football teams over his decades of coaching. Goal #13 stated, “Expect to win… and truly believe we will.” ” According to Coach Snyder, one of the root causes of success was belief itself. In my white paper Nine Ways to Be the Boss Everyone Wants to Work For , the very first best practice I share is “Belief in the cause.”

How to Influence When You’re Not in Charge

Nathan Magnuson

How do you lead when you’re not the boss? It’s hard enough to lead when you are in charge. What are the other options? If you’ve wondered this, I’ve got good news for you. It’s a lot easier than it sounds. And you can get started today. Here’s a game plan for you. Start Collaborating Now. It’s hard to influence when you don’t have any visibility for one reason: people give more credibility to folks they recognize. But getting noticed can be tricky.

Coach K: Mike Krzyzewski on Teamwork

Nathan Magnuson

As a University of Kansas basketball fan, I’ve never rooted for Duke. But there is a Duke moment that stands out in my memory. It occurred probably 10 or 15 years ago. Duke was in the process of getting upset in the NCAA Tournament. They were playing hard that day but not well. Near the end of the game, the senior star player fouled out, highlighting the frustrating day for everyone.

Why HR Technology Matters Now More Than Ever

When a crisis hits, HR technology gives business leaders the data, tools, and support to make important business decisions quickly. In this report, Josh Bersin breaks down the 4 key benefits of HR tech and demonstrates through case studies how business leaders can leverage it to solve problems and grow. Download this report to learn more!

How to Lead Former Peers

Nathan Magnuson

Have you ever received the good fortune of being promoted to the new leader of your team, only to find that life got complicated and edgy the moment you started? All of a sudden, your peers knew you as “boss” and not just their buddy. There’s a vast difference between the two. What did you do in that situation? What should you do? Many leaders of former peers struggle at first. Some even go so far as to request a demotion in order to return to the way things were.

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12 Best Practices for Leading Effective Meetings

Nathan Magnuson

“If you were a fruit, what kind would you want to be?” ” That was the ice-breaker that kicked off the worst meeting I’ve been a part of. It took 30 minutes for everyone to contribute. The meeting ran 25 minutes long. Not only was it a complete waste of time, by the end I felt like I owed the company stockholders an apology just for attending. In general, I tend to enjoy work meetings, but many business professionals dislike them – and often with good reason.

Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word

Nathan Magnuson

Over a decade ago I received a DVD of a past Chick-fil-A franchisee seminar. As I watched, the late founder Truett Cathy took the stage to deliver his opening remarks. They weren’t what I expected. He opened by saying, “If any of you has something against someone in this room, I want you to make it right.” ” Then he promptly left the stage and approached someone in the audience for a conversation.

More Smiles, More Dollars

Nathan Magnuson

Several years ago I had a shocking experience that permanently changed my outlook. I’m afraid the traces of that experience began in high school. As a high school football player, we had a strictly enforced protocol among the players for team photos. Forget saying, “Cheese” – everyone needed to wear a game face. Later, I joined the military and the same code of conduct applied.

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Workplace Mask Policy & Return to Work Templates

Paycor’s comprehensive checklist and customizable letters will help you re-start your business and welcome your team back to a new normal.

12 Crucial Questions to Better Decision-Making

Nathan Magnuson

Decisions fascinate me. Occasionally they come easily. Sometimes they are difficult. Oftentimes they’re stressful. Some have huge implications. Most have a variety of influencing factors. Some decisions turn out perfectly. Some blow up entirely. Leaders are responsible for making important decisions that by nature aren’t easy. In fact, in a certain sense the essence of one’s leadership is the sum of the decisions he or she has made over time.

The Applause of a Single Human Being

Nathan Magnuson

A couple weeks ago I had an idea for one of my corporate leadership programs that has over 6,000 leaders enrolled. In an attempt to make the program communications more personal, I included an insightful reflection one of the participants “Mark” had shared at the bottom of the email message. I didn’t have to wait long for a response, but I was surprised who it came from. Within minutes an email reply appeared from our company president.

4 Pitfalls of High Competence

Nathan Magnuson

We all know that competence is one of the main requirements for effectiveness. But can you become so competent that it actually becomes a detriment? The answer is yes. If you’ve developed a high level of competence in a particular area, you’re actually in a danger zone. If you don’t identify the pitfalls, it’s likely you’ll fall into one. Here are four to keep an eye out for. Curse of Knowledge Trap.

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How to Ask Great Questions

Nathan Magnuson

What if I told you you don’t need to have a great solution for every single problem that comes your way in order to be a competent and mature leader? Well that’s exactly what I’m about to propose. Hopefully it’s as refreshing to you as it is to me. And the best part about it is that it can dramatically improve your leadership influence as well. Why Ask Questions? Many leaders hesitate to ask questions because they fear it will make them appear weak.

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9 Ways to Manage Costs and Prepare for Future Growth

SMB leaders are working day and night to navigate the COVID-19 crisis. Successfully managing it requires the CFO and HR leader to make complex decisions quickly, without rushing into an uncoordinated response. Foremost among these decisions will be cost containment. The way organizations manage costs now will determine how well they perform during and after COVID-19. Download our guide and start preparing for the future today.

Beware the Curse of Knowledge

Nathan Magnuson

Acquiring knowledge and know-how is critical to any professional – both for knowledge and manual workers. But with it brings some new disadvantages as well. The “curse of knowledge” is recognized as a “cognitive bias” that essentially means it is difficult or impossible to unremember or disregard information you possess. It seems that what you don’t know – as well as what you do know – can both hurt you. So how can knowledge actually be a curse?

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What Coaching Leaders Do Differently

Nathan Magnuson

The term “coaching” has been trending as a corporate buzzword for some time now. We’re all familiar with athletics coaches. But when someone advises us to find a coach to learn a new skill or solve problem, it’s usually in a professional context. What does it actually mean to coach someone? The interesting thing about coaching is how dynamic of a leadership role it is. Supervisors can coach. Mentors can coach. Peers can coach. Executive coaches can coach (obviously).

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How Leaders Learn to Lead

Nathan Magnuson

The new three-part video series Jump-Start Your Employee Engagement has now launched. Join communication expert Josh Erickson and I for three ideas in three days – all in four minutes or less. This video series will only be available for a limited time – click here to enroll. How do people learn how to be leaders? That’s the question leadership consultant and thought leader Robert J. Thomas answered at a leadership academy event I recently helped organize.

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12 Books that Shaped My Leadership

Nathan Magnuson

For years I’ve been asked for book recommendations. I always take them seriously because I wouldn’t be the leader I am without my library. It’s been a huge part of my leadership education. As a senior in college, I started reading business bestsellers to see how they compared with my textbooks.

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HR Benchmark Report: How to Recruit, Coach & Develop Teams

Do you really want a team of all-stars? Instead of trying to hire all Type A high performers, research shows it’s much more effective to hire a mix of personalities. In this report, Paycor will explain why and how to go about assembling, coaching, and developing effective teams at work.

The Business Case for the Stop Doing List

Nathan Magnuson

Are you a “to-do” list person? For each leader reaching for higher levels of productivity and accomplishment, a “start doing” list can be a friendly companion or a demanding task master – sometimes both at the same time. But what about a “stop doing” list? Whether you have an aggressive new initiative or are simply looking to streamline your effectiveness, a stop doing list may be the very thing you need. Here are six reasons why. Time Scarcity.

How to Be a Good Dictator (or Not)

Nathan Magnuson

In the 16th century, political consultant (for lack of a better term) Niccolò Machiavelli’s works were published in the controversial manuscript The Prince – which is still in print today. In it, Machiavelli shared his theories on how a ruler could maintain control of his province – especially when gaining new subjects through military or political conquest. Essentially, it’s a dictator’s best practices manual.

Leadership Profile: Patrick Mahomes

Nathan Magnuson

Patrick Mahomes stole my dream job. As a kid growing up in a small Kansas City suburb, I used to dream of playing quarterback for the Kansas City Chiefs one day. My brother and I would practice in the backyard for hours year around.

Your Career is Your Responsibility

Nathan Magnuson

I’ve been thinking about career selection and management a lot recently. When I’m asked how I landed where I am, I’m quick to reply that I wouldn’t wish my career path on anyone but I sure do love where I am now. In all honesty, there has been a lot of hard work, difficult choices and tough breaks along the way. But that’s true for anyone who wants something more. So what does career management have to do with leadership?

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3 Reasons to Invest in a Learning Culture: RECRUIT, RETAIN, ENGAGE

One of the least explored and most effective ways to drive recruiting, retention, and overall employee engagement is to establish a learning culture. If this is an area where you need help (or if you could just use a refresher) let Paycor walk you through actionable tips and insights on how you can develop the learning culture that works best for your business.

Get Your Idea Off the Ground

Nathan Magnuson

How do you get your big idea across in the age of information? A quick keyword search can provide anyone with much more data than they could ever hope to use. What’s the secret to getting your idea past all the clutter and into the land of reality? It’s been well over a decade since Malcolm Gladwell published his bestseller The Tipping Point. In it, he explains that it’s not the quality of the idea itself, but the quality of three key ingredients that cause the idea to tip.

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How to Host a Productive Generational Conversation

Nathan Magnuson

A decade ago, American organizations were largely unaware of the predicament they faced. The initial wave of Baby Boomers (many of whom occupied senior leadership roles) was set to begin a mass retirement. Many organizations were completely unprepared. Then something curious happened. The recession hit and many would-be retirees stuck around. In one somewhat morbid sense, the recession turned out to be a blessing in disguise.

You’re Never Too Big to Serve

Nathan Magnuson

My first job in high school was working at a small grocery store in town. I remember there were only eight aisles, so it wasn’t long before I had most of the place figured out. Unfortunately it wasn’t very complicated, and when I wasn’t assisting customers in the front, I was usually walking through the aisles pulling the products neatly to the front of the shelves. I’ll be honest, I hated it. I kept wishing I could be working with my brain instead of my hands.

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Expertise Matters!

Nathan Magnuson

Years ago I served as a consultant to two non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that worked closely together. At one, the head accountant was a friendly woman who very much enjoyed her job. But on several occasions, there were questions regarding the way the numbers added up and we had to work together to find and fix the errors. One day the president of the other NGO expressed a need for a new accountant and I casually suggested his consider the accountant from the first NGO.

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The HR Playbook: Reduce Turnover with Employee Benefits

Companies with the right mix of benefits saw a 138% drop in employee turnover. Learn how you can lower your employee attrition rate and retain top talent.