Nathan Magnuson

All Hands on Deck Leadership

Nathan Magnuson

Who’s the real leader around here? It used to be that the leaders were the people in charge. As long as they did a good job, all was well. When they stumbled, the organization suffered until an adequate replacement could be found. That type of leadership doesn’t work any longer.

Overcome Your Fear and Lead

Nathan Magnuson

“Never take council of your fears.” ” That’s a quote attributed to many legendary leaders over the years.

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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.

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4 Critical Skills for Leading People

Nathan Magnuson

4 Critical Skills for Leading People – 4 min. I’ve been wanting to share these four foundational people leadership skills for quite a while now.

Skills 169

5 Reasons CFOs Invest in Talent Development

In 2021, many of your competitors will invest in talent development software. If you make the right decision, invest in the right software, and if your organization is willing to use it, you can realize five decisive competitive advantages. To see those advantages, download Paycor’s latest guide, 5 Reasons CFOs Invest in Talent Development.

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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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.

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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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.”

How to Be a Responsible “Idea Guy”

Nathan Magnuson

Are you an idea person? Do you find yourself coming up with new business ideas, branding concepts or process improvements? Does careful project management sometimes stifle your creativity? Do people ever give you that look that implies you ought to focus on the task at hand instead of daydreaming? If so, you’re not alone. I’m right there with you! And the good news is, you have a special and significant gift. Change is always preceded by thought.

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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.”

5 Ways Talent Development Makes Your Company Unbeatable

As an HR leader, your goal for talent development is to create an environment where everyone is motivated and supported to achieve a shared vision of success. By investing in the right software, you can realize five decisive competitive advantages. To see those advantages, download Paycor’s latest guide!

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.

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.

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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CFO’s Guide to Building an HR Team with Limited Time, Budget and Resources

Building the ideal HR team doesn’t happen overnight—especially when CFOs have limited time, budget and resources. But our new guide can give you advice on where to start and key focus areas you need to know. Download our guide today!

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.

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.”

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.

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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How to Build the Ideal HR Team (with Limited Time, Budget and Resources)

Building the ideal HR team doesn’t happen overnight—especially when you have limited time, budget and resources. But our new guide can give you advice on where to start and key focus areas you need to know. Download our guide today!

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.

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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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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How HR Can Promote Mental Health at Work (Actionable Advice to Help Your People Thrive)

HR leaders are on the frontlines of a mental health crisis, but the topic can still be taboo—or at least something that’s only talked about reluctantly. What can HR do to help? Download our latest guide to learn the 4 ways you can support the mental health of your employees and identify warning signs of burnout.

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.

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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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 HR Can Promote Mental Health at Work: Actionable Advice to Help Your People Thrive

HR leaders are on the frontlines of a mental health crisis, but the topic can still be taboo—or at least something that’s only talked about reluctantly. What can HR do to help? Download our latest guide to learn the 4 ways you can support the mental health of your employees and identify warning signs of burnout.

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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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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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.

Paycor CFO Survey: The State of American Business in 2021

In Paycor’s latest survey, more than 2,000 Finance and HR leaders told us about their plans for 2021. Download the survey for actionable insights and tips.

3 Simple Ways to Determine Hiring Fit

Nathan Magnuson

I remember the first time I asked my supervisors if I could sit in on an interview they had scheduled with an outside candidate. I figured it would be a good learning opportunity as well as a break from crunching financial numbers. This was during my first job out of college, before I got into [.]. Human Resources Organizational Effectiveness hiring interviewing recruiting talent acquisition

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.

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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Wanted: Optimists!

Nathan Magnuson

Is the glass half empty or half full? You’ve undoubtedly been asked this rhetorical question before. Apparently how you answer is supposed to quickly reveal whether you are an optimist or a pessimist – and perhaps a lot more about your inner worldview. I’m not sure what the “right” answer to the the glass question […].

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Paycor HR Leaders Survey: The State of American Business in 2021

In Paycor’s latest survey, more than 2,000 HR and Finance leaders told us about their plans for 2021. Download the survey for actionable insights and tips.