Next Level Blog

The Three Essential Components of Strong Preparation

Next Level Blog

A few months ago I wrote here that preparation is the new leadership differentiator. That conclusion is based on close observation of my executive coaching clients and their colleagues.

How Successful Leaders Use Both Retail and Wholesale Communications

Next Level Blog

In case you haven’t noticed, it’s presidential primary season. There are any number of reasons to pay attention to primaries, one of which is you can learn a lot about leadership communications strategies and tactics by watching how the candidates do what they do.

Retail 130

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Preview The New Audiobook of The Next Level

Next Level Blog

For everyone who likes to get their leadership development through their ears instead of their eyes, I have good news. The audio edition of my book, The Next Level: What Insiders Know About Executive Success has arrived and is ready to stream through your earbuds.

How to Find and Connect with Your Fans

Next Level Blog

Life is better when you have fans – people who know and appreciate you, support you and can’t wait to see what you do next. It doesn’t matter if you’re not a rock star, Instagram influencer or a professional athlete. All of us need fans. Fanocracy.

How To 142

2020 Report: The Future of HR

Paycor asked more than 500 leaders of medium and small businesses to talk about the present and future of HR. Download the guide and see what they said. Their responses will surprise you!

You’ve Got to Leave the Launchpad If You Want to Get to the Moon

Next Level Blog

What do you want to accomplish this year? When you step back and look at your list are there any goals that scare you or just seem like a huge stretch? I’ve got a few of those myself this year. They’re based on some ideas that have been somewhere on the radar screen of my brain the past few years. They were there kind of nibbling at my attention but staying busy doing what I’ve been doing kept me from paying much attention to them. And, honestly, I was OK with that.

Give Yourself the Gift of Unconscious Thought

Next Level Blog

As 2019 winds down, I’ve been talking with a lot of clients and one thing that everyone (including me) has in common is that we’re coming in hot. The end of year cram down to get stuff done before the holiday break begins has felt crazier than ever. And, then, in a couple of weeks, we’ll wipe the slate clean and start pursuing the goals of 2020. Here’s some advice (for myself as much as anyone) before you dive into next year. Over the holidays, quit thinking so much.

Advice 149

Great Leaders Give Direction Not Directions

Next Level Blog

A few weeks ago, I opened a post with a story about one of my favorite questions for leaders, “What is it that only you can do?” Since then, I’ve asked that question again in one of my last keynotes of the year and got an answer back that was so clear and succinct that I just had to share it with you. The answer I received back from an executive in the room is actually the title of this post, “Great leaders give direction, not directions.”

Letter 152

Put Limits on Your Energy Drainers

Next Level Blog

One of my favorite things to talk about with my executive coaching clients is “What are your energy givers and your energy drainers?”. That’s almost always a useful conversation because when leaders are working through their agenda day after day it’s easy to lose sight of the kinds of work and people who either give them energy or drain their energy. Since just about everyone does their best work when they’re energized instead of deenergized, it’s an important dynamic to be aware of and act on.

Energy 150

What I Learned About Leadership from Reading Mad Magazine

Next Level Blog

You may have seen the recent news that Mad magazine is ending regular publication. On the other hand, you may not have known it was still being published (I didn’t) or, depending on your age, have even heard of Mad. I definitely have.

The Leadership Difference Between Being Accessible and Available

Next Level Blog

Ever had a manager who told you they had an “open-door policy?” Who knows, maybe you’ve even declared that yourself. The open-door policy implies that your team members or colleagues can come to you with anything. That desire to be a transparent and open leader is admirable. The problem starts when people knock on the proverbial door (and knock and knock) and no one’s home.

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.

How the Best Leaders Encourage Open and Honest Dialogue

Next Level Blog

The best leaders I work with as an executive coach encourage open and honest dialogue. They’ve learned and understand why it’s so important for the people on their team and in their organizations to be completely comfortable with speaking up. First, you really want people contributing their best ideas on a regular basis because that’s how you win. Second, if your people aren’t contributing, speaking up and sharing the truth as they see it, you’re going to be flying blind as a leader.

Preparation Is the New Leadership Differentiator

Next Level Blog

In watching and working with top executives and their teams over the past few years, I’ve come to a fresh conclusion. Preparation is the new leadership differentiator. You might argue that preparation has always been important. I would agree with you on that but would contend that preparation is in shorter supply than it used to be.

All You Have to Do is Ask. Here’s How.

Next Level Blog

Asking for help is often the one simple act standing between us and success. That’s a quote from Dr. Wayne Baker in his new book, All You Have to Do is Ask: How to Master the Most Important Skill for Success. Wayne is a professor at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business and an expert on building and strengthening connections. When I read his book, I found myself nodding my head a lot because his research and experience support the basic ideas I teach about effective networking.

Skills 105

How to Manage Your Workload So You Have Time for the Unexpected

Next Level Blog

Most leaders have calendars that are what an engineer would call a tightly coupled system. Their schedules are so packed with back to back meetings and commitments that they have no margin for the unexpected but inevitable problems and issues that pop up. At that point, their calendar gets shredded and they have a fight or flight inducing crisis on their hands as they try to address the surprises while keeping everything else moving.

How to Get Your Micromanager Boss to Back Off

Next Level Blog

If dealing with a micromanager for a boss isn’t the number one complaint I hear from high potential leaders, then it’s certainly in the top three. Pretty much every leader I’ve ever coached or spoken to has worked for a micromanager at least once in their career. The question that everyone always asks is a version of, “How do I get my micromanager boss to back off?”. To answer that question, I’ll offer one thing you need to know and three steps you need to take.

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.

Three Ways to Raise Your Decision-Making Confidence

Next Level Blog

When you’re the leader, you have to keep things moving. To avoid being the bottleneck that slows your team’s work to a crawl, you need to make decisions on a timely basis. In a fast-paced environment, it can be hard to gather all the information you’d like to have when making important decisions. That can definitely affect your confidence in making the tough calls. The fact is that no one ever has one hundred percent of the information they’d like to have when making important decisions.

How to Make Your Performance Review Process Suck Less

Next Level Blog

This is the time of year when a lot of the leaders I work with are buckling down to write up annual performance reviews for the people on their team. This is a process that almost no one enjoys – neither the reviewer or the reviewee. Seriously, do you know anyone in any role who looks forward to an annual performance review? There are a lot of reasons why annual performance review processes usually suck. Here are three. First, they’re annual.

Would You Rather Be Effective or Be Right?

Next Level Blog

If you’re in a leadership role, there’s a pretty decent chance that when you were a kid, you were one of the smartest kids in class. If that wasn’t you, you probably remember who was. You know the smartest kid routine. They always had the right answer and wanted to make sure everyone else – especially the teacher – knew it. In organizational leadership, being right is less important than being effective. My point isn’t that you should strive to be wrong.

Class 146

Are You Hearing or Listening?

Next Level Blog

One of the things I’ve said for a long-time as an executive coach is that if you get colleague feedback that you need to be a better listener, take the feedback and start working on it. The positive leadership ripple effects from doing a better job of listening are enormous and wide-spread. Problem-solving, team-engagement, relationships and results all improve when leaders listen better.

New Overtime Rules Take Effect 1/1/2020. Are You Prepared?

On September 24, the Department of Labor (DOL) released much-anticipated changes to overtime provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Any business that employs workers with salaries under $35,568 will be directly affected by the new regulations and face a decision: provide affected employees with a salary increase or pay them overtime. Download Paycor's latest guide to learn key details about the new rule and how it could impact your business.

How to Be Your Team’s Chief Marketing Officer

Next Level Blog

One of the questions I love to ask a roomful of senior leaders when I’m delivering an interactive presentation is, “What is it that only you can do?” It’s a positional question, not a personal question. Because each of those leaders is the current incumbent in the leadership role they’re in, there are certain things that only they can do given the resources, opportunities, authority, information and access that come with the role.

How to Speak for Your Work

Next Level Blog

A lot of us grew up with the idea that if you just do good work, it will speak for itself. That’s not true in large organizations full of busy people all focused on their own agendas. If you’re a leader in that kind of place, the work doesn’t speak for itself; you have to speak for the work. How do you do that without coming off as an annoying braggart? There are seven questions you need to answer when you speak for the work: What is the work?

How To 158

Leaders, Your Rocks Roll Downhill

Next Level Blog

As I’ve written here before , one of my favorite games to play with high potential managers and executives is called, “What’s on Your T-Shirt?” The way it works is the leaders in my programs or workshops review the highest and lowest results they’ve scored on behaviors in The Next Level 360 or self-assessment. To reduce the stress that naturally comes with that conversation, I ask them to pair up and review the overall results for the group first.

Stress 159

How Strong is Your Leadership Pyramid?

Next Level Blog

This post is adapted from the forthcoming third edition of my book, The Next Level: What Insiders Know About Executive Success. Available in October, you can pre-order it here. Research shows that moving to the executive level is among the toughest transitions of any career.

Why (and How) to Switch to a New HR & Payroll Platform

Not all HR & payroll is the same, but it can look pretty similar. If your current platform isn’t meeting your needs, let us walk you through how to differentiate between providers and give you some tips on how to select a platform that works best for your business.

What Have You Learned from Your Worst Boss Ever?

Next Level Blog

My first job out of graduate school was as a first year associate in a Wall Street investment bank whose last of the 10 corporate values they printed in their annual report was, “Have fun!” Sadly, I did not. Decades later, it remains the worst place I ever worked or have seen other people working in in 20 years of leadership development work.

What Are Your Top Five Words?

Next Level Blog

The title of this post is the core of a few of my favorite questions. The one I want to focus on today is, in my experience, foundational to effective self-management: What are the top five words that describe me (you) when I’m (you’re) living and leading at my (your) best?

Three Reasons Your Change Initiative Will Fail

Next Level Blog

When you stop and think about it a big part of leadership is about convincing people to do things differently. It could be persuading customers to buy your product or try your service. It could be getting employees or vendors to raise their game. It could be convincing regulators and other rules makers to support what you want to do. In each of these examples or a dozen others that you could come up with, success depends on getting people to change their behaviors.

How to Keep Your Poker Face

Next Level Blog

Are you the kind of person whose facial expressions reveal everything you’re thinking? My wife, Diane, tells me I’m one of those people. Of course, she does have several decades of experience in reading me. I like to think I have a little more of a poker face when I’m with other people – especially if it’s a challenging or frustrating interaction. But, in all likelihood, I’m kidding myself on that. And, I suspect I have a lot of company on the poker face front.

How To 154

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.

Three Simple Ways to Take the Big Picture Perspective

Next Level Blog

One of my mentors, Harvard professor Ron Heifetz, likes to say that leaders can either be on the dance floor or on the balcony. In the fast-paced world that we live and work in, it can be all too easy to spend most of your time dancing and not enough up on the balcony observing what’s working, what’s not and what adjustments you need to make to live and lead at your best. In other words, you can be so busy doing things, you don’t see what needs to be done.

Trends 123

Your Checklist for Leading with an “Us” Mindset

Next Level Blog

One of the things I’m doing with my blog posts this year is to try to provide you with simple, practical and immediately applicable insights you can apply to be a better leader.

How to Stop Inspiring Your Team to Underperformance

Next Level Blog

Every so often I hear a phrase so well turned that I say to myself, “I wish I had thought of that.” That happened a few months ago when I was talking with a top executive of a Fortune 500 company to get his feedback on a colleague who was one of my executive coaching clients. This exec loved my client and compared him quite favorably to his predecessor who, the exec said, regularly “inspired his team to underperformance.”.

Team 154

Don’t Assume the Worst

Next Level Blog

When I asked communications expert, Dr. Nick Morgan , for his one best piece of advice for anyone who wants to be a more effective virtual communicator, his answer was quick, simple and powerful, “Don’t assume the worst.” Here’s the back story on why Nick offered that advice and how you can apply it for positive outcomes.

How to Build a Competitive Benefits Package

An attractive benefits program can be a highly effective recruiting and retention tool. But to make benefits a competitive advantage, employers must get creative with their benefits strategy or risk losing out on the best talent. Learn how to build a benefits package that your employees will love.

What Great Leadership Looks Like

Next Level Blog

In 2017, it can be difficult to find examples of great leadership. Today, though, I want to offer two of them. The first is of neighbors, volunteers, first responders, law enforcement, the National Guard and the U.S. Coast Guard pulling together to rescue each other in the greater Houston area.

How Do You Score on the Business Stress-O-Meter?

Next Level Blog

Earlier this year, I was talking with an executive coaching client about everything that was going on at once in his business life.

Stress 193

How to Stop Selling Your Ideas and Start Enrolling People in Them

Next Level Blog

Think about the last time you made a big purchase like a car, a major appliance or a mattress. With the possible exception of the car, there’s a pretty good chance you bought the product online after reading a lot of customer reviews. Why was that the case? Of course, one reason is that Amazon and other online retailers make it really easy to buy things online. Another likely reason is that you would do anything to avoid an aggressive sales pitch at the dealership or the store.

CIO 192

How to Have Your Best Week

Next Level Blog

Let’s face it. There’s way more to do in any given week than you can possibly do. What you can do, however, is manage your week in a way that gives you the best chance of living and leading at your best. For example, I recently talked with an assistant general counsel during a leadership workshop that I was doing for the big company she works for. We were talking about time management strategies and she shared how she organizes her week.

How To 130

11 Proven Ways to Turn Your Culture into a Culture of Innovation

Learn the 11 proven strategies that you can implement quickly to get every employee innovating and contributing to the growth of your company.