Ask “Z”

When a CEO keeps spacing out

September 26, 2014
Q. I work for a disorganized CEO who’s prone to making promises and then forgetting to follow through. I don’t enjoy nagging. But I constantly have to nag him to deliver on his stated commitments to me and my team. It’s sure tiring! What’s your advice?

Replacing lost legend? Go slow, hang back

September 19, 2014
Q. Last month, I was hired to replace a beloved supervisor who spent 12 years here. She died suddenly. Everyone loved her. The last thing I want to do is come on too strong. But I have to get out from behind her shadow. Any ideas?

Do you want to manage, or do you want to lead? Know your role

September 9, 2014
Q: I’m told I need to resist the urge to lend too much of a hand to my managers when we start up a project, and as the head of the company it’s just not my job anymore to give so much input on their processes. But I think in my position, I need to offer every bit of guidance I can—otherwise what was the point of my 20 years of experience before I got here?

Regain trust by fulfilling your promises

August 15, 2014
Q. It appears I’ve lost my team’s allegiance. They seem to have lost faith in me. I don’t know why, but it’s clear they’re no longer even pretending to listen to me. Any ideas on how to win over a group of employees who have apparently decided to bail out?

Know when to give up–and come out on top anyway

August 6, 2014
Q: People tell me I struggle too hard to overcome hurdles that just can’t be overcome. But I’m a leader and I need to push much harder for what I want than people expect—don’t I?

A leader lets the haters hate

July 18, 2014
Q. About half of my 12 employees like working for me. The others are outspoken about how much they hate my management style. They tell me, my boss and pretty much anyone else within earshot that I’m too tough, uncaring, demanding, etc. How can I win over all 12?

Rise above those petty remarks

July 10, 2014
Q. I work with this guy who seems nice enough to everyone here. But to me, he’s insufferable. He gets under my skin by making snide comments like, “You won’t understand this. Let me explain it to you.” I’ve tried to shut him up, but that only encourages him. Ideas?

Try a little old-school technology to learn more efficiently

July 3, 2014

Q: With information coming at me nonstop from all directions, I’m getting a little shaky on retaining new things I’ve learned. How do you do it?

Clueless about what your company does? You can still lead

June 27, 2014
Q: I was just hired to run a medium-sized company whose products are very far removed from my real area of expertise—and frankly, I’m not sure how much of my ignorance to reveal to my new staff. How much honesty should I bring in, and how do I make people confident I can actually do the job?

You can’t chart confidence on a spreadsheet

June 20, 2014
Q. I’m normally a confident guy. But over the last nine months, my confidence has been shaken. I’ve made a few big decisions that backfired for our organization. And I’m starting to doubt my ability to lead. How can I regain my edge?