Madeline is sitting in her boss’s office, patiently waiting for his full attention so she can preview a client presentation she has to deliver tomorrow. Meanwhile Rob, her boss, is sending a text on his smart phone. Before he’s finished with that, the computer pings, signaling an incoming e-mail that Rob says he must answer immediately. He interrupts that process to grab a ringing phone and finally waves Madeline away, mouthing “I’ll catch you later,” as she backs out the door.

Rob is a busy guy. He’s hustling all day long. And Madeline knows if he doesn’t review her presentation before she delivers it to the client, he’s very likely to snap her head off. Rob has the “Rush Syndrome.” Unfortunately, he’s spreading this infection throughout his entire team.

Does any of this sound familiar? There have probably been times when you could identify with both Madeline and Rob. If you detect some symptoms of “Rush Syndrome” in yourself, how can you stop the infection? (read more…)

My first leadership post was the most unusual and most unexpected management position that I ever held. When I was a high school senior, a friend of mine whose father ran a kosher-certification agency asked me if I could provide supervision in a kosher restaurant on Saturday nights.

I didn’t live too far from the place and wanted to earn some extra cash, so I agreed. The position, I was told, included oversight in the kitchen, and, because I did not have to be in the kitchen for more than a few moments at a time (as all of the ingredients were kosher), manning the cash register.

My first night on the job was going pretty smoothly. It took me a short while to learn the inner workings of the establishment’s kitchen and how to operate the register. Not bad, I thought, for $10 an hour. But then, one of the waiters told me that I had a phone call. (read more…)

One of the hardest things for emerging leaders to learn is how to let go.

Entrepreneurs are notorious for falling into the do it yourself (DIY) habit. That may be good for home-repair people but not for business people. And especially not rising executives.

Well-focused leaders stay on track, in part because that’s their job, but also because their energy comes from managing the team. (read more…)

I had the recent opportunity to lead a conversation about emotional intelligence, (or emotional quotient — EQ), during a webcast for ATD, the global Association for Talent Development. ATD is a premiere organization that offers extensive training and learning opportunities to its membership of approximately 40,000 executives, managers and associates, and their companies.

The webcast generated great interest with a high number of members participating. Following the webcast, ATD staff and I personally received a great deal of appreciative feedback — people agreed that EQ is essential in the workplace and that EQ is absolutely key to developing high-quality, productive relationships.

There is definitely a thirst for more knowledge about EQ, including how may we get our boss and senior management to recognize that such a focus would improve management and leadership effectiveness.

This led me to write this article, and I very much hope that I do this well. The subject of emotional intelligence is vitally important and essential to our success in business, in our leadership, and also in our happiness outside of our workplace. (read more…)

See part 1 here.

Many people owe their careers to their ability to make small talk with senior people in their companies.

When you learn how to speak informally, you will demonstrate that you are someone who is comfortable in your own skin. And that trait is important to advancing your career.

  (read more…)