In a world where 1 billion people use smartphones, many can’t believe that I run a company without one. They can’t imagine life without e-mail, Google, and Facebook in their pocket.

We expect instant gratification and accessibility; a smartphone is considered a necessity, not a convenience. However, keeping my flip phone and saying “no” to constant interruptions was one of my most profitable business decisions.

Why I decided to forgo a smartphone

One of the main factors in my decision was the distraction that smartphones introduce. I’ve seen people stare under the table in meetings, glued to an app rather than contributing. People spend weeks scheduling a meeting, only to find themselves combating iPhones.

This epidemic spreads far beyond the boardroom. Americans reportedly spend more than three hours per day on their smartphones. In an industry that requires 24/7 customer care, I choose to use that time to give people the attention they deserve. (read more…)

Feedback, as Marshall Goldsmith taught me, is a gift. And as such we need to thank people when they deliver it to us.

It is not enough to say thank you. You also need to learn to accept it — and act up on it.

When the feedback is coming from a trusted source — even if we don’t like that individual — it should be considered, and changes made.

John Baldoni is chair of leadership development at N2Growth, is an internationally recognized leadership educator and executive coach. In 2014, Trust Across America named him to its list of top 100 most trustworthy business experts. Also in 2014, Inc.com named Baldoni to its list of top 100 leadership experts, and Global Gurus ranked him No. 11 on its list of global leadership experts. Baldoni is the author of more than a dozen books, including his newest, “MOXIE: The Secret to Bold and Gutsy Leadership.”

If you enjoyed this article, join SmartBrief’s e-mail list for our daily newsletter on being a better, smarter leader. (read more…)

No one wants to work for a micromanager. Micromanagers are control freaks, always breathing down their employee’s, telling them how to do everything and inspecting every move they make.

Working for a micromanaging boss is one of the most frequently reported reasons employees hate their jobs or hate their bosses.

Employees that work for micromanagers probably wish their bosses would just disappear. They dream about what it would be like to go totally boss-less, going about their work in a state of empowered nirvana.

Well, be careful what you wish for! The grass always looks greener on the other side of the fence.

While a micromanager anchors the extreme end of the management style continuum (high control), sitting at the far other end of the continuum is the macromanager (laissez-faire).

Working for a macromanager has its own set of challenges. A micromanager is always there when you don’t need them to be there; a macromanager is never around when you do have a question, need support, or need to get a decision made. (read more…)

This post is sponsored by AllClear ID.

Jamie May is Vice President of Operations at AllClear ID. Since joining the company in 2007, she has managed the implementation and execution of more than 1000 data breach responses, including one of the largest retail breaches in history and several large healthcare breaches. She advises Fortune 1000 companies, government agencies and healthcare organizations on all aspects of breach preparation and response, and is a sought-after industry expert.

Question: How has the breach response landscape changed over the last year?

Jamie May: In 2014, the velocity and scale of breach events increased like never before. The Target data breach was a watershed event and marked the first time there was high-visibility executive turnover directly related to a breach. Consumers raised their expectations and now demand a well-orchestrated breach response to begin as soon as it’s public. For businesses, this means the pressure to get it right the first time is more intense than ever. (read more…)

meetings matter coverThis post is an excerpt from “MEETINGS MATTER: 8 Powerful Strategies for Remarkable Conversations,” (Jackson Creek Press, January 2015) by Paul Axtell.

There is a difference in life between acting out of obligation or out of inspiration. Inspiration is shaped by having some possibility in mind — seeing the connection between how you are spending your time and a desirable future that doesn’t exist right now.

There is a story about golf pro Byron Nelson, who experienced a lull in his career after being the very best in the game. Then his enthusiasm returned, and once again he was on the circuit playing tournaments.

When asked about his comeback, Nelson replied that he’d always had a dream to build a wonderful ranch. And one evening, he realized that golf was his path to that possibility — each tournament he won allowed him to buy more cattle or build more fencing. (read more…)