“Don’t make me think about it!”

That was some advice an executive I know shared with one of his direct reports. The executive was not being flippant, he was letting his more junior colleague know that he wanted him to come with well-thought out plans of action.

He was delegating decision making to his subordinate and wanted this individual to pick up the ball and run with it.

Such advice is the opposite of micro-management; call it “I trust you” management. It is something that every executive needs to instill in his or her people.

By permitting employees to think and do for themselves, you prepare them for greater levels of responsibility.


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. (read more…)

The 21st century is characterized by one dominant trait — self-determination. Gone are the days of mass production, economies of scale and standardization typical for last century. We, as a people, have a deep sense that it is our privilege to “make” ourselves.

Many times in my career, I tried to “make” myself only to be shunned. In 2000, for example, I jumped from Salomon Smith Barney to Merrill Lynch with the goal of dreaming a new dream. I wanted to challenge myself and grow but when I approached my managers about a new opportunity, they told me to stay put. So I switched firms.

By 2005, having been Institutional Investor-ranked for eight years straight, I again felt ready for a new learning curve. When I approached management, I heard the same script: “We like you just where you are.” This time, I took my dreams and walked out of the industry.

Much of the corporate world is not open to allowing us to work toward our dreams. (read more…)

The Young Entrepreneur Council is an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC launched BusinessCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses. Read previous SmartBlogs posts by YEC.

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Q: What is one way I can practice becoming more empathetic as a leader?

yec_Ross Resnick1. Ask yourself how you would feel

Empathetic leaders do one thing really well: they see multiple perspectives with authenticity. One simple way to do this is to remember what things were like when you were an employee. How did you feel when management did to you the same things you might be considering doing to your employees? By always asking yourself this question without bias, you’ll become a more empathetic leader immediately. — Ross Resnick, Roaming Hunger

yec_Brittany Hodak2. (read more…)

Seeking honest feedback from employees isn’t for for cowards. Honesty in the workplace can be daunting, especially for managers or leaders who haven’t always been open to feedback.

But you’ll find that the results are worth it. Here are five tips to help you get the feedback you’re looking for from your employees.

Be what you want to get

If your company culture has been marked by suspicion or a lack of transparency, that needs to change before you can expect useful feedback. Employees won’t be honest if they were punished for it or if they feel like you aren’t honest with them.

Even if you do feel that you have a culture of transparency at your organization, check to see whether leaders and employees are really on the same page. Leaders may feel they’re being transparent, but information may be delivered in such a way that employees are cynical about its intentions. (read more…)

This post is sponsored by Burris Logistics

Packaged-goods companies should consider re-evaluating their distribution networks at least once a year, according to a webinar on challenges facing grocery logistics professionals.

The webinar, Delivering Results: Supply Chain Management Challenges and Opportunities in Today’s Environment, was sponsored by Burris Logistics.

“Three out of four companies have done network redesign recently, so if you haven’t, you need to have a very compelling reason as to why not,” said Tim Near, senior advisor at the Boston Consulting Group.

Near cited data from the 2015 Logistics Benchmarking Study by BCG and the Grocery Manufacturers Association, which found that transportation challenges, driven in large part by an acute shortage of truck drivers, were the most commonly cited top-of-mind issue for supply chain leaders (83%). Those concerns were closely followed by network redesign, however, as 72% of supply chain leaders cited that as a significant priority at their companies, up from just 6% in 2012. (read more…)