Recent Blog Articles

Cut the Bullshit Part Three: They’re Not The Problem - Employee Problems - Clear and Open

Cut the Bullshit Part Three: They’re Not The Problem

Let’s talk about “employee problems.” Because they’re bullshit. There’s no such thing as an employee problem. I’ll explain. Last week in part two, I offered a simple question as a tool to create engagement for employees: “What don’t you like about yourself, and how can I help you use your job to change it?” A…

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Cut the Bullshit Part Two: Get Engagement in One Question - Employee Retention - Clear and Open

Cut the Bullshit Part Two: Get Engagement in One Question

I admit I was a bit afraid to hit “send” on last week’s article–not only because I wrote “bullshit” fifteen times, but because it deeply challenged leaders and managers to get real. But it got the best feedback this year, so I wrote a part two. Who knows, maybe it’s a series? Do you want…

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Cut the Bullshit: The Seduction of Complexity - Hiring Mistakes - Clear and Open

Cut the Bullshit: The Seduction of Complexity

It seems managers hate hiring more than they hate hiring mistakes. Hiring is a deadly combination of mission-critical and poorly executed. People avoid it like crazy. It’s uncomfortable, time-consuming, and they just want to get it over with. Many businesses create all of their problems through regular hiring mistakes. I’m going to let you in…

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Loyalty Is Screwed - Customer Loyalty - Clear and Open

Loyalty Is Screwed

Amazon bought my customer loyalty again. I recently bought a compost tumbler from them. It was a bit smaller than I’d thought. I might need a second. Putting it together sucked: sixty-two screws and two hours. I had to undo and redo forty minutes of work because the instructions were so bad. I was almost…

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Beliefs And Chainsaws: Exercise Caution - Limiting Beliefs - Clear and Open

Beliefs And Chainsaws: Exercise Caution

Which is more dangerous: a chainsaw or a limiting belief about a chainsaw? When I was too young to remember, my father rented a chainsaw to take out a large tree in our backyard. At one point, the chainsaw wound down after a cut and he lacerated the inside of his wrist–yeah, where the arteries…

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Do You Suck At Being Sorry? - Employee Responsibility - Clear and Open

Do You Suck At Being Sorry?

One of the most common complaints I hear from business leaders is a lack of employee responsibility. Employee engagement is a huge issue in many businesses, and it’s often invisible. Employee engagement studies estimate it costs the U.S. economy $370 billion a year. I’ve noticed in the last ten years, airlines stopped apologizing for flight…

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“Is This Going to Be on the Test?” - Employee Disengagement - Clear and Open

“Is This Going to Be on the Test?”

“Is this going to be on the test?” a student inevitably asks. The question used to make my blood boil, and I didn’t understand why until years later. It is in many ways the birth of employee disengagement and mediocrity, which plague workplaces, and the world, today. It’s not the student’s fault–they’re having an intuitive…

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How Personal Is Too Personal? - Personal Problems and Business - Clear and Open

How Personal Is Too Personal?

“I can’t talk with my employees about their personal problems.” Usually, when I hear people say this, they’re actually not going personal enough. The result is lost time and money while people talk around personal problems instead of addressing them head-on. There’s a great deal of confusion about what is okay to talk about in…

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Empty Your Cup - Unlearning Dreams - Clear and Open

Empty Your Cup

What is the root of virtually every problem in your world? It’s actually very simple. “The trouble with people is not that they don’t know but that they know so much that ain’t so.”  –Josh Billings, American humorist Ironically this quote is usually attributed to Mark Twain or Will Rogers. What Billings points out so…

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“You Never Buy Me Flowers” - Emotional Needs - Clear and Open

“You Never Buy Me Flowers”

“You never buy me flowers.” A phrase that makes men’s heart’s sink. So the next day, the man buys her flowers. “Gee, thanks,” she says flatly, forcing a smile. Men: that’s when you tell yourself women are unpleasable and irrational. But you’re wrong. You’re just not listening between the lines, and it’s the same thing…

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