Get in the Habit of Giving Praise With Your Team

It was easy to see the smiles exponentially light up around the room as the co-workers gave each other praise for various things. Even the thickest skinned member of the team couldn’t help but smile when a co-worker thanked him for supporting her with an RFP coming due. The team of hard-nosed marketers turned into […]

Giving Feedback That Works

My supervisor and I were walking across campus after a meeting discussing an issue I was managing in the office.  He didn’t agree with the manner in which I was handling the situation.  He stopped walking and turned to me right in the middle of the campus quad. In a loud voice, he began to […]

Our Tried and True Schedule for a Quarterly Strategy Retreat

Handing out pennies in Union Square, seeing a show on Broadway, riding an aquatic themed carousel, playing board games, eating bugs, and visiting a cat cafe. At some point in time, Team Swift Kick has done all of these strange things during a quarterly strategy retreat. But strategy retreats are more than just surprise activities; […]

The Danger of Keeping Negative Nellies on Your Team

Devin ran a real-estate management firm and his team was very close. They celebrated everything from birthdays to anniversaries together. From the outside, you’d assume they were the perfect team, but danger was just under the surface. Devin was actually running a team that was about to rot from the inside out, all because of […]

The Importance of Creating Your Secondary Family

When I was 11, Mom got the call that Gram was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. In that moment, Mom promised that she would never put Gram in a nursing home. Two weeks later, Gram moved in. For the next seven years until she died, we spent our days dressing her, feeding her and chasing after her […]

Throw Away Your To-Do List: Using Core Values to Navigate the Unexpected

Melissa’s TEDx talk was on Saturday. It was Thursday. We were discussing back and forth over whether the word “love” was the appropriate word for her closing line. We were on the verge of a nervous giggle fit, as the English language got less and less concrete in our minds. I was supposed to be […]

Using Spring Fever to Make Your Team More, Not Less Engaged

A few years ago, I saw a funny post on Facebook that said if you leave the office in the middle of the day to go outside, and someone asks where you are, you can say you are “Out-Standing.” Ha ha – get it? OUT? STANDING? So maybe this isn’t hilarious to you, but to […]

Better than a Raise: Connections are the Key to Employee Happiness

“From now on, we’ll use this white board to track every interaction you have had with a client. If you don’t meet your quota, not only will everyone see, but there will be repercussions.” “The funeral is in the morning, so you’ll be back in office in the afternoon, right?” “I heard you did poorly […]

Using State Management on a Team of Zombies

To say we were all exhausted would be an understatement. After nine almost 16-hour days, managing 150 high school students, even the Energizer Bunny would probably tap out. My 20 person staff had one more day of the 10-day program. I needed the team to show up with the same amount of energy they had […]