Six Pixels of Separation - The Blog
November 6, 2010 2:57 PM

The Best Piece Of Management Advice I Ever Received

What is the best piece of management advice you have ever received or heard?

The Art of Management is coming to Toronto on November 15th, 2010 for a full-day of speakers on management and innovation. I am honored to have been chosen to speak at this event and share the stage with Malcolm Gladwell (Tipping Point, Blink, Outliers, etc...), Michael Eisner (former CEO, Walt Disney Company and best-selling author of, Working Together and Work In Progress), Simon Sinek (Start With Why) and Nilofer Merchant (The New How). It's going to be an incredible day (you can view the full agenda here: The Art of Management - Agenda). I'll be kicking off the day with a session called, Managing In A Connected World, that will look at the new consumer, how they buy, how they think and what this means to management and running a viable business in 2010.

You can join us at The Art of Management for free if you win my contest...

I have two pairs of VIP tickets (valued at $599 per ticket) that I am going to give away. Along with that, I will personally sign a copy of my first business book, Six Pixels of Separation, for the winners and their guests at the event. Here's how it will work: in the comments section below, share with everyone the best piece of management advice you ever received or heard. On Wednesday, November 10th, 2010 at 5:00 pm, the contest will be closed and I'll pick two winners (each winner will get two tickets). As a bonus, I'm also going to choose two more winners who will each get a pair of tickets to see famed-chef and food advocate, Jamie Oliver, speak live and in-person at The Art of Cooking on November 18th, 2010 in Toronto.

If you don't want to chance it...

This is going to be an amazing event. I half-jokingly told the organizers that I'm thrilled to be going first, so that I can spend the rest of the day in the audience learning, growing and networking. You do not want to miss The Art of Management. The organizers have also created a discounted ticket price for those in the Twist Image and Six Pixels of Separation community. You get $50 off per person/per ticket or $100 off when purchasing 3 or more tickets to The Art of Management. All you have to do is use promo "TWIST" at this link: The Art of Management Promo Code Ticket Purchase. You can also call them at: 1-866-992-7863.

So, what are you waiting for? what is the best piece of management advice you have ever received?

**WINNERS ANNOUNCED!**

The winners of VIP tickets (two per winner) for The Art of Management are:

  • Deborah Bakker.
  • Pamela Hackett.

The winners of tickets (two per winner) for Jamie Oliver are:

  • Kim McWatt.
  • Darius Bashar.

All winners will be notified via email shortly with details on how to claim their prize. Many thanks to everyone who participated, and please don't stop distilling your great management advice - the content in the comments are amazing.

By Mitch Joel


Comments Comments Feed
  • Posted by deborah henry
    Mitch Joel

    Want to attend

    Reply
  • Posted by Massimo Pandolfi
    Mitch Joel

    These best piece of management advice I have ever, was a collage of sayings that in the ended provided guidance for every difficult situation.

    "When found with the challenge of having the inability to communicate effectively, always remember that perception is reality, and when presented with a diffuclt message, its all in the spin. Never second yourself when delivering this message as your message as at some point, in the future may be wrong depending when and why it is being reviewed. So go with what you know right now. Let you ethics guide you, let your principles protect your, and let the future works itself out."

    Reply
  • Posted by Hugh Weber
    Mitch Joel

    Lead through questions. Speaking creates buying from others and listening fosters compassion in you.

    Reply
  • Posted by Jim Sharkey
    Mitch Joel

    Brian Tracy said, "Your ability to discipline yourself to do what you should, when you should do it, whether you feel like it or not is the key to becoming a great person and living a great life.

    Reply
  • Posted by Deborah Bakker
    Mitch Joel

    Management is not Leadership, but they are complementary skill sets and the best managers and leaders (CEOs, Directors) have the ability to do both. I learned this from one of my former bosses, but later found out that John Kotter had written about it in Harvard Business Review as well as a book published by HBR press. A second piece of advice : Don't Be so Nice, again advice from someone close to me, and that I have passed on to many many many of my female friends and colleagues, but also summarized and detailed nicely in 'Nice Girls don't Get the Corner Office' by Lois Frankel (Business Plus). Clearly not intended to suggest one be mean or rude in business or work related affairs, but an excellent outlining of how women subtly and unconsciously limit themselves in the work world.

    Reply
  • Posted by Angelo Pace
    Mitch Joel

    The best piece of management advice that I received was from Michael Gerber's E-Myth which is to work ON your business and not IN your business.

    Reply
  • Posted by Shirley Weir
    Mitch Joel

    "Always surround yourself with people SMARTER than you."

    Reply
  • Posted by Andrew Horberry
    Mitch Joel

    In my first week in an ad agency, Jeffrey Tolman told me: "Always have one more item in your briefcase than the agenda calls for."

    Just in case the meeting finishes earlier than expected, or you have a little more time than you imagined with the client, you have something of interest to talk about, that shows the client you're thinking about them and their problems.

    Reply
  • i struggle with personality management - mine and others. :) The best tip a wiser, more moderate person ever gave me is that if i'm really furious with someone, it's highly likely that that person is also furious with me. It was a great tip that's helped me approach personality conflicts with empathy, rather than an entrenched "us vs them" attitude.

    - Ryan

    Reply
  • BTW, I'll also be leaving my best piece of management advice here in the comments some time soon...

    Reply
    • Posted by lisa julie cahn
      Mitch Joel

      Breathe. Yes your Health is more important. Now get to work and start accomplishing. Yes it is a race, but Go at your own pace. Certain Deadlines are flexible. Others (peoples) are not. Listen. Be fair when you can. Do the job (better than) well done. Surprises can be good or bad (opportunities). We all make business /life mistake; Just let's try for not today; BREATHE Enjoy. Live. work hard play hard

      Reply
  • Posted by Jamie Wolfe
    Mitch Joel

    The best management advice I ever received was from Warren Buffett, in an opportunity I had to meet him for lunch when I was attending McGill University.

    He told me, "Always do what you love. Everything else will fall into place if you truly love the job you go to every day."

    That search for passion is what keeps me in the game everyday, I think!

    Thanks for this contest Mitch!! Awesome!

    Reply
  • Posted by Patti Pokorchak
    Mitch Joel

    "Act like the company you want to be. . . not like the one you are now"
    Terry Matthews, founder of Newbridge/Mitel and about 80 more companies

    Reply
    • Posted by Patti Pokorchak
      Mitch Joel

      My 2nd best piece of advice came from my brother "When starting out, treat every order as if it were a million order" and yes, he eventually had a multi-million $$ business.

      PS I really really want to win the Art of Management tickets, please pick me!

      Reply
  • Posted by JP Camacho
    Mitch Joel

    If it's bad news, blame yourself. If it's good news, blame others.

    Reply
  • Posted by Danielle
    Mitch Joel

    There are only two mistakes one can make; not going all the way, and not starting.

    Reply
  • Posted by Deborah Henry
    Mitch Joel

    The best piece of managment advice I have ever received is that it is not about you. It is about improving the lives of other people. When you see the world this way, you're on the right track. Whatever business you're in, when your passion involves making a difference in other people's lives, you will succeed. In fact, that passion will be unstoppable.

    Reply
  • Posted by Ray Hiltz
    Mitch Joel

    Nurture creativity and encourage risk.

    Reply
  • Posted by Sass Peress
    Mitch Joel

    Lao Tze, an ancient chinese philosopher of Tao, said the best thing I ever heard about leaders and managing people:

    The best leaders are scarcely known by their subjects;
    The next best are loved and praised;
    The next are feared;
    The next despised:
    They have no faith in their people,
    And their people become unfaithful to them.
    When the best leaders achieve their purpose
    Their subjects claim the achievement as their own.

    Reply
  • Posted by Joe donohue
    Mitch Joel

    Best piece of advice I ever got was simply enough to always listen. It's served me well in business and my personal life.

    Reply
  • Posted by michel benoit
    Mitch Joel

    "There is a reason why you have two ears and one mouth...."

    Reply
  • Posted by Mark Sandford
    Mitch Joel

    The best piece of management advice I have received is ... take advice with a grain of salt. What you know to be true, and what works for you is ultimately the best tool for management.

    This is not to say one must close themselves off from all pieces of advice, but know what works for you, and follow through on whatever that may be with tenacity!

    Reply
  • Posted by Pamela Hackett
    Mitch Joel

    Sadly, this time last year I attended the funeral service for Kelvin Boyd, a great man, a great work colleague & leader, and a great friend. During the eulogy, delivered by one of his closest friends, we were all reminded of something Kelvin never failed to do: he took the time to ask about you. I mean really ask about you. How was your spouse, how were your weekend studies progressing, what was going on in your life? Not a cursory “how are you” but a real discussion. Most importantly, regardless of the day’s crisis.

    As his friend spoke of Kelvin, he also spoke of his own son, who suffered a debilitating disease, and how Kelvin never started a conversation at work, no matter what, with anything other than, “How is your son doing?” Kelvin knew how to show people he sincerely cared.

    His advice was always ‘When people invest time in learning about you, they invest time in building relationships and connections that last forever. They make a connection. They tell you, you count!’

    I've used that advise so often now, its a natural piece I offer to others; Each day you learn things about people, in conversation & the interactions that come about at work. “Learn” is the critical word. Learn to retain this information. Learn to piece it together to paint a picture of the people around you at work. The more you learn about them, the better you connect, the more they learn how much you care.

    Kelvin was in his early 50’s when he left us, much too young, but as you would imagine, even during his own battle with ALS he still started each conversation asking about the things that he knew were significant in your life. People travelled from all over the world to Toronto to say ‘till next time Kelvin’, he left a personal legacy in all our hearts but one we apply at work too! Since then I often wonder, what legacy will my friends feel I left behind - I can only hope it's something that impacts others lives as significantly as this.

    Reply
    • Posted by Sam
      Mitch Joel

      Gets my vote completely. Thanks for sharing this Pamela at a time when we are bidding farewell to a man of similar gifts to Kelvin it seems - Grahame Maher, 51, http://goo.gl/WorsP. RIP. These guys taught us that taking time to care is good for ourselves, good for business and good for those around us. We'll always remember.

      Reply
      • Posted by Jess Maher
        Mitch Joel

        Thanks Sam. I am Grahame's daughter and studied HR, IM & International Business Mgmt-even got the chance to do a few research papers & reports about Dad's work.. We had many extended & detailed discussions on a regular basis but, my favorite one, i actually painted on my bedroom wall even and I thought I might share...
        "Be authentic, the real you. Don't act cause you will be caught out. Appreciate that leadership is about people & relationships. Invest time to communicate, clarify & align. Be self-confident and humble, not arrogant. Understand the bigger picture and don't sweat the small stuff."

        Reply
  • Posted by Wendy Greene
    Mitch Joel

    When putting forth an idea for change, when buy-in by a group is necessary to move ahead, don't be discouraged if your idea is not accepted the first time around. Keep suggesting it, and don't give up on your idea if you really believe in it. Eventually, people will come around.

    Reply
  • Posted by chris baldwin
    Mitch Joel

    This piece of advice is from our former agency president, David Stashower, who worked at Liggett Stashower for 43 years. This year at the David Stashower Scholarship presentation, David shared the following gem with all of us, that I consider to be one of the most sound management recommendations I have ever heard, "The success that I enjoyed is because I was surrounded by a group of very smart and very forgiving people."

    Reply
  • Posted by Andrew White
    Mitch Joel

    If you are on time you are late

    Reply
  • Posted by Natalie Currie
    Mitch Joel

    The best management advise I've learned is that there aren't difficult people - only difficult behaviour. Behind every piece of biting criticism is a request for help. Our opportunity is to see beyond the bluster, beyond the words and engage in active listening to hear the real message. How can you step up and be the linchpin?

    Reply
  • Posted by Meg Mathur
    Mitch Joel

    Why? and What do you think? are two of the most insightful questions you can ask your leaders and your team.

    Reply
  • Posted by Frances Schagen
    Frances Schagen

    Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative and creation, there is one elementary truth the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one's favour all manner of unforeseen incidents, meetings and material assistance which no man/woman could have dreamed would have come his way. Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. boldness has genius, power and magic in it, begin it now. - Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe

    I have this pinned beside my desk.

    The bolder I am, the more committed I am, the more things fall into place to make my dreams a reality. It's not about me, it's about the world around me. The more I look outward, the bigger and better my world becomes.

    Reply
  • Posted by Dustin
    Mitch Joel

    Forget the information, focus on the insights

    Reply
  • Posted by mackmclaughlin
    Mitch Joel

    I have 2 favorites that I still use regularly from my Professor in Grad School.

    "If that were any more perfect it would be wrong"

    and

    "Be the Bacon"

    Reply
  • Mitch Joel

    While I am fortunate to work with - and be mentored by - an incredible management team, I believe that the best piece of management advice I will have heard will most likely come out of this exciting conference's sessions.

    As a relatively new and younger manager, I am thankful everyday for the responsibilities that come with my role and driven by how this role fits in the ever-changing mobile and digital media landscape. This business is my passion - and I want to constantly improve myself, my knowledge, and my offerings.

    What an incredible line-up of talent, innovation, and knowledge for "The Art of Management". I'm sure the teachings and quotes that come out of these sessions will last through the decades. And, though I would love to say "I was there", the idea of USING those learnings in my day-to-day business life excites me more.

    Thank you for the opportunity, Mitch. I am inspired.

    Reply
  • Mitch Joel

    How do you demand innovation & creativity & radical rethink if you can't imagine it yourself? ~ Mitch Joel ~ CIRA2010 Presentation

    Reply
  • Posted by Sarah Mitchell
    Mitch Joel

    My best piece of advice came from a much younger manager than me. He said "Never be afraid of a customer service problem. It's your chance to prove how good you really are." He was right and I've never forgotten it.

    Reply
  • Posted by M.A. Slipka
    Mitch Joel

    The advice came in a few questions long before "diversity and inclusion" became the status quo. It was advice that has served me well throughout my career thus far.

    "If we were "all" the same, wouldn't life be boring?... If we all "think" the same, would we get great results? If we all "believe" the same thing, would we be the status quo?..."

    Advice given: it's critical to understand, appreciate and embrace differences, meaning different perspectives, backgrounds, skills and experiences, all which contribute to stronger employees & teams, greater innovation and productivity and oranizational results and success.

    Reply
  • Posted by Allison Sumpter
    Mitch Joel

    "Status quo is disguised decay...There are only two options: get better or get worse."

    It was my uncle, Peter Wilkinson, who imparted this paradigm-shifting concept to me years ago. I thought of this when I heard the concept of "gatejumping"in the book Trust Agents by Chris Brogan & Julien Smith. Gatejumping is about setting your own rules & making your own game. It's about change & taking risks. It's the opposite of status quo.

    So what keeps us from gatejumping? Fear.

    ...which leads to the best management advice I ever heard. It was from my dad, a man whose career was dedicated to helping people conquer fear. The words I thought for many years were my father's I later learned were the words of Ralph Waldo Emerson. But as I restate the advice, I hear my father's voice in my head:

    "Do the thing you fear and the death of fear is certain."

    Reply
  • Posted by Michael Salfi
    Mitch Joel

    If you want to excel in business show up on time prepared to play.

    Reply
  • Posted by Carmen
    Mitch Joel

    Acknowledge people.
    It costs nothing and the return often goes beyond what a monetary incentive would have provided.

    Reply
  • Posted by RJ Stribley
    Mitch Joel

    Don't leave the tools you need in the garage if you are going to spend your day knee-deep in weeds.~ Lovell 'the shovel' D. ~ an overbooked gardener

    Reply
  • Posted by Jeff
    Mitch Joel

    I'm still waiting for it....

    Reply
  • Posted by Chris McLachlin
    Mitch Joel

    So many great words of wisdom I can choose from, but the one that truly stands out was from Chief Billy Diamond during a class on leadership while I was studying at McGill. He said, "don't accept the word cant", and "use all of the tools around you".

    Reply
  • Posted by Frederic Samson
    Mitch Joel

    Advice : "If you come to my office with a problem and you don't have the solution, then you're part of the problem"

    Reply
  • Posted by Ed Hum
    Mitch Joel

    From the book, "Getting Things Done" by Edwin C. Bliss: indecision is nearly always the worst mistake you can make. Generally the more quickly a decision is made, the better. if you postpone action until all objections are overcome, you will never get anything done. Announce a decision confidently and proceed full speed ahead, and you will usually make out better than if you agonize for a long time over a difficult decision.

    Reply
  • Mitch Joel

    I'm not sure if this is management advice but here goes:

    "It's much easier to apologize than it is to ask permission."
    - Grace Murray Hopper

    Reply
  • Posted by Mark
    Mitch Joel

    "It's not about you!" - Once you understand this, you'll realized that when someone comes to confront you, it is (typically) never about you. There is always something else that is the real issue - which has nothing to do with you.

    Reply
  • Posted by Nancy Laviolette
    Mitch Joel

    My dad always taught me (and showed me) that you have to treat your team fairly, respectfully and be a REAL member of that team. If you do: they will be your fuel to the moon. If you don’t: they will become kryptonite.

    Reply
  • As promised, my best piece of management advice was to hire the people who are best at the work you are not amazing at. To slowly add people to your team whose main goal in life is to be as amazing as you are at the things you are not amazing at.

    It also reminds me of a saying that my business partner/Twist Image CEO always says (although he did not come up with it):

    "Be brilliant. Be brief. Be gone."

    The best people in your organization don't need management... they need the time and space to do what they do best.

    Reply
    • Posted by Jamie Wolfe
      Mitch Joel

      Hmmm. Let's find something I'm better at than you so I can work for you!!!!

      Dream job!!!!! :)

      Reply
    • Posted by Joe Sorge
      Mitch Joel

      very, very nice!

      Reply
    • Posted by Pamela Hackett
      Mitch Joel

      Like the 'let it age' - I'd like to remember that more often!

      Reply
    • Posted by Pamela Hackett
      Mitch Joel

      Like that! Recently finished the book getGruntled! Triggering Engagement....used a similar phrase "manage less to move more"....all mantras I'm sure the star leaders of the future will live by....."people really are what blasts the competition", so get out of the way and let them be remarkable.

      Really looking forward in a few years to looking back to see the new management practices, the ones that really are different...and how they changed people's worlds at work....starting to see some, and the future looks bright! What a great question you asked ....

      Reply
  • Posted by Zahra Young
    Mitch Joel

    A VP of Marketing that I was privileged to have worked with, once gave me his thoughts on leadership. 'One must lead by the authority of one's convictions and not the convictions of one's authority.'

    Reply
  • Posted by Peter Merrick
    Mitch Joel

    The best piece of management advice I ever received did not come from a business management guru, and it did not come from anyone I have met personally in my life. This advice does not only applies to management but for all of life. These words where spoken often by the gifted mythologist and author of "The Hero with a Thousand Faces" Joseph Campbell:

    "Follow your Bliss."

    For me and and countless others who have read Campbell's books or heard him speak, these are the wisest words anyone can adopt in his or her life. When one knows what they love doing and sets out to do it, they will have management success and most importantly personal success in his or her life.

    When I read "Six Pixels of Separation: Everyone Is Connected. Connect Your Business to Everyone." I felt that you were following your bliss and doing what you were drawn and needed to do. You are proof that this actually works.

    All the best!

    Peter J. Merrick

    Reply
  • Posted by Kim McWatt
    Mitch Joel

    The best piece of management advice I received was at my MBA graduation ceremony. The guest speaker said to the audience, and specifically directed to the graduating class (I'm paraphrasing): Often people equate success with how well they do at work. Others, with their home or their personal life. However, to truly be a success, you need to strive for a balance between all three - work, home, and personal life.

    This is often quite difficult to achieve and sometimes the balance tips too far one way or the other. And at times, we even forget the personal side. But it's something I take with me and try to strive for and encourage with my peers.

    Reply
  • Posted by Rodney Rodriguez
    Mitch Joel

    A former boss once said ...'Do what you believe is right even if I tell you its wrong, because one day you'll be leading me.'

    What I took from that is that I will be in a position where I need to to be decisive and set a direction and people will look to me for guidance, but most importantly to stand up for yourself.

    Reply
  • Posted by Liz
    Mitch Joel

    "Stop being such a control freak. You'll never get anything done."

    Reply
  • Don't delay if you have to fire someone. Do it as soon as you can and it will save you (and the employee) a lot of pain.

    Reply
  • Posted by Robin Altman
    Mitch Joel

    The purpose of our work and our lives is to become the best that we can be in order to serve others and contribute to the betterment of our planet. In blending these two objectives, we are able to reach our true potential and achieve our highest level of fulfillment and success.

    Reply
  • Posted by Tim Bursch
    Mitch Joel

    The best piece of management advice I received was not spoken, but lived. It was my first job out of college, managing a retail store. I had a manager that listened intently and was absolutely present to his people. If I had to summarize, I'd use Covey's principle: seek first to understand before being understood. Listen first, be present to the people you are leading, and empower them to be leaders.

    Reply
  • Posted by David Axler
    Mitch Joel

    Best Management advice - Clay Shirkey - Don't Predict the future - achieve it.

    Reply
  • Posted by tamera kremer
    Mitch Joel

    Believe in your team and let them spread their wings or don't hire them. People are not clones, nor do you want them to be. Everyone has a unique perspective that their life has shaped. Embrace the diversity at the table and it will reward your company monetarily and with a stronger culture.

    Reply
  • Posted by Marijke
    Mitch Joel

    I've received a few pieces of advice that I combined - but I am always looking for more as I still have a lot to learn. Here they are, in no particular order:

    It's about working as a team - you can't be a good manager if it's all about you.
    Remember that the person working for you/with you is more than [insert job title]. There's a whole package that comes along with the title.
    You can always learn from those around you, even those who you are managing.
    You can be wrong. Just admit it and fix it.

    Reply
  • Posted by AndrewN A Assad
    Mitch Joel

    A former mentor quoted George Patton, "A good plan executed today is better than a perfect plan executed at some indefinite point in the future." This doesn't reduce a strive for excellence, but does shift focus to priorities and action.


    Reply
  • Posted by Marco
    Mitch Joel

    "Everyone is who they are for a reason. Get below the surface with the people around you, it can change everything."

    Got that from my first real boss/mentor. And, it really did change everything.

    Reply
  • I am in Calgary so I can't attend the event, still wanted to comment though! I did see you (Mitch) speak at #TAOM in Calgary this year and it was fantastic. Highly encourage everyone to attend.

    Many of the management lessons I have learnt from are from poor leaders I have worked with. Watch what the poor leaders do and take note so we don't repeat the same mistakes.

    Overall what I see works well is to have honest and open converstations with people, especially your employees. Avoiding tough discussions does no one any favors.

    Goodluck to everyone, there are some great comments posted. Break a leg Mitch.

    Reply
  • Posted by Lenny Pinkas
    Mitch Joel

    Whenever making a decision, always put yourself in the shoes of the owner of the business. Then make your decision.

    Reply
  • Posted by Jim Raffel
    Mitch Joel

    Mitch,
    Hmmm, while I can't win (because I can't go) I still want to jump on the bandwagon of offering up management advice. Yesterday I would have said one thing and today I think another - funny thing is they are related so you get a two for one ;)

    Yesterday I was thinking - "Sleep on it" or "Let it age." "It" being the issue or problem you are trying to resolve.

    Today I am thinking about the importance of picking the right people to do business with. We (like Twist) are a B2B concern and as such are really partners with our "customers." Because we now work on projects that intertwine us with our partners for 3-5 years it's important to make sure there is some synergy.

    Enjoy the conference. I really wish I could come. I've got you and Seth Godin to check off my "want to hear speak live" list. So far this year I've hear this Brogan character, as well as Brian Clark, Sonia Simon, and Darren Rowse. Oh, and Scott Stratten how could I forget a Canadian? ;)
    -Jim

    Reply
  • Posted by Rafic Kamaleddine
    Mitch Joel

    The best management advice is the ability to apply 'active listening'. Through that your presence will be felt around the room and by your client and you are able to respond to your client's and colleagues needs and requests in a true and effective way.

    Reply
  • Mitch Joel

    Don't even try to make a deal without having a good personal relationship with the CEO/Founder - Fred Wilson
    I imagine these tickets will go to someone you know, but if not please consider me.

    Reply
  • Posted by Alexa Samuels
    Mitch Joel

    It's more powerful to be personal.

    Reply
  • Posted by Shane H
    Mitch Joel

    Count to ten.

    Reply
  • Posted by Craig Pladson
    Mitch Joel

    You can't change people. Personalities and belief systems are fundamental to people's make up. Good managers embrace this and find opportunities to bring the best out of individuals to make things as mutually beneficial as possible. All, of course, while pushing ideas and business forward.

    Reply
  • Did anyone else catch Seth Godin's Blog post today? It's his best piece of management advice:

    "The easiest form of management is to encourage or demand that people do more. The other translation of this phrase is to go faster.

    The most important and difficult form of management (verging on leadership) is to encourage people to do better.

    Better is trickier than more because people have trouble visualizing themselves doing better. It requires education and coaching and patience to create a team of people who are better."

    It's too bad he didn't enter himself into the contest ;)

    Reply
    • Yes, I actually re-tweeted it about 9 hours ago. From my experience as a manager, most workers do have a hard time visualizing themselves as doing better. This is what they do, and if it's not good enough then they will find other work. I've received defensive positions when encouraging workers to strive for more. Godin is on point that patience is needed and education is the means to the next level. Unfortunately too many won't make that sacrifice.

      Reply
  • My best advice would be from Peter F. Drucker. He said there are four competencies of a leader:

    The ability and self-discipline to listen;
    The willingness to communicate (requires patience);
    Not to alibi (forget the excuses);
    Willingness to realize how unimportant you are compared to the task (subordinate yourself to the task).

    Reply
  • Posted by todd lucier
    Mitch Joel

    One of my partners in working with the tourism industry sums up her business objective in advice that I use every day.

    "Do what you do best, partner for the rest." ~ @nancyarsenault

    Recognizing that you can be good enough at something to profit from it, can often get in the way of achieving a level of success that is beyond your dreams by inviting those who are masterful at that something to share success with you.

    Reply
  • Mitch Joel

    Patience.

    The best management advice I received was from a mentor, boss and entrepreneur - who's company was later acquired by Microsoft (not bad!).

    His advice was about patience, if not moreso about timing.
    In business and business management when we are given a mandate or objective our individual ambition and pursuit of same needs to be best tempered around the issues of timing and patience. He taught me that there are huge potential advantages to waiting -- listening -- and allowing the players and issues to settle or bubble up -- rather than pursuing an aggressive solution based on an expedient time. Net, it is not always the better business strategy to hurry or gain progress sooner; in contrast, patience can win the game.

    Reply
  • Posted by Julie Fiorini
    Julie Fiorini

    "When in doubt, follow the client."

    --> This was said to me recently (on a golf course, mind you) but it's a very good piece of advice - applicable on the golf course and off.

    Reply
  • Posted by Kathy Hnatiuk
    Mitch Joel

    Best Leadership advance is a simple mantra "Be Yourself"

    Be true to yourself without comprising principles because others are influencing you.

    Leadership is management plus vision.

    and as a bonus you have to be a happy person to be a great leader...

    Reply
  • Posted by Jonathan Ewing
    Mitch Joel

    I believe it was Seth Godin who said that for every step you take downward to manage someone else's work, you become proportionally less expert at the subject matter.

    Reply
  • Posted by Aline Massouh
    Mitch Joel

    One of (because there are more) the best piece of management advice I have ever received is "act as if...". No one knows more about your business and what you're presenting than you, so act as if you're the expert, even if you're unsure.

    The other important one is to make sure you have passion. People respond to passion and energy and are drawn to it.

    Those were just a couple of tips given to me from a business Yoda, that got stuck in my little brain ;)

    Reply
  • What a nice contest, Mitch!

    I've got this curse of wanting to help people reach their potential. That's what Abraham Maslow calls self-actualization. When I first started managing, I had three staff and figured they'd appreciate my help. Wrong. I underestimated the power of the comfort zone and two were soon disgruntled. I backed down once I realized they were where they wanted to be. That was fine because they were getting their work done.

    Here's the management advice: don't help people more than they want to be helped.

    If you'd rather the advice come from a third party, how about Stephen Covey? He said that if two people think alike, get rid of one because they're redundant. This helped me understand the value of diversity in an effective team. Previously, I followed the flawed "great minds think alike" mantra.

    Reply
  • Posted by Michele
    Mitch Joel

    The best advice I got, and it's not purely management-focused but can apply to all facets of a profesional life, is:

    Learn to say no/Know when to use it

    Reply
  • Posted by David McGraw
    Mitch Joel

    Remain curious. Pay attention to what you are resisting and you will know where your opportunities are hidden.

    Reply
  • Posted by Jean julien
    Mitch Joel

    Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference.

    Reply
  • Posted by Shel Holtz
    Mitch Joel

    The single best piece of management advice I ever heard? Simple. Make your boss look good. It ALWAYS paid off for me.

    Reply
  • Mitch Joel

    A good Manager can do everything - a great Manager need do nothing.

    Reply
  • Posted by Leanne Wright
    Mitch Joel

    One of the best pieces of advice I've ever received (management or otherwise) came from my 7 year old son.
    "(Mom) you're pretending to listen but you're not really listening."

    Listening to someone and HEARING them are 2 different things. The latter fosters a sense of value and worth in the speaker. When I feel valued, I'm in. 100%.

    One of the initiatives this lead to in our office is 'Fatuous Fridays' where staff meet and hash out their most off-the-wall ideas. And they are made to feel that no idea will be scoffed-at. These sessions have produced some incredible projects (and a lot more of which will that never see the light of day!).

    We also do this at home and what a boost for my children's creativty and self-esteem.


    Reply
  • Posted by Dan Brostek
    Mitch Joel

    My Battalion Commander shared the following with me while I was still in the military....Know yourself (who you are and who you are not). You cannot lead by example if you are trying to be someone else.

    Reply
  • Posted by Lorenzo
    Mitch Joel

    I once asked on a forum: Did your manager ever tell you: "Sorry, you are/were right" ?

    The following is the answer I got from one of the respondent, basically the best advice I have ever had.

    I have had the situation where I was damned even though I was right. Quite a few years ago now, the team had just got a new manager who was new to the area. He wanted to embark upon a course of action that I thought was deeply flawed. I advised against it, gave my reasons and suggested an alternative. He listened, asked a few questions and then decided to stick with his plan. My thought at the time was "this is not a resigning issue, let him get on with it". A month or so later when the plan was in smoking ruins, the team met for the post mortem. I sat there, determined not to show any signs of an "I told you so" expression on my face. Suddenly he pointed his finger at me and said "Its all your fault _____!" "Me", I spluttered, "but I said not to do it!". "Exactly!" he replied "you should have been more convincing!" And of course he was right, I should have been more convincing. But back then I didn't know how to be more convincing. The apology should have come from me, but that perspective only came years later. I went on to become good friends with the guy and I have no doubt that he would apologise when he had made a mistake, no matter who it was he was apologising to.

    The moral of the story is that it is not enough to be right, you have to be convincing!

    Reply
  • Posted by K. Adam Ross
    Mitch Joel

    Don’t just manage people; manage their productivity as you empower them to be their best.

    Reply
  • Posted by Eric Zentner
    Mitch Joel

    From Og Mandino's the Greatest Salesman in the World:
    (I'm paraphrasing)

    "When everyone else has gone home at the end of the day, stay that extra hour. Sell 1 more client. Complete 1 more task".

    Essentially, be committed that extra amount more than the next guy. When people will compare themselves to you down the road (which they inevitably will), this will be the thing that puts you ahead of them.

    Reply
  • Posted by Ava Chisling
    Mitch Joel

    The best piece of management advice I ever heard came from an award-winning journalist. I was just starting out and had taken to sleeping at the office overnight when things got hectic. Noticing that I was putting in 24-hour days, she sat me down and said the following:

    "We are all just asses in chairs. If it is not your behind sitting in that office it will be someone else's. Enjoy your work, but never love something that cannot love you back."

    Reply
  • Posted by Karl Bimshas
    Mitch Joel

    "It's not about you." Don't remember who said it to me, but I've heard it often enough to remind myself of it when my ego get's unruly and things aren't going my way.

    Reply
  • Posted by Sue Beres
    Mitch Joel

    As a Manager, you can't be everyone's friend, but you should strive to have everyone's respect.

    Reply
  • Posted by Trevor
    Mitch Joel

    Setting mutually-agreed-upon goals between a manager and managee is key! Thanks for getting people to share their insights.

    Reply
  • Mitch Joel

    Don't mean to jump the gun, but given the great response to this post, can we follow this up with the worst management advice we have ever received?

    Reply
  • Posted by Dan D.
    Mitch Joel

    "The key to success is delegation."

    Reply
  • Posted by Melissa Sutherland Amado
    Mitch Joel

    "One should never have to come to work scared." Early advice from a mentor related to the ideas of perfection, mistakes and failures.

    Reply
  • Posted by Liz Nield
    Mitch Joel


    Look in the mirror every morning and ask yourself: Will you be satisfied with what you are about to accomplish?

    At the end of the day - take the time to reflect...


    Reply
  • Posted by Justin Seiler
    Mitch Joel

    The best piece of management advice I've received to date is : "always cover your butt" (although it may have been with a little more colourful language).

    It might seem strange that that's the best management advice, it seems counter-productive (and maybe not as poetic as the others have posted) but that's exactly why it works. It pushed me in the opposite direction, it was like anti-advice.

    If you're covering your butt, you're thinking of what's in your best interests as opposed to the best interests of the organization and those around you. In certain cases, it brings down the level of trust in an organization as group projects become more about individual goals. It can even stifle innnovation and progress, as often the covering of one's butt can often mean playing it safe instead of taking a risk and pushing things forward.

    So I guess you could say, in some cases, the best advice doesn't necessarily come in the form of the most inspiring quote. It could be advice that makes you think and question what it's saying, even if it means doing the opposite.

    Reply
  • Posted by Lerwin Gubatan
    Mitch Joel

    Be the best you can be at work, and empower others to follow.

    Reply
  • Posted by Noshtradamus
    Mitch Joel

    The difference between amateurs and professionals?

    Amateurs work hard so they can get it right. Professionals work hard so they cannot get it wrong.

    So if you know what you want to be, work accordingly!

    Reply
  • Posted by Satoshi Takano
    Satoshi Takano

    I was once told by a manager that I really truly admired, "business has no feelings."

    This still resonates with me, that although we put in long hours and build relationships with our peers and customers, at the end of the day, business doesn't care about any of that.

    It cares about results -- and never mistaken that for hard work.

    Reply
  • Posted by Bill Gemmell @simplifywithus
    Mitch Joel

    My best managerial advice,. "If there is a doubt, there is no doubt".

    Reply
  • Posted by Karen Jones
    Mitch Joel

    You manage things... you lead people. Managers always do things right but Leaders always do the right thing. Strive for leadership and the results will speak for themselves.

    Reply
  • Posted by Debbie Bennett
    Mitch Joel

    "Customer service doesn't have to be serious, it isn't bound by rules, and the customer doesn't always have to be right."
    -Herb Kelleher
    quote from "Nuts! Southwest Airlines' Crazy Recipe for Business and Personal Success"

    Herb built Southwest Airlines with the belief that the employee must come first and be rewarded for work well done. A happy employee enjoys their job and transfers this passion to the customer, creating a domino reaction.

    Reply
  • Posted by Kathryn Tector
    Mitch Joel

    One great piece of advice I received from my first boss was to learn from your mistakes, figure out a solution and move on.

    I also learned from his style to appreciate and take the time to acknowledge the team who is contributing to the success because very few things are done by one individual.

    Reply
  • Posted by JC Nesci
    Mitch Joel

    "Leaders should talk last."
    - thanks, Scott Belsky.

    Reply
  • The best piece of management advice I've ever received was to teach people to "manage up: teach those you manage to speak up and get what they need from you to perform their accountability"

    "Managing up" harnesses ownership, giving the manager the ability to tap into an entirely new resource of ideas and perspective not otherwise accessible if the the person accountable were just following orders.

    It harnesses self-accountability versus micro-management, giving the manager more time to do the things that are most important.

    It harnesses a sense of empowerment for the accountable and accountability for the manager, elevating everyone's performance.

    It ensures double the people are focused on the completion of the intention.

    It builds a leader.

    Reply
  • Posted by Rich Nadworny
    Mitch Joel

    The best piece of management advice I've received is this:

    "Almost every business problem is a communications problem."

    Once you start looking at management and business through that lens, everything becomes that much more solvable.

    Reply
  • Posted by Tom Webster
    Mitch Joel

    Hire slowly, fire quickly.

    Reply
  • Posted by Keith McIntyre
    Mitch Joel

    Management advice received early on in my career:


    1. Listen, listen, listen, digest and then take action;
    2. Take chances, try new things ... and when you do, always execute by shipping and delivering; whether it's a detailed, complex project or simple project with laser like precision;
    3. Passion. Be passionate about your business;
    4. Work hard to bring deeper, more meaningful relationships and connections to your business;
    5. You must always add value to existing ideas and platforms making them more efficient and productive;
    6.Be flexible, be able to change direction quickly to capitalize on opportunities as they arise;

    Have a great conference. Super line-up Mitch. Thanks for the opportunity and your consideration.
    Regards
    Keith

    Reply
  • Posted by Ken Knitter
    Mitch Joel

    One of the best pieces of management advice I received was from one of my first bosses. I came to him with an issue and he looked at me and said (in a friendly manner) "don't come back until you have at least two solutions in hand. We can then discuss the options and choose the best course of action."

    This piece of advise has not only served me well in my own career path, as I am not seen as the bearer of problems, but the bearer of solutions. But it has also helped me mentor my own team.

    Reply
  • Posted by Pat Snow
    Mitch Joel

    First priority is to manage yourself, ie. do whatever it takes to become an outstanding person and leader, second, create a great team, ideally surround yourself with people with different strengths from those you possess. However, no matter how great the team, the "manager" "leader" must develop his or her self ongoingly.
    In a nutshell: know yourself, know your strengths, build on those. Put together a team that fills out what's missing. Create a culture of independent people that work interdependently and have fun achieving corporate and personal goals.

    Reply
  • Posted by Christine Levesque
    Mitch Joel

    Never take someone else's monkey - take care of your own. If and when everyone play full out, miracle. You don't see the catcher play 1st base as well in a baseball game, do you ? Well, how many times do you see this happen in your company. Give every player the tools to play their best game at their position and win the game.

    Reply
  • Mitch Joel

    If you want a specific result from different people, it's illogical to think that the same process will apply to all. Modify your management per head so each goes at their pace and fashion. It's only by managing individuals individually that you get one team.

    Reply
  • Posted by Don Macdonald
    Mitch Joel

    Management excellence begins with managing yourself. This quote sums up the great John Wooden's philosophy. It's not about winning but about being the best you can be.

    "Don't measure yourself by what you have accomplished, but by what you should have accomplished with your ability."

    Reply
  • Posted by Richard Toker
    Mitch Joel

    "Be careful what you wish for, because you might get it, and then people get jealous and try to take it away from you."- Roger Sterling, Mad Men: "Waldorf Stories"

    Reply
  • Posted by Sarah Ormon
    Mitch Joel

    Never stop learning!

    Reply
  • Posted by John Morgan
    Mitch Joel

    The best piece of management advice I've ever received was to hire slow, and fire fast. The cost of a bad hire can be deadly to a business. With that, I learned that a good hire doesn't cost you. If you hire correctly then that person will help the business and bring in more than their wage. Don't hire until you're ready to and don't hire until you know EXACTLY what that positions responsibilities will entail.

    Reply
  • Posted by Roger Garcia
    Mitch Joel

    1 - Hire someone who can replace you. This will allow you to concentrate on your next move.
    2 - Be a leader first, and a manager second.

    Reply
  • Posted by Chris Kennedy
    Mitch Joel

    "Be decisive and effective while leading people toward visionary growth."

    Effective management is more than just about process. It is about the people who are part of the process driving results. Effective managers know to ask "what needs to be done?" who then focus on the process managing the actions of people who get it done well. At the same time, effective managers also ask "What’s right for the enterprise?" when deciding "what needs to be done". Lastly, effective managers never stop learning, acknowledging while they may not possess all the answers, it is still their responsibility to gather all possible information and people to make the best informed decisions to better ensure the desired results.

    Reply
  • Mitch Joel

    The best advice that I have received so far in my short but extremely exciting career came from an old sports psychologist that I used to know. He would always tell us "if you have always do what you have always done, you will always get what you have always got". At first it seems like some very obvious advice, however, most managers will continue to perform the same actions over and over again hoping that a different account will be achieved.

    Reply
  • Posted by Rob Metras
    Mitch Joel

    Don't use your mouth before you ears have engaged and never forget the golden rule.

    Reply
  • Posted by Brennan Thomson
    Mitch Joel

    All great pieces of advice....

    Here are a few nuggets that are stuck in my head and guide me day to day:

    Drive - "People saying 'it' can't be done are often interrupted by people doing 'it'."

    Growth - "Always learn from 'No'."

    Success - "Learn to intelligently fail fast and fail often. The sooner you understand what doesn't work, the sooner you'll discover what does."

    and my favourite:

    Integrity - "It is not who I am on the inside, but what I do that defines me."

    Cheers!

    Reply
  • Posted by Karina Graf
    Mitch Joel

    Rely on your team for help, but make sure you do the least appealing task yourself.

    Reply
  • Posted by Joshua Rogers
    Joshua Rogers

    Ability is not a simple function of how intelligent someone is. There are many other factors that have an impact an individual’s performance. Uncover the barriers and help your people succeed.

    Reply
  • Posted by Brian M Hays
    Mitch Joel

    "You should always be underpaid and you should always underpay your employees."

    Each day you should be more valuable to the organization than the previous day. You become more experienced, more educated, and better connected to the community in which the organization operates. Each time you give a raise to an employee or to yourself it should match the level of value of that person at that time. But, because that individual is always appreciating, he/she will be underpaid by the time the check clears.

    Reply
  • Posted by Sylvie
    Mitch Joel

    "Be slow to hire and quick to fire." - My Dad

    Reply
  • Posted by Will Burns
    Mitch Joel

    The best piece of advice I ever got was from Mark Twain and it wasn't meant to be management advice. He said (paraphrasing): "If you never lie, you never have to remember anything." I love that line and try my best to live it. In business, with its politics and bureaucracy, one lie have exponential implications and they're never good. And this line is inextricably linked with the notion that you should just be yourself.

    Reply
  • Posted by Scott M. Dane
    Mitch Joel

    When I was a teen working with the Council of Michigan Foundation's MCFYP group I was told that building and maintaining relationships with people needed to be my priority in whatever I choose to pursue. Rob Collier, CMF President and CEO, gave me this great advice at a young age. I didn't know it at the time, but Rob gave me my first lesson on networking!

    Reply
  • Posted by Dan Christian
    Mitch Joel

    You must have a thirst for knowledge.

    The world is constantly changing. You must learn and grow continually to keep up. The most successful people avail themselves of every opportunity to learn. It matters not whether you were born rich or poor, knowledge is the great equalizer. No matter where you come from, if you pursue knowledge, it can change your fate. Joe Segal

    Reply
  • Mitch Joel

    Know what you want and go get it.

    Reply
  • Posted by Stefan Eyram
    Mitch Joel

    "Just do it!" - Nike

    When your brain says it's right and your heart agrees, "just do it!" You will not regret it. If you succeed it was meant to be. If you fail you will learn more than the cost of the failure.

    Reply
  • Posted by Robin Vandekleut
    Mitch Joel

    Strategy is dead in the water without Execution. Great Execution is dependent on two things:

    1. Putting the right people in the right positions
    2. Having the proper processes in place to make the magic happen

    And one more good one .... "Simplicity can always be found on the other side of complexity - embrace diversity in teams"

    Reply
  • Posted by Fashion Minute
    Fashion Minute

    Always seek to improve your leadership skills through understanding your staff and yourself - don't do this by assuming who everyone is, but rather take the time to learn about them and do actual training around this with them (i.e. Emotional Intelligence training, Meyers Briggs group debriefing sessions etc.).

    Reply
  • Posted by john christou
    john christou

    I once interviewed Nolan Bushnell, founder of Atari. He told "Anyone can come up with a brilliant idea while taking a shower. It's what you do when you get out of the shower that counts."

    Reply
  • Richard Marginson

    I only recently received the best piece of managment advice ever (well, it trumped other "bests" anyway), but it's already helped me a few times when I slow down and think about who I'm talking with. It's also made me hungry on occaision...

    "People have different personalities, just like foods have different flavours. Some people are like chicken, others are like pork, and others still are like veggies. If you throw everything together in the same pot, and treat it the same way, it's going to taste terrible. But if you work with each food seperately, taking care to bring out the best in it through individual care and attention, you'll end up with a gourmet meal when you bring it all together."

    Reply
  • Posted by Lianne
    Mitch Joel

    The best piece of management advice I ever recieved was about a week into my first managerial role, and my VP said to me (after me venting about certain employees only doing what was in their "job description") "Not everyone is looking for more, so people are just looking to do what's "theirs". Use those people for what they can do, and use your stars for what they can do. If the whole world was an overachiever we would have a problem too" It's a piece of advice I have had to pass on often in my career.

    Reply
  • Posted by Thomas Gaylor
    Mitch Joel

    The best piece of management advice I've ever received was:

    If you truly believe in what you do, and the goals of what you want to achieve then your passion will be infectious. Whomever you manage will motivated to work as hard and as inspired as you do yourself.

    Reply
  • Posted by Matt Nelson
    Mitch Joel

    "Don't reinvent the wheel"

    Someone out there has solved the very problem you're facing today 99% of the time.

    Reply
  • Posted by Andrea Wahbe
    Mitch Joel

    Fail early and fail often - success is 99% failure!

    Reply
  • Posted by Amy Sept
    Mitch Joel

    I wish I knew who in my life to credit for this, although I don't know that it's a specific piece of advice I received; rather I think I had the privilege of learning it from leaders I've worked with.

    The advice? Own my mistakes.

    Big or small, it's so tempting to deflect the blame and disappointment that often comes with mistakes. But deflecting doesn't change the fact that I know when I've screwed up.

    Owning the mistakes I've made is the easiest way I've found to learn from them. Everybody makes mistakes - often the same ones. Yes, admitting I've erred creates a target for the criticism that comes with it. But more importantly, it gives me a chance to learn from those who instead take the time to share their own experience and advice.

    At the end of the day, criticism fades faster than the wisdom that moves me forward.


    "Confidence comes from making mistakes. The more mistakes you make, the more you know what not to do." ~ Steve Tatham, staff writer, Walk Disney

    Reply
  • Posted by Marjie
    Mitch Joel

    Manage by getting an understanding of what makes people tick. What motivates one person, may not motivate another. Once you find that out, you can then empower, build trust, loyalty and commitment from the particular people you manage.

    Reply
  • Best piece of advice I was given as a 22 year old ABM working on my first brand.

    "If you know better, do better."

    This applies to managing your business with conviction and genuine purpose, to leading your team with integrity, to developing your people with transparency and investment, and to making the hard decisions with courage and resolution. And most importantly, to always keep learning, so you know even better the next time.

    Reply
  • Mitch Joel

    Two points that I have heard and taken to heart over the years:

    1) Treat it like its your own business as no one can ever fault you for trying to make the company more money or effective

    2) The customer is not always right, but the tactful business person knows how to explain why

    Reply
  • Posted by Tatiana Popovski
    Mitch Joel

    When I decided to leave my corporate job in order to have my own business I was given an advice that guides almost all of my business decisions:

    STAND FOR SOMETHING OR STAND FOR NOTHING. Stand for something relevant and important to your customers (and your passion), or risk to be categorized as trivial. Once you are a comodity, you lose, you have no value. Build a cause that you believe in, commit to it, manage itthe way you'd treat any critical asset -- so you can build relevance, deeper connection ethos and pride. And then -- the world becomes better.

    Reply
  • Posted by Kelly Zorzi
    Mitch Joel

    Authority and responsibility are meant to go hand in hand.

    Reply
  • Posted by Robert Yee
    Mitch Joel

    Begin with the end in mind.

    Example: You have the idea to bake a cake. That will lead you to put eggs, flour, sugar, etc. in a bowl and mix it up. One does not toss eggs, flour, sugar, etc. into a bowl to see what happens. Begin with the end in mind, and how we'll get there will become clear.

    Reply
  • Posted by Deborah Skye
    Mitch Joel

    The best piece of advice given to me was "live with passion, breath it and commit to it with all your heart and soul, then take that passion and create with it, bring it to your products, to your clients to your every aspect of your business. Only then will you align with your purpose, only then will you engage your ideal clients, only then will you experience the commitment that lives inside of you!."

    I do, I am, I'm living it...it's the best experience I can have with myself and in relationship to my business and clients/services.

    Mitch,

    LOVE to get those VIP Tickets because I LUV every speaker!

    -Deborah Skye

    Beaches, Toronto -:)

    Reply
  • Posted by Theresa Howe
    Mitch Joel

    One of the best pieces of management advice I ever received was not from one of my immediate marketing superiors, but rather the head of operations who was one of my mentors. He said "Theresa, MBAs are great; but you know what's better? MBWA." I said "What is that?" And he replied "Management By Walking Around." You will learn more by doing that than you will sitting at your desk. He spent the next hour walking through the company with me, talking to people in every department; including a considerable amount of time in the warehouse; looking at the shipments going out, talking to the warehouse employees about what was going out, what was being returned, etc.

    He was right; I was a product marketing manager at the time (almost 20 yrs ago) - and in many ways I learned more about my products in that hour than I had in the months I had been on the job. It was a valuable lesson that I still practice today; you need to get out from behind your desk and out of the meeting rooms and go talk to people. Not only do you learn something, but you build invaluable trust and relationships with your colleagues.

    Cheers,
    Theresa

    Reply
  • Posted by Lucas Johnson
    Lucas Johnson

    "son, we are giving you the rope. It is up to you use to climb the mountain or hang yourself!".


    Reply
  • Posted by Leah
    Mitch Joel

    The best piece of management advice I have received is to assume nothing. This piece of advice was provided to me by a senior VP who had taken me under his wing so to speak... the advice has served me well over the 12 years I have been in business as it applies to everything from how one interacts with clients, colleagues at all levels, suppliers, etc... Generally when I find myself in an awkward position, I can resolve my uneasy position by asking those involved if I made a mistake... or if X is true. or if... INSERT ASSUMPTION HERE!

    It seems simple enough but when I started to consciously ask myself if what I thought was based on what a client/colleague/etc. had told me or what I thought the client/colleague/etc. thought, I realized how often I assumed I knew something.

    So although my career has changed since this advice was provided 12 years ago, it has remained a vital piece of advice that keeps me focussed and productive.

    Reply
  • Posted by Amy Ma
    Mitch Joel

    The best leaders I've had in my working days are the ones who inspire by example. When the head of the organization knows everyone's name and takes the time to ask how my day is doing, it goes a long way to making for a healthy and productive work environment that harnesses the best we have to give.

    I've also been fortunate to hear Gordon Cressy speak on a few occasions, and one of his trademark quotes is from DH Lawrence. To paraphrase, "all people dream. But the dreamers of the Day are dangerous, for they may act their dreams with open eyes to make it happen.

    Whenever I have played a leadership role, I am mindful of these words, and I try my best to help those around me to become "dreamers of the day" while in the process of realizing our joint goals and objectives.

    Reply
    • Posted by Caroline
      Caroline

      Good leaders are able to reach goals even when there is conflict amongst team members. Project Management courses address this in human factors and team dynamics excercises. Being in a leadership leadership can be very stressful but the best leaders can still deliver the results even with divergent views and ideas. The worst leaders have a history of failed ventures or enterprises that achieve a goal but end in broken relations. The most extreme cases are those that end in mutiny or someone being pushed out of an organization. Dreamers of the day are "dangerous" like the Mark Zuckerbers whose facebook revolutionized the world. Other types of dreaminig are dangerous for other reasons. Like when one overlooks standard management practices and deadlines get missed or aspects of a project are not executed properly. The easiest way to improve and learn about good leadership is in the workforce, in the day to day reality of the world of being employed in a business or organization that is mission driven with measureable objectives.

      Reply
      • Posted by lisa
        lisa

        I agree Caroline. I wonder if Ms. Ma has much of a track record in leadership. I was surprised to see her commenting here. I experienced nothing but frustration when she volunteered to "manage" a project for me. Nothing but accusations, inflexibility, a habit of writing long memos about how she was being treated unfairly, etc. All of thhis from a stay-at-home mom who hasn't worked in years.

        Reply
  • Posted by Hani
    Mitch Joel

    The best management advice I have received when I read the credo of managing and creating an amazing customers service experience in one of the Aerospace company in Montreal.
    ”Treat every customer as if they sign your paycheck…because they do.”

    Reply
  • Mitch Joel

    What I've needed to hear recently? Wow, let's see...

    "Communicate with a warm heart and cool head." (My all encompassing mantra for finance, brainstorming, public speaking, progress reports etc.)

    And, for someone like me who is establishing a consultancy in a new city... "Never except a cheque from someone outside of your target market." Immensely difficult when there is pressure to increase cash flow, but must be done to remain easily marketable.

    Reply
  • Posted by Patrick Messier
    Mitch Joel

    "Good leaders are those who stand in the back of their team. They are gathering people around their vision. It is much easier to manage a business this way, than by standing in front. Everyone have benefits when you stand in the back. When you're in front, only your ego has benefits."

    Reply
  • Mitch Joel

    The greatest piece of management advice I received was from Fritz Glaus who develop the training program Styles of Leadership & Team Development. It was to be flexible as a leader and manager in order to apply the right style of leadership for the situation and person. The best style to strive for is the participative syle of leadership but sometimes you need to be direct and call the shots as the fire chief does in an emergeny situation.

    Reply
  • Posted by Terence
    Mitch Joel

    Best management advice: fail early and fail often. Companies that encourage innovation are the ones that don't frown on failure. It's only through our failures that we can learn to succeed.

    Reply
  • Posted by barbara sedun
    Mitch Joel

    hire smart people and then let them do what they do best!!

    Reply
  • Posted by Kneale Mann
    Mitch Joel

    Understand that you do not have all the answers - that's why you have a team.

    Democracy means you don't veto everything but must make the decisions when necessary.

    Managing a business is not daycare but if you have compassion that you are working with actual humans, you will see better results.

    Understand that the key to teamwork is not to ensure everyone "pulls their weight" but rather everyone plays to their strengths. The coach does not expect Sydney Crosby to be the goalie.

    Have a mastermind group or coach or colleague(s) outside of your organization who can give you honest feedback on your performance and abilities. All too often, managers work hard to get the title then forget the work (on the business and themselves) never stops.

    Don't hide when the tough decisions are to be made.

    Avoid reverse delegation - when someone comes to you with an idea, you take it on, then you can't deliver and they perceive that as you killing their ideas. Instead, put it back on their lap and ask them to flush it out and come back with more tactics and further discussion.

    Be fair. Be clear. Be consistent. Listen. Encourage.

    Reply
  • Posted by Evan Savelson
    Mitch Joel

    If you can't change the people...change the people. - D. Cape

    was offered as a corollary to
    Hire fast....Fire Faster

    Reply
  • Posted by Phil Bliss
    Mitch Joel

    best advice i ever had is that success is 50% good planning, 50% brilliant implementation and 50% good luck = 150% effort

    Reply
  • Posted by Marco Tavolieri
    Mitch Joel

    The best piecie of managment advice comes from one of the best managers ever Jack Welch:
    My main job was developing talent. I was a gardener providing water and other nourishment to our top 750 people. Of course, I had to pull out some weeds, too.

    Help your people grow, and remove anything that will stagnate the growth!

    Reply
  • Posted by Darius Bashar
    Mitch Joel

    I once heard a speaker say that best thing you could give your employees is the permission to fail. I know everyone is different, but for me it usually take 2 or 3 swings and misses before I really start getting into my flow. I want to fail fast to get that out of the way and get to the real magic. Giving someone the permission to fail is liberating and I have found very conducive to creativity.

    Reply
  • Posted by Karly
    Mitch Joel

    I haven't recieved this piece of advice from anyone in particular but read it somewhere recently and loved it:

    “Good management is the art of making problems so interesting and their solutions so constructive that everyone wants to get to work and deal with them.” - Paul Hawken, environmentalist /entrepreneur.

    Reply
  • Posted by ROBERT
    Mitch Joel

    Listen with your ears.

    Don't pre-judge your employees and don't try to fit them into a pre-determined box.

    Manage from behind ,and allow the people that you have surrounded your self with to find their own water level. They may perform differently than you expected, but they will outperform your wildest expectations.

    Reply
  • Posted by Gayle Hurmuses
    Mitch Joel

    My personal favourite is about management through inspiration:

    "If you want to build a ship, don't drum up people to collect wood and don't assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea"

    Antoine de Sainte-Exupery

    Reply
  • Posted by Paula
    Mitch Joel

    The best advise I got was from a friend during a negotiation - 'Be prepared to walk away'.

    Paula

    Reply
  • Posted by Cara Epp
    Mitch Joel

    Sometimes it's better to ask someone rather than tell someone. Also, when you have tasks to assign make sure the person who will be executing the task understands the big picture and how what they are doing fits into it. They will be more engaged and will look for opportunities to add value to the project.

    Reply
  • Posted by Janice Arnoldi
    Mitch Joel

    Best advice I've received - You need to have a balance between your business and personal life to succeed at both.

    Reply
  • Posted by phil simon
    Mitch Joel

    W. Charles DEming said, "In God we trust, all others bring data." I always loved that one.

    Reply
  • Posted by NailaJ
    Mitch Joel

    Does Wayne Gretzky's "You miss 100% of the shots you don't take" count? It's not quite managerial advice, but it does apply!

    In all seriousness, there are many golden messages in these comments! The best piece of management advice I've ever received would probably be the simple yet true: "Know your audience." Without it, nothing else works!

    Reply
  • Please keep in mind that any entries with a date stamp past 5:00 pm (eastern) today (Wednesday, November 10th, 2010) will not be eligible for the prize but the contributions are always welcome and can keep on coming - there are some gems in here!

    Reply
  • Posted by Ralph Mercer
    Mitch Joel

    Enable don't micromanage

    Reply
  • Posted by Leanne Crowley
    Mitch Joel

    Let every worker manage their own section/division and make decisions that are pertinent to their department, even if it is as "small" what kind of staples to buy. Everyone has to feel included in the operations to get the most out of their potential productivity. Involving people in decision making is the best way to get people on board and to a state of commitment instead of resistance.

    Reply
  • Posted by Flavian DeLima
    Mitch Joel

    I hope smart ideas and insights from the classics count. Apologies for the long explanation. For those who have more than a minute to spare, the triple attack may be worth it.
    The best piece of management advice was that more often than not, we need to test our own ingrained and almost universally accepted assumptions.

    I was dumbstruck upon after learning an important insight known as the “TRIPLE ATTACK” that comes from a wonderful book called Applied Imagination written in 1953 by Alex Osborn. Osborn was an advertising executive in coined the term ‘brainstorm’ in his book Applied Imagination. Put simply, a ‘brainstorm’ implies the act of using the brain to storm a problem.
    Osborn was one the first to address creative problem solving and idea-finding. Like most, I associate brainstorming with group activity. Osborn argued that the best brainstorming occurs when it starts and ends with the individual in isolation.
    Step forward to the 1960s where Paul Paulus, a psychologist from the University of Texas researched the topic. Like Osborn, Paulus concluded brainstorming done in isolation produces twice as many ideas compared to group activity. For most startups and the juggernauts like Apple and Google, who live and breathe innovation, creativity and (group) brainstorming, this result is perplexing.

    In on of his studies in the 1960s, Paulus worked with employees from an energy company in Texas. The selected employees underwent extensive training for effective teamwork skills. They were asked to brainstorm about job relevant issues both as a group and alone, as four individuals.

    The result: Paulus found the group generated half as many ideas compared to four isolated individuals. More interestingly, each individual perceived their group as superior.

    What Paulus (as Osborn writes in his book) discovered was that there are a number of psychological factors that contribute to reduced group productivity that act as a counter to the fundamental rules of effective group brainstorming.

    (The four pillars of group brainstorming are: generating as many ideas as possible deferring judgement or criticism of ideas, freewheeling by saying all ideas that come to mind and combining and improving ideas)

    The psychological factors that compromised group brainstorming were:
    1. Social loafing or free riding occurs when group members exert less effort than similar participants working alone. They believe their views will be lost in the overall group result and are
    less motivated to contribute.

    2. Evaluation apprehension is the second factor, where members are afraid of looking stupid or being judged unfavorably by their peers.


    3. In certain situations, a person's ego takes over in an effort to impress a boss. How often have we seen this.

    4. Production blocking. This involves a typical situation where only one
    person is allowed to speak at a given time. Other group members are prevented
    from voicing their ideas in real time. This waiting time usually leads to ideas being forgotten or discarded as inferior or lackingin originality.

    Alex Osborn concluded (for which Paulus’ finding are consistent) that the ideal method or technique for the highest number and the most creative ideas is to use the “TRIPLE ATTACK” when brainstorming.
    This means beginning with beginning with individual idea generation followed by group brainstorming and ending again with individual idea generation. The triple attach approach produces the best result so long as the principle of deferring judgement and criticism at each step is followed.

    The EUREKA MOMENT comes from leveraging the ideas of the group in isolation. Many Nobel Prize winners agree that this is exactly how they arrived at their discoveries.

    Since the second step (group brainstorming) is so important, Osborn and Paulus suggest certain guidelines be followed in order for the triple attack to be effective.
    For best results, have few instead of many members, use a trained facilitator rather than no facilitator, don’t end early as the second half of the session scores the most ideas. Finally, write down the ideas instead of voicing them.

    Long live Osborn’s ‘Triple Attack’

    Reply
    • Posted by Laura McGonigal
      Mitch Joel

      Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

      Reply
    • Posted by Flavian DeLima
      Mitch Joel

      One additional point. How many managers are effective facilitators and get out of the way so their people really do generate and run with great ideas. Effective group brainstorming requires managers to truly be effective leaders. Without this, there is no Eureka moment.

      Thanks Mitch for the opportunity. Interested to hear how your talk goes down for a topic of this magnitude. How often do you get to hear ART and MANAGEMENT represent the best and brightest all day long? Have a great talk.

      Reply
  • Posted by robin mcpherson
    Mitch Joel

    From Karl Weick - Fight as if you are right; listen as if you are wrong.

    Reply
  • Posted by Laura McGonigal
    Mitch Joel

    Advice is seldom welcome; and those who want it the most always like it the least.

    -Philip Stanhope

    Reply
  • Posted by Patricia Burton
    Mitch Joel

    Don't tell people what to do. Tell them what you need and let them surprise you with their ingenuity.

    My husband quotes this often and it always comes in handy even with our teenagers! I believe it's a paraphrase from a General Patton quote.

    Reply
  • Posted by Linda
    Mitch Joel

    Best piece of management advice I've ever received was t "you are not what you do" - remember to stay in touch with you, the person - have a life outside of work that you can draw on and retreat to.
    Simple but powerful....

    Reply
  • THE WINNERS!

    The winners of VIP tickets (two per winner) for The Art of Management are:

    Deborah Bakker.
    Pamela Hackett.

    The winners of tickets (two per winner) for Jamie Oliver are:

    Kim McWatt.
    Darius Bashar.

    All winners will be notified via email shortly with details on how to claim their prize. Many thanks to everyone who participated, and please don't stop distilling your great management advice - the content in the comments are amazing.

    Reply
  • Posted by Pamela Hackett
    Mitch Joel

    Thank you Mitch! I'm thrilled and really look forward to seeing and hearing you speak.....and of course, the whole day!

    Reply
    • It's going to be a great day! Looking forward to hanging out!

      Reply
      • Posted by Pamela Hackett
        Mitch Joel

        Mitch,

        I wanted to let you know my other ticket will go to Cameron Boyd, the son of Kelvin whom I wrote of. He is such a bright young guy (a 20 something) and has joined Deloitte, so I thought he would be the perfect conference buddy for me!

        When I offered him the ticket he was thrilled to be attending.... he's promised his work to do a 'lunch and learn' in exchange for giving him the day off to attend. (Love this lunch and learn concept!)

        Thanks again for this.... what a nice turn of events. Cameron passes on his thanks as well, I'm sure he will thank you in person!

        Reply
  • Posted by Flavian DeLima
    Mitch Joel

    Knock 'em dead. Certainly hope the Canadian Gladwell & Joel content dazzles the audience far and wide.

    Reply
  • Posted by zzzzz
    Mitch Joel

    Yujiro, left Baki in Emi Akazawa's hands
    (Baki's mom). Tier 1 is available from the beginning, Tier 2 is available at
    level ten, and tier three only become available at
    level 20. It is harder to control where the ball is going to end up if you do this.

    Reply
  • Posted by zzz
    Mitch Joel

    League of Legends is played when two teams of champions compete
    to be the first to kill off the other team's Nexus.

    Nexus is the final threat that is contained within the enemy's base.
    Now displays shield amount in segments, similar to health segments.

    Reply
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