• Warren Buffett on Hurricane Harvey and the U.S. Economy

    On his 87th birthday, Warren Buffett, Berkshire Hathaway, spoke with CNBC's Becky Quick in the video above. He discusses Hurricane Harvey, 2% GDP economy, Interest rates, North Korea, Apple, IBM, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Amazon, Whole Foods, brand manufacturers and retailers, P & G, Coca Cola, and Unilever. It is interesting to note that he has lived under 15 presidents and believes that the country will move forward. 

    Hurricane Harvey will take an economic toll. Home/auto insurance, flood insurance, refineries, air travel, and small business have already been affected. The Commerce Department reported Wednesday (August 30) that gross domestic product (GDP) grew at an annual rate of 3 percent in the April-June quarter.

    GDP is the broadest measure of economic health, but Buffett did not agree that GDP was 3%. What does he believe about GDP?

    Explain why you agree or disagree with Buffett. What does this mean for business?

  • Labor Union Approval is Increasing

    Solid Majority of Americans Approve of Labor Unions

    Gallup reports that "Americans' approval of labor unions has risen to 61%, the highest since 2003. A new high of 39% say unions should have more influence."

    A Google search for "any company that has a union, deserves a union" resulted in over 44 million posts. In other words, with what we know about management today, there should be no need for unions. 

    Seth Godin reminds us that "unions have a vested interest in pushing each of their members to reject the industrial sameness that seems so efficient but ultimately leads to a race to the bottom, and jobs (their jobs), lost."

    What is the purpose of a union?

    Why are more Americans approving of unions today? 

    What should managers do to ensure that employees are treated with appropriate respect, dignity and compensation?

  • Natural Disasters In The U.S.

    Weather affects the environment of management. Even though business continues, managers must make many decisions for business to continue. For example, this week, Houston has been paralyzed by Tropical Storm Harvey, the biggest storm in the history of the state of Texas. Statista reports in the infographic above that tropical cyclones have proven the worst U.S. natural disasters over the past 30 years. Between 1987 and 2017, they caused just over 3,000 deaths and over half a trillion dollars of damage. Severe storms have also had a devastating impact, causing nearly $200 billion of damage as well as 1,400 deaths. 
    Which businesses have been most affected by tropical storm Harvey?
    What types of decisions have managers made?
    How have businesses based in Houston managed to be ongoing?
  • America's Best Large Employers 2017

     You will find more statistics at Statista

    When Costco employees were asked, How likely are you to recommend your employer to a friend or family member?, Costco received a score of 9.58 out of 10. This resulted in Costco being named the best employer for 2017.

    Michael Lee Stallard writes that "3 factors that make Costco America's best employer." Costco has a clear and inspiring vision of doing the right thing even when it is difficult.; it shows that it values its staff with superior benefits and compensation, growth opportunities; and Costco listens to employees' ideas for improvement.

    Stallard writes about Costco, "The company’s Connection Culture provides a competitive advantage that will help it sustain its impressive track record of superior performance and weather the difficult seasons that all companies face from time-to-time. Some of its competitors have been reported in the press to have toxic cultures that harm employees. These organizations may continue to perform well for a while, but eventually their lack of connection will lead to managerial failure that sabotages performance. It’s only a question of when."

    Why is culture important to employees?

    How do you find out about a company's culture before you begin working for the company?

  • How to Get Up to Speed in a New Leadership Role

    In the above whiteboard session, Michael D. Watkins discusses how a new leader can get up to speed. There are common traps for a leader joining a new organization.
    Learning traps include technical, cultural, and political. Common traps are trying to do too much; setting unrealistic expectations; what got me here; not understanding the real rules of the game, "the answer"; connecting with peers; and captured by the wrong people.
    But, there are ways to combat the failure rate of new leaders. The organization needs a transition road map. In this way, the new leader can accelerate learning, match strategy to the situation, and gain alignment. This establishes direction for the leader and the organization. The leader needs to build a team, secure early wins, and create alliances.

    • How might this information help you starting a new job?

    • How might this information help you be promoted from within?
    • Explain which part of the presentation will help you the most in the future.
  • How to make stress your friend

    As the new school year begins and summer ends, our work routines change. For many of you, it's already peak busy time.  Others of you are about to jump into your peak busy time, and many of you are wondering if you'll ever NOT be crazy busy.

    In the above 14-minute TED talk, Dr. Kelly McGonigal talks about research of the impact of stress on your health. 

    But...it's not what you expect. She proposes that if we can change the way we think about stress, we can change its impact on our health.

    • How will you make stress your friend?

  • Look More Confident During a Presentation

    The Center for Body Language studies successful leaders. As a result, researchers have identified several  body language positions which are indicators of effective, persuasive body language. These include the following.

    • Contain your hand movements in The Box in front of your chest and bellyThis will make you look more trustworthy and truthful.
    • Hold the ball. Gesture as if you are holding a basketball between your hands. This displays confidence and control, as if you have the facts at your fingertips.
    • Pyramid your hands. Keep your hands still by clasping them together in a relaxed pyramid. "Beware of overusing this position or pairing it with domineering or arrogant facial expressions. The idea is to show that you’re relaxed, not smug."
    • Keep a Wide stance. This shows that you are strong and steady.
    • Hold your Palms up. "Turning your hands up indicates openness and honesty, and it shows that you’re willing to connect with the people you’re speaking to, whether it’s one person or a crowd of thousands."
    • Hold your Palms down. Turning your hands down is a sign of strength, authority, and assertiveness. Use this to calm a crowd.

    Record yourself giving a presentation.

    Review the video with the sound off, watching only your body language.

    Which of these positions did you use?

    Which of these positions should you have used? 

  • 28 Boring Words and What to Use Instead

    Communication is an important management skill. Without it, understanding does not take place. But, managers do not want to be boring! Custom-Writing has developed the above infographic to show 28 boring words. We all use them! But, instead of using boring words, the infographic shows alternatives that you can use.

    Which of the 28 boring words have you been using?

    Which ones will you replace with more exciting alternatives?

  • Ask these questions to identify who you are as a leader

    In the above video, John Baldoni says, to find out who you are as a leader, ask yourself what you do well, which areas you need help with, and how you can better help your team. "Make sure there's an alignment between what you think you're doing and what they are receiving," he says.

    Who are you?

    What can you do?

  • Be An Inspiration to Yourself

    It is important for managers to motivate employees. But, understanding what motivates you, can help you motivate others. In the infographic above, several questions are listed to help you inspire yourself.

    List three people who inspire you.

    What have you learned from these people?

    What actions will you take to incorporate what you have learned into your everyday life?