Master of his fate: leadership lessons from Nelson Mandela

December 09, 2013 - by: Dan Oswald 0 COMMENTS

Mandelaby Dan Oswald

“A good head and a good heart are always a formidable combination.”
Nelson Mandela

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Obamacare provides lessons for every manager

December 02, 2013 - by: Dan Oswald 2 COMMENTS

Obamacareby Dan Oswald

It’s one of the most controversial pieces of legislation passed in my lifetime, with its legality being ruled on by the U.S. Supreme Court, but whether you support or reject Obamacare, it’s obvious that its execution has been deeply flawed. There’s a lesson in this for all of us.

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Increase company performance by instilling sense of ownership

November 25, 2013 - by: Dan Oswald 2 COMMENTS

Ownershipby Dan Oswald

“He acts like he owns the place!” Depending on the context, that single sentence, when used in the workplace, can either spell disaster or be one of the most positive and flattering things to be said about an employee. If the statement is made out of frustration about an employee who throws his weight around and has a condescending attitude, you might be in trouble. But if it’s said with pride and satisfaction about an employee, then you’ve found yourself a star.

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If you don’t have anything nice to say . . .

November 18, 2013 - by: Dan Oswald 0 COMMENTS

shut upby Dan Oswald

“Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.”
—Abraham Lincoln

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7 lessons for better managers from Alabama coach Nick Saban

November 11, 2013 - by: Dan Oswald 0 COMMENTS

by Dan Oswald

Some of you might get tired of my use of sports stories to illustrate good management, but when I see something like the recent 60 Minutes piece on University of Alabama football coach Nick Saban, I’m struck by the parallels between coaching a sport and managing people. In the end, people are people. Successful strategies to manage, mold, and motivate them are consistent across the playing field and the workplace.

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Live generously: business with an eye on helping others

November 04, 2013 - by: Dan Oswald 1 COMMENTS

by Dan Oswald

I was in Birmingham, Alabama, over the weekend visiting my daughter at college. While out for breakfast, I saw a local newspaper with the headline “Live Generously: How three Gardendale teenagers hope to change lives with new business.”

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After setting goals, be vigilant in achieving them

October 28, 2013 - by: Dan Oswald 0 COMMENTS

by Dan Oswald

If you’re like me, it’s time to turn your attention to 2014. As we move through the fourth quarter of 2013 and can see the end in sight, our thoughts turn to what we want to accomplish in the coming year. At our company, we’re in the midst of our budgeting process for 2014, and to create a budget that matches our ambitions, our goals for the coming year must be defined.

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“Remember the Titans” offers memorable workplace lessons

October 21, 2013 - by: Dan Oswald 1 COMMENTS

by Dan Oswald

The other night I walked in the door to find my youngest son watching the movie Remember the Titans. If you’re a regular reader of this column, you know I consider the movie one of my favorites. Of course, I sat down and watched the last 30 minutes of the film with my son.

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Coach’s decision to disband team scores points in character building

October 14, 2013 - by: Dan Oswald 2 COMMENTS

by Dan Oswald

A football coach in Utah recently went to great lengths to make sure his players understand the importance of high-school athletics—that is, he suspended almost the entire team because they were skipping class, had poor grades, and were even participating in bullying a fellow student.

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“Team building” requires much more than a weekend retreat

October 07, 2013 - by: Dan Oswald 0 COMMENTS

by Dan Oswald

We talk a lot about teams in the workplace today. When we recruit to fill a position, we say, “We’re looking for team players.” When the team achieves success, we say, “We win as a team.” When we consider whether we have the right people on the team, we say, “The team is only as good as its weakest player.” And we hold rah-rah meetings, hand out T-shirts and buttons, and go on retreats all in an effort to build a sense of unity and camaraderie.

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