The University of Maryland says it is investigating the culture and coaching tactics of its football program after the death of freshman offensive lineman Jordan McNair. Some players report abuse and humiliation from strength and conditioning coach Rick Court, who has resigned, but others say these tactics aim to eliminate "the soft and the weak-minded."
Develop self-awareness by surrounding yourself with people who challenge you and provide honest feedback, Audrey Epstein writes. Assume positive intent from your colleagues and address rifts immediately, without resorting to gossip.
Long breaks from work or sabbaticals are an opportunity to strengthen skills and gain diversity of thought, career consultant Amanda Augustine says. Sabbaticals are becoming more common as companies have become less wary of employment gaps, notes recruiter Jodi Chavez.
Newly appointed leaders may feel eager to bring their ideas to fruition, but teams can resent too much change attempted too quickly, writes Jennifer V. Miller. People are more accepting of change when you learn what the culture will support and associate your ideas with something that's already successful, she writes.
The Federal Reserve should look again at a capital surcharge for the eight biggest US banks, given that it is to be combined with stress test results to calculate capital requirements, trade groups say. "The surcharge unnecessarily raises costs that impede the ability of our member institutions to provide credit to support growth of the real economy," the Financial Services Forum says.
Top-performing teams have a collective intelligence: They know their purpose, feel free to debate ideas and ask questions that get to the root of problems, writes Robert Staub, CEO of Staub Leadership International. "Do you have a set of 4 to 6 essential behaviors that you know are clearly outlined, coached for and reinforced from front line supervisors up to the CEO?" he writes.
Companies can balance immediate demands and the future by building a culture where challenging the status quo is encouraged, there's a pipeline of new products and executives are persistent in discussing the merits of strategy, writes Art Petty. "Great management teams are hungry to win in the moment and relentless at building for the future," he writes.
Team members need to know what's expected of them, with the leader communicating those asks clearly and often, write Karin Hurt and David Dye. Give people specific examples of expected behaviors, reinforcing them with reminders and acknowledgments every time they follow through correctly, they write.
Some words and phrases may seem complimentary but send a mixed message, writes Judith Humphrey. "Sensitive" can play into gender stereotypes, for instance, and "sharp as a tack" can come off as a backhanded compliment to older people, writes Humphrey, who offers four other examples.
Turning industry norms on their head works well for Build-A-Bear, which streamlines its inventory by having customers create the finished product, and Atlassian, which has no sales team, writes Jennifer Law. "By being selective about who it was targeting -- and then nailing their customer preferences -- Atlassian created a self-sustaining 'marketing movement' that took the place of a traditional sales department," she writes.
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