What Should You Do When The Boss Says No?

By Brett Fox | September 4, 2014

“Bring us up to your level.” the CEO said to me when he was recruiting me to join his company as a division general manager. I was flattered. I also thought I could really help the company. I was eager to get started. After all, the company was very successful and very profitable. However, the…

The Tale of Jim and Jane: Is it Better to Earn Your Promotion or be Given a Promotion? The Answer Might Surprise You

By Brett Fox | August 28, 2014

“You’re doing a great job, but I think you’re a year away from being promoted to Director,” I said to “Jim”. Jim looked devastated. He had done great work, everything I ever asked him to do, and I thought he could progress far in the organization. He was also very young, maybe five years into…

Can You Be Tough, Nice and Successful . . . Or Am I Smoking Crack?

By Brett Fox | August 12, 2014

Can You Be Tough, Nice, And Successful Or Am I Smoking Crack? By Brett Fox I fell into a trap early in my career. I was wildly successful, well respected, promoted every year, and I was getting more and more responsibility. You’re wondering, “What is the problem? That’s what everyone wants, right?” Yes, you want…

The 3 Hiring Mistakes You Can’t Afford to Make

By Brett Fox | August 5, 2014

I blew it. The voice in the back of my head was arguing with itself. On the one hand it was saying, “Don’t hire ‘Jim’. There’s something wrong with him.” On the other hand, the voice was saying, “Brett, you need help in this area. You should hire Jim. He’s got a wealth of experience.…

Six Business Lessons You Can Learn From Project Runway

By Brett Fox | July 29, 2014

I am coming out of the closet, so to speak. No, not like THAT! My family’s favorite television show, Project Runway, began season 13 last Thursday night. For the next 16 Thursdays, my family and I will live and die with the escapades of an unknown group of eclectic fashion designers. We will make it…

Do You have what it Takes to Lead People? Lessons I learned from Bill Walsh

By Brett Fox | July 22, 2014

“I was so distraught that I broke down and started crying.” Bill Walsh I was fortunate, in the 1990’s, to take a continuing education class on leadership at Stanford University. The class featured 10 speakers including Stanford’s provost and Stanford’s head football coach. The provost was future United States Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and…

Does Everyone Need A Consigliere?

By Brett Fox | July 15, 2014

I’ll never forget the moment I gave up my freedom. I did what we all do: I confided to my friend Steve at work about a work problem I was having. After all, he was the friend/co-worker I could tell my troubles to. What I really did was complain for an hour about someone just…

Should Firing People Always be Difficult?

By Brett Fox | July 8, 2014

I was up the whole night. I knew I had to do it, and I knew it needed to be done. That didn’t help me fall asleep in the least. It – an insomnia-inducing feeling of dread – was the feeling I had the first time I ever had to fire someone. My heart was…

Is Micromanagement Really Bad?

By Brett Fox | June 30, 2014

Micromanagement. The mere hearing of the word sends chills down your spine. You certainly don’t want to be micromanaged, and being labeled a micromanager – well, that can be a career killer. Just one question: is micromanagement always bad? Hardly. Full disclosure: like most CEO’s, I have been accused of being a micromanager. I’ve also…

The Best Performance Reviews Are Not Reviews At All

By Brett Fox | June 24, 2014

Every year you go through it: the dreaded performance review. What’s in store for you this year? A raise? A promotion? What does your boss really think of you? How will rate versus your peers? Good performance reviews are not performance reviews at all. They are a continuation of the ongoing conversation between you and…