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Archive: February 8, 2009 - February 14, 2009

Everyone Is Watching

Hard times are when the values of an executive team are measured, and here's my advice for acting wisely.

By Kent J. Thiry | February 13, 2009; 9:41 PM ET | Comments (1)

Listen to Employees

When it comes to cutting costs at Klein Steel Services, we involve employees and take their ideas seriously.

By Gen. John Batiste (Ret.) | February 11, 2009; 10:21 AM ET | Comments (1)

Circuit City's Example

The most humane thing that employers can do when they downsize or go out of business is also the most obvious: Help employees find new work, as Circuit City is doing.

By Joanne B. Ciulla | February 10, 2009; 3:10 PM ET | Comments (0)

Emotional Leadership

If you are laying off workers and compassion isn't your thing, there are plenty of good business reasons to dust off your under-used empathic skills.

By Ed Ruggero | February 10, 2009; 10:34 AM ET | Comments (0)

The Danger in Layoffs

The desperation to reduce payroll can replace rational thinking, but arbitrary layoffs can mean losing good workers who are essential to the survival of the company.

By Yash Gupta | February 10, 2009; 10:29 AM ET | Comments (1)

Honest Tea, Layoff-Free

We're fortunate in that our 11 years in business, we've never had to have layoffs. In fact, we recently posted 14 open positions, which means a 16 percent increase in the size of our team.

By Seth Goldman | February 10, 2009; 9:34 AM ET | Comments (0)

Cut Hours, Not Heads

Companies might consider cutting back on employee hours rather than reduce headcount, especially if the employees involved are critical to the entity's future success.

By David Walker | February 9, 2009; 2:35 PM ET | Comments (1)

No Sugarcoating, No Spin

The standard practice of downsizing in corporate America these days are driven by lawyers and HR directors, who are often blinded by short-term vision.

By Steven Pearlstein | February 9, 2009; 2:21 PM ET | Comments (2)

Fire Yourself

If you are doing the firing, take a moment to imagine you are on the receiving end. Such exercises in compassion, research shows, can lead to better practices.

By Michael Useem | February 9, 2009; 12:28 PM ET | Comments (0)

Brutal Realism, Honestly Explained

From my experience in the post-Cold War downsizing of the aerospace industry, my advice is: Act decisively but with compassion, knowing that people can cope better with bad news than uncertainty.

By Norm R. Augustine | February 9, 2009; 12:18 PM ET | Comments (0)

Layoffs Are Not Productive

Unless it is absolutely necessary to save the firm, laying off employees to generate cash from their unpaid salaries is counterproductive.

By Gen. Monty Meigs (Ret.) | February 9, 2009; 12:06 PM ET | Comments (2)

A General's Advice

In large organizations, people can become numbers on a spreadsheet, especially during downsizings, but such depersonalization does not engender loyalty and commitment from employees.

By George Reed | February 9, 2009; 10:37 AM ET | Comments (0)

Protect Core Capabilities

When the U.S. Army downsized in the late 1990s, it kept a tight focus on core capabilities, while recognizing that its most valuable asset is its people.

By Col. Charles D. Allen | February 9, 2009; 10:32 AM ET | Comments (0)

Seeing the Individual

Layoffs are unavoidably painful, but organizational leaders can help the newly unemployed keep a sense of self-worth by offering job forums, counseling or other services.

By Kurt Schmoke | February 9, 2009; 10:24 AM ET | Comments (0)

Ease the Pain

There is of course no "right" way of downsizing, but a few methods will help its victims make a smoother transition.

By Warren Bennis | February 9, 2009; 10:20 AM ET | Comments (0)

Talking with the Troops

President Obama has set an impressive example for leading through hard times: keep in regular touch with your troops and share the good, the bad and the ugly.

By Howard Gardner | February 9, 2009; 10:13 AM ET | Comments (0)

Left Behind

Don't be like the pharmaceutical company that recently laid off workers by e-mail: How you fire people communicates a message to those still employed.

By Marty Linsky | February 9, 2009; 9:54 AM ET | Comments (0)

Best Buy's Choices

At Best Buy, we have implemented both voluntary separations and involuntary layoffs. In both cases, we have remained committed to a culture of transparency.

By Brad Anderson | February 9, 2009; 9:32 AM ET | Comments (0)

Downsizing Doesn't Work

As one executive said, "It took us two months to decide to do layoffs, two weeks to do it, and two years to recover."

By Jeffrey Pfeffer | February 9, 2009; 9:32 AM ET | Comments (6)

Hiring Time

Eliminating a percentage of jobs across the board makes no business sense: some divisions may be growing. In fact, with so unemployed talent, it might be time to hire.

By Marshall Goldsmith | February 9, 2009; 9:16 AM ET | Comments (0)

Creative Alternatives

Rather than lose the good will and talent you've built up over the years, consider alternatives like job sharing, transfers, counseling, or retraining.

By Andy Stern | February 9, 2009; 9:03 AM ET | Comments (0)

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