David Sneed

David Sneed is the owner of Colorado-based Alpine Fence Company and author of Everyone Has A Boss – A Two Hour Guide to Being the Most Valuable Employee at Any Company. As a Marine, father, husband, entrepreneur, author, and teacher, David has learned how to help others succeed. He teaches the personal benefits of a strong work ethic to entry-level employees. Contact him at David@EveryoneHasABoss.com.

Articles by David Sneed

Best of TLNT

Employee Engagement: It’s Getting Workers to Think Like Owners

© imageteam - Fotolia.com

Editor’s note: TLNT is continuing an annual tradition by counting down the most popular posts of the year. This is No. 23. Our regular content will return next Monday.

What, exactly, is “employee engagement?”

After checking the Internet, I learned that “engaged employees” are those staff members who feel good about the company they work for.

And “engaging” them reminds ‘em to like their job without a bump in pay.

I think I get it. We just renamed “happy workers” because fresh phrasing is fun. The real issue hasn’t changed with the new name though, has it? Read more…

Leadership

Leading by Lying: Changing Perceptions By Adjusting the Scale

lying_1

If it seems too hard, adjust the scale

Before the June 6, 1944 D-Day invasion, maps were drawn up showing the position of all the Germans in Normandy.

Allied planes flew daily reconnaissance missions to observe everything the enemy was doing along the beaches and cliffs of occupied France. Tanks, guns, and minefields were all recorded for the upcoming invasion.

But, there was a problem. When you looked over a sector diagram (of say, Omaha Beach) the small size of the map jammed gun next to gun next to gun. The whole coast appeared to be a briar patch of death. Read more…

Talent Management

Employee Engagement: It’s Getting Workers to Think Like Owners

© imageteam - Fotolia.com

What, exactly, is “employee engagement?”

After checking the Internet, I learned that “engaged employees” are those staff members who feel good about the company they work for.

And “engaging” them reminds ‘em to like their job without a bump in pay.

I think I get it. We just renamed “happy workers” because fresh phrasing is fun. The real issue hasn’t changed with the new name though, has it? Read more…

Leadership

Leadership Lessons From John Elway, Winston Churchill, & Charles Manson

churchill

We all know that Winston Churchill was a great leader. His strength and optimism saved England and possibly all of Europe.

What you may not know is that as soon as the war ended he was fired (voted out of office) because he couldn’t get along in an environment that required deft political maneuvering. He could lead a nation, but not when it required consensus building.

That makes me think that while soft-skills are handy for a leader to have, they aren’t absolutely mandatory. Read more…

Talent Management

A Carrot/Stick Approach? With Some Employees, Just the Carrot Will Do It

123RF Stock Photo

When it comes to motivating employees, save on your stick budget and just hit them with the carrot.

That may sound glib, but I’m serious. Here’s a specific technique that’s effective for both discipline and motivation – two things so intertwined they might as well be one. Let me stress that the tool you’re about to get needs a light heart and parental attitude; even though the goal is a serious and important one.

The first step (after identifying the problem employee) is to have a brief conversation in that person’s workspace. Doing it there is less intimidating and more nonchalant than your office (the less chalant, the better). Read more…

Leadership, Talent Management

Are We Teaching Employees the Lessons We Want Them to Learn?

123RF Stock Photo

My youngest, an 8th grader, was recently caught cheating.

On advice from her parents, Natalie approached the teacher before school to admit she wasn’t prepared. Being the day of a basketball game, she asked for a way to suffer the after-school detention on some other day. The teacher told her “no,” so my precious tax break borrowed a chum’s paper in order to write her own before class.

Promptly caught, Natalie was given a zero for the assignment.

Is the lesson she learned the intended one? When we discipline, or even criticize someone, are we teaching the lesson we want to teach? Read more…

HR Insights, HR Management

Motivating Workers: You Can Learn a Lot From 18th Century Sailors

Bounty

Have you ever seen a nautical movie and dreamed of living a sailor’s life? We dream that silly dream because we don’t really understand how hard their job really was.

No matter how cold and wet you were (very and always), you still had to do the back-breaking work – and on a terrible diet, too!

Imagine working 100 feet up a telephone pole during a hurricane, except the pole is attached to a skateboard and your job is to tie ropes together. No gloves, no shoes, and a wet, cold rope. And all you had to eat that day was bread that required soaking in water just to make it digestible.

You did this every day for two years. Your home when you weren’t working (a mere eight hours per day) was a dark, moldy corner at the bottom of the ship. Oh, and when you wore through your clothes? You made your new ones from ruined sails, or a roll of fabric you brought on board when you left Boston the year before. Read more…

HR Insights

Real World, Real Life: Why Your Kids Need a Good Work Ethic

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Men of a certain age have problems that they’ve never encountered before. Most of us were never even warned.

For me it started simply enough: Sports radio was no longer preset number one. Instead, when I started my car one morning, some guy with what must be marbles in his mouth was trying to rhyme cash with blast at 100 decibels.

Like I said, I have teen-age daughters.

The youngest, and most expensive of these, blesses me with her brand of entertainment on the way to school; and most of the music (if I may borrow that term), that she’s listening to describes how rich the singer is. So I tell my precious little tax break that the guy is rich because people buy his “I Have Mo’ Money than You” song, and doesn’t that seem odd to you, honey? Read more…

HR Insights, Leadership

The Tim Tebow Lesson: It’s All About Faith – in Football, Business and Life

tebowSI

God, apparently, is a Denver Broncos fan.

That’s good news because, since John Elway retired and someone thought Josh McDaniel was a football coach, we’ve needed the help. Of course, I don’t believe much of what I’ve written so far.

Let me be upfront about this: God doesn’t care who wins a football game. If it turns out that he has a favorite team, he’s going to lose a lot of out-of-town Christians — and God is smarter than that. Read more…

HR Insights

Raise the bar? Think Out of the Box? Biz Clichés and the Credibility Crisis

Photo by istockphoto.com

Whenever I hear someone say “We need to raise the bar,” my first thought is: “Won’t that make it easier?” I guess not everyone is a limbo dancer.

Another expression that gives me pause is: Thinking outside the box.” Last week a surly, neon-tressed barista clubbed me with this one when I asked her why the smallest drink they have is a medium.

“I can tell you aren’t creative,” she said. “You aren’t thinking outside the box.” Hoping to avoid further abuse, I ha-ha’d softly and slid over to the register to pay for my medium coffee.

I was fatigued by all the banter so I didn’t have the strength to tell her that using a cliché to describe creativity makes less sense than telling someone to “shut up when you’re talking to me.” Read more…