Laura Stack

Laura Stack is one of America's premier experts on productivity, and her company, The Productivity Pro, Inc., provides workshops around the globe on productivity, potential, and performance. She’s the author of six books, most recently, “Execution IS the Strategy: How Leaders Achieve Maximum Results in Minimum Time.” Contact her at laura@theproductivitypro.com, or you can connect with her on LinkedIn.

Articles by Laura Stack

Leadership, Talent Management

How to Build & Maintain a Loyal Team in Today’s Workplace

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“I’ll take 50 percent efficiency to get 100 percent loyalty.” — Samuel Goldwyn, American movie mogul.

To paraphrase Forrest Gump, loyalty is as loyalty does.

In recent years, some business leaders have bemoaned the death of old-fashioned employee loyalty, as workers realize that technology has freed them from some workplace restraints.

Many have also decided they can get farther faster by jumping from one company to another, rather than by working their way through the hierarchy of one organization. Read more…

Talent Management

The 5 Attributes of High-Performing Employees

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Adding a new person to your workplace team is always a gamble.

Usually you can’t tell by looking who will consistently deliver top-notch performances that make the entire team shine — as opposed to who will just show up and do an average job.

Realize that “average” does not mean “bad.” As I discuss in my book SuperCompetent, average (competent) people define the norm and provide the benchmarks by which we recognize high performance. They do their jobs adequately when directed, and you can depend on them for most things. Read more…

Culture, Leadership

Building The Big T — Why It’s Critical That You Can Trust Your Team

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How do you develop the level of trust in your employees that’s required to inspire productivity and empowerment? I believe it starts with self-awareness.

If your organization suffers from low productivity, don’t automatically blame your employees; take a look at yourself first.

If you don’t trust your people to do their jobs well, ask why. Did you make poor choices when you hired them? Are you still learning how to maximize their skills and abilities? Read more…

Leadership

Leadership For the Future? It Means Boldly Tackling Challenges Today

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“It is not in the stars to hold our destiny, but in ourselves.” — William Shakespeare, British playwright and poet

Let’s face it: business life won’t be getting any easier or slower or less complicated (unless human nature and civilization undergo a radical reversal).

Technology will keep advancing at a rapid pace, and the changes it brings will continue to reverberate through our society.

When I was growing up, many things we take for granted now didn’t even exist: cell phones, CDs, DVDs, home computers, and satellite radio, just to name a few. Now they’re commonplace things most of us enjoy. Read more…

Leadership

How Leaders Can Just Say No to Their Inner Control Freak

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Having a forceful personality provides certain advantages in a competitive workplace. It can help you work your way up the ladder more quickly than you otherwise might.

But fair warning: if your favorite management slogan is “my way or the highway,” expect a few delays in your drive to the top.

You can survive with this attitude, but nobody loves a control freak. Read more…

HR Management, Talent Management

Making Employees Partners: Does Democracy Work in the Workplace?

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A genuine leader is not a searcher for consensus but a molder of consensus.” — Martin Luther King, Jr.

Professionally, my life’s work has revolved around making work easier and more productive for everyone involved.

So, I find the concept of democratizing the workplace attractive, which involves giving employees more freedom and allowing them to participate in decision-making.

When employees feel empowered in their work, they’re more likely to take ownership of their jobs and contribute more discretionary effort, thereby increasing their productivity. Read more…

Classic TLNT

Nobody Is Indispensable, or Why You Really Need Succession Planning

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Editor’s Note: Sometimes readers ask about past TLNT articles. That’s why we republish a Classic TLNT post every Friday

“The graveyards are full of indispensable men.” — Charles DeGaulle

One of the basic tenets of popular business advice, publicized even by industry leaders like Forbes, is that you should strive to make yourself indispensable to your boss. But just like pop culture, pop business advice can be, well, weird. Worse, it can damage your career.

I understand why some people would advise workers to become indispensable in their roles; and given the current economic situation, it’s even more understandable that some would listen. But that doesn’t make it good advice. Read more…

HR Insights

Want to Improve Your Game? You Gotta Learn How to Handle Criticism

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To avoid criticism say nothing, do nothing, be nothing.” — Aristotle, ancient Greek philosopher.

No one enjoys criticism, but sometimes we need it.

No matter where you stand in an organizational hierarchy, you can always improve your game. While many of us claim we’re our own harshest critics, that’s rarely true. It’s usually more helpful to have someone else point out our flaws — if you trust the source.

Criticism can be difficult to hear, but pain helps us learn and improve ourselves. As former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill once stated, criticism is necessary because, like physical pain, “it calls attention to an unhealthy state of things.” Read more…

HR Insights, Leadership

Do You Really, Truly Value Your Time?

Time

“How did it get so late so soon?”Dr. Seuss, American children’s author

What is your time worth? How much do you personally value it?

We all think about these questions at some point. However, you may never have seriously considered their implications, possibly because you don’t really want to know.

But to lead effectively, you have no choice but to learn the answers to these questions. Read more…

Talent Management

7 Ways to Help Your Employees Maximize Their Time

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How much of the average worker’s day is spent doing things that have nothing to do with furthering their work?

It varies according to the person and job, but you know it happens.

Time wasting — whether deliberate or not — may be the most pervasive obstacle to productivity in the white-collar world. Just as you would smooth your team’s way by removing procedural obstacles and providing methodologies and technologies that propel them forward, it’s up to you to chop out the time wasters, too. Read more…