Patty Azzarello

Patty Azzarello is the founder and CEO of Azzarello Group. She's also an executive, best-selling author, speaker and CEO/business advisor. She became the youngest general manager at HP at the age of 33, ran a billion dollar software business at 35, and became a CEO for the first time at 38 (all without turning into a self-centered, miserable jerk). You can find her at patty@azzarellogroup.com .

Articles by Patty Azzarello

Classic TLNT

What Great Leaders Know: Sharing Power Builds Trust and Loyalty

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

This is not a deep psychology dive on ego and power in business leadership, which is a huge topic.

But I want to share some practical observations about how good leaders build a powerful team by sharing power, and how others build themselves up (falsely) by imagining they can hoard power personally. I am a fan of the former.

What I have found is that the people who imagine that they have more power than they do can’t distinguish between the fact that their role has power vs. that they are powerful personally. Read more…

HR Insights, Leadership

Management 101: Why You Must Aggressively Manage Ruthless Priorities

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Ruthless Priorities,” which I often talk about as a concept, is a wonderful way to focus your time and energy, but perhaps even more important and valuable, are the conversations that having clear Ruthless Priorities allow.

Let’s face it – just because you decide to think and work more strategically, doesn’t mean the rest of the world will back off and let you! All the demands, pressures, and crises will still come at you.

You need a strategy to defend your time and protect your ability to get your Ruthless Priorities done. Read more…

HR Management, Leadership

Management 101: What to Do When You’re In Over Your Head?

From istockphoto.com

I was recently telling a story about a time in my career when I had an all out panic.

When I got my first general manager job at Hewlett Packard, early into the role my team had identified a significant gap in our product offering, and the recommendation was that we acquire a technology from another company.

Great idea … but I have NO idea how to do this! Read more…

Leadership

The True Cost of Bad Managers – and Why You Need Really Great Ones

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When bad managers are allowed to run free, everyone suffers.

  • Employees suffer – Employees feel unsupported, undirected, bullied, confused, unmotivated, unappreciated, frustrated, and constantly questioning, “is it me?” So they are not engaged and they are not productive.
  • Executives suffer – When executives lack confidence in the team beneath them, they have to cover for, or recover from poor work and decisions from ineffective managers. They become overloaded because they have to do their job AND the job of their managers. Read more…
HR Insights, Leadership

The Very Real Problems When You Decide to Fly Under the Radar

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I often hear people say something like: “I like to fly under the radar. I like to keep my head down and just do the work. It’s the work that matters. I don’t want to be one of those annoying, political people.”

I find that very often when people take this position, they believe that they are on the high ground — that they are somehow morally superior to those who are more visible. And that being visible is, by definition, a shallow, self-serving endeavor. Read more…

Leadership

New Is Stressful, And It Means You Are Probably Doing It Right

From istockphoto.com

I want to share two important ideas that I learned from one of my key, long-time mentors, Jim Davis. These have proven to be profoundly valuable through my career.

Big Idea No. 1 — New is stressful mistake

There was a time when I started a big, new, executive job, and the enormity of what I needed to learn was crushing. I was terrified.

And I was very stressed because I felt like I couldn’t possibly learn enough, fast enough, to add enough value soon enough — and I was going to get found out and lose my job. Read more…

Leadership, Training & Development

Want a Competitive Advantage? Get Your Team to Make Faster Decisions

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Can your team make a decision?

I was recently thinking about a moment in my career that taught me several things about team decision making.

It was many years ago in my staff meeting. I had opened a topic for discussion that I knew the members of my staff disagreed strongly about. Read more…

HR Management, Leadership

How to Succeed Without Getting Sucked Into an Impossible Situation

From istockphoto.com

A while back, I wrote an article about how to start a new job with the most credibility.

There is another important point I want to add.

I see people setting themselves up for failure and credibility loss when they don’t differentiate the cost of doing a great job from the cost of doing an OK job.

Here’s what I mean: When you interview, your conversation is all about proving you know how to do a great job. So you’ll say, “here is how I would improve the [quality, competitiveness, customer satisfaction, marketing effectiveness, service, sales performance], etc.” Read more…

HR Insights, HR Management

What Do You Do When a Clueless Boss Makes an Unreasonable Request?

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I recently have written about bosses being addicted to detail, or wasting time by not appreciating the cost of asking a question.

Several people came back to me and asked me to write about the other side of this problem — when your boss stays so high level that they don’t know what’s going on and don’t understand what needs to be done.

These types of bosses are frustrating because they just want things, big things. And when your boss lacks any understanding about what it takes, it’s hard to negotiate a do-able plan.

Here are some ideas about how to make your conversations with a big picture (clueless) boss go better. Read more…

Classic TLNT

A Sad Workplace Truth: People Don’t Just Become More Strategic

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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

As I am preparing for a session next week with an executive team on Leading Transformation, I got thinking about what blocks organizations from getting done what they intend.

What blocks their business growth? What keeps them from executing decisively on new things?

Very often it’s a realization that the people you have sitting around the table are not the ones you need to take the business where it needs to go. Read more…