Solving a Mystery: The True Key to Leading People
Black Enterprise Magazine September/October 2018 Issue

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As a manager, sometimes the linear focus can be on problems, solutions and results. Getting employees to perform to the utmost of their ability while driving forward the company’s agenda can be challenging. From project management to employee motivation and retention, workplace leaders are often tasked with finding a balance between facilitating results and being likeable in the process. No one wants to follow a leader they don’t respect and admire, but leaders can’t cross the line of being too friendly or diminishing boundaries.

The question remains: What truly is the key in leading people?

Inc. contributor Jeff Haden addresses this question, highlighting an experience he had addressing an audience of company leaders and entrepreneurs. He writes:

Throwaway question? Absolutely. I knew no one would answer.

That was the point.

They would sit and stare and then I would supply an intentionally against-the-grain answer sure to spark some heat and conversation. (A little contrived, sure, but hey, I was dying.)

So I asked the question and then paused to read the room. Some people looked down. Some looked away. As I expected, no one was going to answer. Cool.

I was about to speak when a voice broke the silence.

“I think I know,” a man sitting in the back corner said, somewhat hesitantly.

Read more at Inc. …

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Janell Hazelwood

Janell Hazelwood is associate managing editor at Black Enterprise, managing content across core areas of Money, Career, Small Business and Technology. She is also a featured blogger with My Two Cents, providing insights on branding, millennial career development, employment trends and leadership. She was previously a content producer and copy editor for Black Enterprise magazine, working across several editorial sections. The Hampton University graduate got her start in the newspaper industry, having worked for companies including The New York Times and Scripps Howard News Service. Her works and insights have appeared on The Huffington Post, MadameNoire, E!Online, Brazen Careerist, CBS News, and Arise TV.