By Anthony T. Eaton

“A crisis is an opportunity riding the dangerous wind.” ~ Chinese Proverb

Leading in crisis is about having command of oneself in order to lead others through it. This means being a role model, having command of your own emotions and being able to maintain a cool head and focus.

Gather Facts. Good decision making in a crisis means having facts and understanding what is happening. Gathering facts and details allows you to make proactive decisions instead of reactive ones. 

Don’t rush. While some situations require an immediate response, try to take a moment to asses and don’t rush to a decision, judgement, reaction or action. 

Make a decision. A crisis requires someone to make a decision. Don’t be paralyzed by “what if I get it wrong” thoughts. You can always change course with new information. 

Stay calm. In crisis emotions run high and panic can set in. Leaders must be able to project calmness. Bring a moment of silence to chaos, slow down and lower your voice to calm others.

Leaders are tested during a crisis, but the key to handling it successfully is to set the example by maintaining control. Failure to do so will result in those around you losing confidence and trust in your abilities.



By Anthony T. Eaton

Appreciation is the corner stone of engagement, productivity and happiness. In fact, 50% of employees indicated that turnover would decrease if managers showed more frequent recognition and appreciation according to a recent CareerBuilder survey.

Having worked with leaders at all levels, in my opinion, it is not that most leaders don’t want to show appreciation and recognition, it is that they do not know how. Let’s face it, none of us were born knowing how to walk, we had to learn. When it comes to appreciation and recognition, if you have never seen it or experienced it, then chances are you probably are not very good at it.

Regardless of if you are just starting out or you have been at it for awhile, the quickest and easiest form of appreciation and recognition is to tell someone. But what do you say? Here are some suggestions.

  • Thank you for (FILL IN THE BLANK) I appreciate it/you.
  • You did a great job on/with (FILL IN THE BLANK)
  • You are an important part of this team!
  • Your efforts contributions do not unnoticed.
  • could not have done (FILL IN THE BLANK) without you.
  • You’re great to work with.
  • I appreciate you.
  • You do so much for me, Is there anything you can’t do?!
  • Thank you for setting a great example.
  • It is great working with you.
  • You make me proud. 

Be genuine in your appreciation and tie it to something specific. If the person shows up everyday, they do things without being asked, come up with great ideas or always go the extra mile. Make it a habit to look for and acknowledge the positive things your employees do.

Running a holiday sale or weekly special? Definitely promote it here to get customers excited about getting a sweet deal.

Share the big news

Have you opened a new location, redesigned your shop, or added a new product or service? Don't keep it to yourself, let folks know.



A true leader has to have a genuine open-door policy  so that their people are not afraid to approach them for any reason.  ~ Harold S. Greneen

Being approachable is an attribute all great leaders have, it is the ability to put people at ease. While some come by this naturally, for others it means stepping outside their comfort zone and doing things differently.

If you are of the latter group here are some tips for making yourself more approachable as a leader.

  • Go first. Being approachable is about making connections and being open to getting to know people on a personal level. This means not only asking questions, but also listening so you can learn what is important to them. Allow others to share their stories and experiences.

  • Be open. Having others share is great, but sharing is a two way street and it is just as important that you share what is important to you. Share your own stories and experiences when and where appropriate.

  • Make it personal. Invite people to meet with you both individually and in groups. Giving your time is a sincere way of making yourself approachable.  

  • Be universal. Make sure you are giving equal time, attention, and opportunity to everyone. It is natural to be comfortable with those who are similar to us, those we relate to and share similar interests with. The goal is to be approachable to everyone, not just the select few. 

If being approachable is not something that comes natural, you have to make intentional effort, but in the end it will pay off ten fold.

Have you opened a new location, redesigned your shop, or added a new product or service? Don't keep it to yourself, let folks know.

Display their FAQs

Customers have questions, you have answers. Display the most frequently asked questions, so everybody benefits.



Demands on our time are greater than ever and our schedules reflect that, but does it mean we are more productive?  Probably not. But there are things we can do to improve that.

Here are some tips on how to become more productive. 

Do the worst/hardest first.  When you do the thing you like least first it frees you to do what you enjoy without guilt or concern.

Just say no. While it sounds easy we know that most of us want to say yest to everything, but to be productive you have to set limits. Know that you can't do it all. 

Keep it simple. Set smaller goals that lead you to completing the larger ones. 

Keep focused. Multi tasking is a myth. We can only do one thing at a time well. When we try to multi-task we are not giving out full attention to anything. F

Be available, just not all the time. It is o.k. to schedule uninterrupted time to focus on your work. This does not mean you don't have an open door, it just means it is not revolving.

You cannot be all things to all people all the time. Great leadership is a balancing act between serving the needs of others, the organization and being able to get things done.



Effective communication is the cornerstone of leadership. This includes active listening, questioning and the ability be concise. Here are some tips for being an effective communicator.


Listen with intention, clear your thoughts, lean in and focus

Rephrase and restate and clarify understanding

Ask probing questions

Keep them short and concise

Make them open ended

Ask follow up questions

Have clarity

Be succinct 

Keep it simple

Remember that communication is not a one size fits all; tailor your communication style to the person you are communicating with. Good communication takes practice and intention.



“We need people who will give us feedback. That’s how we improve.” ~ Bill Gates.

Many leaders struggle with coaching, not because they don’t want to do it, but because they don’t know how. Here are five tips to help you be a better coach to your employees.

  • Create a safe environment for your employees to respond to coaching.
  • Listen to what they say in response and ask questions like “tell me more” and “what is happening?”
  • Focus on facts, what you hear and see, not what you feel.
  • Provide validation even if you disagree.
  • Support and empower your employees by engaging them in solutions

Finally, don’t go it alone. If you are unsure of how to coach an employee seek guidance from your own leadership or Human Resources.


IT is critical that before someone takes on the responsibility of coaching they "are taught how to coach" and have someone coaching them" ( everyone should have a coach I have had two in 47 years.. ( still have one) . we get to close and need someone to take the roof off and look down inside, we need accountability, we need to continually learn not just the basics time and people change, their needs change.

 We need to be flexible and coach according to each persons way of learning, their individual needs, wants, commitment and goals for learning and growing and as yu put it "the facts at hand)"...Just my opinion for what its worth. 

Many leaders do not know how to coach...They lack the patience as well as the ability to coach they depend upon their subordinate managers who by the way may have been promoted from a position because they excelled at it ( many times this happens in sales) but have no clue how to manage or train or coach ( all different skill sets).. Many top and middle level execs manage by fear because that is how they have been taught. Their needs to be external training on coaching of management at all levels 

~Norman Roth


Every true leader is a coach at heart - they size up your strengths and weaknesses - they help you hone your strengths - they help you overcome your weaknesses - then they create opportunities for you to excel. Learn from their example and you will be an awesome coach. 

~Len Bernat


 Coaching can not only be considered a leadership style, but it can be considered as a core competence of leadership when it comes to developing performance and encouraging collaborative learning. The leader or manager must be perceived by their collaborators as a support to their professional and personal growth. Leaders coach help their staff identify their strengths and their development areas by supporting them in personal and career aspirations, encouraging them to set long-term goals and a plan to get them. A leader coach tends to give space and confidence to his collaborators, to delegate much by tightening clear agreements on roles and responsibilities and providing regular feedback. Coach leaders entrust challenging tasks to employees and accept small short-term bankruptcies if they lead to long-term learning for their collaborators and a release of the team's potential. Coaching visibly improves business performance because dialogue drives people to confront and not leave anything submerged, makes them feel free to express an opinion and not leave them alone. A coach leader's co-worker feels he has expressed and feels that what he said is important. He knows that his work will be followed and that he will have a quick and constructive feedback. Continuous dialogue guarantees work a forward-looking and strategic logic to serve a shared vision. This awareness brings greater responsibility to employees and clarity on the goals to be achieved. 

~Aldo Delli Paoli



No leader is successful or great without the support of others. It is easy to get caught up in the day to day details and forget that, but it is essential to show gratitude and appreciation to others.  Great leaders are generous with their gratitude and praise because it reinforces the right behaviors and outcomes. They know the importance of highlighting the commitment and efforts of their team and understand that it engages and empowers them. 

Show your gratitude by:

Saying please and thank you because politeness is important and it sets an example.

Honoring people with your time by giving your undivided attention and being present.

Ask for input and suggestions whenever possible to give a sense of inclusion and value.

Keep your promises because it says you care and the other person is important

Praise publicly and correct in private.


What makes leaders successful? There are many things, here are 5.

  1. They Make Others Feel Safe to Speak-Up Successful leaders deflect attention away from themselves and encourage others to voice their opinions. 
  2. They Make Decisions Successful leaders either facilitate the dialogue to empower their colleagues to reach a strategic conclusion or they do it themselves. 
  3. They Challenge People to Think The most successful leaders understand their colleagues’ mindsets, capabilities and areas for improvement. 
  4. They Lead by Example Successful leaders practice what they preach and are mindful of their actions.  
  5. They Measure & Reward Performance Great leaders always have a strong “pulse” on business performance and those people who are the performance champions.   



By Anthony T. Eaton

We rarely think about humility when we think about leadership but it is a trait that enables leaders to connect with those they lead and show their humanness. 

It is the opposite of narcissism, the understanding that the leader is not the smartest person in the room and is only as great as those whole of those they lead. Humility allows the leader to admit when they make mistakes, give credit to others and recognize the value of those around them.


Leadership is good, useful, if it is at the same time even humble. The leaders must understand what are their limits and understand their behavior when they interacts with others. If we rely only on a single point of view, our, we risk to miss the overview of any problems and our every decision will be made in a hierarchical manner and not relational. Instead, the leadership is developed through a complex weaving of relationships with others rather than through an accumulation of information. The biggest mistake is to create a series of filters that takes us away from the others. Being humble allows others to enjoy a certain authority and behaving as if the company belonged to them. Great leaders want a successful company, and do not think that leadership is everything. If you observe the behaviors of great leaders, humility is one of the prerequisites to be a point of reference. Who leads must be equipped with values and higher sensitivities. Maybe I will  appear trivial, but who wears the captain's armband has great responsibility towards the people who are part of the team. He must therefore put his face before the others and must respect others. The true leader adopts behavior as emulation, example, stimulus. In his full knowledge and serenity in his full force cannot have any fear to show up in humble gestures that will increase his leadership, will make it even stronger and more influential. True leader has the ability and courage to change and help people reach their potential, through encouragement and inspiration.  ~ Aldo Delli Paoli



By Anthony T. Eaton | March 2019


Employees become successful when they know what success looks like. Here are some tips for helping your employees see success.

Share the Vision When you regularly share  the vision and direction of the company employees feel engaged, and that  is the first step towards success.  

Encourage Ownership Encourage employees to “own” their work and let them make decisions when and where appropriate.

Give Positive Feedback Don’t let mistakes be the only time you give feedback. Reinforce positive results to get more of the same.

Know Their Ambitions By understanding professional goals you can help your employees achieve them.



By Anthony T. Eaton | March 2019

Team building means different things to different people, but most of the time when someone mentions doing team building eyes roll and their are sighs. 

I always involve my teams in making those decisions because it is not about me, it’s about them. Team building is about building engagement and if the team doesn't want to be there they are not engaged.

Brian Scudamore warns to be careful that “activities that overtly aim to draw in leadership lessons or practical takeaways are less powerful.”

Great team building is about bringing people together to build stronger bonds and the foundation is getting people involved and engaged in what will be most meaningful to them.

Gallup has calculated that disengaged employees are costing the US economy 500 billion dollars per year.

When done right, team building builds connections between people. It should offer the opportunity for them to engage in an environment that is not focused on the work they do everyday. A lunch, happy hour, volunteer time or any other number of things can give teams an opportunity to disconnect from work and connect with each other in a different way.

Part of being a leader is finding way’s to bring people together. If you thinking about team building, do some homework, consider the objective you are trying to achieve and involve your people from start to finish.


To be successful leaders need to know what success looks like and the king of behaviors and actions that allow success to happen. Here are some tips:


Leading by example leaders need to show not just tell. If you want your employees to be punctual, make sure you’re there on time -- or even early. 

Keeping meetings productive as the saying goes, time is money. So, of course, you should want to limit tangents and other time wasters during meetings. 

Knowing their limits even the kindest, most caring leader has limits. Set your boundaries and stick to them. 

Being emotionally aware business is ultimately about relationships between people. To make these relationships last, you need to be emotionally intelligent -- to be sensitive to different points of view and different backgrounds. 

Remember, leadership happens at all levels of the organization, not just the top.


 Each of us can put a lot on our calendar or to do list, but does it mean we are productive? Not necessarily.  

Here are 5 tips from a recent SHRM Blog on how to become more productive.  


1.Eat that Frog – choose the most unwanted task you have and just get it done.  

2. Learn to say “no” - most busy people say yes to everything. Stop doing that and be honest about what you have on your plate and what more you can take on.

3. Think Smaller – set goals that are smaller and measurable.

4. Focus on one project at a time – When you multitask, you are constantly interrupting a state of flow.

5. Close the Door – even though this can be hard to do (and some may not even respect a closed door), this is your chance to keep distractions to a minimum and focus.


Communication is an essential part of leadership and being an effective communicator is a skill that takes practice, attention and effort to master.


There are three types of communication : Verbal, Written, and Electronic and it is made up of three elements: 55% is facial expression and body language, 37% is tone of voice, and 8 % is words used. 

Keep in mind that when communication is not in person, it is left up the receiver to interpret facial expression, body language and tone of voice. This is often where we see communication breakdowns. This is why it is important to know your audience, this will allow you to select a communication method that will work best.

Good communication will build good teams and prevent misunderstandings. The goal is to have consistent engagement with your employees and they should feel empowered to ask questions and provide feedback. 

“Don’t communicate to be understood; rather, communicate so s not to be misunderstood.”

~Dr. John Lund


Failing to do what you say is the quickest way to destroy trust and credibility. This is why it is important to know your limitations when it comes to time and ability. The old saying that it is better to under promise and over deliver holds true. At one time or another we will all find ourselves faced with not being able to keep a promise as a result of things outside our control. In these cases it is essential that we communicate openly and honestly. These situations should also be the exception not the rule, otherwise they become a worn out excuse.