• Book Review: Conversation Tactics: Workplace Strategies

    By Kevin on October 20, 2016

    Would you like to master office politics and make sure you’re never overlooked at work? In his book Conversation Tactics: Workplace Strategies—Win Office Politics, Disarm Difficult Coworkers, Get Ahead & Rise To The Top, Patrick King teaches how to make the best impression on the people in your job,...

  • Time Management Secrets For Creatives And Indie Artists

    By Kevin on October 17, 2016

    What can business professionals learn from the productivity habits of a highly successful indie artist? How can Creatives use time management habits to improve their art and grow their fan base? You can imagine my surprise when singer-songwriter Rachael Yamagata emailed me while she was on tour in Sweden....

  • Become Your Own “Chief Entrepreneur Officer”

    By Kevin on October 11, 2016

    What defines the leader’s mindset? Do you want a master key to win in the age of disruption? Terence Mauri is an Entrepreneur Mentor in Residence (EMiR) at top ranked London Business School. In his new book, The Leader’s Mindset: How To Win In The Age of Disruption, Mauri...

  • Why You Must Write A Book (And How To Do It)

    By Kevin on October 10, 2016

    Are you exceptional in your field? On the cusp of taking the next step but don’t know how to make it happen? Would you like to be the one that gets called for TED or TEDx Talks? In her new release, You Must Write a Book: Boost Your Brand,...

  • From Arms Dealer To Software Entrepreneur

    By Kevin on September 18, 2016

    What can we learn from an international arms dealer? If you’re like me, when you think of arms dealing you imagine surreptitious deals, exotic locales, and high stakes negotiations with evil warlords. I assume American arms dealers look and act like Nicolas Cage in the movie Lord of War....

  • Hire Better People And You Won’t Need Rules

    By Kevin on September 15, 2016

    Previously I’ve written about the downside of rules at work and how rules can be replaced with Accountability and Transparency+Trust. In this article I’d like to explore the foundational solution, which is hiring great people. Do corporate rules really reflect a hidden hiring problem? What can we learn from...

  • I’m Hiring! Personal Assistant to Kevin Kruse

    By Kevin on September 12, 2016

    NOTE: This is a full-time salaried position out of a Newtown, PA office. No virtual/remote options for this position. Do you think Pepper Potts is the real hero in Iron Man? Are you high-energy and professional but personable? Do you want to work in an environment where every day...

  • 15 Secretos De La Gente Exitosa Sobre La Gestión Del Tiempo

    By Kevin on September 7, 2016

    He aqui un resumen de mi libro, 15 Secretos De La Gente Exitosa Sobre La Gestión Del Tiempo. Haga clic en la imagen para descargar el resumen completo en PDF en español. (Here’s a Spanish summary of my book, 15 Secrets Successful People Know About Time Management. Click the...

  • Replace Rules With Transparency And Trust

    By Kevin on September 5, 2016

    We know that almost all rules and policies have bad outcomes so we need to replace rules with other means to influence employee behavior. Last week, I discussed how accountability can be used instead of rules. But is it possible to have no company rules at all? What needs...

  • Meeting Hacks From Branson, Zuck, and Dorsey

    By Kevin on September 5, 2016

    Would your organization like to hold meetings that are more efficient, more productive, and even more enjoyable? I’ve interviewed hundreds of billionaires, famous entrepreneurs, and leaders of the most successful companies in the world. In analyzing the meeting culture in these organizations, a few things began to stand out....

  • Use Accountability Instead Of Rules At Work

    By Kevin on August 30, 2016

    Is it possible to replace 90% of all company rules? Recently we explored “Why Good Companies Create Bad Rules” and “Why Good Rules at Work Inevitably Turn Out Bad.” So what is better than rules? How can we replace rules with something that still encourages the best behaviors? In...

  • Maximize Focus In An Open Office

    By Kevin on August 23, 2016

    How can you maintain focus and avoid distractions in an open office environment? This is a question I’m asked more and more frequently, as more of us are now working in an organization without cubicle walls, and sometimes without any office enclosures at all. Often called “boiler rooms,” it...

  • 3 Novels I Recently Read And Loved

    By Kevin on August 20, 2016

    I read about a book a week, but most of what I read is boring non-fiction. But when summer hits and I get some vacation time, I immediately start catching up on my fiction. Here are three novels I just finished that I absolutely loved… The Circle by Dave...

  • Beware Of Distant Elephants Before You Say Yes

    By Kevin on August 15, 2016

    Do you have trouble saying no? Do you ever look at your ridiculous day calendar and wonder, “Why in the world did I agree to all this?” The more responsibilities we gain in life, the shorter the days, months and years get. There simply isn’t enough time to get...

  • Your Daily MIT Is More Important Than Your SMART Goal

    By Kevin on August 9, 2016

    Is it time to rethink the wisdom of goal setting? We’ve all been taught the value of setting goals that are SMART: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-bound. But what happens when we have too many goals? Even if our goals fit the SMART criteria, having multiple goals inevitably...

  • 4 Ways To Get Your ‘Inner Game’ Right

    By Kevin on August 5, 2016

    Can you begin to live your best life ever by applying a series of simple mental techniques in your day-to-day life? Personally, I’ve been on an evolving journey when it comes to mindset strategies for success. In my twenties, I thought it was all hogwash and I just wanted...

  • What’s Your Most Valuable Asset?

    By Kevin on July 25, 2016

    Take a minute to think about the most valuable things in life. If you are like most people, your list includes things such as family, friends, fitness and finances (money). Now, how would you rank these things on your list? It might surprise you to discover that many of...

  • Why Good Rules At Work Inevitably Turn Bad

    By Kevin on July 25, 2016

    In my recent article, “Why Good Companies Create Bad Rules,” I explored how rules and policies are created with the best of intentions; as companies grow in size and complexity, leaders institute rules to mitigate the effects of hiring mistakes, bad decisions and to maintain a level of quality....

  • Book Review: Miracle Morning For Writers

    By Kevin on July 19, 2016

    When people find out I’m an author, they often hit me with some form of, “Oh, I’ve got a great idea for a book, but I just don’t have the time to write it.” As if writers have some special access to a secret reservoir of time that others...

  • The 5 Deadline Sins Of Meetings (and How To Fix Them)

    By Kevin on July 19, 2016

    The hot-shot product manager burst into the conference room ten minutes late. “Sorry guys, I’m on ‘marketing time.’” The six of us already in the room had been waiting on him to start the meeting. Six people, times 10 minutes each, equals a full hour of wasted time. There...

  • Can You Really ‘Write’ A Book In As Little As 12 Hours?

    By Kevin on July 11, 2016

    I truly believe almost everyone in business should write a book. In fact, I wrote and published a book to launch each of my last three companies. Are you a consultant? You should write a book to gain clients and speaking gigs. CEO of a big company? Write a...

  • 7 Steps To Master Your Email Inbox

    By Kevin on July 4, 2016

    Would you like a simple way to dramatically cut the time you spend on emails? According to a survey conducted by the McKinsey Global Institute, office workers spend 2.6 hours per day reading and answering emails. This equates to 33% of a 40-hour workweek. What’s worse is that smartphones,...

  • Why Good Companies Create Bad Rules

    By Kevin on June 27, 2016

    I’m staring at my expense check and notice it’s short by about $4. Must have totaled up the wrong amount when I submitted my expense report. I pull up the report with a month’s worth of mileage, meals, hotel rooms and office supplies. I add up all the rows,...

  • Hire An Assistant, Even If You Think You Can’t Afford One

    By Kevin on June 27, 2016

    Most of the small business and solo professionals I know don’t have an assistant. Whether they are an independent consultant, coach, professional speaker, writer, or even a startup CEO, they consider an administrative assistant a waste of money. Why spend on an admin when I know how to use...

  • Persuasion Secrets Revealed In The Trump U Playbook

    By Kevin on June 20, 2016

    Imagine if you had access to a secret book that teaches Donald Trump’s techniques for verbal persuasion. Would you want to read it? Well, now you can. Donald Trump is known for saying funny things—along with hateful, vulgar, and inconsistent things, too—and as he says himself: I’m very highly educated....

  • A Productivity Secret From The Dalai Lama’s Little Red Bag

    By Kevin on June 20, 2016

    What does the Dalai Lama keep in his small red bag? My favorite story about the Dalai Lama was from an article in The Globe and Mail in 2002. The Dalai Lama travels the world frequently, teaching people about Buddhism and the plight of the Tibetan people. A man without many...

  • 2 Major Keys To Productivity From 2 Superfast Writers

    By Kevin on June 14, 2016

    I am a writer. I write slowly. This is a problem, because I am a writer. About a year ago, I tracked my productivity and learned that I write on average 500 words per hour. Most professional writers produce at least twice that amount. So in order to make...

  • Live Life Truly Present

    By Kevin on June 14, 2016

    Are you living your life truly present? Do you wear different masks depending on whether you are at work, home or posting on social media? Rob B. Lowe is an Australian safety professional and life coach who offers tips and advice through his Maximum Life Club. According to Lowe many of...

  • Use Corporate Storytelling To Drive Brand Authenticity

    By Kevin on June 6, 2016

    Why do some brands appear so much more authentic than others? The quest for brand authenticity among marketers has become akin to the search for the Holy Grail—a fool’s errand that ends in frustration. Authenticity is a subject that is endlessly debated, poorly defined and universally desired. A new...

  • 7 Ways To Politely Say No To ‘Cup of Coffee’ Requests

    By Kevin on June 6, 2016

    “The difference between successful people and very successful people is that very successful people say ‘no’ to almost everything.” —Warren Buffett If you’re a consultant, author, coach, or highly successful in your field, you undoubtedly get emails and LinkedIn messages from people who want to talk to you. And as...

  • How To Talk To Your Boss About Productivity

    By Kevin on May 31, 2016

    Do you blame your boss for your inability to get more done at work? One of my core productivity principles is to stop checking email all throughout the day, and to turn off the vibrations, dings and other notifications we get with every new message. Shelby told me, “I...

  • My 3 Minutes In Sub-Freezing Cryotherapy

    By Kevin on May 31, 2016

    I’m standing naked, except for my boxer shorts, staring at the cryotherapy chamber that is about to engulf me in sub-freezing liquid nitrogen. I’m terrified. In fact, I can’t remember the last time I was this scared. The 20-something year old woman standing next to me gives me two...

  • How To Sleep Better: It Ain’t About 8 Hours A Night

    By Kevin on May 25, 2016

    Would you like to get more from your six hours of sleep than what others get from a full eight hours? Did you know that quality sleep is the magic behind effective weight loss, a more youthful appearance, decreased risk of stroke, better mental health, better memory and more? When I interviewed hundreds of...

  • 10 Things Highly Successful Leaders Don’t Do

    By Kevin on May 18, 2016

    Most leaders have been taught the same old precepts: have an “open door” policy, rally around a common vision, make your employees happy and on and on. What if there was a better, faster, easier way to succeed as a leader? Based on my experience as a serial entrepreneur—having built...

  • Why This Company Only Holds Meetings One Day A Week

    By Edgar on May 16, 2016

    I asked seven billionaires to give me their No. 1 piece of advice for productivity and time management. To my surprise, many referenced the evils of meetings, and it was Mark Cuban who told me, “Never take a meeting unless someone is writing you a check.” In his usual witty style, Cuban zeroed in...

  • How To Deal With Other People’s Emotional Baggage

    By Kevin on May 16, 2016

    Have you ever walked away from a conversation with a co-worker or family member shaking your head and wondering, “Where did that come from?” In their new book, HeadTrash 2: Dealing with and Overcoming Other People’s Junk, authors Tish Squillaro and Tim Thomas offer practical tips for identifying and dealing with...

  • 4 Ways To Improve Your Open Door Policy

    By Kevin on May 9, 2016

    In part one of this two-part article, I explained why successful leaders don’t have an open door policy (i.e., the practice of leaving their office doors “open” so that employees feel welcome to stop by at any time to meet informally, ask questions, or share feedback). While the goals are noble,...

  • A UPS Drivers Secrets To Employee Engagement

    By Kevin on May 3, 2016

    Does your team lack cohesion? Do you often ask yourself if your employees are even taking you seriously? Would you like to transform your “me” culture into a “we” culture? In his new book, Leadership Lessons from a UPS Driver: Delivering a Culture of We, Not Me, former UPS International...

  • It’s Time You Close Your Open Door Policy

    By Kevin on May 3, 2016

    What if one of the most widely revered management practices was completely wrong? Is it possible that the “open door policy” is harmful to managers and individual contributors alike? Could it be that the “open door” just enables individual contributors to delegate their problems back onto management? An open...

  • Book Review: Online Marketing For Busy Authors

    By Kevin on April 28, 2016

    I know firsthand that there has never been a better time to be an author. With traditional publishers, I’ve hit all the bestseller lists and as an indie-author, I make six figures a year from royalties and speaking engagements alone. Nothing builds your brand or attracts clients like having...

  • How To Deal With The Unexpected In Your Day

    By Kevin on April 28, 2016

    Dear Kevin, I have begun listening to your podcast recently, and I particularly liked your episode about not using to-do lists and instead, scheduling your day in 15-minute chunks. As someone who is naturally chaotic but desires discipline and order, this sounded very appealing — especially as I appreciate...

  • My $25,000 Challenge to Sir Richard Branson

    By Kevin on April 20, 2016

    What do you do when Sir Richard Branson calls you out publicly on his blog? You challenge him to a $25,000 wager for charity, of course! Last month, I made a $25,000 bet with Sir Richard Branson that I could convince him that scheduling all tasks on your calendar is more effective than...

  • 5 Tips For Confrontation Conversations

    By Kevin on April 11, 2016

    Would you like a powerful and lasting way to create fierce loyalty in any group setting? Do you want a master key to the hearts and minds of your next audience? In his book, Conversation Tactics: Strategies to Confront, Challenge, and Resolve, Patrick King teaches how to prepare for...

  • From Time Management To Energy Management

    By Kevin on April 4, 2016

    I’ll let you in on a little secret: even though my new book has the words “time management” in its title, nobody can truly “manage” time. No matter what tricks or strategies you use, you will always have the same 24 hours tomorrow that you had today. 1,440 minutes....

  • 50 Writing Tips From A New York Times Bestselling Author

    By Kevin on March 29, 2016

    One of the questions I’m asked on a daily basis is some form of, “I want to become an author. Can you help?” There are certainly better people to ask than me. But after writing hundreds of articles and nine books in 15 years—both traditionally published and self-published, both...

  • Save 8 Hours This Week With 3 Simple Questions

    By Kevin on March 29, 2016

    Can three simple questions save you eight hours a week? In September 2013, Professors Julian Birkinshaw and Jordan Cohen shared the results of their productivity experiment in the Harvard Business Review. They found that 41 percent of knowledge workers’ time is spent on discretionary activities that weren’t personally satisfying...

  • What This Slacker Taught Me About Productivity

    By Kevin on March 21, 2016

    In January of 2013, several news outlets reported on the remarkable story of Bob. With Bob’s programming speed and code quality, his company named him “Best Coder in the Building” and gave him an excellent performance review. He was a model employee; in his mid-40s, Bob clocked in by...

  • 7 Steps To Develop Your Full Monty Story

    By Kevin on March 15, 2016

    Would you like a powerful and lasting way to create fierce loyalty in any group setting? Do you want a master key to the hearts and minds of your next audience? In his book, Fiercely Loyal: How High Performing Companies Develop and Retain Top Talent, author Dov Baron states...

  • The Pareto Principle For Time Management

    By Kevin on March 15, 2016
    What is the 80/20 Rule and could it actually make 80 percent of your work disappear?
  • 6 Secrets To Defeat “Overworked & Overwhelmed”

    By Kevin on March 8, 2016

    Imagine if you could cure that feeling of being overworked and overwhelmed, without sacrificing career advancement or progress on your most important goals. In her new book, Practical Perfection, author Kelly Exeter defines overwhelm as the experience of passion and productivity, but in the absence of priorities. Overwhelm =...

  • The Truth Behind Why We Procrastinate

    By Kevin on March 1, 2016
    To beat procrastination once and for all, you have to understand it. So, why do we procrastinate? There are a number of reasons that might spring to mind...
  • My New Podcast On Time Management And Productivity

    By Kevin on March 1, 2016

    I’m excited to announce that I’ve jumped on the podcasting bandwagon. My new show is called Extreme Productivity With Kevin Kruse. It’s a short broadcast where I offer one specific tip or idea each week to help you to 10x your productivity without feeling so overworked and overwhelmed. Hope...

  • Your To-Do List: Where Important Things Go To Die

    By Kevin on February 25, 2016
    The first problem with recording tasks on a to-do list is that it doesn’t distinguish between items that take only a few minutes and items that require an hour or more. So when you randomly look at your list and ask, “Hmm, what should I tackle next?”, you are very likely going to pick the quick and easy items, not necessarily the thing that is most important.
  • Do You Have A Dysfunctional Relationship With Your Boss?

    By Kevin on February 23, 2016
    While it’s common to disagree with a boss, or even to dislike a boss, how can we know if our relationship with our boss is never going to improve? How do we know if we should “fire” our boss, or stick it out a bit longer? I’m not talking about the obvious signs like sexual harassment or racism or clear HR violations. What if things aren’t that bad, but you aren’t sure if the devil you know is better than the next boss you don’t?
  • Proper Priorities

    By Kevin on February 18, 2016

      In the hilarious 1991 movie City Slickers, the Jack Palance character, Curly, gives a secret to Mitch (Billy Crystal). Holding up his index finger, Curly explains that you need to figure out your one thing and stick to it. Of course the secret is both to have “one...

  • One Sentence Employee Engagement: 20 Words To Gain Emotional Commitment

    By Kevin on February 18, 2016

    One Sentence Engagement? Is it truly possible to condense the science of employee engagement into a single sentence? It is and I’m about to convince you of that. But first I need to explain why I’m taking this extreme exercise in reductionism. Studying leadership and employee engagement has been...

  • Kevin Harrington’s Time Management Advice

    By Kevin on February 2, 2016

    How do self-made multimillionaires think about time? If you’re like most people who want to improve their time management, you’re always on the lookout for a list of tips, tools, and systems that will increase your productivity and add hours to your week. But if you’re like me, you’ve...

  • 15 Secrets Successful People Know About Productivity

    By Kevin on January 25, 2016
    I recently interviewed over 200 ultra-productive people including 7 billionaires, 13 Olympians, 20 straight-A students and over 200 successful entrepreneurs. I asked a simple, open-ended question, “What is your number one secret to productivity?” After analyzing all of their responses, I coded their answers into 15 unique ideas.
  • 6 Things Successful People Do To Get And Stay Motivated

    By Kevin on January 18, 2016

    How do highly successful people get and stay motived? How do they tap endless reserves of energy and optimism, encouraging all those around them as well? They say, “Success leaves clues” and I’ve had the opportunity to spend time with Marine Corps generals, Congressmen, Olympians, Fortune 500 CEOs and...

  • A Psychologist’s Secrets To Making New Year’s Resolutions Stick

    By Kevin on January 11, 2016
    Research suggests that approximately half of all Americans make New Year’s resolutions yet only 8% actually achieve them. How can you join this elite few? How can you actually follow through on your plan to lose weight, get organized or to spend less and save more?
  • 9 “Smartcuts” To Accelerate Your Success

    By Kevin on December 28, 2015

    Have you ever looked at someone who achieved rapid success, and with awe or even jealousy, wondered, “How did she do that?” You know what I’m talking about. How did Gina get promoted to VP when she’s ten years younger than you? How did Ramit get the Sales Director...

  • How Chick-fil-A Created A Culture That Lasts

    By Kevin on December 16, 2015

    This article was originally published on Forbes. In Dee Ann Turner’s new book, It’s My Pleasure: The Impact of Extraordinary Talent and Compelling Culture, she shares the secret sauce of Chick-fil-A’s highly effective business model that began over 60 years ago by founder Truett Cathy. Truett created something incredibly...

  • How To Sync Outlook Calendar With Google Calendar

    By Kevin on December 9, 2015

    Ultra-productive people don’t use to-do lists, but they DO live from their calendars. Time blocking and planning and working from your calendar is key. But what if you’re using two different calendars, one for work and one for personal? One of my productivity students, Karen, specifically asked me, “My...

  • 3 Ways To Send Gmail Email Without Seeing Your Inbox

    By Kevin on December 3, 2015

    You know how you go to open Gmail to send a message, but quickly get distracted by reading and replying to the new messages in your inbox? Well, for all you productivity ninjas out there, here are 3 ways to send an email without having to open and get...

  • Thank You, Sir, May I Have Another?

    By Kevin on December 1, 2015

    The following is a guest post from Jill Christensen. Jill is the President and Founder of Jill Christensen International and her forthcoming book is,  If Not You, Who? Cracking the Code of Employee Disengagement. Paul L. Marciano, author of Carrots and Sticks Don’t Work, says, “Organizations have spent billions...

  • Time Management Secrets of 13 Olympic Athletes

    By Kevin on November 30, 2015
    How do Olympic athletes maintain their focus, discipline and energy? How do the unsponsored athletes juggle their rigorous training with their “day job” and family obligations? What are the time management and productivity secrets of Olympians?
  • The Power Of 3-Part Thank-You’s

    By Kevin on November 23, 2015

    This article was originally published on Forbes. “Thanks,” Bill said as he walked by, rapping his knuckles on the top of my cube wall. “See you tomorrow,” I glanced at my watch. Every day, at exactly 5:01, my boss left for the day, saying thanks as he walked past...

  • How To Run A Meeting

    By Kevin on November 16, 2015

    This article was originally published on Forbes. Been to a great meeting lately? Yeah, didn’t think so. Imagine if you could be known for running meetings that actually lead to great outcomes. Imagine if people actually looked forward to your meetings—and it wasn’t because you offered free food. Most...

  • The Time Management Secrets Of 29 Straight-A Students

    By Kevin on November 10, 2015

    What does it take to maintain straight A’s at MIT or Harvard? What does it take to be a straight-A student in high school, while juggling varsity sports and numerous activities? The students I interviewed gave a wide range of advice and I’m reminded in my own home that...

  • The Productivity Secret That Enables Jack Dorsey To Run Two Companies At Once

    By Kevin on November 3, 2015

    Jack Dorsey was named CEO (again) of Twitter last month, and he’ll continue to hold the same title at pre-IPO Square. How can Dorsey run two companies when most of us struggle to keep up with one job? What’s his secret to getting it all done? I recently interviewed...

  • 5 Ways Millionaires Manage Their Email More Productively Than You

    By Kevin on October 17, 2015

    How can you stop wasting so much time on email and still get to inbox zero every single day? I recently interviewed over 200 millionaires, entrepreneurs and highly-successful solopreneurs for my new book, 15 Secrets Highly Successful People Know About Time Management. I learned that highly-successful people don’t react to...

  • Join My New Book Launch Team and Get 5 Unique Gifts

    By Kevin on September 14, 2015

    Friends, I need a favor. I’m only a few weeks away from launching my next book, 15 Secrets Successful People Know About Time Management: The Productivity Habits of 7 Billionaires, 13 Olympic Athletes, 29 Straight-A Students, and 239 Entrepreneurs. I can’t be modest on this one. I’m super excited...

  • How This Vacation Policy Is Winning Over Millennials

    By Kevin on September 1, 2015

    How can you win the recruiting wars for top millennial talent, drive up their engagement levels, and ensure they stay for the long term? By 2020, millennials will be approximately 50 percent of the U.S. workforce, and by 2030, 75 percent of the global workforce. When it comes to...

  • How to Motivate Older Workers

    By Kevin on August 21, 2015

    Hey, everyone. Kevin Kruse here. It’s actually a beautiful day. It’s a holiday here in the States, but I’m so far behind on answering emails, some questions that you’ve sent in, I figured I’d take some holiday time, throw my teenage daughter behind the camera, and answer some...

  • What If You Are Not Engaged At Work?

    By Kevin on August 14, 2015

    What do you do if the person that’s disengaged is you? I’m Kevin Kruse and I love this question that got sent in. I’m going to let her remain anonymous and she wrote, “I just read your article on ‘what do you do about that one negative team...

  • 3 Ways to Maximize Your Leadership Impact

    By Kevin on August 10, 2015

    As a leader tasked with seizing new ground and improving an organization’s performance, do you start with the systems, the people, or yourself? Get out the mirror! According to leadership expert, Chris Hutchinson, leaders cannot be effective if they don’t begin by understanding their own values, visioning their personal...

  • Retaining High Potentials Through Career Path Enablement

    By Kevin on August 2, 2015

    In that deflating moment when the star employee you painstakingly mentored tells you that despite much admiration and gratitude she’s leaving for something better, it’s easy to react emotionally and to blame others—those disloyal millennials, can’t believe the competition poaches like that—but you can only reduce turnover in the...

  • How to “Sell” Employee Engagement To The CEO

    By Kevin on July 24, 2015

    Hi everyone. Kevin Kruse here with another answer to a reader-submitted question. Eric writes, “I’m working on getting the owner (we’re a small business) to recognize the importance of employee engagement, and to have him realize that he needs to do more.” Now whether you’re dealing with the owner...

  • 4 Secrets of Passionate Organizations

    By Kevin on July 24, 2015

    What’s wrong with the golden rule at work? Why shouldn’t we try to fix our weaknesses? According to consultant, Mike Goldman, there is definitely better way to create highly engaged teams. In his new business fable, Performance Breakthrough: The Four Secrets of Passionate Organizations, Goldman details four strategies that...

  • Book Review: Lead Inside The Box

    By Kevin on July 17, 2015

    Should you spend more of your time developing the weaker members of your team, or focus on making your star performers even better? As I’ve led teams over the years, one of the most difficult challenges is where to spend my limited time and energy.  Everyone on my team...

  • Why To-Do Lists Don’t Work (And What Millionaires Use Instead)

    By Kevin on July 13, 2015

    Do you really think Richard Branson and Bill Gates write a long to-do list and prioritized items as A1, A2, B1, B2, C1 and on and on? In my research into time management and productivity best practices, I’ve interviewed over two hundred billionaires, Olympians, straight-A students, and entrepreneurs. I...

  • How To Become A Forbes Writer

    By Kevin on July 6, 2015

    About once a week someone emails me asking, “How did you become a Forbes writer? And how can I start writing for Forbes?” Indeed, I’ve been writing for for a couple years now and I’m one of the most viewed Leadership columnists. My all-time most successful post has...

  • 1 Leadership Key That We Never Discuss

    By Kevin on July 6, 2015

    When I suggested that the best way to deal with that lone disengaged employee is usually to fire them (in my video “How to Deal with a Disengaged Employee”) I received a lot of emails, both from people supporting my position and those thinking I was being a bit...

  • CHALLENGE: Show Your Work Every Day in July

    By Kevin on July 2, 2015

    I was taking a break today, browing the different Facebook groups that I belong to, when I stumbled on Trajan King’s post in Invincible Startup. It simply said, “I’m producing content every day in July. Will you join me?” Trajan plans to produce a piece of content every single...

  • How to Stand Out and Become an Industry Thought Leader

    By Kevin on May 2, 2015

    Years ago, I watched Dorie Clark, an up and coming political consultant, pivot her career to focus more broadly on marketing and business strategy. I’ve marveled ever since at how quickly she’s climbed into the ranks of the most respected business thinkers in the world. Today, she contributes to...

  • How to Deal with a Disengaged Employee

    By Kevin on April 25, 2015

    What do you do about that one negative team member who just doesn’t want to get engaged? Probably the one question I get more often than any other is people emailing in saying, “Kevin, I think I’m being a good leader. I get good overall engagement scores...

  • How to Make it Home for Dinner, Guilt-Free

    By Kevin on April 15, 2015

    Would you like to leave the office at 5:00 p.m. today to make it home for dinner? Would you like to do it without feeling guilty? Early in my career I was constantly overworked and overwhelmed. As the founder and president of a fast growing startup, I worked long...

  • Better Time Management A Minute At A Time

    By Kevin on March 26, 2015

    Can the number 1440 change your life? When I developed the Time Management Style Quiz my goal was to help people to understand their mastery of two dominant factors for productivity: knowing what to do, and how to get it done. Overwhelmingly the responses I received were a variation...

  • How to Become More Productive in Four Seconds

    By Kevin on March 26, 2015

    Can you improve your relationships, increase your ability to focus and shut down counter-productive habits in just four seconds? In his new book, Four Seconds: All the Time You Need to Stop Counter-Productive Habits and Get the Results You Want, Peter Bregman argues that the key to success in...

  • Matt Heller’s Advice for Engaging Seasonal Workers

    By Kevin on March 5, 2015

    Matt Heller is the author of The Myth of Employee Burnout and is an expert on employee engagement in the amusement park industry. I recently asked Matt his thoughts on how to engage seasonal workers. Our interview is below. Kevin Kruse: I believe that some people are more likely...

  • Employee Engagement and the Railroad Industry

    By Kevin on February 19, 2015

    How does employee engagement drive results in the railroad industry? When employees are engaged—when they care—they give discretionary effort. Each day railroad workers have thousands of opportunities to “go the extra mile”. Engaged locomotive engineers are more likely to reduce braking and idle times, thus saving on fuel costs...

  • 27 Best Employee Engagement Quotes

    By Kevin on February 9, 2015

    This collection of employee engagement quotes can clarify the value of employee engagement and provide the inspiration to drive emotional commitment throughout your organization. I hope you’ll share this short collection of engagement quotes with others in your organization. “To win in the marketplace you must first win in...

  • The Power of Joy at Work

    By Kevin on February 5, 2015

    Each year, over 3,000 people fly in from around the world to visit a very special and unusual company. Located next to a Korean Barbecue in Ann Arbor, Michigan, from the outside Menlo Innovations seems unremarkable. But when visitors walk inside, they are surprised to see no offices, no...

  • Employee Engagement Definition

    By Kevin on January 21, 2015

    What is the REAL employee engagement definition? How is it different from employee satisfaction or even happiness? Let’s start with what it’s not. See, a lot of people think employee engagement is the same as employee satisfaction, but satisfaction doesn’t raise the bar high enough. See, I...

  • Top 101 Leadership Speakers

    By Kevin on December 7, 2014

    As a leadership speaker myself, giving at least one keynote or workshop each week, I’ve shared the stage with many other great leadership speakers. If you are looking for a leadership speaker for your next corporate executive session, conference or association meeting, I would encourage you to review the...

  • 3 Big Ideas from The Culture Engine, by S. Chris Edmonds

    By Kevin on December 3, 2014

    Interested in creating a high-performance culture on your team or in your company? I just finished Chris Edmonds’ new book, The Culture Engine. Three BIG IDEAS… 1) Companies should have an “organizational constitution” which is a written document that clearly states – purpose – values – strategy – goals...

  • The Entrepreneur Journey Manifesto

    By Kevin on November 7, 2014

    I’m excited to announce that ChangeThis just released my new (totally free) manifesto, The Entrepreneur’s Journey. You can get it here: And this is the best part… I’m giving $10 to non-profit Acumen every time someone downloads a copy; my goal is to give Acumen at least $50,000....

  • Leadership Advice from LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner

    By Kevin on October 8, 2014

    Jeff Weiner just may be the most effective startup CEO you haven’t heard of. Not nearly as famous as Amazon’s Jeff Bezos or Starbuck’s Howard Schultz, yet Weiner—the CEO of LinkedIn—has the highest CEO approval rating on Glassdoor. With incredible growth at LinkedIn, Weiner has proven that he isn’t...

  • ERGs, Friendship, and Employee Engagement

    By Kevin on September 29, 2014
    Despite the confusion around the question, the data is clear that friendship is more important than pay or benefits, and strongly correlates to productivity, safety, customer loyalty and profitability (source: The Collective Advantage, Gallup). So how can leaders foster friendships in the workplace, for the benefit of the organization as a whole? One answer is employee resource groups.
  • A System for Running Great Meetings

    By Kevin on September 5, 2014
    How can you run a great meeting that is engaging for participants, productive, and a great investment of everyone's time?
  • How to Receive Feedback and Criticism

    By Kevin on August 14, 2014
    How can you take the sting out of feedback, and use it grow and get closer to achieving your full potential? We all say we want feedback, but we don’t really. What we truly want is to be liked, to be loved, to fit in, to have our boss think we’re awesome. And criticism, by definition, is letting us know that we still have some work to do. It puts a ding in our self-worth and ego.
  • Top 10 Employee Engagement Books

    By Kevin on August 4, 2014

    I'm obviously proud of my own books in the field of employee engagement, but thought it would be interesting to see what the best selling employee engagement books were according to Amazon. They are:

  • 3 Lessons in Leadership From Sting (yes, Sting)

    By Kevin on July 1, 2014

    The following is a guest post from Meridith Elliott Powell. Meredith is is the author of Winning in the Trust and Value Economy (Global Professional Publishing, 2013) and is the founder and owner of MotionFirst. — Well like it or not, British musician’s Sting’s children are going to have to work for living....

  • Leadership Secrets From Yum! Brands CEO David Novak

    By Kevin on June 26, 2014

    Chairman and CEO of Yum! Brands and author of Taking People With You, David Novak, shared his leadership advice this week in a keynote for the Society for Human Resource Management’s annual conference in Orlando, Florida. In his role at Yum! Brands, Novak leads 1.5 million employees who work...

  • Tom Friedman’s Advice For Surviving the New Age

    By Kevin on June 23, 2014

    New York Times columnist Tom Friedman delivered today’s keynote speech at the SHRM annual conference in Orlando. The author of The World is Flat described how much the world has changed in just the last decade, with the invention and adoption of things like Facebook, Skype, and LinkedIn among other things. Human...

  • Leadershift (Guest Post)

    By Kevin on June 5, 2014

    The following is guest post by William McCoy, School District Superintendent and Tech Start-Up Founder. I think you’ll find that he is raising an interesting and important topic around our multiple roles as leaders. You may be a leader in two or more different companies, like William, or you...

  • Advice to Younger Self From HRPBC

    By Kevin on May 29, 2014

    What advice would you give to a younger version of yourself? What tweetable bits of wisdom might we offer this season’s graduates? I recently spoke with a hundred professionals from the Human Resource Association of Palm Beach County, and they kindly submitted their words of wisdom. Tweetable Advice to...

  • Guanxi: Do You Store Your Knowledge In Your Network?

    By Kevin on May 20, 2014

    I think Dan Pontefract ( must be a brother from another mother. His views on the new world of work and ideas for new models of leadership and success align very closely with my own. What’s great is that Dan is a deep thinker who is also a practitioner....

  • New Age of Transformative Organizations

    By Kevin on May 12, 2014

    We know that—all else being equal—people would rather work for a purpose than a paycheck. The power of “why” is strong. Yet we also know that without profit, organizations will not last. Robert Reiss in his article, “How to Become a Transformative CEO“, suggests that we are now in...

  • Do You Self-Talk?

    By Kevin on May 7, 2014

    The WSJ ran an interesting article this week called, “Self-Talk, or a Heart-to-Heart With Your Closest Friend.” Researchers have found that talking to yourself is more common than most realize, and actually does work to improve performance. One key finding is that self-talk is more effective if you do...

  • Wholehearted Leadership In A Word (Wordcloud)

    By Kevin on April 24, 2014

    When I asked the 23,000 members of the Wholehearted Leadership group on LinkedIn what one word best describes wholehearted leadership, I was surprised by the answers. Three different words tied for the most popular choice: Authenticity – This word didn’t surprise me as it gets to the core of...

  • Great Coaching Questions (For Self or Others)

    By Kevin on April 14, 2014

    Bob Tiede is a leadership expert out of Plano, Texas, who writes a blog called, “Leading with Questions“. This is one of the best leadership blogs I know of. In Bob’s newsletter this week he shares some of his favorite questions which I’ve excerpted below. (And by the way,...

  • 20 Common Leadership Blindspots (and How to Fix Them)

    By Kevin on April 10, 2014

    Do you know what your leadership blindspots are? It’s a trick question because, by definition, blindspots are areas where you lack awareness of your weakness. Many coaches casually refer to them as “derailers.” A leader continues to advance and climb the career ladder until an unknown weakness suddenly derails...

  • Employee Engagement Summit 2014 (Now Live and Online)

    By Kevin on April 9, 2014

    Are you looking for new perspectives and ideas about improving Employee Engagement? Would you like to join me and listen in to the latest thoughts from 12 of the world’s biggest names in engagement? David Zinger, Dr. Relly Nadler, Dr. Thuy Sindell, Dr. Paul Marciano, Dr. Lee Colan, Jody...

  • Why Pepsi’s CEO Writes To Her Employees’ Parents

    By Kevin on March 24, 2014

    We’ve all heard about the value of writing thank you notes to our employees (Doug Conant being a role model having sent 30,000 handwritten notes to employees while he was CEO of Campbell Soup Company). I’ve written previously about the US Marine Corps’ tradition of including family members in...

  • Feedforward Coaching in Switched on Leadership Magazine

    By Kevin on February 25, 2014

    I’m in great company with Dan Pink and Peter Bregman in the new issue of Switched On Leadership magazine. The publisher did a great job on the design of my article “Feedforward Coaching Instead of Annual Reviews”. Click here to download PDF of Feedforward Coaching article.. To access the...

  • Should Engagement Be Company Level or Team Level?

    By Kevin on February 23, 2014

    A reader emailed me today with a very good engagement question. She is getting ready to deploy the short survey I include in Employee Engagement 2.0 and asked, Should I ask them about the whole company, or our specific department? For example, “I am extremely satisfied working at Acme.”...

  • Becoming A Self-Reliant Leader

    By Kevin on February 21, 2014

    At 5’ 4” tall and weighing only 114 pounds, Jan Rutherford may have been the smallest soldier to have ever served in the US Army Special Forces.  In his book, The Littlest Green Beret, he offers his own life stories of adversity to convey how we can become better...

  • The Best Job Hunting Strategy?

    By Kevin on February 4, 2014

    An accomplished young woman emailed me today asking, “What do you think is the best strategy for job hunting?” My answer… I don’t your specific situation but here’s some general advice: 1) Never stop hunting. Never assume your the job that you do, or the company you work in...

  • Top 100 Employee Engagement Experts

    By Kevin on January 21, 2014

    Kevin Kruse is a keynote speaker, Forbes columnist and the New York Times bestselling author of three books on employee engagement including Employee Engagement 2.0, We, and Employee Engagement for Everyone. Kevin speaks around the world on the “engagement-profit chain” including 3 techniques leaders can use to drive massive engagement, discretionary...

  • 7 Business Tips From CEO Marc Benioff

    By Kevin on January 19, 2014

    Behind the Cloud is Marc Benioff’s account of how he started and grew into an industry giant. A few of my take-aways: 1) Be visionary. Customers and the press love visionaries, and the bigger, more audacious your vision, the more attention you will get. was known for...

  • No Cell Phone Sign

    By Kevin on January 8, 2014

    After reading “Why Successful People Never Bring Smartphones Into Meetings” in Forbes, by Kevin Kruse, you may be interested in downloading his Smartphone Free Zone sign. This PDF file is designed in color and ready to print on standard letter size paper. Display this no cell phone sign in...

  • Model Employee Engagement Committee Charter / Mandate

    By Kevin on January 2, 2014

    Are you forming a new committee at work to improve employee engagement and morale? The following is a model committee charter (i.e., mandate) that can be used as a template for setting up your organization’s new employee engagement committee. Feel free to download and modify at will without further...

  • Why Successful People Never Bring Smartphones Into Meetings

    By Kevin on January 2, 2014

    Do you check your phone for text messages or emails during business meetings? According to new research from the University of Southern California’s Marshall School of Business, you are probably annoying your boss and colleagues. Furthermore, the research indicates that older professionals and those with higher incomes are far...

  • A Resolution To Be A Wholehearted Leader In 2014

    By Kevin on December 31, 2013

    Just a quick note on this New Year’s Eve to encourage you to join me in living as a wholehearted leader in 2014. This means… …remember that you don’t need a title or direct reports to be a leader; leadership is influence, which means we are all leading every...

  • The Amgen Big Four Leadership Behaviors

    By Kevin on December 23, 2013

    In a recent Harvard Business Review article (October 2013) Kevin Sharer talks about how he defined his expectations for leaders when he was CEO at Amgen. Sharer explains how he and his senior leadership debated vigorously what it actually was they wanted Amgen leaders to do. He says, “We...

  • The Best Books I Read In 2013

    By Kevin on December 20, 2013

    A bunch of friends were discussing this over dinner recently. In no particular order, the books I enjoyed most this year include: Lexicon, Max Barry I don’t read a lot of fiction but found this to be both a page turner and brain bender. Anyone interested in the art...

  • Why Africa Is The Next China (For Growth)

    By Kevin on December 17, 2013

    Did you know that Africa is booming and may be the next great opportunity for global business? I was really surprised by the article, “Seven Reasons Why Africa’s Time Is Now”, in the October 2013 issue of Harvard Business Review. They explain that one-third of Africa’s countries are experiencing...

  • Discussion Questions for Employee Engagement 2.0

    By Kevin on December 16, 2013

    Many companies have formed books clubs or discussion groups around Employee Engagement 2.0. The questions below can be used to facilitate a conversation about how the ideas in the book can be used to increase engagement in your own organization.

  • 5 Ways To Fix Your Dysfunctional Team

    By Kevin on December 11, 2013

    Liane Davey, an organizational psychologist and consultant, makes a bold claim that not only can a toxic team be fixed, but that anybody on the team can fix it, even without the initial support of the team leader or peers. In her new book, You First: Inspire Your Team...

  • Wholehearted Leader Nelson Mandela

    By Kevin on December 6, 2013

    I was in San Francisco yesterday, getting ready to deliver a talk on Wholehearted Leadership, when I heard the news that Nelson Mandela had passed away. I can think of no national leader who exemplifies wholehearted leadership more than Mandela. What many don’t know is that Mandela viewed his...

  • Transparency Eats Culture For Lunch

    By Kevin on December 3, 2013

    Many companies talk about their great culture when trying to lure new employees, and “great culture” has become synonymous with foosball tables, subsidized lunches and lots of parties. Yet parties, picnics and perq’s are never what truly engages employees over the long-term. New research by TINYpulse, a startup employee...

  • How One Former Navy SEAL Modulates Authentic Leadership

    By Kevin on November 12, 2013

    Followers of my work know that I’m fully committed to authenticity and am a preacher of wholehearted leadership. Transparency and vulnerability have enabled me to build multimillion dollar businesses and led to a Best Place to Work award along the way. Still I wonder, “Is there such a thing...

  • Trends In Employee Engagement And Recognition

    By Kevin on September 18, 2013

    The following is a guest post by Steven Lee, WooBoard Most companies believe their reward systems, such as a $5,000 Christmas bonus, holidays to Hawaii or even a monthly gift, are effective to motivate and engage their employees. These structured systems have played a leading role in most employee-related...

  • How Leaders Use The Paradox Secret To Solve Tough Problems

    By Kevin on September 10, 2013

    Are there problems in your organization that just keep coming up? Get a room full of CEOs together over dinner and they’ll are start sharing their frustrations over virtually the same things. “How can I balance short-term profits with long-term growth?” “Should we centralize or decentralize?” “As a leader,...

  • What is Thought Leadership?

    By Kevin on August 31, 2013

    The following is a guest post by Denise Brosseau, CEO, Thought Leadership Lab I was on the phone with an acquaintance yesterday talking excitedly about my favorite topic — thought leadership — when she stopped me in my tracks with a simple question. What is thought leadership? Taking a...

  • Wholehearted Leadership In The U.S. Marine Corps

    By Kevin on August 28, 2013

    I was invited to the Pentagon for the promotion ceremony of my friend, Marine Corps Major General Ron Bailey, who would be getting his third star. This was my first visit to the Pentagon and much of it was as I expected—cement barriers, a security shack where I was...

  • Is Followership More Important than Leadership?

    By Kevin on August 27, 2013

    The following is a guest post by Dr. Jon Warner, Editor-In-Chief of It’s a fairly obvious fact that every leader needs a follower (as the proverb says: “He who thinks he leads, but has no followers, is only taking a walk”). However, while we have a huge amount...

  • Book Review: The Facts Of Business Life

    By Kevin on August 25, 2013

    Bill McBean spent many of his nearly forty years as a successful business owner in the automobile industry where, among many other achievements, he purchased several underperforming dealerships and turned them into a successful business enterprise with yearly sales of more than $160 million. In his new book,  The Facts...

  • How To Get People To Open Up At Work

    By Kevin on August 21, 2013

    How can you get people to open up at work? I can remember clearly being frustrated by this issue long ago myself. My startup was growing fast, our numbers were great and I was happy and energized. I’d hold team meetings, acted like the sage on the stage, and...

  • How Do You Measure Employee Engagement (or Love)?

    By Kevin on August 17, 2013

    How do you measure engagement? I’m asked that question often, from both employee engagement skeptics looking to frame the effort as voodoo, and from true believers who know engagement when they see it, but still want to know how to quantify it. It’s an important question. If you believe,...

  • Top 25 Most Innovative Companies Of The Year

    By Kevin on August 14, 2013

    If you had to guess which companies were the most innovative in the world, what names would you come up with? For me I think of, Google, maybe Apple. So I found it interesting how few names on the new Forbes Top 25 Most Innovative Companies Of The...

  • Get Complimentary Team Engagement Report

    By Kevin on July 30, 2013

    Dr. Paul Marciano, my good friend and leading authority on employee engagement, is following up his best-selling book Carrots and Sticks Don’t Work with a new book focused on team engagement tentatively titled: SuperTeams: Using the Principles of RESPECT™ to Unleash Explosive Business Performance. Paul is conducting a research...

  • 3 Business Success Tips From Kathy Ireland

    By Kevin on July 26, 2013

    I think most people remember Kathy Ireland as the supermodel who dominated Sports Illustrated swimsuit editions through the 80’s and into the 90’s. But did you know she is now the CEO of a $2 billion dollar global company? In a recent BusinessWeek article she offers three life lessons:...

  • 9 Writing Tips from ThrillerFest 2013

    By Kevin on July 17, 2013

    You know that question, “If you could have dinner with any three people alive or dead who would it be?” Well I just had something like that actually happen to me. Imagine you got to spend some time and have drinks with the biggest writers of the suspense, thriller...

  • Three Words To Stop Using Completely

    By Kevin on July 7, 2013

    Chad Hymas recently told me how he dramatically changed his life when he stopped using three words: I, me, my. He literally doesn’t use them in his talks, in his emails, not even in his text messages to his wife. He just omits them completely, or finds ways to...

  • How To Work Hard Without Sacrificing Health Or Family

    By Kevin on July 5, 2013

    A reader recently emailed to share that he is going through a particularly tough time balancing his busy career, his executive MBA program, and his home life. He was wondering how he can make sure that his spouse and physical health don’t suffer along the way. This is going...

  • The Crowd Sourced Performance Review

    By Kevin on July 1, 2013

    Do you think your annual performance review is an accurate appraisal of your work? According to a new survey by Globoforce and the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) nearly half of HR professionals agree that the traditional system is broken and we need a new approach. Eric Mosely,...

  • Even CEOs Want A Pizza Party (Power of Recognition)

    By Kevin on June 26, 2013

    Interesting profile of Meredith Whitney in latest issue of Bloomberg Businessweek showing the power of recognition. Whitney is an investment analyst who shot to fame when she correctly predicted massive trouble for Citi back in 2007, while she was with a company called CIBC World Markets. She has been...

  • Employee Engagement For Everyone (New Book)

    By Kevin on June 25, 2013

    Employee Engagement for Everyone: 4 Keys to Happiness and Fulfillment at Work is the only book written specifically to teach individual employees how to increase their engagement and happiness at work. It’s the perfect compliment to corporate engagement initiatives, and for anyone who wants to increase their own happiness...

  • The Human Relations Matrix: The Secret to Workplace Productivity

    By Kevin on June 17, 2013

    In The Human Relations Matrix: The Secret to Workplace Productivity, Jeremy Henderson offers a system designed to increase individual and collective productivity. Ideal for business and HR leaders, this book lays out Henderson’s system that combines strategic levers: Leadership Decision Making Organizational Social Structures Communication with the tactical levers...

  • Authentic Leadership

    By Kevin on June 4, 2013

    (Originally published on Authentic leadership continues to gain in popularity. But what is it? Authenticity has been explored throughout history, from Greek philosophers to the work of Shakespeare  (“To thy own self be true.” –Polonius, Hamlet). Authentic leadership has been explored sporadically as part of modern management science,...

  • Want to Join My Book Launch “Street Team”?

    By Kevin on June 2, 2013

    *** THIS OFFER IS NOW CLOSED *** Friends, I’m launching my new book and am looking for 100 people to join my “street team”. You get great swag just by doing an honest book review. Here’s the details. My new book, Employee Engagement for Everyone, shows how individuals can...

  • Greatest Business Decisions Of All Time

    By Kevin on May 29, 2013

    (Originally published on Business leaders make thousands of decisions each year, and sometimes, a single decision can have a powerful far reaching impact. In the book, The Greatest Business Decisions of All Time, Verne Harnish explores those “black swan” decisions that brought great success at companies like Zappos,...

  • Henry Ford and Andrew Mellon Predict the Future, in 1929

    By Kevin on May 24, 2013

    My father recently did some housecleaning and stumbled on an old newspaper clipping, from the year 1929. The headline proclaimed, “Mellon, Ford Give Views on Future.” Wow, what were the predictions of the two of the world’s richest and most successful men? It turns out, just months before the...

  • A Lesson in Creativity From Picasso

    By Kevin on May 22, 2013

    Every child is an artist.  The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up. –Pablo Picasso My son, Owen, is one of the best “drawers” in his third grade class. If you doubt it, just ask him and he’ll tell you it’s true. “Dad, wait until...

  • 7 Steps to Motivated Workforce

    By Kevin on May 3, 2013

    Entrepreneur and author, Gary Brose, recently shared his “lessons learned” on leadership and motivation in his book, The Ultimate Motivated Employee. In it, Brose lists 7 key elements that drive motivation: Create the right work environment Hire the right people Excel at “Greet and Train” Incentivize, bonus and reward...

  • How to Talk to a Friend Who is Really Sick

    By Kevin on May 1, 2013

    Even though I write and speak as part of my career, and even council others on communication, I’ve been confused, nervous and speechless in the past when I’ve seen family or friends who were diagnosed with cancer or got other really bad health news. Do I act upbeat or...

  • Want to Sell Your Business? Beware of These Tricks.

    By Kevin on April 5, 2013

    Every week I’m approached by someone looking for advice on either how to start a business, or how to sell their business. Each situation is unique but I definitely learned a lot in the process of selling a couple of my own, and being involved in the acquisition of...

  • Reinventing You: Don’t You Think It’s Time?

    By Kevin on April 3, 2013

    This post is about two things. First, why you need to constantly be reinventing yourself. And two, why you should get a new book from Harvard Business Review Press on that very topic. You know that the days of lifelong employment are long gone, right? The stark truth is...

  • Want Success? Go Global.

    By Kevin on April 1, 2013

    I’ve been saying for some time that the best opportunities for GROWTH and rapid success is outside the USA. This isn’t just for big companies. I have individual friends who have fast tracked their careers because they were willing to relocate to Asia for a period of time. I...

  • 5 Secrets to Success From Maynard Webb

    By Kevin on March 26, 2013

    What are the secrets to success? I recently asked that question to Silicon Valley legend, Maynard Webb. Webb was brought in as eBay’s President of Technology back in their startup phase and his team is credited with fixing their notorious crashing server problems. He is currently Chairman of LiveOps...

  • A Simple Cure For Your Fear of Failure (or Rejection)

    By Kevin on March 18, 2013

    Fear of failure. Almost everyone has it to some degree. Or it’s close cousin, fear of rejection. Why haven’t you started your own business just yet? Why don’t you like giving a speech? Why didn’t you put your name in the running for that big job? And me? Why...

  • Thank You Ideas: 25 Low-Cost Ways to Recognize Employees

    By Kevin on March 13, 2013

    Saying thank you, a simple way of making someone feel appreciated, is one of the top three drivers of employee engagement. The best news is that showing appreciation doesn’t have to cost a lot of time or money. Here are 25 no or low-cost thank you ideas for your...

  • Are You Sure You Want to Retire?

    By Kevin on March 10, 2013

    David McCullough is the Pulitzer prize winning author of John Adams and Truman, and he recently turned 79 years old. Harvard Business Review asked him, “Do you think about retiring?” His response: “When the founders wrote about life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, they didn’t mean longer vacations...

  • You Can Be the Lion or the Lamb. Or a 3rd Choice…

    By Kevin on February 11, 2013

    (Reposted and updated from my column) The best business strategy–the best personal philosophy–might not be the most obvious choice… Late night dinner in one of the best restaurants in the best hotel in Las Vegas. Chef’s tasting menu of course. A chance encounter with a young but obviously...

  • Kevin Kruse Named Top 100 Thought Leader by Trust Across America

    By Kevin on January 22, 2013

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Philadelphia, PA – January 20, 2013 — Kevin Kruse has been recognized as one of the Top 100 Thought Leaders in Trustworthy Business Behavior. Trust Across America received hundreds of nominations from around the world and finalists were chosen after an extensive vetting and independent judging...

  • What’s the Difference Between Happiness and Employee Engagement?

    By Kevin on January 8, 2013

    “What’s the difference between happiness at work and employee engagement,” I’m often asked. Someone can be happy at work, but not “engaged.” They might be happy because they are lazy and it’s a job with not much to do. They might be happy talking to all their work-friends and...

  • 4 Traits of “Future Proof” Employees

    By Kevin on January 2, 2013

    What should you look for as you recruit new hires in 2013? As an employee yourself, what traits will serve you best in the years ahead? Late last year IBM conducted interviews with 1,709 CEOs around the world, and published the results in a white paper titled “Leading Through...

  • Companies Wait Too Long to Train Leaders

    By Kevin on December 19, 2012

    The average age of a supervisor is 33, yet the average age someone begins to get leadership training is 42. That’s a decade of lost potential, or worse, a decade of misguided management! This data comes from the legendary Jack Zenger who has a great piece over in the...

  • 3 Writing Tips from JK Rowling

    By Kevin on November 25, 2012

    (For my writing and want-to-be writer friends…) JK Rowling, author of the Harry Potter series, doesn’t do many interviews so I eagerly watched her on the Charlie Rose show. Lots of fun stuff related to Harry Potter but I was interested in tidbits related to how she writes: 1)...

  • What Is Employee Engagement

    By Kevin on November 22, 2012
    Definition: Employee engagement is the emotional commitment the employee has to the organization and its goals. This emotional commitment means engaged employees actually care about their work and their company. They don’t work just for a paycheck, or just for the next promotion, but work on behalf of the organization’s goals. When employees care—when they are engaged—they use discretionary effort.
  • How Does Twitter Engage Its Workforce?

    By Kevin on November 2, 2012

    In just two years Twitter has gone from having no obvious revenue and an unclear business model to a successful company that is getting the attention of Wall Street and Madison Avenue alike. eMarketer projects Twitter will beat Facebook in the critical fight for mobile advertising revenue in 2012,...

  • 100 Best Leadership Quotes

    By Kevin on October 22, 2012

    A great quote can provide personal inspiration and can be used to educate others. Below are my top 100 leadership quotes of all time. (Have a favorite quote that didn’t make my list? Share it out in the comments section below!) A leader is best when people barely know...

  • Employee Recognition at Taj Hotels Resorts

    By Kevin on October 11, 2012

    Employee recognition—making people feel appreciated—is one of the key activators of employee engagement. In fact, in my book Employee Engagement 2.0, I show how recognition is a top three creator of Workplace Superheroes, along with the drivers Growth and Trust. Many best practices for recognition can be gleaned from...

  • Employee Surveys: 3 A’s for Success

    By Kevin on September 25, 2012

    The employee survey (i.e., employee satisfaction surveys) should form the backbone of any employee engagement initiative. In my book, Employee Engagement 2.0, I explain how the first step to improving anything is to measure it, and employee satisfaction and employee engagement are no different. But too often, despite a...

  • Employee Engagement Research (Master List of 32 Findings)

    By Kevin on September 18, 2012

    Employee engagement is the emotional commitment an employee has to the organization and its goals, resulting in the use of discretionary effort. An employee’s discretionary effort results in the Engagement-Profit chain. Because they care more, they are more productive, give better service, and even stay in their jobs longer....

  • The Open Plan (work space) at Facebook

    By Kevin on September 5, 2012

    Facebook just unveiled plans for its new campus expansion, which was designed by world-famous architect Frank Gehry. It will be a single room, stretching 10 acres, where everyone will sit in the open with moveable furniture. As Mark Zuckerberg says in his own status update, “It will be the...

  • Success (according to Emerson)

    By Kevin on August 20, 2012

    I’ve never posted poetry before but I just came across this poem on my desk, which is a favorite of my friend Eric. Thought it was worth sharing. “Success” Ralph Waldo Emerson To laugh often and much; To win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children;...

  • What’s Your Latest ‘Preneur? (A Startup Call to Arms)

    By Kevin on August 7, 2012

    The single best line in the movie, The Social Network, was, “Well then, what was your latest ‘preneur?” This question, and the delivery by actress Dakota Johnson, perfectly captures many’s skepticism of entrepreneurship. This is a view that must be overcome quickly as entrepreneurs are the world’s only hope...

  • Feedforward Coaching Instead of Annual Reviews

    By Kevin on July 26, 2012

    What’s wrong with traditional annual performance reviews, and how can they be fixed? Previously I wrote an article on the problems of traditional, annual performance appraisals. They are flawed because of the annual schedule, one-size-fits-all evaluation standards, simplistic 5-point scale, and the fact that criticism is tied to compensation....

  • 10 Quotes from Stephen Covey That Can Change Your Life

    By Kevin on July 18, 2012

    Stephen Covey will be remembered most as the author of The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, which sold over 25 million copies.  It’s been many years since I read “the habits” but I was delighted recently when I learned that my 8th grade daughter read The Seven Habits...

  • Performance Appraisals. 4 Reasons Why They Must Be Abolished

    By Kevin on July 16, 2012

    (Reprinted from my column on For over two thousand years doctors would puncture their patient’s veins and let them bleed out in order to rid them of their diseases. Today we laugh at the practice of bloodletting. Two hundred years ago we would measure a person’s skull and...

  • New Study Shows HR Departments Completely Out of Touch

    By Kevin on July 15, 2012

    In a shocking new study, HR Perception Vs. Reality (summarized in the infographic below), Human Resources professionals (i.e., HR Departments) are shown to be completely out of touch with the thoughts and feelings of their employees. This is a damn shame because in an ideal world HR should be...

  • 6 Ways to Deal with “Disengaged Debbie” in Meetings (or, How to Run a Meeting)

    By Kevin on July 9, 2012

    They say one bad apple can ruin the bunch. So, too, can one disengaged employee derail an entire meeting. Debbie Downer was the fictitious Saturday Night Live character who brought down the mood in any group she was in. Similarly, we all encounter “Disengaged Debbie”—or to be gender sensitive,...

  • The Day A One-Armed Man Turned Me Into An Entrepreneur

    By Kevin on July 8, 2012

    The one-armed man marched right up to me and my life changed forever. Do you remember when and why you first decided to become an entrepreneur? These memories can be used as powerful motivators against the inevitable setbacks, naysayers, and hard work that are bound to come. I remember...

  • 1 Thing Every New Hire Should Get On Their First Day of Onboarding

    By Kevin on July 1, 2012

    (Reprinted from my column on The first day at a new job. Excited but nervous. Shoot, why didn’t I wear a tie? They said business casual but my boss is wearing a tie. Oh geez, that woman again, I just met her and I forgot her name already....

  • Never Ask for a Resume If You Want to Hire a Superstar

    By Kevin on June 24, 2012

    You have an opening, and you only want to hire the cream of the crop. “A-players” you probably call them. So you post a job opening your website, on other job boards, and give it to your recruiter, and your ad reads something like this: “AverageCo seeks blah blah...

  • What’s so great about working with temps?

    By Kevin on June 20, 2012

    I’ve been a temp. I’ve hired many temps. As Dan Pink noted years ago, we’re actually becoming more and more a “Free Agent Nation”. So I invited Ann Webster, the President of Aquent, to offer this guest post. Take it away, Ann… What’s so great about working with temps?...

  • Super Human Capital: Unleashing Workplace Super Heroes

    By Kevin on June 20, 2012

    (Reprinted from my column, Super Human Capital, on My focus—in practice and in study—has been on how to unleash incredible talent in order to build great companies. I call my approach “Super Human Capital” because I believe a talented fully engaged workforce has a lot in common with...

  • B2B Sales: Why You Aren’t Closing More Deals

    By Kevin on June 4, 2012

    My previous startups have all been B2B companies, meaning I was selling products and services to a decision maker inside a large company (typically Director or VP level). And for over a decade I would be confused and frustrated every time I lost a deal even when I clearly...

  • 10 Rules for Growth Firms from Jim Collins

    By Kevin on June 1, 2012

    Verne Harnish, a long-time friend and one of the only business guru’s I follow, passed along these 10 Rules from Jim Collins, the author of Good to Great. Change “what” questions to “who” questions Double your question to statement ratio Embrace the “Stockdale Paradox” – keep getting up when...

  • Billionaire Reveals 3 Words to Save Hours Each Day

    By Kevin on May 30, 2012

    Eli Broad is the founder of two Fortune 500 companies and has an estimated worth of $6 billion. So when he offers up time management tips, I’m all ears. Excerpts from his recent Fast Company article: People who have been in meetings with me have probably heard me say,...


    By Kevin on May 25, 2012

    Retired four-star General, Colin Powell, has a new book out. It’s a good time to remind everyone of his rules for life and leadership. Entrepreneurs in particular need to focus on #13. It ain’t as bad as you think. It will look better in the morning. Get mad, then...

  • 3 Strands in the Plot of Your Life

    By Kevin on May 23, 2012

    Great fiction moves characters through a stirring plot. Great writers teach that plot should consist of three strands: external, internal, and relationships. The “external” is the events that happen to a character (or what the character does), the internal is the emotional/intellectual growth of the character, and “relationships” are...

  • You Can’t Sell Everything to Anyone (or, The Car Analogy)

    By Kevin on May 18, 2012

    My sales rep: “They just want us to build ten hours of training for $10,000 and they need it in a month.” Me: “That’s ridiculous. Did you tell them we don’t do that? Did you explained why they’ll get better results from our approach and why we charge $500,000...

  • Mindmap: Stay Focused in Age of Distraction

    By Kevin on May 16, 2012

    I’m not usually a fan of mindmaps, but this one from Australian company, Learning Fundamentals, is a great summary of tricks to stay focused and productive. It was designed with school kids in mind, but applies to adult knowledge workers too. My favorite tips are: work in focused bursts...

  • 10 Things Your Commencement Speaker Won’t Tell You

    By Kevin on April 28, 2012

    Today’s Wall Street Journal offers great advice in the article, “10 Things Your Commencement Speaker Won’t Tell You.” Among my favorites: 3. Don’t make the world worse. Everyone will tell you that you can change the world. They are right, but remember that “changing the world” also can include...

  • The Power of Gamification

    By Kevin on April 18, 2012

    I was honored when my friend and colleague, Karl Kapp, asked me to contribute to his new book, The Gamification of Learning and Instruction, which launched this week. Although the title shows that this book is targeted at learning professionals, it’s a great book for business leaders as well....

  • Goodbye 9-to-5. Welcome to the New Normal.

    By Kevin on March 19, 2012

    Las Vegas. The Venetian. 5:32am. Did you notice where I’m writing this from, and more importantly, when? Five. Thirty-two. AM.  Lady Gaga’s “Telephone” blares from the speaker overhead. Nope, I haven’t just finished an all-nighter at the tables (although I can hear some hoots and hollers from where I...

  • Employee Engagement 2.0 Book

    By Kevin on March 9, 2012

    Imagine if you could: Create massive emotional commitment among all your direct reports Turn your apathetic group into a high performance team exhibiting huge discretionary effort Be a leader who people fight to work with Win a “Best Place to Work” award within 12 months Indeed, you can do...

  • Every Business Needs a Battle Cry

    By Kevin on March 5, 2012

    My recent article on company battle cries appeared on AmEx OpenForum: “Oo-rah!” shouted the Marines in the audience. I was one of the few civilians, among a thousand service men and women, at the recent BEYA Stars and Stripes dinner hosted by the Marine Corps in Philadelphia. The dinner...

  • Business Wisdom from Ramone

    By Kevin on February 17, 2012

    I hate business fables. You know the ones… the fish mongers slinging salmons back and forth, the rookie executive who gets leadership advice from the janitor, and so on. And yet, it just happened to me. I met an extraordinary individual, in an unlikely place, who had lots of...

  • Re-engage at Home, on Valentine’s Day

    By Kevin on February 14, 2012

    Anybody who follows my work on leadership knows that my “secret ingredients” for generating massive employee engagement are Growth, Recognition and Trust. What you might not realize is that this is really the secret to feeling “engaged” and connected in any relationship. At work, your relationship with your manager...

  • Employee Engagement at Campbell’s Soup

    By Kevin on January 30, 2012

    The year 2000 was a very bad year for Campbell’s Soup. The company that began in 1869 and sold soup in 120 different countries hit upon bad times. Sales weren’t just slowing, they were declining. They lost 54% of their market value in just one year. Campbell’s executives were...

  • Touch it Once: The Cadence Call for Productivity and Time Management

    By Kevin on January 24, 2012

    10:00am. My hour of power for health is complete, and I’ve finished an hour of focused writing time. Time to open my email accounts…deep breath. The Google alert on my own name shows that my previously scheduled blog post went live this morning. I hop over to to...

  • The Golden Age of Startups is Now

    By Kevin on January 20, 2012

    “I have a great idea for a business, but the economy sucks.” Last week someone told me that they have a great idea for a new business, but they are going to wait until the economy turns around. I told them that every one of my businesses I’ve launched...

  • It Takes 8 Interviews to Get Hired at an Apple Store

    By Kevin on January 16, 2012

    I know I say it over and over again: It’s all about the talent. And when it comes to hiring, the secret formula is: Great Hire = A lot of candidates + A rigorous interview process Once again I see evidence of that, this time from Ron Johnson, who...

  • 5 Leadership Lessons From Tim Tebow’s Game-Time Audio

    By Kevin on December 23, 2011

    Denver Broncos rookie quarterback Tim Tebow has been everywhere lately. Tebow has crossed into American pop-culture this year because of his improbable win streak and public displays of his Christian faith. He wore a microphone during last Sunday’s game vs. Chicago; you can find excerpts from his game-time audio...

  • Trust Cannot Be Surged (or 5 Ways to Earn Trust)

    By Kevin on December 16, 2011

    A close friend of mine recently participated in a war game that was run by the US Naval War College. It brought together multiple military and civilian organizations as well as international partners, with the goal to help participants learn and better prepare for a crisis in coastal waterways....

  • 10 Things We’ve Learned About Tackling Global Poverty

    By Kevin on December 13, 2011

    Earlier this year I was turned on to the great work of the Acumen Fund by Seth Godin. In short, the Acumen Fund is fighting global poverty by investing “patient capital” in for-profit companies that deliver goods and services to the poor. At their recent annual investor gathering, the...

  • The 5 Customers for Authors (and others, too)

    By Kevin on December 9, 2011

    Are you thinking deeply enough about all the “buyers” of your products and services? The Legendary Ray Bard, Bard Press Earlier this week I attended a conference for authors organized by 800-CEO-Read. I had the pleasure of meeting the legendary publisher, Ray Bard. If you aren’t familiar with Ray,...

  • Driving Change: A 3-Step, Real World Model

    By Kevin on November 22, 2011

    Managing Change: A Real-World, 3-Step Process In a recent board meeting someone brought up John Kotter’s 8-Step Process for Leading Change. Kotter is a well-respected Harvard Professor, author, and of course consultant on “change management”–which happens to be one of the hottest business topics in the last decade. Change...

  • Infographic: The Story of Employee Engagement at Work

    By Kevin on November 9, 2011

    ——– Kevin Kruse is a NY Times bestselling author and keynote speaker. Get more success and tips from his newsletter at and check out keynote video clips. His new book, Employee Engagement 2.0, teaches managers how to turn apathetic groups into emotionally committed teams.

  • When You Work for a Jerk: A 6 Point Plan for Dealing with a Bad Boss

    By Kevin on November 2, 2011

    Whenever anybody signs up for my free newsletter at they get an automated email from me asking, “What are you struggling with right now?” When I set this up I had assumed managers and business leaders asking me about leadership, marketing, and engagement. To my surprise most of...

  • One-Time Events: Just Excuses for Missing the Forecast

    By Kevin on October 19, 2011

    Blaming Non-Recurring Events for Missing a Forecast I just got out of a board meeting for a company I’m an investor in. It included a third quarter update from our CFO and President.  In great detail they walked us through the year-to-date financials, including where we were “over budget”...

  • Steve Jobs’ Greatest Lesson

    By Kevin on October 6, 2011

    “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life…Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become.” –Steve Jobs ——– Kevin Kruse is a NY Times bestselling author and keynote speaker. Get more success and tips...

  • Pay Your People Like Eagles QB Mike Vick

    By Kevin on September 29, 2011

    My new article on explores the idea of variable pay, and how it just might solve our unemployment crisis: Many professional athletes have incentive-laden contracts based on performance. Last month, NFL quarterback Michael Vick signed a new $100 million contract with the Philadelphia Eagles, making him one of...

  • 20 Ways to Be a More Effective Rebel, Maverick, Edgewalker, Change Agent

    By Kevin on September 2, 2011

    Want to Be a Better Corporate Rebel? Do you want to be a better Corporate Rebel? Do you want to more effectively “Poke the Box” (to borrow a phrase from Seth Godin)? Well, I’m delighted to introduce this guest post from Lois Kelly who is an entrepreneur, author, and...

  • Use the “3 P’s” to Discover Your Career-Life Bull’s-eye

    By Kevin on August 25, 2011

    Most People are Deeply Unhappy at Work According to the Conference Board, job satisfaction is at a record low and one out of three workers are hoping to find a new job in the year ahead. Many still find it hard to believe but money alone doesn’t lead to...

  • Thank You!

    By Kevin on July 27, 2011

    Congrats and thanks for your subscription! Below are a whole bunch of free resources for you. Download Free Chapter from, We Quiz: What Motivates You at Work? (Discover your personal engagement style) Download Keynote Slides Infographic: Employee Engagement Story Top 100 Quotes on Leadership Quiz: Is Your Boss Killing...

  • Leading After Layoffs: What Cisco’s Managers Need to Do Next

    By Kevin on July 26, 2011

    After months of speculation, it’s official. Cisco will lay off 6,500 employees—about nine percent of its workforce—and transfer another 5,000 as part of the sale of its set-top box business to a Taiwanese company. But what about those who don’t get cut? What about the 60,500 Cisco employees who...

  • Download Slides from Re:Engage! Keynote

    By Kevin on July 14, 2011

    I put a lot of work into the slides I use in my talks and move pretty fast when I present so I get a LOT of requests for copies of the slide deck. Below is the link for a PDF of my core slides, but before you go...

  • Google Defines Your Personal Brand

    By Kevin on July 12, 2011

    Go Google Yourself Go Google yourself. You know, go type your name in between quotes into Google or Bing or one of the other major internet search engines and see what comes up. I’ll wait… Did you really do it? What came back on you is basically what your...

  • Recommended Books to Transform Your Business & Life

    By Kevin on July 10, 2011

    I received an email from James last week who shared how much he got from reading my book We, and he asked what other books I’d recommend. I’ve never really done a book list before partly, because it’s so hard to narrow them down (I read 50-100 books every...

  • New Survey: Front-line Managers Don’t Practice Recognition for Employee Engagement

    By Kevin on June 24, 2011

    In our book We, Rudy Karsan and I suggest that Recognition is one of the three major drivers of employee engagement (Growth and Trust being the other two). Now, the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) has released a new survey on employee engagement and recognition, based on interviews...

  • No More Fixed Salaries! How Variable Pay Programs Will Save Our Companies and Our Jobs

    By Kevin on June 9, 2011

    For most of human existence, pay has been tied directly to output. We consumed what we hunted, later we bartered our crops and livestock, and still later we would swap services we performed for lodging or meals. Even after the invention of money we received it for the goods...

  • Grassroots Book Marketing: Lessons from Thriller Author Joseph Finder

    By Kevin on April 29, 2011

    Every business today is desperately trying to figure out marketing 2.0, in other words grassroots marketing, buzz marketing, viral marketing, etc. Too often I see spray and pray campaigns that encourage you to “Like” a facebook page or sign-up for a newsletter or to enter a contest with the...

  • Book Review: 10 Steps to Successful Virtual Presentations by Wayne Turmel

    By Kevin on April 27, 2011

    I’ve been doing a lot of webinars to promote my book, We, and I’ve learned that doing them successfully isn’t as easy it looks. Fortunately, I’m a quick learner and recently some real pro’s have shared tips including: Add a Twitter hashtag and a “Tweet this” message right on...

  • B-to-I? Redefining Your Client’s Buying Criteria

    By Kevin on April 8, 2011

    This week’s edition of Bloomberg Businessweek has an article about magazine publisher, Richard Beckman, and his efforts to revitalize The Hollywood Reporter, Adweek and other media properties. I read with interest and some amusement how Beckman says he invented the term “B-to-I”. Most are familiar with the term B-to-B...

  • Google’s 8 Habits of Highly Effective Managers

    By Kevin on March 22, 2011

    In a special initiative called Project Oxygen, Google unleashed its famed statisticians to analyze 10,000 observations about managers, across more than 100 variables, to find out how to build the perfect boss. Their resulting manifesto identifies 8 qualities, presented in order of importance: 1. Be a good coach Provide...

  • Major General Ronald Bailey: Profile in Leadership

    By Kevin on March 8, 2011

    Major General Ronald Bailey of the United States Marine Corps, one of the highest ranking African American officers in the military, spoke on leadership in an interview with The Root. He spoke of his ABC’s of leadership, which stand for: Ability, Breaks and Courage. He explains each of these:...

  • What Are Your Plans for Tomorrow?

    By Kevin on March 1, 2011

    This is a guest post from John Chancellor and his Teach the Soul blog. Without a purpose, nothing should be done. Marcus Aurelius 121 – 180 My work involves helping people achieve their goals. I want to share an exercise I sometimes use with the people I coach: I...

  • Book Review: Attention!

    By Kevin on February 25, 2011

    I’ve been on a bit of a publicity death march lately with the launch of We, so with some irony I’m late in getting to read and review Jim Kukral‘s Attention: How to Use Attention-Getting Online Marketing to Increase Your Revenue. Damn I wish I had read this a...

  • Massive Employee Engagement at SAS

    By Kevin on February 23, 2011

    Would you like an employee turnover rate one tenth of your competition? Would you like to save $80 million a year on talent related costs? Turns out that’s exactly what SAS, the world’s largest privately held software company has achieved. A recent Bloomberg Businessweek article lists the perks that...

  • Thank you! “We” Hit the Bestseller Lists

    By Kevin on February 22, 2011

    I truly can’t thank all of you enough. My book “We” just hit #7 on the New York Times best seller list, #2 on the USA Today best seller list, and #3 on the Wall Street Journal list. It was an emotional roller coaster leading up to the big...

  • Book Review: Content Rules by Ann Handley and C.C. Chapman

    By Kevin on January 28, 2011

    Having started and sold some fast growing businesses in my past, I’m sometimes asked what my  “secret” is. I usually say it’s 90% attributable to hiring great talent, but the second secret would be a content marketing strategy. As in, don’t think about hiring a marketer, think about hiring...

  • By Kevin on January 27, 2011

    Why are so many people holding more than one job these days (from CEOs to professional athletes to regular people)? Income — Perhaps the biggest benefit, of course, is that it can increase your income. Variety — Second jobs often don’t pay much, but they enable the worker to...

  • Should You Have Multiple Concurrent Jobs?

    By Kevin on January 24, 2011

    A strong workforce trend is the shift to holding more than just one job. And it’s not just people in lower income brackets who are juggling multiple jobs. CEOs and senior executives of large companies frequently also hold paid director positions with other companies, not to mention unpaid roles...

  • Target Your Career-Life Bull’s-eye

    By Kevin on January 21, 2011

    You can be very successful in a profession but that doesn’t necessarily mean you will find it fulfilling and engaging. Many of us end up in careers not suited for us. Many follow in the footsteps of their same-sex parent, becoming a doctor, lawyer, or other professional. Others, without...

  • Two Keys Needed to Unlock Employee Engagement

    By Kevin on January 20, 2011

    When unlocking the secret to an engaged workforce, many people assume that an organization owns the single key—that it’s up to leadership to find and turn the key. Many ask, “What can Eva do to better engage the workers at her location?” or, “Acme needs to address their issues...

  • New Research Shows Importance of Work-Life Balance a Myth

    By Kevin on January 17, 2011

    Instead of work life “balance” we should focus on a work life “blend”. In fact, some of the most engaged employees never think in terms of balance. They are passionate fighters for a common cause, not clock-watching widget turners. New research supports this. In the Journal of Management and...

  • Trust Levels at All Time Low

    By Kevin on January 13, 2011

    Social and political philosophers throughout the ages have written about Trust being at the foundation of social relationships, which are the building blocks of civil society. Indeed, Trust is one of the top three drivers of emotional commitment and feeling engaged at work. Last year the Edelman 2010 Trust...

  • World Population Hits 7 Billion – Big Trends

    By Kevin on January 8, 2011

    In an age of real-time communication and fighting to make quarterly numbers, we often forget to think about the long view–the big picture. This engaging and informative video from National Geographic focuses on a new population landmark and puts it in perspective. (The population growth graphic at 47 second...

  • The Shift to Variable Pay

    By Kevin on December 27, 2010

    For most of human existence, pay has been tied directly to output. We consumed only what we hunted successfully, later we bartered the crops we harvested and livestock we raised, and still later we would swap the skills we were good at for lodging or meals we needed. Even...

  • Get a Copy of We by Liking My Facebook Page

    By Kevin on December 21, 2010

    Are you interested in leadership, employee engagement and career success? To launch our new book and to spark a community of like minded readers, Rudy Karsan and I are giving away 100 free hardcover copies of our new book, We: How to Increase Performance and Profit Through Full Engagement....

  • A Review of Resonate by Nancy Duarte

    By Kevin on December 21, 2010

    Anyone who knows me knows that I’m a big fan of storytelling. Not that I sit around and spin yarns all day, but I appreciate the power of being able to tell a story. I’ve used story-telling techniques to help elect a US Congressman, to sell million dollar projects,...

  • The Career-Life Blend

    By Kevin on December 20, 2010

    For most of human existence, life may have been hard, but it was simple. We ate what we killed, we reaped what we sowed and later on in history, we sold what we made. Life was life. But then a funny thing happened—not coincidentally around the time of the...

  • Maybe Money Does Buy Happiness Afterall

    By Kevin on December 17, 2010

    This is an interesting Fast Company infographic which maps overall happiness levels to countries around the world. You can see a direct correlation between happiness and GDP/wealth. An important point, however, is that there are diminishing returns to money and happiness. Once you have your basic needs met, more...

  • Why George Lucas Says Don’t Go to Film School

    By Kevin on December 15, 2010

    Former Disney CEO, Michael Eisner, wrote a fascinating , wide ranging article for Wall Street Journal magazine recently. This passage jumped out at me: When my son wanted to go to undergraduate film school, I called George Lucas, who told him: Don’t go. Learning to make a movie is...

  • The Power of Full Engagement

    By Kevin on December 14, 2010

    Everybody knows they should be happy at work. But does everyone know how empowering and fulfilling engagement is? Engagement is different from happiness. Being fully engaged means you are motivated to give the extra effort that advances the goals of your employer. Your job might be tough, and it...

  • Leaders Write Thank You Notes

    By Kevin on December 12, 2010

    Notice in the title I said write thank you notes (not “send”) as in hand-write on stationary. Many, many leaders like Tom Peters, Jack Welch and Harvey Mackay frequently speak of the power of saying thanks, the old fashioned way—and it has worked miracles for me as well. In...

  • 6 Steps to Becoming a Trust Agent

    By Kevin on December 3, 2010

    I recently picked up and re-read Trust Agents by Chris Brogan and Julien Smith. I read it when it first came out in 2009, but its importance has only grown in the last year. It’s funny because when Trust Agents came out I was just embarking on my own...

  • How to Keep the Account When There Is a Changing of the Guard (or, Success Is Easy #1)

    By Kevin on December 2, 2010

    A friend of mine recently took over as the CEO of a small business, which has millions of dollars in deposits with their bank. He told me that he has been on the job for three months, and nobody from the bank had ever contacted him to introduce themselves,...

  • Every Startup Needs a Sales Lizard

    By Kevin on December 1, 2010

    The cofounders of an internet startup were pitching me for angel money recently. Typical story…about a year old, burned through their first $3 million dollars. No revenue, out of cash, and looking for $3 million more. I noticed they had several competitors, many which seemed to be generating more...

  • Be Accessible

    By Kevin on November 29, 2010

    I wrote in a previous post about how one venture capitalist, David Aronoff, invites strangers to meet with him on certain days. Similarly, I was blown away the day before Thanksgiving when marketing guru, Jim Kukral, sent out a blast email inviting people to call him and ask him...

  • How to Get Employee Committment, Buy-in and Passion

    By Kevin on November 24, 2010

    I just wrapped final edits and did jacket approval for my new book, co-authored by Kenexa’s Rudy Karsan.We: How to Increase Performance and Profits Through Full Engagement (Wiley, January 2011) describes our new era where work and life are blended as opposed to balanced, entitlements are a thing of...

  • 3+1 Secrets to Success from Amazon’s Jeff Bezos

    By Kevin on November 16, 2010

    I recently rediscovered this great video from Amazon founder Jeff Bezos. In less than 8 minutes he reminisces about his launch out of his kitchen, and their first big mistake that actually let customers order a negative quantity of books to get credits to their account (ouch!), and offers...

  • What Happens Before The Game Winning Shot

    By Kevin on November 15, 2010

    This one-minute Michael Jordan commercial does a good job showing all the things that happened before his game winning shots. Including brutal workouts (freeze video at 6 second mark to see military press, leg curls, bent rows, dead lifts, tricep extensions, jump cats, push ups, squats), gym work, planning,...

  • By Kevin on October 2, 2010

    The philosophy behind much advertising is based on the old observation that every man is really two men–the man he is and the man he wants to be. –William Feather

  • How to Land a Major Publisher (or Sell Your Toughest Prospect)

    By Kevin on September 13, 2010

    It seems like everyone has the dream of writing a book someday and I’m often asked how to get a book accepted by a major publisher. Penny Sansevieri recently wrote a spot-on post for aspiring authors, How to Get a New York Publisher. Key points: 83% of Americans want...

  • It IS All About Your People

    By Kevin on September 8, 2010

    I love Roy Williams, The Wizard of Ads, and his weekly Monday Morning Memo. But he once wrote something that is very, very wrong: I’ve encountered dozens of business owners who believed in their hearts they had extraordinary employees. None of them ever did. Properly enforced systems, methods, policies...

  • RTB versus CTB

    By Kevin on September 7, 2010

    A friend of a friend recently started his new job as company President. On his first day he sat down with his boss, the CEO. “One thing we should do right away is decide roles and responsibilities,” the new President began. “What is it that I do and what...

  • The CEO and the Three Envelopes

    By Kevin on September 3, 2010

    A new CEO was hired to take over a struggling company. The CEO who was stepping down met with him privately and presented him with three numbered envelopes. “Open these if you run into serious trouble,” he said. Well, three months later sales and profits were still way down...

  • Five Things CEO’s Do

    By Kevin on September 2, 2010

    If you’re the CEO, business unit leader, or department head this is what you should be doing: 1) Set the goal 2) Design the strategy to reach the goal 3) Operationalize the strategy; make a plan (e.g., break it down, make it measurable) 4) Staff the plan (e.g., hire,...

  • Business Wisdom from the Dalai Lama

    By Kevin on August 30, 2010

    “Share knowledge. It’s a way to achieve immortality.” — Dalai Lama The times in my career that I’ve been the happiest have been when I’ve been able to spot and help unleash someone’s hidden potential. Watching Christine go from receptionist to six-figure sales star in two years. Watching Andy...

  • Mergers Never Work? Google Doesn’t Agree

    By Kevin on August 28, 2010

    Many people believe that mergers and acquisitions rarely work. In fact, Wharton Professor Robert Holthausen claims that hundreds of studies prove that mergers and acquisitions fail from 50-80% of the time. Google would be surprised to hear that. See this cool graphic that shows how they’ve acquired 78 companies...

  • Do you really want to be normal?

    By Kevin on August 27, 2010

    “No one wants to be average. But everyone wants to be normal.”– Roy Williams, The Wizard of Ads

  • A VC Who Holds Open Office Hours?

    By Kevin on August 26, 2010

    If you buy a book about how to raise venture capital or angel investor money, the traditional advice is that you have to send in your business plan and hope it miraculously gets noticed in the slush pile, or have your banker, accountant and lawyer try to get your...

  • What Type of Paranoid Are You?

    By Kevin on August 25, 2010

    One morning I ran into a colleague in the cafeteria as we were both getting our first cup of coffee. “Morning, Kevin. How’s it going,” Saskia asked. “Great! In fact, it might be the best day of my life,” I replied. “Really?! Why?” She seemed surprised. “Oh, I didn’t...

  • There are only two ways to sell more stuff

    By Kevin on August 23, 2010

    Everybody wants to sell more stuff—especially in this economy. It’s not complicated–you only have two options: 1) Sell new stuff to existing customers 2) Sell existing stuff to new customers So you have to make a choice. Do you want to find new people to buy what you have,...

  • Buffet’s Advice

    By Kevin on March 6, 2009

    Warren Buffet wrote in his annual shareholder letter: In good years and bad, Charlie and I simply focus on four goals:(1) Maintaining Berkshire’s Gibraltar-like financial position, which features huge amounts of excess liquidity, near-term obligations that are modest, and dozens of sources of earnings and cash;(2) Widening the “moats”...

  • 14 Secrets to Expanding Time

    By Kevin on February 24, 2009

    I obsess over time. Time is our...

  • How to Measure the Performance of Managers

    By Kevin on February 20, 2009

    I think one of the secrets to my success in the past has been to primarily focus on the numbers. I would have clear financial targets, practiced open book management, rewarded generously the business unit and sales leaders based on financial performance. It works, but it can also be...

  • Mirror Mirror on the Wall: Two Ways to Get Honest Feedback

    By Kevin on February 17, 2009

    Great performers are always looking for ways to get better. But you need an effective way to discover areas to target for improvement.The problem is that people don’t tell you the truth when you ask for feedback, for a variety of reasons. They might be scared of your reaction,...

  • Cut to the Chase – Now!

    By Kevin on February 11, 2009

    James Bond movies always start with an action-packed mini-adventure before they even cut to the famous theme song and movie title. Indiana Jones movies were modeled after the Bond formula and also immediately start with a fedora’d Harrison Ford grabbing treasure and escaping from bad guys. These movies literally...

  • Win Friends

    By Kevin on February 10, 2009

    “To gain a friend, let him do you a favor.” — Ben Franklin ——– Kevin Kruse is a NY Times bestselling author and keynote speaker. Get more success and tips from his newsletter at and check out keynote video clips. His new book, Employee Engagement 2.0, teaches managers how to...

  • No crying in baseball

    By Kevin on February 10, 2009

    During these rough economic times it’s helpful to remember Tom Hanks’ encouragement to Geena Davis in the movie “A League of Their Own.” It’s supposed to be hard. If it wasn’t hard everybody would do it.The “hard” is what makes it great. And 20 years ago I worked briefly...

  • Minimalist Drucker

    By Kevin on February 7, 2009

    “The bottleneck is always at the top of the bottle.” – Peter Drucker ——– Kevin Kruse is a NY Times bestselling author and keynote speaker. Get more success and tips from his newsletter at and check out keynote video clips. His new book, Employee Engagement 2.0, teaches managers how to...

  • What’s Your “Profit Per Chicken”?

    By Kevin on February 5, 2009

    Every company should have one key metric. One number to focus on and measure and to drill into everyone’s head. No it’s not profit or sales. It’s the number behind the numbers. The number that drives sales and profit. It’s the number that if you were a public company...

  • Sun Tzu on Opportunities

    By Kevin on February 4, 2009

    “The more opportunities I seize, the more that opportunities multiply before me.” –The Art of War When I read this quote I get a mental image from my childhood playing military board games. Covered in hexagons, you would grab more and more land. Starting on one hexagon you of...

  • Mantra from Fed Ex

    By Kevin on January 29, 2009

    After FedEx acquired Kinko’s, from CEO Fred Smith: “Operate independently. Manage collaboratively. Compete collectively.” ——– Kevin Kruse is a NY Times bestselling author and keynote speaker. Get more success and tips from his newsletter at and check out keynote video clips. His new book, Employee Engagement 2.0, teaches managers how...

  • Woody Allen Beats the Recession

    By Kevin on January 25, 2009

    “80 percent of success is just showing up.” — Woody Allen It’s amazing how much I’ve been hearing about how the recession is hurting everyone these days. But is it really the recession? In the last week alone: – A freelance writer I use tells me she is giving...

  • What You CAN Change

    By Kevin on January 21, 2009

    You can’t always control the market or your sales. But remember, you can always control your expenses. (not to mention your hiring practices, your culture, your strategy, your marketing, your alliances, and about a 100 other things) “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change;...

  • Lessons from Obama

    By Kevin on January 20, 2009

    I use this blog to record thoughts about business, but it is hard not to acknowledge this historic day as Barack Obama becomes President of the United States. There are of course many lessons from his campaign that could be applied to business, from strong positioning and messaging to...

  • IBM Turnaround Mantra

    By Kevin on January 17, 2009

    “Win. Execute. Team.” – Lou Gerstner What’s your mantra for these times? ——– Kevin Kruse is a NY Times bestselling author and keynote speaker. Get more success and tips from his newsletter at and check out keynote video clips. His new book, Employee Engagement 2.0, teaches managers how to turn...

  • Classic from Jim Rohn

    By Kevin on January 17, 2009

    “You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with.” Want to make more money, be in better health, be a better leader? Who are you spending time with? ——– Kevin Kruse is a NY Times bestselling author and keynote speaker. Get more success and...

  • The Design of Inauguration Tickets

    By Kevin on January 16, 2009

    I just picked up my two tickets to the Obama Inauguration next week. You know, the one’s that are supposedly fetching $20,000 each according to CNN. I was was wondering what they would look like. They’re printed on very heavy card stock, have an embossed seal, and the back...

  • Call a client for the heck of it

    By Kevin on August 30, 2008

    Doorbell rang today which doesn’t actually happen that often. Must be Fed Ex guy I assumed as I answered it… “Hey, I’m Mike with Des-Carr Doors!” I said nothing but my face must have said, “Huh?” “We installed your 3 garage doors last month…” I quickly recovered, “Oh, hey!...

  • Send your client a blank invoice

    By Kevin on August 30, 2008

    I moved into a new house earlier this year and spent a crazy amount with an audio/video company to come out and install a couple flat screen TVs, speakers in every room, Blue-ray DVD players, the works. One day the TV stopped working. The power light didn’t just turn...

  • Bad Quicken, Bad

    By Kevin on August 26, 2008

    Today 11am: I discovered that, in order to track my investments a certain way, I needed to purchase an “unlock code” from Intuit to upgrade to a beefier version of Quicken. $70 and 2 minutes later I was done. Today 1pm: I read the back page of Fast Company...

  • Quick, tell me who your ideal customer is

    By Kevin on August 21, 2008

    Earlier this week I met a casino executive to discuss the possibility of getting a community grant for one of the charities I support, S.A.G.E. During casual conversation he mentioned that the casino’s typical customer profile is a 58 year old woman, but that they proactively target three types...

  • To blog or not to blog

    By Kevin on August 21, 2008

    I am a business growth junkie. Can’t deny it. I love entrepreneurs, risk takers, innovators, finding great talent, marketing that works, the pitch, the win. To blog. To record and remember things I’ve learned in the past. To share what I find interesting. To continue to stay in touch...

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