fred headshot

Interior Matters by Fred Mael

‘I just want to be one of the guys:’ Excuses to avoid managing, and the harm they can do

One of the primary roles of a manager is to hold employees accountable for performance. That includes setting expectations, pointing out mistakes, taking note of infractions, and disciplining employees when necessary. It's also one of the primary roles many managers avoid. It’s important to understand why a manager might do that, as well as why he cannot afford to do so.
Read More

Changes that stick: How to develop the willpower to make your resolutions last all year

You may have resolved to make lasting changes to your behavior this year — things you would do more often (exercising, networking) or would stop doing (smoking, gambling, screaming at employees). Chances are that you are back in the same rut, with sagging resolve and feeling disappointed with yourself once again. Or you are still hanging on, but starting to waver. How can you succeed
Read More

Closure than you think: What is closure, and why is it important?

What exactly is this widely used concept “closure”? Do all people have a similar need for closure? And how is it relevant for work life and leadership?
Read More

How you can restore trust after being accused of wrongdoing

How can a damaged reputation be salvaged? The question applies to those who were falsely charged with misbehavior and even those who were guilty of indiscretion and are ready to make amends.
Read More

No time left for you: Getting to the things that matter takes commitment

At the end of the day — or the week, the year, the life — many of us will be struck by a painful truth: There was enough time.
Read More

Should you be watching? Cybersecurity and employee morale

Recent spectacular breaches of organizational data reiterate the need for vigilant cybersecurity. One component of this effort is keeping an eye on employee use of data resources.
Read More

Avoiding the horse race: A leadership approach to elections

Sadly, political commentary seems to focus almost exclusively on who is ascending and descending during elections. I argue that there is a better, more substantive way to assess candidates for elected office.
Read More

Understand and evaluate cultural doomsday warnings from employees

A member of your senior team informs you of a serious problem: Your company’s culture is eroding. Employees are suspicious of management, finger-pointing and scapegoating have become the norm, people are breaking up into competing factions, key staff are talking about heading for the exit — and you, the CEO, have been oblivious!
Read More

Are you lonely at the top? Understand and eliminate the reasons

Secrecy plays a necessary role in the activities of many professionals. However, for some, secrecy becomes a self-imposed barrier to open communication and, tangentially, a source of loneliness.
Read More

How to deal with employee grudges before they become disruptive

A member of your staff (“Terry”) applied for a position or a promotion within your company and was not chosen. Terry is disappointed and possibly holding a grudge.
Read More

fredshot...ABOUT FRED MAEL: Fred Mael, Ph.D., helps organizations and their employees work more effectively, and coaches executives and managers. Contact him at