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Prepare the Next Generation

Originally published: 08.01.14 by Lisë Stewart

Developing and/or identifying the appropriate successors in a family-owned business can be both challenging and exciting — and, in some cases, a source of conflict and frustration. But, with proper planning, it doesn’t have to be.

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The More You Do Well, the Better Your Chances for Success

Originally published: 08.01.14 by Joe Ranck

In the past 37 years, I’ve learned a few things that helped our business grow and move forward. Often, the solutions are not as complex as we would like to believe. Here are 10 lessons I’ve learned in my 37 years in the business.

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There’s No Leaning In On A Unicycle

Originally published: 07.01.14 by Lisë Stewart

As an independent businesswoman, running small companies and working with hundreds of businesswomen across the country, I know our experience is different. As women, we lead differently, often with the desire to bring more balance and compassion to our working world.

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Empower Your Team to Lead

Originally published: 07.01.14 by Ben Hubbert

As the leader of your business, you’re the guide, the director, the manager. By your communication and direction, the team around you listens, follows and executes the goals of your company.

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The DOs and DON’Ts of Great Leadership

Originally published: 07.01.14 by Roxi Hewertson

It’s prudent to specifically focus on your attitudes and behaviors when evaluating your leadership. There are five winning behaviors — and five failing behaviors — that show up consistently in leaders who succeed and those who fail.

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Six Behaviors to Strengthen Your Leadership Ability

Originally published: 05.01.14 by Sandyi Coryell

Employees notice the weak spots in leadership, and some will take advantage of them while others will be disrupted by the ripple effect.

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Avoiding Knee-Jerk Reactions

Originally published: 04.01.14 by Greg McAfee

Anticipate, delegate, train: 3 keys to crisis management for HVACR business owners.

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Disconnected in a Highly Connected World – And What We Can Do About It!

Originally published: 04.01.14 by Lisë Stewart

Are you so consumed by our digital interactions that you miss opportunities for real interactions.

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Who’s in Charge of the HVACR industry?

Originally published: 04.01.14 by Wade Mayfield

Calling manufacturers, distributors, utilities, and contractors to enforce quality and safety standards

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The Transformational Leader

Originally published: 03.01.14 by Greg McAfee

What it Takes to Move Beyond Transactional Leadership

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Employee Education and Training: In the End, We All Win

Originally published: 03.01.14 by Wade Mayfield

Employee Education and Training: In the End, We All Win. Why should I invest in education and training?

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Dynamics of Success

Originally published: 02.01.14 by Wade Mayfield

In order to truly understand and maintain the principals of long-standing success, one must first grasp the fundamental concept that success is not based on individual performance, but rather the commitment to success through teamwork. This is a very easy concept to grasp in theory, but the failing and difficulty for most is in the application of success through teamwork.

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Low-Cost Incentives – A New Year’s Resolution Worth Keeping

Originally published: 01.01.14 by Jenn Lonzer

How establishing a culture of appreciation can improve your customer service ratings.

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The Four Qualities that Define Purposeful Leaders

Originally published: 11.01.13 by Wade Mayfield

This is a call to action for leaders who want to take their company to the next level.

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Purposeful Leadership: 4 Strategies for Being Prepared

Originally published: 10.01.13 by Wade Mayfield

Here are some strategies that will help you be a prepared, purposeful leader who sets a tone others will model.

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5 Tips for Handling an Employee with "Attitude"

Originally published: 10.01.13 by Barbara Jaurequi

These five, easy-to-master tips can turn around negative attitudes and allow employers to assume their proper roles in the workplace.

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Purposeful Leadership: The Importance of Being Objective

Originally published: 09.01.13 by Wade Mayfield

Here's a great exercise that proves how being objective can help you create optimum processes, procedures and organizational structure.

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Purposeful Leaders Understand Their Strengths AND Their Weaknesses

Originally published: 08.01.13 by Wade Mayfield

Discover some practical steps to help identify “who you are” and where you may need others on your team to step in to help fill the gaps

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5 Common Sense Rules for Leaders

Originally published: 08.01.13 by Greg McAfee

These five common sense rules will help you become the leader your team will follow.

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Purposeful Leaders Understand the Value of Time

Originally published: 07.01.13 by Wade Mayfield

Time is something none of us can get more of, so the management of time is one of the most important aspects of what you need to do as a purposeful leader.

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3 Key Elements of Purposeful Leadership

Originally published: 06.01.13 by Wade Mayfield

Setting standards, having goals and committing to coaching provide focus and direction. Here's a closer look at the three main elements that make up Purposeful Leadership

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Tops-in-Trucks Feature Story 2013

Originally published: 06.01.13 by Greg Smith

From among the hundreds of entries to our popular Tops-in-Trucks Fleet Design Contest, here are this year’s winners, featuring all of the best aspects of good, effective fleet vehicle graphic design.

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5 Tips to Lead Change in Challenging Times

Originally published: 05.20.13 by Barbara Trautlein PhD

5 Tips to Lead Change in Challenging Times

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3 Components of a Foundation of Purposeful Leadership

Originally published: 05.01.13 by Wade Mayfield

Don’t make the mistake of thinking leadership is about tools and methods. Here are three key factors that set the foundation for Purposeful Leadership.

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Spotting Legal Land Mines in Your Social Media Campaign

Originally published: 05.01.13 by Mike Coyne

Your responsibility extends to third-party contributors such as customers and friends.

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Successful Negotiations Start with Empathy

Originally published: 05.01.13 by Michael Feuer

What does the other party want out of the deal?

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Partying With a Purpose

Originally published: 05.01.13 by Tracy N. Martin

How to make your anniversary celebrations festive while growing the business.

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How Leadership Drives Your Company’s Vision

Originally published: 04.01.13 by Wade Mayfield

To be an effective leader, you must understand motivation. I believe that you cannot motivate people, but you can create an environment where motivated people will want to come to work and thrive.

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Case Casts Doubts About Validity of Labor Board Rulings

Originally published: 03.01.13 by Charlie McCrudden

The Jan. 25, 2013, decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia in the Noel Canning v. National Labor Relations Board case sent shockwaves through Washington, D.C. On the one hand, the decision is bound to have major consequences on a number of controversial rulings made by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).

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Four Steps To Developing An Effective Mission Statement

Originally published: 02.01.13 by Wade Mayfield

How do you develop a clear and concise Mission Statement? Here are four basic and easy to follow steps to help insure that you create an effective and workable Mission Statement.

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When Trouble Comes In Waves, Leaders Snap Into Action

Originally published: 01.01.13 by Michael Feuer

Trouble comes in many sizes and shapes, and often it comes in unexpected waves. As the boss, you must always be prepared to provide direction. While any one problem could be monumental, two or more are almost debilitating. Acting quickly can turn the tide in your favor.

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An Exaggerated Sense of Your Own Importance Can Hurt Your Company

Originally published: 12.01.12 by Michael Feuer

Nonverbal communication speaks volumes about your style of management and how receptive you are to new ideas without worrying about who comes up with them. The best CEOs are the ones who know their people’s first names, a little bit about their personal lives, and their jobs.

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Take Advantage of Ongoing Market Improvement

Originally published: 12.01.12 by Terry Tanker

Improving and growing companies can and is being done every day by many HVACR contractors. Be sure you’re geared up to move your company, and our country, forward in 2013.

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Things You Should Stop Worrying About But Can’t

Originally published: 09.01.12 by Michael Feuer

It is unrealistic to believe we should think only good thoughts, particularly in business when things move at a lightning pace, and the path to achieving objectives is littered with potholes just waiting to cause a serious blowout.

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5 Ways To Be More Persuasive

Originally published: 08.01.12 by

Guy Kawasaki share 5 scientifically proven ways to increase your influence and persuasion.

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Electric Vehicles Offer Economical Solution

Originally published: 06.01.12 by Tonya Vinas

Are electric vehicles right for your company? Many contractors are unsure, as was Tom Robichaud, owner and president of Precision Plumbing Heating Electric in Boulder, CO. The CEO of one of Precision’s long-time clients, Boulder Electric Vehicle, convinced Robichaud to take a test drive because he thought the truck would be a perfect fit for the short routes service technicians drive daily. After that test drive and some additional research, Robichaud became an electric vehicle advocate.

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If Your Employees Regularly Fail, the Problem Might Be You

Originally published: 06.01.12 by Michael Feuer

a project goes south, it’s mandatory that you find out why. Don’t tell your employees to “handle it” without explaining what “it” means. Without the blanks properly filled in, it’s a good bet that the end result will not be pretty.

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To Increase Sales, Train Your Team to Say “Yes”

Originally published: 05.01.12 by Michael Feuer

The word “yes” is the launching pad for every transaction, but too many companies don’t seem to get it.

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It’s Better to be a Malcontent Than a Has-Been

Originally published: 04.01.12 by Michael Feuer

Most companies promote the promise of complete satisfaction to their customers, which is a good thing. However, fostering a state of satisfaction and contentment within your company’s culture is not.

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4 Keys To Family-Business Success

Originally published: 03.01.12 by Heather Onorati

Contractors who work with relatives need to maintain healthy operations and relationships.

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Don’t Let Fear Stop Your Great Idea

Originally published: 03.01.12 by Michael Feuer

Self-doubt and second thoughts come with breakthrough thinking. Fear of failure can even be a strong motivator, making us delve more deeply, analyze fully, and think through what it will take to make something really work.

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What Brings Together Buyers And Sellers?

Originally published: 12.01.11 by Ronald Seigneur

Part 3 of this series provides motivated buyers of a HVACR business with a number of key concepts and considerations for assessing opportunities. The attributes outlined in parts one and two are also quite relevant when compiling a list of where attention should be given during the due diligence process and in conjunction with the overall evaluation.

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4 Fundamentals of Maximizing Performance

Originally published: 04.01.11 by Tom Flick

Too many businesses are more caught up in the acronyms of change and growth, rather than the practices that help us to change and grow.

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Fools Rush In To Speak, And Their Reputations Suffer

Originally published: 04.01.11 by Terry Tanker

"Say what you mean, and mean what you say" is timeless advice on how to build a good reputation.

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Why Good Leaders Are Good Actors

Originally published: 03.01.11 by Lee Froschheiser

Plain and simple, situational leadership means having the skills and understanding to assess a scenario you’re facing and manage it with the right leadership style.

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5 Prescriptions to Prevent ‘Hardening of the Attitudes’ Among Employees

Originally published: 01.01.11 by Jack Singer

Recent research shows that among the least-happy and least-engaged employees, the annual per-person cost of lost productivity due to sick days is more than $28,000, versus only $840 among the happiest and most-engaged employees. Here are five powerful prescriptions for enhancing employee morale and job performance and minimizing job stress.

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Lay a Strong Foundation With Business Ethics

Originally published: 12.01.10 by W. Theodore (Theo) Etzel

Ethics and their roots have practical applications for business beyond just a statement on paper. Here is my explanation of how Conditioned Air’s core values benefit everyone involved in our business: Integrity Integrity is always doing the right thing for people in a truthful way.

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8 Steps to Maintaining a Professional Online Presence

Originally published: 09.01.10 by Martha Ciske

Creating a professional online presence is a must for businesses these days. Here's how to be online without sacrificing personal privacy.

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Sowing the Seeds of Leadership

Originally published: 08.01.10 by Wade Mayfield

The work that you start today developing your own leadership-aptitude scale will be directly proportionate to your future growth and success. You must grow yourself and grow those that hold the most potential to lead in your company if you are going to hit your goals.

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What’s Your Post- Recession Strategy?

Originally published: 07.01.10 by Ron Smith

What initiatives did you take to combat the recession, and — just as important — how will those initiatives affect your ongoing management decisions as the economy improves?

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Is It Time For a Business Coach?

Originally published: 07.01.10 by W. Theodore (Theo) Etzel

Business coaches can help to improve leadership skills, keep you moving toward goals, and provide objective advice on handling personal and business problems.

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Advisory Board Injects New Ideas, Raise Expectations

Originally published: 05.01.10 by Ron Smith

Seek the advice of outsiders to outperform the insiders.

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NOW is the Best Time for Best Practices

Originally published: 04.01.10 by W. Theodore (Theo) Etzel

Creating a continuous-improvement mindset will make your company more competitive today and tomorrow.

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10 Guidelines For Fostering Good Teamwork

Originally published: 03.01.10 by Rhonda Savage

Building trust and accountability requires standards, attention, and keeping your cool.

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You Win Some, You Lose Some

Originally published: 03.01.10 by Ron Smith

Shoot-outs, flying toilets, and crashing copters. Who says a contractor's job isn't exciting?

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It’s Better To Be a Leader Than a Manager

Originally published: 01.01.10 by Ron Smith

For nearly 30 years I have rarely used the word manager, preferring to use the term leader. You may have noticed a similar slow and subtle change in many businesses — including our hvacr world — to using this term.

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Communicate Effectively with 3 Types of Regular Meetings

Originally published: 09.01.09 by Ron Smith

Having a disciplined process ensures transfer of vital information and reserves time to celebrate, coach, and encourage.

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Five Life Lessons for Leaders

Originally published: 06.01.09 by Guy Kawasaki

How to fix mistakes, determine when to drop a product, and other lessons.

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Preoccupied Personnel

Originally published: 03.01.09 by Heather Onorati

Your knack for shrewd business strategy should include tactics for keeping employees motivated, focused, and committed.

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Little Leadership

Originally published: 11.01.08 by Gary Bradt

Often it is the smallest things that make the biggest difference. With a little forethought and a little effort you can reap big results. Gary Bradt offers tips and ideas to enhancing leadership.

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Managing Expectations Helps Grow High-Performance Employees

Originally published: 09.01.08 by Ursula C. Mannix

If you set up your employees to fail, they will. However, if you five them the right tools and encouragement they need to do a great job, you will be pleased with the results.

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Managing Change

Originally published: 07.01.08 by Traci Purdum

Embrace change and move forward or resist change and risk failure. Either way, the next generation will always be at your heels waiting to take over the reins. It’s your choice to be remembered as a visionary leader or a stagnant manager.

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Becoming The Employer Of Choice

Originally published: 06.01.08 by Bob Niewenhous

To be successful in today’s market, contractors and hvacr business owners must get creative and make recruitment a priority.

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Celebrating Success

Originally published: 05.01.08 by Traci Purdum

Recognizing accomplishments motivates employees.

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Building A High-Performance Company

Originally published: 11.01.07 by Jim McDermott

The Gartner Group's five keys to building a high-performance organization include setting ambitious goals and achieving them, displaying a strong sense of purpose, having a strategic focus, adapting to change, having a common and shared business model.

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Are You An Egomaniac?

Originally published: 11.01.07 by

Guy Kawasaki talks with author Steven Smith about how ego can get in the way of business and the best ways to keep it in check.

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Achieve Business Goals Through Partnering

Originally published: 06.01.07 by Jackie Rainwater

I want to let you in on what seems to be somewhat of a secret in our industry . . . partnering works! In this instance, I mean partnerships between hvac contractors and their primary hvac equipment manufacturers and suppliers.

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How To Become An 'Expert'

Originally published: 01.01.07 by Lisa Murton Beets

Ultimately, the primary goal for all hvacr businesses is to get customers to call. How do you achieve this?HVACR Business recently spoke with two contractors who excel in building Top of Mind Awareness (TOMA). Don’t let their size intimidate you. Many of their ideas can be applied in smaller businesses as well.

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How to Motivate Co-Workers, Part 2

Originally published: 12.01.06 by Ron Smith

Reward employees through recognition, self-esteem boosts, spiffs, and career growth to increase productivity and attract new customers.

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How to Motivate Co-Workers, Part 1

Originally published: 11.01.06 by Ron Smith

The actions you take to motivate coworkers will enhance your efforts to create and maintain a corporate culture that fosters a pleasant, more productive work environment.

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How To Increase Service Agreement Revenues

Originally published: 11.01.06 by Jackie Rainwater

Train technicians in the conversion process and lead development. A well-structured tracking process insures that technicians are recognized and rewarded for their efforts.

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Master These Four Elements for Happy Customers

Originally published: 08.01.06 by Ron Smith

There are four elements that customers are looking for from their hvac residential provider: on-time delivery, quality, professional behavior and convenience.

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Practice the 5 “Ps” of Success Each Day

Originally published: 1/1/10 by James S. Bain

The difference between successful business people and those who are not successful is that successful people have the guts to move forward, take intelligent risks, and work harder than anyone else.

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Three Distinct Roles Define the Effective Company President

Originally published: 1/1/10 by Ron Smith

The following is a unique approach on how you can address the challenge of working in your business versus on your business. Company size does not matter, as this approach will work whether your company is small, medium, large or huge.

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Effective Management Meetings

Originally published: 1/1/10 by Ron Smith

Use Ron Smith's proven techniques to develop meaningful management meetings that will advance your company’s success.

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Why Have “C” Co-Workers?

Originally published: 1/1/10 by Ron Smith

How to re-evaluate your staff and trim non-performing talent.

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The Art of Customer Service

Originally published: 1/1/10 by Guy Kawasaki

A customer-oriented attitude begins with the owner. So practice what you preach when it comes to how you want your employees to treat your customers. Guy Kawasaki offers other tips for taking care of customers.

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7 Tips for Hiring Great Employees

Originally published: 1/1/10 by Garrett Miller

The HVACR industry — along with many others — will find itself on a hiring frenzy this decade as scores of skilled technicians reach retirement age. This makes it imperative to revisit your hiring processes. Are they rigorous enough? Even if you think they are, it’s worth it to tighten your hiring processes even more so that you don’t waste valuable time and money.

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Accomplish More by Building ‘Legacy Teams’

Originally published: 1/1/10 by Tom Flick

Organizations and teams that commit to becoming legacy teams are rewarded tenfold with deeper relationships, better performance, and improved bottom-line results.

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Originally published: 1/1/10 by

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6 Leadership Styles and How To Choose Yours

Originally published: 1/1/10 by Glenn Gutek

Today’s teams need diverse leadership to be effective.

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