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the book & the blog by Rodd Wagner

The 12 New Rules for Managing Your Employees As If
They're Real People

How to Lead Employees As If They’re Real People

I recently had the privilege of kicking around ideas with Kelly Leonard on his WGN broadcast “Getting to Yes, And . . .” We talked about what makes an employer cool, what happens if fear is unleashed inside a company, and why people have Stone Age reactions to modern challenges.

If your commute is 36 minutes and 21 seconds, this one’s for you. The podcast can be found here.

Index to Articles by Rodd Wagner


The response since Widgets was published has been overwhelming, with coverage or guest columns in many of the major business media. The stories, columns, radio interviews, and podcasts have multiplied to the point that we decided it’s time for an index, which will be kept here in the second position on the blog and updated as new items appear.

Behavioral Economics

Want A Great Meeting? First, Get ‘More Bananas’ – Forbes; October 31, 2016

“Best friend at work” questions

Best Friends At Work? With Or Without Benefits, It’s None Of The Company’s Business – Forbes; February 14, 2017.

Stop Using Employee Friendships to Measure EngagementHarvard Business Review; August 7, 2015.

CEO effect on employee motivation

What To Do If Your Company Has A Chief Predatory Officer – Forbes; October 14, 2016.

The 10 Warped Lessons From Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory – Forbes; September 8, 2016.

The Seven Lessons Of Marissa Mayer’s Loss of Command at Yahoo – Forbes; March 8, 2016.

Finally, Evidence That CEO Character Hits The Bottom LineForbes; September 23, 2015.

It’s Not Just the Manager Who’s Responsible for Employee Motivation; It’s Also the CEOChief Executive; July 10, 2015.

Civility and sportsmanship

The Powerful Example Of A Young Hockey Player’s Handshake – Forbes, March 23, 2017.


Your Pay Is No One’s Business – Or Perhaps It’s Everyone’s – Forbes; August 24, 2016.

Why Meaningful Work Trumps MoneyFast Company; November 12, 2015.

The Science Behind How Pay Affects ProductivityFast Company; November 10, 2015. … Read More

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Widgets the Book

Widgets the Book

A leader’s blueprint. A manager’s guide. An employee’s benchmark.