when the employee you recommended gets fired

A reader writes: Last fall, my firm hired an employee who I had referred for the same position that I have. This employee was just fired last week (after nine months with the firm). Apparently, the people she worked for felt she was somewhat lazy and was not keeping up with her work. Should I…

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What I Learned About Coaching After Losing the Ability to Speak

Marion Barraud for HBR I was diagnosed with ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease) in 2001. By 2003 I could no longer speak intelligibly or walk, and any muscle control became more difficult as the disease progressed. I knew I couldn’t keep facilitating team meetings and giving strategy presentations — staples of the consulting services I had provided…

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Toys ‘R’ Us Is Dead, but Physical Retail Isn’t

The recent bankruptcy filing at Toys “R” Us has roiled the toy industry. Yet the struggles at the company are not new. The firm was taken private in a $6.6 billion leveraged private equity buyout in 2005, with the aim of turning the chain around, but the resulting debt has proved to be unserviceable. The…

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my boss is unavailable and it’s driving us all mad

A reader writes: I report to a C-suite level executive, “Bob” (where Bob’s boss is the CEO). I manage Bob’s schedule and generally coordinate our department’s projects under his direction. However, Bob is one of the most unavailable, unreachable bosses I have ever seen. He is very clearly a verbal processor (likes thinking out loud…

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