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Workplace 101: A Profiles Global Business Blog

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The Difference Between Manipulation and Motivation

As a manager, are you motivating or manipulating your employees?

Perhaps you haven’t thought of it before, but there is a very small divide between manipulating and motivating your employees. On the surface, a lot of it boils down to employee engagement. There are those employees who really love their job, and get behind the company’s mission. Then there are those who might need a little bit of a push—what management will inevitably call motivation—to get going. Sometimes, that little push can come off more like manipulation than motivation. Perception, of course comes into play here. Managers need to ask themselves three questions to help discern the difference between motivation and manipulation.

Blackjack Lessons in Entrepreneurship

Entrepreneurship is a lot like blackjack.

Entrepreneurship is a gamble, so it’s no surprise that there are several lessons to be learned about it from blackjack. Jeff Ma is a prime example. Ma was on the MIT Blackjack Team from 1993 to 2001, and won $2 million dollars during that time, inspiring the book “Bringing Down the House” and the movie “21.” When the casinos refused him and his team access to play, Ma turned his (completely legal) card counting skills toward entrepreneurship. The skills he learned playing blackjack have helped him start three different startups, sold to Yahoo, Virgin, and Twitter (the latter selling for close to $50 million). He offered his advice in an article on

3 Quick Tips for Managing an Introvert


Introverts can be extremely beneficial assets to a team, which is good, because odds are you have one—roughly half the population is one. That being said, introverts can seem a little difficult to manage if you don’t understand them or don’t know how. Here are some management tips to get the most out of the introverts on your team.

Entrepreneurship Lessons from a Former Inmate

Entrepreneurship lessons from jail.

For many, the appeal of going into business for yourself is the freedom it provides—setting your own hours, working from home, paying yourself what you believe your worth (if the market allows it), etc. However, as evidenced by an article from, successful entrepreneurship may come from an imprisoned mindset. Mansal Denton’s first “business” was selling stolen historical documents, and it ended with him in a Texas state penitentiary. He shared the lessons he learned in prison that made him a better entrepreneur on the outside.

Hiring Tips for Entrepreneurs

Interview and hiring tips.

As a budding entrepreneur, you may realize it’s time to hire some people for your business. But how do you get a good feel to determine if the candidate will be a good fit? You may be limited in resources, and may only be able to spend zero dollars on your hiring process. These unique interview questions and exercises can offer a little insight for the entrepreneur hiring on a budget.

A Few Points about Context in Workplace Communication

Workplace communication can be scary when it's out of context.

I was reminded of an old joke this morning, and it made me think of the importance of context in workplace communication. The joke goes something like this:

Three Steps to Innovation from Brian Grazer

Brian Grazer (pictured next to Ron Howard) offers innovation tips.

I came across this story in the Huffington Post about Brian Grazer’s early days in Hollywood, and there were too many good lessons about innovation and getting ahead with communication not to pass it along. If you’re not familiar with the name “Brian Grazer,” he’s responsible for TV shows and movies including “Arrested Development,” “A Beautiful Mind,” and (most recently) “Empire.” However, his success in Tinsel Town came in 1984 with the movie “Splash,” starring Tom Hanks and Daryl Hanna.

Words of Wisdom: 15 Powerful Thoughts on Leadership

Words of Wisdom: 15 Powerful Thoughts on Leadership

Leadership is the capacity to turn vision into reality - Warren Bennis.

Entrepreneurship: The Sometimes Messy Art of Creating a Business Masterpiece

New eBook from Profiles International on Entrepreneurship

Entrepreneurship is lucrative, messy, dangerous, and possibly the most fulfilling endeavor anyone could undertake. There’s no paint-by-numbers approach for successfully going into business for yourself. Entrepreneurship: The Sometimes Messy Art of Creating a Business Masterpiece won’t inspire you to become an entrepreneur. This eBook from Profiles International won’t tell you everything’s going to be ok as long as you put your mind to it and follow your passion. It won’t gloss over the fact that many startups fail before they ever get off the ground, and that there may even be more freedom working for your boss than going into business for yourself.

New Leadership and Reverse Team Building

How new leadership can do effective team building.

The old team leader is gone, and you’ve been recruited to take his or her place. The team has done well, and shows no sign of slowing down. They’re already familiar with each other—you’re the odd one out. Team building is important now that you’re introducing new leadership, but you’re nervous about being seen as an outsider. Instead of assembling a team and developing it as you go, you’re forced to develop the one you’re given—reverse team building. You have to integrate yourself into the team. How do you go about doing that?

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