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Roberta Matuson
Identify the best talent in the world.
  • Identify
  • Acquire
  • Nurture
  • Retain

Roberta's Recent Publications

The Magnetic Leader

Employees don’t work for companies; they work for people. The more irresistible you are as a leader, the more pull you have for employees to want to stay and for your customers to remain loyal. Read Excerpt

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Roberta's Recent Publications

Talent Magnetism

Your company is only as good as the talent you keep. Learn the new rules for attracting top talent and getting them to stick around. Excerpt

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Roberta's Recent Publications

Suddenly in Charge

Honored by the Washington Post as a Top 5 Business Book for Leaders.

Learn how to manage up, down, and succeed all around... Excerpt

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Roberta's Recent Publications

Suddenly in Charge

Learn how to save your company millions by improving the quality of your hires, while improving productivity. Slash costly employee turnover.

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Resources

Getting Rid of the Crappy Stuff

I recently watched a video in which Nike president and CEO Mark Parker tells about the advice that Apple CEO Steve Jobs gave him shortly after the release of the Nike+ product line. It's a simple bit of wisdom that any entrepreneur can relate to: "Get rid of the crappy stuff."

Jobs began the conversation by complementing Nike on all the great products they have. When asked for advice, he simply blurted out what many of us have on our minds. It’s easy to pump out products and services. It’s a lot harder to be discerning and to eliminate those items that are ruining the brand.

The President’s Pet Projects

We’ve all been there. The President comes up with what he or she thinks is a fabulous new offering and we are left to “make it happen.” I’ve asked myself many times if this was really a good use of my time. In the end, it usually wasn’t. So if you are a CEO who is reading this, I would suggest you run your idea up the flagpole with others who aren’t as invested in your idea. Oh, you say you don’t have any others to run this by? Well that’s an issue worth further exploration.

CEOs work in a vacuum, and their own exhaust can easily suck them in. By that I mean that after a while, you begin to believe your own propaganda. And let’s face it, who in the organization is really brave enough to tell the boss his idea won’t work? Think of how much time and money would be saved if you had a trusted advisor who could prevent you from making costly mistakes. Someone who isn’t afraid to tell you the truth because his or her survival does not depend on whether or not you like them. Find a CEO group or work with a consultant that you trust has your best interests in mind. Now breathe deeply as you take in clean air.

Clean out the crappy employees

These are the people who have no problems telling others how poorly they are treated or why the company is going down. Don’t know who they are? Do a Google search using your company name and you’ll soon see who is saying what. Crappy employees aren’t usually the brightest employees. You’ll see this when their full name follows their rant.

While you are sweeping the office, don’t forget that dust can gather in corners as well. Make sure those occupying the corner offices aren’t just sitting there collecting dust. You may be able to revive some of these people by re-engaging them in projects that will help move your organization forward again.

Become a "no crap" zone

This is the type of place where people don’t allow those who aren’t fully committed to the organization to stay. You don’t have to hire outside security to ensure the zone is clean. If done right, your people will police this area without you even knowing about it.

I've worked in organizations where we had a few crappy employees try to bring us down. Eventually these people no longer felt like they fit in. They took their crap elsewhere, much to the relief of those they left behind. But every now and again, we were faced with one person who simply wouldn’t take the hint.

This is when we needed to haul in the big bulldozers. We convinced management these people were doing more harm than good, even if they were top producers. Eventually they were swept out of the organization and we were left to clean up their debris. In hindsight, I wish we had been more forceful. We should have done a better job of demonstrating how these situations were directly impacting productivity and customer satisfaction.

So if you are sitting in your office waiting for others to tell you what you already know, I would advise you to take action. Friends of mine in similar situations didn’t bother to inform the boss, as they assumed he already knew. Instead, they picked up their tools, along with all of their training, and joined others who had defected for greener pastures.

Maybe Jobs didn’t mean Nike should eliminate all of the “crappy stuff.” Perhaps he was just talking about the products that are bringing the brand down. But hey, if you are going to do some cleaning, why not spruce up the entire place while you’re at it?

Testimonials

"Roberta's guidance has dramatically increased my ability to pull in and retain the talent we need to take our organization to the next level. She's proven to be a trusted advisor and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend her to other CEOs who are looking to accelerate..."
Tom Hopcroft, President & CEO
Mass Leadership Technology Council

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"The coaching that Roberta Matuson provided for one of our retail store managers renewed the manager’s excitement in her work, provided her with increased skills in the selection of new employees and gave her the tools she needed to better manage her staff..."
Mary G. Rahal, VP, Human Resources and Administration
Morgan Memorial Goodwill Industries, Inc.

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"Roberta was able to clearly define our project objectives and the methodology that we needed to reach those objectives. Roberta helped us pinpoint the root cause of our problem by using in-depth probing techniques that gave her access to important data we did not have..."
Amy Waryas, Director, HR
The Boston Beer Company

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"Roberta worked with us to create a comprehensive onboarding program. With her guidance, knowledge, and expert HR advise we have successfully launched our company-wide training initiative. We now assimilate new hires into the company more effectively than ever..."
Ted Winston, Co-Owner
Winston Flowers

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"When it comes to management of people, Roberta sees through all the noise and gets right to the heart of the matter..."
Mark Spitzer, President
Photonic Glass Corporation

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"As we have grown, Roberta has provided continued support to help us work through complicated personnel issues while allowing us to focus on other areas of our business. Our employment practices truly support our business goals..."
Paul M. Zavracky, Ph.D., Former President and COO
MicroOptical Corporation

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"Roberta has saved us time and energy on situations we may have needlessly wrestled with. We consider her a partner and look for her guidance often. Roberta has provided a welcomed service to Six Red Marbles..."
Sarah Smith White, President
Six Red Marbles

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"Roberta was tenacious about keeping us focused on completing our project on schedule. The finished project was comprehensive, professional and passed the scrutiny of legal experts. I would definitely use Matuson Consulting again..."
John Blake, Former COO
Advanced Results Marketing

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"Roberta has been a tremendous mentor and coach to me over the past year. She has partnered with me on multiple professional development fronts, as well as helping me through some very challenging situations. I found Roberta to be wise counsel!"
– Allison DiSiena, VP of Recruiting, Marketing, Interactive and Creative Services Division, 24 Seven Inc.

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"Roberta Matuson was our answer. She met with us, developed a plan, walked us through the process to record our policies and procedures. She helped identify areas where policies were non-existent. She then developed and produced our employee handbook. We still use it today..."
Tim Slattery, CEO
CFSmail.com

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"Roberta presented an engaging and informative webinar on “Managing Up in a Top Down World” for Northeastern University’s alumni. This thought provoking session provided practical strategies for navigating office politics and building effective relationships for career advancement. Roberta’s extensive expertise and knowledge of workplace trends was apparent as she skillfully answered a wide range of questions from participants. Her well-organized presentation made it easy for the audience to commit to implementing her advice."
Michele Rapp, Associate Director
Northeastern University

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"Roberta’s ability to provide new leaders with insights on matters that few are willing to discuss is refreshing and will serve our members well. As a CEO, I'm especially impressed with her ability to quickly distill difficult situations and provide pragmatic advice that can be quickly and successfully implemented."
Aradhna Malhotra Oliphant, President and CEO
Leadership Pittsburgh Inc.

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"I have had the opportunity to experience Roberta Matuson’s “fast track” coaching. Her candid, succinct and concise approach provided positive reinforcement toward my professional goals."
Cheryl Schondek, VP of Food Acquisition and Supply Chain
The Greater Boston Food Bank

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