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Revamped Coaching Program Wins Six Industry Awards

Developing coaching skills for today’s time-crunched leaders is a big challenge. As we’ve delivered The Extraordinary Coach workshop over the past few years we’ve been very impressed by how quickly participants shift their thinking about coaching and pick up new skills. A big part of the reason is the 4 Step FUEL model. This spring […]

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4 Vital Competencies That Differentiate Top HR Leaders from the Rest

We started working with Troy, an HR leader with a consumer goods manufacturer, last spring. He reached out for help with culture and organization development because communication breakdowns had created extreme silo behavior causing engagement and productivity levels to drop. Working with Troy we found the common ground among the competing departments and he adroitly […]

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Thoughts That Make You Go Hmmm on…Culture Development

A few thought provoking excerpts from, The Culture Blueprint: A Guide to Building the High-Performance Workplace, by Robert Richman: Culture change is not a strategy or an initiative. This is a total mind shift. Once you truly experience it, you can’t go back. Without taking care of your people, who will deliver? In order to […]

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Six Lessons in Culture Development from Zappos

Recently I delivered a keynote presentation on culture and leadership development at a senior leader’s conference. Robert Richman also spoke at the event sharing his insights and experiences as co-creator of Zappos Insights, a program for educating companies on the powerful culture of Zappos that catapulted the American online shoe retailer from a startup in […]

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Four Steps to FUEL More Effective Coaching Conversations

There are many models and approaches to coaching skill development. Over the years we’ve worked with many of them and modified or developed a few of our own. As we’ve been developing Client coaching skills with the FUEL framework for the last few years we’ve seen striking differences from other coaching models and approaches. The […]

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Ten Critical Questions to Assess HR’s Effectiveness

Over the years we’ve worked with many Human Resource executives. We’ve also facilitated a few hundred offsite executive retreats as part of Culture and Organization Development. Step #2 in that process, setting up and following through on the executive retreat, is where we see the starkest differences in HR leaders. The biggest differences often show […]

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Webinar: The 6 Leadership Levers that Drive Extraordinary Results

Periodically I search Amazon’s web site to see how many books are now available on leadership. There are now 150,000. That’s up from just over 120,000 when I last searched a few months ago. The overwhelming number of leadership theories, models, frameworks, and skills makes it very hard to know where to invest development time […]

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Shades of Grey: Powerful Leadership Combinations

When our son Chris was home from university to celebrate his 22nd birthday, he and I had a conversation about how much more complex, nuanced, and interesting the world has become for him than when he was a teenager. During his teenage years, the world, and most of the people he encountered in it, could […]

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Critical Choices: Lead, Follow, or Wallow

I was booked to facilitate a development and team planning retreat with a group of vice presidents of a large company. The group had a dinner the evening before our session to provide each other with updates and discuss common issues. The company was going through turbulent and difficult times. Productivity and profitability were down. […]

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How Towering Strengths Overshadow Weaknesses

Last month Brad Smith and I attended Zenger Folkman’s Extraordinary Leadership Summit and Coaching Symposium in Salt Lake City. A highlight of the three day event were Client presentations from, and panel discussions with, General Mills, General Motors, and McKesson Corporation (a Fortune 500 healthcare services and IT company). With implementations ranging from two to […]

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Attributes of Cynical and High Service/Quality Cultures

“I owe, I owe, so off to work I go.” “Work sucks, but I need the bucks.” “I’d rather be fishing/sailing/golfing/…” Surveys show that these phrases express the feelings of a growing number of frontline performers today. Too often these contagious feelings spread throughout a team or organization. How many of these attributes of cynical […]

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7 Keys to Leading Change

Change isn’t news. But the continually accelerating pace of organizational change is. People feel inundated, overwhelmed, and stressed. Adaptive organizations provide inspiration and practical tools to everyone in order to help deal with our rapid pace of change and uncertainty. Our turbulent times have created waves of fear, frustration, and uncertainty. When these negative forces […]

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Balancing Life in the Fast Lane with Slow Country Backroads

Gandhi, the towering political and spiritual leader of India and the Indian independence movement, once observed “There is more to life than increasing its speed.” But we live in an ever accelerating world. Zenger Folkman’s research based on their “speed index” showed that extraordinary leaders are both quick and effective. Ten years ago I bought […]

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7 Steps to Building Bolder (and dramatically more effective) Leaders

Are the leaders in your organization timid or bold? What is bold leadership? How does it differ from timid leadership? How much of a difference does bold leadership make? Zenger Folkman recently studied 360-degree reports on more than 50,000 leaders in all industries and from all parts of the world. This new research identified leaders […]

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Using 360 Assessments for Talent/Performance Management versus Personal Development

360 assessments are now being used by over 85% of larger and leading organizations. As I wrote in “9 Problems with 360 Multi-Rater Assessments” there’s a growing backlash and resistance to their use because they often search for gaps and weaknesses. Our work with Zenger Folkman has shown that 360 data on a leader’s effectiveness can […]

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8 Ways to Build Leadership Development on the Job

Last year we started offering one-on-one phone coaching around The Extraordinary Leader 360 assessments and building strengths-based personal development plans. These typically involve 2, 3, and sometimes more sessions about a month or two apart. As leaders have reported back on their progress we’ve further developed and expanded their action plans. Typically the first step […]

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New ‘Greater Good in Action’ Web Site is Very Useful

The Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley is part of the burgeoning research in the emerging field of Positive Psychology. Since 2001, the GGSC has been a leader in the “scientific movement to explore the roots of happy and compassionate individuals, strong social bonds, and altruistic behavior — the science of a meaningful life.” […]

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Reversing 9 Attributes of Cynical Cultures

How many of these points apply to your organization? High “snicker factor” on your vision, values, or mission statements Declining or stagnant employee engagement levels Absenteeism and “mental health days” Difficulty attracting or hanging on to top talent Waning or plateaued Client/Customer satisfaction Resistance to change Weak trust and teamwork Less than stellar service/quality levels […]

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Thoughts That Make You Go Hmmm on…Organizational Culture (Part Two)

The role of a leader is not to come up with all the great ideas. The role of a leader is to create an environment in which great ideas can happen. It is the people inside the company, those on the front lines, who are best qualified to find new ways of doing things. – […]

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Thoughts That Make You Go Hmmm on…Organizational Culture (Part One)

It is something to be able to paint a particular picture, or to carve a statue … but it is far more glorious to carve and paint the very atmosphere and medium through which we look … – Henry David Thoreau, American author, poet, and philosopher Before we can learn to lead, we must learn […]

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