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Case Study Measures Impact of Building Strengths and Addressing Fatal Flaws

As part of succession planning many organizations are concerned about developing their next generation of senior leaders. Many large companies in well-established industries like financial services, resources, manufacturing, and the like or public sector, education, and healthcare organizations struggle with getting middle and senior managers to embrace leadership development opportunities.   We’ve recently published a case […]

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Strategies to Address Feedback Conundrums, Ironies, and Contradictions

A few weeks ago I reflected on the last three years of partnering with Zenger Folkman (“Re-Fired with Building Strengths“) and their powerful strengths-based leadership development methodology found in The Extraordinary Leader. 360 feedback is critical to building strengths or addressing fatal flaws (as long as it avoids the “Nine Problems with 360 Multi-Rater Assessments“). […]

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Components of a Best-of-Class 360 Assessment

Most 360 feedback assessments search for skill gaps, weaknesses, and training/development needs. We’re running into executives who’ve refused to participate in 360 feedback assessments because they’ve found them negative and often feel beat up by the process — even when they have the counsel of a well-trained coach or psychologist. Some CEOs have banned the […]

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Turning Feedback Into Change

Our research shows that leadership self-assessment correlates to performance outcomes like employee engagement, turnover, safety, customer service, or profitability only half as reliably as ratings from everyone else (manager, direct reports, peers, and others). Some leaders rate themselves much higher than all the other raters. Other leaders don’t see their own strengths and assess their […]

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New Research Paper on Feedback: The Powerful Paradox

Last year Jack Zenger and Joe Folkman conducted a survey among readers of their Harvard Business Review blog readers. 2,700 responded to the online survey with questions about positive and negative feedback and attitudes about feedback experiences. This was an international survey with over half of the respondents coming from outside the United States. Here […]

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Feedback Webinar: You Need It, Your Employees Want It !

We are often asked, “What is the one thing a person ought to do to be a better leader and have a more successful career?” While it is difficult to narrow down the list to just one thing, there is one that seems to surface over and over again in our research. That one thing […]

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9 Problems with 360 Multi-Rater Assessments

Feedback is critical to leadership effectiveness and development. That’s why 360 Multi-Rater Assessments are used by over 90% of Fortune 500 companies. But many organizations are now experiencing these problems: Focusing on a leader’s weaknesses and skill gaps — many participants find the 360 process negative and punishing. Some executives are now banning 360s from […]

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Re-Fired with Building Strengths

It’s been three years since Jack Zenger and I had one of our periodic update conversations after we headed off in different directions over 20 years ago. Our previous companies, The Achieve Group and Zenger Miller, had worked together for more than a decade. When this conversation took place with Jack, my wife, Heather, and […]

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New White Paper: How Developing a Coaching Culture Pays Off

Most people know that the difference between incompetent coaches and extraordinary coaches is huge. What’s often more surprising are these big differences between OK or mediocre coaching at the 50th percentile and outstanding coaching skills at the 90th percentile: 28% versus 46% of employees willing to “go the extra mile.” Employee commitment jumps from the […]

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New Survey Showing a Strengths Revolution in our Workplaces

In 2001 only 2 out of 10 people reported that they had a chance to do what they do best every day at work. In 2015 this more than doubled to 5 out of every 10 people. Michelle McQuaid is an honorary fellow at Melbourne University’s Graduate School of Education, holds a Masters in Applied […]

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New White Paper: Creating a Competency Model That Works

A friend who hasn’t seen a doctor in years was recently diagnosed with serious heart disease. He was immediately prescribed medication to reduce his blood pressure, control cholesterol, and thin his blood. His wife is fanatically devoted to natural remedies. She found a book arguing for cayenne pepper and garlic to soften and dissolve arterial […]

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Webinar: 8 Ways to Increase Leadership Speed without Breaking a Sweat!

With e-mail in-boxes burying managers in hundreds of e-mails while they rush through a blur of meetings, speed is essential to effectiveness — if not survival. Zenger Folkman recently analyzed 360 assessments on over 50,000 leaders to understand how speed impacts evaluations of their effectiveness. A “speed index” was created to measure speed in three […]

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Checking Your Coaching Skills

We have seen a dramatic increase in the use of coaching as a tool for leadership development over the past few years. And for good reason…the list of benefits is impressive: improved productivity high-energy company culture dynamic supervisor/employee relationships creative problem solving greater risk taking heightened innovation, and higher levels of customer service and satisfaction […]

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Video Clip: Feedback Pinpoints Perceptions of Leadership Effectiveness

As I described recently in “Courageous Leaders Ask for Feedback“, strong leaders encourage feedback, and reap the benefit in their improved leadership and coaching effectiveness. Feedback from others is twice as valid as our own self-assessment, and provides a double value: insight into how others perceive our current leadership effectiveness and assurance that our route […]

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What’s the Meaning of Your Work?

Any job can become a career or calling, and any career or calling can become a job. A scientist, physician, or pastor may have initially felt called. But if he or she finds work has become drudgery, it’s now a job. An hourly production worker or hospitality server may have started in a job and […]

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The Quality of our Communication Determines the Quality of our Lives and Workplaces

Ironically, in today’s age of instantaneous communication and technologies that have made us a global village, communication breakdowns are the single biggest complaint we hear from our Clients. It’s a complex issue with both cause and effect tightly intertwined. In many cases, people don’t have the skills to address tough issues with each other. And […]

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Powerful Combination: Technical Expertise and Relationship Building Skills

Craig was a brilliant young engineer who aspired to be the go-to technical leader in his company. He studied journals and books, attended professional conferences, enrolled in technical courses, and was active in his professional association. He prided himself in his outstanding academic ratings. He routinely aced technical exams and scored in the top 10% […]

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Upward Leadership: 7 Tactics to Influence Your Boss

One of the most read articles on our web site is “Bad Boss: Learn How to Manage Your Manager“. Upward leadership is a crucial and often underdeveloped skill. Many people give far too much power and control to their boss. If they’ve won the “boss lottery” and report to a great leader, work life is […]

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Are You Seeing Through the Eyes of Your Customer?

It’s all about perception. Eons ago the ancient Greek Philosopher, Epictetus, mused, “What concerns me is not the way things are, but rather the way people think things are.” We so easily mouth the words “perception is reality.” But do we seek out and work from our customers’ reality? Or do we tend to dismiss […]

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Whose Definition of Customer Service Are You Using?

Customer service and quality is highly talked about and rarely delivered. Consequently, many companies pay a high “marketing tax” to counteract damaged brand perceptions and bad buzz from poor customer service. Part of the problem is because service/quality is a very slippery concept. It’s exasperatingly difficult to define and a source of great confusion to […]

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