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Communication Breakdowns: Open Door and Closed Mind

Most managers proclaim an open door policy. “You can always come and see me about any problems or issues” they say. Or they’ll leave team meetings they’ve chaired believing there aren’t any issues or objections to plans they’ve set since no one spoke up. Before running a Moose-on-the-Table workshop for a management team, I had […]

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Is Your Leadership, Innovation, and Culture Gap Choking Your Growth?

In its Human Capital Trends dashboard, Deloitte surveyed over 2,500 leaders in more than 90 countries who are concerned with talent management. The survey respondents see talent as a major challenge to growth. A few key findings were: “Softer areas such as culture, engagement, leadership and development have become urgent priorities. Leadership and learning have […]

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Executive Team Building and Culture Development Webinar – March 9

Building off this week’s webinar on Essential Elements of Leadership, Coaching, and Culture Development (click to view in our archive), we’re now planning a webinar for March 9 on Executive Team Building and Culture Development (click for more details and to register). Here’s what we’ll cover: Strategic Organization/Culture Development: Building a common understanding/framework for leading […]

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Strengthen Leadership Skills by Awakening the Force

During these rapidly changing times leadership skills are critical. Yet many studies show a profound dissatisfaction with leadership effectiveness across most organizations. And a vast majority of executives feel their leadership skill development efforts aren’t effective. A major part of the problem is that we’re “seduced by the dark side” of fixing weaknesses or closing […]

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Overcoming The 7 Deadly Time Traps for Leaders

In a recent Leadership Team Retreat we used a survey based on 7 Deadly Time Traps for Leaders. The biggest trap this team fell into was Acceleration and Overload. This was closely followed by Reactive and Busyness and Coaching Skills. We agreed these three areas were intertwined. These were creating a growing sense of frantic […]

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Great Leaders Nearly Double Satisfaction with Pay and Job Security

Have you ever been stressed out by a bad boss? If it was bad enough you likely found yourself saying “they can’t pay me enough to put up with this.” At the other extreme, have you been part of a team led by an outstanding leader? Did the spirit of we-can-conquer-all, electric energy, and stretch […]

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Webinar on Key Elements of Leadership, Coaching, and Culture Development

Condensing four decades of lessons learned into a 45 minute webcast is proving to be an invigorating challenge. A few months ago I stepped back for a long and broad look at hundreds of keynotes, workshops, and retreats we’ve delivered across a full range of industries and organizations in many countries. This led to a […]

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Research That Makes You Go Hmmm on…Forecasts and Predictions

There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home. – Ken Olson in 1977 when he was president and founder of Digital Equipment Corp — a pioneering computer company that no longer exists University of California political psychologist Philip Tetlock spent two decades asking foreign policy experts to make predictions about world […]

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Forget Forecasts and Predictions, Build an Agile Organization

A couple goes to a fair, where there’s a large, impressive-looking machine. The husband puts in a coin and receives a card telling him his age and what kind of person he is. He reads it and gets excited. It says: “You’re brilliant and charming. Women fall all over you.” His wife grabs the card […]

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Reflecting, Renewing, and Refocusing Through Evolutionary Change

One reason organizational change efforts have failure rates as high as 70% is because too many newly appointed leaders take over a team or organization with overpowering messages of revolutionary change. Often the new leader implies that everything the team or organization did before they arrived on his or her white horse to save this […]

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Despite Dire Headlines the World is Getting Much, Much Better

Mass shootings, ISIS, the Charlie Hebdo attacks, November Paris massacre, climate change, economic upheaval, infectious diseases, Syrian refuges, crashing airplanes, hurricanes, corporate greed and deception, Donald Trump… 2015 news headlines were full of disaster and despair. One national newscaster reflecting on the year solemnly declared 2015 the “year of darkness.” But that’s mass media sucking […]

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All the Best of 2015: Our Most Popular Content of the Year

Here is a recap of our most popular resources over the past year. I hope you’ll have a little extra time over the holidays to catch up on any that you missed, or review any you found especially helpful: Blogs: “The Quality of our Communication Determines the Quality of our Lives and Workplaces“ “8 Factors […]

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12 Point Leadership, Coaching, and Culture Development Checklist

Why does study after study continue to show that 70% of leadership, culture, change, and other improvement efforts fail? There are many factors contributing to this persistently low success rate. The biggest element is leadership and organization culture. These two intertwined factors continually show up as the critical X factors. “Soft” leadership and culture boosts […]

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The High Cost of Failing to Deal with Toxic Employees

Cornerstone OnDemand analyzed their dataset of 63,000 employees spanning 250,000 observations and concluded: Good employees are 54 percent more likely to quit when they work with a toxic employee, if the proportion of toxic employees on their team grows by as little as one on a team of 20. As toxic employees make their co-workers […]

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Avoiding 7 Coaching Traps That Snare Many Managers

“Research on the Dramatic Impact of Extraordinary Coaching Skills” shows that leaders who are the most effective at coaching have three times more employees that “go the extra mile.” When leaders add coaching to their existing strengths they are ten times more likely to become a top-tier leader. But as Aristotle observed, “with regard to […]

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Most Brand Management is Misguided and Makes Things Worse

Many organizations are making major investments in external branding. But often less attention or investment is made in improving the organization’s internal effectiveness. If frontline staff isn’t living the brand, customers’ raised expectations are dashed and their anger and cynicism grows. One of the biggest reasons frontline staff can’t live the brand is because operational, […]

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Looking Forward to Facilitating Another “Extraordinary Leader” Public Workshop

As organizations thin their ranks to run leaner, the need for building highly effective leaders becomes a strategic imperative. Stronger leaders create stronger organizations. This creates even stronger leaders across the organization in an upward spiraling circle toward peak performance. Registrations for my facilitation of the January 27 public workshop of The Extraordinary Leader in […]

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City Tours of Leadership and Culture Development

Heather and I love to travel. A great perk of my work is that I am invited to speak or lead workshops and retreats in some beautiful places around the world. Heather carefully selects which ones she joins me for. Northern Canada in winter rarely makes the cut! When we travel to a new city, […]

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A Culture Change Compass for Assessment and Planning

One of the “7 Reasons Change and Development Programs Fail” is a partial and piecemeal approach to implementing programs like engagement, customer service, succession planning, safety, performance management, talent management, lean/six sigma, and IT. Our “compass model” has evolved from culture development work with dozens of organizations. It’s often used during Leadership Team Retreats for […]

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Webinar on Strengthening Leadership Skills and Culture Now Available

Last week Melanie Will, Manager of Learning and Organization Development, Wilfrid Laurier University and I delivered a one hour webinar on Strengthening Leadership and Culture. Melanie provided a case study using many examples and research data from their organization’s use of The Extraordinary Leader Development System for over 160 leaders throughout the university. We covered […]

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