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Steps to Fostering Courageous Conversations to Reduce the Moose

In the past two weeks I’ve facilitated a couple of variations of leadership team retreats featuring “moose hunting” exercises. Whether they’re called elephants-in-the-room, 800 pound gorillas, or moose/camel/kangaroo-on-the-table (we’ve used various creatures in different parts of the world), the idea is the same; identify key issues without names attached and figure out how to deal […]

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Do These Attributes Describe Coaching in Your Organization?

Many managers see people as they are, and treat them according to what they see. Outstanding coaches, however, see people as they could be, and work to grow that potential. If you buy a little goldfish and keep it in a small bowl it will remain no bigger than a few inches long. Move that […]

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How to Vision Your Ideal Team or Culture

As outlined in my last blog, step two of 8 Vital Steps for Executive Teamwork and Organization Development is visioning your ideal culture (or team). For years I’ve used variations of this critical step for team building, culture development, conflict resolution, strategic planning, etc., at Leadership Team Retreats. Many leaders confuse goal setting and visioning. […]

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8 Vital Steps for Executive Teamwork and Organization Development

We’d just finished facilitating a two-day offsite retreat with an international resources company when I came back to my office to find the June issue of Harvard Business Review with a feature article on “The Secrets of Great Teamwork.” The authors — two management and organization behavior professors at Wharton and INSEAD — were reporting […]

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Webinar: 9 Ways to Build Effective Relationships

“No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main.” These are a few lines of a poem penned by the metaphysical English poet, John Donne, around the time of Shakespeare. Community, interdependence, and oneness has been a central part of many ancient philosophies […]

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Thoughts That Make You Go Hmmm on… Agile, Learning Organizations

“The learning organization can mean two things, it can mean an organization which learns and/or an organization which encourages learning in its people. It should mean both.” – Charles Handy, “The Age of Unreason“, Harvard Business School Press, Boston, pp 225 “Feedback is the lifeblood of the organization — the exchange of information that lets […]

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The Powerful Impact of a Learning Environment on Discretionary Effect

Decades ago, in a Harvard Business Review article, “How I Learned to Let My Workers Lead,” the founder and CEO of a food company made this connection between learning and agility, “Learning is change, and I keep learning and relearning that change is and needs to be continuous… change is the real job of every […]

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Leaders Need to Address the One Bad Apple That Can Rot the Team

Terence Mitchell, professor of management, organization, and psychology at the University of Washington Business School, along with doctoral student William Felps “analyzed about two dozen published studies that focused on how teams and groups of employees interact, and specifically how having bad teammates can destroy a good team.” They concluded: “A single ‘toxic’ or negative […]

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Growing Leaders at All Levels Even More Critical Today

A central theme in Growing the Distance: Timeless Principles for Personal, Career, and Family Success, is dealing with change through continuous growth and development. As we’ve been revising our workshops — especially our core program, Leading @ the Speed of Change, that theme is resonating even stronger. We all need to be leaders regardless of […]

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Use Our 12 Point Assessment of Leadership, Coaching, and Culture

A few months ago I delivered a webinar on Essential Building Blocks for Leadership, Coaching, and Culture Development (click on the title if you want to view it now). The 45 minute webinar (plus 15 minutes of Q & A) was divided into three main sections: Foundational and time tested frameworks used for years in […]

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The Coaching Games: 4 Short Videos on Key Coaching Concepts

Research from our database of 250,000 multi-rater feedback surveys shows huge differences in results produced by leaders rated as having the highest coaching skills. These include 8 times higher levels of employee engagement, over 3 times more willingness to “go the extra mile,” half as many team members thinking about quitting, and dramatically higher levels […]

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Thoughts That Make You Go Hmmm on…Knowing versus Doing

      My last blog linked to Zenger Folkman’s May 25 webinar on Execution – The KEY to How Leaders Get Things Done with a discussion of knowing versus doing. Common sense often isn’t common practice. “With regard to excellence, it is not enough to know but we must try to have and use […]

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Webinar: Execution — The KEY to How Leaders Get Things Done

“Belling the Cat,” a tale from the ancient Greek fabulist Aesop, points to the timeless dilemma of knowing versus doing. The story describes a counsel of mice trying to figure out how to deal with “the sly and treacherous manner” that the cat sneaks up on mice and kills them. A young mouse proposed putting […]

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Build Strengths that Play to your Passions

The “dark side” of fixing weaknesses is very alluring. Last week I was facilitating our Extraordinary Leader workshop with a group of senior leaders. This was a highly experienced team who were strongly motivated to improve their organization and their own effectiveness. All participants had been through 360 feedback assessments before. Many reported feeling beat […]

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3rd Canadian Conference on Positive Psychology

For the past few decades I’ve followed the ground-breaking work of Martin Seligman at the University of Pennsylvania. Based on his extensive research, articles and books, and his 1998 term as elected president of The American Psychological Association he’s now considered the founder of the burgeoning new field of positive psychology. This is defined as […]

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Don’t Lock the Door and Get Trapped in Old Thinking

The evening before a speaking engagement in Vancouver, I was in a hotel room on the 37th floor overlooking Stanley Park, English Bay, and The Lion’s Gate Bridge. After a pleasant dinner with a friend, I returned to my room. The sun was setting on a beautiful, warm spring evening. Wanting to enjoy the view, […]

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5 Causes of Leadership Team Communication Breakdowns

Communication is critical to team and organization effectiveness. Communication is the lifeblood of trust, cooperation, and teamwork. But communications is a complex topic with many interconnected elements. Communication breakdowns are a major problem that prevents many leadership teams from being highly effective and leading their organizations to peak performance. Many breakdowns in leadership communications can […]

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Webinar: How to Develop Strategic Vision – 8 Critical Behaviors

Alvin Toffler, former associate editor of Fortune and bestselling author of books such as Future Shock, The Third Wave, and Powershift advises, “You’ve got to think about ‘big things’ while you’re doing small things, so that all the small things go in the right direction.” This is an update of ancient wisdom from the Roman […]

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Archived Webinar now Available: Groundbreaking New Approaches to Leadership and Coaching Development

Would you like to help your leaders increase employee engagement by up to 8 times, double or triple their motivation to implement a personal development plan, build coaching and leadership skills around natural strengths, make performance appraisals an inspiring event people look forward to, and double rates of improvement from 360 feedback? As farfetched as […]

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How Recognition Programs Can Reduce Productivity and Decrease Motivation

A study recently published in Organization Science (“Motivational Spillovers from Awards: Crowding Out in a Multitasking Environment”) reviewed the results of data from an attendance award program at one of five laundry plants in the U.S. Midwest. They concluded: “Reward-motivated employees responded positively to the awards by reducing tardiness, but gamed the system to maintain […]

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