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Time to Assess How You’re Using Your Time?

An old fable tells of a farmer with a wagon brimming full of cabbage heading to a new market. He stops for directions and asks, “How far is it to the market?” The man replies, “It’s about an hour if you go slowly but if you rush it will take all day.” It was a […]

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The Purpose Motive: Why Does Your Organization Exist?

The cover article in the latest issue of Harvard Business Review focuses on “Creating a Purpose-Driven Organization.” Business school professors Robert Quinn and Anjan Thakor report “when an authentic purpose permeates business strategy and decision making, the personal good and the collective good become one. Positive peer pressure kicks in, and employees are re-energized. Collaboration […]

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Hardiness and Resilience: When Giving In Can Give Us a Lift

When you experience failure, loss, or a serious setback do you see it as temporary or permanent? Is failure an event or who you are? Is it a learning or crushing experience? Does it traumatize you or become a springboard for growth? Confucius said, “our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising […]

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Position versus Persuasion Power

Joel’s a high IQ manager with strong analytical skills coming from a deep technical background.  He hates meetings (“they get in the way of real work”) and resents having to sell changes or get people on side. “I don’t care if they like me,” he’s fond of saying, “I only want their respect and implementation.” […]

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Positive Psychology Conference Insights and Themes

Last month I participated in the Canadian Positive Psychology Association’s 4th conference at the University of Toronto with 400 researchers, counselors, facilitators, coaches, and psychologists (visit our Positive Psychology resources section or Flourish for background on this new field). I was especially struck by three key themes at the conference: Building strengths is key to […]

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Coaching Head Check: Do You See Eagles or Turkeys?

A leader’s coaching skills are vital today. Millennials especially want direct feedback and supportive guidance. Leaders aspiring to build coaching skills need to do a “check up from the neck up.” Am I in a growth or fixed mindset about the people I am coaching? Ineffective managers ask, “How am I expected to soar with […]

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Do You Read to Lead and Succeed?

Read. Lead. Succeed. We’ve been using that tagline on bookmarks, our web site, and other development materials for years. It’s not just three catchy words that rhyme. There’s plenty of evidence to show that many highly effective leaders are avid readers. In his Harvard Business Review article, “For Those Who Want to Lead, Read,” John […]

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Readersourcing: The Highest Voted Development Topics

Workplace stress is rising while employee engagement and performance is sinking. A major cause is mediocre managers and bad bosses. The poorest leaders are often the ones who need leadership development the most. But they’re too crazy-busy and running faster and faster on their treadmill just to keep up, and don’t take time for development. […]

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Escape the Speed Trap: Lead Smarter, Not Faster

I once sat through a frantic, high-energy presentation by an author on knowledge management. He deluged us with a flood of statistics showing how the world’s knowledge was growing at mind-blowing rates. The gist of his presentation was that we need to re-train our brains to absorb more information at faster rates so we could […]

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The Key to Unlocking Your Career Highs Again and Again

What’s your combination of strengths or competence, passion, and organizational need for your work? Are you playing to your strengths and filling an organizational need, but it’s a real chore and your heart isn’t in your work? Then you’re likely serving time in “day prison.” What if you’re doing work you love, and it plays […]

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Succession Planning: From Piecemeal Programs to Integrated Strategy

Studies show a growing sense of urgency for succession planning. One survey found 92% of respondents felt it was risky not to have a succession plan for key employees but only 25% of companies feel they’ve identified adequate successor candidates and less than half have a process for developing candidates. Other research shows 70% of […]

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New Studies Show “Soft Skills” Are Now a Critical Priority

“The whole human side is now more important than skills or IQ. Everything we hear from clients is about the human aspects of leadership,” reports Rajeev Vasudeva, CEO of the Egon Zehnder executive recruiting firm. In a feature article on today’s “ultra-tight job market,” Fortune magazine concludes, “across industries, employers are prizing people skills, the […]

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Positive Psychology and Well-Being – 4th Canadian Conference

Work is a four-letter cuss word for too many people. Monday morning is often the toughest time of their week. Too many people are mumbling, “I owe, I owe, it’s off to work I go” as they trudge off to check into their “day prison.” In other workplaces people are leaping out of bed in […]

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Boost Customer Service with a Culture That Serves the Servers

With years of travel I’ve experienced the full range of frontline servers. Some are warm, friendly, and genuinely want to help. They seem to have bounced out of bed that morning thinking “how can I brighten our customers’ day?” Others are sour and surly. For them, customer service is an oxymoron and a huge pain […]

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Global Organization Excellence Index: What’s the State of Your Culture?

Over the last few decades research on the key elements of top performing organizations has dramatically increased. When I wrote Firing on all Cylinders, organization effectiveness frameworks focused on service and quality improvement and were just being developed in Canada, the U.S., Japan, Europe and other countries. The book’s “cylinders” framework draws from that research […]

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What Are Today’s Most Vital Leadership and Culture Development Topics?

Early in his career, Thomas Edison invented a vote recording machine for use in legislative chambers. Politicians could vote yea or nay from their desks. This would replace the time consuming process of counting votes. Edison patented the machine and went to Washington to demonstrate and sell it. He was turned  down immediately. Edison was […]

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Has Your Culture Created A Great Place to Work for All?

What’s the impact of being one of the 100 best companies to work for? What does it take to join this elite group? How does your organization or team compare? Since 1998, Fortune magazine has partnered with Great Place to Work to create its annual list of 100 best companies to work for. This year’s […]

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Help Us Distill Today’s Vital Leadership/Organization Development Topics

Which leadership/organization development topics are most critical to you today? How can you cut through all the clutter to quickly find and apply practical applications to boost effectiveness? Can we distill and sweeten the personal, team, and organization development process? These are especially relevant questions this sweet time of year. Sugar shacks are sending up […]

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HR Needs to Make Big Changes to Boost Effectiveness

Innovation and agility are critical to thriving — or even surviving — in today’s fast-changing world. Balancing speed and quality is now a vital leadership skill. First used in software development, Agile is an approach now spreading to other functions. Its main principles are focusing on people more than process, using pilots and prototypes for […]

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Thoughts That Make You Go Hmmm on… Growing and Developing Others

Friend and fellow consultant and speaker, Donald Cooper and I found out after the fact that we were working independently with “John” a hard driving restaurant entrepreneur. John had rapidly built one restaurant into four highly successful locations with an innovative new concept and his fanatical attention to details. I got involved with helping John […]

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