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Smothering Silence: What You Don’t Know Can Kill You

Is this happening in your team? People are texting each other what they really think during a video or conference call The real conversation happens after the meeting or call Your team doesn’t debate all sides of important issues and avoids touchy topics People agree to a plan of action but then do something else […]

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Every Little Thing: Step Small for the Long Haul

This month is the fortieth anniversary of Terry Fox’s Marathon of Hope run through our community — Waterloo Region. Having lost a leg to cancer, Terry Fox embarked on a cross-Canada run to raise money for cancer research. Terry’s shuffle-and-hop running style took him about 42 kilometers or 26 miles per day! I think jogging […]

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4 Ways Learning and Development Ignites or Impedes Culture Shift

Recently I delivered a virtual keynote presentation to a national forum of senior executives on leading change and culture development. During these crazy times, strong leadership is more critical than ever. A central focus of the forum was the pivotal role of learning and development in change efforts. I presented four points that generated a […]

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Balancing Management and Leadership: What’s Your Power Source?

Should leaders push or pull? Light a fire under people or stoke the fire within? Use position or persuasion power? Control with rules and policies or foster commitment with values and trust? Finding the right balance of management and leadership is a continuous challenge. Less effective managers use position power and get people doing things […]

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Changing Our World: 5 Steps for Coming Out of Our Crisis

In Shakespeare’s play, Hamlet says, “there is nothing good or bad but thinking makes it so.” This has become a widely quoted bit of wisdom. It’s both an ancient truth as a cornerstone of mindfulness and on the leading edge of cognitive psychology. Research on the nature of reality, consciousness, and quantum physics is putting […]

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Powerful Leaders Go Beyond Empowerment to Empartnerment

To fix organizational problems or make major changes, managers often hire consultants to analyze what’s happening and provide improvement recommendations. The consulting firm usually interviews people, runs focus groups, and gathers input from a variety of sources. Lots of good ideas are gathered and the best ones presented to leaders along with a recommended action […]

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Humor at Work: Take my Boss…Please!

If you’re a father, I hope you enjoyed Father’s Day and were treated like a king. Over the years I’ve tried to get our three kids to give me the gift of laughing at all my Dad Jokes for just that one day. Still no luck. I think they’re afraid of pulling a groan muscle. […]

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6 Key Takeaways from LinkedIn’s 2020 Workplace Learning Report

LinkedIn Learning’s 4th Annual 2020 Workplace Learning Report reinforces key trends in boosting leadership and organization effectiveness. This report compiles survey responses from 1,675 Learning and Development professionals, 2,000 learners, and 2,932 managers in North America, Asia-Pacific, and Europe. The survey data looks like it was compiled before the pandemic turned our world upside down, […]

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Is What’s Missing Throwing You Off Your Game?

One of my favorite podcasts is Terry O’Reilly’s “Under the Influence,” focused on the advertising and marketing business. Terry’s a master story-teller. He continually finds unusual and interesting stories to start each podcast. His recent podcast, “Setting the Table: Best Opening Stories,” looked back at his stories from over 300 episodes that generated the most […]

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Are They Resisting Change or Being Changed?

Justin heard that large doses of cod-liver oil were good for his Rottweiler. Each morning he’d put the dog in a headlock, force his jaw open, and pour the oil down his throat. It was always a big fight. One day the dog broke loose, and the oil spilled on the floor. Justin went to […]

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Lip Service or Leadership: Are We Really in This Together?

Over the years, many managers turned, “people are our most important resource” into an empty cliché. Their behavior treated people as “assets with skin” or “human capital.” As one executive put it, “I’d really enjoy my job if I didn’t have to deal with people.” “We’re in this together” is the latest phrase ringing hollow […]

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Thoughts That Make You Go Hmmm on…Partnering not Patronizing

Sam Walton built Bentonville, Arkansas based Wal-Mart into the world’s largest retailer through treating staff as respected partners. One of his legacies was to “treat them as partners and they will treat you as a partner and together you will all perform beyond your wildest expectations.” A scout leader was trying to lift a fallen […]

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Layoffs Rarely Pay Off: Here are 15 Alternatives

Your values are showing. Tough times are when the tide goes out to sea and exposes the jewels or junk that’s been under the surface. Words like, “our people are our most important resource” now prove to be empty rhetoric or compassionate reality. Leaders who care about people and building long-term trust, treat layoffs as […]

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How the Pandemic Could Positively Reboot and Re-energize Our Organizations

We’re in the midst of one of the biggest disruptions of our lives. I’ve been a lifelong collector of failed (often hilarious) predictions and prophesies showing how uncertain life can be. As the old Yiddish adage reminds us, “Man plans, God laughs.” It’s also been said that anyone peering into a crystal ball soon learns […]

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Trust Matters: It’s Critical in These Disruptive Times

Is your organization suffering from truth decay? Honesty, integrity, and trust are critical in chaotic times. We need everyone actively engaged in looking for innovative new ways to deal with unprecedented disruptions. In their study, Innovation by All, Great Place to Work concluded organizations with high-trust cultures involve and engage many more employees than most […]

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Leading the Way: 13 Approaches to Navigate Through the Storm

Many people can sail the ship when the sea is calm. The real test is during fierce storms. Even mediocre managers can get by during calm times. Today’s massive storm calls for strong leadership. The American Pulitzer Prize winning author, Willa Cather once observed, “There are some things you learn best in calm, and some […]

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Tips and Techniques for Leading in Turbulent Times

Shift happens. These days lots of shift is hitting our plans. We don’t choose what changes may hit us, but we choose how to respond. When I catch myself whining or taking a trip to Pity City, I often think of W Mitchell. In his highly inspiring book, It’s Not What Happens to You, It’s […]

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Bounce Back: 9 Ways to Strengthen Resilience

In Japan, the Daruma Doll is a good luck charm with a rounded bottom. When knocked down, it bounces back upright. This ability to bounce back is a symbol of perseverance and good luck. We’re getting knocked down pretty hard. Bouncing back is vital to getting through these tough times. Here are a few ways […]

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We Can’t Let the Pessimism Plague Infect Us As Well

Wouldn’t it be nice if we all woke up this morning and the Coronavirus pandemic was a big April Fool’s joke? Unfortunately, it’s not and won’t go away soon. But it will go away. In 1848 William Blackwood wrote in Blackwood Edinburgh Magazine, “When an Eastern sage was desired by his sultan to inscribe on […]

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Coronavirus Crisis: Reasons for Hope During These Dark Times

As Heather and I work from, and stay home, to be part of the solution, I found myself gorging on way too much negative news. As my sleep and mood deteriorated, I went looking for an antidote to the pessimism plague. I began a search for reasons to be optimistic. One of the first articles […]

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