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How to Boost Leadership Team (and Culture) Performance

Many organizations are struggling with low or mediocre levels of employee engagement, customer service, quality, safety, productivity, and innovation. This reflects uninspiring cultures of mediocrity created by harried leaders madly scrambling to keep up. An organization’s culture ripples out from the senior leadership team leading it. In “Is Your Leadership Team Slipping into These Traps?” […]

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How Coachable Are You and Your Leaders?

Often a “dragon investor” on the Dragon’s Den TV show or a “shark investor” on the Shark Tank show will decide not to invest in a hopeful contestant’s company because he or she feels the budding entrepreneur isn’t “coachable.” An article in Entrepreneur magazine on how to attract venture capital investors lists coachability as one […]

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Great Places to Work Reflect Great Cultures = Great Results

Fortune magazine has just published this year’s list of “100 Best Companies to Work For.” Since 1998 the research and consulting firm, Great Place to Work, has been conducting the most extensive employee survey in corporate America. Drawing feedback from more than 232,000 employees at companies with more than 1,000 employees, measurements are ranked and […]

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How “Bring Me Solutions, Not Problems” Causes Huge Problems

Putting too many monkeys on his or her back is a common frustration of many leaders. This happens when a team member approaches the leader with a problem or issue (“a monkey”) and the leader adds it the tribe of howling monkeys on his or her back. In discussing “monkey management” methods, workshop/retreat participants will […]

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7 Leadership Team Failure Factors

When our kids were young I was often reminded of the old adage “children act like their parents — despite all attempts to teach them good manners.” When one of our kids did something I wasn’t especially pleased with, I found myself asking “where did you learn that?” When I stood back and I reflect on […]

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Webinar: The Absolutely Vital Practice of Managers Giving Positive Feedback

Years ago I reported to Harold, a leader who proudly described his MBE approach —  “management by exception.” “If you haven’t heard from me, that’s a good sign,” he explained. “That means I think you’re doing just fine. I only deal with the exceptions. I look for problems and people that need correcting. Those are […]

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Nine Reasons Leaders Aren’t Leading

What percent of time do you or your leaders spend among these three areas: Solving technical problems or applying your technical expertise? Using data and analytical skills, sending/receiving e-mails, planning, directing, and decision making? Talking individually or collectively with people inside and outside your organization, coaching, developing, and inspiring action? Have you lost your balance? […]

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Don’t Blame the Frontline, Look at Their Leader

A sign in a diner read, “Customers who feel our servers are rude should see the manager.” How true. Servers often reflect the level of service they are getting from their leaders. Rude or insensitive managers create that culture. As a customer, I’d rather not find out just how rude the manager is! Many organizations […]

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Practical Ways Leaders Can Model Culture Change

A department, division, or organization’s culture ripples out from its leadership team. A team that wants to change “them” needs to start with a deep look in the mirror to change “us.” Organizational behavior reflects leadership team behavior. This is much like an old parenting adage, “children are natural mimics; they act like their parents […]

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Is Your Leadership Team Slipping into These Traps?

Check all that apply: Speed Traps and Tyranny of the Urgent – flooded by e-mails, endless meetings, and crisis management our team is often reactive and loses sight of the big picture. Partial and Piecemeal Programs – leadership development, succession planning, customer service, lean, safety, talent/performance management, IT systems, executive coaching, are separate programs not well linked […]

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Redefining Performance Management: How Celgene and General Motors are Approaching the Challenge

Studies show that performance appraisals improve performance 1/3 of the time, reduce it 1/3 of the time, and has no effect the other 1/3 of the time. Clearly we have a problem. This abysmal performance of performance management has caused traditional performance appraisals to be abandoned by a third of U.S. firms. A vital question […]

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Shades of Gray: Leading in the Paradox of Opposing Ideas

F. Scott Fitzgerald said, “The test of first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still be able to function.” The highest levels of leadership and happiness often come from living in the paradox between two rights. For example, we need to balance the need […]

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From Driving and Directing to Coaching and Developing

Recently I was coaching, “John,” a very successful entrepreneur who’d built his company from a small to mid-sized player in their industry. His goal was to become one of the major companies in their market. We were reviewing his 360 assessment report. Feedback from 21 direct reports, peers, and others rated him very high in […]

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Slow Down or Die

A road sign on a winding mountain highway warned, “Slow Down or Die.” Simple, succinct, and great life advice as well. If day after day of stressful racing around doesn’t manage to physically kill us before our time, it will surely kill our happiness and enjoyment in being here. Here are a few tips for […]

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Nature’s Might Law is Change

“I hate all this change. Why can’t things just stay the same?” Dirk shouted angrily at the TV news anchor. He threw a pillow at the TV screen and clicked it off with a snort. Suddenly a hissing noise arose from the corner of the room and green, shimmering mist filled the air. Dirk stood […]

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Webinar: The Tango of Speed and Quality – The Key to Achieving Both

Start the New Year learning how to tango! Many leaders believe it’s a trade-off; you can do it fast or you can do it right, but you can’t have both. Drawing from assessments of 75,000 global leaders Zenger Folkman proves that while many believe it can’t be done, the best leaders are already doing it. […]

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Beyond the Doom and Gloom: Over 65 Ways Our World Keeps Getting Better

We’re naturally wired to look for what’s wrong — or could go wrong — and overlook what’s right — or ignore the high likelihood that things will work out. We also live in a world where the dealers in disaster who can stoke our fears get the most attention. Videos of horrendous crimes or fake […]

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Review of “Speed: How Leaders Accelerate Successful Execution”

Impermanence and constant change has always been one of nature’s mighty laws. Today that pace is accelerating. Organizations are turning to Agile, Lean, and other strategies to become a victor, rather than victim, of change. An organization’s speed is set by its leaders. In their newest book, Speed: How Leaders Accelerate Successful Execution, Jack Zenger […]

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Year End Reflections on Leadership Behaviors

Recently Laurie Wilhelm, editor of the online publication, Realizing Leadership, interviewed me on a range of leadership topics. It was a stimulating conversation. She summarized our discussion in a Q & A article now available on our web site at “Leadership Behaviors“. Given my meandering musings on a very broad topic, Laurie did an excellent […]

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Stepping Up to Avoid Wallowing in the Swamp

The December 1 issue of Fortune magazine has an in-depth profile of Satya Nadalla, the new CEO of Microsoft entitled “The Man Who is Transforming Microsoft.” Writer, Andrew Nusca, was “on the road with Satya Nadella’s traveling rival show” during a recent whirlwind tour of Europe. During those busy few days Andrew gained insights into […]

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