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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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Archived Webinar Now Available: “Ground Breaking New Approaches to Leadership and Coaching Development”

Would you like to: Increase employee engagement by up to 8 times? Double/triple leader’s 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? Double rates of improvement from 360 feedback? Sounds farfetched, I know. It might even sound like […]

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Keys to Strengthening Hardiness and 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. The doll is modelled after Bodhidharma, a Buddhist monk who founded Zen about 15 centuries ago. Legend has it he mediated […]

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Review of “Strengths-Based Coaching in Organizations” by Doug MacKie

Positive Psychology’s focus on identifying and developing strengths aligns strongly with executive development and leadership coaching. Once leaders understand the logic and power of strengths-based approaches the reaction is often “but of course.” However, taking for granted what’s right is hard and looking for what’s wrong is wired deep in our primordial brain. Organizational psychologist […]

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Good Question: Following Up our Essential Elements Webinar

Last month I delivered a 45 minute webinar on Essential Elements of Leadership, Coaching, and Culture Development (click the link to review the archived session). This was followed by 15 minutes of audience Q & A. Here a few more good questions I wasn’t able to get to in our brief time together: Q: Is […]

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Organizational Restructuring: Do it with Them, Not to Them

Recently I was talking with two executives about our approach for an upcoming leadership team retreat. We discussed their retreat objectives, possible agenda items, pre-assessment options, and who would participate. They’d recently brought together four departments into one service organization. They talked about rebuilding their organization structure and how to “fit the puzzle pieces together.” […]

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Fixing Performance Management: What’s the Point ?

What’s your experience with performance reviews? How energizing and helpful are they — to give or receive? Do performance reviews enhance, stunt, or do little for increasing effectiveness? Do you look forward to performance discussions with excitement or dread? The October issue of Harvard Business Review features an article on “The Performance Management Revolution.” The […]

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Focusing on Strengths Webinar: What Extraordinary Leaders Do Differently

Peter Drucker first advised building strengths in the 1960s and it became a constant theme throughout his work. In 1990 psychology researcher and professor, Martin Seligman, published his book, Learned Optimism, and launched the positive psychology movement. In 2001, Marcus Buckingham and Donald Clifton, their book, Now, Discover Your Strengths. I read, reread, and cited […]

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Culture Crash Causes the High Failure Rate of Leadership Training

About 10 years ago we customized a series of leadership training workshops for a large company. Over the next few years nearly 1,000 supervisors and managers went through the two-day workshops. Ratings were high and participants reported numerous positive outcomes and benefits from attending. However, senior executives didn’t participate and we weren’t able to get […]

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Resilience, Positivity, and the Power of Leadership

I grew up in the small farming community of Milverton, Ontario, in Perth County just north of Stratford. Arden Barker was a farmer, local politician, and well-known community builder. His wife Helen was also very active in the community and wrote a weekly newspaper column filled with her wit, experiences, observations, and philosophies. Helen was […]

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