Close

Blog

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 […]

Read post »

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 […]

Read post »

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 […]

Read post »

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? […]

Read post »

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 […]

Read post »

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 […]

Read post »

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 […]

Read post »

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 […]

Read post »

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 […]

Read post »

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 […]

Read post »

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 […]

Read post »

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 […]

Read post »

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. […]

Read post »

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 […]

Read post »

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 […]

Read post »

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 […]

Read post »

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 […]

Read post »

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 […]

Read post »

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 […]

Read post »

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 […]

Read post »