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How Customer-Centered is Your Organization?

Is your organization’s customer service lower than you’d like it to be? Does your customer service training create some short-term change, but then after the training, behaviors revert back to the way things were before? Do members of your team agree conceptually that you exist to serve your customer, but then make decisions that are […]

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Tips, Tools, and Techniques for…Building a High Performance Culture

Uncover and tap into deeper meaning and values already in the culture. Tell stories that honor the past and highlight the rich heritage of your organization. Link recognition, appreciation, or celebration to these. Lead change with examples of how the organization has gone through tough times or major changes like these before. Appeal to a […]

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Building a High Performance Culture

Southwest Airlines founder Herb Kelleher said, “It’s the intangibles that are the hardest things for a competitor to imitate. You can get an airplane. You can get ticket-counter space; you can get baggage conveyors. But it is our esprit des corps – the culture, the spirit – that is truly our most valuable competitive asset.” […]

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Tips, Tools, and Techniques for…Taking Responsibility for Choices

Following are a few “how to” steps from the Responsibility for Choices section of the new workshop I have designed around The Leader’s Digest: Timeless Principles for Team and Organization Success. You might want to share and discuss them with your team. Identify common “victim speak” used within your team. This might include blaming other […]

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Favorite July Improvement Points

Improvement Points is a free service providing a key thought or quotation from one of my articles, provided three times per week, directly to your e-mail inbox. Each complimentary Improvement Point links directly into the full article on our web site that spawned it. If you’d like to read more about that day’s Improvement Point, […]

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Thoughts That Make You Go Hmmmmm…. on Leading Organizational Change

“Everything has been said before, but since nobody listens we have to keep going back and beginning all over again.” André Gide, French writer, “The Immoralist” “The statistics on implementing strategy are abysmal. Seven out of ten organizations fail to execute strategies. It’s not that they have bad strategies it’s just that they can’t execute.” […]

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Convincing Command and Control Managers to Involve Employees in the Planning Process

A reader asked, “When working with senior managers that come from a ‘command and control’ background, how do you work with them on the power of involvement of more of the employees in the planning process?” That’s a great question! If I had the magic answer I’d be the Bill Gates of the training and […]

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Quick Q & A on Teaching Managers How to Have Effective Performance Review Discussions

Jim, I enjoy reading your newsletter. I’m looking for a “best practice” in the area of teaching managers how to have effective performance review conversations. I don’t want this to be limited to just conversations with poor performers, but with all employees. Any ideas? Thanks, Bob Hi Bob, You’re asking a very broad question. The […]

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Process Mapping Stops “The Blame Game”

The downside of today’s focus on accountability and performance management is a fragmented view of how work flows across every organization. As a result departmental silos are reinforced and way too much finger pointing occurs. This leads to a culture of “if it’s not our fault, it must be yours.” I love to get examples […]

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Why Change Processes Fail

A new consulting Client is struggling with organizational change in an industry that is experiencing rapid change. The pressures on this company to reduce costs while improving customer service is some of the most ruthless we’ve seen. We’re helping them completely overhaul their systems and processes as well as leadership practices and culture. Understandably, there’s […]

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Practicing Safe Leadership

Few managers deliberately set out to hurt, sicken, or kill people in their organization. Yet many managers (often unconsciously) accept that there will always be some injuries and, regrettably, maybe even a death. Many times these incidents are called “accidents.” Too often, they are the predictable outcome of a culture, process, and system that is […]

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When Team Members Don’t Pull Their Weight

Within a few days I received two e-mails asking for help dealing with a team member who was unmotivated and a loner who doesn’t care about the team, doing the minimum required to get by. In one case the person writing to me was a peer of the team member. In the other case, he […]

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Tips, Tools, and Techniques for…Taking Responsibility for Choices

Following are a few “how to” steps from the Responsibility for Choices section of the new workshop I have designed around Leader’s Digest: Timeless Principles for Team and Organization Success. You might want to share and discuss them with your team. Identify common “victim speak” used within your team. This might include blaming other departments […]

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July issue of the Leader Letter

The July issue of the Leader Letter is now available. It contains some of the “greatest hits” from the blog, so it’s a useful recap if you’ve been too busy to keep up. Click here to view the July edition on-line Click here for a printer-friendly version Click here to view the PDF version**

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Thoughts That Make You Go Hmmmmm….on Continuous Personal Development

“The most fatal illusion is the settled point of view. Since life is growth and motion, a fixed point of view kills anybody who has one.” – Brooks Atkinson, drama critic “Unless you try to do something beyond what you have already mastered, you will never grow.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson, American writer/philosopher “If we […]

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Favorite Improvement Points for June

Poorly designed organizations, ineffective processes, bureaucratic systems, unaligned rewards, unclear customer/partner focus, fuzzy visions, values, and purpose, unskilled team leaders and members, cluttered goals and priorities, low trust levels, and weak measurements and feedback loops all cause communication problems. Whenever a manager contacts us to solve a “communication problem,” we always know we have some […]

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Boosting Your Emotional Intelligence

I came across the emerging research on emotional intelligence about 10 years ago. Having focused much of my own personal development on these issues and then making the training and development of these “soft” skills my life’s work since 1981, I was really excited by this new research. Finally we had hard proof for the […]

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Measuring My Growth

The title of my fourth book, Growing the Distance (now available on our web site as an e-book download), reflects its focus on personal growth for personal, career, and family success. Following is an exercise taken from it’s Personal Implementation Guide. Both Growing the Distance and the Personal Implementation Guide are now part of an […]

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Growing the Distance Survey Results

As most of you know by now, I’m currently working toward the Fall release of my latest book, Moose-on-the-Table: Courageous Conversations in the Workplace. Last month I surveyed readers of Growing the Distance to get some feedback, and also see what new products and services would be of interest in the future. One of the […]

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Try to Remember…My Most Memorable Articles

A web site that posts a number of my articles for their visitors/members asked me which are the three most memorable articles that I have penned in my career. The editor was having a tough time choosing from the approximately 250 articles and columns available on our website (see https://www.clemmergroup.com/resources/articles/for the index). I replied that […]

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