Close

Blog

Cultivating Leadership… and the Garden with Timeless Principles

I adapted an article called “Cultivating Leadership” from The Leader’s Digest for Restaurant News. It outlines the differences between management and leadership, and uses my personal gardening analogy to discuss the nurturing aspect of leadership. You can view the article here. I write a column for a local publication here in the Waterloo Region called […]

Read post »

Too Many Trips to the Zoo

I just finished delivering a highly customized two day Leading @ the Speed of Change workshop with a delightful Client at a ranch resort in the foothills of Alberta’s beautiful Rocky mountains. This was a group of 21 managers and supervisors for a mid sized family business. They were highly participative and keen to improve […]

Read post »

Spring Reading

My favorite leadership book of the nineties is Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies by Jim Collins and Jerry Porras. I have referred to and quoted from this profound book many times since reading it in 1994. Based on extensive research of 18 “visionary companies” and 18 corresponding “comparison companies,” the authors explore […]

Read post »

Now That’s Refreshing! Newsletter Feedback Rejuvenates and Re-energizes

I invest about a day per month in writing my monthly Leader Letter. Our support staff then spend about the same amount of time fixing my mistakes, cleaning up after me, and “prettying it up.” I do get fairly frequent e-mails and comments from people I meet at various speaking engagements and workshops about how […]

Read post »

Favorite April Improvement Points

“I love the format of your articles on the Improvement Points e-mails.” Wendy Morin, VP of HR & Administration, Central One Federal Credit Union, Shrewsbury, MA 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 […]

Read post »

What I’m Reading

Our local daily newspaper runs a feature in their book section each Saturday asking local personalities and community leaders what they’re reading. Here’s what ran in The Record on the same day as the world famous Elmira Maple Syrup Festival (the little town of Elmira, ON swells in size by ten times for this event […]

Read post »

Changing Me to Change Them and Other Lessons Learned

Each year I run a public Leading @ the Speed of Change workshop here in my hometown of Kitchener, Ontario (just 45 minutes from the Toronto airport). Since my keynotes and workshops are always private sessions tailored specifically to the organization or association I’m working for, this is one of the few opportunities most people […]

Read post »

Thoughts That Make You Go Hmmmmm….on Meeting Effectiveness

“In the last few decades much research has proven the superiority of group decision making over that of even the brightest individual in the group. There is one exception to this rule. If the group lacks harmony or the ability to cooperate, decision-making quality and speed suffer. Research at Cambridge University found that even groups […]

Read post »

Soft Skills Becoming More Important In Highly Technical Environments

An editor for a major Information Technology (IT) publishing firm contacted me for an interview on how the Chief Information Officer (CIO) and IT staff have a tendency to focus narrowly on technology and down play teamwork, communication, and “people issues.” But, as she rightly pointed out, “soft skills are becoming increasingly important as IT […]

Read post »

Why So Many Organizational Change Programs Fail

One organizational problem that keeps repeating itself is the high failure rate for implementing new organizational improvement efforts like increasing customer service levels, re-structuring, mergers/acquisitions, introducing new technologies, performance management systems, leadership training, and the like. I recently wrote an article on this recurring problem for a new column I am writing for HR Professional […]

Read post »

Verbal Communications and Meeting Effectiveness

Within a few minutes of my article excerpt below going out through our Improvement Points service, I received Larry Beckon’s e-mail. April 18 – Improvement Point “There are many ways we can continually improve our verbal communication skills. These might include joining Toastmasters, taking a public speaking course, getting personal video based speaking feedback, personal […]

Read post »

Key notes on my keynotes

Keynote speaking is in the midst of a major transition reflecting the larger customer-is-in-control forces at work in our society. Not too many years ago, a well known keynote speaker proudly declared, “I don’t change my speech, I just change my audiences.” Old fashioned shades of Henry Ford’s often quoted comment that his customers could […]

Read post »

Growing and Developing Others

One of the amzing things about the internet is the reach it allows. Here is an exchange I had from Kishore in India. “Jim I have read most of your books and passed on your books to my friends. I have been following your writings for more than 6 years now. I am currently writing […]

Read post »

The birth of a book

As I am working on my latest book, (a fable about Moose-on-the-Table) I reflected back to 2003 and the the publication of last book, The Leader’s Digest. I was asked if the arrival of my fifth book (technically this is my seventh since the “new” Firing on All Cylinders was expanded and totally rewritten for […]

Read post »

Attention Deficit Disorder is Becoming a Major Management/Organizational Crisis

Recently an Improvement Points subscriber sent me this e-mail after “A colleague recently forwarded one of your ‘Improvement Points’ newsletters to me (Stop Working and Start Living) and it was right on the money for what I needed to hear that day. Today I am an employee that has been recently moved to a leadership […]

Read post »

Who is in Control of Your Time?

Many managers are getting sucked into an incredible vortex of busyness and daily fire fighting. It’s becoming a bigger and bigger challenge to keep themselves and others focused and strategic in this 24/7, always-on, Blackberry culture. This is a large and rapidly growing problem that we are seeing in more and more organizations. When left […]

Read post »

Feedback That Fuels my Tank

Just after the April issue of my monthly newsletter, The Leader Letter, was sent out I received the following e-mail. Since subscribers don’t pay for the service – and it takes me at least a day a month to produce – feedback like this provides a bit of “psychic pay” for all this “voluntary labor!” […]

Read post »

Moving from Victim to Navigator

A subscriber who has read The Leader’s Digest “for about the 6th or 7th time” (he’s going to know the book better than me!), sent an e-mail asking about the section in the book entitled “Steering the Course” (page 59), where I discuss the three choices of Navigator, Survivor, or Victim. This discussion is always […]

Read post »

Working in the Team versus Working on the Team

A growing problem we see with many management teams in less than outstanding organizations, is they don’t feel they can afford to take time out from hectic daily operations to step back, look at their effectiveness, and refocus their work. In other words, they have no time to learn. About one month after finishing a […]

Read post »

What I’m reading

Our local daily newspaper runs a feature in the book section each Saturday asking local personalities and community leaders what they’re reading. Here’s what ran in The Record on the same day as the world famous Elmira Maple Syrup Festival (the little town of Elmira, ON swells in size by ten times for this event […]

Read post »