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We Can’t Separate Personal and Professional

On the eve of his retirement from Industry Canada, Brian Johnstone sent me a thoughtful and reflective e-mail. With his permission, I am sharing a portion of it that draws the critical connection between personal and professional success. “Jim, your articles continue to provide focus and inspiration for me. I’m preparing to retire and this […]

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Forming Leadership Habits: Leadership Tips and Techniques

There are about as many views and definitions of what encompasses “leadership” as there are experts in this field. There is one point that most leadership researchers and developers agree on: leaders are made, not born. Leaders are rarely naturals. But the ultimate level of mastery is to make it look natural. The great Italian […]

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Emotional Intelligence Even More Important in Electronic Age

Milli Murray sent me the following e-mail in response to an item on Emotional Intelligence in the August issue of The Leader Letter. She makes an excellent point on how EI is becoming ever more important. It’s clearly a major factor in leadership effectiveness. “I really enjoyed the article on Emotional Intelligence. In an age […]

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Powerful Proof That Leaders Are Made, Not Born

For over thirty years I’ve believed to the core of my being that high performers are made, not born. Otherwise I would have given up long ago! When I was a sales trainer with Culligan Water Conditioning back in the seventies I wrote a fictitious (and facetious) series of birth and death announcements making fun […]

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Hey! That’s Me!

During our family vacation in Prince Edward Island last month, Heather purchased a fridge magnet for me. It couldn’t have been more timely or appropriate this summer given the work we’re doing to finish up and then launch Moose on the Table: A Novel Approach to Communications @ Work. The magnet had a cartoon with […]

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What’s New? Who Cares? What Really Matters is what Works!

I am often asked what’s new in leadership or organization development. But what’s most important to improvement isn’t what’s new. It’s what works. Ultimately it’s our improvement action that determines our performance results. The effectiveness of that action hinges upon our follow through. Our learning and leadership or personal development is highly dependent on our […]

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Tips, Tools, and Techniques for…Leading a Customer-Centered Organization

Here are a few of the hundreds of “leadership action menu ideas” from my Leading a Customer-Centered Organization workshop resource workbook: Train frontline service staff in how to systematically identify root causes of service/quality problems and involve them in a continuous improvement process. Provide a process for frontline service staff to track and systematically analyze […]

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Most Popular August 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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Teaching Managers How to Have Effective Performance Review Discussions

Last month I ran a short question and my short response to a reader looking for a “’best practice’ in the area of teaching managers how to have effective performance review conversations….not just with poor performers but with all employees.” You can read this item here. After reading this exchange on my blog, a (clearly […]

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Thoughts That Make You Go Hmmmmm on…. Participation and Involvement

“No one is apathetic except those in pursuit of someone else’s objectives” Henry Ford, American automobile pioneer “Leadership is not so much the exercise of power as the empowerment of others. Leaders lead by pulling rather than by pushing; by creating achievable, challenging expectations and rewarding progress toward them, rather than by manipulating; by enabling […]

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Broadening the Change Focus

Hi Jim Just to say thanks very much for the very useful insight you give in your regular updates. They are an inspiration. One book I have just completed which you may have already read, but if not I would highly recommend is by John Seddon called “In pursuit of Quality – the case against […]

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Involved and Active Listening is Key to Strong Leadership

In August I posted my top three “Favorite July Improvement Points” Here are two comments left by visitors: “The challenge that I see as one of the ‘masses’ is there is a huge disconnect between what some leaders say and what they actually do. With the healthcare worker shortage now is the time to start […]

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Leading Generation X

A web site visitor read my The Leader’s Digest excerpt “A Tale of Two Managers: Command versus Commitment” (contrasting Joel and Denise’s management/leadership approaches) and sent me this e-mail. My response follows. “For two years I have been managing a team of thirteen GenX contract staff working in a client’s site. We have twenty percent […]

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Customer-Focused IT

IT professionals who are very technically strong – even nerdy – but weak in “people skills” have become a stereotyped joke in many organizations. But with the increasingly critical role IT plays in organizational success, fewer people are laughing. Last month I wrote about how I have used the burgeoning research on Emotional Intelligence in […]

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Moose Crossing Ahead

This month our marketing director, Aidan Crawford, and I are furiously finalizing the production of my new book, Moose on the Table: A Novel Approach to Communications @ Work and its release. Aidan’s technology skills have been a wonderful addition to The CLEMMER Group in reshaping, continually improving, and updating our web site and digital […]

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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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