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Tagged with 'harvard business review'

Powerful Leaders Go Beyond Empowerment to Empartnerment

To fix organizational problems or make major changes, managers often hire consultants to analyze what’s happening and provide improvement recommendations. The consulting firm usually interviews people, runs focus groups, and gathers input from a variety of sources. Lots of good ideas are gathered and the best ones presented to leaders along with a recommended action […]

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Thoughts That Make You Go Hmmm on…Partnering not Patronizing

Sam Walton built Bentonville, Arkansas based Wal-Mart into the world’s largest retailer through treating staff as respected partners. One of his legacies was to “treat them as partners and they will treat you as a partner and together you will all perform beyond your wildest expectations.” A scout leader was trying to lift a fallen […]

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Trust Matters: It’s Critical in These Disruptive Times

Is your organization suffering from truth decay? Honesty, integrity, and trust are critical in chaotic times. We need everyone actively engaged in looking for innovative new ways to deal with unprecedented disruptions. In their study, Innovation by All, Great Place to Work concluded organizations with high-trust cultures involve and engage many more employees than most […]

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Bounce Back: 9 Ways to Strengthen 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. We’re getting knocked down pretty hard. Bouncing back is vital to getting through these tough times. Here are a few ways […]

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Constructive or Destructive: Is Feedback Stoking or Stifling Performance?

At our youngest daughter’s sixth birthday party, a five year- old boy hit Vanessa on the head. Asked to apologize, he politely refused: “Mr. Clemmer, I don’t apologize unless I see teeth marks or blood.” Many managers don’t realize the problems they’re creating unless they see teeth marks or blood. The most insensitive managers are […]

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Dunking Trainees in the Training Tank Often Makes Things Worse

Recently a training director asked for a customer service training workshop. As we discussed what she was looking for, it became clear she wanted “customer courtesy” or “smile 101” training. I asked about senior leaders’ active involvement in building a customer-centered culture. Nope. They wanted her to fix the frontline to make happier customers. Been […]

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Charisma Confusion: It’s Often a Weakness and Humility a Strength

Is humility a key trait of highly effective leaders? Are charismatic leaders who can stir strong emotions more effective leaders? Questions about these intertwined leadership characteristics recently came up in workshops and online discussions. Charismatic leadership seems to especially confuse many people. It’s a popular media stereotype of strong leadership. As much as I enjoy […]

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To Reason Why: Are You Leading on Purpose?

This summer, 181 American CEOs of the Business Roundtable signed a “Statement on the Purpose of a Corporation.” For over twenty years, the Roundtable’s Principles of Governance have declared that “corporations exist principally to serve shareholders.” The revised statement replaces the single-minded shareholder focus with “CEOs who commit to lead their companies for the benefit […]

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How to Avoid Being Blindsided by Change

In 2004, Bill Gates told a group at the World Economic Forum “two years from now, spam will be solved.” Right. Like cockroaches, spam could survive a nuclear holocaust. This is one in an incredibly long list of expert forecasts that are ludicrously wrong. In 1995 co-inventor of the Ethernet, Robert Metcalfe, told us the […]

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Are You Being Poisoned by a Toxic Culture?

During a retreat with the leadership team of a large healthcare organization, we were running a little behind schedule so I said we’d move fairly quickly through the Responsibility for Choices principle in our leadership discussion. Fortunately, an astute participant piped up with, “Jim, I think we need to talk about our ‘blaming and disclaiming’ […]

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Are You Taking Care of Busyness?

How many times has this happened to you? You FINALLY take the time (often not that much) to learn a skill or connect with an expert and wind up with time savings that pay back again and again: You’re struggling to find a shortcut in MS Word that you think will save time. After endless […]

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Do Your Meetings Suck? How do You Know?

Raise your hand if you’re an above average driver. According to the American Automobile Association, 73% of drivers feel they’re better than average — a statistical impossibility. How’s your meeting leadership? You likely feel that many meetings you attend suck. That’s because…many do. Too often meetings suck time and energy out of everyone. And most […]

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Stupid Busy: Is Your Leadership Team Overloading Your Organization?

For decades, Harvard professor Michael Porter has studied, written about, and consulted top companies and countries on competitive strategy. He’s found that “the essence of strategy is choosing what not to do.” A recent issue of Harvard Business Review features an article on “Too Many Projects.” Authors Rose Hollister and Michael Watkins write, “Leaders keep […]

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Webinar: What to Do About the Performance Review?

What’s your experience with performance reviews? How energizing and helpful are they — to give or receive? Do you look forward to performance discussions with excitement or dread? Do performance reviews in your organization boost, block, or befuddle effectiveness? In a Harvard Business Review article on “The Performance Management Revolution,” the authors write, “hated by […]

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Time to Assess How You’re Using Your Time?

An old fable tells of a farmer with a wagon brimming full of cabbage heading to a new market. He stops for directions and asks, “How far is it to the market?” The man replies, “It’s about an hour if you go slowly but if you rush it will take all day.” It was a […]

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The Purpose Motive: Why Does Your Organization Exist?

The cover article in the latest issue of Harvard Business Review focuses on “Creating a Purpose-Driven Organization.” Business school professors Robert Quinn and Anjan Thakor report “when an authentic purpose permeates business strategy and decision making, the personal good and the collective good become one. Positive peer pressure kicks in, and employees are re-energized. Collaboration […]

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Coaching Head Check: Do You See Eagles or Turkeys?

A leader’s coaching skills are vital today. Millennials especially want direct feedback and supportive guidance. Leaders aspiring to build coaching skills need to do a “check up from the neck up.” Am I in a growth or fixed mindset about the people I am coaching? Ineffective managers ask, “How am I expected to soar with […]

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Do You Read to Lead and Succeed?

Read. Lead. Succeed. We’ve been using that tagline on bookmarks, our web site, and other development materials for years. It’s not just three catchy words that rhyme. There’s plenty of evidence to show that many highly effective leaders are avid readers. In his Harvard Business Review article, “For Those Who Want to Lead, Read,” John […]

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Escape the Speed Trap: Lead Smarter, Not Faster

I once sat through a frantic, high-energy presentation by an author on knowledge management. He deluged us with a flood of statistics showing how the world’s knowledge was growing at mind-blowing rates. The gist of his presentation was that we need to re-train our brains to absorb more information at faster rates so we could […]

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Succession Planning: From Piecemeal Programs to Integrated Strategy

Studies show a growing sense of urgency for succession planning. One survey found 92% of respondents felt it was risky not to have a succession plan for key employees but only 25% of companies feel they’ve identified adequate successor candidates and less than half have a process for developing candidates. Other research shows 70% of […]

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