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Tagged with 'leadership'

Making Teams Work: What’s Your Type and Decision Vision?

In Working with Emotional Intelligence, Daniel Goleman reports on a study by the Center for Creative Leadership of top American and European leaders whose careers derailed, “the inability to build and lead a team was one of the most common reasons for failure.” He goes on to quote a highly successful Silicon Valley venture capitalist, […]

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Only Learning Leaders Can Transform the Extreme Rate of Transformation Failures

As Yogi Berra would say, “It was Deja vu all over again.” Five years earlier, we’d conducted introductory service/quality improvement workshops for senior management and head office staff of a large company. Culture and feedback surveys gathered input before and during these follow-up workshops. The company clearly had problems with low engagement, faltering customer service, […]

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Untangling the Accountability, Systems, and Process Management Knot

Accountability is a mess in many organizations. Often good performers are put into bad processes within systems that subvert rather than support them. “The 85/15 Rule” emerged from decades of root cause analysis of service/quality breakdowns. This showed that roughly 85% of the time the failure is caused by the system, processes, structure, or practices […]

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Lip Sync: Does Your Video Match Your Audio?

Doesn’t it drive you nuts to watch a video where the lips don’t quite match the audio track? According to Vocabulary.com, “The verb sync, an abbreviation for “synchronize,” appeared in 1929 to describe the matching of sound and picture in the new ‘talkies.'” Some managers are badly out of sync. For example, a manager once […]

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Why Most Change Programs and Improvement Initiatives Fail

  I’ve just completed a two-day retreat with a fast-growing leadership team. They scored themselves at the lowest levels we’ve seen on our Team Dynamics Survey. Rarely do we see a leadership team as dysfunctional as this one. Their unique products and growing revenues were papering over many huge cracks and barely holding them together. […]

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Why Teams Often Don’t Work and How to Build Them

  A scout leader was trying to lift a fallen tree from the path. His pack gathered around to watch him struggle. “Are you using all your strength?” one of the scouts asked. “Yes!” was the exhausted and exasperated response. “No. You are not using all your strength,” the scout replied. “You haven’t asked us […]

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What Accounts for the Accountability Mess?

  Accountability is highly subjective. Its meaning depends on whether we’re at the giving or receiving end. Many of us have been lashed with the accountability whip wielded by a blundering manager playing “gotcha games.” Often, accountability is a search for who to punish. The Blame Game and finger-pointing turns problem-solving and performance issues into […]

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Don’t Be an Ass in a Lyin’ Skin

  An Ass found a Lion’s skin left in the forest by a hunter. He dressed himself in it, and amused himself by hiding in a thicket and rushing out suddenly at the animals who passed that way. All took to their heels the moment they saw him.  The Ass was so pleased to see […]

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Love Radiates From the Depths of Our Spirit and Meaning

Valentine’s Day is the perfect time to reflect on the power of love and purpose. As mentioned in my top ten life lessons, I’ve written book chapters and about 200 blogs and articles about love. One of those, posted exactly 12 years ago on Valentine’s Day, was Love is at the Heart of Strong Leadership. Highly […]

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What Are the Most Important Lessons You’ve Learned in Life?

  There’s a quick and easy question! How would you answer it? Life lessons are one of 52 questions I’ve been asked weekly since my last birthday almost a year ago. That’s when our daughter, Jen, gifted me a subscription to Storyworth. The service is designed for older family members to answer a weekly question […]

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Earth Tones: We Need a Climate Change of Hope and Optimism

  “We are on a highway to climate hell with our foot still on the accelerator,” said United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres at an international climate negotiations conference.   “A recent global survey asked 100,000 16- to 20-year-olds about their attitudes to climate change. More than three-quarters thought the future was frightening, and more than […]

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For the L of It: Living and Leading Above the Line

Too many appointed leaders sit on the line and wait rather than taking the initiative and stepping up to make things happen. They follow someone else’s lead. Some slip down below the line and wallow in hopelessness and pessimism — which they’ll often call “being realistic.” They may be called “leaders” by their position. But […]

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Fear Factor: Hiding Mistakes, Anger/Resentment, and Not Communicating

Last of a Six-Part Series on The Tempting Ten Wallow Words (Links to previous parts below)   Most of the Wallow Words in this series have a common cause. Fear. In the depths of the Great Depression, U.S. president Franklin D. Roosevelt famously declared in his first inaugural address in 1933, “The only thing we […]

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More, More, More: I Can’t Get No Satisfaction

  Part Five of a Series on The Tempting Ten Wallow Words (Click to read Parts One, Two, Three, or Four)   How much land does a man need? Russian novelist Leo Tolstoy wrote a short story with this title about Pahom, a peasant farmer who was given a chance for free land. Carrying a […]

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I am Not a Born Leader

Part One of a Series on The Tempting Ten Wallow Words Carl Sandburg, the American historian, poet, and novelist who won two Pulitzer Prizes, once said, “There is an eagle in me that wants to soar, and there is a hippopotamus in me that wants to wallow in the mud.” With today’s urgent streams of […]

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Are You a Micromanaging Snoopervisor?

  During a workshop designed to identify Moose-on-the-Table issues, Jon was surprised by the very clear and strong feedback from his organization that his management group weren’t acting as a team. They contradicted each other, waged petty turf battles, and reinforced departmental silos. Jon’s response was like threatening to cut off an infected arm rather […]

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How to Ensure Screen Time isn’t Scream Time

  A growing number of articles and studies feature debates, research, and advice on returning to the office, working from home, and many hybrids. City cores across North American report office occupancy rates far below pre-pandemic levels. Studies such as those featured in Time magazine show empty office tower escalators with the headline Return-to-Office Full […]

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How to Use Intelligent Failure and Controlled Chaos to Strengthen Agility Ability

  In his article on “Crafting Strategy,” McGill University professor and management author, Henry Mintzberg, provides a good example of innovation and organizational learning in high-performing, agile organizations: “Out in the field, a salesman visits a customer. The product isn’t quite right, and together they work out some modifications. The salesman returns to his company […]

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Higher Hiring: Are You Trying to Teach Frogs to Fly?

Once upon a time, a manager had a frog named Fred working on his team. After returning from a strategic planning retreat, he passionately exclaimed to Fred, “We’re going to open an air courier division! I’m going to teach you to fly!” Fred responded, “I can’t fly. I am a frog, not a bird.” Disappointed […]

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Generating Keen Energy That Electrifies a Powerful Culture

Managers often hire consultants to help them solve major organizational problems. The consultant will interview key leaders and staff, run focus groups, and gather input from a variety of sources. Many ideas are sifted through, and the most relevant one presented to management along with the consultant’s recommended action plan. What’s too often a sad […]

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