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In the topic 'Building Team Spirit'


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End Meeting Madness: Decide How to Decide

In a senior leadership team retreat last week, decision-making and meeting effectiveness emerged as a barrier during our moose hunting exercise. Meetings are more important than ever in our complex and interconnected world. Research clearly shows that when run effectively, groups make better decisions than individuals do. Effective meetings involve and engage participants in problem-solving […]

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Bright Managers Often Race Headlong Into this Trap

During a keynote presentation on balancing technical expertise, management, and leadership at a company conference of senior managers, I discussed how very smart managers with deep technical expertise frequently direct rather than develop others (often seen as micromanaging). Really bright “techno-managers” can come across as “if I want any of your ideas, I’ll give them […]

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How Leaders Cause Their Teams/Organizations to Sink or Soar

The leading edge of an airplane wing is critical to slicing through the air and directing airflow around the wing to create lift. Leaders form the leading edge of their teams or organizations. He or she shapes everyone’s energy and behaviors. Highly effective leaders and outstanding leadership teams create powerful lift. Their teams and organizations […]

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Ten Essential Vitamins to Avoid Meeting Indigestion

Last week we discussed research on the big problem with Binge Meeting Disorder and how ineffective meeting leaders create this major waste of time and energy. When leaders sharpen their meeting leadership skills and practice good meeting hygiene, team collaboration, psychological safety to speak up, team results, engagement, and energy levels soar. Many pre-post studies […]

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Are You Suffering from Binge Meeting Disorder ?

Is your organization meeting itself to death? Do you often feel like you are in the midst of a meeting frenzy? Do you sometimes want to poke yourself with a sharp object to keep from screaming when a meeting drags on and on? How do your meeting participants feel? Meeting research shows that executive time […]

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How to Vision Your Ideal Team or Culture

As outlined in my last blog, step two of “8 Vital Steps for Executive Teamwork and Organization Development” is visioning your ideal culture (or team). For years I’ve used variations of this critical step for team building, culture development, conflict resolution, strategic planning, etc., at Leadership Team Retreats. Many leaders confuse goal setting and visioning. […]

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8 Vital Steps for Executive Teamwork and Organization Development

We’d just finished facilitating a two-day offsite retreat with an international resources company when I came back to my office to find the June issue of Harvard Business Review with a feature article on “The Secrets of Great Teamwork.” The authors — two management and organization behavior professors at Wharton and INSEAD — were reporting […]

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Leaders Need to Address the One Bad Apple That Can Rot the Team

Terence Mitchell, professor of management, organization, and psychology at the University of Washington Business School, along with doctoral student William Felps “analyzed about two dozen published studies that focused on how teams and groups of employees interact, and specifically how having bad teammates can destroy a good team.” They concluded: “A single ‘toxic’ or negative […]

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Thoughts That Make You Go Hmmm from… “Deepening Community”

  Community is one of those words that have many meanings, primarily because the experience of community is so diverse and rich. Community can help shape our identity as a collective and interdependent people. It creates the opportunity for us to care for and about others and, in turn, to be cared for, the key […]

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Deepening Community: Finding Joy Together in Chaotic Times

I’ve known Paul Born for many years and have deep respect for his work founding the Tamarack Institute for Community Engagement in 2001. Their community-based work has reduced poverty for 250,000 people in Canada and many other countries. When Paul gave me a copy of his latest book I expected it would center on his […]

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Leveraging Strengths and Building Team Spirit

I was working with a highly energized financial services team who really connected with the power of strengths-based leadership. Part of our discussion centered on the story of a 7th grade teacher who had each student write down what they felt was the greatest strength of each of their peers (see “The Enduring Impact of […]

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The Six Steps to Trust

Trust is a very slippery concept to grasp. Everyone agrees it’s vital to leadership. But what are its core components? And what are the steps to building trust? If a leader in our Extraordinary Leader Development System is rated as trustworthy but wants to be ranked in the 10% of leaders on trust, how does […]

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Dispelling Common Myths about Likability and Leadership Effectiveness

“I don’t care about being liked, I just want to be respected,” is a statement repeated by many less than extraordinary leaders. Trapped in either/or thinking, these narrowly-focused leaders often push hard for results while leaving a trail of damaged relationships and enervated people scattered behind them. Facebook COO, Sheryl Sandberg, is perpetuating a related […]

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What’s Your Me/We Ratio?

Fellow professional speaker and good friend, Donald Cooper, makes this excellent point in his December newsletter: “In many conversations with business owners and their teams I’ve been amazed and distressed at how many business owners use ‘I’ and ‘my’ when they should be using “we” and “our”. They constantly say, ‘I did this and I […]

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Shared Secrets from the Cirque

If you’ve never taken in one of the amazing and spectacular shows of the Cirque du Soleil, you really need to treat yourself and see one. Cirque travels extensively to major cities and have permanent shows with elaborate stages and buildings in Las Vegas. One of my favorite shows of all time is their The […]

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Three Keys to Leading a Virtual Team

Today’s organizations are spanning geographic and departmental boundaries. Increasingly people — especially white collar professionals — are on teams whose members don’t all work in the same location. Telecommuting and cross-functional/regional/country collaboration are adding to this growing trend. The international training company, AchieveGlobal, has just published a study looking at leading virtual teams. Among its […]

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Strong Leaders Harness the Power of Spirit and Meaning

We regularly review our seven Timeless Leadership Principles in our workshops while participants assess how well they feel they’re doing with each one, and which of the Principles they’d most like to improve. The one that scores number one or two on participant priority lists for improvement is Mobilizing and Energizing. Supervisors, managers, and executives […]

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Three Critical Factors in Building a Productive Team Culture

Marcelino Sánchez added this comment to my blog posting last week on “Keys to Building a Strong Team or Organizational Culture:” “My thoughts on building a productive team culture (subculture). For a team to do what it needs to do in a way that they like to do it and be effective, they have to […]

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Don’t Let Toxic People Corrode Performance and Destroy Your Team

The April 2009 issue of Harvard Business Review has a short item entitled “How Toxic Colleagues Corrode Performance.” The authors polled several thousand managers and employees from a range of American companies. Here’s what they found is the impact of negative and rude behavior in the workplace: • 48% decreased their work effort • 47% […]

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Watching the Olympics at the Office: What Leadership’s Got to Do with It

Just before the opening ceremonies in Beijing, Tavia Grant from The Globe & Mail sent me an e-mail and interviewed me for her story on how managers should deal with people watching the Olympics at the office (“World’s Watching: Who’s Working”, August 8, 2008). As the Globe & Mail so often is, her story was […]

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