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In the topic 'Leading Others'


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In Your Dreams: See It to Be It

A senior leader was determined to strengthen her organization’s culture. She recognized that getting her executive team to work together more effectively was a key first step. In preparation for an offsite leadership team retreat I interviewed each executive with a series of team and organization assessment questions and ratings. It became clear that a […]

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Are You Doing it…To…For…or…With…Your Team?

Many studies have shown the impact that control of our situation has on our health, happiness, and effectiveness. In one experiment a white-footed deer mouse was placed in a brightly lit cage. The mouse could press a bar to alter the light. The mouse reduced the lighting to a dim level. The next morning experimenters […]

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Are You Focused on What’s Wrong to Make Things Right?

Stop me if you’ve heard this one: A young girl’s elementary teacher hears little Sophia sing at school and recognizes what a beautiful voice she has. The teacher encourages the girl to nurture her gift and has her sing a solo at a school concert. Sophia’s pure, clear voice and passion for music enchants everyone […]

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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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New Studies Show “Soft Skills” Are Now a Critical Priority

“The whole human side is now more important than skills or IQ. Everything we hear from clients is about the human aspects of leadership,” reports Rajeev Vasudeva, CEO of the Egon Zehnder executive recruiting firm. In a feature article on today’s “ultra-tight job market,” Fortune magazine concludes, “across industries, employers are prizing people skills, the […]

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Thoughts That Make You Go Hmmm on… Growing and Developing Others

Friend and fellow consultant and speaker, Donald Cooper and I found out after the fact that we were working independently with “John” a hard driving restaurant entrepreneur. John had rapidly built one restaurant into four highly successful locations with an innovative new concept and his fanatical attention to details. I got involved with helping John […]

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Coaching Matters: Are You a DIY Manager Choking Growth and Development?

Good managers often have strong technical expertise and analytical skills. They love to jump into the details and resolve tough problems. Effective leaders resist the quick-fix, I-can-do-it-better-myself temptation. He or she knows such do-it-yourself projects reinforce the upward delegation cycle (“Hey, boss. Here’s another one for you to solve”). This leads to him or her […]

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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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5 Questions to Cut Through the Coaching Clutter

In the past four years the number of books on coaching available at Amazon has grown by 50% — from just under 30,000 to over 45,000. This reflects the growing understanding that effective coaching has a huge impact on individual, team, and organization performance. But this also shows there’s an overwhelming assortment of coaching theories, […]

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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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From Driving and Directing to Coaching and Developing

Recently I was coaching, “John,” a very successful entrepreneur who’d built his company from a small to mid-sized player in their industry. His goal was to become one of the major companies in their market. We were reviewing his 360 assessment report. Feedback from 21 direct reports, peers, and others rated him very high in […]

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Year End Reflections on Leadership Behaviors

Recently Laurie Wilhelm, editor of the online publication, Realizing Leadership, interviewed me on a range of leadership topics. It was a stimulating conversation. She summarized our discussion in a Q & A article now available on our web site at “Leadership Behaviors“. Given my meandering musings on a very broad topic, Laurie did an excellent […]

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Fixing Performance Management: What’s the Point ?

What’s your experience with performance reviews? How energizing and helpful are they — to give or receive? Do performance reviews enhance, stunt, or do little for increasing effectiveness? Do you look forward to performance discussions with excitement or dread? The October issue of Harvard Business Review features an article on “The Performance Management Revolution.” The […]

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The Impact of Leadership on Employee Engagement

Whenever we poll leadership audiences on how many of their organizations are concerned about employee engagement, most report this is as a vital issue. It’s been well documented that highly engaged employees lead to much higher levels of productivity, customer service, innovation, and quality with lower levels of turnover and absenteeism. To boost mediocre or […]

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Feedforward Rather Than Feedback to Fix Our Broken Performance Management Systems

Research by Marie-Hélène Budworth, assistant professor of Human Resource Management at York University, shows that managers giving feedback to staff changed their performance 1/3 of the time, had no effect another 1/3 of the time, and actually reduced performance 1/3 of the time. What if a medical treatment was only effective 30% of the time […]

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Double Development Impact with Manager Support

Nearly 200 years ago farmers in Scotland began dipping or bathing their sheep in a solution of insecticide and fungicide to protect them against parasites, ticks, and lice. Today many organizations practice a form of “development dipping.” Leaders are dunked in a development workshop or learning activity in the hope that something sticks. When dipped […]

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Steps to Fostering Courageous Conversations to Reduce the Moose

In the past two weeks I’ve facilitated a couple of variations of leadership team retreats featuring “moose hunting” exercises. Whether they’re called elephants-in-the-room, 800 pound gorillas, or moose/camel/kangaroo-on-the-table (we’ve used various creatures in different parts of the world), the idea is the same; identify key issues without names attached and figure out how to deal […]

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Do These Attributes Describe Coaching in Your Organization?

Many managers see people as they are, and treat them according to what they see. Outstanding coaches, however, see people as they could be, and work to grow that potential. If you buy a little goldfish and keep it in a small bowl it will remain no bigger than a few inches long. Move that […]

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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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